CULA is one of the most active political societies in Cambridge, and our term cards are always full of fun socials, interesting speakers, and sometimes even collaborations with less interesting societies like the Conservative Association and the Labour Club. To keep up to date with events, like our Facebook page and message our Membership Officer Joshan (jp862@cam.ac.uk) about being added to our group!

Speakers

We have been lucky enough to host some incredibly distinguished speakers at CULA, from Lib Dem party royalty like Shirley Williams and Nick Clegg, to liberal intellectuals like Cass Sunstein and James A. Robinson, to liberal politicians from around the world like Howard Dean and Helen Zille. We’ve also hosted panels on important topics within liberal politics, from inter-partisan collaboration to racial equality. You can see recordings of some of our many past events on the CULA Youtube channel.

Starting during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, we began hosting many speakers online via Zoom. While we hope to return to in-person speakers events as much as possible, Zoom has allowed us to get many exciting speakers that we never would have been able to before, and we plan to remain with a mix of in-person and online speakers events even after the pandemic so as to provide the best value for our members!

If you have an idea for a speaker you think CULA members would be interested in and you’d like us to invite them, you can fill out our suggestions form here!

Spirited Discussions

SD is our flagship event: informal debate with unlimited drinks for only £7 (£5 for CULA members) and free soft drinks and snacks. Anyone can turn up and speak – first-time attendees are especially encouraged to give their opinions! The tone is always light-hearted and we work hard to keep it welcoming and fun. With coronavirus restrictions, we’ve had to move SD online, and online Spirited Discussions have been free. Motions range from the very serious to the very silly; some of our favourites from the last few years include:

  • This house believes we care too much about the royals
  • This house believes Love Island is the most liberal TV show
  • This house believes liberalism is dead
  • This house believes freedom of speech should have no limits
  • This house believes Marks and Spencer have done more for society than Marx and Engels
  • This house is afraid of the coronavirus (debated in March 2020 – did not age so well!)

If you have an idea for a motion you’d like to see debated at Spirited Discussions, please let us know on this form!

Reading group

CULA also have a regular reading group! We cover a fairly eclectic selection of liberal theory, philosophy, economics, and political writings, and hope to move the group to an in-person format as soon as we can. It is very low-commitment (you don’t have come every week), and we aim to make it as accessible as possible to people of all knowledge levels and none. If you want to come along, get in contact with Peter (pm664@cam.ac.uk); and if you have any suggestions for readings we could cover, please let us know here!