Getting Involved

Whether you have just joined or have been here for years, it's easy to get involved and make more out of your time at the Union.


Debating and Public Speaking

 

The Union is a forum for free speech and open discussion. During our debates members may make speeches from the floor, ask questions of the speakers and challenge their arguments. Every Main Debate will have at least one round of floor speeches, and members are encouraged to interrupt speakers in the English Parliamentary style ("On that point...") whilst they are speaking.

Main Debates are invitation only, and members known to have knowledge of certain fields will be personally invited by our team, but if you would like to register your interest to speak when the term card is released, please email executive@cus.org. Whilst we cannot guarantee you a place, we may be able to place you as a reserve if a speaker pulls out.

Emergency Debates are a great way to speak at the Cambridge Union as a student. Usually comical or topical, these debates take place just before Main Debates, and are reserved for students. To register your interest, you can either email executive-elect@cus.org, or request to join the Emergency Debaters Facebook group, where vacant slots will be advertised.

Competitive Debating is one of the most important parts of the Union. If you would like to get involved, please email dod@cus.org. The Union offers unparalleled subsidies that send Cambridge students all around the world to represent the University. For more information, check out the Debating section of the Union website. 


Help to run our events

 

Stewarding

Stewards are essential for the running of the Union. They act as fire wardens, check membership and tickets for events, and count votes after debates. Volunteering to help at events is a great way of ensuring that you get a good seat, and stewards are always rewarded with a panini and £5 bar tab at each event! All this for attending a one hour fire-training session, and enjoying the events you would otherwise have attended without free food and drink. We are constantly looking for more stewards, and you can commit to as many or as few events as you wish, so contact our Head of Event Management at hoem@cus.org for more information.

AV Stewarding

The team of AV Stewards are a vital part of the Union’s shift towards more modern debating. AV stewards receive the same benefits as regular stewards, but will be operating both sound and camera equipment during events. During debates involving live streams or virtual speakers, AV stewards are also responsible for checking the streams and overflow rooms for audio/visual problems, and responding to any problems members voice. To find out more contact the Head of AV at audiovisual@cus.org.

Guest Liaison Assistant (GLA)

Ever wanted to meet the guests who speak in Union debates? GLAing could be for you! It’s a great way to get involved at the Union, chat with fascinating speakers and give our guests an experience to remember. From around 5pm on a Thursday, you’ll collect guests from the station or hotel, join them for a drinks reception and help them get home afterwards. Not only is it a lot of fun, but you also get a unique perspective on debate night at the Union, as well as a panini. If you’re interested, please do get in touch with our Senior Guest Liaison for Debates at debates.liaison@cus.org.


Elections and Committees

 

The Cambridge Union Society is a student-run organisation. Elections are held towards the end of each term in which members elect student officers. Any member of the Union is allowed to submit a manifesto and run for election either to the senior Standing Committee or the more junior Supplementary Committee. Each election is run by two Returning Officers, to whom all queries about the election procedure should be addressed. During election periods they can be contacted by emailing ro@cus.org, outside of this time please address all queries regarding elections to vicepresident@cus.org. The Union constitution governs many aspects of elections and is available for viewing here. Voting is usually done online; members will receive an e-mail instructing them how to cast their votes on or just before the election day.

The Standing Committee is the governing body of the Society. It is chaired by the President and all junior officers are voting members. The Bursar and the Secretary also attend Committee meetings and directors are usually invited. Owing to the great deal of work involved in holding a position in the Society, newly-elected officers serve as officers-elect for a term before actually taking office. This enables them to become familiar in their rôle, work with their immediate predecessor and also to plan effectively. This set-up means that all officers are elected two terms in advance: for example, the officers elected at the end of a Michaelmas Term will serve as full officers during the following Easter Term.