The AEGEE Review 2018 con­tin­ues with a spe­cial Net­Com edi­tion. Dominic Dimi­an, Francesca Zor­co­lo, Bri­an Brands, Celia Riveres, Refik Barış Özçe­lik and Ele­na Panagopoulou give us their take on 2018. Best event? Best anten­na? Out­stand­ing mem­ber? Read their answers and find out!

Dominic Dimian, former Network Commissioner, AEGEE-Passau

Dominic Dimi­an

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Dominic Dimi­an: There were a lot of great AEGEE moments in 2018. Very per­son­al ones like the Net­Com live meet­ings in Brus­sels or oth­ers like the out­stand­ing­ly well organ­ised Ago­ra Kraków. How­ev­er I think EPM Yere­van was my per­son­al high­light as the event was a per­fect match for me in regards to organ­i­sa­tion, loca­tion, coun­try and peo­ple. I will vis­it Yere­van again for sure because of this event!
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
I want to high­light again the Net­Com live meet­ing in Brus­sels in August. Spend­ing three-four days togeth­er with this amaz­ing team and work­ing very pro­duc­tive­ly on our projects was great and in addi­tion to that we had a lot of fun doing team­build­ing and cook­ing togeth­er. Also being in the house when the cur­rent CD start­ed their term was spe­cial and I real­ly enjoyed spend­ing this time with my friends from all over Europe. This time I also have a secret tip: AEGEE-Dres­den organ­ised a great event called “BRNet­work­ing” with is basi­cal­ly a get-togeth­er of locals in the east Ger­man-Pol­ish-Czech area in the frame­work of the BRN fes­ti­val in Dres­den. It was the best fun event I went to this year and I want to encour­age AEGEE-Dres­den to organ­ise it again in 2019!
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
Of course I have to men­tion the two Net­Com teams I was work­ing with as well as my Sub­Com­mies. It was a huge priv­i­lege to work with these peo­ple and I will miss them a lot. I love all of them equal­ly, how­ev­er I want to men­tion Spy­ros Papadatos for all his advice he gave me as Speak­er of Net­work Com­mis­sion and I wish him all the best for the sec­ond half of his CD term as Pres­i­dent of AEGEE-Europe.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
My two out­stand­ing locals of 2018 are AEGEE-München and AEGEE-Erfurt who were co-organ­is­ing the NWM and RTC with me. It was a plea­sure and I had a lot of fun, as well as I learned a lot. Fur­ther­more AEGEE-Pas­sau is always in my heart and I am hap­py to be reunit­ed with them after my great Eras­mus+ mobil­i­ty in Hun­gary.
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
For sure it is Y Vote. We have a great team and I can­not wait for 2019 to come.
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
I am a fan of the strate­gic plan­ning meet­ing and I am curi­ous who will be the host­ing local. Look­ing for­ward to this event.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
No con­crete plans yet as I will fin­ish my bach­e­lor in sum­mer 2019. There­fore I will focus on stud­ies and enjoy get­ting some rest from AEGEE-relat­ed work for a cou­ple of months. I don’t know what comes next. We’ll see, maybe I will go to my first Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty as a par­tic­i­pant?
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
This year I will spend New Year’s Eve in the small and very beau­ti­ful Czech city of Český Krumlov. If you have not been there yet, give it a try!

 

Francesca Zorcolo, former Network Commissioner, Honorary Member of AEGEE-Cagliari

Francesca Zor­co­lo

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Francesca Zor­co­lo: I per­son­al­ly have two. First the amaz­ing Net­com Trip that I did in March: it was a real chal­lenge, I man­aged to vis­it 11 of my beloved locals in three weeks trav­el­ling alone and doing my best to make my vis­it as most effec­tive as pos­si­ble for them. I had the chance to have a clear overview of how they worked and what my sub­com­mie, the Net­com team and I could do to give them a real help. The sec­ond has been the Autumn NWM orga­nized by AEGEE-Saler­no: the feed­back was real­ly pos­i­tive and I saw the par­tic­i­pants’ moti­va­tion ris­ing so much. That was for me the biggest achieve­ment.
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
I think Autumn Ago­ra Istan­bul, I real­ly loved the event and it was a while that I didn’t enjoy an Ago­ra with­out dra­mas like this one. Con­tent, the AEGEE Cup, food and the best boat par­ty ever made the dif­fer­ence.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
Mar­co Daniele, this is his sec­ond term as CD mem­ber and I con­sid­er him as one of the biggest pro­mot­ers of the big changes we have seen in AEGEE: I am talk­ing about the high num­ber of new AEGEE Con­tacts we have, the Brand­ed Activ­i­ties ini­tia­tive and about the Anten­na Cri­te­ria reform that has been embraced by the Net­com as well. Of course he was not alone, but he can be def­i­nite­ly count­ed among the out­stand­ing mem­bers of the 2018.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
AEGEE-Krakow for being the first to orga­nize a the­mat­ic Ago­ra, they start­ed a great tra­di­tion!
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
The Youth Devel­op­ment WG and Euro­pean Cit­i­zen­ship WG did an amaz­ing job this year! So effec­tive and so use­ful in the locals’ life, I wish them a great year like the past one.
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
I am look­ing for­ward to Autumn Ago­ra Saler­no 2019 — go peo­ple! I am also extreme­ly curi­ous about Europe on Track.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
I will spend it in War­saw where I cur­rent­ly live.

 

Brian Brands, Network Commissioner, AEGEE-Tilburg

Bri­an Brands

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Bri­an Brands: My per­son­al AEGEE high­light of 2018 was with­out a doubt Spring Ago­ra Krakow, where I had to present my can­di­da­ture in front of a full ple­nary room! It was very excit­ing to be run­ning for an Ago­ra-cho­sen posi­tion. The whole pro­ce­dure, the ques­tions and the gen­er­al feel­ing of being elect­ed as Net­com­mie con­tributed to my amaz­ing feel­ing dur­ing this Ago­ra.
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
For me, those were two mem­o­rable moments. The first one was EPM Yere­van, where the whole atmos­phere was just very good. The major­i­ty of mem­bers who attend­ed was very moti­vat­ed to make this EPM work and it was just real­ly nice to work with them.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
One of the most out­stand­ing mem­bers in 2018 was Spy­ros Papadatos for me. I see him as a very inspi­ra­tional leader of AEGEE-Europe and CD 56, but also he was retir­ing as speak­er of the Net­com when I joined the Com­mis­sion. Dur­ing my knowl­edge trans­fer and the local dis­tri­b­u­tion talks at Ago­ra Krakow, he was a huge sup­port for both the old team and the new team. Sec­ond­ly, I would like to call Dominic Dimi­an as one of the most out­stand­ing AEGEE mem­bers this year. Speak­er of the Net­com, but much more than that! He was not only very impor­tant for his locals, but also for the team atmos­phere and the team per­for­mance. I real­ly learned a lot from Dom; he real­ly was a huge sup­port for the team and a walk­ing data­base!
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
I can name a lot of locals which did an out­stand­ing job for the Net­work this year, that is why it is dif­fi­cult to name only a few. But I would like to start with AEGEE-Yere­van for their out­stand­ing work for EPM Yere­van, but also for their impres­sive part in the Vel­vet rev­o­lu­tion with nat­ur­al leader Arme­nak at the front row. I hope that they can be just as impor­tant for young peo­ple in Arme­nia as they were in 2018! Sec­ond­ly, I would like to name AEGEE-Paris for their amaz­ing come­back and the efforts of the board to make the local great again! Last­ly, I chose AEGEE-Aachen for their big crowd of sup­port­ers on events, includ­ing the amaz­ing atmos­phere there and for the input in the Euro­pean deci­sion mak­ing.
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
Europe on Track did very well this year. We also wel­comed them in Tilburg and the work of the project is slight­ly under­es­ti­mat­ed in my opin­ion! Not only they increased the aware­ness of sus­tain­abil­i­ty, but they also made sure they plant­ed a lot of trees to give us more air in the future. Big com­pli­ment for the project team and the ambas­sadors!
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
More than ever, the EU is fac­ing dif­fi­cul­ties which are direct­ly influ­enc­ing the devel­op­ment of the youth and the life of many peo­ple in the Union. Young peo­ple are not accept­ing every­thing any­more, as we can see in sev­er­al youth ini­tia­tives already in the end of 2018. I believe it is impor­tant to let our voice be heard as AEGEE and there­fore the first months of 2019 are very impor­tant. EPM Izmir and Ago­ra Bucharest should be the places where to set the first steps to work togeth­er on a bet­ter future for us, with a struc­tur­al approach to some of the biggest prob­lems which we encounter.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
My Net­com term will end on the first of June 2019 and until then I will focus on my locals and the addi­tion­al Net­com tasks. A lot of things can hap­pen and I am not exclud­ing any option either with­in AEGEE or out­side of AEGEE.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
I don’t know yet! My girl­friend set up a sur­prise trip and she man­ages to keep it secret until this very moment … I would like to wish you all hap­py hol­i­days and an amaz­ing 2019, hope to see you soon some­where in Europe!

 

Celia Riveres, former Network Commissioner, AEGEE-Zaragoza

Celia Riveres

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Celia Riveres: When I was sub­com­mi­sion­er dur­ing Ago­ra Enschede in 2017, one mem­ber from La Nave launched an idea about orga­niz­ing some­thing big the­mat­ic in our area by La Trip­u­lación — the team of the Net­work Com­mis­sion in charge of La Nave and their sub­com­mies. After one year, we did it! This year, La Trip­u­lación 10.0 orga­nized the first The­mat­ic Event (THEvent) in our area in col­lab­o­ra­tion with AEGEE-Madrid. This event was focused on LGBT+ dur­ing the Pride in Madrid and we learned a lot and had fun!
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
For me, dur­ing the Ago­ra Kraków I enjoyed some very spe­cial moments. Dur­ing the Ago­ra there was also my birth­day, which made the event even more mem­o­rable. Every day I could share many spe­cial moments with the locals, which made me feel like being part of a big fam­i­ly.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
I think it is very dif­fi­cult to choose only a few peo­ple in AEGEE, each mem­ber in this asso­ci­a­tion con­tributes some­thing and helps to devel­op our Net­work. If I have to restrict myself to three peo­ple: First, Mar­ta Massó from AEGEE-Tar­rag­o­na: cur­rent­ly pres­i­dent of her anten­na, she is the per­son who brings back the moti­va­tion to Tar­rag­o­na. For all the effort, moti­va­tion and work she has done. Sec­ond, Isa San­tos from AEGEE-Val­ladol­id: cur­rent­ly Net­work Com­mis­sion­er, she was a new­bie one year ago. She joined the team of sub­com­mies from La Nave last year and worked a lot in our area. I know she and her team are going to do an awe­some job this year! Last but not least, Lau­ra Gar­cía from AEGEE-A Coruña: cur­rent­ly pres­i­dent of AEGEE-A Coruña and for­mer SUCT mem­ber, she car­ried a lot of work and is always giv­ing the best of her tak­ing care of the Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ties and the AEGEEans.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
Think­ing in La Nave, there are two locals that did an amaz­ing job dur­ing this year and that have put a lot of effort in try­ing to acti­vate the anten­na. This two locals are AEGEE-Bil­bao and AEGEE-Val­ladol­id. I am sure they are going to con­tin­ue work­ing as they have done until now and they are going to have an incred­i­ble future, I wish them all the best! I also want to com­mend the incred­i­ble work of AEGEE-Madrid and AEGEE-Zaragoza dur­ing the THEvent and NWM respec­tive­ly.
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
The Safe Per­son project has made me feel some­thing spe­cial and made me think that we are work­ing in the right direc­tion. I hope that step by step this project will be extend­ed not only dur­ing the statu­to­ry events, but dur­ing all events and activ­i­ties in AEGEE.
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
I hope that any kind of harass­ment and dis­crim­i­na­tion not only dur­ing events but also in our dai­ly life can be tack­led more effec­tive­ly, mak­ing AEGEE a safer orga­ni­za­tion. Projects such as Safe Per­son or ER ini­tia­tives are of a key impor­tance to raise aware­ness and help the peo­ple that are in those sit­u­a­tions.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
For now, I am part of La Trip­u­lación 11.0 try­ing to help them in every­thing they need and active mem­ber of AEGEE-Zaragoza. Fur­ther­more, I would like to keep col­lab­o­rat­ing with the Safe Per­son Project. Know­ing myself, I am sure I will jump into some oth­er project relat­ed to Equal Rights.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
Last year 17 AEGEEans spent the New Year’s night in Lis­bon and this year some of us want­ed to repeat again the expe­ri­ence of spend­ing the night some­where out­side our homes. We con­sid­ered a lot of places and final­ly we are going to go to Prague – with ten AEGEEans and two mug­gles!

 

Refik Barış Özçelik, Vice-Speaker of NetCom, AEGEE-Istanbul

Refik Barış Özçe­lik

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Refik Barış Özçe­lik: For sure my answer will be Ago­ra Krakow where I was elect­ed as Net­Com with my beloved team. It was an amaz­ing expe­ri­ence for me!
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
It must be Ago­ra Istan­bul! An amaz­ing event and I know how much effort peo­ple put into that event so see­ing that all of these efforts turn into some­thing amaz­ing. I would just want to con­grat­u­late the orga­niz­ers once again!
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
For my point of view, I will give cred­it to my dear friends Batuhan Carik­ci from AEGEE-Izmir, Enes Furkan Kurt from AEGEE-Istan­bul and Evrim Emiroglu from the CD.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
Of course, I can name many locals but I have to men­tion the two Ago­ra orga­niz­ers AEGEE-Kraków and AEGEE-Istan­bul, which did an incred­i­ble job; also AEGEE-Antalya which made incred­i­ble improve­ment over a year and fin­ished their first Euro­pean event suc­cess­ful­ly: an SU and ab RTC in just a short peri­od of time.
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
First of all I am real­ly look­ing for­ward to EPM Izmir which we are orga­niz­ing now and I strong­ly believe that the sus­tain­abil­i­ty top­ic is the right direc­tion we should focus on. I think this will be also rel­e­vant for whole net­work in 2019.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
There are many thing that I am look­ing for­ward to which starts with EPM Izmir. I am vice-coor­di­na­tor of the event and we are doing our best to make it hap­pen. Also as a part of the Net­work Com­mis­sion we are real­ly look­ing for­ward to Ago­ra Bucharest to ful­fil our goals. My sub­com team and I are work­ing on strength­en­ing the locals in my area and find­ing some con­tacts which we are close to ful­fil! Of course I want to com­plete my Net­com term with all my aims and orga­nize anoth­er NWM in my area so there is no time to stop at all.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
I will be in Sofia for six days, liv­ing my best life. I am real­ly look­ing for­ward to that!

 

Elena Panagopoulou, Network Commissioner, AEGEE-Patra

Ele­na Panagopoulou

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Ele­na Panagopoulou: Arguably I could say my elec­tion as mem­ber of the Net­work Com­mis­sion dur­ing Spring Ago­ra Kraków. It was quite an intense Ago­ra and becom­ing part of this amaz­ing com­mis­sion was a dream I had in AEGEE for quite some time. Great moments were also my Net­com trip in Geor­gia, sup­port­ing the new con­tact in Batu­mi, vis­it­ing final­ly the amaz­ing AEGEE-Yere­van and the orga­ni­za­tion of RTC in Tbil­isi. This jour­ney in Cau­ca­sus was a life­time expe­ri­ence and one of the main rea­sons I love AEGEE so much.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
Dominic Dimi­an, for­mer Speak­er of the Net­work Com­mis­sion. He is an amaz­ing exam­ple of qui­et and car­ing lead­er­ship, putting his per­son­al ambi­tions low­er than the team’s good, always being present and knowl­edge­able. My fel­low team mem­bers sure­ly agree with me! Dom, I wish there were more lead­ers like you in AEGEE! Anoth­er great men­tion would be Veriko Shen­gelia from AEGEE-Tbil­isi, main orga­niz­er of RTC Tbil­isi and great AEGEEan, full of pos­i­tive­ness. Who­ev­er doesn’t know her, wait and you will see! Last but not least, I would like to men­tion Kalip­so Bzu­ni, for the mag­ic she and her team are doing in Yere­van.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
AEGEE-Tbil­isi, for orga­niz­ing an amaz­ing Region­al Train­ing Course in Cau­ca­sus. I am hon­ored I had the chance to work with them and pro­vide the area and the net­work with core knowl­edge and prin­ci­ples. AEGEE-Yere­van, my oth­er amaz­ing local, for orga­niz­ing an amaz­ing EPM, and most impor­tant­ly, for con­stant­ly being one of the best anten­nae in the net­work. Their con­tri­bu­tion in their local com­mu­ni­ty is immense and an exam­ple of how AEGEE can edu­cate, and make young Euro­peans more active and respon­si­ble for their fate. And AEGEE-Tar­tu for orga­niz­ing an amaz­ing Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty, togeth­er with AEGEE-Tallinn and the Human Resources Com­mit­tee. I am proud of this SU, the work, the results and the good time we had there.
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
I am impressed with the work of the Youth Devel­op­ment Work­ing Group, espe­cial­ly with the tack­ling of men­tal health. For me AEGEE should focus more active­ly on giv­ing our mem­bers the way to devel­op them­selves and gain tan­gi­ble skills for their per­son­al and pro­fes­sion­al growth.
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
Net­work Enlarge­ment. Late­ly we keep wel­com­ing new con­tacts in our net­work, and as a Net­Com­mie I am thrilled and amazed. But yet still I acknowl­edge the chal­lenge we have to make these con­tacts grow while we keep the exist­ing locals sus­tain­able. Many peo­ple claim we can do both, enlarge­ment and sus­tain­abil­i­ty. Nev­er­the­less I want to pin­point the neces­si­ty for AEGEE to actu­al­ly face the chal­lenges by giv­ing the space to the car­ing lead­er­ship and not to the self­ish one. It is our only way to grow as an asso­ci­a­tion. In AEGEE we some­times face an Iden­ti­ty cri­sis and we don’t know why we are dif­fer­ent from oth­er asso­ci­a­tions. This brings tremen­dous prob­lems in our locals and there­fore to the net­work as a whole. Com­bine this with the lack of per­spec­tive and good judge­ment in many key posi­tions and you under­stand the strug­gle we face. But I am up for these chal­lenges and ready to con­tribute as much as I can to make AEGEE stronger.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
My biggest goal is to keep work­ing for the Net­work Com­mis­sion, my locals have some amaz­ing plans for the upcom­ing months and I want to be by their side, help­ing them ful­fill­ing their dreams and enable their mem­bers to grow. I want to give my knowl­edge wher­ev­er is need­ed. In the same time, I keep work­ing in the HRC, the most amaz­ing com­mit­tee. Pre­pare your­self and expect mag­ic from this team. Most prob­a­bly, I will find myself in oth­er projects — but only time will tell.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
With friends in Athens. Every­body comes back to Greece for hol­i­days so it is a great time for reunions.