Cambridge Union Lent 2023 term card released
A whole variety of new speakers and interesting debates are lined up for the term ahead
The Cambridge Union has recently released its Lent term card with a whole new host of speakers, debates and socials. In the 96-page document, the new President Christopher George welcomes in a whole host of exciting events lined up for the term ahead. He explains he is “so excited to share some of the amazing events we have planned for this term… the whole team has worked so hard to make sure there is something for everyone.”
It seems the Union is focusing on reconnecting with both members and non-members alike, announcing an open period for non-members to attend events between the 16th to the 25th of January. Christopher adds, “we know we have work to do to make sure everyone that wants to take part can take part – but we have made important first steps and will continue to look at ways to ease the cost of membership.” With the reintroduction of discounts and scholarships for life membership, the Union are aiming for an “increasingly accessible and open space for all of our members,” as stated in their term card. “Our goal is to make sure that everyone that wants to, can take part in our events.”
The term starts off with the first of its nine debates on the 19th of January. With a focus on the most pressing issues of today, the first debate on the effectiveness of the NHS takes place on the same night as the nurse’s strike in the UK. Further debates cover a range of important topics such as the power of the press, the importance of trade unions and Scottish independence.
Some further unmissable debates include “This house believes we have the right to die” and “This house would rather be a sinner than a saint.” The speakers include a range of talent from the heart of current issues, including political figures, doctors, priests and journalists. Christopher also wants to stress the importance of student involvement, saying that “debates are also a space for students to put forward their thoughts and ideas and I encourage everyone to get involved. The Union has restarted debating workshops to overcome barriers that prevent free discussion in the chamber, as well as running sessions for those interested in Competitive Debating.”
The immense range of speakers at the Union this term highlights an exciting breadth of views and topics. Starting off the term, international poker player Liv Boeree comes to the Union as one of the most successful players of all time on the 19th of January. As a co-founder of Raising for Effective Giving, Liv is an advocate for poker players donating winnings to effective charities.
Rounding off the term, Christopher thanks his team for a promising lineup, “Sal Widdicombe (Speakers Officer) and Shibhangi Ghose (Equalities Officer) have done a brilliant job at ensuring that new and different perspectives are heard from this term. Figures like Yanis Varoufakis, Aaron Bastani, and John Bercow will offer insights into the politics of today. There has also been a focus on bringing in female activists from across the world. The panelists are fighting for rights in period poverty (Monica Lennon and Tina Leslie), domestic violence (Jamie Klinger and Yeshim Harris) and freeing political prisoners (Waad Al-Kateab). Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Fawzia Koofi and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus are also visiting to share their incredible stories this term. Christopher adds, “we are also delighted to host Husam Zolot, the Palestinian Ambassador.”
The speakers will be rounded off by pop culture icons such as Rylan Clark and Katie Price, in addition to two Love Island finalists Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu and Tasha Ghouri.
Finally, some speakers to look out for include cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins and Max Brandrett, the most notorious art forger in the world, on the 10th February.
The Union has continued to expand its social programme, now hosting an event every Wednesday evening this term. The widely demanded Jazz After Dark continues, along with the introduction of Art After Dark. Running fortnightly, this will include life drawing, romantic poetry and painting throughout the term.
On the 6th of February, the Union will host the Pink Week Ball and then the Lent term Ball on the 13th March, with a theme drop on the 1st February.
Much loved events return including puppy therapy on the 18th February and the Valentine’s Weekend Cambridge Chocolate Festival from the 10th – 12th of February.
There is a lot to look forward to from the Union this term as they strive to “bring in speakers that offer different perspectives and host debates that bring in new ideas.” Christopher wants to thank his amazing team and states he “can’t wait to meet members, new and old, throughout the term!”