Demosthenian Literary Society
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ChapterhouseInc
N 33° 57.408 W 083° 22.506
17S E 280529 N 3759907
Quick Description: One of several historic society buildings on this historic downtown Athens campus.
Location: Georgia, United States
Date Posted: 9/8/2009 10:36:02 AM
Waymark Code: WM76AY
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member Jeremy
Views: 2

Long Description:
Demosthenian Literary Society
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Demosthenian Literary Society is a debating society at The University of Georgia in Athens,Georgia. It was founded in 1803 by the first graduating class of the University's Franklin College. The society was founded on February 19, 1803 and the anniversary is celebrated now with the Society's annual All-Night Meeting. It was named after the Greek orator Demosthenes[1].

Augustin Clayton, Williams Rutherford, and James Jackson are recognized as the founding fathers of Demosthenian. Clayton became the first student to receive his diploma from Franklin College and went on to become a judge of wide respect and a U.S. Representative from Georgia, with Georgia's Clayton County being named in his honor. Rutherford and Jackson went on to become professors at Franklin College.

Demosthenian Hall was constructed in 1824 at a cost to the Society of $4,000 [2]. This construction of the Hall gave the Society a place to keep its growing library, which surpassed that of the University's main library. In recent years, the Demosthenians have hosted two debates with the Oxford Union, splitting the contests 1-1. The Demosthenian Literary Society meets weekly Thursday nights at 7:00 during the Fall and Spring semesters at Demosthenian Hall on the historic North Campus of The University of Georgia.

Campus involvement
Over the past 200 plus years, the society has enjoyed a diverse group of students who have been proud to call themselves members. In recent years students from a wide array of majors spanning North and South Campus have come to the society to take part in the debate and intellectual discourse that the society has come to be known for.

Members of the society are often heavily involved on campus having a hand in over 60 campus organizations. These groups include but are not limited to every political affiliated organization on campus, The Red and Black, numerous service and honor societies, WUOG, CURO, and even the University's Kashima-Shinryu Club.

Traditions of the Society
Robert's Rules
All meetings of the Demosthenian Literary Society are run in accordance with Parliamentary Procedure as set out in Robert's Rules of Order.

Extemporaneous Debate
The style of debate undertaken at normal meetings of the Demosthenian Literary Society is that of Extemporaneous Debate. In this style, only the presenters know what topics are to be debated at the meeting, and all subsequent speeches are performed based on prior knowledge and without extensive preparation, though notes can be taken during other speeches. During their speeches, the speakers are also subject to questions, preferably of a non-rambling nature, from the audience and the bench. All speeches are limited to five minutes (with few exceptions), and hand signals are provided to the speaker when he/she has three minutes, two minutes, one minute, thirty seconds, and fifteen seconds left in his/her speech.

Elections of the Demosthenian Literary Society take place during the second to last meeting every semester. Nominations take place during the two meetings immediately prior to elections. The meetings during which elections take place are the only meetings that guests are discouraged from attending.

Speaker's Points
Members of the Demosthenian Literary Society are awarded Speaker's Points for outstanding service to the society and participation in related activities. Services and activities worthy of Speaker's Points include: taking part in hall cleanings, taking part in special programs, and serving as an officer or on a committee. Points are awarded by the President, the Judicial Council, and Committee heads. Accumulation of points is necessary to hold certain positions in the society and to obtain a Speakers Key.

Speaker's Keys
In the past, after accumulating 32 speakers points, members can purchase a Speakers Key. The Speakers Key is a gold lapel pin that shows a member's devotion to the society. After a decade long hiatus, speakers keys returned to the Society in late 2007. The new Speakers Keys were first awarded at the annual All Night Meeting on February 16, 2008.

The All Night Meeting
Every year, on the Saturday that falls closest to February 19, the Demosthenian Literary Society hosts its annual All Night Meeting. The meeting takes place between the hours of 7 pm and 7 am the following morning, and opens with guest speakers and continues with debate between both current members and alumni of the Society. Those members who stay until the end of the meeting are awarded a Speaker's Point.

Officer Positions
Members of the Society, upon receiving enough speakers points or being in the society for a certain amount of time, are eligible to run for officer positions. The Society has 12 officers. They are President, Vice President, Secretary, Chief Justice, two Associate Justices, Treasurer, Hall Administrator, Historian, Sergeant-at-Arms, Librarian and Custodian. The offices of Treasurer, Hall Administrator and Historian are all year long positions elected every Spring while the others are elected semesterly.

Standing Committees
The Society has several committees that members can be a part of. They committees include Public Relations, Programs, Alumni Relations, Digital Media, Finance and Hall Preservation. Alumni Relations is responsible for the yearly All Night Meeting and is thus a year long committee while the rest are appointed semesterly. The only requirement of serving on a committee is that you must be a member of the society. The Vice President serves over all the committees and appoints the heads of each at the beginning of every semester unless otherwise specified in the Society's constitution.

Annual programs
The Demosthenian Literary Society is known for several events it holds annually during the Fall and Spring semesters.

The Hat Debate
A tradition dating to the fall of 1995, members and guests are called up one by one to pull a resolution out of a hat and then give a presenting speech in the affirmative. Participants are given five minutes maximum to make a case for the resolution and must present the resolution they pulled from the hat. Many times these resolutions are of a humorous nature.

The Demosthenian Classic
Starting in the Spring of 2006, The Demosthenian Literary Society moved beyond their traditional activities and created a new high school debate tournament. The Demosthenian Classic High School Debate Tournament has taken place in mid January for the past two years and has had three participating schools. The tournament has been well received and is likely to expand over the next few years.

Because the Society traditionally participates in impromptu debate, once a year a meeting is dedicated to original orations and famous or not so famous declamations. The meeting takes place in two parts. The events are considered a competition with the winner of each event winning a speaker's point. The competition is judged by the members of the Judicial Council. The competition normally takes place in early April.

Intersociety Debate
Each spring the Demosthenian Literary Society holds a debate with the rival literary society at the University of Georgia. The debate was held in the Hatton-Lovejoy courtroom on North Campus for many years before the Law School changed their usage policy. In 2007 the debate was held in the Athens Clarke County Courthouse and the 2008 Intersociety Debate was held at the University of Georgia Student Learning Center. The judges are professors from the University of Georgia and are drawn from a hat (using the names from a negotiated list approved by both the Demosthenian Society and the Phi Kappa Literary Society) as per the 2007 Intersociety Agreement. Demosthenian won in 2008 snapping a 4 year win streak by Phi Kappa.

Famous alumni
William Yates Atkinson former Governor of Georgia
John Barrow U.S. Congressman
Pope Barrow U.S. Senator
Robert Benham first African-American Chief Justice, Georgia Supreme Court
William Tapley Bennett Jr. diplomat
D. W. Brooks, founder of Gold Kist
John A. Campbell U.S. Supreme Court Justice
William Ragsdale Cannon, United Methodist bishop
Augustin Clayton Statesman, Judge, U.S. Congressman from Georgia
Hugh M. Dorsey Governor of Georgia
Joel Furr First person to refer to junk e-mail as "spam"
Phil Kent political consultant
Jack Kingston U.S. Congressman
Crawford Long Physician
Count Emilio Pucci fashion designer
Ralph Reed political consultant
Charles Henry Smith better known as writer Bill Arp
Herman E. Talmadge U.S. Senator and former Governor of Georgia
Robert Toombs U.S. and Confederate statesman

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