The Oxford Union
The Oxford Union was founded in 1823 and is widely regarded as the world's most prestigious debating society. It has a reputation for bringing international guests and speakers to Oxford.
Illustrious alumni of the Oxford Union
W.E. Gladstone, later to become one of the greatest British Prime Ministers, was one of the leading figures of the Oxford Union's early years. Gladstone was the President of the Oxford Union in 1830, shortly before entering the House of Commons. Many others have followed him into politics and the Oxford Union can boast of former members who have been active in its affairs whilst at Oxford and become both nationally and internationally prominent figures.
Unlike other student unions, the Oxford Union holds no political views - the Union is a forum for debate and the discussion of controversial issues. The Oxford Union believes first and foremost in freedom of speech: nothing more, nothing less.
As the most prominent debating platform outside Westminster it is no surprise debates have been unrivalled in their quality and impact. In the words of the Right Honourable Michael Heseltine, the Union has "managed to absorb the greatest diversity, the wildest firebrands, the most outspoken and non-conformist people." Diversity and outspokenness, central to the Union's foundation, remain its guiding principles to this day.
The Oxford Union provides a wide range of essential facilities to all its members.
The key resource for students is the library. Since its foundation, the Union has maintained a library for the use of its members and it one of the largest lending libraries in Oxford. At Cherwell, our students are welcome to use the Union Library.
There are quiet and pleasant places in which students can study, notably the Old Library, Poetry Room and Goodman Library.
During term, members can buy copies of the Times, Guardian and Independent at a reduced price.
All students enrolled at Cherwell College Oxford automatically become members of The Oxford Union, giving them access to all of their facilities, including the library and the study rooms.