On April 27th the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Philosophy Department, in partnership with the Philosophy Club at UIUC, hosted students from the Champaign Central Philosophy Club and the Uni High Philosophy Club for a day of fun and philosophy. The event is another part of the department's community outreach initiative for bringing open discussion and philosophy to the local community.
After some opening remarks by Dr. Jonathan Livengood, the department's undergraduate adviser, and Mr. Micheal Clark, program coordinator and graduating president of the university club, the students attended a session on what philosophy is and its importance as a major. "The students were respectful and asked excellent questions" said William Davison, treasurer for the university club and event volunteer, when asked what he thought of the first session. Thereafter several faculty, graduates, and undergrads joined the students for an opportunity to freely meet and enjoy a lunch provided by the department.
The second half of the day began with a college level philosophy of mind session on Animalism taught by Dr. Kristin Seemuth Whaley. The students were encouraged to be involved and ask questions as is common in college philosophy classes. Finally, the day ended with a philosophy based game in which five insane historical philosophers needed rounding up. "It was really cool seeing the students engaged and interested in the topics. They even seemed to really enjoy the logic puzzles in the game" said Nathan Williams, tutoring program coordinator for the university club and event volunteer, when asked for his thoughts. Mr Williams and Mr. Clark designed the game so the students had to solve logic puzzles to identify locations to collect clues and solve a final puzzle to learn the locations of the rogue philosophers.
When asked what he thought of the event, Mr. Clark said "The day was a major success. Everything went smoothly, and the students seemed to have a lot of fun." He continued, "I'm very proud of my friends and my department for supporting an event like this, and I'm even more proud of the students for taking such an early and active interest in philosophy." Mr. Clark went on to say he hopes this will become a yearly event, and looks forward to seeing even more schools join the local philosophical community growing around Urbana-Champaign.