The Phi Kappa calendar for the spring 2013 semester was packed as numerous special events were held and fierce debates were undertaken in the upper chamber of Phi Kappa Hall.
On February 25th, we hosted a debate between Sam Webb, Chairman of the Communist Party USA, and Dr. Gregg Morin, a representative from the Georgia Libertarian Party, on “Is full employment possible under capitalism?” The formal debate in the Chapel was followed by a special open debate on “Would Jesus have been a capitalist or a communist?” This special event commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of a banned Phi Kappa-sponsored debate between a Communist Party leader and an economics professor in the midst of the Cold War.
At the end of February, we held our annual anniversary meeting in which actives and alumni debated whether or not Puerto Rico should be admitted into the union as a state. We also scheduled a visit to the Hargrett Rare Collections Library during which we saw 100+ year old artifacts from Phi Kappa’s history, including a letter from Hon. Br. John Tyler (tenth president of the United States), a newspaper clipping from the dedication of Phi Kappa Hall in 1829, and the meeting minutes from the clerkship of Br. Henry W. Grady.
On February 14th, a group of active members went to the Brother Alexander Stephens House in Crawfordville to commemorate the birthday of one our most influential (albeit infamous) alumni.
During the annual Inter-society Debate on March 28th, a team of the most well-spoken Phi Kappans—Br. Michael Antonoff, Sis. Cherith Fuller, Br. Dominic Giordano, Br. Matt Tyler, and Br. Mark Wheeler—debated members of the rival society on the resolution, “Be It Hereby Resolved: The United States has an obligation to interfere in the domestic affairs of sovereign nations to defend human rights as defined by the ICRC.” Despite the team’s valiant efforts, the society across the way ended up winning in a 2-1 split.
On April 11th, we hosted the first annual Brother E. Wilson Young Creative Writing Competition, for which there were over twenty submissions from talented local aspiring writers.
At the end of April, we held a reception with university administrators in concurrence with our annual Stephens Declamations, during which members give creative orations of a range of topics. Dr. Bill McDonald, Dean of Students, also gave an oration on Br. Dean William Tate.
Finally, we would like to congratulate our seven newest siblings who joined the Society this semester:
Sis. Abie Smith
Br. Andrew Plaskowsky
Sis. Ashley Gravlin
Br. Graham Hord
Sis. Kassidy Dean
Br. Richard Banton
Sis. Melina Lewis
Phi Kappa also inducted two honorary members, Hon. Br. Dr. Gary Bertsch, who will be Phi Kappa’s new faculty sponsor, and Hon. Br. Dr. Keith Poole (whose research was recently cited by Nate Silver in the New York Times).
Phi Kappa holds meetings every Thursday evening at 7 pm during the fall and spring semesters. Debates are open to the public and guests are encouraged (but not required) to speak. After the first debate, members and guests are welcome to present creative writing pieces and give orations. The night typically ends with a trip to Taco Stand and a second, (usually) humorous debate.
There will also be a summer meeting open to the public on June 29th at noon at Phi Kappa Hall (point 1 on this map). Sister Ashley Gravlin will present the resolution, “Be It Hereby Resolved: The NSA’s ability to search and seize at their discretion any citizen’s communication and search logs violates the 4th amendment,” and Br. Richard Banton will present the first negation.
Any questions about visiting or joining the Society can be directed to Sister Abie Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org), incoming first assistant and chair of the public relations committee, or Brother Matt Tyler (email@example.com), president-elect for the fall 2013 semester.