Get to Know the Meaning of Life with the SMCM Philosophy Club

Written By: Olivia Sothoron

St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) offers a wide variety of clubs, including those pertaining to certain disciplines, community service or activities around campus. This year it has been particularly difficult for some clubs to hold regular meetings. However, SMCM students continue to find a way to adapt and make the best of the circumstances. The Philosophy Club at SMCM has remained active during the pandemic and welcomes students to discuss and ask questions about morality, ethics and overall existence.  

Biweekly, the SMCM Philosophy Club meets to allow members to explore philosophical dilemmas and ideas. In addition to discussion, the meetings are typically accompanied by an activity, such as watching a movie or painting. The Philosophy Club is continuing to hold meetings over Zoom this semester, which will allow students to continue to consider and discuss philosophical questions, as well as socialize with their fellow club members. 

Co-president of the Philosophy Club Gina Fioravante (‘22) joined the club during her first year at SMCM. She found out about the Philosophy Club at the involvement fair during her first semester. Fioravante encouraged all students to join: “You do not need to be a philosophy major/minor to join the club! The philosophy club aims to provide a forum for students to discuss topics surrounding ethics, philosophy, and mindfulness in an open and inclusive environment.”

In addition to shifting the club’s meetings to an online format, Fioravante mentioned that the Philosophy Club is planning on hosting an outdoor and socially-distant movie night at some point during this semester, where members will gather to watch either “The Matrix” or “A Clockwork Orange.” Along with the outdoor movie night, Fioravante is also looking forward to the Halloween-themed meetings. She stated that last year, the club held a meeting focused on the philosophy of serial killers. 

Philosophy Club Vice President Mollie Rudow (‘22) has been a member of the club for the past two years. She stated that she found out about the club through the posters outside of the campus center. Rudow also explained that the Philosophy Club is welcoming to students of all disciplines. She mentioned, “Most of our discussions don’t require members to reference texts or have a background in philosophy, just be open to discussion and asking questions!”

Although Rudow is happy to be able to continue to hold club meetings over Zoom, she explained that she misses the in-person meetings, specifically pizza nights and art nights. Rudow remarked that art night was her favorite last year, as it allowed the members to gather and discuss the meaning of art. She stated: “the grooviest meeting we had was last year’s art night. We discussed what constitutes art, and if anyone is specifically qualified to say what is or isn’t art. While we had the discussion, we painted and doodled.”

In order to determine what club members are most interested in discussing this semester, the club executives are sending out Google Forms, which are then used to plan their upcoming meetings. Although they cannot meet in person, Rudow indicated that the Philosophy Club is making the best of their meetings over Zoom. In addition, the Club has been able to welcome new members from the first-year class despite their inability to host in-person meetings or an in-person involvement fair. Rudow commented, “I’ve also loved to see so many new faces this year— our community has totally grown with lots more freshman joining!”
The SMCM Philosophy Club invites students of all disciplines to attend meetings and explore philosophical questions. For more information on the Philosophy Club, reach out to Mollie Rudow at mprudow@smcm.edu or direct message the club’s Instagram account @philosophyclub.smcm.

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