AEGEE in 2016 (IX): Spyros, Melissa, Aleksandra, Alin, Danae & Zeynep

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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 Spy­ros Papadatos, Alek­san­dra Mojsov­na, Alin Georges­cu, Melis­sa Car­reres Can­dela, Danae Matak­ou and Zeynep Eda Alp­soy said.

Spyros Papadatos

Spyros Papadatos, Network Commission Speaker, AEGEE-Ioannina

GT: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2016?
Spy­ros Papadatos: My work as mem­ber of the Net­work Com­mis­sion. The work­load is big, but I enjoy every minute of it and I feel hon­oured to be part of this Com­mis­sion. Serv­ing and pro­tect­ing the net­work is the great­est choice I have made in AEGEE.
GT: AEGEE-Europe had many mem­o­rable moments in 2016. Which one do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
Spy­ros: I remem­ber most vivid­ly the two amaz­ing Ago­rae that AEGEE-Berg­amo and AEGEE-Chisin­au orga­nized for us. The orga­niz­ers’ ded­i­ca­tion was huge and the par­tic­i­pants ful­ly enjoyed the ener­gy of the events. More­over, the process of the new Focus Areas was also quite inter­est­ing.
GT: Who were for you the out­stand­ing mem­bers in 2016?
Spy­ros: I would say some great ladies we have in our orga­ni­za­tion: for­mer Net­Com­mies Mareike Wegen­er and Lisa Greg­is for their com­mit­ment and vision and for being my per­son­al inspi­ra­tions and men­tors. Also, Tekla Haj­du for being an excel­lent Net­work Direc­tor and per­son. And last, but not least Réka Sala­m­on for being so close with the locals and for rep­re­sent­ing this orga­ni­za­tion in such a great way.
GT: Which were for you the out­stand­ing anten­nae in 2016?
Spy­ros: With­out any doubt: the Turk­ish speak­ing anten­nae. They are deal­ing with a lot of unfor­tu­nate stuff in their every­day lives, but still their mem­bers are car­ry­ing out the activ­i­ties, orga­nize Euro­pean events and fight for a bet­ter future. I am proud to be the Net­Com­mie of these locals, togeth­er with Kristi­na Resheto­va, and we are try­ing to sup­port them as much as we can.
GT: What do you fore­see as a high­light or big top­ic in AEGEE in 2017?
Spy­ros: The top­ic of EPM Zagreb, as well as the new Focus Areas. And of course, the polit­i­cal and social sit­u­a­tion in Europe is always affect­ing our orga­ni­za­tion and we should try to address it more active­ly.
GT: What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2017?
Spy­ros: The Net­work Com­mis­sion is my absolute pri­or­i­ty. I will give my 200% to the Com­mis­sion, my locals and the whole net­work both as reg­u­lar Net­Com­mie and in the speak­er team. Also, I will try to help the SUCT as much as pos­si­ble as a mem­ber of SUp­port­ers.
GT: How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
Spy­ros: I will spend the New Year’s week in the amaz­ing ”Our Big Fat Greek Win­ter Uni­ver­si­ty”, but specif­i­cal­ly New Year’s night prob­a­bly with fam­i­ly and friends.

 

Aleksandra Mojsovna, Network Commissioner, Content Manager of the “Your Vision for EUrope” project

Aleksandra Mojsova

GT: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2016?
Alek­san­dra Mojsov­na: Being a Net­work Com­mis­sion­er is a process of work­ing with all these dif­fer­ent peo­ple, which is most cer­tain­ly an enrich­ing expe­ri­ence of bring­ing qual­i­ties to each oth­er! It is my biggest high­light this year. Before that, on the time­line, the activ­i­ties of the “Your Vision for EUrope” project, espe­cial­ly the con­fer­ence in Cluj-Napoca. It took quite some effort and it was total­ly worth it. On the oth­er hand, being a Net­com­mie is the thing I want­ed to do. And if there was a chance to stay as an Advi­so­ry Net­com­mie after my term, then it would be ide­al.
GT: AEGEE-Europe had many mem­o­rable moments in 2016. Which one do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
Alek­san­dra: Oh, the EPM in Lei­den for me was amaz­ing. Every statu­to­ry is a mem­o­rable sto­ry itself, isn’t it? But let’s not talk about mem­o­ries. Let’s talk about what’s yet to become mem­o­ries. Let’s sup­port the Euro­pean Cit­i­zens’ Ini­tia­tive, pro­mote it, and hon­our the great effort of our pro-active col­leagues. Let’s bet­ter the world for our­selves and or suc­ces­sors. Let AEGEE to shine on even brighter after a suc­cess­ful ECI.
GT: Who were for you the out­stand­ing mem­bers in 2016?
Alek­san­dra: Pablo Her­nan­dez — and not only because of what he did dur­ing his term, but also because of what he did after­wards: still ful­ly active and loy­al to AEGEE, an inspir­ing exam­ple for all. Also Willem Lau­rentzen: my greet­ings for the amaz­ing edi­tor-in-chief and all of his won­der­ful work. We all do mis­takes at times, that’s what is called cycle of life, and it’s up to us to cre­ate the cycle of under­stand­ing and human­i­ty! So I wish for him to stayed more, but most def­i­nite­ly there are some oth­er big­ger chal­lenges life holds for him. Last but not least, every sin­gle mem­ber who did a sin­gle activ­i­ty for AEGEE by heart, who appre­ci­ates the respon­si­bil­i­ty giv­en, tru­ly under­stands and believes in the pow­er of our AEGEE, and self­ish­ly con­tributes to it. I do believe that all of us 10,000 do it -whether ful­ly aware or not.
GT: Which were for you the out­stand­ing anten­nae in 2016?
Alek­san­dra: AEGEE-Mari­bor, they have such per­fect organ­i­sa­tion­al skills, they are super hard-work­ing and beyond-respon­si­ble. They organ­ised some events per­fect­ly, like the TNT for instance. AEGEE-Zagreb is right here of course, organ­is­ing the EPM is a huge step to take. And they will do it well. But since the ques­tion is refer­ring to 2016: AEGEE-Chisin­au of course. The audac­i­ty of hope, this time the Euro­pean dream, they dared to go for it, and they did it very well, the most reli­able and help­ful organ­is­ers I have ever met. My huge thanks and appre­ci­a­tion for that.
GT: What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project, Work­ing Group or Inter­est Group in 2016?
Alek­san­dra: Am I allowed to say the “Your Vision for EUrope” project? We achieved a lot. The Cluj-Napoca con­fer­ence in coop­er­a­tion with the Asso­ci­a­tion des Amis de Franck Biancheri, the “Faces of Europe” pho­to­blog, the Work­shop Toolk­it for locals, the work­shops deliv­ered and the coop­er­a­tion with oth­er bod­ies: I hope we can con­tin­ue even bet­ter in 2017. Not to for­get the new Gen­der Equal­i­ty Inter­est Group and LGBT+IG, who seem to be very promis­ing.
GT: What do you fore­see as a high­light or big top­ic in AEGEE in 2017?
Alek­san­dra: The focus of the Focus Areas. How do we pre­pare our mem­bers and how do we lead the path that we chose? We need to set the pil­lars of our future actions, prefer­ably to cre­ate a tool to bring those clos­er, if not very close to each and every new active mem­ber, to shape their AEGEE life accord­ing to the Focus Areas, way more than the oth­er way around.
GT: What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2017?
Alek­san­dra: To con­tin­ue con­tribut­ing in AEGEE. Maybe in a a slight­ly dif­fer­ent role, but def­i­nite­ly stay­ing active. I am plan­ning to glad­ly join one of the inter­ests groups – or the two of my biggest inter­est — the LGBT+ one and the Gen­der Equal­i­ty one. Luck­i­ly, we have our Focus Areas here now that cov­ers both, so it should be eas­i­er.
GT: How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
Alek­san­dra: Home, fam­i­ly zone. Though I am a fan of par­ties — and I know how to par­ty! – I am not the biggest New Year’s eve par­ty queen.

 

Alin Georgescu, Network Commissioner, AEGEE Ploiesti, AEGEE Sibiu

Alin Georgescu small

GT: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2016?
Alin Georges­cu: Def­i­nite­ly being part of the Plan­ning Team of the Strate­gic Plan 2017–2020. Get­ting to have an overview about the con­tri­bu­tion that AEGEE had in Europe over the past years and get­ting to work close to the CD, was my best expe­ri­ence so far.
GT: AEGEE-Europe had many mem­o­rable moments in 2016. Which one do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
Alin: Maybe the con­fer­ence in Cluj-Napoca in May: “Bor­der­less Europe, Bless­ing or Bur­den”. It is one of the hottest issue that Europe is fac­ing and had the involve­ment of the Asso­ci­a­tion des Amis de Franck Biancheri in this event. Meet­ing peo­ple that worked with and knew Franck Biancheri was an amaz­ing thing. It is a per­son­al thing of course, it keeps me moti­vat­ed when I am over­whelmed.
GT: Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2016?
Alin: There are a lot of mem­bers that I have met, worked and had nice con­ver­sa­tion with. Maybe I can name our cur­rent pres­i­dent, Réka Sala­m­on. Her speech in Chisin­au made every­one believe that we do have the pow­er to cre­ate the soci­ety that we want to live in.
GT: Which were for you the out­stand­ing anten­nae in 2016?
Alin: Tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the events: AEGEE-Cluj-Napoca, AEGEE-Berg­amo, AEGEE-León and AEGEE-Chisin­au. Not to for­get my local, AEGEE-Ploiesti, maybe it did not have an out­stand­ing event, but it organ­ised its first NWM, which for me was a great achieve­ment and I am real­ly proud of it.
GT: What do you fore­see as a high­light or big top­ic in AEGEE in 2017?
Alin: The whole thing with pop­ulism that we are going to dis­cuss dur­ing EPM Zagreb is one of the biggest chal­lenges that Europe and actu­al­ly the whole world is fac­ing right now.
GT: What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2017?
Alin: Cur­rent­ly I am a Net­Com­mie, I am plan­ning to con­tin­ue the work of pre­vi­ous Net­Com­mies with my team and sup­port all the AEGEE projects and mem­bers as much as I can.
GT: How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
Alin: I don’t have any plans for now, I do feel that this year was a marathon for me, but I am an AEGEEan, I am spon­ta­neous, so who knows?

 

Melissa Carreres Candela, former Network Commissioner

Melissa Carreres small

GT: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2016?
Melis­sa Car­reres Can­dela: My whole work in the Net­work Com­mis­sion. Work­ing with locals has been the great­est expe­ri­ence that I had in AEGEE so far, and all the events that I have organ­ised as Net­Com, such as NWMs and Ren­ove, were very spe­cial and suc­cess­ful. The feed­back from the atten­dants was always very good!
GT: AEGEE-Europe had many mem­o­rable moments in 2016. Which one do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
Melis­sa: Ago­ra Berg­amo was real­ly remark­able and out­stand­ing for many rea­sons; the huge num­ber of par­tic­i­pants that they man­aged to have, the best open­ing cer­e­mo­ny ever in such an amaz­ing the­atre, the debate between the CD can­di­dates Pablo and Réka and the whole Clos­ing Ple­nary itself which was unpre­dictable and kept us stunned until the last minute. Fur­ther­more, the dis­cov­ery of “Jorge’s method” in Ago­ra Chisin­au, it’s a fact that many peo­ple will not for­get.
GT: Who were for you the out­stand­ing mem­bers in 2016?
Melis­sa: For me it’s clear: Pablo Hernán­dez, for his hard work in the CD, in his moth­er local and in gen­er­al in all aspects of AEGEE. He has been also for me the per­fect sup­port that I could have. He was my CD cou­ple dur­ing my first term as Net­Com, but more than that, he has been always by my side. I would con­sid­er also as out­stand­ing mem­bers Ander Guer­rero, for his tough task in the CD besides his con­tri­bu­tion to the LGBT+ IG, and Philip Blum, because of all the improve­ments that he brought to our Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty project.
GT: Which were for you the out­stand­ing anten­nae in 2016?
Melis­sa: AEGEE-Chisin­au deserves to be men­tioned here because of the huge effort that they did to organ­ise the Autumn Ago­ra. Maybe the organ­i­sa­tion was not per­fect, but we all saw that they tried to give their best and it was an oppor­tu­ni­ty for them to grow as anten­na.
GT: What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project, Work­ing Group or Inter­est Group in 2016?
Melis­sa: For me, the devel­op­ment and improve­ment in the Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty project is real­ly admirable and I would say all the improve­ments were real­ly need­ed. The Gen­der Equal­i­ty IG and the Democ­ra­cy in Prac­tice project have been also real­ly out­stand­ing this year.
GT: What do you fore­see as a high­light or big top­ic in AEGEE in 2017?
Melis­sa: I hope that the Euro­pean Cit­i­zens’ Ini­tia­tive reach­es the atten­tion of as many AEGEEans as pos­si­ble. This is a top­ic that real­ly involves all of us, and we must pri­ori­tise it because of the cur­rent world sit­u­a­tion and the sad facts that are hap­pen­ing nowa­days.
GT: What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2017?
Melis­sa: Not sure yet, because I would like to focus more on my pro­fes­sion­al life, but I am sure that I will not dis­ap­pear from AEGEE life yet. Becom­ing a train­er is also in my plans, so I am sure you will see me some­where soon!
GT: How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
Melis­sa: I will do some­thing sim­i­lar as last year, just to go back home and stay with fam­i­ly, which is always good when you have not enough time to go there dur­ing the year. Besides as a tra­di­tion, in New Years’ Eve, I will run a 10 kilo­me­tre race in my home­town, as I have more free time now, I am get­ting pre­pared and I would like to beat my per­son­al bests!

 

Danae Matakou, former Network Commissioner

Danae Matakou

GT: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2016?
Danae Matak­ou: My per­son­al high­light was the Ago­ra in Chisin­au. It was a love­ly time for me because I had the chance to recon­nect with many peo­ple that I worked with in the past and have some very inter­est­ing dis­cus­sions with them — about AEGEE and oth­er things. It felt won­der­ful for me to feel the AEGEE spir­it again. Anoth­er high­light for me was when I was select­ed to be a train­er for the SUPS in Skop­je, because orga­niz­ing SUs have giv­en me some of my best and most mem­o­rable moments in AEGEE, so it is an amaz­ing feel­ing to be able to help oth­ers do the same.
GT: AEGEE-Europe had many mem­o­rable moments in 2016. Which one do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
Danae: Ago­ra Berg­amo and the Ideas Fac­to­ry in Leon. I was unfor­tu­nate­ly unable to attend both, due to ill­ness and uni­ver­si­ty exams respec­tive­ly, but I have heard great things and I think they are great exam­ples of events and ini­tia­tives we can achieve as AEGEE.
GT: Who were for you the out­stand­ing mem­bers in 2016?
Danae: Mareike Wegen­er for her out­stand­ing job as Net­work Com­mis­sion­er and as speak­er of the com­mis­sion itself! Andrea Schmelz for her ini­tia­tive to make the Human Resources Com­mit­tee alive again! And Katha­ri­na Jimenez Weese for her hard work in the Lan­guage Inter­est Group!
GT: Which were for you the out­stand­ing anten­nae in 2016?
Danae: There are many anten­nae that did amaz­ing things in 2016, but I will have to men­tion AEGEE-Istan­bul and AEGEE-Eskise­hir for their out­stand­ing com­mit­ment to AEGEE and its val­ues, and mak­ing their SU hap­pen even through the tough sit­u­a­tion they faced dur­ing the sum­mer!
GT: What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project, Work­ing Group or Inter­est Group in 2016?
Danae: I think when it comes to work­ing groups the Civic Edu­ca­tion Work­ing Group did a fan­tas­tic job in the past year. They def­i­nite­ly proved that hard work can have amaz­ing results. Also I want to men­tion the Lan­guage Inter­est Group and the Migra­tion Inter­est Group, because they have been doing a great job as well!
GT: What do you fore­see as a high­light or big top­ic in AEGEE in 2017?
Danae: I think the top­ic of the EPM and the EPM itself will be a high­light for our orga­ni­za­tion. The top­ic is very rel­e­vant and I believe there are many ways AEGEE can con­tribute to improve things, so I am look­ing for­ward to see the out­come of the EPM and the impact AEGEE can have.
GT: What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2017?
Danae: Con­tribut­ing to the best of my abil­i­ties to HRC and to SUCT as a SUp­port­er, because both have great ideas and can do won­der­ful things in the future.
GT: How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
Danae: In my home­town with my fam­i­ly and friends! Christ­mas is always a time for me to go back home and spend time with my loved ones!

 

Zeynep Eda Alpsoy, Subcommissioner, former Vice-President of AEGEE-Ankara

Zeynep Eda Alpsoy

GT: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2016?
Zeynep Eda Alp­soy: Attempt­ing to quit AEGEE, because I grad­u­at­ed and I would be far from the office and the oth­er devel­op­ments, but becom­ing a part of it more and more — because one sim­ply can’t let AEGEE and its spir­it go away.
GT: AEGEE-Europe had many mem­o­rable moments in 2016. Which one do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
Zeynep: I clear­ly remem­ber how I tried to fol­low Ago­ra Berg­amo online for a cou­ple of hours every day, because I wasn’t able to join, and how it felt like a sus­pense movie dur­ing the announce­ment of the elec­tion results!
GT: Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2016?
Zeynep: There are many peo­ple in AEGEE who inspire me and get me moti­vat­ed about my work in AEGEE. If I would have to name some­one, by look­ing at his ambi­tions and efforts, I can say that Spy­ros Papadatos, who is the cur­rent Net­Com of AEGEE-Ankara, is doing an out­stand­ing job tire­less­ly since he was elect­ed.
GT: Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2016?
Zeynep: Con­sid­er­ing the locals I am in con­tact with, I can say that I am impressed by AEGEE-Baki’s work. They are doing a lot at the local lev­el. From train­ing the new mem­bers to social respon­si­bil­i­ty projects, they are work­ing in diverse areas and I feel like the AEGEE spir­it is always up in AEGEE-Baki.
GT: What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project, Work­ing Group or Inter­est Group in 2016?
Zeynep: I can humbly say that the Civic Edu­ca­tion Work­ing Group and the Lan­guage Inter­est Group are the ones that I close­ly fol­low and the ones whose ener­gy nev­er ends. As far as I can fol­low from social media and mail­ing lists, they are quite moti­vat­ed and they are fol­low­ing up their work which leads to mean­ing­ful achieve­ments at the end.
GT: What do you fore­see as a high­light or big top­ic in AEGEE in 2017?
Zeynep: It will be two of the new Focus Areas of AEGEE, which are Civic Edu­ca­tion and Equal Rights. I am very excit­ed that we will be work­ing on these areas and I am plan­ning to take an active role in the activ­i­ties and projects relat­ed to those areas.
GT: What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2017?
Zeynep: I am plan­ning to take part in the statu­to­ry events more often and I want to join the Euro­pean School train­ings by the Acad­e­my.
GT: How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
Zeynep: Hope­ful­ly in beau­ti­ful İzmir.

 

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