Thiel donated $1 million towards the Trump campaign in October 2016Gage Skidmore

The Cambridge Union plans to host controversial billionaire Peter Thiel, along with Tiananmen Square activist Zhou Fengsou, and ‘From Gaza with Love’ rapper Saint Levant, its Easter 2024 term card has revealed.

Thiel was previously criticised after a group of Divinity Faculty academics accused him of funding an “anti-woke” crusade on university leadership in 2021.

The accusations emerged after a report in the Byline Times claimed Theil’s network was engaging in a “race science crusade” to “normalise white nationalism” in UK universities.

Members of Thiel’s network are said to include Divinity Professor James Orr, who was criticised for his “dehumanising” remarks against Arabs and Palestinians in October, as well as Clare fellow Professor Douglas Hedley, who was accused of making “hurtful and damaging” comments on gender pronouns earlier this year.

Thiel co-founded of Paypal and donated $1 million towards the Trump campaign in October 2016. In 2021 he donated $10 million towards the campaign of Arizona senate hopeful and 2020 election denialist Blake Masters.

Other speakers on the Union’s term card include Zhou Fengsou, a student leader of the 1989 Tianamen Square Protests who was arrested and imprisoned by authorities, and Jerusalem-born rapper Saint Levant, an outspoken critic of the ongoing crisis in Gaza.

The Union is also scheduled to host seven debates this term, the first of which is on the future of the House of Lords and expected to include inaugural Lord Speaker and second female Union President Baronness Hayman, and Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb, the first Greens peer.

Another debate will see the chairs of the Cambridge Labour, Conservative and Liberal societies argue in opposition to the motion ‘Party Politics is Dead’, with the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil, Roger Hallam, in proposition.

Speakers in other debates are expected to include former Lioness Eniola Aluko, Tim Hollingsworth, the CEO of Sport England, as well as former Attorney-General Dominic Grieve, and Dr Agnès Callamard, the Secretary-General of Amnesty International.


Mountain View

Cambridge Union hikes membership to £300 amid ‘financial pressure’

Additional activities such as the new “President’s Tea”, cocktail-making classes, and a Euros watch party are also scheduled for this term.

Union President Neha Pauly encouraged members to look forward to the term ahead, stating that the Union expected to hold “some of the boldest conversation that we have held in recent history; the Union is set to be one of the highlights of an often gloomy Exam Term”.