Who is the AEGEE mem­ber of the year 2018? Which anten­na, which project was the best? What were the high­lights of the year? And what will 2019 bring? The Gold­en Times asked more than 70 active mem­bers. In this edi­tion: read what Spy­ros Papadatos, Moni­ka Mojak, Matis Joab, Evrim Emiroğlu, Jas­min Kaiser, Leonar­do Man­ganel­li, Desireé van Lan­gen and Jani Dugo­nik said.

Spyros Papadatos, President of AEGEE-Europe, Honorary Member of AEGEE-Ioannina

Spy­ros Papadatos

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Spy­ros Papadatos: I would say the first part of my CD term: such an intense expe­ri­ence, but nonethe­less a great one! I am glad I share it with six more great AEGEEans and look­ing for­ward for the next months!

Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
Clos­ing my Net­Com term after two years. On 1st of June, I let go offi­cial­ly of my locals and passed them on to new Net­Com­mies. Addi­tion­al­ly, clos­ing the 5th edi­tion of “Europe on Track”; I learnt a lot in this project and I am proud I was part of this project team togeth­er with many great peo­ple. Last but not least, I couldn’t for­get the CD elec­tions in Ago­ra Kraków. All these moments for sure marked me and I am grate­ful to have expe­ri­enced them.

Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
First, I would men­tion Batuhan Çarıkçı. We had the chance to coop­er­ate in my Net­Com term as he was the Pres­i­dent of AEGEE-Izmir. This year, see­ing him as incom­ing respon­si­ble of Ago­ra Istan­bul and main coor­di­na­tor of EPM Izmir, remind­ed me of his excep­tion­al char­ac­ter and his unique lead­er­ship. Then I would like to men­tion Dom Dimi­an; such a great per­son to work with and I think he has a lot to give to AEGEE in the future. Last but not least, I would like to men­tion the Online Mem­ber­ship Sys­tem team: Sergey, Nico and Fab­rizio. Their work and com­mit­ment are not so vis­i­ble to the net­work as it should be; but I would like to pub­licly thank them for this and for help­ing us make the OMS final­ly launch ear­li­er this year.

Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
Each and every local brings some­thing unique to our net­work and I would like to thank each and every one of them!

What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
I think Europe on Track 5 man­aged to raise the bar of AEGEE-Europe projects real­ly high and I am hap­py to see oth­er projects like Y Vote and East­ern Part­ner­ship+ fol­low­ing the same direc­tion. Projects are in the core of AEGEE and I am very glad to see sev­er­al out­stand­ing ones being man­aged and devel­oped com­plete­ly by young vol­un­teers.

What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
The Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions are for sure a big top­ic in 2019 — both inside and out­side of AEGEE. Addi­tion­al­ly, I see sex­u­al harass­ment, men­tal health and sus­tain­abil­i­ty as huge top­ics in 2019 and the next years.

What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
I would pri­ori­tise fin­ish­ing my CD year and mak­ing sure our Activ­i­ty Plan is being ful­filled. Apart from this, no idea what the future will bring.

How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
As usu­al, home in Greece with fam­i­ly and friends!

 

Monika Mojak, Secretary General of AEGEE-Europe, AEGEE-Warszawa

Moni­ka Mojak

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Moni­ka Mojak: It was the clos­ing ple­nary of Ago­ra Kraków, when for the last time I was sit­ting behind the Chair table as a Pres­i­dent of Juridi­cal Com­mis­sion. After four Ago­ras and four years in the JC in total, time has come to move on. It was a very emo­tion­al moment to me, as the JC was a huge part of my AEGEE life and I put a lot of heart and com­mit­ment in this com­mis­sion. Also, the clos­ing ple­nary was a very cheer­ful moment, as after announc­ing the elec­tion results for the Comité Directeur the new adven­ture was about to start for me. The oth­er mem­o­rable thing in 2018 was the Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty “be CuRi­ous, bE orig­i­nAl, invenT, imag­inE – CREATE” orga­nized by AEGEE-Warsza­wa and AEGEE-Gdańsk, which I coor­di­nat­ed togeth­er with Hania Sar­nec­ka from Gdańsk. It was def­i­nite­ly one of the best expe­ri­ence I have lived in AEGEE so far. Last by not least, the first days in the office as Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al were very excit­ing, as it was the first moment when I ful­ly real­ized what I signed up for and that the year ahead will be total­ly crazy and absolute­ly amaz­ing.

Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
Again, Ago­ra Kraków was mar­velous. The orga­niz­ers did a great job to make it an unfor­get­table expe­ri­ence for all of us, and I am pret­ty sure that every­body enjoyed the event to the fullest. But of course, there is no Ago­ra with­out ten­sions around. It was a chal­leng­ing and very intense time for us, with good and bad moments, tears and smiles. The Ago­ra showed us the entire palette of AEGEE colours and it should teach as a les­son how to improve in the future, how to show sol­i­dar­i­ty in tough moments and how to coop­er­ate to make AEGEE a bet­ter place for every­one.

Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
It is just impos­si­ble for me and would be unfair to men­tion only a cou­ple of names, that’s why I would like to seize the oppor­tu­ni­ty and tell every­one I had the chance to meet, work with or just become friends dur­ing the last year: You are all shin­ing stars and absolute­ly won­der­ful peo­ple. Thank you for being around and mak­ing AEGEE such a great place!

Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
AEGEE-Odessa and AEGEE-Antalya are per­fect exam­ple that only “the sky is the lim­it”. I am very impressed by the qual­i­ty of the events they orga­nized this year, but also their moti­va­tion, deter­mi­na­tion and very nice ideas for future activ­i­ties. They show us how to grow and flour­ish with style. More­over, there is a spot­light for AEGEE-Kraków for being sim­ply unstop­pable and set­ting high stan­dards in AEGEE. But our asso­ci­a­tion is not only about the cool projects and ini­tia­tives, but also peo­ple, by whom we are sur­round­ed. I would like to men­tion AEGEE-Warsza­wa, for the sup­port and love I get from them on every step and for being true friends I can always count on.

What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
“Europe on Track” for the full pro­fes­sion­al­ism, very inter­est­ing and impor­tant top­ic, the wide impact of the project and all the efforts put by the team to make it suc­cess­ful.

What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
I will prob­a­bly not be orig­i­nal at all, if I say “Euro­pean Elec­tions” and every­thing that may hap­pen after­wards. But this is def­i­nite­ly the hot top­ic num­ber one not only in AEGEE. Besides I would like to empha­size sus­tain­abil­i­ty, as a crit­i­cal top­ic that will hope­ful­ly have its turn­ing point dur­ing EPM Izmir — and draft­ing the new Strate­gic Plan. I am very curi­ous about the direc­tion we will take in AEGEE for the next three years.

What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
Enjoy­ing every moment of my CD year, work­ing hard, be hap­py and stay moti­vat­ed and inspired to take up all the chal­lenges wait­ing for me.

How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
I will be in Lviv, cel­e­brat­ing in the com­pa­ny of my love­ly friends.

 

Matis Joab, Financial Director of AEGEE-Europe, AEGEE-Tallinn

Matis Joab

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Matis Joab: Well, I guess it has to be get­ting elect­ed in Ago­ra Kraków. It’s fun­ny because less than two months before that Ago­ra I was fair­ly sure I would not even be liv­ing in Europe in 2019 and that, at the lat­est, Ago­ra Istan­bul would be my very last event in AEGEE… Some­times life is strange! [laugh­ing]

Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
There were a lot of mem­o­rable moments, but I would say the most mem­o­rable one was EPM Yere­van. It was a real­ly high-lev­el con­fer­ence and an event where arguably the most impact­ful anten­na in the net­work got to strut its stuff. I met a lot of great peo­ple there and that was also the point where I actu­al­ly start­ed seri­ous­ly think­ing about run­ning for CD for the first time.

Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
All the mem­bers of our team in the CD are real­ly out­stand­ing and I think we are a real­ly strong team. If I had to high­light one per­son from there, it would be Vio­la Bianchet­ti. Her struc­ture and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty is real­ly some­thing to admire and learn from. I would also like to high­light Arme­nak Minasyants, not only for orga­niz­ing the EPM, but all his work build­ing up AEGEE-Yere­van and show­ing how an AEGEE anten­na can tru­ly con­tribute to their com­mu­ni­ty. I real­ly think the expe­ri­ences and con­nec­tions their mem­bers get in AEGEE will be an invalu­able asset as Arme­nia starts to build a new, more demo­c­ra­t­ic and more pros­per­ous future. Spe­cial shout out to Lucia Gavulová for start­ing reform­ing the Acad­e­my, Réka Sala­m­on for her con­tri­bu­tion to Ago­ra Istan­bul and her huge impact on the net­work over the years and Jas­min Kaiser for her ded­i­ca­tion and pro­fes­sion­al­ism in work­ing for the “30 Years of Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty” project, despite all the hur­dles they faced.

Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
Giv­en my pre­vi­ous answers, it’s no sur­prise that I’ll name AEGEE-Yere­van. Aside from them, I think orga­niz­ing a statu­to­ry event, espe­cial­ly an Ago­ra, is a huge under­tak­ing and I think both AEGEE-Kraków and AEGEE-Istan­bul deserve a huge amount of grat­i­tude from the net­work!

What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
In the warm-up to the Euro­pean Par­lia­men­tary elec­tions in 2019, Y Vote has obvi­ous­ly stood out as the most active project. I was very glad to par­tic­i­pate in some of their local actions and am look­ing for­ward to also join one or more of their con­ven­tions in 2019! Hon­ourable men­tions go to the “30 Years of Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty” project who did a great job despite being real­ly under-staffed for most of their term and “Europe on Track 5”, who I feel were more vis­i­ble than any oth­er EoT dur­ing my time as a mem­ber.

What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
Of course, the Euro­pean Par­lia­men­tary elec­tions and the activ­i­ties of not only Y Vote but also EoT6 and the Civic Edu­ca­tion Work­ing Group that are direct­ly or indi­rect­ly con­nect­ed to that will be a huge top­ic and I also hope a big high­light. I am also quite excit­ed for a big fes­ti­val in 2019 that the net­work will soon hear more about.

What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
I hope that the bud­get I report in Ago­ra Saler­no will be more than dou­ble of the year before so that we can real­ly help empow­er the net­work and the Euro­pean Bod­ies to have an even big­ger impact and have more awe­some events and projects. That will of course not be a per­son­al effort. If it hap­pens, it will be thanks to the efforts of the entire head office team.

How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
In Tallinn, with friends. There are a lot of cool AEGEE New Year events this year that were very tempt­ing, but after doing AEGEE pret­ty much 24/7 for the last six months, it’s nice to have a small break as well!

 

Evrim Emiroğlu, Network Director of AEGEE-Europe, AEGEE-Eskişehir

Evrim Emiroğlu

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Evrim Emiroğlu: For me, the high­light was EPM Yere­van. I was sim­ply amazed by it. The qual­i­ty of the event, the cul­ture, the peo­ple, the meet­ing that we had togeth­er with Turk­ish and Armen­ian peo­ple was the rea­son that I kept my faith in AEGEE and want­ed to take a step fur­ther in Ago­ra Kraków.  More­over, apart from that the sec­ond moment that I remem­bered the poten­tial of AEGEE was dur­ing the study trip in Geor­gia orga­nized by the East­ern Part­ner­ship project. I would say these are the moments that give me moti­va­tion and encour­age me to keep going on in the orga­ni­za­tion.

Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
For me, the clos­ing ple­nary of Kraków was giv­ing a strong state­ment with­out for­mu­lat­ing it. Two of the Turk­ish speak­ing locals select­ed for statu­to­ry events after years of dis­cus­sions whether it is safe or not. I think it was a turn­ing point not only for those locals but also for AEGEE-Europe to remem­ber to stand up against prej­u­dices like in the old times.

Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
First of all, I would say Batuhan Carik­ci from AEGEE-İzmir. Orga­niz­ing one statu­to­ry event is one thing, orga­niz­ing the sec­ond one in a row and in addi­tion as the main coor­di­na­tor is anoth­er thing. I real­ly admire his con­tin­ued con­tri­bu­tion to AEGEE in 2018 and even 2019. The sec­ond per­son is Gül Hira Turhan from AEGEE-Eskişe­hir, being every­where, help­ing every­one that she can with­out even run­ning after a vis­i­ble title is some­thing that deserves an appre­ci­a­tion. Anoth­er per­son is Réka Sala­m­on, she is the cra­zi­est per­son that I saw in this orga­ni­za­tion. Mov­ing com­plete­ly to a dif­fer­ent coun­try for orga­niz­ing an Ago­ra – and this for the orga­ni­za­tion that she has a strong mix of feel­ings for… This is some­thing that deserves more respect than she received. Last but not least, I would like to add one more name here: Alin. He was Net­work Com­mis­sion­er for the last two years and he passed away 20 days after he fin­ished his term. He was not the most out­stand­ing mem­ber in this year due to health issues, but he was help­ing me in the last days of his life some­thing for his locals and it means a lot to me. I just couldn’t pass this ques­tion with­out men­tion­ing a cou­ple of words for him.

Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
All of them are out­stand­ing for me! But okay, I will high­light some of them for their unique prac­tices: First of all, I would go for AEGEE-Yere­van, not just because they organ­ised an amaz­ing event this year but also because they showed the whole net­work how pro­fes­sion­al they are on the local lev­el. They showed the best prac­tice so far regard­ing being an NGO by hav­ing a full impact on their soci­ety. Yes, of course I am talk­ing about the Vel­vet Rev­o­lu­tion and how mem­bers of AEGEE-Yere­van was active­ly involved in this. The sec­ond one is AEGEE-Angers. I believe their way of growth is sim­ply amaz­ing. Orga­niz­ing a Euro­pean event as a con­tact is one of the unique things in the net­work which I def­i­nite­ly encour­age more con­tacts to expe­ri­ence. After this inten­sive expe­ri­ence, being select­ed as the host local for one of the pres­ti­gious con­fer­ences is mak­ing me curi­ous what will come after this!

What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
I observed a great devel­op­ment in the last edi­tion of “Europe on Track” this year. As a per­son who joined at least part­ly the last three edi­tions of this project on the local lev­el, I believe the ambas­sadors were well trained and all the expe­ri­ences from the last edi­tions were used towards pos­i­tive improve­ments. I hope EoT6 will raise the lev­el even high­er in the upcom­ing year.

What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
Indeed, all the eyes from the major part of the net­work will be on the Euro­pean elec­tions. Apart from this, I am very curi­ous about the strate­gic plan­ning and which direc­tion AEGEE will take in the next three years or even more. Final­ly, I can­not wait for EPM Izmir and Ago­ra Bucuresti.

What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
My per­son­al plans are pret­ty clear — at least until the end of my man­date. In the first part of the year, the EPM will be my pri­or­i­ty. More­over, I would like to final­ize the work on the health cri­te­ria for the locals until the end of Feb­ru­ary and start with tri­als in March and April. Also, I would like to focus on the new­ly estab­lished AEGEE con­tacts and aim at mak­ing the major­i­ty of them con­tact anten­na at Ago­ra Bucuresti. How­ev­er, we are also plan­ning to send new mis­sions for the Net­work Enlarge­ment Strat­e­gy in the new year. Besides, I would under­line that the East­ern Part­ner­ship project has very inter­est­ing plans con­cern­ing “Beyond Europe” for the next year. I will try to sup­port them as much as I can.

How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
I will be in Düs­sel­dorf, one of the most beau­ti­ful cities that I dis­cov­ered in this year with one of the most impor­tant peo­ple that 2018 gave to me.

 

Jasmin Kaiser, 30 Years of Summer University project, AEGEE-Passau

Jas­min Kaiser

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Jas­min Kaiser: This whole year was a high­light for me! I have worked with amaz­ing peo­ple, chal­lenged myself plen­ty of times and real­ized the huge poten­tial AEGEE has to influ­ence the polit­i­cal agen­da. One spe­cial per­son­al high­light was the Euro­pean Youth Event, orga­nized by the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment in Stras­bourg, where I was part of the AEGEE del­e­ga­tion. It was a great expe­ri­ence to see all these young peo­ple from all kind of dif­fer­ent youth orga­ni­za­tions or as active indi­vid­u­als, com­ing togeth­er, rais­ing their voic­es for a bet­ter Europe. It was a blast to have this oppor­tu­ni­ty of think­ing out of the AEGEE box, tons of inno­v­a­tive ideas are out there!

Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
I would not talk of moments but rather of one impor­tant momen­tum: the return of the­mat­ic actions! 2018 show-cased so many the­mat­ic con­fer­ences and con­tent-relat­ed events, you didn’t know where to go first! Many were ini­ti­at­ed and guid­ed by Euro­pean Bod­ies, but it was even more delight­ing to see that locals often took the first step, asked for advice and then orga­nized their own local activ­i­ties. No, I do not believe the major­i­ty of AEGEEans is sole­ly inter­est­ed in fun activ­i­ties; we have many active mem­bers on the local lev­el who tru­ly care about AEGEE’s mis­sion, they show the ini­tia­tive and are an impor­tant part of their local civ­il soci­ety.

Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
The best team expe­ri­ence I had so far was sure­ly being part of the Euro­pean Cit­i­zen­ship Work­ing Group 2017–18! Besides of hav­ing six awe­some indi­vid­u­als with me in the team, Álvaro as our coor­di­na­tor man­aged to cre­ate a real team spir­it, always kept our moti­va­tion high and made our work qual­i­ty work. I would also like to men­tion Julia de Lange, who took on the role as Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al of AEGEE-Europe from one moment to the next and who as our CD appoint­ed mem­ber got us in the ECWG off the hook sev­er­al times. And third­ly, every­body involved in the 30 Years of Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty project deserves to be men­tioned here: all par­tic­i­pat­ing locals, the Adven­tur­ers, the book­let team, our tiny core team and Mar­co and Matis from CD! Despite the con­stant time pres­sure and all ups and downs we made the 30th anniver­sary of SU mem­o­rable!

Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
For sure AEGEE-Warsza­wa! It was a great plea­sure to work with them on the prepa­ra­tions for the ECWG “Cit­i­zen­ship at its Grass­roots” con­fer­ence. They are exact­ly that kind of anten­na that per­forms AEGEE work at its best: they were equal­ly involved in the con­tent prepa­ra­tions of the con­fer­ence, they march on the streets when basic demo­c­ra­t­ic val­ues in Poland are in dan­ger, they sim­ply do mag­ic when they orga­nize sev­er­al Euro­pean and local events in only a few weeks and they are always so warm-heart­ed!

What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
Y Vote and Europe on Track, because they brought a com­plete new lev­el of pro­fes­sion­al­ism to AEGEE. And the Soci­ety & the Envi­ron­ment Inter­est Group! SEIG start­ed with so few peo­ple and they man­aged to put sus­tain­abil­i­ty high on the agen­da with­in AEGEE. They cre­at­ed con­tent for many, many events this year and they keep the dis­cus­sions run­ning!

What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
No doubt, it is going to be the Euro­pean elec­tions in May and the future of Europe in gen­er­al. So the ques­tions is, what will AEGEE con­cen­trate on for the sec­ond half of the year? I am very much look­ing for­ward to the Strate­gic Plan­ning Meet­ing!

What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
The 30th anniver­sary of Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ties might be over in sev­er­al days, but the project is not! We have some more high­lights to share with the net­work until the Spring Ago­ra, so stay tuned! Apart from that, I am look­ing for­ward to join­ing many events and hope­ful­ly serve well in AEGEE’s Pool of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
Home, sweet home!

 

Leonardo Manganelli, Y Vote Content Manager, POLIG Moderator, PRC Freak, President of AEGEE-Frankfurt

Leonar­do Man­ganel­li

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Leonar­do Man­ganel­li: This is a hard one, prob­a­bly being a train­er in the Y Vote Con­ven­tion in Warsza­wa, see­ing the back­bone of our project first hand!

Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
I would lie if I said all the dra­ma in Krakow didn’t pop into my mind first, where it was heart-wrench­ing see­ing how neces­si­ty bat­tled with pas­sion when it came to the Shell motion, the SUCT map dra­ma as well as the CD split dra­ma. I have nev­er laughed about so much arguably unnec­es­sary dra­ma than then, and yes you will have to guess which one of these I laughed about.

Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
Too many to men­tion tru­ly. First of all, Fred­dy Kreutzer from my very own AEGEE-Frank­furt and now AEGEE-Darm­stadt as well for being sim­ply a force to recon with local­ly, putting all his ener­gy in try­ing to bet­ter both locals, glad that he now is a sub­com­mie for Maya, and for one of the actives of SEIG, he does a lot and gets too lit­tle of the spot­light. Then I would like to point out Lila, who arguably does get quite a lot of a spot­light by just being a mem­ber of AEGEE-Paris. She has been amaz­ing, from real­ly pro­mot­ing the resur­gence of French anten­nae to being real­ly nice to exchange ideas with when it comes to con­tent and polit­i­cal dis­cus­sions. I’ll cheat here and nom­i­nate also CD 55 for the amaz­ing ETC and just being real­ly enjoy­able human beings.

What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
Would it be cheat­ing if I said Y Vote? Jokes aside, liv­ing the Y Vote life has been such a series of ups and downs that I would nev­er have imag­ined when I first applied. It has been and it will con­tin­ue to be amaz­ing and I think we will just be smil­ing at the end of it, hope­ful­ly hav­ing impact­ed and moti­vat­ed as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble. My POLIG of course as well and I mean the entire­ty of it, from the inter­est­ing dis­cus­sions to the cre­ation of the “EUROPA: Writ­ten in Cap­i­tals SU” with AEGEE-München and AEGEE-Stuttgart.

What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
What kind of polit­i­cal sci­en­tist would I be if I didn’t say the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions. Of course even if not all AEGEE is in the EU it will affect all of us and I would be lying if I said that I look upon it and see a pos­i­tive out­come but then again nei­ther does my broth­er and he pre­dict­ed both Brex­it and Trump. So I would sug­gest work­ing as hard as we can to counter ultra­na­tion­al­ism and sim­i­lar, for the ben­e­fit of AEGEE.

What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
Well I am not plan­ning too much into the future out­side of fin­ish­ing what I start­ed for Y Vote, POLIG, PRC and as sub­com for Maya. I don’t per­son­al­ly think I can add any­thing else with­out offi­cial­ly need­ing to request pay­ment from AEGEE-Europe and leav­ing uni­ver­si­ty com­plete­ly so it will be the usu­al. Out­side of the Euro­pean lev­el I am still try­ing my best with my team to pre­pare AEGEE-Frank­furt to become more self-sus­tain­able. When that will be done I can say I did my part on the local lev­el.

How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
In Frank­furt, as per usu­al, try­ing to avoid being killed by the peo­ple think­ing that they are in the final bat­tle of Har­ry Pot­ter and cast­ing their fire­works left and right. Artis­ti­cal­ly speak­ing it is a beau­ti­ful scene but it would be much nicer if I man­age not to be hit this time.

 

Desireé van Langen, Youth Development Working Group & AEGEE-Academy, AEGEE-Amsterdam

Desireé Van Lan­gen

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Desireè van Lan­gen: This is a real­ly hard ques­tion. First of all I need­ed to rethink what I did in the past year… a lot! I trav­elled a lot, met new friends, saw old friends and learned a lot! I have a few per­son­al high­lights; being main orga­niz­er — for the first time ever — of SUPS Ams­ter­dam. It was not always easy but I am real­ly proud of the result. Next to that I liked being at the EPM in Yere­van and draft­ing the new objec­tives for the Youth Devel­op­ment Work­ing Group of which I was elect­ed as coor­di­na­tor dur­ing Spring Ago­ra Kraków. Anoth­er per­son­al high­light was the Y Vote con­ven­tion in Cluj-Napoca in which I had to hon­our to be con­tent man­ag­er. It was an amaz­ing expe­ri­ence. We had a nice group, had a lot of fun and I learned a lot.

Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
I think AEGEE did a great job regard­ing grant writ­ing and get­ting grants. It means a lot of oppor­tu­ni­ties for the CD, projects, Euro­pean bod­ies and all mem­bers with­in the net­work. A big shout out to Vio­la Bianchet­ti, Maria Balles­teros Melero and Elit­sa Hadzhie­va for their work. Anoth­er mem­o­rable moment for me is the EPM because it was in Yere­van, well orga­nized and I real­ly liked the new objec­tives as a result.

Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
I want to men­tion sev­er­al. First of all I want to men­tion Sven­ja van der Tol for inspir­ing and moti­vat­ing me and for teach­ing me so much dur­ing my term as YDWG mem­ber. Sec­ond­ly I want to men­tion my YDWG 2018–2019 team for their work, moti­va­tion and inspi­ra­tion: Natascha, Salome, Vic­tor, Tim­on, Rober­to, Jeroen and Mar­co. It is a plea­sure to work togeth­er! Last but not least I want to men­tion the amaz­ing Y Vote Team and espe­cial­ly Philipp Blum as it was real­ly nice to work togeth­er on the Y Vote con­ven­tion in Cluj-Napoca.

What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
Even though I like the Youth Devel­op­ment Work­ing Group a lot I would say Y Vote! In my opin­ion they do an amaz­ing job, pro­vid­ing a lot of infor­ma­tion, hav­ing good work­shops about the EU, involv­ing a lot of mem­bers and locals, hav­ing a good exter­nal rep­re­sen­ta­tion and they do an amaz­ing job regard­ing their inter­ac­tive social media use.

What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
For sure the Euro­pean elec­tions in May 2019! And there­fore a lot of activ­i­ties and cam­paign­ing with­in the net­work. Let’s strive for high par­tic­i­pa­tion of young peo­ple dur­ing these elec­tions. Anoth­er high­light would hope­ful­ly be more aware­ness on men­tal health. It has been an upcom­ing top­ic for the past years in Europe and I am hap­py we start­ed to work on this top­ic with the YDWG.

What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
My plan for 2019 is to con­tin­ue work­ing on the objec­tives of the Youth Devel­op­ment Work­ing Group togeth­er with my team. In Sep­tem­ber I will start my mas­ter so I guess I need to slow down a bit regard­ing AEGEE stuff. How­ev­er, I per­son­al­ly would like to con­tin­ue work­ing on men­tal health, also after my term as coor­di­na­tor fin­ish­es. Fur­ther­more I plan to deliv­er train­ings with­in the net­work on behalf of the YDWG and AEGEE Acad­e­my.

How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
In the end I decid­ed to spend my New Year’s eve with some friends in Ams­ter­dam. No par­ty for me but being sur­round­ing with good friends, food and drinks.

 

Jani Dugonik, former SUCT, AEGEE-Maribor

Jani Dugo­nik

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Jani Dugo­nik: To be part of the Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty Coor­di­na­tion Team. It was a good expe­ri­ence to see all the good and bad stuff about AEGEE. The team mem­bers were the best, we encour­aged our­selves when it was need­ed. And the sail­ing event was one of the best I had.

Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
Karoli­na Lapczyk for being the main coor­di­na­tor of Ago­ra Kraków. Iva Maleni­ca for organ­is­ing the sail­ing event for the first time. And my fel­low SUCT mem­bers for not giv­ing up.

Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
AEGEE-Mosk­va with their Transsi­ber­ian Dream TSU, they were real­ly pro­fes­sion­al and did a great job. Also, AEGEE-Istan­bul and AEGEE-Kraków for organ­is­ing an Ago­ra, they did a great job. And AEGEE-Zagreb for organ­is­ing the Sail­ing event: 30 peo­ple on 5 boats sail­ing through the Croa­t­ian seas — the best expe­ri­ence.

What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
The “30th Anniver­sary of Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty Project” and “Europe on Track” with their coop­er­a­tion with the Transsi­ber­ian Dream Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty.

What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
I would say Y Vote because of the upcom­ing elec­tions, they are already doing a great job. And the Short Sum­mer Cours­es in the Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty Project, I hope this year there will be more of them.

What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
No plans so far, maybe to be more involved in the Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­o­gy Com­mit­tee.

How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
I will spend it with my non-AEGEE friends in Ban­ja Luka, Bosnia, eat­ing čeva­pi and drink­ing beer.