"a kind of monster of the Union and the MCR"
Entrance to the Senior Common Room at Oxford University's Pembroke College
Creative Commons AttributionEntrance to the Senior Common Room at Oxford University's Pembroke College - Credit: Mark Wainwright

 The Oxford Union Society, generally known just as the Union or the Oxford Union, is a debating society whose members are drawn primarily from Oxford University colleges. It has traditionally offered a platform to would-be politicians who wish to practise their presentation and debating skills.

The Oxford Union often invites eminent international figures and celebrities as guest speakers. Over the years, these have included Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, the Dalai Lama, Yasser Arafat, and Jerry Springer. The post of President of the Union is seen as particularly prestigious; former Presidents include Edward Heath, Benazir Bhutto, and Boris Johnson.

MCR stands for Middle Common Room. At Oxford colleges, undergraduates, postgraduates, and teaching staff are represented by bodies known as the Junior Common Room (JCR), the Middle Common Room (MCR), and the Senior Common Room (SCR) respectively. The terms are also used for actual rooms which are set aside in the colleges for the specific use of these three groups.