Ethics Forum Goes to St. A’s to Plan HYPE 2018


On October 13th, the Souhegan High School Ethics Forum met with students from Spaulding High School and Bedford High School at St. Anslems College to plan and develop the annual HYPE (Hosting Young Philosophy Enthusiasts) conference. HYPE is a conference that was started by Souhegan eight years ago. It is a philosophy conference designed to get students talking about important philosophical questions that they normally would not have the chance to discuss. The conference is planned, run, and attended, by high school students. Last year, around 1,000 students attended HYPE and the meeting on Friday was the first time students got together to plan this year’s HYPE conference, which is projected to have up to 1,300 attendees.


Souhegan students, Danielle Feibke and Kaitlin Griffin, introduce this year’s EQ: “What does a democracy look like?”


The day started with breakfast and icebreakers to get everyone comfortable with each other as the three schools came together. Afterwards, the students quickly got to work. The essential question for this year was announced: “What does a democracy look like?” and then everyone started to brainstorm a list of sub-EQs with their table. The sub essential questions ranged from discussing events that have affected democracy, to the current state of democracy in our country, to whether or not democracy will last. All of the questions proposed got the students in the room thinking and the final list of sub-EQs will be announced at the next development day in January. After the sub-EQs were discussed the students broke off into smaller groups to discuss content, marketing, and merchandise.

The content discussion focused on not only a continued discussion of the sub-EQs and beginning the process of narrowing down the list, but also materials to have attendees read before the conference and ways to identify and avoid potential problems in the discussion part of the conference. Marketing focused on getting people to the conference. Their discussion was on flyers, both what they would look like and where to hang them to maximize their effectiveness. They also talked about the best way to contact schools and present information about HYPE to encourage them to register. Last, but certainly not least, was the merchandise group. They discussed the colors of HYPE 2018 and looked into products. Every student who attends will get a free t-shirt, bag, and a few other free things such as bracelets, stickers, etc. Something that was new this year was discussing the possibility of selling merchandise such as hats or long-sleeve t-shirts in addition to the free merchandise.

The students involved in the Ethics Forum

HYPE is a huge part of the Ethics Forum every year and it involves many students at Souhegan. These students get a rare opportunity to lead something this big, to discuss something many high school students never get the chance to discuss, and to collaborate with students from other schools. In addition to the kids at Souhegan who this conference affects, there is also around 1,300 other students who are looking forward to the conference in March. After the discussion and ideas on Friday, there is no doubt that those 1,300 kids can expect an exciting day and the conference is on it’s way to success.