Our Guest Policy

The Cambridge Union Society is a private organisation that exists to serve the interests of its members. This page summarizes the Society's official policy on admission of guests to our premises and events. We ask that you respect it and are polite to those who are responsible for enforcing it.

Debates and Speaker Meetings

Members of the Society may bring a bona fide acquaintance as a guest, for a charge of £20

The guest must not be eligible for membership in the Society in their own right (i.e. members of the University will not be admitted as guests). Guest tickets can be purchased in the main office.

No guests will be admitted more than 15 minutes before the start of any event to allow us to gauge the popularity of an event with our members.

In some cases, especially for very popular events, Standing Committee may decide that an event is to be completely closed to non-members, and no guests will be admitted to preserve space for our members. 

Changes to Policy from Easter 2015:

A new penalty of £40 will be charged to any non-member found to be using a Union card that is not their own. This penalty applies to the card owner, and the card will be confiscated until the fine is paid. 

Membership records will now be checked on the door for all events. Anyone who has forgotten their card will have to queue to have their details checked on the system against a form of photographic ID.



The 1815 Bar and Cafe is open to the public, with student and non-student pricing. 



A member may introduce their non-member guest to the Society's premises as a playing partner in the Snooker Room. 



Guests may be admitted to the Society's Ents on payment of an entry fee, which is determined by the Social Events Officer.


Free Events

From time to time, and especially at the beginning of Michaelmas, special events will be open to all for free and non-members are warmly encouraged to visit and see what we're all about. Free events include the Freshers' Debate, and other such events advertised in advance around the University.

Entry will be available to both members and non-members until the Stewards determine that capacity has been reached. When this happens, the Society will try and publish this as far in advance as possible.


Public Events

From time to time, the Society might decide that a certain number of spaces will be reserved for the general public or for members of another specific organisation or business. Information both on the number of reserved non-member tickets being sold and how/where to purchase them will be publicised for such events.


Reciprocal Membership

The Society retains reciprocal membership policies with a variety of similar organisations around the world. Members of the Union can attend events at the Oxford and Durham Unions. They are also entitled to membership of the Hudson Union in New York. Reciprocal membership rights are intended for short term use only and apply only to those who have not matriculated at the University of Cambridge.


Building Capacity

As with any event venue, the Society must adhere to strict fire safety regulations and it is the sole right of the Committee and Stewards to decide, without prior notice, when the building, specifically the Chamber, is full. At such a point, the Stewards will refuse entry to the Chamber and/or building as necessary, and advise those waiting entry to leave the building.