The Demosthenian Literary Society, one of the oldest groups on campus, recently passed a resolution to secede from the United States.

Its new country is called Demosthenia.

Jack Slagle, the hall preservationist for the DLS, said the idea for the resolution came from the flatness of election debate. He said the society had not had a lot of interesting debates recently. 

“Around politics, the election season, everything gets a little stale because we hear the same re-hashed debates over and over again,” he said. “[President David Douds and I] were talking about what we could debate that was exciting and different, and this came up as an interesting possibility.” 

Slagle said he authored the resolution after a petitioner for membership gave a speech on Sealand, a small oil rig platform off the coast of England that declared itself its own nation.  

“It sort of was kind of a sign for me that maybe I should get on that and break the monotony of what we have been seeing,” he said. 

Slagle said the shift from a society into a country was a natural transition. Demosthenia has its own system of government as well as a judicial system.  

“We have a direct democracy,” he said. “We already have a judicial system — we have three justices, two associates and a chief justice. It is a natural expansion.” 

Derrick Weeks, the digital media chair for DLS, said the vote to pass the resolution was almost unanimous. He said the idea of having a micro-nation is funny, and he voted for the resolution. 

“If you just debate about seceding from the United States as friends, it is funny,” he said, “but if you do it in an organization that has to act out on what it decides, that is what makes it even funnier.” 

Jacqueline Van de Velde, a member of DLS, said DLS is a way for her to step out of her comfort zone. 

“I get nervous when I speak in front of people, so every week, I get to challenge myself by standing up and getting my thoughts out there and becoming a better speaker in the process in the company of my friends,” she said. 

Van de Velde said she has no expectations that the secession will go anywhere.  

“I voted for it, mostly because it was a lot of fun,” she said.

Richard Pettersen, a sophomore biology major from Atlanta, said the idea of secession as a point of debate is entertaining, but is a moot point.

“As a fun debate, it is an interesting idea,” he said. “I think it is what happens when you give a lot of people a lot of free time, and they start thinking too much.” 

Michael Fernandez, a sophomore early childhood education major from Marietta, said he does not see the point in the secession resolution.

“I feel like it would be funny, but would it really be worth the humor?” he said. “People would get a kick out of it, but it wouldn’t be long-lasting.” 

Fernandez said he could see the society seceding, but doing so would cause far too much trouble if they actually followed through on the plan. 

“I think they could pull it off, but it would cause too much disruption to the point where they would be ostracized and probably attacked a lot,” he said. 

Pettersen said he does not believe secession could survive. 

“What are they going to do once they secede?” he said. “I still don’t know if [the DLS house] is an area that could arguably be seceded.” 

Van de Velde said it is fun that someone could stand before a group of people with such an outlandish topic and give a speech good enough to gain support. 

“As an international affairs major, the rhetoric behind all of this, forming our own micro-nation, it would never work,” she said. “None of us are serious about this being a thing.” 

Slagle pointed out that even third-world countries have more than a single bathroom. 

Even though the idea of seceding from the union is acknowledged as implausible, the group has gone to great lengths to come up with a system of government, a national anthem and even a flag. 

Douds said the purpose of the resolution, much like other bizarre proposals made by the society, is for the purpose of debate and amusement. 

“The way our meetings go when we resolve something, technically speaking the resolution will pass but nothing in the world changes,” he said. “Though it is worth noting that Demosthenia prevails.”