founding a political club -- could it hurt my chances?

HeatherMD

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I'm founding & shouldering the presidency of a new club on campus next semester. It is ultimately a philosophy club, but the political, social and religious leanings are probably quite obvious from its title.

Should I avoid listing it on applications at the risk of offending someone that disagrees? Or would setting up & running a new club on campus help my application, regardless of its ideals?
 

funkydrmonkey

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I'm founding & shouldering the presidency of a new club on campus next semester. It is ultimately a philosophy club, but the political, social and religious leanings are probably quite obvious from its title.

Should I avoid listing it on applications at the risk of offending someone that disagrees? Or would setting up & running a new club on campus help my application, regardless of its ideals?
You do not have to mention the name of the club. You could call it something like the "philosophical club that I founded"
 

Chemist0157

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Yeah, you don't have to set yourself up and specify the name. What would you say if asked about it? Sometimes interviewers hone in on random stuff in applications.
 
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Retsage

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If I ever interviewed a Randroid, I'd decline on them almost without question.
 

HeatherMD

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If I ever interviewed a Randroid, I'd decline on them almost without question.
LOL

because people that strive for achievement & success make really ****ty doctors?
 

HeatherMD

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anyway, I'm wondering because I notice people on their medapps list church associations and republican/conservative organizations, and I'm just wondering if they really put that in their EC's, and why that would be acceptable over being a member of the atheist student group or the libertarian party.
 

beachblonde

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My philosophy for all touchy things-mostly politics and religion-is that you are welcome to have whatever beliefs you want. That being said, you need to be tolerant of other beliefs and accepting of the fact that other people are entitled to said other beliefs.

So long as you can express that, being in whatever group shouldn't be a problem. As adults, I'd like to think people can peacefully co-exist (at least within the confines of an admissions cycle) despite their differing beliefs. So, if you want you can put it down on AMCAS, but be ready to discuss your opinions and perhaps defend them. Hec, even if you don't list them, be ready to do so.
 

Algophiliac

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If I ever interviewed a Randroid, I'd decline on them almost without question.
And what about a Marxist? You're being quite intolerant.

OP, there are going to be reprecussions for starting anything controversial, especially something as extreme as an Objectivism "cult". So stop focusing on the title and instead focus on the ideals that you plan to promote with this club. Do they correspond with the ideals of medical schools? What are you going to do in this particular club? What is your motivation for starting it? How is it helping members and/or others?

The fact is, you may face controversy. Stand up to it, or let it rule you. Chances are a school that dislikes your club will never be a "good fit" anyway.
 

Bacchus

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Found the club... see how it goes. If you get anything out of it and can talk about it in interviews. If not, don't even list it. Its at your discretion to list activities.
 

Retsage

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And what about a Marxist? You're being quite intolerant.

I need to be tolerant towards Objectivists now? Laughable. They follow a vile philosophy that preaches little more than greed. As for Marxists, are any of those still around? Weird. Never met one. I'd say I'd prefer a Marxist - they may not be correct, but at least their belief-system is based on compassion.
 

Algophiliac

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I need to be tolerant towards Objectivists now? Laughable. They follow a vile philosophy that preaches little more than greed. As for Marxists, are any of those still around? Weird. Never met one. I'd say I'd prefer a Marxist - they may not be correct, but at least their belief-system is based on compassion.
They do not preach greed. Marxists are in fact still around, at least online.

BOTH preach an ideal that benefits opposite ends of the "success" spectrum. Objectivists with huge monetary gains naturally prefer competitive businesses, crushing those in their wake through a parody of survival of the fittest. This can be interpreted (in a subjective manner, granted) as greed (Rearden) or a fixation on ideals (Roark). Marxists promote equality, which to their demise ended up on the lower end of the "success" spectrum. Could this demise possibly have been caused by laziness (why should I work harder when I get paid the same as everyone else?) and dare I say it...greed?

The realization both have to eventually come to is NEITHER extreme can be possible in a world such as this. The worst you can call either one is an idealist. Think about it.

And please don't take this post as offense. I am neither laughing at you nor insulting your philosophical preferences, but simply clarifying perceived bias against an ironically objective viewpoint.
 

Retsage

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You have not quite accomplished what you set out to do. That is to say, you have more or less agreed with my initial statement of Objectivism being centralized around greed. Now, we can call it a pursuit of ideals, but the ideals are about rational self-interest and the absolute absence of altruism. Ultimately, it is the pursuit of doing what's best for you and only you, with the hope that society doesn't fall apart in the process. This is not conducive to medicine in my eyes, and I have no reason nor need to be tolerant of it (much like I would be intolerant towards, say, a KKK member, or someone who spent their time fighting against gay rights). Besides, every Objectivist I have ever met had a misplaced superiority complex and a complete lack of social tact. It seems Objectivism is an excuse for complete douchebaggery on the part of its adherents.

And the Marxist question was a joke. I'm sure there are a few still around (in fact, there's a Marxist trash-paper that gets circulated every few months at my university), but the main thrust of the political movement died when the USSR collapsed and the world got to see, for the first time, what the ideology led to. The failings of the system are irrelevant, and needn't be discussed here. That being said, the few Marxists remaining do so because of compassion. Marxism, while inherently and philosophically flawed, is ultimately an ideology based on equality and working for the good of others. Objectivism and Marxism are both ideologies, sure, but they're as far apart as could be. As for your opposite ends thought, that may be the case, but the end that Objectivism deals with contains a very small percentage of society, while the end that Marxism traditionally dealt with represented a very large proportion of society. Irrelevant, I know, but worth noting all the same.

Of course, regardless of the ideology, I'd have to question anyone who actually enjoyed the Fountainhead enough for it to change their philosophy, as it may have been the most poorly written book I have ever had the misfortune of reading.
 

Aladdin

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I'm founding & shouldering the presidency of a new club on campus next semester. It is ultimately a philosophy club, but the political, social and religious leanings are probably quite obvious from its title.

Should I avoid listing it on applications at the risk of offending someone that disagrees? Or would setting up & running a new club on campus help my application, regardless of its ideals?
While many adcoms would not admit it, it would most likely have an effect (no matter how small) in either a + or - direction for you. I would leave it off, unless you've made enormous strides with it (as in you have thousands of members now).
 

Bacchus

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This is HeatherMD's thread. Lets focus on her question.
 

Algophiliac

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Of course, regardless of the ideology, I'd have to question anyone who actually enjoyed the Fountainhead enough for it to change their philosophy, as it may have been the most poorly written book I have ever had the misfortune of reading.
Well, I have to disagree that Objectivism is centralized around greed. Altruism is not absent, but rather falters under self-preservation and self-promotion. Yet is it really feasible to compare someone like Roark, with oh, I don't know, King Claudius? Unfortunately, I can see how it may be used as an excuse for "douchebaggery" just as easily as Marxism can justify "laziness". As I mentioned before, both are aiming for an equality and fairness that benefits them. Greed is inherent in both, then, no?

Well, pardon my lack of humor. Being someone whose family escaped from this collapse during my youth, it was a bit of an implusive drive to comment on its fall. Ignore it. But that aside, yes, I agree. Marxists, in theory, want to help others in an effort to benefit both themselves and society. Objectivists want to remold society to see their view, which they may or may not believe is superior. But we could argue this all day and just circle the same comments back and forth. Or I could realize I'm supporting your views and then revoking them again several times. :p

Why did you think the book was poorly written? No great classic work, naturally, but the style did impress me and slightly changed my outlook on the world. Yet in all fairness, so did practically every philosophy (-oriented) book. Just curious, what are your views on Nietzsche?

EDIT: Never mind, stick to the topic!
 
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katarina90

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Found the club... see how it goes. If you get anything out of it and can talk about it in interviews. If not, don't even list it. Its at your discretion to list activities.
I agree, depends on how the club turns out and what activities you do as a president and member of the club.

*As a sidenote, actually I was briefly part of a libertarian student group (not president though). Ultimately decided that I won't put it on my app, because the club happens to be called "Anarchist Cafe"--although it ended up being more of a discussion/worker's rights activism/humanitarian group (far removed from anarchy, contrary to what the name suggests). The name just conjures up some negative connotations.

But I do think that if you're really passionate about it (which you must be to start a club and make all the efforts to accumulate members, get recognized by school, etc) and your club provides a service to the community (through discussion, outreach, service, etc.), then it might just be a positive thing to list on your application because it shows that you bring an immense dedication to things that you care about (and would extend that dedication to studying and eventually practicing medicine).
 

Raryn

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If I ever interviewed a Randroid, I'd decline on them almost without question.
You're such a tolerant person. Not hypocritical at all.
 

Chemist0157

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I did put church on my activities list, but I did so because that led to many opportunities to go on mission trips. If you have something constructive and unique to actually talk about without just picking a fight, I'd suggest to go ahead and list it.
 

apgar

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Yeah, if you feel comfortable talking about it and are able to defend/argue for your views, I do not see why you shouldn't list it. It will make you a more human candidate with interests beyond science.
 

fish89

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I had a friend who founded a communist club in high school... I don't think it helped her chances, because, as creative and entrepreneurial as that is, we live in a democracy and it comes off as anti-government, anti-authority, anti-American. Rebellious. If your club something more mainstream, I can see how you could spin it to your advantage by saying something like "I think doctors shouldn't just exist in a vacuum, but also be members of their surrounding society [eg. to bring their 'doctor insight POV' into life]..." something BS like that. Something less mainstream would be harder to explain to an admin committee ("I think doctors should be Marxist because...?") In that case, I don't have any good ideas for you... but always find a way to relate your interests back to medicine.
 

229141

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Honestly if you applied to one of the many liberal schools out there and they saw you were presidents of the Republican Club or something I have a very difficult time believing that they wouldn't hold it against you....
 

HiFi09

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You have not quite accomplished what you set out to do. That is to say, you have more or less agreed with my initial statement of Objectivism being centralized around greed. Now, we can call it a pursuit of ideals, but the ideals are about rational self-interest and the absolute absence of altruism. Ultimately, it is the pursuit of doing what's best for you and only you, with the hope that society doesn't fall apart in the process. This is not conducive to medicine in my eyes, and I have no reason nor need to be tolerant of it (much like I would be intolerant towards, say, a KKK member, or someone who spent their time fighting against gay rights). Besides, every Objectivist I have ever met had a misplaced superiority complex and a complete lack of social tact. It seems Objectivism is an excuse for complete douchebaggery on the part of its adherents.

And the Marxist question was a joke. I'm sure there are a few still around (in fact, there's a Marxist trash-paper that gets circulated every few months at my university), but the main thrust of the political movement died when the USSR collapsed and the world got to see, for the first time, what the ideology led to. The failings of the system are irrelevant, and needn't be discussed here. That being said, the few Marxists remaining do so because of compassion. Marxism, while inherently and philosophically flawed, is ultimately an ideology based on equality and working for the good of others. Objectivism and Marxism are both ideologies, sure, but they're as far apart as could be. As for your opposite ends thought, that may be the case, but the end that Objectivism deals with contains a very small percentage of society, while the end that Marxism traditionally dealt with represented a very large proportion of society. Irrelevant, I know, but worth noting all the same.

Of course, regardless of the ideology, I'd have to question anyone who actually enjoyed the Fountainhead enough for it to change their philosophy, as it may have been the most poorly written book I have ever had the misfortune of reading.

+1 on all points
 
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