By: Jessica Hartling
Philosophy Club is currently in the process of changing its name to the Philosophical Inquiry Club, (P.I. Club).
This semester, the P.I. Club has hosted biweekly discussions on Monday afternoons where all faculty, staff and students are welcome to join.
Each meeting is an informal discussion focused on a philosophical or political topic. Previous topics of discussion included the impact of social networking upon our personal relationships, to Black Friday and the ethics of businesses.
This semester there has not been a large attendance of students at each meeting. “Philosophy Club used to have very active students; however, they graduated a few years ago,” Robyn Gaier, assistant professor of philosophy, told Lumen. “Since then, each fall semester we are rebuilding, and by spring semester we have a real membership.”
“I hope that more students become involved in the club,” Brittany Thompson, junior dietetics major and ethics minor from Prior Lake, Minn., and P.I. Club president, told Lumen.
“Classes have a tendency to focus on the few concrete answers in the world, but this club pulls some of the focus back to the value of a quality question,” Thompson said.
“Students need a philosophical and intellectual outlet, but not in a graded or evaluated atmosphere,” Gaier said. “P.I. Club allows for all those who attend to have these informal discussions in a relaxed environment.”
“Next semester we are looking into hosting movie and discussion nights,” Thompson said. “The movies will align with some of the topics discussed in mission seminar courses to encourage attendance, as well as deepening the knowledge base related to such topics.”
“In February, around Valentine’s Day, we normally have a discussion about the nature of love and relationships,” Gaier said. “Around Easter, there is usually a world religions discussion as well.”
“Every Spring UW-La Crosse hosts a philosophy conference,” Gaier said. “I would like to see the club build up where there would be a real interest by the student body in attending.”
“I believe an important component of being an ethical person is reflection and discussion of moral issues,” Thompson said. “Being involved in the club has been such a positive experience for me so far because it is an hour out of my week where I can sit on a comfortable couch, put away my phone and simply talk with some fascinating people.”