The history of the SIB began with the founding of the Dutch Student Association for a Federal World Government/Nederlandse Studentenvereniging voor een Federale Wereldregering (NSFW) on October 19th 1947 at the Krasnapolsky Hotel in Amsterdam. It became a national student association with two chapters, in Groningen and Leiden. In the wake of the Second World War, people were concerned with the question of how to prevent another war in the future, understandably this was of course an important issue for the students of the Netherlands as well.
However, in order to found such a student association, the Queen’s approval was needed and since Her Majesty did not approve of the name of the association, there was no other option than changing the name. In 1948, it was changed to Dutch Student Association for Legal Order (NSW), since a world government was no longer seen as the only solution to sustainable peace. Instead, federalism on a European level and the United Nations were considered alternatives.
Eventually, in 1962, the horrors of WWII were slowly moving towards the background as the world was focused on the rising tensions between the US and the Soviet Union. The NSW again decided to change its name, this time to Student Association for International Relations/Studentenvereniging voor Internationale Betrekkingen (SIB) and the primary aim of the association was now to raise students’ interest in international relations.
The following years, the SIB thrived. The amount of members increased and there were many interesting discussions. It is no surprise that according to the archives, ‘SIB was booming’ during the 70’s. However, in less than ten years’ time, SIB would almost cease to exist. Across the country, the overal departments had died out, and all that was left was a workgroup on Central and Eastern Europe in Groningen, which consisted of 25 people.
It would take until the 80’s for a group of students to attempt to revive the SIB in Groningen. With the help of Mr. Teunissen, who was awarded honorary membership later, they were able to make the SIB thrive once again. A few years later, the SIB was once again a flourishing association of more than 200 members. Around this time, a new project was initiated which would eventually become TEIMUN, The European International Model United Nations, which still takes place every year during the first week of July in The Hague.
Between 1990 and 1995 the number of members would fluctuate, but nevertheless the SIB organised a number of notable activities. During this time, the SIB activities took place at ‘Het Paard van Troje’ and the main focus was on integrating the members into the SIB.
In 1992, the location for SIB activities moved to ‘De Negende Cirkel’ and the association had 210 members, 18 Theme Groups and was celebrating its tenth Lustrum. The number of members would quickly rise to a peak of 360. During these years, a number of important events took place. For instance, the national assembly of SIB departments was combined into the foundation SIB-Nederland. At the head of this foundation would be a Board consisting of representatives from every SIB city.
The number of members declined considerably again between 1995 and 1998, but the SIB would not be the SIB if it didn’t recover. In 2000 a new phenomenon was introduced: the new very popular Crisis Forum, which was organised by the Theme Group Actualiteiten. This was the start of the development from small-scale discussion to large-scale events that generated a lot of publicity for the SIB.
In 2014 the SIB Office moved to the Pelsterstraat. Our schedule of activities is packed now with small and big activities, ranging from intellectual activities like lectures, to social activities like theme parties and trips.
The SIB has always depended on the enthusiasm and commitment of its members. They are the driving force behind our association and their support keeps the SIB a growing and thriving association.