Source cover image: Deakin University
The Nederlandse Debatbond (Dutch Debate Union) is looking for a new board. To give you an idea of the life of a board member of “the Debatbond” we post articles with the experiences of the board members. This time: Tom Pouw (chair).
As a board member of a local debating society, you are mainly involved in the daily ins and outs of the association. Those are often practical things. For example, organizing debate evenings and tournaments, promoting during introduction weeks and finding successors for the new board.
As a board member of the Debatbond, you are less concerned with ‘daily practical matters’. You take a step back and look at where you can add value to the debate community as a whole. For example, by organizing workshops for board members, organizing cross-association events (the Dutch Debating League – DDL) and identifying which challenges debating societies face and how you can support them in this.
The most enjoyable part of my job as a board member of the Debatbond is supporting association boards. Together with Jos [Buijvoets, ed.] and Jelte [Schievels, ed.], I took the initiative in the previous Debatbond board to organize the (semi)annual board days. These are very nice days where association boards get to know each other, learn a lot of practical matters and get a ‘kick start’ for their board year.
The current Debatbond board has also started holding quarterly meetings. This means that we catch up with each association board for an hour every quarter. The aim is to check-in where we can help individual association boards and to have a better idea of what is going on at associations. Each association has different challenges and, in this way, we can provide individual associations with concrete and applicable advice.
Prior to the quarterly meetings, we note discussion points that are relevant at that time (for example the introduction period in the summer, or finding a new board around May/June) to help the association boards know what is needed at that moment and to share our experiences therein. Thanks to these quarterly meetings, the Debatbond has really good contact with local associations for the first time in the history of the Debatbond and, in our opinion, the general “level” of the association boards has increased considerably.
The quarterly meetings are a good example of how you, as a Debatbond board member, can contribute to a stronger Dutch debate community. I can therefore wholeheartedly recommend going for a board term at the Debatbond!
Want to apply?
Are you inspired to also do a board term at the Nederlandse Debatbond? You can apply until July 27 (today is the last day!) to make the Dutch debating community even better in your unique way! For more information, click here.
Tom is a debater from the Amsterdam Student Debate Association Bonaparte. He served as a general board member (2017-2019) and as chair (2019-2021) of the Nederlandse Debatbond. He was treasurer (2015-2016) and chair (2016-2017) of ASDV Bonaparte.