Talk:Demosthenian Literary Society

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Honorary Membership[edit]

There is no citation for any of the honorary members listed. Also, as an alumnus, I know that virtually no one from the last several decades has formally accepted honorary membership, other than Dean Tate and perhaps other Georgia-connected people. Since the section makes unverified claims about living persons, and is potentially unverifiable altogether, I have removed the entire section.

Also, Wikipedia is not an exhaustive collection of lists, and unless the honorary membership rolls communicate some meaningful message about what Demosthenian represents (which I don't believe is the case), I don't see any need for a listing of honorary members at all. -Jhortman (talk) 22:11, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

You should also consider ridding the article of Other Historic American Debate Societies and Famous Alumni. These are probably irrelevant to the Society today, and there's no online source that could verify these claims. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ExtremeClean (talkcontribs) 03:36, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, the article as a whole really needs significant revision to make it a better Wiki article. I think the Alumni and "Other societies" section you mention, however, are appropriate to include in the article. It's probably better to rename the section to "Notable Alumni," since notability is what is important on Wikipedia. The alumni section is appropriate for any fraternal organization, as long as the alumni listed meet the notability criteria. And the links to other societies are ok, I think, as well, since those are all organizations similar to Demosthenian. It might be better to rename that section "See also," though, since that would follow the Wiki naming convention for similar items. It would be even better to create and infobox for all historic debate societies. I might work on that if I have the time. -Jhortman (talk) 03:54, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Relationship with the Philodemics of Georgetown (and other societies?)[edit]

The Society has been trying to update our Wikipedia article with information about our relationships with our debate societies in the US including Georgetown's Philodemic Society and UNC-Chapel Hill's DiPhis. Unfortunately these innocuous edits are being taken down as vandalism. Let me assure you, they're not. The Philodemic Society's page says as much in their abstract. Why would we make this up? If someone could please explain to me why we are not allowed to have our page reflect these relationships, I would greatly appreciate it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:52, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

The edit that was added, and that I have kept reverting, was not sourced and was added by a user that had a long history of vandalism and hiding his vandalism within edits that were seemingly trying to be legitimate. Also, the edit did not have a non-NPOV tone, which is a Wikipedia requirement. I don't oppose the principle of a list of literary societies with whom Demosthenian has a formal relationship, but Wikipedia guidelines say that selection criteria for such a list has to "... be unambiguous, objective, and supported by reliable sources." If someone wants to add that information with a Verifiable link to a reliable source, I would have no objection to it. Simply saying "I'm a Demosthenian and I know this to be true" isn't good enough. In fact, I'm a Demosthenian alum, and I know it to be true, but that's not the bar you have to clear for inclusion on Wikipedia. -Jhortman (talk) 14:53, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Right, I get that Cotton16 has a sordid history of vandalism, but it seems like you're removing it based on the name of the editor, not on the action he has done. Your actions seem suspect at best, perhaps even telling of a private vendetta against Cotton16 rather than a legitimate interest in preserving the validity of wikipedia. I also believe the last edit we tried to make contained a citation of minutes from a meeting with a link to the Demosthenian webpage. I'm not really sure how much more legitimate we can get without publishing something in an academic journal. Our minutes are legitimate archived documents that reflect the history of the Society, all conveniently published online. What I'm getting at is that we are trying to legitimately update our wikipedia article and you have provided little in the way of constructive criticism other than by marking our legitimate edits as vandalism, even with citation to the records on our website. If it's simply a concern about non-NPOV statements, please tell us how to fix it, because as far as we can tell we do have a good relationship with the Philodemic Society of Georgetown. It's a statement of fact as much as our rivalry with PK. If that fact is not obvious to the outside, please help us rectify it rather than marking it as vandalism and letting us flounder with figuring out how to make it more neutral. I feel like something as simple as put a sentence about our friendship with Georgetown, a fact already listed on their page, shouldn't take a week to add. There seems to be a fundamental disconnect between what you think we are trying to do and what we are actually trying to do and I hope we can overcome it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:13, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Archives of all of our minutes are under the keeping of an esteemed Demosthenian alum in the UGA Special Collections Library, in the vaults of a $46 million new building on UGA's main campus. Demosthenian correspondences (including letters from US presidents and other literary societies), along with countless other artifacts, are in the safe keeping of the Literary Societies Collection, under accession number 97-106. I would advise anyone with unfounded doubts about Demosthenian's history to go check out some of the items in this collection, because they are very real and very protected. The minutes on our society's website are identical to the archival evidence in hard copy, climate control conditions in Athens. The question is, how do we cite the information on the following website: Thankyou, and everyone please check out the luxurious new archive building, it's fantastic and very impressively funded by over a third private donations, including many Demosthenian alumni and friends. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ExtremeClean (talkcontribs) 17:46, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

I know that the minutes we cited aren't currently in the archives as they are this semester's, but they presumably will be at the end of the semester, becoming part of the long Demosthenian History. Would that make them more legitimate? What constitutes a legitimate source?— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I have no vendetta against anyone that is trying to update a valid update to a Wiki page, and I always try to assume good faith. Cotton 16's edits, and those of his sockpuppets (and the fact that he used sockpuppets at all), gave me sufficient reason to suspend that assumption in his case. As I said, I don't have an objection to a properly-sourced addition referencing relationships between Demosthenian and other literary societies, and in theory, the society's minutes seem to me to pass the WP:SELFSOURCE criteria. Also, however, the minutes you cited don't say that the society maintains relations with the Philodemic and Di-Phi societies. All it says is, "Chief Justice Matsika announced the Georgetown Spring Break Trip..." At this point, I'd agree with adding the passage, but I'm going to put a [citation needed] tag on it, because a reference should directly verify the claim that is being made. (You might ask the Secretary to specifically reference, "visiting the Philodemic Society," for example, in the previously-referenced minutes. Or make a note in future minutes about "communicating with Di-Phi's," or something like that when such communication happens.)

Also, since you asked for my assistance with a non-NPOV wording, something like this is what I'd suggest:

In addition, the Society maintains relationships with other Literary and Debate societies across the United States, including the Philodemic Society at Georgetown University and the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies at UNC-Chapel Hill.

I have updated the article with this terminology. Also, just as a note of etiquette, please sign your remarks on a talk page with four tildes (~~~~), even if commenting as an IP user. -Jhortman (talk) 18:52, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

We're not going to add a citation. It is unnecessary. If you look at the rest of the article few pieces are cited. If this is such an issue, then there shouldn't be a Demosthenian page at all. Good to know that when I graduate and join the real world, I'll have enough time on my hands to troll college students for no apparent reason. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:06, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
There's no need to get upset and attack me personally over this minor quibble; I'm simply following Wikipedia's guidelines. The lack of citations throughout certain sections of the article doesn't abrogate Wikipedia's Verifiability guideline. And there's already a notice at the top of the article stating that additional citations are needed throughout the entire article, of which this claim is one. One might argue that highlighting a specific claim as "citation needed" is redundant, but I would argue that since the blanket statement covers the entire article, and has for months, then any unsourced statements are subject to being removed at any time, especially the statements that concern entities other than Demosthenian itself. And any statements that are subject to potential removal can be more effectively highlighted for sourcing if they are marked as such. If there is no possible potential source for a statement, then it should be removed. I don't believe this is the case in this instance, however. -Jhortman (talk) 23:17, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't know who wrote that particular response to your post, but it doesn't represent the official position of the Society. As per your last comment, I know we have documents that can source our ongoing relationships, but they aren't necessarily concise and to the point as most of them are minutes that span the better part of 6 years, maybe longer. Our first recorded trip to the DiPhi's December Ball was 2006. They also have a part of our symbolic Stump of the Toombs Oak. The Philodemic Society has been visiting us and us them only about 2 years, considerably shorter, but no less meaningful. This is all documented in text and pictures through our minutes and can be seen on our website, but it's not really a single concise document we can just point to and say "Here's our relationship." How do you propose we go about citing this (and many of the other things on our page that are known to be true, but not easily verified)? (talk) 23:32, 27 March 2012 (UTC)Evan Thompson, President
Any link with a specific mention to communications with or functions held with Philodemic and/or Di-Phi should be sufficient. It's ok if there are multiple references... as long as it's something that would support the fact that Demosthenian has a relationship with the society in question. (And it doesn't have to be multiple for each society... just one for each society is sufficient.) See WP:Verifiability for specific criteria, but the base of the issue is that you could just read the sentence in question and ask, "Does the link I want to reference directly support that statement?" -Jhortman (talk) 00:21, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Citing the Archives[edit]

Since several current members are deeply interested in the archives, can we work on trying to find a way to cite them? I'm from the internet so I don't know how to cite something that isn't an online journal or book. Here's the link to a catalog of everything we have in the archives. It's unarguably the most legitimate source of Demosthenian history. An ongoing effort should be made to figure out how to use this source on the wikipedia page.ExtremeClean (talk) 00:29, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Offline books/journals/minutes are just as valid as online sources for Wikipedia. (And, as is the case here, might be the most reliable or even the only source available.) Offline publications can be added using the {{Cite book}}, {{Citation}}, or {{Cite journal}} templates, or manually using the <ref> tags in a style consistent with what's already there in the article. (Wikipedia has no single style guide for referencing works.) You can also check out the list of Citation templates if you'd like to see all the preexisting templates that are out there. -Jhortman (talk) 02:18, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Additional "Citation Needed" tags[edit]

I have tagged quite a few portions of the article with {{citation needed}} tags. Most of these issues could be addressed with a simple link to an edition of the society minutes in which these things are mentioned (especially hat debate and Oration/Declamation and victories in the ISD over Phi Kappa), but that task is easier done by current members, who have more ready access to the minutes and know the time frames in which they would need to look. -Jhortman (talk) 01:23, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Inter-Society Debate record[edit]

The link added to the 2012 ISD YouTube video is fine as a reference for the 2012 debate. For such a mostly-annual competition like the ISD, however, it might be better to create a table listing each debate's resolution and the results rather than summarize several years worth of results in a sentence. Something like the table here, but with columns for date, resolution, and winner (and, if there are records for such, a column for the judges vote tally, as well). Is there some place that records the results of each ISD? I've searched the Red and Black and done several Google searches, but can't find listings for many of the years. I'll see if I can put something together for the records I can find. It'll be incomplete for now, but that's ok. Wikipedia articles are not a final draft. It's fine to have works in progress. -Jhortman (talk) 16:53, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

We have a Google Doc that was sent out over the listserv a while back to collect info on isd history, last I checked this was the most up to date version. It only goes back to about 2000. (talk) 21:51, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

This article is flippant.[edit]

Not encyclopedic. (talk) 00:23, 22 June 2014 (UTC)