BC’s philosophy club

PhilosophyThumbOn Tuesday, Oct. 2  at 12:30 p.m., a moderately-sized group calling themselves the philosophy club had their first meeting of the 2013-2014 school year in room D240A.

For students unfamiliar with the layout of the D building, D240A is the large study room located directly above the circulation reserve desk within the Bellevue College library.

The club is primarily student-driven, with a faculty member who simply helps organize and assist when student direction falters.

During the club’s debut meeting, after students gave their personal introductions and a sign-up sheet was passed out to collect everyone’s emails, faculty advisor Tim Linnemann opened with a simple, “Did you guys come here today with anything you’re interested in talking about?”

When silence prevailed, Linnemann pushed further, asking specifically if there was anything they were learning in class that might start the conversation.

With that last push, the students launched into a 40 minute long conversation that spanned from the government shutdown to the concept of shame to the, “double-sided blade that is ego.”

“We don’t have a lot of structure. We don’t have activities we run or events we organize…basically, there’s only one function for philosophy club. Getting together and talking.”

According to Linnemann, focusing on creating a safe space for conversation, as opposed to delivering lectures on philosophy, allows students the opportunity to wrestle with and examine the philosophical issues they are most interested in. Because of this tendancy, the philosophy club creates lots of opportunities for student involvement.

“You can take a class with me if you want to hear me yack for hours…The most important thing,” Tim Linnemann said, turning to face each student, “is all of you!”

During these meetings, laughter breaks out during controversial discussions. But this is not from a lack of diversity of opinion. During philosophy club meetings, students have an opportunity to examine these conflicting philosophies at face value and examine their opinions and curiosities among a group of their peers.

Philosophy club is open to all members of the BC population, and encourages a diversity of philosophies from student members.

Students come to juggle their opinions with peers, citing ethical quandaries derived from everything from family and politics to teachers and classes.

One student admitted to simply wanting to, “know everything.” In the space of an hour, everything comes up, from ethics and morality to just “meaning of life stuff.”

Philosophy Club meets every Tuesday, 12:30-1:30 p.m. Contact the club adviser, Russ Payne, at wpayne@bellevuecollege.edu, at (425) 564-2079 or at his office in R230-M for more information.