Category Archive Miscellaneous Articles

ByKirill Svavolia

In 2017, the Twente Debating Society was dissolved… In 2021 it re-opened!

Kirill Svavolia

Hi, my name is Kirill Svavolia. I’m the chairman of the Twente Debating Society (TDS) and I will tell you about how the Twente Debating Society 2.0 started. Basically, I just wanted to do debates, but there was no place. So, how do you start a debating society? First, you need a team: chairperson, secretary and treasurer. I approached my friends – Nick and Yevhenii. I knew they could get things done and would go for it. After a few discussions, they were in.

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ByMike Weltevrede

Meet The Dino: Danique van Koppenhagen

It’s early February. A white blanket of snow has fallen over the Netherlands. This is the perfect time to talk over a cup of tea with the first person to be in the spotlight in our new section “Meet The Dino”: Danique van Koppenhagen! We’re talking about her personal (debating) history but also on how debating can be framed in job interviews and applied in the workplace. Read on to find out more!

Profile Danique van Koppenhagen
Age: 31
Alma mater: Utrecht University (LLM European Law and MSc Economics)
Current position: Teamlead Detecting Financial Crime – Specials at ABN AMRO Bank N.V.
Debate achievements (among others): Two-time Dutch national champion, Best ESL speaker EUDC 2012, 3rd best ESL speaker WUDC 2012, DCA WUDC 2015

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ByLinsey Keur

The best books of 2020

Like many debaters, during the last year I turned to books to provide me some escapism and entertainment. Helped by the extra free time at home and the decreased number of mandatory readings for university, I managed to read a wide variety of books. Below, I will review three very different books that I each enjoyed in their own way. Of course, it was very difficult to pick only three books to highlight here, since there are so many great books. So if you ever want to chat about books, feel free to reach out to me! Or if you want more book recommendations, you can follow @linseyreads on Instagram.

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ByMike Weltevrede

Holiday socials in corona times

Source cover image: TIME

The end of the year is near. A time when people (should) get together and celebrate the holidays. Despite the fact that it looks quite different this year, we will of course not let everything that is going on ruin the fun. In this article, we give tips on how to celebrate the holidays within your debating society. We discuss special debate motions, Christmas dinners, and, of course, gifts. In short: plenty of fun things to do within the corona measures!

Do you have any nice ideas for motions or activities? Then leave it in the comments at the bottom of this article!

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ByMike Weltevrede

Tab workshop: Interview with Tatjana Stanic

On October 24, 2020, the Nederlandse Debatbond organized a workshop in tabbing, held by Marthe Wijfjes. To date, Marthe has tabbed over 30 competitions. She has assisted all Dutch debating societies (except ESDA Chronos) at least once by tabbing their tournaments. Internationally, Marthe has been part of the tab team of Novi Sad EUDC 2018 and she has tabbed most major online competitions in mainland Europe.

One of the participants in the tab workshop was Tatjana Stanic. She was kind enough to sit down for an interview about her experiences with the tab workshop. When asked to describe herself, Tatjana said the following:

Tatjana usually struggles with answering the simple question “Where are you from?”. Namely, she was born in Serbia, spent her early childhood in Russia, moved back to Serbia, then moved to Hungary and all of this by the time she started high school. Unfortunately, in none of these places debating was part of the education system. It remained a thing she admired from far away. Her last move was to Maastricht to start an MSc at the business faculty. Thankfully, this city had a debate club: Rhetorica. She joined just over a year ago and is loving it.

Q: Why did you decide to join the tab workshop?
A: Tabbing has always been a mystery box to me. I have been curious about it but I never knew how it was done. So, I wanted to learn! Moreover, there are a limited number of tabbers in the Netherlands and, since we do not know for how long they are still on, I wanted to make sure that we at least have a tabber for our own tournament.

Q: I can imagine that there were many questions to be answered and many things to learn. What was the most valuable piece of knowledge that you picked up on?
A: Marthe explained the whole process of tabbing very clearly. She took us through it step-by-step as if it was a real tournament. This, combined with the interactiveness of the workshop, meant that I got a very clear idea of what generally has to be done and what tasks a tabber needs to take on. I realized that there is actually much more going on than I thought but now I know how everything connects to the specific items of organizing a tournament.

Q: What traits do you think a tabber should have and do you think that you have those?
A: A tabber should be able to be in control and perhaps even have a loud voice (or a military voice as a fellow member of Rhetorica calls it) to retain order in the tab room. One of the things that I will like about tabbing is actually the messiness of it; when all hell breaks loose and everyone starts screaming, a tabber should trust that they can fix it and have some sort of inner peace. I believe I can do that.

Q: As a result of this workshop, will you be tabbing some tournaments?
A: Definitely! Marthe offered to take us along at a future tournament that she is tabbing to really put the knowledge that we gained into practice. That seems really cool to me so I will definitely take her up on that offer!

Q: Thanks for the interview, Tatjana! Do you have any final remarks?
A: I think the workshop was well organized and thorough; it covered pretty much everything. I want to repeat that the opportunity to tab alongside Marthe at a tournament is a cool idea which will be very useful.

Were you unable to attend but are you still interested in watching the workshop? It will soon be up on our YouTube channel so make sure to keep an eye on that.

Source cover image: https://wallpaperaccess.com/tabby-cat

ByMike Weltevrede

Board Day August 2020

On Saturday, August 15, the Nederlandse Debatbond once again organized the board day. This edition was a great success. With more than 20 participants, more than half of all board members were present and every association but one was represented. Due to the corona crisis, this edition of the board day was held online. On the board day, the new board members of the Dutch debating associations get to know each other and the Debatbond. There are also workshops specifically aimed at supporting the board members.

The day started with an opening speech by Tom Pouw, chairman of the Debatbond. After this, three workshops were given. The first was given by Jos Buijvoets (former general board member of the Debatbond and honorary member of the Tilburg Debating Society Cicero) and was about member recruitment and promotion. Jos explained, for example, how social media can be used to attract new and larger groups of members but he also talked about more traditional ways, such as lecture talks and the open houses.

After Jos’ workshop, a workshop was given by myself. I built on Jos’ workshop and talked about member retention and activation. Now that the board members know how to attract members through Jos’ workshop, I explained to them how to retain those members and how to make them more active. I did this by splitting members into different groups and explaining what each of them needs to stay with the association.

Finally, Tom Pouw gave a workshop on sponsoring and selling trainings. Unfortunately, many associations often do not think of sponsoring as one of the bigger points they will be working on even though it can be very useful. So Tom discussed this topic and emphasized that sponsorship is not free money: it is actually an exchange of services. To explain this clearly to boards, he went through a step-by-step plan that boards could start to take up sponsorship.

ByJos Buijvoets

Interview with Nathania Engelhardt: Creating opportunities around the globe

In the Netherlands, she was involved for years with keeping Wageningen Debating alive as well as being a constant presence at tournaments. Nathania “Nany” Engelhardt finished her master in Communication Sciences and returned to Curaçao to build a debating community. From being a student in the cold the Netherlands to being a major force in Spanish debating: this is the story of Nany.

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