UNION REFERENDUM: Should you join this Michaelmas?
A sponsored article by The Cambridge Union.
You’ve seen the guide…
You’ve seen the posters…
You’ve read the Facebook posts…
You know that Union membership is on discount RIGHT NOW: £170 until *4/10/16* ENDING SOON (regular rate £199), #freshertip, join now, don’t get in a habit of dancing with deadlines.
So what’s stopping you from joining Cambridge’s largest student society? Well, can Union membership deliver on value for money? (tl;dr: yes)
Becoming a member is open to you whether you’re new to Cambridge this Michaelmas (welcome!), or last year’s discount passed you by (along with Vivienne Westwood and Yoko Ono and Sigourney Weaver and Stanley Tucci and Ai Weiwei and Nick Clegg and Rev. Jesse Jackson and Baz Luhrmann and Mark Hamill and Josh Radnor and Lord Sugar and so many other famous faces…and you wish you’d signed up early last time, now is your chance, go here now before it goes up on the 4th October and the vicious cycle starts again!)
But what else lies out there, surely there are alternative ways to spend what works out over the average degree to be £2.50/week?
Well last year, the Tab provided a couple of options. Sadly, inflation/Brexit/ask your new economist friends to explain, mean that they don’t all stack up in 2016 BUT Union membership is down to £170 (even lower for annual/bursary membership), what are some alternatives?
- 6 SCARVES FROM RYDER AND AMIES–buy your 6 favourite colleges OR buy matching scarves for your college family! #freshertip, don’t actually do this, college family-like real families-can be a source of great love and solidarity, they can also be some people of different ages who you awkwardly know
- A BIT (5.4%’s worth) OF LUNCH WITH PM THERESA MAY – you can’t quite afford the whole £3, 150 for a full lunch, but as she is ‘driven not by the interests of the privileged few, but by yours’ hopefully the PM will understand.
- AN IPHONE 7 PLUS HANDSET -this won’t cover actually getting the phone to function, but who needs social experiences, like a free freshers’ ball, when you can appreciate 188g of tech all day long instead?
- Stephen Fry fought to save it and you can eat a FULL BREAKFAST FOR 17 DAYS at Fitzbillies for £170
- 3 MONTHS OF GYM MEMBERSHIP-the epitome of regretful ‘I meant to use it more’ purchases, fortunately Union membership is not as flawed, as you literally have a *lifetime* to use it and you can even live stream events or just continue to come back in person. Forever.
- ANOTHER TYPE OF UNION-with £10 to spare, you can have a marriage ceremony for £160 (or get married at the Union and Mark Hamill may appear at your reception)
- 485 BARS OF BASICS CHOCOLATE
- WHAT COULD BE BETTER THAN BESTIVAL? #freshertip, ask a linguist. With a line-up that definitely rivals a Union termcard (past musos in Union termcards include Laura Marling, Estelle, Stephen Sondheim and KT Tunstall will be here this term), for Bestival you will have to wait until 2017 and this isn’t an exact alternative as you’ll need to find an extra fiver to buy a ticket (or wait until membership goes up to £185 between 4th-12th October-then, this is an alternative with a £10 saving and if you live for those sorts of thrills and really want to stick it to the man-or the Union’s current run of consecutive female Presidents- this is THE alternative spend for you).
On a more serious note, whatever you do you will have a lovely time in Cambridge, the Union can be a great part of that and the majority of students join, but ultimately no worries.
At a time when students are being backed into corners over safe spaces (a subject of many dimensions and much Union debate), being part of the Union allows you to engage in free debate (and develop your competitive debating skills too), as well as hearing from Hollywood royalty to actual royalty in the room that has heard from Robert Downey Jr., Buzz Aldrin, Corbyn, Thatcher, Reagan, the Dalai Lama, Lisa Kudrow (yes, Phoebe) and hundreds more.
There is no real alternative to meeting leading figures in person like that (apart from Oxford Union membership, which is at the other place and £222, so you’d rather be at John’s really and Cambridge Union membership gives you reciprocal benefits at Oxford).
#finalfreshertip, you’re going to learn as much as you do from your degree (if not more) from the people around you in your time here. As a Union member, you increase the chance not only of those people being pioneers, internationally recognised or just very glam, but also from across Cambridge- as Cambridge University, ARU, BPP Law School and Judge Business School students are all members.
It’s also the perfect ‘congrats on getting into Cambridge, enjoy yourself’ present (grandparents, parents, friendly friends take note). At the least, come along to OPEN PERIOD WHEN ALL EVENTS ARE FREE UNTIL 12/10/16 and add your name to the greats who have graced the Chamber 🙂
Questions about Union membership, email Rachel, Joe & Page at [email protected]
See some of our previous events at:
YouTube | https://www.youtube.com/user/cambridgeunionsoc
Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/cambridgeunion/
Twitter | https://twitter.com/cambridgeunion
Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/TheCambridgeUnion/?fref=ts
Move on from #Brexit and vote to join the Union, BECOME A MEMBER at www.cus.org/join