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Life


Politics E


d Miliband, Margaret Thatcher, Boris Johnson, Nick Robinson… They all began their political careers in Oxford’s student political societies. Which goes to show that whilst the grounding in politics you get here may not turn you into a bet- ter person, it may well take you places!


While it’s always worth joining in the political discussions and campaigns that relate to your college through your Common Room, or joining University- wide discussions and campaigns through OUSU, plenty of you will be eager to join societies that debate national and inter- national issues.


Oxford’s political societies offer the chance to meet like-minded people, campaign on issues you believe in, pick up valuable skills, as well as just make friends and have a good time.


The Oxford University Labour Club has a long and proud history. It has established itself as one of the most powerful forums in the University for the exchange of ideas and cam- paigning. Instrumental in the success of Labour’s Andrew Smith in the Oxford East Constituency, OULC combines drinks events and policy forums with pounding the pavements of Oxford canvassing vot- ers. If you are of the Labour persuasion (or even if you’re not – Rupert Murdoch and Chris Huhne were both Officers of OULC), OULC offers a unique opportunity.


The Oxford University Conservative As- sociation also has a long history. OUCA proudly claims to be one of the largest


student political societies in Europe. Its weekly Port and Policy events are not to be missed – they combine socialising and hearty debate with ample quantities of Port, making for a lively combination. Port aside, OUCA welcomes Conserva- tives of all stripes. OUCA are also not to be outdone on the Campaigning front, traveling around the country to spread the Conservative message to voters.


Oxford University Liberal Democrats provide a vibrant forum for all things Liberal. Whilst the party nationally is going through some interesting times, OULD continue to provide a space where it’s ok to be yellowy-orange. Nick Clegg may have cancelled his trip to Oxford due to fear of students but the regal Shirley Williams did not, and OULD can always be counted on to host the most interest- ing Liberal Democrat speakers. OULD includes people from all walks of Liberal life, from orange-book free(ish) marke- teers to social democrats to devotees of Community Politics.


Rest assured though, it’s not all party-po- litical societies. There are also plenty of societies dedicated to political discussion and political action that are not affiliated to a party. International Relations Society goes from strength to strength, holding debates and speaker events with lead- ing world figures and academics in the field. Oxford Women in Politics promotes and supports aspirant political women, holding trainings, drinks and discussions. Its annual garden party is a fixture on the Oxford political calendar.


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