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I am the faculty advisor for our philosophy club too. We have had some great meetings this year. Here are a few thoughts:

1. All our meetings have been in-person, outdoors, except for one when the weather happened to be bad. I feel strongly about meeting in-person for philosophy club, for a number of reasons. One is that the discussions in person are just much better, as everyone knows. Another is the friendships. Our philosophy club is a very important source of social interaction and friendship for the people who attend, and making friends is much easier and better in person. The in-person meetings also encourage people to linger after the official meeting is over to hang out, talk, or get together afterward. (I teach at a small school and so the social aspect of the club is important—sometimes, people who are interested in philosophy club don’t have many friends in other places or may have trouble making friends.)

2. The student president and I have tried to select topics that get people going in one way or another, and we advertise it a lot to many people across campus. Last week our discussion was on the morality of pornography and it was our largest-attended meeting so far this semester. The school I teach at is aligned with a Christian religion, and I think part of the appeal of the meeting was the chance to talk about something that is clearly very important, but doesn’t get spoken about on campus very often. Several students thanked us for choosing this topic and were glad we were taking it on.

3. For the next few weeks we will have student presentations of good or interesting papers that were written in philosophy classes last semester. This gets a lot of student participation and gets a diverse group of people—friends of the presenter, people who were in the class with them, and so on. And I’ve found it a good chance to teach students skills in presenting publicly, skills that aren’t unique to philosophy.

4. Now that it’s colder where we live, we’re going to begin meeting inside, in-person. Fortunately we were able to get a large room on campus that is big enough to hold everyone at a safe distance from each other but still feel like we’re all together.

Overall this semester’s club for us has been a lot of fun. I have to admit I was not that excited about becoming the faculty advisor at first but now I love the meetings and really look forward to the discussions.

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