Who is the AEGEE mem­ber of the year 2016? Which anten­na, which project was the best? The Gold­en Times asked more than 70 local­ly or Euro­pean­ly active mem­bers. In this edi­tion: read what Tom Simons, Petra Buruzs, Mario Galea, Mateusz Gier­czak, Aliénor Pir­let and Ral­it­sa Mihaylo­va said.

Tom Simons

Tom Simons, Former Chairperson of the Agora, Main organiser of Spring Agora Enschede, AEGEE-Enschede

GT: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2016?
Tom Simons: There are sev­er­al, but two that imme­di­ate­ly come to mind are my sec­ond term as Chair­per­son and of course AEGEE-Enschede being select­ed to organ­ise the com­ing Spring Ago­ra.
GT: AEGEE-Europe had many mem­o­rable moments in 2016. Which one do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
Tom: There are two actu­al­ly, first­ly the CD elec­tions dur­ing Ago­ra Berg­amo. Chair­ing this sit­u­a­tion is def­i­nite­ly some­thing I won’t eas­i­ly for­get. The sec­ond one is the vot­ing pro­ce­dure of the Strate­gic Plan in Chisin­au. I wouldn’t have thought that when the Schulze Method was adopt­ed in Berg­amo, it would cause so much pro­ce­dur­al issues only one Ago­ra lat­er.
GT: Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2016?
Tom: That would be Mar­ta Wnuk. Work­ing with her in the Chair Team dur­ing the past year was an amaz­ing expe­ri­ence. I could always count on her ded­i­ca­tion and pro­fes­sion­al­ism for the chal­leng­ing tasks and obsta­cles the Chair Team faces. Besides that I am proud to say she became a mem­ber of AEGEE-Enschede to com­plete the All-Enschede Chair Team.
GT: Which were for you the out­stand­ing anten­nae in 2016?
Tom: The three locals that organ­ised the three statu­to­ry events in 2016: AEGEE-Lei­den, AEGEE-Berg­amo and AEGEE-Chisin­au. Being cur­rent­ly involved in the organ­i­sa­tion of a statu­to­ry event myself, I know the dif­fi­cul­ties and the ded­i­ca­tion the mem­bers of the locals need to have in order to make it a suc­cess. They all did a great job and it was great work­ing with all of them from the side of the Chair Team.
GT: What do you fore­see as a high­light or big top­ic in AEGEE in 2017?
Tom: How could I not men­tion Spring Ago­ra Enschede in this answer? We are cur­rent­ly prepar­ing every­thing to make it an awe­some Ago­ra, and I am con­fi­dent it will be an unfor­get­table event for both the par­tic­i­pants and the organ­is­ers.
GT: What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2017?
Tom: As main organ­is­er of Spring Ago­ra Enschede, I will spend most of my time on those prepa­ra­tions and the fol­low-up after­wards. I will also prob­a­bly start my grad­u­a­tion the­sis after the sum­mer, so this will prob­a­bly be the last thing I active­ly do in AEGEE. I still hope I will be able to attend Ago­ra Cata­nia though.
GT: How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
Tom: I will spend it in Enschede, there will be a big new year’s par­ty in hon­our of AEGEE-Enschede’s 30th birth­day.

 

Petra Buruzs, Mediation Commissioner, AEGEE-Budapest

Petra Buruzs small

GT: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2016?
Petra Buruzs: I would like to name three per­son­al high­lights. The first one was when I applied and got elect­ed for the Medi­a­tion Com­mis­sion. The sec­ond one was when we won the Franck Biancheri Award and when Les Anciens approached me per­son­al­ly.
GT: AEGEE-Europe had many mem­o­rable moments in 2016. Which one do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
Petra: Dur­ing Ago­ra Berg­amo, the play with emo­tions and dif­fer­ent points of view.
GT: Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2016?
Petra: It is hard to choose. Every­one who enters this fam­i­ly and shares the AEGEE spir­it is out­stand­ing.
GT: Which were for you the out­stand­ing anten­nae in 2016?
Petra: Each anten­na works hard in their own way. Some of them strug­gle to remain, some of them fight to organ­ise huge events. For sure, AEGEE-Berg­amo and AEGEE-Chisin­au did a great job to organ­ise the Ago­ra, but also AEGEE-Istan­bul and the oth­er Turk­ish anten­nae are def­i­nite­ly out­stand­ing.
GT: What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project, Work­ing Group or Inter­est Group in 2016?
Petra: The gen­er­al fact is already out­stand­ing that all the AEGEEans can feel a bit clos­er because their inter­ests can be rep­re­sent­ed — and that these Euro­pean projects, work­ing groups and inter­est groups can pro­vide them a place to work for their inter­est. Every aspect is impor­tant for some­one.
GT: What do you fore­see as a high­light or big top­ic in AEGEE in 2017?
Petra: We will see.
GT: What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2017?
Petra: My to-do list is end­less, as I just lit­er­al­ly came back from my TNT. I would love to give some train­ings to share the knowl­edge I col­lect­ed so far. Fur­ther­more I would like to give my best for the Med­Com. Then I would like to organ­ise the Franck Biancheri Award event, which is the start­ing event of “Europe on Track 4”, which AEGEE-Budapest and the Civic Edu­ca­tion Work­ing Group will han­dle. A week after­wards is the Les Anciens Gen­er­al Assem­bly. And of course I want to be there for AEGEE-Budapest. I also have a lot of plans for Sum­mer, but the time will unfold every­thing.
GT: How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
Petra: With the bravest par­tic­i­pants in Budaf**ingPest, and every­one who final­ly ends up in there.

 

Mario Galea, ITC Speaker, iTIG Moderator, AEGEE-Valletta HR

Mario Galea2

GT: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2016?
Mario Galea: Get­ting back on track after a harsh start, co-organ­is­ing our sum­mer event for 100 peo­ple with lim­it­ed resources and the recent amaz­ing Train­ing New Train­ers.
GT: AEGEE-Europe had many mem­o­rable moments in 2016. Which one do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
Mario: Ago­ra Bergamo’s hap­pen­ings stood out quite a lot in my opin­ion, as instances which shouldn’t belong to our organisation’s val­ues.
GT: Who were for you the out­stand­ing mem­bers in 2016?
Mario: The most out­stand­ing peo­ple for me both for ful­fill­ing their role in AEGEE and much more with hum­ble ded­i­ca­tion, and also for sup­port­ing me per­son­al­ly are Pablo Her­nan­dez Rodriguez and Melis­sa Car­reres Can­dela.
GT: Which were for you the out­stand­ing anten­nae in 2016?
Mario: AEGEE-Chisin­au for believ­ing in them­selves and, with the help of all the good rela­tion­ships they built up through the years, man­ag­ing to organ­ise a won­der­ful Ago­ra despite all the dif­fi­cul­ties, with me hav­ing the hon­our to be part of it.
GT: What do you fore­see as a high­light or big top­ic in AEGEE in 2017?
Mario: Hope­ful­ly, the Euro­pean Citizen’s Ini­tia­tive cam­paign leav­ing fruit­ful results and the start­ing of the imple­men­ta­tion of the new online mem­ber­ship sys­tem.
GT: What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2017?
Mario: To con­tin­ue work­ing for the net­work on all lev­els. Now that I have returned in the local board, I plan to put in prac­tice all the knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence I have gained in AEGEE. I don’t want to give up on ITC and iTIG, which are the basis of a con­tem­po­rary inter­na­tion­al organ­i­sa­tion in offer­ing the ade­quate means for col­lab­o­ra­tion. I would also like to start giv­ing back as an Acad­e­my train­er.
GT: How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
Mario: I will be with a nice group of AEGEE peo­ple, par­tic­i­pants and organ­is­ers of the “Our Big Fat Greek” Win­ter Uni­ver­si­ty. I don’t know exact­ly where we will be because we’re going to trav­el through all Greece, but for sure it will be unfor­get­table!

 

Aliénor Pirlet, Civic Education Working Group coordinator, AEGEE-Brussel/Bruxelles

Alienor Pirlet small

GT: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2016?
Aliénor Pir­let: Def­i­nite­ly EPM Lei­den, because that’s what got me so will­ing to get active in AEGEE! At that time, I had already been an AEGEE mem­ber for a year but there is so much I didn’t know yet. I knew AEGEE was this incred­i­ble way of mak­ing friends all over Europe and dis­cov­er­ing new cities all year long. What I hadn’t realised yet was how much I could learn and grow with­in AEGEE. Dur­ing the EPM, I dis­cov­ered this new side of AEGEE I am now so crazy about. I found the way we struc­ture our organ­i­sa­tion fas­ci­nat­ing and the more I learned about our Strate­gic Plan, work­ing groups, com­mit­tees and oth­er bod­ies, the more I want­ed to know. Of course at the same time I also had crazy fun dur­ing the ses­sions, din­ners and many par­ties! The organ­is­ers real­ly nailed it!
GT: AEGEE-Europe had many mem­o­rable moments in 2016. Which one do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
Aliénor: Ago­ra Berg­amo was pret­ty unbe­liev­able. It was only my sec­ond Ago­ra so I didn’t have much to com­pare it to. Yet, I soon under­stood that “The Ago­ra of the Thou­sand” was some­thing major in the his­to­ry of AEGEE!
GT: Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2016?
Aliénor: Maria Balles­teros Melero! Maria has already done so much for AEGEE, she is active in so many ways! And believe me it doesn’t keep her from being one hun­dred per­cent involved and keep her com­mit­ments! Whether it is in the Gen­der Equal­i­ty Inter­est Group, in the Civic Edu­ca­tion Work­ing Group, in the “Europe On Track” Project, in the ECI task force, in her anten­na AEGEE-Madrid, or any­where else, you can always count on her and her enthu­si­asm! She is real­ly impres­sive and I am so hap­py to be work­ing with her!
GT: What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project, Work­ing Group or Inter­est Group in 2016?
Aliénor: The Civic Edu­ca­tion Work­ing Group of last year has par­tic­u­lar­ly done an incred­i­ble job! It was the first year AEGEE had such work­ing groups, yet the CEWG has achieved so much and was so active that it almost felt as if it had already exist­ed for years! I also want to men­tion the Soci­ety and the Envi­ron­ment Inter­est Group because even though it only exists for a cou­ple of months, it is already show­ing much poten­tial and I believe that it is some­thing that was great­ly miss­ing in AEGEE. I wish them a lot of suc­cess!
GT: What do you fore­see as a high­light or big top­ic in AEGEE in 2017?
Aliénor: Def­i­nite­ly pop­ulism. As we have seen when choos­ing the EPM top­ics for Zagreb, AEGEEans real­ly want to dis­cuss the mat­ter of pop­ulism and I am sure that the top­ic will con­tin­ue to occu­py a big space in our net­work next year.
GT: What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2017?
Aliénor: All I know for sure is that until the end of my term as coor­di­na­tor of the CEWG, I do not wish to focus on any­thing else than what I am already involved in — the work­ing group and the ECI task force. After this, I might be inter­est­ed in get­ting active in oth­er teams, but that will depend on my stud­ies.

 

Mateusz Gierczak, former President of AEGEE-Kraków

Mateusz Gierczak

GT: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2016?
Mateusz Gier­czak: In March I fin­ished my term as Pres­i­dent of AEGEE-Kraków. Our board had very inten­sive last weeks, because we changed a bit the board elec­tion sys­tem. It was a super sat­is­fy­ing moment. After that three great projects took place, that our anten­na was work­ing on for months: the PR Camp, the Per­fect Speak­er and the Youth2Youth Forum – all of them were incred­i­ble and we had very big influ­ence on that.
GT: AEGEE-Europe had many mem­o­rable moments in 2016. Which one do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
Mateusz: Def­i­nite­ly the open­ing cer­e­mo­ny of Ago­ra Berg­amo. That was amaz­ing. One per­for­mance after anoth­er and in the end a great sur­prise with the Balkan Orches­tra. I didn’t know what was going on! It was one of the best per­for­mance I have ever seen!
GT: Who were for you the out­stand­ing mem­bers in 2016?
Mateusz: I have sev­er­al nom­i­nees. Very active was Luca Bisigh­i­ni – not only in the Audit Com­mis­sion, but also as Migra­tion Offi­cer. I see him every­where on Face­book! On the oth­er hand at Ago­ras very active was Jorge Sánchez Hernán­dez and recent­ly he start­ed to rep­re­sent AEGEE towards BEST. The third mem­ber is Philipp Blum, who did a great job in the SUCT and decid­ed to work for even one more year for that! Respect! He was also very active at Ago­ras, so he deserves some award.
GT: Which were for you the out­stand­ing anten­nae in 2016?
Mateusz: I real­ly appre­ci­ate both anten­nae who orga­nized Ago­ras – AEGEE-Berg­amo and AEGEE-Chisin­au. You did a great job guys!
GT: What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project, Work­ing Group or Inter­est Group in 2016?
Mateusz: I real­ly appre­ci­ate the work of the Civic Edu­ca­tion Work­ing Group! That’s a real­ly impor­tant group and it is awe­some that they work so good! The “More Than Edu­ca­tion” ini­tia­tive is real­ly cru­cial for the future of Europe – I am very proud that AEGEE cre­at­ed that. Anoth­er body is SUCT – I’m hap­py they start­ed to look on the con­tent of our SUs. It is the per­fect moment to take a bit of atten­tion of thou­sands of young Euro­peans on impor­tant mat­ters – and SUCT works great to make it hap­pen.
GT: What do you fore­see as a high­light or big top­ic in AEGEE in 2017?
Mateusz: “The Art of Pos­si­ble” – I am look­ing for­ward to see­ing this movie! I am real­ly very excit­ed!
Also “More Than Edu­ca­tion” – hope­ful­ly we will do a lot to bring it clos­er to real­i­ty. If we do – that’s going to be a true high­light.
GT: What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2017?
Mateusz: I am already in the Advi­so­ry Board of AEGEE-Kraków, so I try to use my expe­ri­ence to help both anten­na and board. I will con­tin­ue this till the end of my term. A few months ago I start­ed to be quite active as a train­er in our anten­na and that’s going to be prob­a­bly my biggest activ­i­ty in next year. Of course I will try to join Ago­ras or some NWMs and LTCs, but I am not plan­ning to make my con­tri­bu­tion big­ger.
GT: How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
Mateusz: We have our bunch of post-AEGEEan friends and this year we plan to go to Olo­mouc, Czech Repub­lic. We will grab some Czech beer and enjoy the coun­try of our neigh­bours.

 

Ralitsa Mihaylova, SUCT

Ralitsa Mihaylova

GT: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2016?
Ral­it­sa Mihaylo­va: Think­ing that I already saw every­thing AEGEE has to offer and then real­iz­ing that it was com­plete bull­shit.
GT: AEGEE-Europe had many mem­o­rable moments in 2016. Which one do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
Ral­it­sa: I am super excit­ed for our new­ly found­ed con­tacts, espe­cial­ly for – almost — AEGEE-Lis­boa!
GT: Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2016?
Ral­it­sa: The potion mas­ter of AEGEE-Athi­na – Panos. He is the def­i­n­i­tion of AEGEE spir­it.
GT: Which were for you the out­stand­ing anten­nae in 2016?
Ral­it­sa: Every anten­na in which peo­ple actu­al­ly had fun and enjoyed work­ing togeth­er. If you don’t have that, your accom­plish­ments don’t real­ly mat­ter.
GT: What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project, Work­ing Group or Inter­est Group in 2016?
Ral­it­sa: Not exact­ly a project or group, but the few peo­ple who are work­ing to kill the Intranet!
GT: What do you fore­see as a high­light or big top­ic in AEGEE in 2017?
Ral­it­sa: I real­ly hope that apart from impor­tant exter­nal top­ics, we have more dis­cus­sions on our inter­nal issues.
GT: What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2017?
Ral­it­sa: To enjoy it to the fullest and become mem­ber of AEGEE-Lis­boa.

 

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