BrockU Talks: by students, for students

THE BROCK PRESS/Christy Mitchell

THE BROCK PRESS/Christy Mitchell

On March 25, BrockU Talks showcased the passion, insight and vision that define the students of
Brock University.

This student-run conference and speaker series is very much in the vein of the popular YouTube entity TED Talks, where a speaker has a designated time slot, often around 15 minutes to discuss what they think is of interest or topics that often aren’t represented in mainstream discourse.

Staying true to the University’s “Both Sides of the Brain” campaign, an event such as BrockU Talks provides students with the opportunity to go beyond the textbook and dive into material that is personal, global and often hard to talk about. What makes BrockU Talks interesting for the audience is the variety of speakers, and subsequently the unique perspectives that will be shown.

The students shared their life experiences, the very things that shaped who they are as people, giving the audience the rare opportunity to catch a glimpse into the psyche of other people. Though the student speakers came from different programs such as Dramatic Arts, English and Concurrent Education, each one of their talks shared the theme of betterment of self and trying to become the best you that you can be no matter what life may have in store.

“BrockU Talks gives students a platform to launch their ideas into the world in a positive and supportive way,” said fifth-year Concurrent Education student, Mary Perino, who also made an appearance at the first bi-annual event in March 2014.

“At its heart, it is about being a catalyst for student success.”

The event ran from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Pond Inlet, with a brief intermission for refreshments and hors d’oeuvres.

The speakers performed in the following order:

1. CUPS – Akwasi Bonsu
2. Why Bother with Dramatic Arts in Education? – Jaime Elcome
3. What Would Happen if I Put my Dreams into Action? – Adrienne Lloren
4. Sport for the Mind: My Personal Story with Tourette’s Syndrome – Matthew Paladino
5. The Power of the Present – Kelsey Kavanagh
6. Breaking Up with Who I Thought I Was – Cate Talaue
7. Learning Disabilities – Moyra Bell
8. Discovering Everyday Bravery – Ian Beaumont
9. Road to Productivity – Casey Lawrence
10. Gratitude 3.0 – Mary Perino

It quickly became evident that university students may be a lot of things, but insight and awareness are two traits that seem to define Brock students. The speakers were poignant, motivating and interesting, and the warm, welcoming atmosphere from the audience made some of the more difficult topics of conversation easier for the speakers to unload. This was the third BrockU Talks overall and the second event this year, which goes to show that Brock students are interested in intellectually engaging with their peers with unique and original topics of thought.

“BrockU Talks is important because by its namesake, it’s about Brock students talking,” said Perino.

“When we open ourselves up and talk, that invites the brave few to share and many more to listen. What better way to liven up a community than to hear the stories of its members.”

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