Undergraduate Philosophy Club: Aporia at Lehman College

There used to be a philosophy club at Lehman College a couple of years ago, but this one was inactive for a while. It was not until the Fall of 2023 that the philosophy club at Lehman College would be reborn with the name of Aporia which is an expression of doubt or uncertainty, doubt is an important part of philosophy since it is our doubt that makes us look for further explanations or answers. The philosophy department had a small event, and I attended and right there was when a mention of having a philosophy club again happened; I was thrilled, I have always craved the feeling that you get when you can have deep conversations with people and learn from them. I have had such discussions in my classes, but I could not help but want more. I wanted to have a safe space where I could make friends and speak about different topics. We had a meeting where I offered to help because I wanted this club to happen. I ended up forming part of its cabinet as the treasurer.

As a club that has been active for only two semesters, we are fairly new. The other cabinet members, who I now consider my best friends, and I had so many ideas for events such as movie nights and relaxing afternoons. We ended up having events such as a “welcome back” event, “picnic with aporia” where we encouraged students to show up, have conversations, and play games such as UNO, Trouble, or puzzles to de-stress from finals week. Our advisor for the club is a great professor who is also in charge of helping students with graduate school. This allowed us to create an event called “Discover Grad School” where we talked about graduate school and exams such as the GRE and the LSAT. We had food and goodie bags, and it was a nice and useful event for our students. Our meetings consisted of us discussing topics such as: “What is philosophy and is it worth it?”; Patriarchy and its effect on people; the ethics of war; capitalism and its impact on people, etc. We have a podcast at our school radio station called “Tea Time With Aporia” where we have talked about Asthma Alley and soon will have more topics. We also created social media for our club.

We keep the club as active as possible through meetings on campus and through our WhatsApp community group. Our meetings happen in person and other times online. We would go over the main topics and definitions at first, or we would just set a question at the beginning and have a conversation about it. The meetings were very engaging because we were a small group. This made it easier for everyone to have as much time as needed to have their turn to talk. We would also talk about college life and give each other advice on an academic and personal level. It is an incredibly supportive club and a safe space for anyone searching for knowledge or who has questions. We have the wonderful support of our department and great professors who help us answer the questions that club members may have. People in the community group go ahead and have great discussions about life and philosophical topics of their choice. It is lovely to see them find community with each other since it can be hard to make friends in college. This is just the beginning of the Aporia club and there is much to come including debates, charity events, and more de-stressing events.

Here at Lehman College, we are proud of the safe space we have created for the search and discussion of knowledge, and the sense of community that this club has created amongst our members and our great faculty. Reviving the philosophy club was one of the greatest ideas we had. As the treasurer of the club, I got to see how people got closer and befriended each other. It was amazing to watch how their eyes lit up when they engaged in philosophical conversations with each other. It has been a positive experience for everyone involved and, in the end, I got the things I needed since the beginning: a safe space to ask questions, hang out, and make friends.

I became a philosophy major because I wanted to work on my critical thinking, how I saw the world, and how it worked. As mentioned before, I craved having deep conversations with people, and the classes I took as a philosophy major made it so that I could partake in such discussions. It helped me see the world through a different lens and for that I am grateful. There are many great philosophy classes I did not get to take but I will research those topics on my own. I did not begin this major as a philosophy lover but as a curious individual. Now I can say that I have fallen in love with philosophy and the search for knowledge. The philosophy club made my college experience better than it was before when I began college during the pandemic. I had something to look forward to every week, a place to go when I wanted to have a conversation on certain topics. It gave me a relationship with professors and friends that I will cherish forever. Although I graduated in May, I will continue to take part in the WhatsApp community group and help my friends in the cabinet as much as they need. This club was a lovely experience, and I will miss it.

Gabriela Guzman Rodriguez

Gabriela Guzman Rodriguez is a 21-year-old who graduated from Lehman College in May 2024. She is a philosophy major with a concentration on ethics and public policy with a minor in Spanish. She is the former treasurer of Aporia The Philosophy Club at Lehman College. In her free time, she likes to indulge in creative hobbies such as writing, singing, and playing the ukulele, along with reading or watching videos about philosophy.

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