Who is the AEGEE mem­ber of the year 2017? Which anten­na, which project was the best? What were the high­lights of the year? And what will 2018 bring? The Gold­en Times asked more than 80 local­ly or Euro­pean­ly active mem­bers. In this last edi­tion of the AEGEE-Europe review: read what Réka Sala­m­on, Ado­nis Meg­gos, Kristi­na Resheto­va and Romy Cartiere said.

Réka Salamon, Vice-Coordinator of Autumn Agora Istanbul 2018

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2017?
Réka Sala­m­on: CD on Track, by far! It has been an amaz­ing expe­ri­ence to trav­el from Brus­sels by train all the way to Thes­sa­loni­ki vis­it­ing AEGEE locals, occa­sion­al­ly meet­ing up with Tekla and Zvon­imir on the way, expe­ri­enc­ing EPM Zagreb in the mid­dle and most impor­tant­ly: get­ting a bit clos­er to under­stand­ing the real­i­ty of the AEGEE net­work. A vis­it can­not change much but sure­ly can give a bet­ter insight than the mail­box of the AEGEE head­of­fice. On a more per­son­al note, emo­tion­al high­lights came in July spend­ing our last weeks in office with Tekla, Lia and Zvon­imir and with an unhealthy amount of Despaci­to.
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2017 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
Ago­ra Enschede. But I will choose that moment of the clos­ing ple­nary, when those adorable, amaz­ing and some­times annoy­ing peo­ple in the audi­ence just would not stop stand­ing and applaud­ing dur­ing my clos­ing speech and they made me cry human tears. These are moments to live for and it makes you feel like… it was just all worth it. For the net­work I hope there was not just one out­stand­ing moment, but a roller­coast­er of amaz­ing expe­ri­ences that AEGEE has giv­en them!
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2017? Please name up to three.
One, papa Zvone. Zvon­imir Can­ju­ga is the cor­rect name on the imag­i­nary vot­ing bal­lot. He was and is my best friend from AEGEE and I don’t think I would have sur­vived the year sane if it wasn’t for him, like for real. I still con­sid­er myself sane, yes.
Two, Damien Lat­acz for­mer Medi­a­tion Com­mis­sion — I almost typed Med­ica­tion Com­mis­sion, some­times things got very close to this men­tal stage, haha — and AEGEE-Aachen, because he has sac­ri­ficed so much of his free time and ener­gy to help the CD dur­ing the year, from hap­py to crit­i­cal moments. I have learnt a lot from him and I am hap­py to call him my friend — hop­ing he thinks the same but I did annoy him quite a lot…
Three, Philipp Blum, for­mer SUCT and anoth­er AEGEE-Aachen bear. He has an amaz­ing mind, a pow­er­ful will and real care for AEGEE, he has already done a lot for our organ­i­sa­tion, and he still signed up for a big chal­lenge to coor­di­nate our famous Y Vote project in 2019 as well. Go Philipp and go Y Vote team!
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2017? You can also men­tion up to three.
AEGEE-Cata­nia, lalalalalala… For tak­ing on the chal­lenge of the Ago­ra, for sac­ri­fic­ing so much of their own lives, for the warm hos­pi­tal­i­ty they gave me when I was there for a week, and then for anoth­er week for Ago­ra, and for remind­ing me of what “AEGEE fam­i­ly” tru­ly means.
Also AEGEE-Zagreb and the mil­lion hearts team, for a won­der­ful EPM and for fac­ing all chal­lenges brave­ly and with a love­ly smile that Mari­na and her team has! I hope AEGEE-Zagreb’s strong­hold can be a good point for the devel­op­ment of the whole area.
Fur­ther­more, AEGEE-León for the AEGEE Ideas Fac­to­ry which brought us many dif­fer­ent insights, dif­fer­ent ideas and per­cep­tions of AEGEE, and also our new Strate­gic Plan. I believe they deserve recog­ni­tion not only because of the Ideas Fac­to­ry, but also because of the very pro­fes­sion­al work the anten­na is doing on the field of youth exchanges and Eras­mus+. And also for giv­ing AEGEE peo­ple with a good heart. I am look­ing at you Lau­ra and Dani.
I know it is real­ly is unfair to nom­i­nate statu­to­ry event organ­is­ing locals. These events get the most vis­i­bil­i­ty, among many great events in the net­work in one year. I heard there are plans for an offi­cial AEGEE events web­site, no, not the new OMS, but to cre­ate stronger vis­i­bil­i­ty for all the great events AEGEE offers: and also attract non-AEGEEans to our events!
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project, work­ing group or inter­est group in 2017?
Europe on Track has built up quite some antic­i­pa­tion for the 5th edi­tion! I am hap­py the top­ic they select­ed is a glob­al chal­lenge, bring­ing not only a great learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty for AEGEE about cli­mate change, but also bring­ing glob­al cit­i­zen­ship and aware­ness to the table. I am hap­py to see the work Jorge and the team have been doing, hap­py to see so many locals tak­ing part in it, and hap­py that once upon a time I had the chance to lead this amaz­ing project…
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2018?
I fore­see dis­cus­sions on our iden­ti­ty, our struc­ture, I see a lot of ideas about a the­mat­ic AEGEE float­ing around, I see some real­ly active peo­ple ready to make a change with their best inten­tion. AEGEE is an amaz­ing play­ground for its mem­bers’ exper­i­men­ta­tion and self-devel­op­ment, but I wish more for AEGEE to teach us the core val­ues of our organ­i­sa­tion that bring and keep us togeth­er. Val­ues like ser­vice and con­tri­bu­tion to some­thing big­ger than your­self. I am a firm believ­er you can only bring the best out in your­self if you sac­ri­fice some­thing for this organ­i­sa­tion, than try­ing to suit your­self most­ly. Because the real mean­ing of being a net­work of change-mak­ers is about stand­ing our ground and being ready to defend the ideas and val­ues we strive for. A bit like sol­diers on a bat­tle­field of a Euro­pean con­ti­nent that is burn­ing in all cor­ners.
I don’t know what the tides will bring to AEGEE for 2018. But I have a ques­tion for reflec­tion, based on the very idea this organ­i­sa­tion was found­ed in 1985. When we say “AEGEE strives for a diverse and bor­der­less Europe”, the “diverse” and “bor­der­less” is more com­mon­ly referred to. But “strive” accord­ing to the dic­tio­nary means: “make great efforts to achieve or obtain some­thing” and “strug­gle or fight vig­or­ous­ly”. Same word but slight­ly dif­fer­ent inter­pre­ta­tions. Which one are you?
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2018?
Organ­ise a leg­endary Ago­ra Istan­bul 2018! I am vice-coor­di­na­tor of the Ago­ra. I am super excit­ed and plan­ning to move to Istan­bul not only to work on the Ago­ra but con­tin­ue work­ing with the Turk­ish-speak­ing locals on long-term devel­op­ment projects, sup­port train­ings, sup­port exter­nal rela­tions with EU enti­ties, bring more fund­ed oppor­tu­ni­ties to an area that is heav­i­ly dis­ad­van­taged eco­nom­i­cal­ly and because of visa. We do not seem to take the visa prob­lem seri­ous­ly nowa­days..
I also got myself active in the AEGEE Elec­tion Obser­va­tion project work­ing on fund­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for the project that I believe is one of the most promis­ing ini­tia­tives for AEGEE to step up as a strong actor on the field of youth par­tic­i­pa­tion! On a per­son­al note, we are organ­is­ing an Elec­tion Obser­va­tion Mis­sion to Hun­gary in spring 2018 — and I am as curi­ous as con­cerned about the elec­tions and the future of my coun­try.
So yes, I decid­ed to stay around a bit longer in AEGEE because I believe I am at the peak of my knowl­edge after two years in the CD, and can still give a lot to this organ­i­sa­tion. I hope to con­tin­ue sup­port­ing the work of the new CD when­ev­er they need me, but I am hap­pi­er to be a bit more away from AEGEE-Europe and back on the local lev­el with AEGEE-Istan­bul and occa­sion­al­ly AEGEE-Budapest.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
I will attend the AEGEE New Years’ event organ­ised by AEGEE-Budapest and AEGEE-Pécs! And I will not be alone… my sis­ter is com­ing with me. She plans to move to Budapest for her uni­ver­si­ty stud­ies, so we will see if AEGEE-Budapest can wel­come a new mem­ber soon!

 

Adonis Meggos, Communications Director, AEGEE-Peiraias

Gold­en Times: Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2017 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
Ado­nis Meg­gos: Unfor­tu­nate­ly I would go with Ago­ra Enschede’s pres­i­den­tial hap­pen­ing. That was a les­son to be learned. I hope that dra­ma, dis­hon­esty and dis­hon­our will be extinct from AEGEE. We are all here vol­un­teers under the same val­ues and goals. Every­one has the right to speak up, always in a polite man­ner under qual­i­ty civic dis­cus­sion.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2017? Please name up to three.
Undoubt­ed­ly Flo­ri­an Hauger deserves the first place for his stout­ness and courage. The sec­ond men­tion goes Veron­i­ca Chmelárová for her juridi­cal sup­port and her assis­tance. The Third goes to Dominic Dimi­an. I believe he will be play­ing a big role in AEGEE in 2018.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2017? You can also men­tion up to three.
I proud­ly present you AEGEE-Sankt-Peter­burg! The local that host­ed my first Euro­pean event, the SU in 2013 has been the inspi­ra­tional moment that moti­vat­ed me enough to remain active in AEGEE for so long and even­tu­al­ly hold my cur­rent posi­tion. The local has been grow­ing strong for many years and I per­son­al­ly had the hon­our to be invit­ed to one of its LTCs this April. I wit­nessed the excel­lent man­age­ment of the local and now I am observ­ing many valu­able mem­bers becom­ing active in the Euro­pean bod­ies. The only AEGEE local and port that I like more than Peira­ias.
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project, work­ing group or inter­est group in 2017?
A greek phrase says that if you don’t praise your own house, the roof will fall upon your head; that’s why I def­i­nite­ly high­light the Drink­wise project with three suc­cess­ful SU col­lab­o­ra­tions includ­ing AEGEE-Torino’s that was the best SU of the year. Water Is sim­ply not Nutri­tious Enough!
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2018?
The brand­ed activ­i­ties! It’s time for locals to grow stronger in their respect­ed areas. We have been focus­ing a lot on organ­i­sa­tion­al improve­ments and the struc­ture of AEGEE but AEGEE is all about the local mem­bers shar­ing their cul­tures and believes. Let’s strength­en up the local activ­i­ties that will make the AEGEE known in every cor­ner of Europe.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2018?
My per­son­al AEGEE plans are focused on AEGEE ana­lyt­ics. Since 1985 we store tons of data. Except the work that you dear Gun­nar have done all these years, the rest of AEGEEans haven’t con­sid­ered to store the impor­tant doc­u­men­ta­tion in one user friend­ly plat­form. The AEGEE Wiki exists, but nobody uses it so far because it is still emp­ty. While in every Ago­ra we come with new pro­pos­als to reform our struc­ture, when we are asked “What is AEGEE?” we all hes­i­tate for a moment and ask our­selves “Ouf, where do I start?” Our iden­ti­ty needs to be sim­pli­fied. It is hard to have so many focus­es. We only need basic pil­lars that iden­ti­fy our com­mon goals and val­ues. And the way to iden­ti­fy them is through a research of all past activ­i­ties. To see where we are good at and what has been the main aims through those 32 years.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
The Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Director’s life is quite exhaust­ing. I will be prob­a­bly in a cave in the mid­dle of nowhere with poor but exist­ing Inter­net con­nec­tion. Even if I try to hide from my respon­si­bil­i­ties I am pret­ty sure that they will chase me. So many plat­forms need to be updat­ed! I would be hap­py if I man­aged to relax for these few days.

 

Kristina Reshetova, former Network Commissioner

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2017?
Kristi­na Resheto­va: Def­i­nite­ly my Net­com trips to AEGEE-Eskise­hir, AEGEE-Mugla, AEGEE-Adana, AEGEE-Gaziantep, AEGEE-Yere­van, AEGEE-Tbil­isi and AEGEE-Ros­tov-na-Donu. Being a Net­com­mie was one of the best expe­ri­ences and I real­ly miss those days!
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2017? Please name up to three.
Réka Sala­m­on and Jorge Sanchez are my inspi­ra­tion and exam­ples of great lead­ers.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2017? You can also men­tion up to three.
Of course every anten­na which organ­ised a big event deserves to be men­tioned. But I want to men­tion three small locals who are doing real­ly great now: AEGEE-Tyu­men, AEGEE-Gaziantep and AEGEE-Mugla!
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2018?
I am sure Ago­ra Istan­bul will be a high­light of the new year. I want­ed an Ago­ra in Turkey so much and it final­ly came true! I also think it will be a place for a lot of inter­est­ing dis­cus­sions.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2018?
Well, to come back! It is quite dif­fi­cult to fol­low every­thing from here in Ecuador as I don’t have wi-fi at home and the time dif­fer­ence also plays its role, but hope­ful­ly I will come back right in time for Ago­ra Kraków, full of ener­gy and new ideas!
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
Hope­ful­ly some­where around Machu Pic­chu!

 

Romy Cartiere, European Affairs Officer of AEGEE-Amsterdam

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2017?
Romy Cartiere: Def­i­nite­ly being in the board of AEGEE-Ams­ter­dam. It feels like I have been in the board since for­ev­er and at the same time it’s going so fast. It’s an emo­tion­al and phys­i­cal roller­coast­er of late nights, great expe­ri­ences and tons of meet­ings. And even though that doesn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly sound great, I love it all. I am very hap­py in my func­tion, where I both get to know my own local so well, but still feel more and more con­nect­ed to the net­work. More­over I am also very sat­is­fied with the team. I’m so proud and glad I get to do this with them. I’m look­ing for­ward to rock­ing the last three months of our term and start­ing the knowl­edge trans­fer for the new board that has slow­ly start­ed to assem­ble!
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2017? Please name up to three.
That’s easy! José van der Meer, Lisa van Bode­graven and Jan­the Bührs, who are the Sec­re­tary, Trea­sur­er and Pres­i­dent of AEGEE-Ams­ter­dam.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2017? You can also men­tion up to three.
AEGEE-Utrecht did a great job organ­is­ing their Net­work Meet­ing!
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project, work­ing group or inter­est group in 2017?
It was only a pilot at Ago­ra Cata­nia, but I hope the Safe Per­son project evolves into an actu­al project.
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2018?
Cli­mate and envi­ron­ment, and the rela­tions between EU and non-EU coun­tries.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2018?
After end­ing my board term I unfor­tu­nate­ly have to back down from AEGEE a lit­tle bit, in order not to com­plete­ly fail my stud­ies. How­ev­er I want to stay invest­ed, so I would like to become a sub­com­mie. Hope­ful­ly I will get the chance to be one! Also I will stay in the Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty com­mit­tee, so fas­ten your seat­belts, because this one is going to be amaz­ing! I also will keep going to some events, or at least the Ago­ras. Ago­ra Istan­bul is going to be the eighth one — and the 11th statu­to­ry event! And last­ly I plan on final­ly going on a Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty myself.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
In Paris as a helper of the excit­ing New Year’s event “Mid­night Kiss­ing in Paris”!

 

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