As the Oxford Union enters its bicentenary year, Cherwell can exclusively reveal the highlights of its termcard for Hilary 2023. Ahead of its full release on Friday 13th January, this is what you need to know about the main events.
Bernie Sanders, the United States senator from Vermont, will be speaking at the Union on 25th February. Once a Democrat, Sanders is now the longest-serving independent in US congressional history, but endorsed both Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden in their respective presidential campaigns.
Matt Hancock will come to the Union on 2nd February. The former Oxford student was Secretary of State for Health and Social Care during the COVID19 pandemic but lost his job after breaching social distancing rules to conduct an extramarital affair. Hancock’s work towards rehabilitating his image has recently included taking part in the reality TV series “I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!”
Julia Fox, the Italian-American actress best known for her role in the Netflix film Uncut Gems, will speak at the Union on 3rd March. Alongside an accelerating career in the arts, acting, directing, false claims around Fox’s personal life notably led to the coining of Oxford’s 2022 Word of the Year “goblin mode”.
Further notable speakers will include Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, and the award-winning actor Natalie Dormer. The Union’s opening address for Hilary will be given by Peter Thiel.
Thursday debates also promise to bring members some highly contested motions this term, with a re-run of the society’s historic King and Country debate set to take place on 9th February. Other debates will be on the topics of Scottish independence and the security threat posed by China, with Michael Gove, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, and Amanda Pritchard coming as notable debate speakers.
Cryptically, the Union has also “hinted” at a special bicentenary debate to celebrate its history as a debating society. Various Union alumni and ex-officers will be invited, with further details to be released closer to the time.
The Hilary ball, on 3rd February, will have the theme “Ice and Fire”, while other socials and events will include a production of “This House” by OUDS in the Union chamber and a collaborations with the Ukraine Society and OxWiB.
The President of the Oxford Union, Charlie Mackintosh, told Cherwell: “I am incredibly proud of the termcard my committee and I have put together over the last few months. I think that this termcard represents the very best of the Union; a huge variety of speakers and events that reflect a great diversity of views and provide countless opportunities for engagement, debate, and discussion. As we enter our Bicentenary year, we cannot wait to celebrate the rich history of the Union and look forwards to upholding free speech for centuries to come.”
The full detail of events on the Hilary termcard will be released at the end of the week.