By Scott Smith (Central Arkansas)
Innovation [in-uh–vey-shuh-n] – something new or different introduced; introduction of new things or methods.
When it comes to providing a personal, professional, or chapter development experience we could all use a little help in spicing things up. LEAD includes some great topics and activities but sometimes your chapter needs to go that extra step with making a session fit into an already hectic chapter calendar or to include another organization or a campus resource into a session. We’ve collected some of the most innovative session and implementation ideas for LEAD – selected based on their novelty and broad utility.
Phase I: Session 11: Community Service – Invite the director/coordinator of a local community service organization to speak to the chapter about the importance of service. Use the session as an opportunity to introduce the chapter’s local service partner, inspire support for the cause, and teach members about the value of their impact in the local community.
Create a bylaw – like Gamma Delta Chapter (Stevens) – mandating that any brother who wishes to run for office must have completed the LEAD Phase II online sessions and attended multiple facilitated sessions.
Phase III: Session 4: Career Development – Reserve a classroom with a document projector. Each member of the junior class takes turns showing their resumes on the screen. Brothers then have the opportunity to provide feedback, make suggestions, and edit each other’s resume for improvement.
Phase III: Session 2: Personal Development – Host a “Reverse Gavel Pass” teambuilding activity. Members sit in a circle passing the gavel to their left. The person holding the gavel is not allowed to speak. The rest of the brothers in the circle are then directed to each provide one piece of positive and constructive feedback. Session ends with a traditional “Gavel Pass” (gavel travels in the same direction). This time the person holding the gavel is the only one allowed to speak. Brother reflects on the activity and provides one thing he learned about himself from others and how he will work to improve himself using this new piece of information (positive or negative).
Delta Alpha Chapter (Case Western Reserve) as part of their Phase III implementation tasks the junior class with writing the big brother ceremony for that semester’s candidate class. This project gives the juniors the opportunity to reflect on their time in Sigma Nu and provide meaningful guidance and instruction to the candidates through the written word of the ceremony.
Task the senior class with hosting a speaker panel for the candidates. Panel provides advice and instruction for candidates on how to make the most of the time in the chapter. Candidates have the opportunity to ask questions like, “Is there something you wish you had taken advantage of when you were a freshman?” “What advice would you give to a candidate interested in pursuing an officer position?”
Work with an alumnus or professor in finance and investing to set up an investment simulation. Participants can learn the basics on investing, shadow a professional, and even invest (fake) money with the help of a broker. This can be a great addition to the Phase IV session on money management, just ask Lambda Upsilon Chapter (Cal State Fullerton).
All Chapter Sexual Assault Prevention session. Team up with a sorority and have someone from the campus health/wellness/counseling center talk about what sexual assault is, why it happens, how to stop it, and how to assist a survivor. Follow up the session with a non-alcoholic mixer event with the participants.
Work with the local fire department to teach brothers how to properly use and maintain a fire extinguisher and put out a fire.