Debate, Politics, and International Affairs

College Republicans

The Society is dedicated to the study of the American political system and the philosophies of the Republican Party. A chartered member of the College Republican Federation of Virginia, the Society is represented on the state executive board.  

Last year the Society was involved with educational, political, and social events on campus and across the state. The Society was host to special guest speakers and was involved with campaigns on the local, state, and national levels. Furthermore, the Society worked with College Republican organizations from other schools of the C.R.F.V. In recognition of past years' achievements, the Hampden-Sydney Republican Society has been named "The Most Outstanding Middle-size Organization" at past annual state conventions. 

Membership is open to all Hampden-Sydney students.
Advisor: Dr. James Y. Simms
College Republicans Constitution
National website:

Young Democrats

The Hampden-Sydney College Young Democrats are committed to promoting the values of the Democratic Party, including tolerance, equal opportunity for all, and a commitment to social justice. The Young Democrats are actively involved in helping to elect Democrats to public office at the local, state, and national levels. Most importantly, we are a very "large tent" and welcome a wide variety of students of different backgrounds and political affiliations. We are chartered by the Virginia Young Democrats, despite what our Facebook page says about being affiliated with the College Democrats, which is no longer an independently functional entity in Virginia. We are happy to be working with the VAYD to elect our great candidates.

Advisor: Dr. George F. Bagby
Young Democrats Constitution
National website:

Madisonian Society

Hampden-Sydney's political science and international relations organization exists for the purpose of providing a means for Hampden-Sydney gentlemen to participate in intercollegiate international organizations simulations. The Madisonian Society is a member of the Virginia-at-large Chapter of the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA). The Madisonians traditionally attend two to three conferences every year and seek to bring scholars to campus to facilitate the community's awareness and understanding of international affairs. Past conferences have included the National Georgetown's National Collegiate Security Conference (NCSC), the McGill Model UN in Montreal, Quebec, and the National Model African Union (NMAU) in Washington, D.C. This academic year will see the continuation of regular meetings for research and coordination that will take place in conjunction with the Madisonian Research Librarian in the Walter M. Bortz III Library.

The Madisonian Society is open to all students interested in political science and international relations.
Advisor:  Dr. John H. Eastby
Madisonian Society Constitution

Student Advocates for Hopeful Politics

Student Advocates for Hopeful Politics is an organization dedicated to encouraging youth involvement and advocacy in current political affairs. We believe that the involvement of America's youth is crucial to the strengthening and promotion of its democracy and civil liberties.

This organization is the student of President John F. Kennedy's "New Frontier" and President Ronald Reagan's "Rendezvous with Destiny." It is rooted firmly in the belief that the young generation must play an active role in the United States government by working collaboratively to develop and promote solutions to the political issues facing the nation.

Advisor:  Dr. Celia Carroll
Student Advocates for Hopeful Politics Constitution and Rules of Procedure

Students for Liberty

Students for Liberty at Hampden-Sydney College was founded in fall of 2010 with the goal of spreading the ideals of liberty, free markets, and personal freedom through various academic and activist pursuits. We believe that the pursuit and attainment of these ideals will form a more just and prosperous society.

Students for Liberty Constitution

Union-Philanthropic Society

For over two centuries, the Union-Philanthropic Society has offered Hampden-Sydney a unique forum for discussion. Whether debating the ethics of slavery - 1810 - or discussing the various views of the historical Jesus - 1996 - the Society has continually provided the College with an unparalleled source for the oratorical and literary improvement of her sons.

Rather than narrowly focus on a single subject, the Society has long complemented the College's liberal curriculum by addressing topics from a variety of issues. Each week, the Society analyzes a different item from literature, politics, or the arts. The Society's exercises quickly train its members to think clearly, argue coherently, and speak forcefully on any topic.

The oldest student organization at the College and the second-oldest debating society in the United States, the Union-Philanthropic dates from 1789. Edward Henry, the son of Virginia's greatest orator, and William Henry Harrison, the ninth president of the United States, were among its early members. Yet the society has never been simply a student organization, and its influence has never stopped at the College gates. Men from all backgrounds, from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to Robert E. Lee were awarded and accepted honorary membership.

The Society faces the future confident in its traditions but cognizant of the need for innovation. While reinforcing its ancient emphasis on private discussion among its members, the Union-Philanthropic is now exploring new arenas for public discussion, including debates, round-table talks between faculty and students, activities with the women's colleges, and guest lecturers.

Membership in the Society is an honor which is bestowed upon gentlemen who demonstrate an interest in public discussion, a thirst for learning, a friendly manner, and a good character. A reception for prospective members is held each term, followed by several public meetings; all students are cordially invited to attend and are strongly encouraged to participate. The Society summons several men to become members each term, and no previous experience in speech or debate is required. For more information about the membership process, please contact the President.

Advisor and Critic: Dr. James Y. Simms
Union-Philanthropic Society Constitution