Written by Jelte Schievels
Over slechts twee dagen komen debaters uit heel Europa samen in het Servische Novi Sad voor het grootste studentenevenement van het continent: de European Universities Debating Championships (EUDC, ook vaak ‘Euros’ genoemd). Onder deze teams bevinden zich ook aardig wat Nederlanders dit jaar. Tijd voor SevenTwenty om de balans op te maken: wat is EUDC precies (handig voor vrienden en familie), wie zijn de Nederlandse teams, en wat kunnen jullie de rest van het toernooi van SevenTwenty verwachten?
Wat is EUDC?
Simpel gezegd is EUDC het EK studentendebatteren. Studenten van alle universiteiten in Europa, en sommige zelfs net buiten Europa, kunnen meedoen. Traditionele grootmachten zijn de Britse universiteiten zoals Oxford en Cambridge en het Schotse Glasgow. De laatste jaren behalen universiteiten uit lenen die niet Engels als voertaal hebben echter ook steeds meer finaleplaatsen. Het Israëlische Tel Aviv is al jaren erg succesvol, net als het Servische Belgrado en ons eigen Leiden.
Ongeveer 220 teams doen mee aan EUDC. Sommige universiteiten sturen één team, andere soms wel vijf. Het evenement telt in totaal vijf dagen. De eerste drie dagen bestaan uit negen inrounds, rondes waar iedereen aan meedoet. Na die negen rondes wordt de balans opgemaakt en kunnen teams breaken, oftewel doorgaan naar de outrounds (finalerondes). Dit kan in twee categorieën (volgt u het nog?): Open en English as Second Language (ESL). Klinkt allemaal weer heel ingewikkeld maar in principe is het erg simpel. Elk team doet mee aan Open, alleen teams met twee sprekers die allebei niet Engels als voertaal hebben doen mee als ESL (en de Nederlanders dus ook).
Wie zijn de Nederlanders?
Dit zijn de Nederlandse teams die meedoen:
Bonaparte Amsterdam A: Marike Breed en Tom Pouw
Bonaparte Amsterdam B: Lana Moss en Zeno Glastra van Loon
Bonaparte Amsterdam C: Britt van Lochem en Ezra Glasbergen
Cicero (Tilburg) A: Mike Weltevrede en Roel Schoenmakers
Erasmus Rotterdam A: Emma van der Horst en Fenna ten Haaf
Erasmus Rotterdam B: Dick van Tongeren en Bastiaan Mudde
GDS Kalliope A: Joris Graff en Linsey Keur
Leiden A: Jeroen Wijnen en Romée Lind
Leiden B: David Metz en Louis Honee
Leiden C: Jop Flameling en Rianne ’t Jong
Leiden D: Joas Bakker en Nastia Grishkova
Utrecht A: Jobke Visser en Stefan Gaillard
Utrecht B: Jelte Schievels en Pieter van der Veere
Utrecht C: Justin Seydouz en Friso Scheepstra
Maastricht A: Alwin Bakker en Katharina Jansen
Daan Welling, Daan Spackler, Davy Fung, Ellen Goltstein, Jan Pjotr Komen, Lena Martinovic, Lisa van Vliet, Lizzy Groenenberg, Maarten, Roel Becker, Simone Landman, Steven Glen, Ybo Buruma, Elvire Landsta, Lisa Eijgenhuijsen, Huyen Nguyen
Marthe Wijfjes (UCR)
Wat kunnen we verwachten?
Een hele lijst dus. Maar, SevenTwenty zou SevenTwenty niet zijn als we ook wat achtergrond informatie hebben over alle teams. We zijn wat teams en sprekers langs gegaan en hebben ze enkele vragen gesteld om er achter te komen wat er nu echt leeft in de Nederlandse delegatie.
Grappig genoeg zijn de Nederlanders over andere teams erg positief, maar proberen ze de verwachtingen over hun eigen team nog wat te temperen. Dit terwijl sommige Nederlandse teams echt wel serieuze kanshebbers zijn voor de ESL en Open break.
Leiden A bijvoorbeeld, door vele andere getipt als het sterkste team in de Nederlandse delegatie, bestaande uit de twee jonge debaters Jeroen en Romee. Maar laat leeftijd je niet bedriegen, want deze twee lopen al een tijdje rond in het debatteren. Zo gold Romee op haar 15e al als een van de gevaarlijkste debaters op het studentencircuit en won Jeroen anderhalf jaar geleden al het internationale toernooi Lund IV. Ook het laatste half jaar zijn deze twee goed bezig, met indrukwekkende prestaties op bijvoorbeeld Delft Open.
Erasmus Rotterdam A, bestaande uit Fenna en Emma, is nog een team wat door vele getipt wordt als sterk team. Ze hebben ook duidelijk voor zichzelf de ESL kwartfinale als doel gesteld, vertelt Emma: ‘Vorig jaar zijn Fenna en ik zonder verwachtingen of doelen naar EUDC gegaan en misten we op een haar na de ESL break. Inmiddels zijn we een jaar verder en zijn we veel gegroeid dus hopen we het beter te doen dan vorig jaar. Ons doel is dus om de ESL kwartfinale te bereiken. Toch willen we onszelf niet te veel druk opleggen. We zullen tevreden naar huis gaan als we het gevoel hebben dat we ons best hebben gedaan.’
Toch zijn het niet alleen deze twee teams die getipt worden. Vrijwel alle debaters en juryleden prijzen de hoge kwaliteit van alle Nederlandse teams, die bijna allemaal als outsiders voor de ESL break beschouwd kunnen worden. Alle andere Leiden teams, Maastricht A, Bonaparte A en GDS A zouden bijvoorbeeld niemand verbazen mochten zij de break halen. Linsey, debater voor GDS A, zegt over haar team bijvoorbeeld: ‘Joris en ik lijken denk ik niet altijd de meest waarschijnlijke combinatie voor een team omdat we vrij verschillende persoonlijkheden zijn. Desalniettemin werken we als team heel goed samen, zijn we goed op elkaar ingespeeld en allebei heel gemotiveerd er iets moois van te maken.’
Sommige teams houden zich wat minder bezig met de break. Zo zegt Pieter van het Utrechtse duo UDS B: ‘”In ons eerste jaar hebben we 14 punten gehaald, vorig jaar heb ik 15 punten gehaald, dus als we 16 punten pakken is dat mooi meegenomen. Gegeven dat we allebei weinig hebben gedebatteerd zijn we met minder tevreden.”
Hoewel we dus veel kunnen verwachten van de Nederlandse teams als het op debatteren aankomt, zullen de feestjes niet erg Oranje gekleurd zijn. Mike van Cicero A, normaal toch een ongekend feestbeest, geeft aan: ‘Tijdens de inrounds ga ik persoonlijk niet of weinig zodat ik goed ben uitgerust.’ Utrecht lijkt hierop de uitzondering. Stefan geeft aan er zin in te hebben: ‘De karaokeavond is op mijn verjaardag! Een bepaald roodharig debatbondbestuurslid (dat ben ik, red.) heeft mij beloofd om samen een nummer te zingen.’ Hij raadt de andere Nederlanders dan ook aan oordopjes mee te brengen.
Maar, niet alleen de debaters doen mee aan EUDC. Ook de juryleden zijn van de partij. Juryleden kunnen ook breaken, dat betekent dan dat zij één of meerdere finalerondes mogen jureren. Hoewel meer mensen debatteren te lijken prefereren, geven de juryleden aan dat debatten beoordelen ook lang zo gek nog niet is. Daan Spackler vertelt: ‘Jureren levert heel veel minder druk en stress voor me op. Daarnaast vind ik het leuker om anderen verder te helpen in de vorm van feedback dan om zelf zeven minuten te ratelen. Verder heb ik er nu gewoon wat minder voor geprept en iets meer genoten van mijn vakantie.’ Jan-Pjotr merkt daarnaast op dat ‘er ook gewoon meer ruimte is om naar de feestjes te gaan.’
Daarnaast zijn de juryleden natuurlijk ook erg betrokken bij de Nederlandse teams. Jan-Pjotr hoopt bijvoorbeeld dat er naast de Leidse teams, ook wat niet-Leidse verenigingen zullen zijn die de break halen dit jaar. En ook Lizzy geeft aan uit te kijken naar de prestaties van anderen: ‘Ik kijk het meeste uit naar alle Nederlandse teams die gaan breaken en dan hun blije reacties daarop. Ik weet dat ze allemaal hard gewerkt hebben en waarschijnlijk is iedereen dan knetterdronken, dus ik gun ze het plezier dat het harde werk ‘ergens goed voor was’ heel erg.’
Concluderend: we hebben er zin in! En ik hoop jullie na deze preview ook. Tijdens het toernooi zullen we jullie op verschillende manieren op de hoogte houden. Er zullen live-updates gegeven worden via de SevenTwenty-pagina op Facebook (link onderaan dit artikel) over de stellingen en uitslagen. Daarnaast proberen we elke dag een klein overzicht op het blog te zetten, die jullie kunnen vinden via debatbond.nl. De updates zullen voornamelijk in het Engels zijn!
Written by Huyen
The biggest tournament of the European Debating scene is coming up in just a few weeks: The European Debating Championships. And this year, the Netherlands is not only represented with its speakers and judges, but also on the Chief Adjudication (CA) team. Daan Welling and Gigi Gil will prepare motions that they have thought long and hard about to give you the best, and most fair, debating experience! Time for 720 reporter Huyen to ask Gigi some questions about debating, EUDC and fellow Dutchies.
You yourself have of course often performed superb at various major internationals and thus know what is necessary to break. What is your vision for Dutch debate squad this year at EUDC? Which are the teams to look out for?
Gigi: I think there are scary teams from many of the debating societies. I would be hesitant to name them because I haven’t been around in the Dutch debate competitions for a few months. I’d say definitely I’d be severely surprised if there wouldn’t be at least one non-Leiden team that breaks at Euros this year. I think the key now would be everyone needs to f*cking prep, let people know who they are, go to competitions, meet the judges that you’ll see them at Euros. And if they keep doing that, they should be at least improve their breaking chance.
Based on your experience, what advice would you give to the first-timers to EUDC?
Gigi: You should set goals that have nothing to do with the actual outcomes of the competition. I hear so many people that are out there to win, and the depressing thing about Euros is, only two teams will win. So there’s just no point in trying for that: things get random, people get nervous and stuff. I always set goals that are individual, so Emma and I always talk about things like: We both want to give at least one speech that we are really proud of, that when we sat down and was like “Yes, that’s what we wanted to do”. We want to have at least one round that we were like “Yes, we’ve watched the documentary in prep for this!”. So I’d say set personal goals and don’t tie them on other people.
The other thing I’d say, specifically for speakers, only Day 3 matters. I’ve had this three times at international competitions where my partner and I scored 9 or 10 points on the first two days and then we did break. And there are other situations where everyone in our community after Day 2 was like “Oh you’re definitely gonna break” at this point, and you might not. Everyone gets so nervous, so you are at a disadvantage where you get sucked into the nerves. You definitely need to talk with your partner about what makes and breaks you. But keep your cool, seriously, Day 3 is the only day that matters!
Many debaters experience stress while at EUDC. The competitive environment, the socials, the difficult motions, a new environment and being together with others practically 24/7 can take its toll on our energy levels and mental wellbeing. How did you deal with stress at EUDC?
Gigi: I smoked so much =.= I know some people that are very honest about being stressed, and I tried to be honest to myself about being nervous as well. I think debaters all want to be this person who does very well but doesn’t get nervous at all. Everyone gets nervous, everyone! There’s no one who gets excluded from this. Emma and I talked to one another about who we are going to talk to about this, I didn’t want to give her the feeling that I was telling everyone. So I’d talk to this one person, she’d talk to a different person, as long as you’re really honest about what you are doing. Same for like, deciding whether or not you are going to backtab or whether or not you’re probably gonna tell each other you’re probably lost, that really helps. Whatever you decide, deciding it together is the thing that matters. The bigger thing is, you will get nervous, and it’s really important to know that, everyone gets nervous.
Do you recommend going hard at the socials in Euros?
Gigi: To be honest, Emma and I had the most fun at the social right after we went out, when there was no pressure. Other people were so nervous, sometimes it’s like “Woo, there’s no responsibility”, you get to enjoy everything. I don’t think the last few years I’d ever really partied hard at any socials during Euros. I would always go and have a drink, I think we underestimate how much you can do just by sleeping, you need to relax after a day of intensity at Euros. So I usually would go, but never stay for really long, because then I’d get too psyched down and then like “I need sleep now!”
In order to qualify as DCA for EUDC you of course have to have lots of experience with speaking and judging. And you have CA’ed many many tournaments around the globe in preparation for EUDC. What was the most fun judging experience you had so far?
Gigi: I have many! One that was relatively recent is the Shanghai International Debate Open (SIDO) where I judged, it was so much fun! It’s so cool to see such a huge circuit in a continent I’ve never been to, how nice and welcoming everyone was, and how really amazing the teams were even though I’ve never heard or met them before. That was really fun and chilled! But generally, I genuinely enjoy judging outside the Netherlands. At some point, you just know everyone from your own circuit, but there’s like the exact version of you in any different countries, and you met a lot of people who are really nice that you could potentially hang out with. Especially when I wasn’t as experienced yet, because then I got to judge with people that were so good, and they taught me so much, and when I’d see debates I’d never got to speak with such speakers. I always encourage people to go judge before you get too good in speaking, because you won’t enjoy as much. It’s so much fun when you still had the shock and awe experience of seeing someone speaking an 84 and then losing a debate.
Across all CA-teams that you have served on, what is the best motion have you set so far?
Gigi: Wow that’s really difficult, I haven’t thought about that! I think I have the tendency to set motions about things that everyone feels but do not agree upon. For example, the “erotic capital” one was definitely a great debate, where people all understand this concept but there’s no clear agreement on what it is. I think one of my favorite is “THR the demonization of the rich”, same thing as, I think everyone understands that we look down on rich people sometimes but not the extent to which. Those were probably two that I really enjoyed!
Who is you favorite CA member? State your reason in three words.
Gigi: Oh that’s really difficult, I’m not sure I know! So I’d say this, I recently CA-ed for the first time with Ilja, and he is just, downright excellent human being. I’ll say, my three words are: HE WILL WORK. Like, he will work until it is perfect, and that’s what I really appreciated.
You have been one of the most active and established debaters in the Dutch debating community with lots of international experiences. What is the most drastic change that you have witnessed in the Dutch debate community so far?
Gigi: That’s a really good question. Recently, quite some people have been asking me this question, seeing that the Netherlands has had an influx of new competitions in the last few years. That’s amazing, but also I’m not sure if it’s working the exact way we wanted it to: competitions all of them tend to be a bit smaller than they used to be. That’s an interesting change: debaters are way more active, but there are not that many debaters who are willing to be active. My more favorable change is, two to three years ago, there was a huge vacuum of established people dropping out across all of different debate societies. And now, it’s changed in a way that there are good debaters in almost every separate institutions in the Netherlands. That means the more competitive debate get-togethers aren’t happening at one society in one evening, but we all meet at debate competitions where we all meet. I hope that keeps continuing, and that people keep going to international competitions with their own delegations. Meeting each other in top rooms, achieving Dutch success!
Which one is your favorite debate club in the Netherlands? State your reason in three words.
Gigi: Ouch… that’s edgy! I’d say…. Cicero, and the three words are: THEY HAVE RISEN. What happened to them in the last few years is just really impressive! They have a nice culture of being super inclusive, but also allowing people to be really competitive. I think they are really good example of how you can become really good as a debating society without being overly harsh or overly competitive. So I’d say Cicero definitely takes the crown for this one.
Written by Lena Martinović
As it is July, most societies are starting to plan their promotional strategies on how to attract more members to their society. There are multiple ways how to do so, and my best recommendation is to look into what your university offers and what you as a society can afford. In this article, I will highlight some tips and tricks that we as EDS think are useful for every society to know.
At EDS, our biggest event for attracting new members are the Beginner’s Workshops. The training event is organized over two evenings, during which participants are introduced first to public speaking, and then the following week, to British Parliamentary. This week is meant to introduce the society to students, so we also take participants out for drinks afterward. We also talk about the things we do as the society, such as members weekend, Christmas dinner, various socials, etc. At the end of the evening, you should sit by the exit and get people to sign up as members. People are more likely to become members if you hand them all the information, rather than let them find it themselves. When you organize the second week of the training, when you show what BP debating is all about, make sure to have a show debate! Showcase what debating is all about with a fun and accessible motion that everyone can enjoy.
But in order to get people to attend the Beginner’s Workshops and sign up, there is some work that needs to be done beforehand. Promotion of the event is done both in person and via the internet.
During Eurekaweek, Erasmus University’s annual introductory week for students, we have a stand where we talk to students and introduce the society to them. You don’t have to send your best debaters to this, because a personal approach, where people tell their anecdotes and stories on how debating has impacted them and what they can do. Mention that you get to explore different cities in Europe by maybe showing a map of where your society and its members had been in the past year. For many students, debating in English is a huge barrier, so tell students that their English will improve. What we do during the Eurekaweek, we also collect email addresses of interested people, in order to keep them informed. Use this list later, to remind people to come to the workshop. In the past, we have usually used a piece of paper where we had people write their name and email. I would recommend using a computer (it will save you time transcribing! ☺)
I would also suggest making flyers that you can give to students that come to visit your booth. I would also check with the board organizing the promotional week if you can add your flyers to the students’ bags, so that you can reach as many students as possible. Also, if your promotional budget allows it, you can also give gifts to participants. A little trinket or two, that students can remember your society.
Ok, so the in-person part of promoting the Beginner’s workshops is over. Don’t forget to also promote it online! Facebook has a really nice function where you can target advertise the event. What this means is that you can promote the event to certain groups or interests. So for example, you could target it to anyone from ages 17-24, that goes to Erasmus University Rotterdam and has liked BBC, The Economist or something similar. Another thing you can do is use your university’s online notice board. To avoid having the message buried with other news, I would recommend having it posted a few or so times. Make sure it is posted one or two days before the event.
Finally, make sure to update the facebook event with the information on the event. Posts on trainers with their picture, a schedule, plans for afterwards, etc are all useful to keep the engagement of the page going.
What I would also recommend is to contact the people booking the rooms for your practice evening. They are likely to know, or could point you in the direction of the promotional department of your university and you can see what is free or what has a low cost so that you can promote your society. At Erasmus University, you can hang up a poster on the notice board for free. We also hire hanging space in one of the buildings, where we display a larger poster. We usually book it during the weeks of beginner’s workshops, so that people are more incentivized to come, since it doesn’t require any background knowledge.
You can also organize another round of workshops in late January, early February for the second semester exchange students, or for those that would like to start debating, but could not do so earlier. The practice would be similar, however you are likely only going to be able to use the online promotional platforms, rather than the information stands. Even if your university offers an information stand, the cost likely would not justify it.
Written by Anna Wesdorp
Meeting someone and finding out that she will become a dear friend, is probably one of the best things that can ever happen to you. When I first met Linsey, I saw a lovely student with an amazing fashion taste. A connection between the two of us came rather quickly during Maastricht Open. I found out that there was more to her than just a student that had debating as a hobby/lifestyle. So, who is Linsey?
“I grew up in a small village named Woubrugge, which is close to Leiden. One of the clearest memories I have of my youth, is when I was around seven years old. A friend of mine and I made a drawing with chalk on the sidewalk. We were so proud of what we made, but my neighbor became angry and removed the drawing with water. I don’t know why, but this had quite the impact on the young me.” Linsey was born in 1997. She started debating in high school. The reason why was quite ironic. “Because of an injury, I wasn’t able to play football, which led to me having lots of spare time. When my teacher of subject Dutch asked me to join the debating team, I thought it was nice to try it out for once.” Little did she know that one debate would quickly turn into years filled with debates.
At the moment, Linsey studies history in Groningen at the university. She also works at the university in Groningen and sometimes spends her weekends debating. In Groningen, she debates at GDS Kalliope, where she is also the treasurer and vice-president. On top of that, she currently also fulfills these functions in the board of the ‘Nederlandse Debatbond’. “One moment I would love to experience again is the NK finale of 2018. When we broke to the finale, both Joris and I were surprised that we made it and it was a very lovely moment. I still feel very proud of that moment.”
Linsey isn’t one to give up quickly. She describes herself as a hard worker with a lot of things on her agenda, as stubborn and one who doesn’t give up very quickly. “Every day, I try to be a better version of myself. I don’t like to compare myself with others. I think I mainly got this attitude from my father, so in a way, he is an inspiration to me.” She tries to live by the rule: “Be better than you were yesterday.”
In the future, Linsey has set a few goals for herself. Within debating, she would love to break at a big international tournament as EUDC and WUDC. Outside of debating, she wants to keep reaching her goals considering losing weight, traveling a lot and getting her bachelor diploma.
For me, Linsey is this source of positivity and a lot of experiences. She is a very strong woman who definitely knows what she wants. Not only is she an amazing debater, but also an amazing person.