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Hilary Term 2023: Updates for Members

Library
Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 7.00pm
Saturday 11.00am to 5.00pm
(closed Saturday 11th March)

General Office
Monday to Friday from 10.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4.00pm

Bar
Monday to Friday - 10.00am to close
Saturday - 11.00 to close

Library
Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 7.00pm
Saturday 11.00am to 5.00pm
(closed Saturday 11th March)

President's Welcome

Dear Members,

Happy New Year and welcome back to Oxford. It is an honour and privilege to welcome you into the 200th year of the Oxford Union; I hope that this term card and the rest of the year showcases the Society at its best. The Union flourishes when it has a clear sense of what it is: a society that does not shy away from challenging beliefs; a society committed to providing engaging experiences; and a society that seeks to make the student experience as formative as possible.

The perceptive amongst you might have noticed that the background to the term card front cover is an old page from the Society’s minute books. In fact, it is from a debate in 1827. I was looking for Mr Gladstone’s scribblings as Secretary and stumbled across this page, documenting a debate in the manner we continue to do every Thursday. One can even spot a ‘Mr C. Macintosh, New College’, an extraordinary coincidence reflecting a man presumably arguing about corn laws rather than data laws but engaging in the same conversation we continue today. Looking back over the last two centuries makes us realise how little that conversation has changed; this term card is full of debates about foreign policy and theology, discussions of history and politics, and represents a battle between those who care about free expression and those who wish to suppress it.

In some key ways, however, that conversation has changed. In 1827, women and non-Christians, were unable to participate in it, deemed unworthy of the right to free expression. Society, and this Society, has come a long way since then and as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the admission of women as full members of the Oxford Union on the 8th February we shall re-emphasise that there is no circumstance in which it is justifiable to prevent an individual from expressing themselves. Everyone must be allowed to participate in that conversation, no matter how much we disagree with them; that is the meaning of free speech.

With that spirit in mind, I offer a challenge to you, the members. Your time at university will probably be the only time in your life when you have access to such a formative and fascinating range of conversations so please take this opportunity to challenge your beliefs and those of others as much as possible. Challenge your view of history, pacifism, or same-sex marriage by engaging in debates on these topics; question Peter Thiel on his support for certain political groups, or Munroe Bergdorf on her comments on race; speak to that member who asked a question you disagreed with. Just take every opportunity to question the beliefs that you and those around you hold, or you will never know if you truly believe them. That is the ultimate privilege of university and it is the ultimate duty of the Oxford Union: to have a space to question, away from the oppressive forces of dogma that continue to restrict free speech in the university and across the world. 

I am immensely proud to be leading the Society into this historic year and I hope that this term card makes every one of you reconsider your most fundamentally held beliefs. Whilst challenging, thinking, and debating, have a wonderful term and enjoy the events herein. Happy Bicentenary!

Yours aye,

Charlie Mackintosh

President

New College

Welcome to The Oxford Union

The Oxford Union is an extraordinary place. Nowhere else will you find a lineup of such prominent speakers or compelling debates. Since 1823, the Union has hosted leaders in every field, from politics and business to sport and the arts. Members have the opportunity to meet their heroes and challenge those with whom they disagree during interactive Q&As. For those looking to debate competitively, master the art of public speaking, or find a new hobby, our debating workshops also offer something for everyone.

The Union is also the social hub of Oxford. Our Members' Bar, Snooker Room, frequent socials and termly Union Ball offer members a vibrant inter-college community. Our beautiful library and historic reading rooms also provide a comfortable and well-resourced working environment.

Joining the Oxford Union gives you the opportunity to participate in the free exchange of ideas at an extraordinary place. We look forward to welcoming you.

Sponsorship Opportunities

The Oxford Union offers partners a number of bespoke packages, which can include joint branding on debate publicity, advertisement on our event YouTube videos, adverts in our term card and physical banners, flyers, and a recruitment stand on the night of a debate. Spaces can be reserved at our exclusive black-tie debate night dinners, attended by our speakers, for your valued employees and clients. We also offer a debate night corporate hospitality package, which is highly sought after.

The Oxford Union has enjoyed successful partnerships with a variety of organisations, including Accenture, Credit Suisse, Dentons, Deutsche Bank, Hogan Lovells, KPMG, and WPP. We look forward to exploring how we can partner with you to create a bespoke package to suit your organisation’s requirements.

For enquiries, please contact treasurer@oxford-union.org.

Our 2nd week debate

"This House Rejects the 'Great Man' Theory of History"

(26th January 2023)

is generously sponsored by

Stowe Family Law

https://www.stowefamilylaw.co.uk/offices/oxford/


Contact details

Frewin Court
Oxford, OX1 3JB

enquiries@oxford-union.org

+44 (0)1865 241353

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