Free Speech Since 1842

Debating • Celebrity Speakers • Socials

Upcoming Events

Last year, there were…

40+
Celebrity Talks
25+
Debates & Panels
30+
Social Events
4+
Debate Tournaments Hosted
210+
Days 24s Bar was open

President’s Welcome

William Rome

President, Epiphany Term 2024
president@dus.org.uk

Welcome to the Durham Union! I am very excited to share with you all the events we have planned for Epiphany Term.

In an era when we rarely get slow news days and when society feels in a constant state of crisis, the opportunity to approach the world with a fresh perspective is ever more important. Epiphany in particular is a time for us all to reflect and consider what we value and how we judge our surroundings. I am tremendously proud of the work done by the whole Durham Union team to organise a term which provides the opportunity to all of our members to meet, hear from and debate with an exceptional selection of inspirational, leading and engaging individuals who offer an immensely wide range of perspectives.

Diversity of opinion is at the heart of the Durham Union: after all, how can we learn more about our world and challenge each other’s opinions without it? That is why I am delighted by the diversity of thought and diversity of background amongst our speakers for this term. There really is an event for everyone and an opportunity to consider the world in a fresh light.

In the Epiphany Term, we will hear about the power of the human spirit to fight through adversity from inspirational individuals who have survived extraordinary trauma and have come back stronger, including Holocaust survivor John Dobai, Invictus Games gold medallist Mark Ormrod and the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr Shirin Ebadi. Yet, we will also hear where the world still needs to improve from figures such as Mel B, Chip Tsao and Justine Greening.

We will hear from those at the heart of academia, journalism and scientific innovation, including the Nobel laureate Sir Paul Nurse, about the cutting edge technological developments being pioneered today.

In addition to exceptional public figures, including the Bishop of Durham, we will hear from a diverse range of political figures about some of the biggest issues of our day, with all perspectives heard and none privileged. We will hear about issues including migration and the “special relationship” from figures such as Lord Howard, Lord Frost, Lord Dubs, Vince Cable, the up-and-coming councillor and activist Roza Salih and many others; we will also host the legendary independent politician and war correspondent Martin Bell and the Editor-in-Chief of Charlie Hebdo.

Your membership of the Durham Union offers even more than these addresses, debates and panels. We have an outstanding range of socials this term, including our headline ball at Durham Town Hall and a series of themed socials at the Union Clubhouse, 24s. You will also have the opportunity to participate in informal debates through the restored tradition of ‘Booze and Views’ evenings, and I encourage you to try out our competitive debating wing, run by our internationally renowned student debaters.

Ultimately, the Union’s greatest asset is its members. Elected from this, we have our committee members and Officers, who have proven themselves exceptional and whom I am truly honoured to call my friends. I very much hope you enjoy the events we have put on. So, a very Happy New Year, and I look forward to seeing you at the Union this term!