From The Union

Last week, we saw a packed chamber to debate the highs and lows of President Obama’s first year in office. There is no doubt that he led one of the most memorable campaigns in American history, but the task of turning election rhetoric into Washington politicking and workable compromises was always going to be a challenge. The debate last week was the perfect opportunity, one year on from Obama’s Oath of Office, to reflect on his progress. It was made all the more relevant after the Kennedy brothers’ Massachusetts senate seat turned red. The line up of speakers from both sides of the Atlantic, and the chairmen of the Republicans and Democrats in the UK, definitely did the subject justice.
Actively promoting debate is never going to please everybody as it can involve listening to things that we disagree with or even find offensive. However, the more that you disagree with something, find it disgraceful, distasteful or outrageous, the more important it is to confront it in healthy debate. This Epiphany, we have a wide variety of events and guests which I hope will engage everybody on some level – be it whether we held an event in the first place or the content of the speeches themselves. With a line-up including BNP politicians, a radical defence lawyer, ambassadors, football managers, a former radical Islamist, a Page 3 girl and more, I hope that there is something to please or challenge everyone.
This week, we are focussing on issues close to home: the gender gap in the legal profession and the cost of your degree. Tonight, we have a line-up of some of the UK’s most successful female legal minds in the country, who will be discussing the concept of a glass ceiling and answering your questions on women in law. It will be in the Debating Chamber on Palace Green this evening at 8.30 and is for members only, although anyone can join on the door.
On Friday, we will look at higher education. Given the post-recession world of savage spending cuts, the relationship between the student and the cost of their education is changing. This will be an opportunity to hear all sides of the issue – from the Presidents of the Student Union, Universities and Colleges Union and the Institue for Economic Affairs – and to have your say. The debate will take place on Friday on Palace Green at 8.30pm. Again, it is for members only, but you can join on your way in.

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