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Virtual Brotherhood Event Ideas

This resource is for chapters operating virtually or in-person with social distancing limitations. The ideas below could be conducted entirely virtually or in-person, and for in-person chapters, the virtual hosting of events helps conform to social distancing requirements.

Chapters should offer a regular schedule of brotherhood events. Events should be focused on connecting members:

  1. Through shared interests, they typically pursue on their own
  2. To others in the chapter, they may not regularly interact with outside of meetings and events (e.g. disparate candidate classes or living situations)
  3. As an entire chapter in a fun environment through a shared activity

It is suggested that chapters have both a weekly schedule of activities that any brother can participate in, but with no attendance expectation, and a monthly/quarterly/annual activity where all members participate.

Creating consistency with weekly events allows brothers to add this opportunity to their regular schedule, give them something to look forward to every week, and not feel the pressure to participate when their attention is needed elsewhere (knowing it will be there again next week).

Full chapter events on a less frequent basis offer an opportunity to recreate some of the in-person downtime that occurs either around the chapter facility or in between other events. Having the chapter create a venue with some pre-planned activities can bring the brotherhood together in a way that no individual brother could do.

Weekly Recurring Activities

These activities are designed to bring together different segments of the chapter based on mutual interests. They should be made open to all members, but with no expectation that individuals participate beyond their personal interest level (i.e. Brother A can attend all, half, one, or none of the options in a given week, without repercussion or judgment).

Set out a schedule of activities and inform the entire brotherhood of what is happening when (day, time) and where (platform, access instructions). For example, “Join us at 8:00 at (meeting link for the preferred online platform) for Movie Night on Tuesdays, TV Binge on Wednesdays, Game Night on Thursdays, Trivia on Fridays…and each Wednesday enjoy a Quick Bite with a brother."

Movie Night

Make a movie or binge-watching a social experience by coordinating a time for everyone to start their viewing. Combine this with FaceTime, a Google Hangout to enhance the activity, or even set up a Netflix Watch Party. Consider a selection with Fraternity favorites Paul Rudd (Kansas) or Harrison Ford (Ripon)!

If you have got a large chapter or diverse interests you could spin this off into a genre-based opportunity each week (e.g. Horror Fridays, Comedy Saturdays) or change up the genre each week.

TV Binge Night

Just like the Movie Night but for binging current or past episodes of television favorites.

If you have got a large chapter or diverse interests you could spin this off into show-specific groups each week (e.g. Breaking Bad Wednesdays, The Office Thursdays) or change up the show each week.

Video Game Night

Coordinate and Share Gamer Tags for Cooperative and Multiplayer Games for members to play together. Set up a shared document (e.g. Google Doc) to easily collect and share gamer tags and IDs for the chapter’s favorite consoles and games. The chapter could set up an online tournament for each week or rotate which game is played (e.g. Fortnite Fridays, RPG Saturdays).

Game Night

Gather round your smartphones for some collaborative and competitive party games. Have a brother with a subscription or gaming platform serve as the host for party-style games like Jackbox, play poker on the Zynga or WSOP app, or host a competitive trivia night.

Share a YouTube Video or TedTalk of the Day/Week 

Stay connected through laughter or thought-provoking ideas by sharing a daily/weekly YouTube video or TedTalk. Share the videos in advance and have members come together on a regular schedule to discuss what they watched that week (alternate idea – watch the videos as a group and then discuss). Need suggestions? The Fraternity has curated a large selection of videos under its Sigma Nu Talks series that covers various topics related to Leadership, Values, and Social Issues.

Book Club 

Invite members of the chapter to read together. The chapter could schedule online meetings for reflection and discussion as members work their way through the book. For suggested reads, check out The Art of Manliness blog’s “100 Books Every Man Should Read.”

Quick Bites

This activity is suggested to occur on a weekly basis and is ideal for including the entire chapter (i.e. assign every member to a new partner each week). At a minimum, identify all interested members at the outset and then build a schedule/pairing matrix based on anticipated participants (if not all members plan to participate).

This activity pairs members for shared meals and discussion. Set up a rotating schedule of candidates/candidates, candidates/brothers, and brothers/brothers so that at least once a week, each member gets together in a virtual meeting (e.g. FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangout) to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner with another member of the chapter. Set up the schedule so that Quick Bites occur on the same day each week and share the pairing schedule with all members so they can connect with their partner in advance to arrange a time that day to meet.

For each Quick Bites session, provide members with 3-4 discussion questions to start their mealtime conversation. Starter question ideas are included below:

Potential recurring questions for each week:

  • How were classes this week?
  • Is there something you are struggling with right now that I can assist with (personal, academic, other)?
  • Candidate to Brother: What is your favorite thing about the chapter? Why?
  • Brother to Candidate: How is your candidate education coming along? Anything I can help you with or teach you about how the Fraternity works?

General starter questions (pick 3-4 each week):

  • What is your favorite restaurant in our college town? Your hometown?
  • How do you like to spend your free time?
  • Which sports do you like to watch? Which ones do you like to play?
  • What is your favorite Sigma Nu memory so far?
  • What is a movie you can watch over and over?
  • What is your favorite meal?
  • If you could go to one live sporting event (historical or future), what would it be?
  • What are the 3 most used apps on your phone?
  • What bands/music do you listen to in your free time (exercise, chill, concentration)?
  • What is your favorite genre of movie? Least favorite?
  • What is the best fast food restaurant? The worst?
  • Who was the first band/artist you were really into? Do you still like them?
  • What are some bands/artists on your bucket list to see in concert?
  • What is your go-to all-time favorite TV show?
  • What popular TV show do you think is overrated?
  • What is the most addictive mobile game you have played (e.g. Angry Birds, Doodle Jump)?
  • If you could learn the answer to one question about your future, what would that question be?
  • If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?
  • What three words best describe you?
  • Who had the biggest impact on the person you have become? How so?
  • Who do you look up to? Why?

For additional ideas, check out these conversation starters.

Full Chapter Brotherhood Events

The chapter should also offer a monthly/quarterly/annual activity where all members participate. That could take the form of any of the above theme night ideas or something else of interest to the general membership.

  • Watch Party for a Sporting Event (live or replay)
  • Host a LEAD session of relevance to the general membership
  • Learn More About Members’ Leadership Type – Leadership typology tests like Myers-Briggs, CliftonStrengths, the Leadership Practices Inventory, and True Colors are an easy way for your members to learn more about themselves and what they contribute to the chapter. Arrange for members to take the assessment and then facilitate a conversation to share member profiles, what they learned about themselves, and how they can best contribute to the chapter.
  • Team building session (see below for more details)

Team Building Ideas for a Full Chapter Brotherhood Event

Check out the Fraternity’s Team Building resources for an introduction to facilitating group activities, activity instructions, and processing questions.

While a lot of team building activities rely on props or physical proximity, there are plenty of games and initiatives you can conduct in a virtual environment. Use your preferred virtual meeting platform and the activity guides below to get started.

The Sigma Nu Team Building Guide includes an index of activities by theme. Virtual-friendly activities are listed below (note: some still include props that most participants will have readily available in their residence; when instructed to break into small groups either use a breakout room feature in your meeting platform or convert to a large group rather than small group discussion).

  • Getting to Know You – 11, 13, 15, 27, 28, 29
  • Planning – 63
  • Trust– 11, 13, 15, 27, 28, 29, 81

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9 North Lewis Street, P.O. Box 1869, Lexington, Virginia 24450
Phone: (540) 463-1869 | Fax: (540) 463-1669 | Email: headquarters@sigmanu.org

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