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Encyclopedia > Cambridge Union Society
The coat of arms for the Cambridge Union Society, which shares much in common with the coat of arms for the University of Cambridge.
The coat of arms for the Cambridge Union Society, which shares much in common with the coat of arms for the University of Cambridge.
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The Cambridge Union Society, commonly referred to simply as the Cambridge Union, is a private debating society in Cambridge, England and is the largest society at the University of Cambridge. Throughout its nearly two centuries of continuous operation, the Union has developed a worldwide reputation as a noted symbol of free speech and open debate. Additionally, as one of the oldest organizations of its kind in the world, the Cambridge Union served as a model for the subsequent foundation of similar societies at several other prominent universities including the Oxford Union and the Yale Political Union. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (660x760, 152 KB) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (660x760, 152 KB) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... The University of Cambridge, located in Cambridge, England, is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world, with a reputation as one of the worlds most prestigious universities. ... For a list of universities around the world, see Lists of colleges and universities Representation of a university class, 1350s. ... States currently utilizing parliamentary systems are denoted in red and orange—the former being constitutional monarchies where authority is vested in a parliament, and the latter being parliamentary republics whose parliaments are effectively supreme over a separate head of state. ... Debate is a formalized system of (usually) logical argument. ... The World Universities Debating Championship is the highest-profile tournament in university debating. ... The Australiasian Intervarsity Debating Championships (known colloquially as Australs) is one of the worlds largest debating tournaments, second only in size to the World Universities Debating Championship, and one of the largest annual student events in the world. ... The European Universities Debating Championship (colloquially known as Euros or Europeans) is a regional equivalent to the World Universities Debating Championship (Worlds) held in British Parliamentary style. ... The John Smith Memorial Mace (known between 1954 and 1995 as the Observer Mace) is the foremost student debating competition in the British Isles and Ireland. ... The North American Debating Championship is the premier parliamentary debating championship in North America, sanctioned by the national university debating associations in the United States and Canada, the American Parliamentary Debating Association and the Canadian University Society for Intercollegiate Debate. ... The American Parliamentary Debating Association (APDA) is one of two major intercollegiate parliamentary debating associations in the United States, the other being the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA). ... The Canadian University Society for Intercollegiate Debate (CUSID generally, and SUCDI in French) is the national organization which governs and represents university-level debating and public speaking in Canada. ... The English-Speaking Union is an international educational charity founded in 1918 to promote international understanding and friendship through the use of the English language. ... The National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) is one of the two national intercollegiate parliamentary debate organizations in the United States. ... Australia-Asia debate is a form of academic debate. ... British Parliamentary style debate is a common form of academic debate. ... This is a list of top-ranked university debaters from official international competitions, in any debating style. ... The front aspect of Glasgow University Union Glasgow University Union (GUU) is one of the students unions operating at the University of Glasgow. ... The Otago University Debating Society (OUDS) was established in 1888 and is the oldest Otago University Dunedin, New Zealand society. ... The Oxford Union Society, commonly referred to simply as the Oxford Union, is a private debating society in the city of Oxford, whose membership is drawn primarily but not exclusively from the University of Oxford. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The UCC Philosophical Society the Philosoph is the largest debating society at University College Cork, Ireland. ... The stage of Conron Hall at University College, the main debating chamber of the University of Western Ontario Debating Society Gallery at Conron Hall The University of Western Ontario Debating Society is the oldest student association at the University of Western Ontario, and is one of the largest and most... The College Historical Society (commonly known as The Hist or The Histicons) was founded in Trinity College in 1770 and traces its creation to the historical society founded by the philosopher Edmund Burke in Dublin in 1747. ... The University Philosophical Society (commonly known as The Phil or The Auto-Phil) is a student paper-reading and debating society in Trinity College, Dublin. ... The University of Cambridge, located in Cambridge, England, is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world, with a reputation as one of the worlds most prestigious universities. ... The Oxford Union Society, commonly referred to simply as the Oxford Union, is a private debating society in the city of Oxford, whose membership is drawn primarily but not exclusively from the University of Oxford. ... The Yale Political Union (YPU), a debate society that is the largest student organization at Yale University, was founded in 1934 by Professor Alfred Whitney Griswold (1906–1963), a member of the Conservative Party of the old Yale Union, who would later become University President, to combat the apathy that...


The Cambridge Union was founded on February 13, 1815 as a union of three debating societies and quickly rose to prominence in University life. Early officers have included the historian and essayist, Thomas Babington Macaulay and many subsequent Presidents and officers have gone on to become influential leaders in a wide variety of fields and professions. Just a few years after it was founded, the Union was even temporarily shut down by the University for being too contentious. Although the Union currently maintains good relations with the University, it is legally a self-funded private members' club which owns and has full control over its private property and buildings covering about 1/3 of a city block in the Cambridge city centre. February 13 is the 44th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... April 5-12: Mount Tambora explodes, changing climate. ... Quotes His imagination resembled the wings of an ostrich. ...

A debate at the Cambridge Union Society (c. 1887). Debates today are no longer held in academic dress.
A debate at the Cambridge Union Society (c. 1887). Debates today are no longer held in academic dress.

After nearly 200 years, the Cambridge Union is still best known for its debates which often receive national or international media attention. However, it also organises lectures by visiting speakers, film evenings and other social events for its members. The top members of its debating team compete internationally against other top debating societies, and Cambridge regularly fields one of the most successful teams at the World Universities Debating Championships. Download high resolution version (1405x501, 359 KB)Photograph taken by Mpntod of a print from around 1887 showing a debate at the Cambridge Union Society. ... Download high resolution version (1405x501, 359 KB)Photograph taken by Mpntod of a print from around 1887 showing a debate at the Cambridge Union Society. ... Debate (North American English) or debating (British English) is a formal method of interactive and position representational argument. ... The World Universities Debating Championship is the highest-profile tournament in university debating. ...


Its current Bridge Street premises (52°12′31″N, 0°07′10″E) were designed by Alfred Waterhouse and formally opened on October 30, 1866, with an additional wing to the building added several decades later. The future radical Liberal politician, Sir Charles Dilke, was the President largely responsible for construction. Included among the building's many rooms are the famous debating chamber, a dining room, bar, snooker room, library, lounge rooms, a members' movie theatre and various offices. Recently, the Society's building has proved to be a popular filming location with scenes for several British television programs and an upcoming feature length motion picture shot on the premises. The Natural History Museum in South Kensington, London, has an ornate terracotta facade typical of high Victorian architecture. ... October 30 is the 303rd day of the year (304th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 62 days remaining. ... 1866 (MDCCCLXVI) is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke, 2nd Baronet (September 4, 1843 - January 26, 1911) was an English politician, son of Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke, 1st Baronet. ...


The Cambridge Union is sometimes confused with the Cambridge University Students' Union, the representative body for undergraduate students set up much more recently in 1971. Similarly, the term 'President of the Union' is also occasionally misused, for example, in reference to Charles Clarke, a former president of the students' union [1]. Cambridge University Students Union (CUSU) is the university-wide representative body for students at the University of Cambridge, England. ... 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1971 calendar). ... The Rt Hon. ...

Contents

Membership of the Society

The Cambridge Union is a private society and traditionally membership is only open to members of the University of Cambridge, although more recently membership has been made available to students at several other educational institutions in Cambridge. The society is not open to the general public; however, members are often able to bring guests to certain functions and some events are made available to the public for free or through the purchase of a ticket.

The architectural detail on the exterior of the Cambridge Union Society's building includes intricate brickwork, stained glass and stone carvings.
The architectural detail on the exterior of the Cambridge Union Society's building includes intricate brickwork, stained glass and stone carvings.

The society awards honorary memberships to particularly distinguished individuals and maintains reciprocal membership policies with similar societies such as the Yale Political Union, Oxford Union Society and Durham Union Society. Image File history File linksMetadata Cambridge_Union_Building_External. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Cambridge_Union_Building_External. ... The Yale Political Union (YPU), a debate society that is the largest student organization at Yale University, was founded in 1934 by Professor Alfred Whitney Griswold (1906–1963), a member of the Conservative Party of the old Yale Union, who would later become University President, to combat the apathy that... The Durham Union Society is a debating society founded in 1842 by the students of the University of Durham. ...


Events of the Society

The Union is most famous for its debates, typically held on Thursday evenings during University Terms, although many other events such as speaker meetings or entertainments are also popular with members. Some traditional debating motions, such as “This House Has No Confidence in Her Majesty’s Government” are typically held once per year, although most motions for debate are novel and selected by the current President for that term. To maintain the highest quality of intellectual discussion, the Union seeks to bring in top experts and figures relevant to the motion up for debate. Traditionally, the proposition and opposition each feature three speakers, alternating between the two sides, and at the conclusion of the debate the members of the house divide and vote on the motion by exiting the debating chamber through one of three doors for “Ayes”, “Noes”, or “Abstention”. Union officials quickly tally the vote by counting the number of members walking through each door, and the final result is then officially announced a few moments later, usually in the Union’s bar, by the Secretary and Vice President.


The Union also continues to attract eminent speakers from the UK and across the globe. Recent visitors have included the late U.S. President Reagan, Queen Noor of Jordan, Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, Michael Howard, Michael Moore, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Gillian Anderson and Bruce Forsyth as well as a multitude of British politicians. Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981–1989) and the 33rd Governor of California (1967–1975). ... Her Majesty Queen Noor with her late husband, King Hussein. ... The Most Reverend Desmond Mpilo Tutu (born 7 October 1931) is a South African cleric and activist who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid. ... The 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso (1876-1933). ... The Rt Hon. ... Michael Francis Moore (born April 23, 1954) is an American political-activist, a film director, author, social commentator, and political humorist. ... Jaap de Hoop Scheffer (right) and Jan Peter Balkenende Jaap de Hoop Scheffer (left) and Colin Powell Jaap de Hoop Scheffer (legally Jakob Gijsbert de Hoop Scheffer) (born April 3, 1948) is a Dutch politician who is the 11th NATO Secretary General. ... NATO 2002 Summit The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), sometimes called North Atlantic Alliance, Atlantic Alliance or the Western Alliance, is an international organisation for defence collaboration established in 1949, in support of the North Atlantic Treaty signed in Washington, DC, on April 4, 1949. ... Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully Gillian Leigh Anderson (born August 9, 1968) is an American Emmy- and Golden Globe Award-winning actress, best known for her role as FBI Agent Dana Scully in the American TV series The X-Files and her role as Lady Dedlock in the BBC TV... Bruce Forsyth, CBE (born Bruce Joseph Forsyth-Johnson on 22 February 1928) is an English showman and entertainer who achieved celebrity on the show Sunday Night at the London Palladium, and has since presented the television shows Play Your Cards Right, The Generation Game, and Strictly Come Dancing. ...


The Society’s leadership

The Standing Committee, the Union’s primary day-to-day managing body, consists of the current President, Secretary and Officers, the President-Elect and Officers-Elect, any ex officio Presidents, Secretaries or Treasurers currently resident in Cambridge, and three senior positions, filled by members of the University of MA standing or higher, consisting of the Senior Treasurer, Senior Librarian, and Steward. The standing committee appoints or elects several positions in the society including the Secretary/Vice-President and the Executive Department which includes positions such as the Director of Recruitment, Director of Communications, Director of Information Technology and a Press Secretary.


Major positions

President - The President serves as the Chairman of Standing Committee (The Union's governing body), Debates, and Members' Business meetings. He/she is responsible for organising a programme of debates and overseeing the planning of other events during their term in office. Term in office is one academic term plus one vacation (about 14-23 weeks).


Secretary and Vice President - The Secretary and Vice President (SVP) has the general control of the general business of the society, its premises and maintaining official records. The SVP also serves as the Chairman of the Executive Department. Term in office is one calendar year (March-March).


Treasurer - The Treasurer, officially called the Junior Treasurer, is responsible for raising sponsorship funds for their term, maintaining relations with corporations and local businesses, running merchandising operations, and organising any other general fundraising activities. Term in office is one academic term plus one vacation (about 14-23 weeks).


Senior Officer - The Senior Officer is responsible for organising the term's line-up of guest speaker meetings and holds an archaic oversight role as Chair of the Library Committee. Term in office is one academic term plus one vacation (about ~14-23 weeks).


Entertainments Officer - The Entertainments, or Ents, Officer is responsible for organising the term's line-up of social events including bops, tastings and other events such as aerobics nights or speed dating. Term in office is one academic term plus one vacation (about 14-23 weeks).


Director of Debating - The office of Director of Debating is often jointly held by two individuals who are responsible for organizing the Society's activities in relation to competitive debating. Term in office is one calendar year (March-March). Debate or debating is a formal method of interactive and position representational argument. ...


External Committee - The members of the External Committee assist the officers with their duties and, in practice, also work alongside the members of the House Committee in staffing events. Term in office is one academic term plus one vacation (about 14-23 weeks).


House Committee - The members of the House Committee are responsible for providing staffing for events including checking membership cards at the door or serving as fire stewards when the Debating Chamber is in use. Term in office is one academic term plus one vacation (about 14-23 weeks).


The Senior Officers - The Senior Treasurer is responsible for maintaining a day-to-day eye on the Society's finances. The Steward is responsible for advising the Standing Committee on legal and code matters. The Senior Librarian is responsible for the administration of the Society's extensive library. Each of the Senior Officers hold one year terms, but it is common for the same individual to serve many successive terms.


The Trustees - The Board of Trustees, currently Chaired by Sir Richard Dearlove, is responsible for the long-term development of the Union's finances and property and legally responsible for the Society as a charity. Whilst in many ways more senior than the student officers, the Trustees tend not to concern themselves with the running of the society's events. Sir Richard Dearlove is a career intelligence officer and, until May 6, 2004, head of Britains Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). ...


In addition to these posts the Society also maintains an employed staff consisting of an Accountant, Office Managers, a Bar Manager. The Society holds contracts for catering, cleaning, building maintenance, property management, and legal advice. Accountant, or Qualified Accountant, or Professional Accountant, or Accountancy Practitioner, is an accountancy and financial experts legally certified in different jurisdictions to originally worked only in public practices, selling advice and services to other individuals and businesses, but today in addition many work within private corporations, financial industry and government...



Previous Presidents and Officers include John Maynard Keynes, Rab Butler, Archbishop Michael Ramsey, Douglas Hurd (former British Foreign Secretary), Ken Clarke (former British Chancellor of the Exchequer), Michael Howard (former Home Secretary and former leader of the Conservative Party), Chris Smith and Arianna Huffington. Recent Presidents and Officers have continued to move into the law, academia, the media and politics, including Clare Balding, BBC's sports broadcaster and Gavin Barwell as Head of Operations at Conservative Central Office. Several ex-Presidents were parliamentary candidates in the 2001 and 2005 general elections. John Maynard Keynes (right) and Harry Dexter White at the Bretton Woods Conference John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron Keynes, CB (pronounced keyns, IPA ) (5 June 1883 – 21 April 1946) was a British economist whose ideas, called Keynesian economics, had a major impact on modern economic and political theory as well... Richard Austen Butler, Baron Butler of Saffron Walden, KG, CH, PC, DL (9 December 1902 – 8 March 1982), who invariably signed his name R. A. Butler and was familiarly known as Rab, was a British Conservative politician. ... Archbishop Ramsey (left) meets Pope Paul VI. Arthur Michael Ramsey, Baron Ramsey of Canterbury (1904- 23 April 1988) was Archbishop of Canterbury from June 1961 to 1974. ... Douglas Richard Hurd, Baron Hurd of Westwell, CH, CBE, PC (born 8 March 1930), is a senior British Conservative politician and novelist, who served in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major between 1979 and his retirement in 1995. ... This article is about Kenneth Clarke the politician, not Kenneth Clark the art historian. ... The Rt Hon. ... Christopher Robert Chris Smith, Baron Smith of Finsbury, PC (born 24 July 1951) is a British Labour Party politician and former Member of Parliament and Cabinet minister. ... Arianna Huffington talks to the media while campaigning for governor of California at UC Berkeley on September 11, 2003. ... Clare Balding (born January 29, 1971) is a BBC sports presenter and journalist. ...


Trivia

  • Nazis Bomb the Union: Although Cambridge escaped virtually undamaged from the massive destruction of World War II in Europe, the Union's building was hit by a bomb dropped during one aerial attack. The explosion caused extensive damage to the Society's library and even today some books show clearly visible shrapnel wounds.
  • Fictional Presidents: In addition to the long list of real life distinguished individuals that have been former Presidents and Officers of the Cambridge Union, Will Bailey, a fictional character on The West Wing, a US television drama series, claimed to have been a "former president of Cambridge Union on a Marshall Scholarship".
  • Interesting aspects of the constitution: The Cambridge Union is famous within the University for having a very long and complicated constitution; it is a common rumour that the constitution is longer than the entire Constitution of Canada. This is in fact untrue, but only just: a quick count puts the Union constitution at 31309 words [2] while the complete Constitution of Canada is 31575 words long [3].
  • For some time, one of the more obscure rules was a Presidential Interpretation brought into effect on 8 March 1956 by the then President Mr M. D. Rosenhead of St John's College: "In Chapter IV, Section 9, the word "dog" applies to any centipede". The section in question reads "No member shall bring or allow to be brought a dog into the Society’s premises unless it be a guidedog". However, all such interpretations are recorded in an official Presidential Interpretations Book and the Union's laws were updated to reflect the original wording: ... quadruped.

Combatants Allied Powers Axis Powers Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000,000 Total dead: 50,000,000 Military dead: 8,000,000 Civilian dead: 4,000,000 Total dead 12,000,000 World War II (abbreviated WWII), or the Second World War, was a worldwide conflict... William Will Bailey, is a fictional character played by Joshua Malina on the television serial drama The West Wing, holding various posts in the White House Department of Communications. ... The West Wing is an American television serial drama created by Aaron Sorkin that was originally broadcast from 1999 to 2006. ... The official logo of the Marshall Scholarship is a blended image of the US and UK flags. ... The largest Students Union building at Oklahoma State University, which doubles as a student activity center (student union in the USA) A students union, student government, student leadership,or student council is a student organization present in many elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities. ... The National Union of Students (NUS) is the main organisation claiming to represent students unions in the United Kingdom. ... Year 1924 (MCMXXIV) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar). ... March 8 is the 67th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (68th in leap years). ... Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Notes

  1. ^ "The Bruiser in a hot-seat". Retrieved on 2005-12-05.
  2. ^ Cambridge Union Constitution 3. Retrieved on 2006-04-28.
  3. ^ The Constitution of Canada. Retrieved on 2005-12-05.

2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... December 5 is the 339th day (340th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... April 28 is the 118th day of the year (119th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 247 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... December 5 is the 339th day (340th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

References

Cradock, Percy (1953). Recollections of the Cambridge Union 1815-1939. Cambridge: Bowes & Bowes.  The Rt. ...


Coordinates: 52°12′31″N, 0°07′10″E Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
University of Cambridge: Information from Answers.com (4746 words)
Cambridge is a member of the Russell Group, a network of large, research-led British universities; the Coimbra Group, an association of leading European universities; the LERU (League of European Research Universities), and the IARU (International Alliance of Research Universities).
Cambridge is a collegiate university, with its main functions divided between the central departments of the university and a number of colleges.
Cambridge’s status as a University is further confirmed by a decree in 1233 from Pope Gregory IX which awarded the ius non trahi extra (a form of legal protection) to the chancellor and universitas of scholars at Cambridge.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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