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The Phi Kappa Literary Society is a debate society at the University of Georgia. We meet every academic Thursday at Phi Kappa Hall on North Campus at 7 p.m.

All with an insatiable appetite for knowledge and oratory are welcome.

 

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Monday
Mar302015

Should the United States make all foreign arms sales illegal?

Please join the Phi Kappa Literary Society this Thursday evening at 7p.m. as we debate the resolution BIHR: The United States should make arms sales to all foreign countries illegal. Brother Grantham will be first affirming and Sister Hobby wil be first negating. The definitions are as follows:

  • United States: Departments, military agencies, and private contractors of the federal government of the United States of America and its territories
  • should: The potential benefits outweigh both the potential detriments and the status quo,
  • arms sales: Transactions involving the exchange of military-grade weapons or any other implement whose main purpose is that of combat or warfare,
  • foreign countries: Sovereign governments recognized by the United States, paramilitary organizations (politicized or otherwise), and private military contractors with bases of operation outside of the United States and its territories,
  • illegal: in violation of a law, executive order, or ordinance of the United States.

 

Monday
Mar302015

2015 Inter-Society Debate, by Andrew Plaskowsky

On Thursday, March 26, in the University of Georgia’s Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom, the South’s oldest rivalry was on display for all of those in attendance.

The annual Inter-Society Debate showcases the university’s two rival literary societies, the Phi Kappa Literary Society and the Demosthenian Literary Society, as they debate on a pre-selected resolution in front of a panel of judges that will determine which society will win bragging rights for the next year.

This year’s resolution was Be It Hereby Resolved: The University of Georgia should institute a test-optional policy for admitting undergraduate students.

Before each society’s team members took the floor, Shreya Singh, the Chief Justice of the hosting Phi Kappa Literary Society, reminded each member in the audience that “our rivalry is the type of necessary competition that fosters mutual growth and ambition.” 

With the formal introductions completed, Phillip D. Grant, Jr., a second year Ph.D. student in educational administration and policy and member of the Phi Kappa Society, began the first affirmative constructive argument by highlighting the cultural bias inherent in standardized tests like the SAT and asserted that at a world-class research university everyone is obligated to make the campus a more diverse learning environment.

“There’s a cultural bias in a test required policy and we are obligated to make it (the university) more diverse,” Grant said.

Grant’s speech served as an introduction to a policy solution that would be contested by the Demosthenian Literary Society for the next hour and a half.

The first negative constructive for the Demosthenian Literary Society as presented by Katie Googe, a second year double major in comparative literature and romance languages, equated removing standardized tests from admission considerations to stripping away one of the pillars of the University of Georgia arch. 

Both societies tackled issues relating to the latest revisions of the SAT, other universities that have implemented test-optional policies and increases in minority enrollment. 

Every speech given by the two societies – two constructives, two cross-examinations, a rebuttal and a summation each — demonstrated the immense amount of research and effort that went into the construction of arguments and masterful presentation needed to have a shot at capturing the title.

After an arduous half hour deliberation, the judges returned to the courtroom to name the best speakers for each society and the overall winner. The award for best Demosthenian speaker went to Cameron Greene and the award for best Phi Kappa speaker went to Richard Banton. 

Despite each argument having its flaws, the title of the Inter-Society Debate was ultimately awarded to the Phi Kappa Literary Society by Dean Stefanie Lindquist, the dean of the School of Public and International Affairs, breaking a four year losing streak.

In an interview following the conclusion of the debate, Lindquist highlighted the importance of both societies stating, “Young people that are going to be involved in Georgia, the nation or the world will learn the skills here that they need to be effective and persuasive.”

The teams were as follows:

Phi Kappa – Phil Grant, Sarah Anne Owens, Kristin Henry, Richard Banton and Halle Hammond

Demosthenian – Katie Googe, Nolan Hendricks, Cameron Greene, John Ashley and Lauren Cole

Friday
Mar272015

Fallacy Friday: The False Dilemma

The False Dilemma is an informal fallacy that is committed when using an either-or proposition without considering all relevant possibilities. In logical construction, the premise states that either claim A or claim B is false and therefore the other claim must be true. The problem with this reasoning is both claims could be false and another claim could be true. For example, it would be fallacious to assert that the University of Georgia either has to maintain its current test requirement or abolish it entirely. UGA could actually institute a test-optional policy. Of course, the false dilemma can only be committed if there are more than two options so discussing a matter such as life or death is not fallacious. In rhetoric, logic is not irrelevant. It is actually the best weapon. As Phi Kappans, in creating false dilemmas, we invalidate our arguments because we are not properly analyzing the issue only constricting the focus. So before crafting your next argument, take a moment to consider all relevant possibilities.

Friday
Mar272015

The Phi Kappa Literary Society is thrilled to announce its victory in the 2015 Inter-Society Debate!

Excellent work to team members Br. Grant, Sis. Owens, Sis. Henry, Br. Banton, and Sis. Hammond! Thank you to the members of the Judicial Council as well as all Phi Kappa siblings and alumni who made our victory possible. To Order! 

Thursday
Mar262015

The Phi Kappa Book Drive is Complete!

ATHENS -  March 25, 2015 - The Phi Kappa Literary Society is excited to announce that is has exceeded its original goal for the 100 Books campaign. Donations exceeded 160 books over the course of four weeks. 

In honor of Read Across Georgia month, Phi Kappa decided to launch its new volunteer initiative with a book drive to benefit the local Clarke County middle and high schools. The drive began February 17 and lasted through March 12.  

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, only one-third of ninth graders entering high school are proficient in reading. In Clarke County, low graduation rates are a persistent problem. Given the presence of this problem, Phi Kappa decided to address the local need present for assistance one book at a time. 

“As president, I couldn’t be more proud of how the Society came together for the children in the Athens community. We even had members ask us to extend the dates so they had time to bring more books from their homes and an alumna who made a point to bring at least 560 books from her childhood. It’s really indicative of how campus organizations can contribute to the community beyond their own expectations when people come together, and I hope it remains a tradition,” senior Kristin Henry said. 

Donations are approved based on the decision of media specialists. Any remaining donations will be forwarded to another local organization or library.