Join in the debate
Historically, the Oxford Union has been part of some of the biggest and most important discussions that have shaped the world as we know it. From the debate of February 1933 which saw the chamber declare, by and overwhelming majority, that it would in no circumstances fight for king and country, to that of December 1964 in which Malcolm X delivered his famous speech on extremism in defence of liberty, it has always been at the forefront of international politics and global affairs. Becoming a member means engaging in this incredibly exciting, ever-changing discussion, and challenging your preconceptions.
Listen to leaders make history
Be it world political visionaries, groundbreaking intellectuals, sporting stars, or Hollywood icons, the Oxford Union hosts leaders from every field, and holds events catered to all tastes. It’s probably the only place where you can have a drink with Elton John on one day, then challenge Marie Le Pen on her radical views the next. Whatever your interests, or degree field, it’s a place where you have the opportunity to meet and engage with your heroes, as well as learn about new and exciting things you might never have thought about before.
Enjoy the Union’s social scene
From the Members’ Bar to the Snooker Room, the Oxford Union is full of fabulous social spaces to hang out with friends and have fun. We boast some of the most affordable (and best) drinks in all of Oxford, and with weekly specials, it’s hard to find a better bar in Oxford. The bi-weekly pub quizzes are a firm favourite with members, and with cash prizes up for grabs, it’s not difficult to see why. The staff are friendly, and in the summer months, the courtyard outside is the perfect place to relax in the sun with a cool pint. The snooker room is also the only place in the whole of Oxford that you’ll be able to play on a traditional full size table!
Get some quiet study time
If drinking and cue sports aren’t quite up your street, the Union buildings are also full of great study spaces for those days when essay deadlines are looming. From the beautiful Old Library, to the Gladstone and Goodman rooms, there are plenty of large tables and comfy leather armchairs to go around. Not only are the rooms beautiful, but they are full of historical relics, from the table on which William Gladstone held his cabinet meetings, to original William Morris wallpaper and Pre-Raphaelite murals. If you’re going to have an essay crisis, you may as well do so in magnificent surroundings.
If you asked Union Members what their favourite thing about being a member was, no one answer would be the same, and this is because we really do try to offer something for everyone. From great study and social spaces, to world-class debates and speaker events (and I haven’t even mentioned our socials, termly balls, competitive debating team, or members’ discounts!), the real question is ‘Why not join?’