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A look inside a meeting of the Socratic Society

By Kyle Kittredge

Staff Writer

The atmosphere was open and intellectual and students were seated around a table in the top floor of Nesmith Hall with free pizza, as a discussion on Western vs. Eastern medicine practices and traditions commenced.

This scene describes a meeting of the Socratic Society, a group of students who meet bi-weekly on Fridays from 2 to 3:30 p.m. to engage in discussions off varying topics.

The club consists of students from many different majors and is open to all. However, most are philosophy majors, and few members attended the meeting due to scheduling conflicts.

A total of 10 students showed up.

The Socratic Society used to meet every week on Fridays, but now they can only meet bi-weekly.

“The move from Hamilton Smith to Nesmith was weird. It’s a lot less centralized so not as many people tend to show up,” said Jacklyn Trexler, co-coordinator of the Socratic Society said.

The group picks a different topic each time, and is led by one of the members.

In the past they have had topics like police brutality, women in the military, and power and morality.

“We try to keep things current so everyone can have something to say,” said Trexler.

This week’s topic was Western vs. Eastern medicine practices and traditions, which raised a lot of questions.

When someone mentioned a study indicating processed meats cause cancer, the topic turned towards the idea that a lot of Eastern cultures have plant-based and more organic diets, while a lot of Western cultures have meat and processed food diets.

Trexler brought up another question.

“If so much money goes into research…and if we just change what we’re eating or just change our lifestyle,” Trexler said, “with small changes that we can do to make ourselves healthier, isn’t that smarter?”

Co-Coordinator Dustin Newhouse said, “Heart disease is a number one killer, so if we find that you stop eating these types of things then try to have a healthier planet-based lifestyle, you could actually end up reversing your heart disease.”

“Well it’s like, what’s more important?” Newhouse added, “health or this sensation that we are free to live in luxury in the West, because that’s sort of our history.”

However, the group decided that a lot of Western drugs could have cures for diseases and help people engage in society.

Newhouse commented, saying, “It’s basically enjoyment versus health, in a way.”

While the discussion opened up intriguing idea and questions, the conversation never became tense or hostile. Everyone was respectful and considerate of each other’s opinions.

“It’s a respectful and safe place to have any ideas, unpopular or not,” Trexler explained.

Next metting’s discussion topic will be population control, after the mention of China’s recent removal of their One-Child Policy.

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