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 local­ly or Euro­pean­ly active mem­bers. Today: read what Vio­la Bianchet­ti, Alek­san­dra Mik­lasińs­ka, Jesús Pérez, Julia Hanesz, Eri­fyli Evan­gelou and Fab­rizio Bel­li­cano said.

Viola Bianchetti, Projects Director of AEGEE-Europe

Vio­la Bianchet­ti

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Vio­la Bianchet­ti: Men­tion­ing Ago­ra Kraków or Ago­ra Istan­bul would be way too easy. Think­ing back, the event which meant the most to me per­son­al­ly was the con­fer­ence “True Colours” organ­ised by the Equal Rights Work­ing Group and AEGEE-Lei­den. It was an unfor­get­table event, with high qual­i­ty con­tent and speak­ers, enthu­si­as­tic par­tic­i­pants and an amaz­ing atmos­phere. There I met some of the most inspir­ing AEGEE mem­bers I know and I spent few days with good old friends, dis­cussing about top­ics that tru­ly mat­ter to me. It was the best way to close my year as Work­ing Group coor­di­na­tor and get the right moti­va­tion to start the year as CD mem­ber.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
I had the luck to meet and work with tru­ly out­stand­ing peo­ple in 2018, and pick­ing up only a few names is dif­fi­cult. I will men­tion Elit­sa Hadzhie­va, who helps me dai­ly in grant writ­ing, fundrais­ing and in mak­ing this edi­tion of Y Vote the best pos­si­ble; Evi­ta Ločmele, who took up the chal­lenge to be project man­ag­er of a major AEGEE-Europe project at a very young age and who is doing an amaz­ing job in mak­ing the 6th edi­tion of Europe on Track a very spe­cial one; and María Zuri­ta Rivero, who after being an out­stand­ing mem­ber of the Equal Rights Work­ing Group last year is now con­tin­u­ing to con­tribute to AEGEE as mod­er­a­tor of the LGBT+ Inter­est Group and as respon­si­ble for impact mea­sure­ment and the Action Agen­da.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
AEGEE-Bucuresti, for tak­ing up the chal­lenge of organ­is­ing an Ago­ra in only six months.
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
I am clear­ly biased in this, but I am real­ly proud of the per­for­mance of all four Work­ing Groups. It was thrilling to see so much enthu­si­asm about the Focus Areas in the net­work, with big con­fer­ences, small local actions and an impor­tant pres­ence online and at statu­to­ry events.
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
Obvi­ous­ly: the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions. But I hope that May 2019 will not be the end of every­thing, but a chance to enhance the civic com­pe­tences of young peo­ple beyond the elec­tions and to start a real debate about youth par­tic­i­pa­tion and youth rep­re­sen­ta­tion in pol­i­tics.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
Sur­viv­ing my term as CD mem­ber. Con­tin­u­ing with the Sec­re­tari­at Strat­e­gy. Con­tribut­ing to a suc­cess­ful cam­paign of AEGEE-Europe for the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
I will spend it in Tori­no, with Mar­co Daniele and some oth­er friends. How I will spend it, and how long it will take me to recov­er, is still to be dis­cov­ered.

 

Aleksandra “Ola” Miklasińska, CEWG member, AEGEE-Kraków

Ola Mik­lasińs­ka

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Alek­san­dra Mik­lasińs­ka: I would say that the whole 2018 was my per­son­al AEGEE high­light! I can’t real­ly choose between being in the Project Team of Europe on Track 5, organ­is­ing Spring Ago­ra Kraków 2018 and going for the Transsi­ber­ian Dream. When I thought that AEGEE had already giv­en me a lot, then 2018 hap­pened and now the ques­tion is… how can I beat it?
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
The open­ing cer­e­mo­ny of Spring Ago­ra Kraków was a tru­ly remark­able moment for me! The place, per­for­mances, the crowd going crazy in the end and after all light­ning sparkles all togeth­er at the near­by square. It was such a beau­ti­ful moment — and beau­ti­ful drone pho­to!
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
There are some of my friends from AEGEE-Kraków who real­ly deserve to be men­tioned here: First, Mateusz Gier­czak. His pas­sion and ded­i­ca­tion for AEGEE is amaz­ing. Dur­ing Ago­ra Kraków he took cor­po­rate fundrais­ing in AEGEE to a com­plete­ly new lev­el and after the Ago­ra he is still all around, being super active and inspir­ing new mem­bers to get more involved in AEGEE! Also: Kamil Bąbel. I think he has been active in AEGEE-Kraków for six years which doesn’t hap­pen very often in anten­nae that organ­ise around 20–30 projects per year. Long after his board term, he still cre­ates local events, helps less expe­ri­enced mem­bers and proves that there is no chal­lenge in the world that he wouldn’t be up to. Do you know that this guy ran a marathon… back­wards? It’s not a joke, he real­ly did!
And of course: Karoli­na Lapczyk. She was dream­ing about the Ago­ra in Kraków, she con­vinced us to apply for it which wasn’t easy because only a few believed we could make it and then she over­came so many chal­lenges and obsta­cles dur­ing the prepa­ra­tions. An amaz­ing Ago­ra hap­pened, she rest­ed for a bit… and became Net­work Com­mis­sion­er because organ­is­ing an Ago­ra was not enough for her!
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
I can’t skip my beloved local, AEGEE-Kraków, which keeps sur­pris­ing me all the time. Not only we organ­ised a great Ago­ra but we end­ed this year with even more mem­bers, new work­ing groups and a lev­el of local active­ness which is real­ly incred­i­ble for me. We have a big and active Inter­na­tion­al Pol­i­tics Work­ing Group, recent­ly we cre­at­ed kind of Soci­ety and Envi­ron­ment Inter­est Group in our anten­na, the groups which were work­ing before are get­ting big­ger. Seems like the Ago­ra was only a begin­ning for us! As I lived the dream of Transsi­ber­ian expe­ri­ence, I also want to men­tion AEGEE-Mosk­va here. So many hard-work­ing, cre­ative and crazy peo­ple out there! They decid­ed to organ­ise an SU with the main top­ic of sus­tain­abil­i­ty in the coun­try where recy­cling is def­i­nite­ly not a com­mon thing and they just nailed it. The amount of work behind this SU is huge and I couldn’t be hap­pi­er to see them win­ning the best SU award this year.
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
In the first half of the year I was impressed by the Euro­pean Cit­i­zen­ship Work­ing Group and proud of the effects of the work we put into Europe on Track 5. The sec­ond half is def­i­nite­ly dom­i­nat­ed by Y Vote and I am real­ly amazed by the scale of the project and its pro­fes­sion­al­ism. I would also like to appre­ci­ate the Soci­ety and the Envi­ron­ment Inter­est Group for their con­tin­u­ous action and great ideas like encour­ag­ing AEGEEans to bring their own cup to Ago­ra Istan­bul. I am sure that EPM Izmir will only con­firm it!
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
I don’t want to play Cap­tain Obvi­ous but I am sure every­one is aware that until May the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions will be the top­ic. But what else? Some­thing new and very inter­est­ing for me is the men­tal health top­ic, tack­led by the Youth Devel­op­ment Work­ing Group. It is extreme­ly impor­tant and rel­e­vant for all of us, but not so pop­u­lar in our dis­cus­sions. Per­son­al­ly I hope that sus­tain­abil­i­ty will at least remain as pop­u­lar as in 2018.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
While I am think­ing of how to beat my 2018 in AEGEE, I am still active on a local lev­el with AEGEE-Kraków and with the Civic Edu­ca­tion Work­ing Group. For sure I will be involved in Europe on Track 6 as a local organ­is­er in Kraków but with the rest… we will see.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
I am going to Lviv with some of my friends from the Transsi­ber­ian Dream TSU and since AEGEE-Lviv is also organ­is­ing a New Year’s event, they invit­ed us to join them when­ev­er we want. Obvi­ous­ly we are not going to turn down this offer! So I will enter 2019 with many friends and AEGEEans around.

 

Jesús Pérez, Netcom Subcommissioner, President of AEGEE-Bilbao

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Jesús Pérez: Becom­ing pres­i­dent of my local. After two years in AEGEE and also in the board, becom­ing pres­i­dent has been a boost in con­fi­dence and moti­va­tion for me. Apart from that becom­ing a net­work sub­com­mie has also moti­vat­ed me a lot and I’m tru­ly look­ing for­ward to this term.
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
My SU by AEGEE-Tallinn and AEGEE-Tar­tu. Thanks to the HRC and the out­stand­ing organ­is­ers I had a great time, learnt a lot and got to know myself bet­ter. I went home with more resources for deal­ing with team lead­ing.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
My board mates so far have been amaz­ing, but if I have to sin­gle out one of them it would be my vice-pres­i­dent Jon Andoni, for the sup­port and com­pre­hen­sion he showed. Out­side my board, my Net­com­mie Celia Riveres real­ly pushed me towards becom­ing a sub­com­mie and oth­er mem­bers such Jesus Baizan real­ly keep me moti­vat­ed.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
Mine, AEGEE-Bil­bao, of course for the growth expe­ri­enced and the change in men­tal­i­ty of the mem­bers — #Proud­OfMy­Lo­cal! Apart from this, AEGEE-Tallinn and AEGEE-Tar­tu for organ­is­ing an SU with tru­ly use­ful con­tent, despite the draw­back of know­ing that a seri­ous SU does not attract that many peo­ple. How­ev­er, this kind of SU real­ly does make the dif­fer­ence!
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
I am not that much into Euro­pean Projects, but among the Work­ing Groups I would high­light the Equal Rights Work­ing Group. Work­ing with them organ­is­ing an equal rights con­fer­ence in April was an amaz­ing expe­ri­ence, they are tru­ly ded­i­cat­ed peo­ple. It was worth the time spent and the headaches suf­fered while strug­gling to get enough par­tic­i­pants. Thank you guys!
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
The Euro­pean elec­tions. This top­ic can raise some con­flict but nev­er­the­less it seems to me big and impor­tant enough so that our whole organ­i­sa­tion should work on it, not only pro­mot­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion but also dis­cussing the results and the result­ing poli­cies to be imple­ment­ed.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
Mak­ing AEGEE-Bil­bao great and tru­ly moti­vat­ing our mem­bers to tran­scend the cheap trav­el­ing and leisure part of AEGEE, real­is­ing all the good they can do thanks to AEGEE. More real­is­tic, help­ing as a sub­com­mie as much as I can and moti­vat­ing new­bies into tak­ing roles in AEGEE so that they can learn.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
With my long-time friends and fam­i­ly in my home­town. No fan­cy plans for this AEGEE!

 

Júlia Hanesz, Coordinator of the Civic Education Working Group, AEGEE-Debrecen

Júlia Hanesz

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Júlia Hanesz: Ago­ra Istan­bul def­i­nite­ly. It was my fourth Ago­ra, again full of many inspir­ing peo­ple I met and many new things I learnt, but the whole event had a real­ly spe­cial atmos­phere and mean­ing. Even though the orga­niz­ers faced a lot of obsta­cles and we were a bit con­fused at some points, I real­ly think it was a great expe­ri­ence for all of us and a place we real­ly need­ed to bring AEGEE spir­it to this year. Next, to that, I could also meet my team, the new Civic Edu­ca­tion Work­ing Group, for the first time, to what I was look­ing for­ward to so much!
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
There were many, but I would like to men­tion one, also con­nect­ed to the Ago­ra Istan­bul: the Safe Per­son project. I joined the team of safe per­sons for the first time dur­ing this Ago­ra, because I thought it is super impor­tant and also to learn more about it. It was a real­ly unique expe­ri­ence, some­thing real­ly dif­fer­ent from what I am study­ing, what I was doing so far in AEGEE. On one hand I under­stand now even bet­ter how impor­tant it is to have such ini­tia­tives in an out­side of AEGEE, and on the oth­er hand, it made me realise how cool it is to have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to improve our­selves in so many dif­fer­ent areas in AEGEE.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
I would name three real­ly hard work­ing AEGEE ladies bring­ing so much pro­fes­sion­al­ism to AEGEE, from whom I learn so much: Maria Balles­teros Melero, Vio­la Bianchet­ti and Oksana Prokopchenko. Maria, for doing a great job as an Exter­nal Rela­tions Direc­tor, for edu­cat­ing so many AEGEEans and non-AEGEEans on gen­der top­ics all the time, for empha­siz­ing and work­ing so much on the Safe Per­son project and for being a great friend. Vio­la, for being a won­der­ful Work­ing Group coor­di­na­tor and show­ing a great exam­ple in that. Oksana, for being a real AEGEE moth­er for the Boomerang area. It was so great to see, how locals rely on her on every­thing dur­ing the NWM Angers-Paris, and how she is help­ing to grow the AEGEE spir­it there.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
The last two Ago­ra orga­niz­ers: AEGEE-Kraków and AEGEE-Istan­bul and the con­tact anten­na in Angers. Because they all are full of the real AEGEE spir­it and they showed us in 2018 that they are pre­pared to share it with us AEGEEans from all over Europe and also with every­one else around them any time.
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
I was real­ly hap­py to see the “Bring your own cup” ini­tia­tive by the Soci­ety and Envi­ron­ment Inter­est Group dur­ing the Autumn Ago­ra Istan­bul, and I think that the work done by the SEIG is out­stand­ing and very impres­sive! Among the projects, I would give the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project award for 2018 to Europe on Track 5!
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
I think the ques­tions dis­cussed dur­ing the EPM Izmir will bring new top­ics and per­spec­tives to AEGEE, and if the plan of plant­i­ng an AEGEE for­est will work, then I am sure it will be a high­light of the year!
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
Until the end of July, I will con­tin­ue get­ting AEGEE civic and edu­cat­ed and sup­port­ing my team as much as I can. After that I will see.

 

Erifyli Evangelou, Europe on Track 5, AEGEE-Athina

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Eri­fyli Evan­gelou: Being a mem­ber of the Europe on Track 5 project team was def­i­nite­ly an unfor­get­table expe­ri­ence! I per­son­al­ly learned a lot by work­ing with won­der­ful peo­ple in a very moti­vat­ed inter­na­tion­al team. I am very hap­py that EoT5 man­aged to ini­ti­ate many dis­cus­sions regard­ing the top­ic of sus­tain­abil­i­ty and cli­mate change and to see so many activ­i­ties orga­nized through­out our net­work. One more per­son­al AEGEE high­light was being a helper at Ago­ra Istan­bul! I was real­ly look­ing for­ward to this Ago­ra and there are no words to describe how much I enjoyed my time with the amaz­ing peo­ple of AEGEE-Istan­bul and with the rest of the orga­niz­ers and helpers!
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
The clos­ing cer­e­mo­ny of Ago­ra Istan­bul.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
Tim­on Tur­ban from AEGEE-Aachen! For his incred­i­ble con­tri­bu­tion to our orga­ni­za­tion, for his end­less ener­gy and moti­va­tion and for being the won­der­ful per­son and friend he is!
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
AEGEE-Thes­sa­loni­ki! They were real­ly on fire last year!
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
Europe on Track, Y Vote and the East­ern Part­ner­ship project.
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
I real­ly like the top­ic of EoT6 and although it is a hard top­ic to tack­le, I hope it will ini­ti­ate fruit­ful dis­cus­sions regard­ing the crit­i­cal issues Europe has been fac­ing recent­ly.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
Last months have been a bit crazy and I haven’t tak­en the time to con­sid­er my next plans in AEGEE. Any sug­ges­tions?!
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
In a cas­tle near Barcelona with very, very good friends!

 

Fabrizio Bellicano, Chief of Technical Operations, AEGEE-Genova

Fab­rizio Bel­li­cano at NWM Sankt-Peter­burg

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Fab­rizio Bel­li­cano: See­ing all the tech­ni­cal fea­tures falling into their place, and the big pic­ture being com­plet­ed, for the most famous or infa­mous project of AEGEE of the last decade: the mem­ber­ship sys­tem. The “behind the cur­tains” part is pret­ty impres­sive and on-par with the most mod­ern set­tings that star­tups and some big com­pa­nies use. AEGEE’s IT is on the way to be enter­prise-grade again!
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
I trea­sure all the times with my fel­low board CD55, and a nice moment was the “wrap­ping up” dur­ing the Ago­ra in Istan­bul. After the activ­i­ty report, thank­ing all the key peo­ple, like the kebab guy of Rue du Noy­er — and more key peo­ple like Philipp von Klitz­ing. Thanks again, by the way!
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
I may have men­tioned it already last year, but Andrea Schmelz is my source of inspi­ra­tion! More than five years in the organ­i­sa­tion and she is still rock­ing — learn­ing from it! My ex-room­mate Mar­co is also worth men­tion­ing, because he is mag­ic. Last but not least, Sergey Peshkoff, aka Mr. “My employ­er for­bid me to work on OMS because appar­ent­ly dur­ing work­ing hours I spend more than 50% of time on AEGEE”. The sur­pris­ing part is that I see from the work­logs that he also does stuff at night.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
Not an answer to this ques­tion, but: any small anten­na which kicks ass is the true hero. In my year in the CD I noticed how per­fect­ly fine anten­nae com­pare them­selves to the rest of the net­work and think they are not enough. Qual­i­ty mem­bers, not quan­ti­ty of mem­bers! Go out there and make amaz­ing events that embrace the action agen­da — and pos­si­bly make the leaflet embrace the visu­al iden­ti­ty!
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
Dig­i­tal lit­er­a­cy: it kind of encom­pass­es many things at once. First off, we as ITC have to edu­cate mem­bers on how to use the upcom­ing IT plat­forms we are going to have in the organ­i­sa­tion. From there, peo­ple should and could also be edu­cat­ed on how to approach Face­book and oth­er big providers of infor­ma­tion and mis­in­for­ma­tion. That’s how to fight vir­tu­al pop­ulism. All in all, I don’t think that’s what AEGEE will focus on, but it def­i­nite­ly should.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
As always, on the back­stage, mak­ing things work in unfath­omable ways. I will also make the ITC work as a nor­mal com­mit­tee, par­tic­u­lar­ly I want to fin­ish the imple­men­ta­tion of the helpdesk, cre­at­ing a team of enthu­si­asts will­ing to help fel­low AEGEEans. Wan­na hear more? Go to aegee.org/helpdesk, check “oth­er” and I’ll be there!
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
In an undis­closed loca­tion to undis­closed peo­ple. Lit­er­al­ly. They don’t know I am com­ing. And I don’t know where I am going.