Joining the Jefferson Society

Information Sessions

Our general information session will be on Monday, January 24th at 5 p.m. Our information session for STEM students is on Tuesday, January 25th (5 p.m.). Our information session for graduate students is on January 26th (5 p.m.). All information sessions will be hosted at Jefferson Hall, West Range.

Interview Sign-ups

Interviews will be held Monday, January 24th through Friday, January 28th at Jefferson Hall, West Range. To interview, fill out an interview card found here.

Interviews generally last 30-45 minutes and involve discussions on topics of your choosing with three to four members of the Society. Interviews are designed to function as an intellectual conversation that will allow you to defend any arguments you choose to make.

Interviews are not scheduled in advance. Please come to Jefferson Hall when convenient and you will be assigned the next available panel of regular member judges. Interviews will be conducted at the following times:

  • Monday, January 24th (12-5 p.m.)
  • Tuesday, January 25th (12-5 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, January 26th (10-5 p.m.)
  • Thursday, January 27th (10-6 p.m.)
  • Friday, January 28th (10-6 p.m.)

The list of newly selected probationaries will be posted promptly at noon on Sunday, January 30th, outside of Jefferson Hall. Notification emails will be sent out in the afternoon to all interviewees.

Interview Content

There is no set of topics the Society likes to see, and we highly discourage interviewees from trying to pick topics that way. The Society looks for the ability to effectively articulate and defend positions, for wide-ranging knowledge, and for intellectual curiosity. Current members have successfully discussed politics, economics, superheroes, sports, and literature, among many other topics, in their interviews. Interviewees need not have previous experience in debate, public speaking, or any other subject in order to be successful.

Students from every school at the University are welcome, and the Hall has many graduate and professional students. The Society does not discriminate in its membership or membership policies based on age, citizenship, color, disability, gender, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation or status as a disabled Veteran or Veteran of the Vietnam era. Students can interview only once per semester. Those who are not accepted as probationaries this semester are invited and encouraged to interview again in the future.

These are some of the characteristics of a passing interview:

  • Passion: the conversation is lively and generally enjoyable
  • Logical coherence: the arguments are internally consistent
  • Respectful and friendly attitude: the interviewee is generally a pleasant person
  • Responsiveness and engagement: the interviewee is willing to wrestle with different ideas
  • Knowledge of subject: the interviewee demonstrates wide-ranging knowledge
  • Effective speaking style: the interviewee is articulate and even captivating

Social Events

During the week of interviews, the Society holds several social events to allow interviewees to get to know the Society better. This typically includes a couple of information sessions, a meet and greet, and our traditional sippers event on Friday night before an open house meeting that we hold for all interviewees. Please check back later for more information.

Fill Out a Card

Location of Jefferson Hall

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