SEP 101 2 Days Development Program: Why it is important for the new scholars

UCSI University has always organized the SEP 101 two days development program for new scholars. They prepared a lot of things for this event, from the facilitators, the emcees, the venue, the guests from outside, to the food and beverages for the new scholars. Their efforts in making this event perfect wasn’t something to be laughed at, as they spent many days preparing so this event can be successfully conducted. Some may be wondering what the point of this event is in the first place. Thus, for those who harbor such a question, this article will explain the meaning and the importance behind the activities held in this event.

The two days development program is an semesterly program to introduce the new scholars of UCSI to the benefits of Youth Beyond Boundaries (YBB). Although it may look repetitive, they always try to make the new one better. For this January 2020 semester, the event took place on 15th and 16th January at GG06 and GG07, Block G, UCSI University.

After registration and breakfast time for the new scholars, the facilitators in charge of the event welcomed them warmly. The students were directed into their respective groups in the vast room of GG06. Most of them put on an awkward smile, some stayed silent, and few going around greeting new friends. It may be subtle, but this seating arrangement itself was one of the ways of exposing the scholars to the value point of YBB, which is communication.

The seating arrangement

Before any of the important modules started, the emcee engaged the new scholars in an ice-breaking session with a cross-name game. The rule of the game was quite simple as the new scholars only had to get as many names as they could to win. Surprisingly, those who stayed silent at first started to open up and many got along well. Smiles started to bloom on many faces and chattering noise filled the room.

Then in the first module, Alex Tan from Invigorate officially introduced YBB to the new scholars. Although some students were uninterested at first, as the speech went on, even the most uninterested students were paying their full attention to the awe-inspiring speech given by Alex. “Youth Beyond Boundaries is a platform to go beyond the academic scores, to challenge oneself to go outside the boundaries, to be creative, experienced, and knowledgeable,” he said.

Language is an important medium to express oneself to the world. But this itself couldn’t be learned effectively by students just from learning in the classroom and listening to lectures. Thus YBB, a platform where students have to mingle around outside of their comfort zone, is a good place to develop one’s language and behavioral patterning. Such as developing confidence in expressing oneself through a large group like YBB and learning from one’s peers and not just from the teachers. “A successful person is someone who stands in front of the crowd, holding a mic, and opening their mouth to speak out”, said Alex Tan.

Alex from Invigorate

In the second module, it focused more on the personal level. The students were told to ponder about their goals as a scholar in UCSI. The 6F goal-setting introduced in this second module would help them in discovering their dreams and goals. The 6Fs were Fitness, Feelings, Focus, Family, Finance, and Fun. Balancing all these elements is important as people who are busy with the finance and focus goals tend to forget their fitness (health) and family. Inexperienced people may think that goal setting has to start with something new. However, it’s completely wrong. A good goal aims to improve your good points into something better.

Most of the new scholars weren’t very clear of their goals during their stay in UCSI, so at the end of the session, both figures from Invigorate left behind a good question for the scholars to ponder about which is: What legacy do I want to leave behind upon completing my university life? A good goal will be a good motivation and reminder for the students so they won’t waste their time in the university. Because once they step out into the industry, they are expected to be a good speaker, a good leader, and a good learner.

Pondering about their goals

On the second day of the development program, the new scholars were guided through simulation activities. There were different types of simulation, such as the problem of malnutrition amongst the underprivileged citizens. In this session led by Wei Hao, a committee member of SEP, the scholars had to went to the booths set up around the ground and first floor of block G and complete the games (working) from each booth to gain points (money). The games or in this case the ‘working’ session, varied from folding papers, sorting out stones, delivering packages and others. Then they had to exchange these points (money) for the necessary food supplies containing the required carbohydrates, vitamins and others to solve the malnutrition issues in their group (family). There was also another simulation problem about education. In this simulation, the groups (families) were given a choice to either send the children to study at a school or let the children work.

Sorting out stones

These simulations and games were made to teach the students of the hardships faced by the underprivileged community in the urban society, experience how the social community works, and learn to empathize with those who are unfortunate. “Sympathy is the stage where you only express the sadness and the pity in you. However, empathy is when you try to understand their problems and talk to them before actually trying to help them”, said Wei Hao, the host of this simulation. As a closing session, they invited the stateless children from Buku Jalanan Chow Kit to share their dreams and their journey. One of the bright children named Mei, who made a table cleaning robot, wished to be an engineer. Therefore, she would never give up and keep trying to achieve it.

The event continued with Module 3 – Creating Impact. In this session, representatives from various YBB Initiatives, such as the Green Up Project, Terrafix, SEP, Student Ambassador, Initiative Z, Kyan Mar Yeh, and others, came in and filled their respective tables. The new scholars could visit the tables of the initiatives they were interested in and get to know more about them. The representatives of the initiative then explained the things they do, the benefits they bring, and other topics related to their initiative. The scholars also had to solve a case study given by the representative to get a more thorough understanding of the initiatives. After spending twenty minutes on that table, the new scholars had to move on to another table they were interested in and this was repeated for three rounds. At the end of the day, the scholars had to fill in a form with three choices of initiatives they wished to join. At the end of the day, the scholars had to fill in a form with three choices of initiatives they wished to join. Later on, they would be interviewed according to the list of their choices. The scholars’ journeys would then continued in their respective initiatives.

One of the initiatives – Initiative Z

All in all, SEP 2 Days Development Program is an important event that helps the new scholars with their initial growth. It introduced YBB, a platform in the university where scholars can participate in to improve themselves and involve the scholars with various activities to get used to the workflow in the community. For instance, communication skills, working in groups, mingling with peers, expressing one’s idea, building confidence, and other important skills needed in the working industry. Therefore, when they graduate from university they can adapt quickly with the skills they have developed since university.