Friday, October 26, 2012

Sociology Club returns to SMU

By Julianne Bartosz
Editor in chief

Saint Mary’s University students restart the Sociology Club in order to raise awareness of “the versatile school of thought” and the influence that groups have on individuals, according to Sociology Club Vice President Sarah Adams.

With social media on the rise, Sociology Club President Conner Ellinghuysen said that groups influence people more than ever, increasing the value of sociology.  He described sociology as the study of groups and how they interact and influence individuals.

The club’s main focus is to explore the Groupthink theory, according to Ellinghuysen.  He said that this theory claims that the peer pressure in group leads to faulty decision-making because of the desire to minimize conflict.

“Give it a chance because sociology is relevant to anything you want to do in today’s society,” said Ellinghuysen.  “We’re always working with groups, and it offers a way to understand how to work better in groups.”

The club has a similar structure as Psychology Club, said Ellinghuysen.  He said it will offer speakers, discussion, movies, tutoring nights and research days.  It will also include opportunities for sociology and psychology students to present their research and receive feedback.

Adams added that the group would also like to sponsor trips and host speakers that will specifically discuss the “major and numerous potential career fields” that draw from and are impacted by sociology.

Beyond being based on Psychology Club, Ellinghuysen said that he hopes to work with Psychology Club to combine aspects of both psychology and sociology.  According to Ellinghuysen, incorporating this combination into SMU’s academics could be huge.  He said that, if implemented, SMU may be one of the first universities to do it.

“I have a big vision for it,” said Ellinghuysen.  “I want to take it beyond a club and make it a way to help students in all social sciences.”

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