If you would like to join the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies, you must petition the Societies by delivering a ten-minute speech on a topic of your choice and respond to queries about your speech, Society history, and yourself. The purpose of formally petitioning the Societies for membership is to give you an opportunity to demonstrate a genuine zeal for the Societies and their purpose.
Before you petition, you’ll need to do the following:
- Decide whether you’re a Di or a Phi
Petitioners may choose to petition either society. Until relatively recently, a geographical system dating to 1850 had been observed in determining whether petitioners were petitioning the Dis or the Phis. Dialectic petitioners from North Carolina were traditionally from West of Orange County and Phi petitioners were traditionally from East of Orange County. Petitioners from Orange County or out of state formerly could choose to petition either Society.
- Read the Official DiPhi Petitioning Guide.
It is constitutionally mandated that every petitioner read the guide attached above, as it provides all the information necessary for a petition. Refer to this guide for a detailed petitioning timeline, expectations for your speech, a diagram of the exhibited portraits, and much more.
- Choose a sponsor.
Every petitioner needs a current, active Senator from the Society they are petitioning to sponsor them. Every Senator wants to be a sponsor, so don’t hesitate to ask anyone, even if you don’t personally know them. The sponsor will guide you through the petitioning process, but you’ll need to contact them at least two weeks before you plan to petition.
- Choose a petitioning date.
Work with your sponsor to choose a Monday meeting for your petition at least two weeks in advance, so that they may announce it at the meeting two weeks before. Also, be sure that no more than one other petition is planned for that night.
After completing the above steps, you will have everything you need for your petition, but below are some extra resources that you may find helpful. Keep in mind that these resources go into more detail than is needed for petitioning, and the petitioning questions will come from the information in the Petitioning Guide.
- Di Phi’s Governing Documents: our updated Constitution, By-Laws, and General Statutes and the individual Society Constitutions.
- The Dis and the Phis: an epic poem about our portraits, by President Emeritus Daniel Friedman, updated by Alumnus Senator John O’Connor, 2011.
- More Portrait Resources: the Di-Phi Portrait Index, low-resolution images of our exhibited portraits, as well as the honors essay by Joseph Reckford.
- History Resources: various articles, chapters, and addresses covering the many interesting facets of the Societies’ history.