The Philosophy Society, or “Hell is other students”

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Every university has a plethora of extra-curricular clubs and societies; of course UNBSJ falls in line with that motif. No matter a student’s interest, from math to multi-cultural, there is more likely than not a representative gathering. If there is not already a society that represents a particular interest, a student with enough moxie can push through the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) probationary period and create a club. This is exactly what second year arts student, Thomas Johansen, has undertaken. After consulting with professor of philosophy, David Flagel, Johansen has begun the process of reinstituting UNBSJ’s philosophy society.

“What we’re trying to do this term is get down on paper really what we are, what we’re going to be doing next semester, what we stand for,” says Johansen, “we’re basically just trying to get some members.”

As of this month, the club has 10 members and has meetings every Thursday night. Their meetings concern primarily which direction the club is going. As Johansen is transferring to Saint Thomas University in January, the philosophy society is preparing for his departure. With little anxiety, the club plans to elect a new leader and are excited to continue where Johansen has left off. Becca Pearson seems a likely candidate and is said to have jumped at the presented challenge of heading the charge.

The society, although in its informal stages, is garnering some attention by putting on free public events. They do not charge admission to join their society but have managed to put on film screenings and have drawn Nietzsche scholar and professor of philosophy, Daniel Ahern of UNBF to speak at an upcoming society meeting. Plans for next semester include scheduling debates in the public forum.

“Really what we’re trying to do is get people interested in philosophy,” says Johansen, “We got together and joined up with the same mentality…to get people more interested in it and make people aware of its everyday uses.”

Social media has also played a big part in spreading the society’s notoriety. As a centre for the group’s event planning,                Johansen says that Facebook has played a big role in the development process. He considers any members of the online group active society affiliates.

“The purpose of the society is basically just to get philosophy out there,” says Johansen, “we don’t want to limit admission to anybody, so basically if you want to join you can join the Facebook group or you can contact one of us and just say you’re interested and we’ll hook you up.”

Any students interested should not be timid; the group is welcoming of anyone with a fascination in philosophy. Simply contact Thomas Johansen at

Emily is in her fourth year of Political Science. She loves studying and academics which follows into her research work. She's a stern black coffee drinker and is a proud Acadienne. When she's not working or doing school work, you can find Emily listening to 70s music on vinyl and watching Parks and Recreation. If you ask her about parliamentary institutions, she won't stop talking.