Full Committee of the Cambridge Union (Michaelmas 2017)


If you have questions, suggestions or ideas for the Union, please do not hesitate to get in touch via email (Page at president@cus.org) or in person around the building-your input as a member is always really welcomed and involvement in planning the forthcoming term is also possible via the committees run by the Elect officers below.

​The Cambridge Union is an organisation that was founded and is run by students for all its members. Each term is planned and carried out by a combination of elected and appointed officers, with support from the organisation's staff and trustees to deliver the best term possible for members.

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Standing Committee - Officers

Officers of the Cambridge Union are students elected by the membership of the Union. In addition to their individual responsibilities in creating their term's programme, they are also entitled to vote on decisions regarding the Union's operations and future. The Vice-President is a annually appointed position who holds the same voting rights as an Officer.

President - Jonah Surkes, Clare


As President, Jonah is head of the society,  serving as the Chair of the Standing Committee and debates. he is responsible for organising a programme of debates and overseeing the planning of other events during Michaelmas 2017. 

If you have questions, suggestions or ideas for the Union, please do not hesitate to get in touch via email (Jonah at president@cus.org) or in person visit the President's Office to the right hand side of the Chamber​


Vice President - Tom McArthur, Girton 


The Vice-President is appointed by Standing Committee at the end of Lent as an annual position, and is responsible for the long-term direction of the Society. Tom ranks as second-in-command behind the President and facilitates the work of the termly Presidents, including assisting the handover between termly Officers,    and inviting high-profile speakers in the long term. He also works extensively with the Bursar as well as the women's, diversity and access officers in their roles.


Executive Officer -  Rhianna Voice, Trinity  


Rhianna is responsible for implementing the decisions of the Standing Committee and fulfills a general facilitation role between other Committee members.  She  is in charge of the programme of debates for each term and can be designated roles or assigned specific responsibilities according to the needs of each particular term. Rhianna is also responsible for chairing the Executive Committee, which brings together appointees responsible for event planning and management. 


Speakers Officer - Jonas Dein, Robinson


Jonas is responsible for planning and then administering a programme of individual speakers across their term of office, and working with a team of appointed officers to facilitate the smooth running of these events.



Treasurer - Penelope Jones, Pembroke 


Penny is responsible for raising sponsorship funds for her term in office, obtaining local business discounts for members and directing the  Society's merchandising operations.



Social Events Officer - Owen Jack, Pembroke


As Social Events Officer, Owen is responsible for organising a programme of social events for Lent term including the spring ball, parties, food and drink tastings, musical events and the development of a Union nightclub venue.



  Debating Officers - Imran Mateo, Queens' and Alasdair Donovan, Peterhouse


The Debating Officers are appointed by Standing Committee at the end of Lent Term. They are in charge of the debating side of the       Union, coordinating the entry and selection of teams to debating competitions, as well as training members in debating. They also take a leading role in running the  Schools' Debating Competition every year. They have significant experience in university competitive debating and specific organisational experience in competitive debating prior to their appointment.

Standing Committee - Officers-Elect to serve in Easter 2018

In order to give our officers enough time to plan their term, all of the termly officerships are elected a term in advance and serve for a term as officers-elect. This enables them to become familiar with their role, work with their immediate predecessor and to plan effectively for their own time in office. The President-elect, flanked by two officers-elect, presides over the emergency debates that precede main debates. Officers-elect are also entitled to vote on Union business. 


President-Elect - Maria Epishkina, St. Catharine's


The President-Elect is responsible for managing their team of elected officers and designates (women's, diversity and access officers) and planning the general outline of their upcoming term in office.


Executive Officer-Elect - Will Smart, Peterhouse


The Executive Officer-elect is responsible for assisting the President with the administration of their term, and is responsible for creating a program of forums and debates across their term in office. Other elected officers are expected to assist the Executive Officer in this regard, alongside Debates Committee. 



Speakers Officer-Elect - Jali Packer, King's


The Speakers Officer-elect is responsible for crafting a program of single speaker events during their term in office, supported by Speakers Deputies. These deputies are not members of Standing Committee, and appointments are made on an ad-hoc basis based on performance in Speakers Committee. 



Treasurer-Elect - Jade Charles, Magdalene


The Treasurer-elect is responsible for securing sponsorship and members benefits for their term in office. 



Social Events Officer-Elect - Adam Grant, Caius


The Social Events Officer-elect is responsible for planning a range of social events for the term in office, and chairing any ents-related steering committees.



Appointed Positions

Whilst the Union is run by a team of elected officers on a bi-termly basis, the day-to-day activities of the Union are managed by a larger team of dedicated students appointed by elected officers for the duration of their terms. Senior Heads of departments are invited to attend Standing Committee meetings by the President, as well as other appointees as and when necessary. Applications to become an appointee are sent out at the end of each term by the incoming President. 


Bi-termly Positions


​Most appointed positions serve for one term only. However, some positions dealing with longer strategic aims work for two terms in a row in tandem with the elected officers, serving a designate term for planning and a term in office for executing their plans.

​Diversity Officer​ -Maya De Silva Wijeyeratne, Clare


The Diversity Officer was made a bi-termly role in March 2015, and is appointed at the end of every term to serve one term as officer-designate, and one term in office. 


  • The Diversity Officer(s) Designate shall:
  • Prepare speaker events and forums for the following term
  • Help the Executive Officer-elect invite diverse speakers for the debates during the following term.
  • The Diversity Officer(s) shall:
  • Be responsible for running the events they have organised during the previous term, in concert with the Officers.
  • Present a report to the Standing Committee during final week of their term detailing the work they have undertaken
  • Both the Diversity Officer(s) Designate and the Diversity Officers(s) shall:
  • Work with the President, Vice President, Officers and Officers-Elect to oversee a strategy for increasing the diversity of student involvement in the Society, and ensuring a diverse range of speakers are invited to speak each term;
  • Work with Debating Officers to develop and oversee a strategy for increasing diversity in participation in debating workshops and competitions.

Diversity Officer Designate: Haneen Zeglam, Murray Edwards


​Women’s Officer - Tatiana Kurschner, Downing


Maria is the Michaelmas Women's Officer. The Women's Officer was made a bi-termly role in March 2015, and is appointed at the end of every term to serve one term as officer-designate, and one term in office. • The Women’s Officer(s) shall report to the President. The Women’s Officer(s) Designate shall report to the President-elect. • The Women’s Officer(s) Designate shall: o Prepare speaker events and forums for the following term o Help the Executive Officer-elect invite female speakers for the debates during the following term. • The Women’s Officer(s) shall: o Be responsible for running the events they have organised during the previous term, in concert with the Officers. o Present a report to the Standing Committee during final week of their term detailing the work they have undertaken o Be a permanent invitee to Standing Committee, and the Women’s Officer Designate will have a transition period. • Both the Women’s Officer(s) Designate and the Women’s Officers(s) shall: o Work with the President, Vice President, Officers and Officers-Elect to oversee a strategy for increasing female involvement in the Society; o Work with Debating Officers to develop and oversee a strategy for increasing female participation in debating workshops and competitions o Liaise with the Heads of Campus and Online Publicity to maintain communication with feminist and Women's groups within Cambridge


Women's Officer Designate: Rachel Tustin, Peterhouse


  Access Officers​ - Imogen Sinclair, Emmanuel and Jay Richardson, Pembroke


The Access Officers are in charge of crucial parts of the Union's charitable work, such as CUS Access initiatives, school and public visits and working with the Debating Officers to incorporate access into the debating programme.


Access Officers Designate - Charlie Hull, Sidney Sussex and Hannah Lindsay, Churchill


Co-​Heads of Debate Training - Trenton Sewell, Christ's and Matt Hankin, Girton

The Head of Debating Training is responsible for: ​organising a training programme of workshops for novice, intermediate and advanced debaters as well as liasising with the Women's Officer to organise the Women's Public Speaking and Debating Workshops; arranging sufficient coaches for all debating workshops; organising termly, internal competitions in Michaelmas and Lent termsworking with the Debating Officers to put together the curriculum for the following year’s workshops programme.




Head of Debate Participation - Joy Jia, Queens'

 As Head of Debating Participation, Joy is responsible for the continued involvement of as many members as possible in Debating through:

  • Organising debating-specific publicity schedules and working with the Full Committee Heads of Publicity and Secretary to publicise debating activities
  • Actively seeking feedback from debating participants with a view to improving debating provision
  • Working with Access, Women’s and Diversity Officers to broaden the appeal of Debating 
  • Actively working to reduce the barrier to entry to debating, wherever it may occur, particularly with regard to prior debating experience and knowledge of the debating community
  • In Michaelmas the role shall require working heavily with the Membership Officers to recruit new members to join the Union ​


Anglia Ruskin at the Cambridge Union Society

Anglia Ruskin students and University of Cambridge Students (as well as Judge Business School and BPP Law School Cambridge students) are ALL eligible for Cambridge Union membership. If you are not a student of one of these institutions, you can receive exclusive online viewership as an online member (cus.org/join) or buy a guest ticket as per our guest ticket policy.


Events and Guests

Heads of Events Management - Gabriel Barton-Singer, Trinity and Amy Stuart, Newnham


The HoEM is in charge of running the Society's events, by managing and encouraging stewards to work on events. The HoEM is a permanent invitee of Standing Committee, where they advise on the logistics of event running.

Deputy Heads of Events Management - Alex Denny, St Catharine's and Cecily Bateman, King's


Audio-Visual Officers - Muhammed Khan, St Catharine's , Noella Chye, Caius, Julia Hubo, Murray Edwards , Joe Cook, Homerton and Amy McMillan, Clare


The Audio-Visual team is in charge of all the Union's technical systems, including creating and over-seeing longer term upgrade programs in conjunction with the Bursar and Trustees. This includes on-the-night operations management, including radio mic operation, live streaming, recording, over-flow room feeds, and the Union's YouTube account and more generally maintaining the Union's AV systems. The Audio-Visual team is also responsible for facilitating and coordinating live speakers, and questions from external members, and managing the team of regular AV stewards who assist at Union events. 


Senior Guest Liaisons - Hattie Allison, Pembroke and Charles Connor, King's (Debates), Hannah Dawson, Christ's and Olivia Buckland, Homerton (Sepakers)



The Senior Guest Liaison Officers are responsible for looking after guests for debates and speaker meetings, accompanying our high-profile speakers to and from the Society, dining with them, and generally ensuring they have a good time. They also manage a team of guest liaisons responsible for shadowing guests and making sure they have everything they need from their arrival in Cambridge to their departure. 

Deputy Guest Liaisons - Naomi Kilcoyne, Clare, Sheriar Khan, Darwin and Harry McNamara, Magdalene (Debates); Daniel Braun, Queens',  Connor Dwyer, Fitzwilliam and Chetan Johal, Emmanuel (Speakers)



Digital Media Editors - Julia Hubo, Murray Edwards

The DME team is responsible for creating the recruitment video and editing together clips of Union events into promotional material. They are appointed as and when deemed necessary by the President at the time. The DME team have access to all Union equipment and digital content.


Press and Publicity

Head of Press - Danny Wittenberg, Clare and Hani El-Bay, Trinity 


The Heads of Press are in charge of the Society's presentation to student, local and national press (including radio). The Heads of Press works directly with the President to co-ordinate our approach to the media and manage the Union's press-related presence online. Additional responsibilities includes reporting on all Union events, and acting as the Union's spokesperson.

Deputy Heads of Press - Joseph Schwarzmann, Queens' and Kaia Nisser, St Catharine's


Heads of Publicity - ​Nellie Popplewell, Queens' and Flora Bowen, Clare


As well as publicising our regular events online, they are also responsible for maintaining our presence on Twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media more generally.​

​Deputy Heads of Publicity - Carine Valarché, Pembroke and James Webb, Girton



Secretary - Angus Groom, Trinity 


The Secretary is responsible for taking the minutes of all emergency debates, Standing Committee, Full Committee, Open and General Meetings. They also write the weekly emails, assist the Vice-President and respond to member's queries. He is happy to be contacted regarding any Union business through the email address above.


Annual/Access/Life Membership Officers-  Ella Nixon, Sidney Sussex , Emmanuel Alabi, Queens' , Corinne Thomas, Wolfson and Zachery Hulcher, Pembroke


The Membership Officers are responsible for co-ordinating our outreach and recruitment efforts.  This Officer may manage their own budget and work closely with the Vice-President and other Officers, as well as the Bursar, to perform their duties.

Governance Committees

The Board of Trustees

  • The Rt. Hon. The Lord Smith of Finsbury PC (Chair)
  • Dr. Nigel Brown OBE
  • Dr. Nigel Yandell
  • Nick Heath FRICS
  • The Hon. Daniel Janner QC
  • David Branch 
  • Araba Taylor
  • Rachel Green
  • David Robinson
  • The President of the Cambridge Union, Jonah Surkes
  • The Vice President of the Cambridge Union, Tom McArthur


The Directors of Cambridge Union Society Enterprises Ltd.

  • Col. (Ret.) William Bailey
  • The President of the Cambridge Union, Jonah Surkes
  • The Vice President of the Cambridge Union, Tom McArthur
  • Dr. Nigel Brown OBE


Review Committee

  • Julien Domercq (ex officio President, Michaelmas 2009) (Chair)
  • Joshua Blanchard Lewis (ex officio Vice President, 2008-9)
  • Jan Jonathan Bock (ex officio Senior Committee Member, Michaelmas 2009)
  • Lauren Davidson (ex officio President, Lent 2011)
  • Joel Fenster (ex officio President, Easter 2013)
  • Alex Forzani (ex officio Vice President, 2012-13)
  • Rahul Mansigani (ex officio Treasurer, Easter 2010)
  • Sophie Odenthal (ex officio Speakers Officer, Lent 2012)



  • Col. (Ret.) William Bailey MBE - Bursar 
  • Joe Burman - General Manager 
  • Dr David Sellick - Accountant
  • Patrick Hanwell - Site Supervisor ​
  • Nathan Caples - Senior Technician 
  • Louise Gamon - Membership Secretary
  • Katherine Rickett - Events Coordinator
  • Sabine Edwards - Advertising and Sponsorship
  • Bartlomiej Fajer - Bar Manager
  • ​Sam Heap - Assistant Bar Manager
  • Leonardos Markakis - Bar Supervisor​​​
  • Andy Duckett - Bar Supervisor
  • Sam Longton - Librarian