FHSU Student Organization Feature – Economics Club


The Economics club was founded in 2011 by a group of Fort Hays State University students who wanted to promote the discipline of economics and its relevance to students. According to their Tigerlink page, the purpose of the club is to provide students with an educational and social organization that promotes economics while providing students with opportunities to develop education, research, leadership, and networking skills in the field of economics.

President of the Economics Club, David Schulte, summarizes the current-day purpose of the organization. 

“We are an organization that aims to bring together a like-minded group of individuals who share an interest in Economics and hope to create a platform to promote the importance of this specific social science,” he said. 

Schulte goes on to explain he believes the most important and rather, most interesting aspects of Economics are opportunity cost, the Laws of Supply and Demand, and the study of probabilities.

“Choosing to enter the workforce early and making money immediately over going to college? That’s opportunity cost. Willing to pay an extreme amount for Super Bowl tickets? The demand for the tickets is high and the supply is low. See that there is a 70% chance for rain in the forecast today but you have a picnic planned? Although this probability does not guarantee that it will rain, you must weigh the chances of that outcome when determining if you should delay your picnic or not,” he said. 

Schulte touches on a common misconception he wants students to be aware of relating to the study of probabilities. 

“There is a misunderstanding of knowing how likely events are willing to happen. This includes anything from winning the lottery to questioning if a stock is a quality investment to make,” he said. “I believe that this is due to the fact that, in general, most people are likely to hope for the best outcomes. Most people are optimists and choose not to factor in how badly a situation can turn at the drop of a hat.” 

Building off of Schulte’s analysis, Sam Schreyer, a professor of Economics in the Department of Economics, Finance & Accounting at FHSU and the Economics Club advisor, shares what he perceives as perhaps the most fundamental rule in economics; that resources are scarce.

“This means that tough choices must be made by individuals and by society in how these resources are used. Individuals make choices that are in their self-interest and respond to incentives accordingly,” Schreyer said. “Competitive markets often work for the benefit of society, but there are situations when competitive markets do not function efficiently and an alternative means for allocating production may be socially preferable.” 

These basics, among many more economic concepts, are discussed in-depth in multiple economics books. Schulte names two of his favorites as Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan and Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner.

“In Naked Economics, Wheelan goes into detail about economics in layman’s terms that everyone can understand,” Schulte said. “He explains every basic economic concept that I believe people should add to their armory of knowledge.

“As for Freakonomics, Levitt and Dubner expand on basic econ topics by reaching into interesting (sometimes controversial) phenomena that happen in everyday life and explain it through economics.”

Schreyer adds to Schulte’s shortlist with his own index of ‘econ must reads’ as well as mentions a podcast for students that oppose reading outside of required course materials. 

“The book The Worldly Philosophers by Robert Heilbroner is classic for understanding the history of economic thought,” Schreyer said. “I recommend Manias, Panics, and Crashes by Charles Kindleberger for a history of financial markets and their capacity to wreak havoc on an economy. And, for anybody who is completely averse to reading, I recommend NPR’s Planet Money podcast for an entertaining take on current events related to economics.”

Moving past books, Schreyer notes the most memorable part of his involvement with the Economics Club is getting to know the students and sharing in their excitement and accomplishments in and outside of the classroom. 

“Some of the standout memories I have are members presenting their research at a luncheon in Robbins College of Business, walking across the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset while on a trip to San Francisco, and talking with officials at the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C,” he said. 

Schreyer expands on this with the importance of student involvement. 

“Involvement is important if a student wants to get the most out of his or her ‘college experience, including meeting other people who share their interests, meeting alumni, touring businesses, and, of course, having fun,” Schreyer said.

In addition, Schulte says being involved in any club gives students a sense of belonging within a community and the opportunity to learn outside of the traditional classroom. 

“It is really easy to just go to school every day and sit in class and not put yourself out there to step out of your comfort zone,” Schulte said. “On top of that, it gives students a chance to expand their horizons and possibly gives them a chance to gain knowledge about a topic that they wouldn’t necessarily gather in the classroom.”

Schulte encourages students to check out the Economics Club and dismisses some of the fear associated with economics.

“I think a common misconception about the economics club is to think that we are just a bunch of nerds,’ Schulte said. “There is a lot more depth to economics than people think and I think that this is reflected within our group within all of the different interests and topics of study that each individual has. At the core, economics is a social science and I believe that it is overlooked a lot as just hard math and statistics.

“What students need to understand is that they already use the study of economics on a daily basis. It pertains to everyday decision-making. Economics is everything.”

The Economics Club plans on conducting a survey in February 2023 to learn how FHSU students view the current economy and their employment prospects. The research will be presented at FHSU’s John Heinrichs Scholarly and Creative Activities Day (SACAD) contest in April 2023, which the club won in 2022 with their project on student perception of the economy as related to their political ideology. 

The Economics Club is open to all majors. Economics touches many different disciplines, including history, philosophy, political science, and business. 

Those interested in attending a meeting can contact Schulte at dbschulte@mail.fhsu.edu for the next meeting date, time, and location. 

More information on the Economics Club at FHSU can be found on their Tigerlink https://tigerlink.fhsu.edu/organization/fhsueconclub