QUIZ: Should you join the Union?

Aye or nay?!

Cambridge Union CUS harambe Quiz Stephen Fry The Union Tim Farron

Joining the Union is one of those big decisions everyone in Cambridge has to make.

Do you put £185 of your meagre student loan into a historic organisation with a long and strong reputation for debates, interesting speakers, and defending Free Speech; or use it for something you might actually enjoy?

Do you spend the equivalent cost of 740 cans of Sainsbury’s Basics Baked beans in one go to access events you will not, in reality, ever go to after Michaelmas; or do you buy 740 cans of Sainsbury’s basics baked beans and get your protein fix for the rest of the year?


Do you you allow them to convince you that everyone else has joined and if woe-betide you aren’t a member you would be left a-lone; or reject their blatant attempts to peer-pressure you into spending an astronomical amount of money just so you can sit in the same room as Stephen Fry (or even Tim Farron. Woah.)

Well, worry not, for we at The Tab the bit of The Tab that isn’t also on the Union Executive Committee have put together a quiz to discern whether or not you, bright-eyed fresher/woefully disorganised other year should join The Cambridge Union.

Question 1 (of 14): Do you enjoy rigorous debates?

a) Yes

b) Yes!!!

c) No

d) Yes, but not enough to spend £185

Question 2: Would you like to improve your public speaking?

a) Yes

b) Yes!!! (annunciated loudly)

c) No

d) Yes, but not enough to spend £185

Question 3: Do you like world-renowned debating societies?

a) Yes

b) Yes! A lot!

c) What’s that?

d) Yes, but not enough to spend £185.

This one in particular

Question 4: The Union has invited a War Criminal Sex Offender Transphobe, and those Hippies are complaining about it. Free Speech is in danger. What do you do?

a) Save it! Fuck the Hippies!

b) Write 20 articles about it in the student newspapers because this is all a cynical charade to get easy publicity

c) I don’t care

d) Manage to have a conversation about something other than The Union

Question 5: Do you need a new mug?

a) Yes

b) Yes. I also want to distribute mugs to the other good people of Cambridge

c) No

d) Yes but also not really

This mug in particular

Question 6: How much should a cup of filter coffee cost?

a) 50p (+£185)

b) All the social capital you will accrue during the course of your degree

c) What kind of cup are we talking? A B-cup? A G-cup?

d) About £2

Question 7: Pure Evil. What are your thoughts?

a) Pure Evil puts on good ents

b) Pure Evil will look good on my CV

c) Extremes do not exist. All that exists does so on the same, grey spectrum

d) I find it funny The Tab is asking this question

Question 8: You are with a group of friends. What do you do?

a) Go and see a debate with them!

b) Attempt to dominate them, stabbing in the back all who get in my way.

c) I am a rock. I am an island

d) Go down the pub and buy each of your 100 friends a drink to the price of £1.85

Or a single pint here amirite

Question 9: Is Tim Farron exciting?

a) He is a person of interest who probably has useful insights into the political establishment

b) I am so excited about Tim Farron I want to invite all my friends to see him and interview him myself

c) Nothing is exciting

d) Tim Farron is the receptacle of our collective anguish over Labour and Brexit. As a man he is impressively uninteresting.

Question 10:The Union is putting on a debate titled ‘This House would pay £185 to join the Union.’ How will you side?

a) Yes

b) AYE (That’s Union speak for yes)

c) Why is a house making decisions

d) Nay. Come on. £185? Really? I’ve heard no-one actually goes after Michaelmas of Freshers.

See what we did there

Question 11: Which of these attributes do you associate with most?

a) Naive Eagerness

b) Power

c) The lower intestine

d) A substantial amount of money

Question 12: You are 89 years old and visiting your great-grandson at Trinity (now re-named Future Tech Cyborg College). Louis Theroux is, at that time, visiting the Union via satellite from Mars. Can you get in to see him?

a) Yes, because I have a lifetime membership.

b) Yes, I still work at the Union and I get to sit in the big chair laughing at all his jokes and he can see me laughing too.

c) My great-grandson would get pooled to Girton because he’s a nihilist and a robot.

d) No, and I don’t particularly care.

For the purposes of this scenario Louis Theroux can also be a robot

Question 13: How does democracy work?

a) That sounds like it would be the title of a really interesting talk hosted at The Cambridge Union!

b) It works by messaging every single person I’ve spoken to during my Cambridge tenure with a reminder of our tenuous friendship and a sincerely expressed wish to see more of them (when I’m less busy). Oh, and a link to the voting page.

c) I hate making decisions

d) I think the wealth bar for most other kinds of democracy was abolished in the 1860s

Question 14: How are you going to convince next year’s Freshers that the Union is for them?

a) Say you enjoyed the Freshers Ball and their filter coffee.

b) Post on every Freshers page listing some big names that once visited the Union fifty years ago (but might come again! Maybe! In the meantime here’s Tim Farron).

c) Harambe memes, then crie every tim.

d) I won’t. You don’t have to rush into paying £185 for a membership that you will probably very rarely use. The Union is a rich enough society that it can do without your desperation, at least until you’ve learned how to budget. If you really want to try it out, borrow someone else’s membership and pop along to a debate. See if you like it. Then decide.

Clearly the best way to appeal to freshers


Mostly a) Yes! You should be a Union Member. Get ready to spend rest of your life convincing yourself it was worth it.

Mostly b) Woah – You’re just *so* Union! You practically breathe Free Speech. You live for the cut and thrust of good debate, especially when it’s conducted in crisp black tie on polished oakwood benches. You are a social climber on the make, ready hobnob with the Cambridge elite about spreadsheets and how self aware you are. Embrace your true nature and become a hack.

Mostly c) I don’t know what you should do, to be honest – you seem pretty lethargic about everything. Go live your life a bit more. I wish I could give you more advice but I’m just a quiz. All I can say is don’t join the Union. Or do. Do you care?

Mostly d) You should not join the Union. Congratulations! You know an unnecessarily costly and fairly dubious organisation when you see it. People like you led Le Resistance and chained themselves to lampposts – in a word, a signpost; not a weathervane. I predict a fruitful future in which you are £185 richer than lots of other people.