Full Union Line-Up Revealed!
The Cambridge Union’s Easter 2014 termcard features politicians, celebrities and two ex Doctor Who actors.
From Hopkins to Hasselhoff, the Union’s Easter line-up guarantees to entice students from the library to the debating chamber all through exam season.
Despite the recent debacle over David Willetts’ appearance at the chambers, several of the Cambridge Union’s Easter’s guests appear to be equally polarising.
Nobel Peace Laureate and ex-president of Finland Martti Ahtisaari is scheduled to speak in Week 4. The UN diplomat is recognised for his role in organising the Kosovo peace process. He will be followed that week by hotly anticipated speeches by Ukrainian Ambassador to Great Britain Volodymyr Khandogiy and Russian Minister-Counsellor to Great Britain Alexander Kramerenko, with their perspectives on the ongoing developments in Crimea expected to draw huge crowds.
After facing criticism for featuring too few women in their Lent line-up, Easter term promises a 50/50 gender split among the speakers and debaters planned. This was addressed in a press release, where Union press officer Oliver Mosley said: “This is a reflection of our commitment to diversity at the Union, and despite some challenges faced in securing take-up of invitations by female and minority speakers, we hope to build on this progress in the terms ahead.”
Week 3 will see former The Apprentice contestant, tabloid columnist, and professional celebrity-baiter Katie Hopkins address audiences. Another British businesswoman, Cath Kidston, whose floral printed clothes, kitchen, and homewares are sold in 140 outlets worldwide, is also set to speak at the Union, on June 11.
As expected, showbiz big names feature heavily on the Union’s agenda. In Week 2, actor Sylvester McCoy, perhaps best known as the seventh regeneration of the Doctor in the original Doctor Who series, will be speaking on May 4. His successor Paul McGann, who played the eighth Doctor, will follow several weeks later, on June 19.
From British television to American screens, Baywatch hunk David Hasselhoff follows co-star Pamela Anderson’s footsteps, speaking at the Union on May 26 and acting as “the perfect antidote to your revision-time blues” according to the Union’s termcard.
Easter’s debates are, as usual, on timely and controversial issues. Kicking off with “This House Believes That The Catholic Church Is A Force For Good,” scheduled for Thursday 24 April, the motions that will be debated this term are as varied as “This House Supports Scottish Independence” and “This House Believes That Feminism Should Exclude Men”
Speaking to The Tab, Union Speakers’ Officer Ted Loveday said: “We’ve aimed for a really diverse line-up to suit everybody’s procrastination needs.
As well as whizzy, super-topical debates from Scotland to male feminism, this term sees the legendary Union Garden Party, which is going to be “better than ever”.
With two ambassadors, two Time Lords and two speakers whose names have “Hof” in them, we’re really not doing anything by halves this term.”
Other changes to the Union this term include refurbishment of the Bar and Cafe, which are now called the 1815 Bar and Cafe, with a new menu and members’ discounts for all holders of valid student ID.
Incoming Union President Michael Dunn Goekjian will be live on CamFM (97.2) at 9AM Thursday morning (April 23) to take questions on the termcard, as well as answer any questions about the Union.