Glendale Community College’s Philosophy and Religious Studies department held the Philosophy Outreach event in January so the professors could connect with students and introduce their courses.
The start of another semester is exciting and stressful for students, old and new. It can also be overwhelming with the plethora of classes to sign up for around campus. That is why the staff and professors saw this as an essential opportunity.

The department began hosting the Philosophy Outreach event last semester, in which the faculty held a mini open house at the Center Mall from 10 a.m. to noon. The open houses were during the last two weeks of January. They allowed students to hear about the benefits and discussions that could come from learning the subjects.

In an interview, Professor Derek Ayala, a philosophy and religious studies instructor at GCC and advisor of the Philosophy Club, shared his thoughts on how helpful it can be to engage in philosophy. He said, “Philosophy, I would argue, is one of those more important disciplines- or is an important discipline, in that, it encourages you to be curious, and creative, and analytic. And sort of come up with creative and interesting questions about the world around you.”

He and many of the other instructors in the department feel that the lessons and skills that can be learned through these classes are influential in all parts and walks of life. While the Philosophy Outreach events stopped after registration week, there are still multiple ways for students and staff to get involved and engage with others.

The Philosophy Club is a relaxed but dedicated group that is open to a multitude of ethical discussions. Ayala describes the members as a “club of misfits” and those who want to seek out truth. They have weekly meetings on Tuesdays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Most meetings involve the club discussing chosen topics in a round table. These practicing philosophers exercise their skills through curiosity and analyzing things from different angles. Ayala’s favorite part of working in his field as an instructor and with his club members is helping people understand themselves and others and what it means to be human.

If these discussions and ideas excite you, the Philosophy Club has multiple interesting and insightful events coming up.

On Tuesday, their club will invite one of the deans, Dr. Carly Zufelt, to discuss the philosophy behind fashion, style, and identity.

Then, on March 5th, the club will host a Dialogue Panel that invites the community to see a formal debate about animal rights.