CUI Bono — The students stand to benefit

The Concordia Courier

Professors share their knowledge with students during CUI Bono

By madeline | 10/15/2021

CUI Bono, Concordia’s academic program dedicated to providing a forum of discussion between students and professors, gathered Tues., Oct. 12, for its second meeting of the year. Approximately 40 students and faculty members were present, enjoying dinner and dialogue in the Heritage Garden. 

Dr. Brian Ballard, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, presented on the topic, “Should We Want God to Exist?” The conversation offered a defense for pro-theism, covering concepts of autonomy and attachment. “It stimulated my intellectual curiosity,” said Andrew Shiroma, freshman. 

“The original purpose [of CUI Bono] was to cultivate the academic process,” said Dr. Daniel Deen, Associate Professor of Philosophy, who currently oversees the organization. “The original formation back in the day— it’s always supposed to be student driven. The idea was that students wanted to get more out of  the academic experience. We [professors] are a community doing work in conversation with each other all the time. We want to open it up to the student body.”

Nicole Gutierrez, junior, said in response to how CUI Bono has affected her, “I love the people. It’s a great group of smart people—intellectual thinkers who bounce off of each other and come together to enjoy each others’ company and minds.”

CUI Bono was founded, in concept, in the 2007-08 academic year, put into motion by the efforts of Dr. Caleb Karges, Assistant Professor of History and Political Thought. Karges said it became a “full-fledged movement” in the following 2008-09 year, a “movement to make sure that students and professors talked across disciplines.” 

In response to a question on how CUI Bono has evolved over the years, Karges answered that “CUI Bono has not changed too much since it was founded. Many of the original elements are still present. Professors still informally talk about how to shape the organization. There are talks and presentations given by professors. There's a retreat. Professors and students still volunteer their time and resources to help keep the organization going.”

The event is held monthly, with dinner provided at 5 p.m., and dialogue from 5:30 to 6:30. The next garden talk will be held on Nov. 9.

The annual CUI Bono retreat, located in the San Bernardino Mountains, is scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 5-7, and students are encouraged to contact Dr. Deen for more information at


Tags: community, event, philosophy

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