In the Suburbs: Fairfield U. student tries to solve social issues

Peter S. Baron will be a senior at Fairfield University this fall. But Peter is hardly just a bright, conscientious student. He is a published author of a new book, “If Only We Knew,” which offers a bold perspective about how solutions to many major social issues aren’t being implemented and how an elite class of individuals has used its influence over the media and political spheres to spread false ideas.

Peter, who would like to become a voice for his generation, explained that the thesis for “If Only We Knew” is how the creation, preservation and manipulation of public ignorance creates and amplifies every risk facing society.

On his website, Peter said, “Through my coursework at Fairfield University I became aware of the fact that a bevy of social problems are worsening. What struck me as odd was that multitudes of evidence-backed solutions to each of these worsening crises had been developed by experts in many different academic fields. Yet practically none of them were being implemented.”

I met Peter at a book signing at our Fairfield University Bookstore in mid-April and was immediately impressed by the depth of his knowledge and his passion for seeking active solutions to society’s major challenges. His abilities are well beyond his years.

A few weeks later when we chatted, Peter told me that he had decided as early as his first semester at Fairfield University in a rhetoric and composition class that he wanted to focus on social issues and why solutions were not being implemented and consider writing a book. After extensive research, he started writing the 296-page book, which took about two years to complete and another year to edit. The book was published by an independent publishing company in Australia.

An avid reader, he has devoured plenty of books that describe society’s problems, but most do not offer solutions. He believes that we have a social system that is broken and he would certainly like to make an effort to fix it.

Peter, who would like to become a lawyer, will be the administrative assistant to the president of National Urban League in Manhattan this summer and will be helping to plan and coordinate a major conference sponsored by Urban League.

He is an upper-class Dean’s List student in Fairfield’s honors program. He decided to personalize his education by designing his own major through the Individually Designed Major program. Through his studies in this interdisciplinary major, Peter’s goal was to examine the causal relationship between a culture that fosters greed and the existence of socioeconomic inequities.

He founded Fairfield’s Honors Social Justice Book Club and he has organized and hosted events on racism, on happiness in the 21st century and “Growing up in the Age of Colorblindness” during Fairfield University’s Martin Luther King convocation. Peter’s blog, “Pondering with Pete” focuses on applying philosophy to our daily lives.

Believe it or not, in this age of technology and gadgets, Peter watches no TV and plays no video games. He meditates every morning and is committed to no procrastination. A Long Island resident, he enjoys leisure time at the beach and being with his parents and his dog Julien.

Commenting on the goals for his book, Peter said on his website that “Illuminating the malicious intentions of the elite is the first step to reversing ignorance and eliminating risks. To create a society in which all can thrive, we need a national commitment to the values of forgiveness, compassion, long-term ‘infinite thinking’ and selflessness.”

Steven Gaynes is a Fairfield writer, and his “In the Suburbs” appears each Friday. He can be reached at