Rodrigo Navarro







By Rodrigo Navarro

The Oxford Union

I won’t lie to you, this whole experience has been surreal, ever since receiving my acceptance letter I’ve had to pinch my arm at least once per week to make sure I am not dreaming; however belonging to a society whose members include previous British PMs and American Presidents is on a whole different level. This week I’m going to tell you about what being a member of the Oxford Union means.

The Oxford Union is a debate society founded in 1823 (That’s right, it was founded just a couple of years after my country’s independence was recognized). Every year, recognized speakers come to address the Oxford Union and give students the rare chance of discussing topics that are changing the world with the people involved in those topics. In the last couple of months, I’ve had the opportunity of seeing Sir Elton John, Yanis Varoufakis (Greece Minister of Finance until 2015), Ingrid Betancourt, Lynton Crosby, HSH Prince Hans-Adam… just to name a few, discussing current matters that affect our everyday life. If that wasn’t enough, I got the chance of hearing Hozier performing live on a venue of less than 500 people.

Another of the great things about the Oxford Union is the opportunity of attending the famous Thursday’s debates. In these debates I’ve had the chance of seeing recognized historians and writers debating about Holocaust Denial prosecution in the 21st century, Bioethics experts arguing in favour and against the sale of human organs, and even being a witness of how the retired President of the European Commission debated with British PM’s about Brexit.

However, one of the most remarkable perks of being a member of the Oxford Union is the opportunity to participate in random Ballots to meet either the speakers or the debaters. In the last week, I had the chance of meeting Janet Napolitano, learn about her views on the US Presidential Primaries, get a nice formal picture taken with her and even to ask her about her thoughts on the Relationship between México and USA. A couple of days before that I was balloted to attend the dinner and drinks before the debate on the “This House would prioritize Public Safety over the Right to Strike”, in this event I had the chance to interact with British MPs and Union Leaders in a formal dinner before the debate, after the debate I got the chance of drinking a beer with Brooks Newmark, a former British MP, while we discussed the debate’s topic.

I would really encourage any prospective MFE students to become Members of the Oxford Union and to attend as many talks or debates as possible. On a final note, the Member’s bar and the Snooker room are not to be missed either.




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