Durham University’s 2015 batch of freshers will have the opportunity to join approximately 15 new societies. One of which is the Durham University Liberal Thinkers, which will fill the gap created by the demise of the Liberal Democrat society as a consequence of outrage towards tuition fees.
The new society’s mission statement reads - The Durham University Liberal Thinkers exist to build and safeguard liberal values, as a society that aims to respect the broad church of Liberalism. Together we shall work towards a democratic, fair and liberal society in which members are encouraged to speak up against injustice, coercion and conformity.
We aim to appeal to liberals of all nationalities and origins. While the society is not officially affiliated with the Liberal Democrats – it is, for instance, not an official Liberal Youth branch – it aims to work closely with the party. Key Liberal Democrats involved in the society’s setup include North East regional chair Ian Jones, Durham City PPC and Durham alumni Craig Martin, and Julia Wright, who has worked for Nick Clegg and will serve as Honorary President of the Liberal Thinkers.
The current 7-person Executive team is composed of:
Julia Wright – Honorary President GK Teh – Chair Luke Hallewell – Vice Chair Adam Hall – Treasurer Patrick Hall – Communications Officer Nicola Orrell – Secretary Nora Romek – Social Secretary
With membership at about 20 as of 19 August, the Liberal Thinkers are a rapidly growing beacon of Liberalism in the North East. Yet, The Liberal Thinkers are aware that liberal and Liberal Democrat societies at Universities in the region are sorely lacking. Since the society’s ratification in early June, Liberal Thinker chair GK Teh has made several appeals for liberals and Liberal Democrats at the Universities of Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teeside to contact the society regarding forging a North East alliance.
Freshers can look forward to an exciting schedule in Michaelmas term, with Communications Officer Patrick Hall’s revelation of ongoing discussions with veteran Liberal Democrat MP Sir Alan Beith to address the society, and Social Secretary Nora Romek’s hints of a paintball fight social. The society can be contacted through its email – firstname.lastname@example.org.