One of the goals we set out to accomplish with our SigEp Learning Community (SELC) this semester was to encourage curiosity – one of Virginia Tech’s Aspirations for Student Learning – among brothers. This didn’t start with our SELC-accreditation in January; older brothers and alumni had already begun creating a culture of scholarship through establishing an academic plan and engaging with university partners, among other things.
Flash reports are 4-6-minute presentations during chapter that takes place after exec reports and before new business is discussed. In the past, these were used to communicate something about chapter operations, and exec members usually delivered them. Last year, some of our flash reports concerned using the Google Calendar, discussing recruitment strategies, and running for an exec position. While these were important topics, flash reports were an ineffective delivery medium.
Flash reports would be a perfect medium; however, to encourage curiosity. By moving discussions on chapter operations elsewhere during the meeting, we would have 4-7 minutes every week to present something to every brother! With that in mind, we asked brothers to think of their favorite topic – one which they are passionate about – and we opened the stage. The more passionate a brother was, the better, because anyone can become curious about anything when the speaker is clearly engaged with his own topic.
During the regular semester, Brother Brandon Moses (2020) discussed his career search journey over the past four years and advised brothers on the strategies that led him to successfully find a full-time employment offer in a competitive industry. Since moving online, Brother Cooper Whiteleather (2022) discussed the benefits of using a fitness-tracking app to measure workout performance, and Brother Murad Matar (2022) discussed nutrition and exercise strategies to use during quarantine.
The flash reports are not only a way to inspire curiosity in the brothers to whom they are delivered; they also are a way to give the brother delivering the report practice speaking before a large audience. Brandon, Cooper and Murad did an excellent job delivering their reports, and by organising their thoughts on a topic and presenting about it, they are certainly improving themselves for the future.
And in the future, flash reports will continue! We look forward to a safe end to the quarantine, when we will once again be able to host in-person chapter meetings, but in the meantime we will continue searching for ways to encourage curiosity and allow brothers to teach other brothers.