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The logo for the American Indi­vid­u­alist club. Quinn Reichard | Courtesy

Inde­pendent thinkers and avid debaters now have a place to discuss their beliefs, thanks to the new American Indi­vid­u­alists club.

The club, founded in Feb­ruary, is a new chapter of the American Indi­vid­u­alists, which Pres­ident sophomore Quinn Reichard founded during high school in his home state of Vir­ginia. At Hillsdale, Reichard saw a similar need for open political dis­course on campus, which prompted him to start the second chapter.

“The idea was to provide a forum in which people feel com­pletely free to question any­thing and every­thing,” Reichard said. “In spite of the rhetoric, we often hear on campus about how everyone is free to question ideas, it often plays out to not be 100 percent true.”

The group meets Tuesdays from 8 – 9 p.m. in Lane 336. At the beginning of each meeting, someone — usually Reichard — pro­poses a question, and then dis­cussion flows from there.

“The dis­cus­sions are very organic,” Vice Pres­ident sophomore Alexos Berti said. “They’re not planned. What we’re dis­cussing toward the end is very dif­ferent from what we’re dis­cussing at the beginning, which is OK, because we try to get as deep as we can. That can lead you to inter­esting places.”

Pre­vious dis­cussion ques­tions address sub­jective morality, gov­ernment involvement in roads, and if the U.S. should invade Mexico.

“At first it sounds ridiculous, but there’s a lot of dif­ferent things that go into that,” Berti said. “There’s social views, reli­gious views, pol­itics, eco­nomics. It becomes far more an intel­ligent dis­cussion than it orig­i­nally sounds. It ends up being incredibly con­tro­versial.”

But, ulti­mately, Reichard said he hopes stu­dents will use American Indi­vid­u­alists to con­tem­plate important ques­tions, a fun­da­mental part of the college expe­rience.

“It’s good to have a place where it’s not at all unex­pected to question the very exis­tence of God with glee,” he said. “There’s a sort of rebel­lious attitude to the club that I think is vital to its success.”

The club has no official platform, and Berti describes it as a “good sup­plement” for the campus orga­ni­za­tions that do.

“I think the only way beliefs can be cemented is when there is a dis­cussion forum that is com­pletely plat­formless, that is com­pletely agenda-free,” Reichard added. “It’s not about pro­moting ideals. It’s a sandbox for ideas.”