After arriving on campus, Charles Harris helped start a literary and debating group called the "The Debating Society," probably modeled on similar organizations at his alma mater, Princeton. The society focused on reading, debating, and writing. It had officers, rules of personal conduct, dues, and its own library. Almost immediately, it split into two groups, which eventually adopted the names Dialectic Society and Philanthropic Society. Both of these groups continue on campus today.