Praxis: Economics that Fosters Dialogue
Written by Emma McCormick
Preparing for Praxis elections is bittersweet. It’s difficult to leave a role that has been a large part of my life these two-and-a-half years at Hillsdale College. I went to my first free-market economics student society lecture within my first few weeks of coming to campus. The topics of that and other lectures were often ones I knew nothing about, but I was drawn into the economics and relevancy and always left feeling like I learned something. By my second semester, I was serving as the public relations officer, and now I am president.
Praxis welcomes everyone to its events with the goal of expanding dialogue on campus. By hosting guest speakers, we become familiar with ideas that may be new, challenging, or different, or that just don’t fit into a normal course. For example, Bitcoin, the fall of the Soviet Union, and Uber’s sharing economy have not been on any syllabus for any of my classes, but I still feel like I have a decent understanding of these topics from what I learned through Praxis events.
After inviting Dr. Don Boudreaux to campus, we advertised his lecture, “Why the Case for Free Trade Is As Strong As Ever,” with posters, emails, and social media. He came to campus a few months later, and our officer group took him out to dinner with a Praxis member chosen by raffle. Over dinner he was happy to talk with us about current politics as well as more economic topics. After Dr. Boudreaux’s lecture, the audience had some great questions that he was happy to answer with more detail than he covered during the initial talk.
No one is required to attend Praxis events, but as many as ninety people will pack in for an academic lecture after a long day of school because they care about the topic or are interested in learning more. One of the reasons I keep going to Praxis lectures is the ease of learning from scholars who have read plenty of books and done their own research, who are willing to share some of it over an hour-long talk.
In the whirlwind of classes, homework, work, and events, it is all too easy to only do what is required. Books that aren’t assigned often fall by the wayside, and it can be hard to find time to learn subjects that aren’t covered in class. Praxis provides the outlet to continue learning outside of the classroom, and it is a thrill to be a part of this learning community that is in a continual pursuit of knowledge.
Emma McCormick, ’19, is an economics major from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where she loves to get outside to hike, camp, and ski. She started the Outdoor Adventures Club to try to keep that up in Hillsdale. She is the Public Relations officer of Praxis, and an RA in Olds Dorm. When she isn’t studying, or working at AJ’s, you might find her outside running.
Published in January 2019