“I continue to be moved and impressed by the quality and power of the (Society) and how it has become the anchor in the United States that enables leaders to shape the debates of this generation and directly connect with the public.” – Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
The Hudson Union Society is a vibrant intellectual community and debating organization located in New York City. Hosting several exciting events every month ranging from discussions and lectures with politicians, actors, authors, generals, or scientists to exclusive red-carpet movie premieres to mixers at select Manhattan locations to lively British parliamentary-style debates, the Hudson Union Society has a lot to offer its members. Recent guests have included Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Academy Award winning actors Whoopi Goldberg and Jeremy Irons, Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, Governor and first female EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman, provocateur Ann Coulter, and activist Naomi Wolf, amongst others.
The Yale Political Union began its partnership with the Hudson Union Society in the Spring of 2009. The members of each organization enjoy reciprocal membership rights in the other. For the students of the YPU, this means that attendance at all HUS events is free. When registering for an event on their website, be sure to use the promotional code “YPU.” Recent YPU alumni living in New York can also purchase HUS membership at a discounted rate.
Perhaps the most fun incarnation of the Yale Political Union and Hudson Union Society’s relationship is the semesterly debate between the organizations. Hosted in New York in the Spring and in New Haven in the Fall, these jovial events pit a team of Yale-trained YPU debaters vs. a team of Oxford-trained HUS debaters in what is always a lively, good-spirited, and thoughtful competition to sway the minds of the audience. See highlights from the Spring 2009 debate – “Resolved: Wal-Mart is Good for America” – here.
In the Spring of 2009, the Yale Political Union launched an exciting partnership with the Huffington Post, the popular and respected news and opinion blog that is at the forefront of the “New Media.” Millions of readers log on to The Huffington Post monthly and it is the most linked to blog on the internet.
Arianna Huffington, the founder of the site, visited the YPU in the Fall of 2008 to argue in favor of the resolution “Resolved: Blogs are Good for Democracy.” Naturally, the debate was blogged on The Huffington Post. Ms. Huffington was so impressed with the student debate, that the following semester she dedicated a portion of her site to blogging the debates of the Yale Political Union. For certain weeks, the comments of the Union’s guest and those of several student speakers are blogged on this site, where they provoke wider debate on the net. To reach the Yale Political Union’sHuffington Post page, click here.
The Oxford Union and Cambridge Union, founded in 1823 and 1815 respectively, are the sister institutions of the Yale Political Union and reciprocal membership is enjoyed by the members of three societies. The Oxford and Cambridge Unions, which host myriad debates, lectures, and social events, served as the model for the Yale Political Union when it was founded in 1934. In the past, the YPU has sent delegations abroad to debate her British counterparts, strengthening ties between the Union and its transatlantic partners.