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September 21, 2023

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BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

New BGSU organization allows students to debate, engage in critical thinking

Sophomores Jacob Musal and Sean Fahy realized they talk too much, so they decided to start an organization about their discussions.

The Free Thinkers Society is a way to encourage critical thinking among peers and discuss anything, said Fahy, a founding member of the group.

“When we came up with [the group], it didn’t take much planning,” Fahy said. “We needed more people to talk to on a deeper level than just each other.”

Past discussions have ranged form current events to the impact social media has on technology, he said.

The society formed late spring semester with a few discussions, attracting roughly 40 people, Musal said. This past week at Campus Fest, the two have garnered the interest of 50 people.

“It’s a think tank really,” Musal said. “We have really cool, thought provoking discussions.”

Musal, Fahy and the society’s advisor, Heath Diehl, instructor in the Honors Program, thinks that the society fits in with the University’s goals of increasing the academic profile of students.

“It raises awareness of what’s going on in the larger world, which is a benefit because college students tend to be isolated because they are focusing on school or their friends,” Diehl said. “It’s a good way to hone and refine those critical thinking skills.”

When the group first formed, meetings focused around discussions, but now that the groundwork has been laid, Musal and Fahy plan to host events and speakers.

The society is planning on hosting a drum circle in October and a few speakers in spring based on TED Talks, a global conference based on “ideas worth spreading” relating to technology, entertainment and design, Fahy said.

In the future, the two also hope to do social experiments.

We will try to break problems down and try to solve them through experiments or do collaborative research to see how far we can get, Musal said.

Though the group is mainly discussion-based, debates can happen.

“It’s healthy; it shows that there are string arguments,” Fahy said. “We try to build on thoughts.”

For students interested in joining the Free Thinkers Society, the next meeting is Tuesday at 9 p.m. in 203 Olscamp.

“We see a lot of excitement, which is awesome because it matches our own,” Musal said.

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