Philosophy Club: A club worth thinking about

By: Carl Legg

Features Contributor

In this upcoming series of articles, The Griffin will be spotlighting some lesser known but crucial clubs on campus. Philosophy Club captured our attention this week for their transformative and intelligent discussions that are worthy of more student involvement.

The club’s president, Drew Sasala, described what the club is, as well as all it has to offer.

“Philosophy Club is just a group of students, and occasionally faculty from the department are there, that come together to drink some coffee and talk about issues that are deep in nature and tend to have a practical relevancy,” he explained.

Their discussions are often theoretical, but they try to always keep them relevant to modern issues, especially with the current political climate. The club’s main advisors are Dr. Chanderbhan and Melissa Mosko. The club has consistently felt gratitude toward them, for their moderation and educated input toward discussions.

It is indubitably the energy and passion that the club members bring that makes Philosophy Club special. Sasala fondly remembered one discussion about gender identity that made a lasting impact on those involved. Everyone there readily stayed nearly an hour past the original time slot, as they elaborated upon and discussed as many dimensions of the issue as possible. From existentialist to psychological perspectives, they embraced the opportunity to wholeheartedly discuss a topic that does not usually come up in casual conversation.

Sasala, always hoping to share these discussions with others, is trying not to be dismayed by the drop in turnout this semester. “Attendance at the club always ebbs and flows depending on what students schedules are, as well as the amount of majors and minors we have,” he said practically. In these times, he continues to appreciate the students who are not philosophy majors or minors, but come because they simply love the discussions.

In an effort to gain more exposure, the club would like to hold more interactive events. This semester, they are hoping to hold a movie screening where faculty can lead a discussion on the philosophical nature of a film of their choosing. These events are always some of the highlights of the club’s semesters.

In the fall, they held an interactive murder mystery. It was a night to remember, with logic puzzles, pizza, balloons, and Tim Horton’s gift cards. “It was fun and very philosophical, with people representing different branches of philosophy,” Sasala proudly described. “Just a brilliant and lame and an amazing time.” As much as the club questions everything, they know and revel in their own identity. Those who attended were eager to become more involved afterwards.

Looking to the future, Sasala hopes for the club to become more interdisciplinary. They would love to get more non-majors involved. Always looking for different perspectives to their deep discussions, they aim to make the club welcoming to everyone on campus. “We want the club to be a space for open thought and critical discussion outside of the classroom,” he explained.

Sasala believes the contrast to these discussions in an academic setting is what makes the club special. “Philosophy club offers a social setting where they can keep developing their thoughts. And I think that it’s really good to have that from both sides, because if you didn’t have both the academic and the social side, then I don’t think that it would completely work,” he explained. The ability to critically examine daily life and the world does not always happen in the classroom, and this is why he believes Philosophy club is especially important.

Philosophy club will always be special to Sasala. “To me, it means coming together with people and trying to get at the truth,” he said. “It’s been a place to test out new ideas and to just see where discussion can take us. And for me it’s actually been a really transformative thing. There’s been a lot of my own thoughts and parts about my own identity that I’ve worked out through discussing it with people that are open to conversation.”

It has made a lasting impact on his life and he would like nothing more than to share it with others.

If you are interested in joining the club, contact them via email or social media. Their email is phiclub@my.canisius.edu, or you can check out their social media page on Facebook. The club is always looking for more members, and presents students with an environment for expansive, explorative thinking.

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