Meetings, Etiquette, and Membership
Dates And Start Time
Meetings take place on Thursdays during the autumn and spring terms in the Westminster Theatre, Chancellor's Building at Keele University.
Lectures normally start at 19:15 and last 45 minutes; there is then a refreshment break of 15 – 20 minutes; and the Question & Answer session lasts 50 – 60 minutes, with the meeting closing at about 21:15. Any notices will be given shortly before 19:15 so the lecture is not delayed.
If there is a change of speaker, we notify members immediately by group email and we update the website as soon as possible. Should a speaker be obliged to withdraw, we have a strong Speaker Panel on whom we can call.
We will give members as much notice as we can through various channels.
Question & Answer Sessions
World Affairs is not simply a set of lectures. The Q & A session is a key part of the evening when deeper insights are obtained and makes World Affairs meetings a different experience - our experienced speakers confirm this. As part of our educational aims, we encourage all members to attend the Q & A. We invite written questions [submitted at the interval} and spoken questions so that many members can contribute.
World Affairs aims to be a continuing educational experience. Members are invited to renew their membership before the end of a series so that new applications can be considered before the new season begins. There is always a waiting list and we accept new members in order of application via our website.
No meeting has been cancelled in over 30 years due to bad weather (we are a hardy and committed group). There is a World Affairs phone number (outgoing messages only) at 01782 733210 which members can phone on Thursdays after 16:30 if they feel the need for reassurance.
Seating and Etiquette
We have over 600 members and there are 397 seats in the Westminster. If we were to allocate seats by ticketing and stewarding, our costs would rise substantially. Members help by noting three important requests. Firstly, please do not leave empty seats in the middle of rows. Secondly, do not block seats for members who have not arrived [only acceptable if you are in the restaurant]. Thirdly, recognise that our meetings are members-only and do not in any circumstances bring guests.
If a high number of members attend we will open a satellite theatre with a large screen but only if essential . We apologise in advance should there be a meeting at which we cannot accommodate every attending member in the Westminster.
We are a sociable community. Many members arrive early and visit the adjacent Refectory restaurant alongside the Westminster Theatre, so see the webpage on Keele World Affairs dining.
Audibility And Access
All speakers are asked to wear a body microphone. The sound system is pre-set by audio-visual technicians for optimum audibility. If any speaker cannot be heard by a number of members, members should advise the Chairman immediately.
A hearing loop is built into the upper floor so members wishing to benefit from it are advised to sit above or below it in the rear half of the theatre. Please try different areas of the theatre if you encounter problems.
There is a wheelchair access to the Chancellor's Building and to the main [lower] level of the Westminster Theatre.