The Great Conversation

Monday, October 15

6:00 p.m. Reception
7:00 p.m. Dinner

City Club Los Angeles
555 South Flower Street, 51st Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Transportation will be provided for students from campus to the City Club in Los Angeles.
Pickup Location: Bauer Center
Pickup Time: 4:30 pm

Join us for a thoughtful evening of dining and dialogue. The Great Conversation is a program designed to foster discussion by engaging the CMC Community in the topics that matter to them the most. Each table features a different topic, chosen by a student, who will facilitate the conversation.

The event format allows all attendees to be active participants. Topics may draw from any area of life, from arts and literature, to history, religion, public policy, popular culture, or campus life.

Table Topics

Click the title of the talk to see the description.

Physician-Assisted Suicide and the Ethical Questions to Consider by Elena Seifert '19

This topic has been a hot, yet very delicate, debate for quite some time now, and for good reason. There are many arguments that support why physician-assisted suicide has been legal in a few countries and U.S. states, including Oregon, for a couple of decades. There is a similar amount of arguments that explain why it is illegal in many countries and other states. When are life-prolonging measures too much? Who gets to decide when or how someone gets to take a life? How does one decide who is “competent” and who is not? There is perhaps no “answer” to the ethical questions that arise when this delicate and controversial issue is debated, and the discussion is definitely far from over, but exploring both sides of the argument and diving deeper into questions involving human dignity and our society as a whole will be interesting, to say the least.

Pain as a Fifth Vital Sign: A Look Into the New Norm of Medicating Pain, From Preschool to the Opioid Crisis by Adele English '19

This discussion will investigate how we arrived at the pain medicating practices used today and what their implications are for our present and future.

Do Americans Have a Duty to be Patriotic and/or Support the Military? by Teagan Knight '19

With recent protests of the American national anthem and flag, American citizens have been torn apart by whether these actions are justified. In a greater sense, do Americans have a moral duty to be patriotic and support the military by nature of being Americans? Are we compelled to give respect to America based on the protections we receive, or does the structure of our nation imply that we as citizens can divert from the country’s direction? Furthermore, does the military protect our benefits of being American citizens, requiring our support? If a moral duty exists, does this requirement to support the country originate from the past or current times?

A Look Inside Black Mirror as our Potential Reality by Andrea Amaya '20

Netflix’s hit series Black Mirror has included episodes in the past that involve altering the human brain’s capacity. In this Sci-Fi world, individuals are able to take pictures, ‘block’ people and replay memories all by using their minds. These individuals cannot escape the technology at hand, it is literally implanted within their brains. With such powerful technology come many social implications. We will discuss the ethics of potentially having such technology at our disposal.

There’s Nothing Fake About Impostor Syndrome by Julie Tran '20

Impostor syndrome, also known as Fraud Syndrome, is a phenomenon that an individual experiences due to their doubts about their own abilities and accomplishments. This can then lead the individual to feel like an impostor in their own field or area of interest, making them feel undeserving of their success or inadequate to achieve further success. Impostor syndrome is especially prominent in our society today with the rising competition in everyone’s professional and personal lives paired with the rising depression and anxiety rates in the United States. Celebrities who have talked about their experience with impostor syndrome include Meryl Streep, Tina Fey, Tom Hanks, and Lupita Nyong’o. The feeling of one’s own inadequacy and incompetence can be hard to talk about, especially if one is in a leadership position. At this table, speakers can expect to delve into what impostor syndrome entails, reasons why individuals might experience it, why it is particularly common in today’s society, and ways to either help someone overcome it or to overcome it ourselves.

Not my President! The Ever-Changing Face of Politicians and Millennials’ Expectations of Them by Harrison Hosking '21

Americans are still coming to terms with the results of the turbulent 2016 Presidential which, one could argue, reshaped the face of American politics and public expectation. Are we now accepting reality TV stars and celebrities as viable political candidates or is the status quo of experienced individuals being elected still firmly in place? Social media and technology have made the world of politics a more transparent entity and with this change comes a reassessment of what we, as a generation collectively, expect from our politicians and policymakers. Where do we draw the line on judging one’s credentials and fit for office? Is political experience even needed or can we just off of a judge of strong moral character? This discussion will address past generational cases of public sentiment in regard to political figures and their actions before turning to the future and attempting to draw a moral line in the sand on which we can judge our elected officials and what we expect from them as they perform their jobs.

Bridging Cultural Gaps and Minority Representation by Johnson Lin '21

In the modern era, technology has enabled communities across the world to become microcosms of global connections. At Claremont McKenna, more than half of students come from a diverse cultural background. Furthermore, the increasing membership of student-led affinity groups has created powerful platforms for advocacy. However, diversity at CMC still has a long way to go. For instance, the CMC’s Dean of Students controversy in 2015 exposed a prejudiced component of the school’s administration. Another pressing issue that comes to mind is how CMC’s faculty still lacks a black professor. Over the years, CMC has attracted and enrolled an increasingly diverse group of students. Moving forward, how can our administration and faculty serve growing minority populations and protect unique perspectives?

What Can I do for My Country: Is a College Education Really Necessary? by Gauri Taneja '20

We are living in a world that is becoming increasingly aware, yet polarized and stagnating at the same time. In such a climate, a crucial question we must ask ourselves is what we can do for our country. As young people receiving a top college education, what are our goals - is it all about the money? Or is it that we cannot make a difference without having the money? What is the value of having a philosophy degree? Does having a college degree help us leave a tangible impact on society?

The Intersection of Science and Law by Frances MacKercher '20

Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries the relationship between science and law has shifted immensely. The increasing awareness and relevance of scientific research being used in legal settings, particularly the use of psychology and genetics, has changed courtroom dynamics in numerous ways. As progress continues to be made in these fields, the question of how to balance scientific research with the pillars of justice and constitutional rights remains to be resolved.

Human Genetic Engineering: When have we gone too far? by Kylie Bernardi '20

As science develops, we must decide on the world-wide impacts of these new discoveries. Furthermore, we will need to determine at what point we have gone too far. This table will discuss the ethical, environmental, scientific and economic impacts of human genetic engineering or “designer babies.”

  1. Step 1 Selection
  2. Step 2 Registration
Monday October 15
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Register online or call the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at (909) 621-8097.
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