The Conservative Party, the nation's foremost collegiate philosophical debating society, stands alone among Yale institutions. It is a haven for those who believe that ideas have consequences, and that the best of what has been thought and said by man deserves rigorous exploration.
The members of the Conservative Party are not united by a single strand of the conventional political spectrum, but by a devotion to the production of principled and profound leaders.
Toward the formation of such individuals, the Party and its members hold a devotion to the critical inquiry and loyalty to Truth which so characterize our Western inheritance. In this spirit, the Party holds events which investigate every facet of politics, philosophy, and religion. These events culminate in the weekly Debate Caucus, which is structured in a traditional parliamentary format derived from the British House of Lords so that individuals grow by advancing their own ideas against those of others.
"At Mory's, a private Yalie watering hole on campus... the tall, gangly Pierson Pachyderm they called 'Grufus'...would raise the chalice and intone: 'I am going to be the governor of New York state one day.' Everyone would laugh and razz George Elmer Pataki and try to make the mailman's son from Peekskill spill the...Cup, which according to protocol would make Pataki the buyer of the next round."
—The Albany Times-Union
The life of Conservative Party members is further enriched by other events including the Sir Thomas More Lectures, in which a distinguished professor discusses a subject of interest over lunch each Friday at Mory's Temple Bar; the Allan Bloom Forum, a series of speaking engagements in which distinguished scholars and commentators from around the world reflect on current philosophical and cultural questions; High Table in Berkeley College, where Party members, petitioners, and friends have the opportunity to eat dinner together from Monday to Thursday; Lord Great Chamberlain Nights, where conservative games like Risk, Diplomacy, Texas Hold' Em, and chess abound; Toasting Sessions at Mory's Temple Bar, where much tradition ensues; and the yearly Retreat, traditionally held on the Eastern seaboard at the end of summer vacation.
"Among the leaders of the Union, the Conservatives tend to predominate. Bill Buckley and Brent Bozell will be among the most famous, but scarcely among the only...alumni who will lead the great crusade of American reaction."
—The Yale Banner
Graduates of the Party are never forgotten. Indeed, in the words of Henry Noyes Barkhausen, Chairman of the Conservative Party in 1934, membership is for 'life at least'. Members and alumni reunite each November at the boisterous Yale-Harvard Debate, held on the eve of The Game. The Party hosts an Alumni Banquet each May, at which Party veterans reaching back to the Thirties reminisce about old times and new.
There are two things in particular which members find most irreplaceable about their experience in the Conservative Party: the depth of friendship found in its halls, bound by the trials of moral introspection and philosophical examination; and the depth of worldview which necessarily follows from a shared aspiration to restore statesmanship and honor to public life.