Talk:Cambridge Union Society

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Grading[edit]

In order to bring this article up to a 'B' class:

  • More independent and verifiable citations needed
  • Reduce lead section to around 4 paragraphs. ScarianTalk 17:50, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Much of the article is focused around the details of how the organization is structured (something of little interest to the general reader) with compatibly less text focusing on the history of the organization (what most readers are likely looking to learn more about). Please focus on expanding these history sections (eg details of famous events) rather than just the current somewhat unexciting narrative that lists various people that once visited or were members/officers. SCP2292

Conflicts of Interest - Please Read[edit]

There is a problem of this article being edited by lots of people with significant conflicts of interest. To that extent, can anyone involved in the society (e.g. current/former officers or current/former directors) please post changes here first. Regnus 11:30, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

General Article Comments[edit]

I've changed a few things. There was overemphasis on the society being 'private' which overshadowed the work it does to maintain its charitable status, and the extent to which it cooperates with the student body. I changed the facilities - which no longer include a movie theatre. I changed the job description of the trustees as they are constitutionally NOT superior to the officers. I improved the grammar in sections.

Is a text list the best way to list the Presidents or does it merit a standalone page? Would they also be better in tabular format? Mpntod 22:19, Aug 13, 2004 (UTC)

I've turned the list into a table and linked the colleges. I'll also link as many names as I recognise, starting shortly. I don't think it deserves a separate article. -- Avaragado 22:53, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Excellent. I've put as many links as I can into http://www.cix.co.uk/~mtod/CambridgeUnionSocietyPresidents.html. Should we start earlier - there are some interesting Presidents earlier on. Mpntod 23:39, Aug 13, 2004 (UTC)
I've copied the data from your CIX page, including the surrounding commentary. I hope this isn't considered a copyvio, since it's your page... -- Avaragado 09:24, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)
The list is derived from the Percy Cradock book, plus some work of my own in the 1980s, followed by more recent lists generated by Union staff. Not sure where the copyright would rest - or even if the list is copyrightable? It's now a very long page (although I think there is sufficient interest in the list of famous names for it to be included) - should we have a page that only lists the presidents? Mpntod 10:51, Aug 14, 2004 (UTC)
I don't think a separate page is needed, but I don't feel strongly about it. It might, however, be worthwhile placing the individual presidents in a category, such as Category:Presidents of the Cambridge Union (which could be a subcategory of Category:University of Cambridge). -- Avaragado 17:09, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I'm not passionate about it either way - although I notice that quite a few lists of office holders are handled in a similar way. Should the category be Category:Presidents of the Cambridge Union Society? Mpntod 23:43, Aug 14, 2004 (UTC)
Yes, I guess so. -- Avaragado 18:03, 15 Aug 2004 (UTC)
We've just made number 93 on the Wikipedia:Offline reports/This is one of the longest_articles page. Is this a good thing? Should we fix it? Mpntod 22:56, Aug 18, 2004 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure how... Since the tables make up the majority of the content, moving those to a separate article would just make that article one of the longest. Many of the articles on that list are similar to this one: lists of names. They're never going to get any shorter, so I don't think there's any strong imperative to try to shorten this one. -- Avaragado 07:58, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
So shall we go for it? What does it take to add a category? Mpntod 11:07, Aug 22, 2004 (UTC)
It's easy. All you do is add [[Category:Presidents of the Cambridge Union Society|Bloggs, Joe]] to Joe Bloggs' article, assuming Mr Bloggs is a president. That categorises each president. You also need to categorise the category, since all categories are arranged in a hierarchy. You do this in exactly the same way: go to Category:Presidents of the Cambridge Union Society and add [[Category:University of Cambridge]]. See Wikipedia:Categorization. -- Avaragado 16:36, 22 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Off we go then! :-) Mpntod 18:01, Aug 22, 2004 (UTC)

Secretary and Vice President[edit]

I have just deleted from the 'Society's Leadership' the sentence about the SVP being able to appoint members to Director roles. The Directorship roles that the SVP appoints, not the ones appointed by the Standing Committee, are roles that are not leadership roles e.g. Director of proof reading is not a member of the 'Societies Leadership'. These roles are administrative roles.

I also indicated that the SVP has 'general control of the general business' of the society and not the 'business' of the society as a whole. To say otherwise would be ludicrous. To say that the SVP has general control of the 'business' of the society would mean that the SVP has 'general control' over such matters as events, finances, investments etc .. which is simply not true. (UNSIGNED)


I have changed this back and put in a quote from the Society's laws to make sure that there is no ambiguity. If any member has an issue with this the logical thing to do would be to attempt to change the Society's laws, rather than its wikipedia page. This is not a soap box. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 131.111.233.8 (talk) 16:40, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Union elections[edit]

The section on Union elections is getting a bit NPOV. Although there is no question that Union elections can be quite rough (the 'billiard ball' election of 1956 springs to mind), has anyone actually been disqualified for canvassing in recent times? While I accept that elections are frequently quite bitter, are they frequently dirty? The rulebook isn't particularly complex (perhaps that's the problem) and should be referred to as the Constitution. There's also no mention of the 'minimum number of speeches' rules which I understood was also used to shut out candidates from election. Mpntod 07:55, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

Someone has now removed this bit (it's mostly boring details anyway not of much interest to the general interest reader). The 'rulebook' aka constitution is actually fairly complex in terms of what candidates can and can not do during an election period. There are quite complicated and strict requirments about what types of canvasing can occur (i.e. phone calls are ok but text messages or e-mail are not). The minimum speeches requirement is enforced although it is hardly ever a big problem for a potential candidate to meet as any main or floor speech in an emergency or main debate counts. The main purpose of the speech requirment is to stop someone from running at the last second who has never actively participated in any Union events. Also not all elected positions, i.e. house committee, have speech requirements and the most required for an office is 3. There have been some cases of electoral malpractice in recent elections and fines have been issued as appropriate. [X 11 Nov 2005]

Recent ex-Presidents[edit]

This could do with being a bit more analytical. Does anyone have sources for where recent ex-Presidents have gone? And how this has changed? Are there really fewer Presidents going into the law (for example)? And does Chris Kelly (17 years ago!) count as recent. Mpntod 08:01, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

Over past 10 Presidents, none have gone into law. They have went into; Media, Politics, Medicine, Engineering, Management Consultancy, Academia, Civil Service, and Banking. (26 December 2007). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Acountnumber1189 (talkcontribs) 09:16, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

It seems like the destination of former officers these days (as well as the makeup of members) is much more widespread and there is no longer a 'typical' path for people to follow. It's safe to say many ex-officers go onto 'leadership' style careers, but I wouldn't say that law was a huge preference. As for the 17 years but, for a society nearly two centuries old 17 years is recent, but I see your point as it is a bit of an arbitrary cutoff. [X 11 Nov 2005]

Cambridge Arts and Sciences[edit]

Why has the section on this been deleted?

Which NATO Secretary-General?[edit]

It says "Secretary-General of NATO". Yes, well..WHICH SG?

There have been more than a few, y'know.:-) --Penta 01:17, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Not to be confused with Cambridge University Students' Union[edit]

I notice that the Oxford Union page has "Not to be confused with Oxford University Student Union" written in italics along the top of the page. Ought this article not have a similar banner? 131.111.184.100 (talk) 22:36, 21 October 2010 (UTC)