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 Bond” we post articles with the experiences of the board members. This time: Fenna ten Haaf (treasurer).
I started debating in 2016 after registering very impulsively for an open evening during the introduction week. I wasn’t good at it and was actually quite shy but the people at my association (Erasmus Debating Society, EDS) were very nice and made me feel like everyone was welcome. In the end, in my first year, I received so much support from more experienced debaters in the form of workshops and fun times that I felt very involved in the debate community and also wanted to give something back. That is the main reason why I started a board year and why I eventually applied for the Debatbond. At EDS, I was treasurer and that is also my role at the Debatbond but the tasks I have here are very different. The Debatbond’s budget is small, so I have a lot of extra space to take on other tasks, such as helping with promotion, maintaining the website or organizing socials.
I think the nice thing about the Debatbond board is that you get to know more about what is going on at each association and not just the association where you debate yourself. You have a chance to help other boards with questions and give them a different perspective on something you may have had to deal with during your board year. The challenge is that you have a more supportive role and do not organize something by default, such as with debate evenings. That gives you more flexibility but it also means that you have to show a little more discipline and initiative because there are no clear tasks.
Finally, it is customary to serve on the board for two years. I did this and this gave me the opportunity to evaluate what went well and what went less well and to adjust my tasks, which was very nice. Thanks to evaluations and the flexibility of our roles, my activities have never quite stayed the same over the past two years. At the start of my board year, for example, I wanted to work on Training & Development. I had been collecting training material for a while and we had set up a trainer list. However, in the end, it turned out that it was difficult to divide the attention over everything we wanted to do and that is why we as a board decided to put Training & Development tasks on the back burner. A next board could, of course, pick up these things again – that’s something they are completely free to decide!
Want to apply?
Are you inspired to also do a board term at the Nederlandse Debatbond? You can apply until July 27 to make the Dutch debating community even better in your unique way! For more information, click here.
Fenna ten Haaf
Fenna is a debater from the Erasmus Debating Society and the treasurer of the Nederlandse Debatbond (2019-2021). She was treasurer of EDS (2015-2016).