Getting Involved

Whether you have just joined or have been here for years, it's easy to get involved and make more 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.

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, or request to join The Cambridge Union Members' Group, where vacant slots will be advertised.

Members can also participate in main debates by auditioning for slots through open auditions. Information about this goes out on a weekly basis by the emails administered by the Secretary, as well as being publicised on our Facebook page. To find out more, please email

Competitive Debating is one of the most important parts of the Union. If you would like to get involved, please email The Debating Officers run weekly sessions for everyone, whether you are a skilled debater, or are just starting out. 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, or join the Competitive Debating Facebook group.

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, outside of this time please address all queries regarding elections to 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 in the run up to election day.

The Standing Committee is the governing body of the Society. It is chaired by the President and all Officers are voting members. The Bursar and the Secretary also attend Committee meetings, as well as the Diversity Officers. 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.