| Weekly Debates
Our weekly meetings are Philo's staple activity, centering on any of a spectrum of topics ranging from the existential (Resolved: Death is an Illusion) to the absurd (Resolved: We need more chlorine in the gene pool). Additionally each meeting features a literary exercise- an original presentation by one of our members, among other ancient and absurd traditions. We host special events such as those below in addition to, and sometimes in place of our standard meetings. See our Calendar for details, or join the Whip list for updates.
| The Annual Joyce Kilmer Memorial Bad Poetry Contest
Joyce Kilmer, author of the infamous "Trees," once served as Vice-President of the Society, and every fall Philo hosts a poetry contest to read our own grotesque verse to each other in his honor. This is one of Philo's premier events and all members of the Columbia community are invited to join us and present up to three original works. Click here for more information and selections from past contests.
| The Croquet Tea
Croquet is the chosen sport of Philos, and when the weather is pleasant we take a turn around one of Columbia's exquisitely manicured lawns after meetings. We also host a Croquet Tea each spring, an opportunity enjoy the sunshine, a small spread of victuals, and put our lawn sport wardrobe to use. Click here for more information and Mr. X's unofficial Philo Rules of Croquet, our own peculiar and unique flavor of the sport.
| Beat Night
Some decades ago, Philo President Allen Ginsberg and his colleagues oversaw the temporary demise of the Society, but we don't hold a grudge. Instead, we throw a party for them each spring! Don your black turtle-neck and join us for an evening of beat poetry and other consciousness-raising activities in a dark, smoke-filled room somewhere on or near campus.
You had to read it for the Core; now, try it out for yourself! Every April, in the tradition of Plato and other assorted philosophers, we philolexians gather to expostulate on some abstract topic of universal significance while drinking cheap wine. Previous topics have included Truth, Reason, Time, Chaos, and Love.
Sure our alumni may be old, decrepit, and senile but we love them anyway. We invite them back each semester for Geezer Night, a meeting where the old fogeys can come back, meet the current members, and relive the glory days of their youth. Geezers are strongly encouraged to join the geezer listserv, or the geezer-announce list in order to stay informed of the latest events.
| The Philolexian Centennial Washington Prize Oratory Contest
Among Columbia's oldest prizes, the Washington Prize was endowed to the society by alumnus J. Ackerman Coles (CC 1864) on the occaision of it's centennial celebration. The prize, a bronze replica of Jean-Antoine Houdon's bust of George Washington to be imported from France, was to be awarded once every four years to the member of the society deemed to have delivered the finest oration on a patriotic theme. The society now administers the competition, open to all Columbia College, General Studies, and SEAS undergraudates, in conjunction with the Office of the Dean. The last comeptition was held in 2005.