John Bolton, Katie Hopkins, Anna Soubry, Peter Singer and Lily Allen are among the over 80 speakers listed on the Oxford Union’s Trinity term card, Cherwell can reveal.
The society will also host seven debates, on topics ranging from the role of porn in sex education, the foreign policy of the Trump administration, and the ethics of “no platforming”.
Union President Genevieve Athis told Cherwell: “The Union should be a forum in which members can listen to, challenge and discuss the most pressing issues of the day.
“This is why it is so important that the Union welcomes a range of diverse people and discussions.
“Whether it is listening to Kizza Besigye speak about the challenges of Uganda’s rigged electoral system or attending our Debate about the place of pornography in sex education, I hope that this Trinity there will be something for everyone to enjoy and engage with.”
Of the invited speakers and debaters, just over 42% identified as women* an increase of 7% since Michaelmas.
Of the 85 speakers and debaters around 37% are BAME, whilst 60% of the speakers are from international backgrounds.
When asked about the diversity of the speakers invited, Athis said: “I am extremely pleased with the diverse term card my committee and I have put together.
“Ever since the onset of globalisation, international issues and voices have become increasingly important to understanding the world around us and the challenges facing us in the future.
“Our debate on Modi’s government is the first ‘No Confidence’ debate that the Union has ever had on a foreign government. Indeed, it sets the tone for the term which aims to fuse the Union’s traditions with a more modern, global outlook.”
The Union will play host to seven debates on Thursday evening running from first week to seventh week, with an early emergency debate at 19:45 followed by the main debate from 20:30.
In addition to the seven debates, the Union will also host three panels on Gender Inequality, the Tiananmen Square protests, and who can reclaim the centre ground in Britain.
There will also be a special event on “Voices from North Korea” with human rights activist Ji Hyeona, and former North Korean soldier and head of an NGO which helps the children of North Korean defectors in China.
Athis told Cherwell that “Some of the most important events the Union hosts are those which aim to platform marginalised voices and give the less powerful a podium.
“From our Voices of North Korea Event, to our Tiananmen Anniversary Panel, to our frank discussion about Gender Inequality in the modern world, this term we aim empower often forgotten voices through meaningful discourse.”
She also highlighted the importance of the Union’s new “Trailblazer” events, saying “A key focus of this Term Card is on trailblazers who have paved the way for progress throughout the generations.
“From the founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, to the first female Prime Minister of Barbados, we aim to shine a light on people who have challenged the status quo and taken steps to overturn it.”
List of Debates
1st Week, 2nd May “This House Rejects Traditional Masculinity”
2nd Week, 9th May “This House Supports No Platforming”
3rd Week, 16th May “This House Has No Confidence in Modi’s Government”
4th Week, 23rd May “This House Prefers Trump’s Foreign Policy to Obama’s”
5th Week, 30th May “This House Believes That Justice Has Been Done”
6th Week, 5th June “This House Believes it is Immoral to be a Billionaire”
7th Week, 13th June “This House Believes that Porn has a Place in Sex Education”
List of Panels
21st May 20:00 “Voices from North Korea”
22nd May 20:00 “Unfinished Business: Gender Inequality in the 21st Century”
31st May 20:00 “Remembering Tiananmen: 30 Years On”
6th June 20:00 “Reclaiming the Centre Ground”
The complete term card is available here, and is also available on the Oxford Union App for Android users for the first time this term.