The Education Committee of the Symposion Study Association focuses on a range of education-related events and projects. The committee’s aim is to incorporate in its events the crucial and often-overlooked foundation of doing philosophy, that of combining new philosophical ideas with immediate open discussion. Dialogue is essential because it enhances philosophical ideas: an open thought may be challenged, and hence has far more value and potential than an idea kept hidden.
The Education Committee runs two bimonthly events: Pub Lectures and Philosophy Nights.mThe committee also organises tutoring for various Leiden University BA Philosophy courses such as Logic and Ethics. And in addition to these core projects, there is still time and energy for some special events, which any committee member can propose to the team! Past instances include projects like Women in Philosophy and the Alumni event.
The bimonthly Pub Lectures and Philosophy Nights are a way for students to connect and discuss philosophical ideas in a way that is not bound by academic norms. Pub lecture takes the conventional lecture out of the classroom and into the dimly lit, cold-drink-abundant bar, where the beloved professors of Leiden can give insight into their favourite topics and connect with students in a more relaxed atmosphere. Philosophy nights, on the other hand, give students the chance to become lecturers themselves. Every other month, the mic opens up for anyone who wishes to share their philosophical thoughts around a given theme with other Symposion members in a safe and supportive space.
A safe and supportive study space is also present in the tutoring class, which is one of the core projects of the Education Committee. The tutoring classes are by students, for the students. The classes are mostly focused on logic, which has proven to be tricky for many, but it can be spread to any course that receives a demand for help. In addition to tutoring sessions, the education committee has also implemented the Academic Care project for supporting studies even further. The aim of Academic Care is to give a space and set of resources for empowering Symposion members to orient themselves better in the Philosophy programme academically.
Currently, the Education Committee is also running a few experimental projects that can, if proven successful, eventually join the prestigious core project list. One of these ongoing projects is the Phaedo seminar, which takes philosophy students on a journey through an entire Plato dialogue, namely, the Phaedo, which unfortunately does not get any screen time in the Greek and Roman Philosophy course.
All the projects of the Education Committee have once been mere ideas, and so the committee acts as a catalyst for bringing philosophical projects into life with the help of a motivated team. All the projects aim to fuel philosophical thinking among Symposion members and to expand philosophical discussions to students’ free time, all in order for Symposion members to grow both individually and collectively.