CLAFI@UCLA is the student branch of the UCLA Center for the Liberal Arts and Free Institutions (CLAFI). CLAFI opened in 2009 to encourage and assist students, faculty, and the general public in their study of the liberal arts. Although students were the intended primary beneficiary of CLAFI’s courses and lectures, few students heard about CLAFI’s offerings in the first few years. Students from CLAFI courses resolved not to let the rich goldmines of CLAFI go untapped. They decided to found a student club, CLAFI@UCLA, whereby they could officially advertise CLAFI classes, lectures, seminars, and events to the student body.
The goals of the club are:
- To promote the principles of CLAFI among UCLA undergraduate and graduate students
- To publicize CLAFI classes, lectures, seminars, and special events to UCLA undergraduate and graduate students
- To maximize the opportunity of UCLA students to participate in and initiate CLAFI events
- To encourage and assist club members in their exploration of the liberal arts
Club meetings will, accordingly, consist not only of discussion of past and future CLAFI events, but of independent, student- or faculty-led discussions of art, literature, rhetoric, music, science, philosophy, and history.
CLAFI@UCLA echoes the mission of CLAFI: to guide students in their understanding of the institutions that they live in, so they can become better citizens of a free and democratic society; to help students to explore the basic questions about the meaning of life, the nature of the cosmos and human society, and the principles of right and wrong; to encourage the study and appreciation of history, literature and other arts, philosophy, religion, and social science as valuable for their own sakes and as integral to consideration of these basic questions. Students in CLAFI classes have enjoyed the great works and achievements of Western civilization, combining spirited yet respectful criticism with the conviction that we have much to learn from our greatest forerunners. Study of these great works has proven a valuable if not indispensable aid to students in their understanding of the principles of free institutions and the fundamental questions we face as individuals. In short, CLAFI@UCLA seeks to nurture the student’s interest and facilitate the student’s discovery of what is true, good, and beautiful.