Well Said: Carolina’s ‘accidentally secret’ student society

On this episode, recent UNC-Chapel Hill graduates reflect on the evolution of the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies and how current DiPhi senators maintain the tradition of debate today.

Founded in 1795, the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies are the oldest organizations at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

At 7:30 p.m. every Monday of the academic year, you’ll hear laughter along with serious debate from the Dialectic Chamber of New West Hall. This is the location of the weekly joint senate meetings between the once-feuding societies.

Once a requirement for all Carolina students, the societies have maintained a tradition of lively debate over current issues that range from politics to pop culture.

“We have people talking about political concepts,” said George Gildehaus, former president pro tempore. “What they’re thinking about current events, and we even have people talking about bad Tinder dates and other things of a more relatable nature.”

On this episode, Gildehaus and former Joint Senate President Katrina Smith reflect on the evolution of these historical societies since their founding, and how current DiPhi senators maintain the tradition of debate today.

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Read a transcript of the episode.

Join us every Wednesday for Well Said to hear from students, faculty, staff and alumni. Each week, you’ll learn what’s going on in classrooms, labs and around campus, and how it pertains to the local, national and international headlines.