What’s your passion?

Credit: Alyssa Berardocco

Credit: Alyssa Berardocco

On November 19, the second bi-annual BrockU Talks explored students’ ‘other side of the brain’ by featuring speakers who were enthusiastic about inspiring students through their passions.

Though the winter weather was not in their favour that night, with Brock alumnus and last years’ speaker Mary Perino having to cancel her talk due to poor road conditions, the evening saw nine other equally passionate speakers who were ready to hit the stage in front of approximately 60 people. Brock’s Best Buddies and Live4Dance also made appearances, advertising their upcoming Silent Auction event and performing a routine on stage, respectively.

This event displayed an array of diverse interests and humour, from spoken word poetry to singing “I Can Go the Distance” from Disney’s Hercules to advocation for the transformation of the world of politics.

Olivier Kayitaba on Mama Simamma – Empowering Women: “Men in Africa know that women promote community and structure, and the breakdown of this means committing violence against them. But what is the fear that we men have about empowered women? Maybe if we empower them, we will be stronger, because without women in this world, community would die”.

Alexandra Maclean on The ‘S’ Word: “You have to use very clear language when you talk about these things. Just ask them, ‘are you thinking about suicide?’ If you’re not direct, things can get lost in translation. 4,000 deaths by suicide is 4,000 too many”.

Shajid Islam on Breathing Art: “Art is a form of communication and expression, and it’s your job to communicate these thoughts and expressions. I think my mom is the greatest artist in the world – she created me and I’m pretty awesome”.

Errol Stewart on How Fitness Can Change Your Life: “I did the McDonald’s Challenge, which was eating a different menu item for 22 days straight. After a while, I couldn’t escape the 3:00 p.m. naps, my overall quality of life went down, I couldn’t even party as hard”.

Chanelle Gurrell on Who the *Bleep* Cares?: “Have you ever heard anyone say, ‘If this post doesn’t get 30 likes, than I am so totally deleting it’ or ‘I have 4000 friends on Facebook and 10,000 followers on Instagram #winning.’ Social media is the way we affirm our self-worth, but why? Why do we need someone to validate our existence?”

While the majority of the speakers were new to the stage, BrockU Talks alumni and recent graduate Matt Fleming, who discussed wearing his heart on his sleeve last year, returned Wednesday with a new talk entitled “The Wise Man”.

“I think the most difficult thing about being a returning speaker was being original. I didn’t want to give the same presentation as the previous year, and sharing something as personal as I did last year was challenging to top,” said Fleming. “On the other hand, I think the most appealing thing about being a returning speaker was seeing the passions of students that didn’t perform the previous year; it was refreshing to come back to Brock and see that student passion is still alive and well.”

Aniqah Zowmi, co-founder of BrockU Talks, shares these thoughts with Fleming about how the event panned out.

“I think one of the biggest successes was somehow making BrockU Talks even bigger than its predecessor BrockTalks. We’ve been working really hard to bring this to the forefront of the Brock community and to showcase the incredible students that we have. I think it’s been so incredible how we’ve managed to do just that!” said Zowmi.

Stay tuned to BrockU Talks Facebook page and Twitter feed for your opportunity to become a speaker at the third bi-annual event on March 25, 2015. To re-live this event, check out BrockTV’s coverage at youtube.com/user/BrockTVMedia/videos

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