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 Chris­t­ian Seul­ing, Mar­i­jana Asprovs­ka, Anas­tasi­ia Sheremet, Lau­ra Gar­cía Rue­da, Jesús Baizán Barn­a­ba and Giuseppe Aquili­no said.

Christian Seuling, SUCT Manager, 30 Years of SU Team, AEGEE-Bamberg

Chris­t­ian Seul­ing

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Chris­t­ian Seul­ing: Although there were many spe­cial moments for me in this year, I go for the one that I was elect­ed as mem­ber of SUCT at Ago­ra Istan­bul. It was my first time on the stage at an Ago­ra and then togeth­er with pre­sent­ing my can­di­da­ture and fac­ing a huge ques­tion line. Get­ting elect­ed was for sure the biggest high­light for me.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
For me this is not nec­es­sary a per­son who is the most vis­i­ble one in AEGEE and who is stand­ing the most time on the Ago­ra stage. This year, it is for me a per­son that achieved amaz­ing things in the back­ground which might be not vis­i­ble on first hand but need to receive high atten­tion and respect. That is why it is def­i­nite­ly Jas­min Kaiser from AEGEE-Pas­sau and the “30 years of SU” project. The way she worked, her com­mit­ment and per­for­mance for this project, what she achieved, how much time and ener­gy she invest­ed in it although we faced many dif­fi­cul­ties and obsta­cles is just incred­i­ble. She def­i­nite­ly deserves it! Thanks for hav­ing you in the team, Jas­min!
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
Although many anten­nas did an amaz­ing job this year, AEGEE-Kraków and AEGEE-Istan­bul have to be men­tioned for orga­niz­ing the spring and autumn Ago­ra this year. Espe­cial­ly last men­tioned AEGEE-Istan­bul should be high­light­ed in par­tic­u­lar. Many peo­ple don’t real­ly under­stand it, but since I lived in this city the last months, I can def­i­nite­ly say that Istan­bul is con­sid­er­ing its polit­i­cal and logis­ti­cal sit­u­a­tion prob­a­bly one of the hard­est cities to orga­nize an Ago­ra. Under these cir­cum­stances they did a real­ly good job!
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
It is maybe a bit unfair vot­ing for the “30 years of SU” project since I am involved in it, but I think it deserves men­tion­ing it since there haven’t been any com­pa­ra­ble Euro­pean projects the last years. I just want to thank every­one for all the efforts con­tributed to it! Every project team mem­ber, CD appoint­ed, adven­tur­er or assis­tant deserves it. How­ev­er I would also go for Y Vote who did an amaz­ing job in this year!
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
I am real­ly look­ing for­ward to Ago­ra Saler­no. This will be a big high­light for all mem­bers. Fur­ther, I am curi­ous about the Strate­gic Plan­ning Meet­ing 2019 and in which direc­tion our orga­ni­za­tion will move.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
As Project Man­ag­er of SUCT, I will focus most of my AEGEE time on the work for the Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty Project until Autumn Ago­ra Saler­no 2019 with all my efforts. We have big plans to devel­op the project.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
Cur­rent­ly I am doing my Eras­mus semes­ter in Istan­bul, so I will use this chance and cel­e­brate New Year’s Eve with some Eras­mus friends here in Istan­bul, most like­ly on a boat par­ty like the one we had at Ago­ra Istan­bul.

Marijana Asprovska, SUCT member, AEGEE-Skopje

Mar­i­jana Asprovs­ka

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Mar­i­jana Asprovs­ka: Although I had many amaz­ing moments with AEGEE through­out the whole year, doubtless­ly my per­son­al high­light was get­ting elect­ed for SUCT mem­ber at Ago­ra Istan­bul.
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
I think I fol­low every AEGEE local and every Euro­pean Body of AEGEE at least on Face­book, and many of them on Insta­gram too, so I would say that there might be hard­ly any event I missed to notice [laugh­ing]. There were many amaz­ing events, but I will always remem­ber EPM Yere­van as the first statu­to­ry event in the Cau­ca­sus, Ago­ra Kraków as my first ago­ra and Ago­ra Istan­bul for above­men­tioned rea­sons.
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
We can­not talk about Euro­pean projects in 2018 with­out men­tion­ing the “30th anniver­sary of Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ties”. Here is also “Europe on Track 5” which sure­ly went far beyond Europe and made the 5th edi­tion a record in its his­to­ry of exis­tence. Also the Y Vote project which has reached a remark­able amount of young peo­ple out­side of AEGEE too.
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
I am not sure if it is a pre­dic­tion, per­haps it is more of a wish, but it would be nice to empha­size all the train­ing and self-devel­op­ment AEGEE offers also on local lev­el, so I hope to see more events which are rich in con­tent, orga­nized by the self-ini­tia­tives of the locals, not just the Euro­pean Bod­ies.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
My focus will be put on the Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ties of course! With the team, we are already work­ing very hard to change things towards bet­ter. As the con­tent man­ag­er, I am busy work­ing on the con­tent strat­e­gy and this is my pri­or­i­ty for 2019. Addi­tion­al­ly, as part of the AEGEE-Acad­e­my, I will for sure attend sev­er­al train­ing events, too.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
I am AEGEEan in my free time, busy time, prac­ti­cal­ly all the time even dur­ing hol­i­days. As such, of course I will spend it with AEGEE peo­ple again, this year on the New Year’s event in Novi Sad.

Anastasiia Sheremet, SUCT member, AEGEE-Odessa

Anas­tasi­ia Sheremet

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Anas­tasi­ia Sheremet: My high­light is my con­nec­tion with the SU project. Being a main orga­niz­er of two Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ties in a row after com­ing from the one where I was a par­tic­i­pant was a thrilling ride. Those six weeks in total made me fall in love with AEGEE even deep­er and I decid­ed to make a com­mit­ment to have actions speak loud­er than words — became a SUCT mem­ber. I hope this feel­ing is mutu­al and will bring pos­i­tive changes to the biggest project in the net­work.
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
The open­ing cer­e­mo­ny at Ago­ra Kraków which was fol­lowed with an awe­some flash mob with sparklers. It brought an amaz­ing feel­ing of uni­ty, integri­ty and under­stand­ing that you are part of an amaz­ing com­mu­ni­ty that can change the world — or at least Europe. The same pleas­ant sen­sa­tion was at the Ago­ra Istan­bul boat par­ty. Such moments give so much inspi­ra­tion that any­one can move moun­tains after­wards or at least until the next Ago­ra…
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
Akshat Jangam, Chris­t­ian Seul­ing and Mar­i­jana Asprovs­ka. My fel­low SUC­Ties def­i­nite­ly deserve to be called out­stand­ing mem­bers this year because I can con­tem­plate from inside all the efforts they make to cre­ate a per­fect out­spring for gen­er­a­tions to come. Such a bless to learn from them and be in one team!
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
AEGEE-Odessa. Not because it is my local, but because of the inner strength and ener­gy of board mem­bers who cre­ate wide scale suc­cess­ful Euro­pean lev­el events in such a small team of four. Our anten­na is ris­ing like a phoenix and hope­ful­ly there is more to come.
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
The Soci­ety and Envi­ron­ment Inter­est Group was a big dis­cov­ery for me. They give many use­ful tips, share knowl­edge and spread such pow­er­ful and smart ideas that are real­ly rel­e­vant nowa­days. And I guess this year is def­i­nite­ly theirs: sus­tain­able Ago­ra, EPM, green SUs and I can’t wait to see more of their mean­ing­ful coop­er­a­tions.
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
The year of changes is mov­ing towards us: Brex­it and Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions are com­ing. So, mobi­liz­ing young peo­ple and cre­at­ing an active civic soci­ety is an impor­tant task to be achieved, not to let oth­ers decide our fate any­more. Also, spread­ing euro-opti­mism can be pos­si­bly placed on top of our pri­or­i­ties due to the same rea­sons.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
The Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty is again going to be my hub of the uni­verse. Imple­ment­ing SUCT reforms and pre­sent­ing changes, espe­cial­ly in PR, will be a respon­si­ble and inter­est­ing task. Also, orga­niz­ing an SU that will be ranked in the top 10 and become a brand in the future is among my goals for next year.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
In the most roman­tic place on Earth: Paris. I have nev­er been there because I always believed that you should go there with the right per­son. Now the con­di­tion is met and thus tick­ets are bought!

Laura García Rueda, Subcommissioner of La Nave, President of AEGEE-A Coruña

Lau­ra Gar­cía

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Lau­ra Gar­cía Rue­da: Of course, my high­light dur­ing 2018 was being part of the Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty Coor­di­na­tion Team and sur­vive [laugh­ing]. It was a very dif­fi­cult year, but I am actu­al­ly real­ly proud of our job. We fol­lowed our prin­ci­ples, we tried to imple­ment new things, always con­sid­er­ing the best for the locals and for the project – and: we remained always a team. Of course, we had good and bad moments, exter­nal­ly and some­times even inter­nal­ly, but, in the end we sticked togeth­er, not mat­ter what, and we were able to solve every­thing. I believe that after every phase of your life you need to keep the pos­i­tive, good and beau­ti­ful things of it. This is some­thing that I will car­ry with me after this year: Achiev­ing our goals and our very big friend­ship.
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
We had a lot of good moments. How­ev­er, the answer that comes to my mind, is not exact­ly a “moment” but some­thing out­stand­ing that hap­pened in AEGEE-Europe dur­ing this year. We are get­ting a lot of new con­tacts, and that makes me being so pos­i­tive about the future of the organ­i­sa­tion!
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
Last year I men­tioned that my out­stand­ing per­son was Ale­jan­dra. She was the one who intro­duced me to this won­der­ful world of AEGEE, she was a real­ly good friend before AEGEE and now she is my best friend. She is still a big men­tor and an inspi­ra­tion. This fact won’t change. But in addi­tion, this year there is anoth­er per­son I need to men­tion — for two rea­sons. This per­son is Mar­co Daniele. On one side, he was a real­ly good sup­port­er as CD-appoint­ed per­son dur­ing my SUCT term. He was always there for me, moti­vat­ing, lis­ten­ing and help­ing me in any­thing I need­ed, he was an inspi­ra­tion to keep work­ing. On the oth­er side, it is real­ly amaz­ing from him to run again for the CD. It is not easy being part of the CD for one year, and he want­ed to vol­un­teer one more year for this asso­ci­a­tion, which also means for all of us. But, of course, every mem­ber is out­stand­ing. With­out any of us, this asso­ci­a­tion would not work, and we all have the same impor­tance.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
Every local that did some­thing should be men­tioned, because all of them are real­ly essen­tial. But, since I am asked to men­tion some names, my top three would be: First, AEGEE-Mosk­va — for their real­ly, real­ly amaz­ing Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty that got the first place in the rank­ing of all SUs of 2018. Sec­ond, AEGEE-Krakow – because of Ago­ra Kraków. It was a real­ly good Ago­ra. And third, AEGEE-A Coruña. I am proud of what my own anten­na did. We passed through a dif­fi­cult year, hav­ing some prob­lems with the uni­ver­si­ty, our SU cam­paign didn’t work that much, some of our active peo­ple dis­ap­peared… but, in spite of it, we man­aged to organ­ised a Mini Euro­pean School and also to moti­vate some new mem­bers, hav­ing now a big and a real­ly active board and a lot of peo­ple inter­est­ed on the organ­i­sa­tion of events for next year.
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
As part of the Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty Coor­di­na­tion Team, I real­ly would like to men­tion the “30 Years of Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty” project. Prob­a­bly it wasn’t the most suc­cess­ful project dur­ing 2018, but I am real­ly proud about the work that the project team did. We start­ed from 0 with our idea, we were real­ly sure that we want­ed to do that project, and we did it, and with a real­ly good result. So I would like to say thanks to all peo­ple involved. I also would like to men­tion how the Y Vote project is going. They are doing a real­ly good job, being so active, with so many events, cam­paigns, social media vis­i­bil­i­ty, and still a lot of things to do in 2019. Keep work­ing guys!
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
The biggest top­ic dur­ing 2019 will be relat­ed to the Y Vote Project, as the Euro­pean Elec­tion will take place. The project is doing a real­ly good job, and I already heard about all the things they are plan­ning for 2019. I am look­ing for­ward to all of it. I am still inter­est­ed in get­ting train­ing to become an offi­cial train­er, but with all the projects I am involved in and with my per­son­al agen­da right now, I will have to post­pone it a bit.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
Since Octo­ber I am Pres­i­dent of my anten­na and offi­cial­ly since Decem­ber also sub­com­mis­sion­er of La Nave. So, my plans for 2019 are work­ing a lot for my anten­na, for exam­ple on our SU as main organ­is­er, recruit­ing and moti­vat­ing peo­ple to be sure that the anten­na will be alive dur­ing the fol­low­ing year, and also work­ing with our Net­work Com­mis­sion­er and the rest of the team in order to help the locals as much as pos­si­ble, con­tin­u­ing with the cur­rent projects and, if it is pos­si­ble, imple­ment­ing new ones.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
I will be in Coruña with my fam­i­ly. My mum is used to my busy life of trips and events every month, live or online meet­ings every week and not stay­ing at home that much, so she is ask­ing me to stay at home at least dur­ing the Christ­mas peri­od.

Jesús Baizán Barnaba, AEGEE Contact in Palma de Mallorca’s founder

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Jesús Baizán Barn­a­ba: The foun­da­tion of the AEGEE Con­tact in Pal­ma de Mal­lor­ca, my home­town.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
Jesús Lopez from AEGEE-Bil­bao for his lead­er­ship, car­ry­ing AEGEE-Bil­bao to the stars. And Moni­ka Mojak, my beloved pres­i­dent when I was in the Juridi­cal Com­mis­sion, who is giv­ing her best to our asso­ci­a­tion as Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al of AEGEE-Europe.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
AEGEE-Bil­bao def­i­nite­ly will be the biggest local in la Nave in a few months. Its board has devel­oped an incred­i­ble team­work and the local is grow­ing up con­stant­ly. AEGEE-Oviedo, my orig­i­nal anten­na, is in sec­ond place, because after two years full of dif­fi­cul­ties, the mem­bers and the board are try­ing to come back to our gold­en days. Good luck guys! Last but not least AEGEE-Warsza­wa for its incred­i­ble con­fer­ence “‘Cit­i­zen­ship at its Grass­roots” and its love­ly mem­bers.
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
No idea. I hope some­thing relat­ed to fight­ing pop­ulism, but this time in a prop­er way. Stu­pid peo­ple are vot­ing evil peo­ple, maybe because they are evil as well, but prob­a­bly because they have no polit­i­cal or his­tor­i­cal back­ground to avoid be per­suad­ed by them. We should start focus­ing not on the dia­logue with pop­ulists but on how to con­vince peo­ple not to vote for them. I would like to see peo­ple talk­ing about the Para­dox of Tol­er­ance described by Karl Pop­per: “If we extend unlim­it­ed tol­er­ance even to those who are intol­er­ant, if we are not pre­pared to defend a tol­er­ant soci­ety against the onslaught of the intol­er­ant, then the tol­er­ant will be destroyed, and tol­er­ance with them”. I am not say­ing that vio­lence is the answer, but per­haps in some years it will be the only option, so stop being polit­i­cal­ly cor­rect and let’s start to focus on who is the real ene­my for our val­ues and our idea of Europe. Because the most impor­tant fight is now, avoid­ing the rise of the pop­ulists, because if we don’t act now, we shall fight for our rights in the future.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
Work in AEGEE-Pal­ma de Mal­lor­ca, to make it the great­est local first in the Mediter­ranean and then of the net­work.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
With fam­i­ly and friends, noth­ing spe­cial.

Giuseppe Aquilino, Juridical Commission, AEGEE-Catania

Giuseppe Aquili­no

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
My per­son­al high­light was the moment of announc­ing the results in Ago­ra Kraków 2018, when I was elect­ed mem­ber of the Juridi­cal Com­mis­sion. This was my dream since I dis­cov­ered this com­mis­sion.
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
There are a lot of moments, but, if I have to choose, I would say my first Ago­ra as Juridi­cal Com­mis­sion­er at Ago­ra Istan­bul, where Lisette and I had the task of tak­ing care of the CIA and check that every­thing was made accord­ing to it… pro­pos­als, amend­ments, every­thing! It was such an hon­our sit­ting at the chair table with the chair team and Lisette! I will always remem­ber it as one of the best expe­ri­ences in my life.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
First of all, I want to men­tion Gabriele Nico­tra. He rep­re­sent­ed me in Kraków and he did it very well! He is my Net­com now and I saw very few peo­ple with such an enthu­si­asm like him! He is young, fresh and he can still give a lot to AEGEE. I also want to men­tion Zvonomir and Tekla, they chaired very well and are such good AEGEEans. I also want to men­tion Réka, because she was awe­some dur­ing Ago­ra Istan­bul. She spent a year in Istan­bul to orga­nize the Ago­ra, she was awe­some in prob­lem-solv­ing but, most of all, I nev­er saw some­one with such a pas­sion for an asso­ci­a­tion, such an ener­gy and being so moti­vat­ed in doing stuff for AEGEE, even when every­thing is against you, even when you gave a lot to AEGEE… So I wish her all the best!
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
I have two anten­nas to men­tion. The first one is AEGEE-Istan­bul. Every time an anten­na orga­nizes an Ago­ra it is a very big chal­lenge and nobody can imag­ine how hard it is, espe­cial­ly when they lose the venue a month before ago­ra starts. So, good job guys! Sec­ond, I have to men­tion AEGEE-Cata­nia, for a lot of rea­sons. Every­body knows that after an Ago­ra the host­ing local has a small or big decline. Well, we had this phase. There was a decline of ener­gy and active mem­bers. But those who remained in AEGEE-Cata­nia as active mem­ber used all their ener­gy to not let AEGEE-Cata­nia col­lapse. Now we have a new group of fresh peo­ple, full of AEGEE spir­it, ener­gy and will! We also had a lot of prob­lems dur­ing our SU! We had few orga­niz­ers, prob­lems with the accom­mo­da­tion, with the uni­ver­si­ty, with the weath­er as well! Nev­er­the­less, my group — I was the main orga­niz­er – man­aged to put our SU at the 10th place in the rank­ing. We had 40 par­tic­i­pants and we were only 10 orga­niz­ers! So, thank you and good job guys! That small group showed the enthu­si­asm we need and some of them are now part of the new board! So, I would like to say to AEGEE Cata­nia: Good job to reach these results in 2018: orga­niz­ing an NWM, orga­niz­ing an SU, reach­ing 10,000 likes on Face­book, recruit­ing a good amount of new mem­bers and hav­ing two mem­bers in Euro­pean bod­ies from the same local… It means that AEGEE-Cata­nia did a very good job in 2018.
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
Every project, Work­ing Group and Inter­est Group is out­stand­ing! We are all vol­un­teers, we do what we do because we believe! So, every­thing we do is real­ly made by pas­sion and love for AEGEE. So, in my opin­ion there is no project, Work­ing Group and Inter­est Group bet­ter than anoth­er. Every­thing has the com­mon goal to reach our vision: a bor­der­less Europe! I would like to encour­age peo­ple to con­tin­ue with new ideas, pro­pos­als, mak­ing new Work­ing Groups and Inter­est Groups to reach this vision! AEGEE needs all of us!
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
I don’t want to make pre­vi­sions. I would like to ask the CD and every­body only to devel­op a new strat­e­gy, a new way to recruit new mem­bers. Times change and we need a new and dif­fer­ent way to reach new peo­ple and to make AEGEE big­ger. Of course one can say: “it’s easy for you to say that, but how to do that?” I would answer to focus on the new mem­bers. So, to answer to your ques­tion, as big top­ic I would like to see a “new recruit­ment strat­e­gy”.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
I just became pres­i­dent of AEGEE-Cata­nia, so I want to lead and rep­re­sent my local in the best way pos­si­ble. I want to con­tin­ue my term in the Juridi­cal Com­mis­sion with the same spir­it and pas­sion and after it, I will be avail­able to give advice to new­bies in AEGEE and share what I learned.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
I will spend my New Year in Cata­nia, with all my AEGEE friends, my AEGEE fam­i­ly. We planned to make a New Year’s event in Cata­nia. It wasn’t pos­si­ble, but it will not under­mine our spir­it, our will to spend this big moment full of AEGEE spir­it togeth­er, as just AEGEEans can do!