Ethics Circle fills gap between philosophy club and debate team


Courtesy / @saintanselm_ces

Ethical discussion is valued on campus, as shown by CES events.

Nolan Howard, Crier Staff

Due to the wide range of clubs and activities that can be found at Saint Anselm, it can sometimes be overwhelming when deciding which ones to join. Every now and again, some new club pops up that captures the attention and begs a closer look. The Ethics Circle, the brainchild of Thomas Donovan ’24 and Prof. Robert Anderson of the Philosophy department, fits this category to a tee.  

The Ethics Circle, which had its first meeting Thursday Nov. 10, is the first club of its kind on campus. Starting next semester, they will be moving into the community to take their ideas into action with involvement with not just local community groups like Kids Café and Access Academy, but also the APPE Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl as well as the International Business Ethics Case Competition. 

According to president of the Circle, Thomas Donovan, the Ethics Circle carves a niche in between the Debate Team and the Philosophy Club by not just debating major philosophical and ethical issues, but by going into the community and putting those concepts into action. Donovan believes that the Ethics Circle will “provide a unique combination of philosophical debate and community service that is not present on campus right now. Instead of just being a debate group or just a community-service group, we are looking to advance the conversation surrounding the very same issues we hope to alleviate through work with nonprofits. Also, engaging in respectful debate about serious issues might help ease some of the tension between opposing viewpoints.”

Donovan states that the Ethics Circle hopes to provide an avenue for respectful and open debate between members of the community who share wildly opposing views. He believes that the new club will have the opportunity to not only help people understand other perspectives but also bring them together in respectful intellectual debate. 

Donovan believes that the Ethics Circle will serve a purpose on campus that parallels that of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics’ ambassador program. The goal is for the Ethics Circle to serve as a haven for students to engage in debate and understanding and, similar to the NHIOP ambassador program, learn not only about their own views but about their views shared and espoused on campus by their fellow classmates. 

Donovan also believes that the community-based direction of the Ethics Circle compared to any other club or organization on campus will allow the group to distinguish itself and provide a unique experience for anyone interested in joining the Ethics Circle. 

Donovan believes the club to be the purveyors of a new voice on campus, one that rings loud with intellectual debate and ethical reasoning. The Circle wishes to serve this college and its community with a fervor and a candor for open understanding and rational reason. Students interested in joining the club can contact Thomas Donovan at  [email protected]