By Joshua Inglada
The Philosophy Club offers students the opportunity to analyze the inner workings of the mind, while also socializing with one another.
The chartered club has been a part of East Los Angeles College for more than five years.
The overall goal of the club is to unlock the potential of students through critical thinking and examining the thoughts members have on daily events.
Club president Leonardo Escobar said the club strives to unlock everyone’s inner critical thinker.
“We give the student body an opportunity to not only present whatever philosophical ideas they have in mind, but to also present it in an environment where they’re not going to be judged,” Escobar said.
While the club members hold their meetings to a serious degree, they keep open minds to the opinions presented by whoever wants to act as a speaker.
After the speeches, members offer their own critiques and viewpoints to build upon what they hear.
“It’s just a great environment for young thinkers to be in. It’s an environment where young thinkers really evolve. Backgrounds can be heard, taken seriously and can be critiqued as an academic club,” Escobar said. “The whole idea is to not pat you on the back, but to pick apart your ideas for flaws or inconsistencies. I think that this is the way we develop really concise and clear thought processes and critical thinking.”
Philosophy professor Gerardo Villasenor serves as the club adviser. Along with the philosophy department, he has been committed to keeping the club afloat and running.
“We discuss many topics during meetings, such as free will and justice,” Villasenor said. “Not too long ago, we discussed the subject of ghosts and just the idea of the paranormal in general. It’s a very open-house club where anyone can come in and join us.”
The club meets every second Tuesday of the month from noon to 1:30 p.m. in F7-117, with snacks and refreshments served.
“We just get together to talk and eat, enjoy what we can as a club at a junior college. Some of our members are preparing to transfer, some have been here for some time and some work here,” Escobar said, “So we really have a diverse group of people and I think it’s that kind of diversity that matters.”
While the club has 10 to 15 core members, students are encouraged to come in and sit in for meetings anytime.
Up to 40 attendees have been present at times for a meeting.
The club finished its last major event of the semester on May 8, which was a symposium on the consciousness of the mind.
The meeting featured speeches on the mind’s ontological status and workings from ELAC professors Bryant Horowitz and Tim Snead from the psychology and philosophy departments respectively.
“We could be discussing a whole lot of things. Sometimes we could get really political. Just because we’re a philosophy club doesn’t mean we strictly talk about philosophy. Sometimes we talk about politics and history or we could be talking about social phenomenon or the paranormal,” Escobar said.
”We’d like to get another symposium going for some time in the fall, but that is something we all need to vote on. The fall event hasn’t been planned yet, but we’re planning to work together with the economics department in the fall,” Villasenor said.
For more information on the club, contact Escobar at 856-994-8029 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Villasenor can also be reached for information at email@example.com.