Come Sunday, students will begin tackling taboo topics of conversation during the first installment of the Undiscussed.

The Undiscussed began in 2008 as an independent study project by Alyssa Chen '08. Each year it centers on a specific theme, this year's being "choice."

Discussion will focus on how choices affect one's identity, how others perceive the choices one makes and how individual choices affect the Bowdoin community.

The leaders of the Undiscussed, Rebecca Schouvieller '10 and Elise Selinger '10, wanted to make the theme broad enough so that each group could choose the focus of their conversation.

"Every group can find something that all the group members share in common, which really opens up the conversation," said Schouvieller.

Students are assigned to groups of six to 10 participants, along with two facilitators who aim to encourage conversation and urge students to delve deeper into the central issues. The groups will meet once a week for four weeks. Each meeting lasts an hour and half. This year's program will have over 80 participants, broken into 14 to 16 groups.

"College is an opportunity to break out and meet new people and hear their perspectives," said Selinger. "This is the least awkward way to have these types of conversations. There's nothing awkward about the Undiscussed."

Christina Pindar '12 became a facilitator this year after participating in last year's discussion on "identity."

"I did it because I loved to talk and meet new people," said Pindar. "I also wanted to listen to people who had different opinions and experiences than me...People weren't shut down and everyone was encouraged to talk."

For Schouvieller, the Undiscussed provides an outlet to converse about topics that are usually avoided in favor of more lighthearted subjects.

"I had complained that these sorts of heavy real discussions didn't happen a lot and I felt like here's an opportunity to bring people together for the purpose of having some sort of serious discussion about life at Bowdoin," she said.

The Steering Committee began planning last semester for this year's event. The Committee is lead by Schouvieller, Selinger, Pindar, Will Cogswell '11, John Cronopulos '11, Chester Eng '11, Dylan Kane '12, Chelsea Noble '12, Lindsey Thompson '10 and Cameron Weller '11.

In particular, the Committee focused on how to directly make a difference on the Bowdoin community with the dialogue generated from the Undiscussed. In their last meeting, the groups will talk about how to actually implement their ideas into action.

"We are also trying to improve on following up on these great ideas that people generate in these groups. We want to improve on following through," said Schouvieller.

Last fall, the Committee sponsored a "We Dare You" event where they dared students to reach out to someone new and strike up a conversation with them or ask them out to lunch.

They also hosted dinners to bring different groups and spheres together in order to generate conversation.

"Our goal every year is to get people talking and have those ideas lead to action. I think something we want this year is to broaden our reach. The more people who talk about their perspectives, the more productive these conversations are," said Schouvieller.

Ricardo Zarate '13 said he signed up for the Undiscussed because it "was an opportunity too good to miss."

"It seemed like an opportunity to voice my opinions, as well as hear other opinions on what we want Bowdoin to be and I think that's something that is very imperative that people to do so their college experience is more enriching and more suited to them and their personality," said Zarate.

The groups will begin meeting Sunday.

The deadline for signing up for the Undiscussed is today at 5 p.m. For more information or to sign up, visit