By Maarten Lemstra
Just before we were going to be announced as Preferred Candidate Board of SIB-Groningen we subtly left the downstairs party to move towards the stairs in the back, from which we would come down and surprise the awaiting crowd. Everybody was very excited and I felt that this was the beginning of so many beautiful experiences and great times being the next board of SIB-Groningen. Some people might already know me but for those who don’t I’ll introduce myself shortly. My name is Maarten Lemstra and I’ll be the next years Secretary and Commissioner for Intellectual Activities. This means that if people send the SIB e-mails about whether the lecture about China will be given in Chinese as well, I will be the one to inform them that SIB’s lectures are held in English and that they are open for everyone. As Commissioner for Intellectual Activities I will make sure that there is enough Intellectual fireworks for everybody and that the SIB keeps on doing what is such an important part of the association: organizing intellectual activities.
The story of my membership at SIB starts a while ago, before my Kei-Week which is already close to 3 years ago, I did already look around for student organizations to join. After some googling I found an organization which seemed perfect: SIB-Groningen. I eventually signed up in the Stadspark and thus my SIB journey began. During the entire KEI-week I did not meet a single first-year IRIO student so I still remember that it was at the first introduction day of SIB-Groningen that I started meeting some IRIO students, many of which also became my closest friends. I truly enjoyed going on all sorts of SIB trips, also because I could bring along my camera and make photographs of beautiful places and amazing people.
There are undoubtedly many more blog stories to come about the adventures of the 70th Board of SIB-Groningen but for the first one I was also asked to touch upon on what I think would be my theme song. The first thing which came to mind was “Alle Menschen werden Brüder”, which contains a beautiful message and is also used as a European Hymn, something which I as a fan of the European Project can always enjoy. Another beautiful Anthem, while we are on the topic, would be the East German one, “Auferstanden aus Ruinen”. The text was so progressive that they always sang it without the text and I think both these Anthems would be great songs to wake up everybody at the next years Introduction camp but that is something for later worry.
One of the nicest SIB memories I have includes a certain night train from Tbilisi to Yerevan. We were sitting in a third class wagon and the feeling of the group going on an adventure was very nice, a certain previous Commissioner for Intellectual Activities was not having the best time of his life as he was having an allergic reaction to the sheets and his bed was too small (for photographs I refer to my Facebook album on Georgia and Armenia). Crossing the border involved having a stern looking Sovie.. I mean Armenian guard checking our passports. In the morning we were greeted by a beautiful view over the Armenian countryside with Mount Ararat standing proud in the distance. Sometimes SIB brings the world to you and sometimes it brings you to the world, the combination of both makes SIB-Groningen such an amazing association of which I am proud to be the next years Secretary and Commissioner for Intellectual Activities.