New club provokes thought and intriguing discussion
THE SANTA CLARA
January 30, 2014
For about 12 years, students interested in critical thinking about profound questions have gathered at the one-time weekly meetings at Café Socrates.
However, this year, students and teachers alike saw a different need on campus and created the Philosophy Club.
Senior Ashley Barros, president of the new club, saw what Café Socrates seemed to be missing.
“(Café Socrates) is cool,” said Barros. “However, it doesn’t really build a lot of bonding.”
Barros was not the only one calling for change. At the end of last year, Erick Ramirez, lecturer in the Philosophy Department, asked various students whether they would be interested in a philosophy club and the answer he received was a resounding “yes.”
Ramirez approached Barros, the club papers were filled out and now the interest is a reality.
Since the start of the school year and the birth of the organization, the club has begun to develop and grow membership. This is in part because of the longtime desire for the club, and in part because of its unique way of holding meetings.
Julian Castillo, a junior philosophy student in the club, has been a part of many of these excursions.
“The club is really off–campus field trips every other week,” said Castillo. “We drive to the location, experience the event and afterward we have a one-to-two-hour discussion on whatever is pertinent to that event.”
In the past, these excursions have included everything from visits to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, to watching the movie “Her,” to visiting the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz.
Afterwards, discussions meander through various topics, whether the trip may warrant a discussion about the afterlife, or how words construct reality.
The club has even bigger plans for the future, as members are trying to organize a trip to play paintball and afterwards discuss warfare, amongst other activities.
What really seems to bring this club to life, though, is the people and the passion they bring to the club.
The student leaders really seem to enjoy planning the events, but even more interesting is the excitement shown by the teachers involved with the club.
Justin Remhof, one of the faculty advisors, enjoys being one of the leaders of the club.
“It’s really, really fun,” said Remhof. “It’s my favorite thing to do on the weekends.
“It’s fun to hang out with people who like to think about thinking and to just be in a very relaxed environment where we can be cracking jokes and also very serious in an interesting way,” he said.
The club has already grown to 25 members, with many more expressing interest, but the club leaders still want to attract new students, especially those who are not philosophy majors or minors.
Barros sees philosophizing as something to which everyone can relate.
“We’re all doing this, it’s how we interact with the world and how we interact with it intellectually,” said Barros. “You’re already doing this, you might as well come do it with other people.”
The next club meeting is this Saturday, consisting of hiking and barbequing, all while discussing Aristotle.
So if you find yourself pondering life’s big questions, or are just in the mood for an interesting activity and a thought-provoking conversation with fellow students, then be sure to spend an afternoon with the Philosophy Club.
Contact Dan Hanower at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.