Elections, Elections, Elections.

Among the 3 scheduled elections in the Netherlands for 2019, two of them are happening this upcoming Wednesday, 20th of March 2019. These are the Provincial elections and the Water Board elections. Are you a EU citizen or a non-EU citizen who’s been living in the Netherlands uninterrupted for at least 5 years and is registered with the municipality?

Then you are definitely eligible to vote and have by now received your invitation: a stempas. Although most of us acknowledge the importance of voting (I hope), it can be tough if you do not understand the language and do not know how the system works. So, here’s a little guide to get you started.

What are we voting for?

First of all, there are 2 elections taking place;

1. Provincial elections (only open for Dutch nationals over 18 years of age)

They take place once every four years and the voters elect the members of the Provincial States in the twelve provinces of the Netherlands (Drenthe, Frevoland, Friesland, Gelderland, Groningen, Limburg, Noord-Brabant, Noord-Holland, Overijssel, Utrecht, Zeeland and Zuid-Holland)

2. Water board elections

These elections also take place every four years. The Dutch Water Boards are the oldest democratic institution in the Netherlands. In total, 21 Water Boards work to manage water barriers, waterways, water level and quality, dikes and sewage. One can only vote for the Water Board responsible for the region you live in (Zuid-Holland for everyone living in Rotterdam).

What is a Water Board?

Water boards, or waterschappen, are responsible for managing water levels, maintenance and water levels. It might sound quite funny that the Dutchies have elections for managing their water, but in a country half of the land stands below sea level, maintaining water level is a big deal. There are 21 water boards which correspond to the 12 provinces of the country. For the most part, the elections are held because the voters are concerned with the maintaining water safety. However, there are also some political concerns in play, which tend to centre on what’s best for agriculture versus what’s best for the wildlife and the environment.

Find out where you stand on water on the waterschappen website(in Dutch only).

How does it work?

If you are eligible to vote you should have received by now the so called stempas (voting card). To vote, all you have to do is go to your local polling station, which should be indicated on your voting card under the name “Stemlokaal bij u in de buurt”. When you go to vote, make sure to not forget your ID and of course your stempas. After you have been approved, you’ll be given your ballot sheet and a red pencil with which you must fill in your choice by colouring the box next to your preferred candidate.

Elections are taking place Wednesday, 20th of March from 7: 30 until 21:00, so do not worry if you oversleep. 

Now go on tick your box wisely!


Author: Nicoleta

HOI: A Future Full of Joy – Meet Dr. Arno van der Hoeven

Thinking about my future career, I usually find myself struggling to visualize what it actually should be. How to choose the best option? Is there something that I can do to make a future work pleasant?

What if I still can’t decide my occupation after graduation?

I know, from time to time, each of us thinks in the same way. Unfortunately, there are no exact answers to these questions… But no worries! I found a person who shows, by his own experiences, that an exciting career is a reality that each of us is able to achieve!

Meet Arno van der Hoeven – an assistant professor in the Department of Media & Communication and a lecturer of the ‘Media industries and Audiences’ course in BA-1 of IBCoM, and other Master’s courses. In his interview, he shed light on his way to a job for life.

For Arno, it was only at the end of the bachelor that he understood that he wanted to do a PhD and proceed in the academic field. “I hold a master’s degree in communication studies but then got interested in sociology, which at the end became my second master program. I was studying for almost 6 years but do not regret it and now I am really happy about this decision.”

What really drives Arno in his job is the combination of teaching and research. Research is a possibility to study particular topics of interest, while at the lectures he discusses the findings with students and receives different views on the topic. This interaction gives Arno a lot of energy. Especially the international orientation of our program, which makes the interchange of knowledge fascinating both for students and for the teacher.

During the lectures, Arno usually gives a lot of examples on the topic he is definitely passionate about – music. “Music is a significant part of my own life. I listen to it a lot and often go to concerts.” Arno’s recent research is indeed also focused on it. He is currently involved in ‘POPLIVE’, a research project about trends in the live music industries. His own investigation is dedicated to the role of live music in urban development.

Many people in our course get a deep understanding of the subject in question when music-related cases were provided. “Music is a form of communication for me. I find it interesting how people connect to music and how music can be an expression of collective identities.” No surprise, it was relatively easy and always interesting to follow lectures and learn new theories within the course as they were explained by something each of us relates to in everyday life.

When I finally asked Arno about the genres of music he likes the most, he mentioned that his musical taste was quite broad. Starting from indie rock, Arno currently listens a lot to hip-hop as for him “…it’s really an urban genre which connects you to the culture of the city. And I like the storytelling and how it developed certain musical new conventions”. I was very interested in finding out about what song drives such a passionate person. Arno shared one of his personal playlists – titled ‘a city walk’ with his favorite songs.

Enjoy this inspiring music and make it happen!


Author: Varya