Philosophy Club returns after its hiatus

Ciara White

The College of Lake County has always offered philosophy and ethics classes to students, but its Philosophy Club has been on hiatus due to online learning limitations; it was only until early 2021 that the break was deemed over.

Philosophy Club is now available for all those interested.

Photo via Philosophy Club’s website

Photo via Philosophy Club’s website

Members of Philosophy Club hope to promote an intellectual environment composed of debates, discussion, and critical thought. Their meetings cover many thought-provoking topics selected by members: ethical eating, Buddism, meditation, environmentalism, and existentialism.

One of their meetings was dedicated to the “single story” concept, which covers the dangers of stereotypes, and expectations. The club discussed how over time, these one-sided or underinformed ideas can trap people into bland and inaccurate representations of their narratives; humanity is instead much more complex and unique.

Members are given the meeting’s topic beforehand in an email, as well as recommended documents, readings, and videos to help guide discussions.

Advising the club is associate philosophy professor Shanti Chu, whereas other leadership positions—president, vice president, secretary, etc.—have been given to students.

Molly Rial, a biology student at CLC, was elected as the club’s secretary. Rial was recruited by Chu—a former teacher of hers—and has loved the club ever since.

“I love Philosophy Club because it pushed me out of my comfort zone intellectually, and in my skills. I certainly didn’t go in wanting to be the secretary. But after getting involved, I realized how much I missed the in-depth thinking it prompts and the empathy it allows me to practice,” Rial said.

Since Rial had taken Chu’s Introduction to Ethics class, she saw this as an opportunity to keep learning about topics she enjoyed.

“In that class, I discovered more of my moral compass and learned about how people think and approach social issues, and that continues to be the case in Philosophy Club,” Rial said.

Ethics can certainly be an intricate topic, and it takes a lot of reflection in order to find your moral compass. Rial comments that it is important to be open-minded and honest when dealing with these sorts of topics.

“[In] such a divided and difficult world, being willing to listen and learn is such a practical skill,” Rial said.

Photo via Molly Rial

Photo via Molly Rial

Being open also allows room for growth. Doing so will create transparency and a crucial understanding of oneself and human nature. Philosophy Club acts as a great opportunity to push oneself. When joining the club, Rial had a couple of goals in mind.

“I hope to expand my knowledge and my mind, and to become more empathetic. I can only hope the same for other students too,” Rial said.

The Philosophy Club encourages any students interested to attend a meeting, which run Wednesdays at 3 pm via Zoom. Valuable information can be learned through the club, and new perspectives are always welcomed and desired.

“The more different perspectives and ideas we have, the more valuable of an experience it can be for everyone,” Rial said.

More information and access to meetings can be found through Shanti Chu, the club’s advisor ([email protected]).