The founding fathers of Demosthenian are Augustine Clayton, Williams Rutherford and James Jackson. For twenty years, Demosthenians met in a classroom, before they constructed their own meeting hall in 1824 for a cost of $4,000. In 1820, several members of Demosthenian broke away from and formed the Phi Kappa Literary Society. A treaty between the two societies, signed in 1820, is available under the Documents tab. Notable alums include William Y. Atkinson, Crawford W. Long, Alexander Stephens and Robert Toombs. During the Civil War, Demosthenian refused to join forces with the “Society Across the Way” which allowed Demosthenian to be utilized as a headquarters for occupying troops for their regimental headquarters, while Phi Kappa was used as a stable and a place of revelry for Federal troops. Today a friendly rivalry continues to flourish, culminating yearly in an intersociety debate.
Please review the rental guidelines and fill out the Hall Rental Form (Below) if you are interested in renting Demosthenian Hall.
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- A Brief Guide
The Demosthenian Literary Society is the oldest student organization on the UGA Campus, founded in 1803 as a haven for debate and has continued its tradition for over 200 continuous years. The society is named for the Ancient Greek orator Demosthenes who was known for his rhetoric and dedication to overcome his speech impediments. The society strives to follow this example and practices through extemporaneous debate. Key to this mission, is our beautiful hall in which we hold our meetings and gather to practice and study. The hall was built in 1824 and was paid for by members, alumni, and friends of the society. Contrary to popular belief, the Society does not rent Demosthenian Hall to make money. The primary reason that we allow others to use our Hall is to demonstrate our great appreciation for the support we receive from the University and the greater community.
- The Hall Rental Contract
The Society is the only student organization on campus that manages a building on campus. With this great privilege comes great responsibility. If anything were to happen to the Hall, the Demosthenian Literary Society would be held responsible. To ensure the safety and well-being of our building, which is a historic landmark, we ask that you sign a rental agreement. Once you have accessed the Hall Rental Contract, read it carefully. Keep the first page of the contract for your own records. Then, fill-out, sign, and return the second two pages to the address listed on the bottom of the agreement. If applicable, please be sure to enclose your rental fee and security deposit.
- PaymentPayment Plan for renting the hall. We request all payment in the from of CHECKS made out to The Demosthenian Literary Society
The Demosthenian Literary Society has three payment categories that determine the cost of using the building for an event.
- Payment category (Plan) A covers the general public. Individuals in this category should be sure to send in a $100 rental fee and a $200 security deposit.
- Payment category (Plan) B is the option that student organizations should select. We do not charge student organizations a rental fee, although we still require that they send us a $200 security deposit. In order to verify an organizations status as a student organization, the group’s faculty advisor must sign the rental contract in the appropriate place. Where your advisor should sign will be obvious once you examine the rental contract.
- Payment category (Plan) C is the option that UGA departments should select. We do not charge UGA departments a rental fee or security deposit with the understanding that the department is liable for damages above and beyond normal use. In order to verify at the rental party is a UGA department, a faculty or staff must sign the rental contract in the appropriate place. Where the faculty or staff member should sign will be obvious once you examine the rental contract.
- Security Deposit
All Rental Parties must provide a $200 dollar security deposit (if applicable) as a CHECK. If we determine that the hall has not been abused during the course of your rental, we will tear up the check. If the hall is damaged, left in an unacceptable condition, or terms of the rental contract are violated, we reserve the right to keep the damage deposit in its entirety.
Unlike other student clubs on campus, the Demosthenian Literary Society does not receive funds directly from the University. Instead, we rely on the generous donations of individuals like you to continue our mission of advancing public speaking and debate.
We would be honored if you would consider making a contribution to the Society. Your generous donation will allow us to continue to provide hall rentals to the community and will help us achieve new levels of excellence. Selecting the box to donate your security deposit to the society is an easy way to help support a vital University of Georgia tradition.
We gratefully accept all gifts, regardless of the amount given. Checks can be made out the Demosthenian Literary Society.
- Prohibitions and General Rules
As our hall has come to represent over 200 years of history, we feel obligated to preserve it for future Demosthenians. Therefore, we ask that you observe the following requests. If any of these rules are violated, the Society reserves the right to retain the security deposit in its entirety and assess additional damage fines as needed.
- 1. Please do not use an open flame in the hall. This includes the burning of candles. If your event requires the use of candles, DO NOT rent the Hall.
- Smoking is prohibited.
- As Demosthenian is party to the regulations of the University of Georgia, we do not allow alcoholic beverages in the hall. Please do not drink alcohol at your event!
- Please refrain from bringing food or beverages upstairs.
- Please do your best to leave the Hall in a neat and orderly condition.
- Do not break state or federal law. Please also abide by all the regulations of the University of Georgia.
- Gaining Access To the Hall
The Hall Administrator is responsible for ensuring that you are able to gain access to the hall on the date of your rental. Please e-mail the Hall Administrator.
- Emergency Contact Information
In the event of a major problem contact the Hall Administrator.
- Check out Procedure
In order to ensure that we can continue to allow individuals to use our historic hall at low cost, the Demosthenian Society asks that all renters follow the check-out procedure outlined below. If any of the following procedures are not followed, the Demosthenian Literary Society reserves the right to retain the security deposit in its entirety and assess additional damage fines as needed.
Before you leave:
- Pick-up all trash and place it in the garbage can.
- If the garbage can is full, please remove the bag and take the trash out to the dumpster located behind the hall. If you would be kind enough to put in a new trash bag, we would be very appreciative. If the recycling bin is full, please remove the back and place it besides the bins.
- Place the keys to the hall on the fireplace mantle in the main sitting area of the first floor.
- Turn off all the lights both upstairs AND downstairs.
- Close the door as you leave. It will lock automatically.
Your rental helps the Demosthenian Literary Society keep the Hall in good condition. Your assistance will reduce the burden placed on our all volunteer and student run operations, and it will also allow us to preserve our beautiful 200 year-old building for future generations.