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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Midnight Philosophy Society Fosters Intellectual Growth and Interpersonal Connection

Midnight Philosophy Society Fosters Intellectual Growth and Interpersonal Connection
Kieran Blunnie

Within the eclectic mix of Colgate University’s student-led initiatives, the Midnight Philosophy Society (MidPhil) provides as an unparalleled forum for discussion. Every Saturday, there is a meeting of the minds to delve into philosophical discussions, fostering a space for intellectual curiosity and debate. Students, faculty and staff engage in philosophical discussions over smash burgers and loaded fries from Donovan’s Pub. Prior to each gathering, the members vote on a topic to talk about. However, no two MidPhil meetings are the same: The conversation may focus on the preselected topic for the entire three hours, or it may diverge based on questions asked by the members. 

Junior Charlotte Crowley enjoys the freeing — and sometimes unpredictable — nature of the club’s meetings.

“My favorite aspect of our club, besides our free Donny’s food, is how open we are to hearing opinions of new attendees and anyone who wants to share a piece of their mind,” Crowley said. “We’ve had many completely spur-of-the-moment visitors join our conversation for several hours after finding us in the corner at Donny’s — including a band from Punk Fest, professors and random pub-goers who overheard our conversation and had something to say.”

Crowley joined MidPhil as a transfer student searching for a way to get involved at Colgate and meet new people.

“I went to the club fair looking for another booth I never found, but I was called over to the MidPhil booth from across the gym,” Crowley said. “I thought they were so funny that I would have to attend the next meeting. Everyone was really welcoming to me as a newcomer, and I ended up attending every meeting that semester.”

Like Crowley, senior Nathan Biller was intrigued by the MidPhil’s friendly atmosphere. Biller also appreciates the opportunity to engage in meaningful academic conversations with his peers outside of the classroom.

“The first time I went, it felt like everybody was just there to learn from each other,” Biller said. “It’s a great way to push yourself with fun intellectual exercises and meet people who are your friends both in and out of the club.”

Senior Kieran Blunnie, MidPhil’s co-president, cherishes the club’s diversity and open dialogue, emphasizing how different backgrounds enrich conversations, making meetings not just educational but also incredibly enjoyable for all participants.

“There are so many aspects I love,” Blunnie said. “The diversity of thought and background makes most discussions incredibly fun. Having members with so many different religious and spiritual backgrounds, political opinions, identities and areas of interest brings so many different perspectives that many people would never consider, and we still have civil and fun conversations.”

Biller reflected on his experience in the club and the important relationships he has built throughout his time at Colgate as a result of the Midnight Philosophy Society.

“It’s one of those things you find in college that you hope more people take part in so it continues to grow and thrive long after you graduate,” Biller said. “I had a blast getting to know everybody else over my four years, and I know that we’re going to stay in touch for a long time.”

When elaborating on the unique background and interesting perspective each club member brings to the society, Blunnie joked about the overall club community.

“Half the time when describing the demographic of the club, it feels like the set up to a joke: this person, that person and another guy walk into a bar,” Blunnie said. 

The Midnight Philosophy Society at Colgate embodies the quintessential college experience: blending intellectual engagement with community spirit. Each session offers a unique opportunity to dive into philosophical discussions in an inclusive setting, fostering a rich exchange of ideas among participants. This club not only enriches the academic landscape of Colgate but also strengthens the bonds within its community, showcasing the enduring value of dialogue and diversity in shaping a vibrant intellectual and social environment.

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About the Contributors
Madison Ballou
Madison Ballou, Assistant Baker's Dozen Editor
Madison Ballou is a junior from Treasure Island, FL concentrating in economics with a minor in psychology. She has previously served as a contributing writer for the Baker's Dozen section. On campus, Madison is involved in the Ski Club, Colgate's Panhellenic council, and is a member of a Greek letter organization.
Reade Fenner
Reade Fenner, Assistant Baker's Dozen Editor
Reade Fenner is a sophomore from Olney, MD with a prospective concentration in economics and a minor in philosophy. She has previously served as a staff writer for the Baker's Dozen and News sections. On campus, Reade is involved in Colgate's Pet Pals.

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