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. Over the next two weeks you can see what they answered. In this edi­tion: read what Ale­jan­dra Piot Pérez-Abadín, Rober­to Ros­set­to, Zografia Lep­oura, Müge Gün­er, Mateusz Gier­czak and Katha­ri­na Jiménez Weese said.

Alejandra Piot, Comité Directeur, AEGEE-A Coruña

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Ale­jan­dra Piot: When I pre­sent­ed the new com­mu­ni­ca­tion strat­e­gy of AEGEE-Europe and it got approved by the Ago­ra at the Autumn Ago­ra Istan­bul. It was a moment where I felt that all the work invest­ed in this was worth it and that I could keep going in the right direc­tion and keep doing my best to improve the com­mu­ni­ca­tion of our orga­ni­za­tion.
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
I would say Ago­ra Kraków, for the good and the bad. That Ago­ra was super intense for me, because of my can­di­da­ture for CD, and for every­thing that hap­pened involv­ing peo­ple close to me. I think I learned a lot dur­ing that this Ago­ra and I had one of the most intense moments in my AEGEE life.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
First, I want to men­tion Mar­co Daniele. He is in his sec­ond term as CD mem­ber, what is already a huge achieve­ment! Besides, as Net­work Direc­tor he did an amaz­ing work and now, work­ing with him I can see that he has a lot of great ideas and he is doing a good job try­ing to imple­ment them. I couldn’t be hap­pi­er of hav­ing him in the same team with me! Sec­ond­ly, I have to men­tion my dear Vio­la Bianchet­ti. She is an excep­tion­al per­son and hard work­er. She was short­list­ed for the “woman of the year” for a rea­son, she is doing a real­ly good job in AEGEE and she is a real­ly amaz­ing com­pa­ny in the house. I am super hap­py of being in the same team with her! Last, but not least, I want to men­tion Celia Riveres. Her year as Net­Com was out­stand­ing, I was fol­low­ing all the work and time that she was invest­ing in it. As a for­mer Net­work Com­mis­sion­er I can say that she did an amaz­ing job and I feel super proud of her.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
I want to high­light AEGEE-Yere­van, even if I couldn’t attend the EPM I just heard amaz­ing things. After vis­it­ing them in Novem­ber, I can con­firm that they are real­ly out­stand­ing!
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
In this case I want to high­light the Soci­ety and Envi­ron­ment Inter­est Group. For being an IG they are hav­ing an active role in our orga­ni­za­tion and they were coop­er­at­ing with AEGEE-Istan­bul for the con­tent of their Ago­ra. They are also work­ing with AEGEE-Izmir for the EPM, so they def­i­nite­ly deserve a men­tion here!
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
I can say quite sure­ly that it will be the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment Elec­tions 2019. It’s already one of the hot top­ics in Europe and in AEGEE, and it will con­tin­ue at least until May.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
First, I need to sur­vive to my CD year! Jokes apart, I am not sure about my plans after the CD yet, but prob­a­bly I will still be around, doing some train­ings and attend­ing some events.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
I will spend it in my home town, A Coruña, with my friends, chill­ing and enjoy­ing the night.

 

Roberto Rossetto, SUPS Coordinator, YDWG member, Academy member and Network Consultant, Advisor of AEGEE-Napoli

Rober­to Ros­set­to

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Rober­to Ros­set­to: My per­son­al high­light in 2018 was click­ing the “send” but­ton to apply AEGEE-Napoli as host­ing local of the Autumn Ago­ra 2019. In the end we were not select­ed, but just send­ing that appli­ca­tion was nev­er­the­less an impor­tant achieve­ment! When I men­tioned “Ago­ra Napoli” one year ago it sound­ed like some­thing total­ly fool­ish, but in the end we gath­ered a huge core team of enthu­si­as­tic peo­ple will­ing to make it real! And who knows, per­haps we will run for the Ago­ra again in the future…
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
To me, the most out­stand­ing moment of AEGEE-Europe in 2018 has been the elec­tion of the new Acad­e­my board. Our asso­ci­a­tion deeply needs a strong train­ing body and thanks to its new board the AEGEE-Acad­e­my is start­ing to shine again.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
It is dif­fi­cult to men­tion just a few excel­lent peo­ple, as the pre­vi­ous CD did a great job and many oth­er AEGEEans con­tributed as well. Any­way, the first peo­ple com­ing to my mind are Maria Balles­teros and her grants writ­ing skills, Lila Quaile and her revival of France, Lucia Gavulová and the Acad­e­my ren­o­va­tion.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
Prob­a­bly AEGEE-Saler­no. The Frank Biancheri Award, one of the high­est rat­ed SUs, a great NWM, and even­tu­al­ly get­ting the Autumn Ago­ra 2019 — they have per­formed amaz­ing­ly well this year.
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
I would like to men­tion the projects DIVE and My Europe My Say, as they show­case AEGEE-Europe’s abil­i­ty to devel­op part­ner­ships and get funds. Y Vote deserves a men­tion as well for great­ly involv­ing the net­work with its con­ven­tions.
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
The high­light of 2019? Please allow me a short premise. In AEGEE we throw amaz­ing vol­un­tar­i­ly-orga­nized and self-fund­ed youth exchanges, train­ing cours­es, con­fer­ences and oth­er projects which rarely get the vis­i­bil­i­ty and recog­ni­tion they deserve. Since my first Ago­ra I have had a vision of AEGEE as “The Forge of Euro­pean Projects for Youth”, think­ing of our­selves as providers of oppor­tu­ni­ties for every­one, step­ping out of the “AEGEE bub­ble” and being even­tu­al­ly acknowl­edged as the Procter&Gamble of youth projects. Non-AEGEEans join­ing our con­fer­ences and apply­ing as Ambas­sadors for Europe on Track are nice steps in this direc­tion, for exam­ple. That said, some peo­ple are dream­ing of a huge event for 2019 to involve thou­sands of young­sters beyond AEGEE. Such an event would great­ly strength­en the posi­tion of our asso­ci­a­tion as a provider of inter­na­tion­al projects for young Euro­pean peo­ple; if it real­ly hap­pens, it’s going to be the high­light of 2019 for sure!
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
I will begin the year by mak­ing the Feb­ru­ary SUPSes as great as they deserve to be! After­wards, as Ago­ra Napoli will not hap­pen any­time soon, I will eval­u­ate sev­er­al inter­est­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties — and one I think of quite often is to run for CD.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
I will be pour­ing wine on my fel­low AEGEEans in the event “Napo­lis on Fire — Vol. 2”!

 

Zografia Lepoura, Moderator of the Language Interest Group, AEGEE-Athina

Zografia Lep­oura

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Zografia Lep­oura: My per­son­al high­light was my start of the New Year, in the train to Siberia dur­ing the New Year’s event of AEGEE-Mosk­va and AEGEE-Tyu­men. It was an amaz­ing expe­ri­ence that I will nev­er for­get.
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
Ago­ra Kraków was for me the most out­stand­ing event — intense, dra­mat­ic, joy­ful, at times heart­break­ing and incred­i­bly well organ­ised. I will remem­ber it for a long time.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
For me the most out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018 is Jorge Sanchez Her­nan­dez, coor­di­na­tor of the Europe on Track project. I had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to be at the start­ing con­fer­ence in Thes­sa­loni­ki and also watch the pre­sen­ta­tion at Ago­ra Kraków. I admire him a lot for his hard work. Also Alvaro Gon­za­lez Perez, for­mer Coor­di­na­tor of the Euro­pean Cit­i­zen­ship WG who did an amaz­ing job and Stel­la Krok­ou, two-times pres­i­dent of AEGEE-Thes­sa­loni­ki, who is incred­i­ble.
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
Europe On Track for the amaz­ing, next-lev­el pro­fes­sion­al work they did. The Euro­pean Cit­i­zen­ship Work­ing Group for the great activ­i­ties, book­let and con­fer­ence. The Lan­guage Inter­est Group because we did a lot of new activ­i­ties, most notably the Lan­guage Sur­vey which will be pub­lished in 2019.
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
The Euro­pean Elec­tions, I hope. I know Euro­pean pol­i­tics is being dis­cussed a lot in AEGEE, but the elec­tions are our chance to do some­thing with all our polit­i­cal dis­cus­sions and ideas, so I think AEGEE has a role to play in pro­mot­ing their impor­tance.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
As I am in my last year of my stud­ies, I have to stay away from AEGEE for a while – it’s sad, I know! So I will only be around for the Lan­guage Inter­est Group in order to help with some projects. How­ev­er, if a chance presents itself at the right time, I might end my lit­tle break.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
In Athens with friends and fam­i­ly, prob­a­bly eat­ing enough to last the whole 2019!

 

Müge Güner, HRC member, former president of AEGEE-Muğla

Müge Gün­er

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Müge Gün­er: It was the CD elec­tion peri­od. While going through the process, it was price­less to see that I was sup­port­ed and encour­aged by Greek and Armen­ian speak­ing peo­ple apart from Turk­ish speak­ing ones. I do appre­ci­ate them. On my behalf I took a lot of lessons from this expe­ri­ence; before, dur­ing and after.
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
Not the best things to remem­ber, so I want to skip this ques­tion. I will try to col­lect bet­ter mem­o­ries to remem­ber in 2019, or we should do bet­ter things all togeth­er for that.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
Erwin Groot, the speak­er of the Human Resources Com­mit­tee. At a time that I thought it was best to step out due to my busy new life in Athens and the unfor­tu­nate things I wit­nessed in AEGEE, he texted me and changed my mind. He had Skype meet­ings with HRC mem­bers one to one, to get to know them and to help them with deter­min­ing the project that they want to be involved in. He also wel­comed us to HRC with love­ly post­cards that real­ly melt­ed my heart. I want to thank him for being such a good and thought­ful leader. Also Şte­fa­nia Ciu­raru and Mar­ta Labanows­ka, my dear sun­ny girls I met dur­ing the Euro­pean Plan­ning Meet­ing Yere­van. I want to send them my love for not only being so out­stand­ing expe­ri­enced helpers in EPM Yere­van but also for being beloved friends.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
The progress AEGEE-Antalya made in a short peri­od of time is worth men­tion­ing. AEGEE-Antalya is the exam­ple of how an anten­na can improve so quick­ly when expe­ri­enced anten­nae sup­port new ones. Apart from that, I know that AEGEE-Muğla is doing good on the local lev­el and build­ing strong rela­tions with oth­er Turk­ish speak­ing anten­nae. I believe 2019 will be AEGEE-Muğla’s year due to the effort they are cur­rent­ly mak­ing.
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
At this point my cred­its go to Europe on Track project, espe­cial­ly for the online work­shops they deliv­ered for the locals that real­ly want­ed to be involved in the project but weren’t on the route.
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
I think the theme ‘’It’s up to you’’ of Spring Ago­ra Bucureşti 2019 will be a big one. “We can’t choose where we were born, we can’t change soci­ety. But there are things that we can change, it’s up to us!” These words touched my heart. We can’t change the past but we can shape the future togeth­er, so why not focus­ing and dis­cussing the things we can change?
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
I’ll take part in the Ago­ra Men­tor­ship and the HR Cycle Project. Also I’ll be help­ing Şte­fa­nia with her Ago­ra prepa­ra­tions, you will prob­a­bly see me as helper dur­ing the Ago­ra.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
I will be in Athens. My neigh­bour is organ­is­ing a din­ner, I will make a tra­di­tion­al Turk­ish dish that we call Kısır and join the din­er.

 

Mateusz Gierczak, AEGEE-Kraków

Mateusz Gier­czak

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Mateusz Gier­czak: Def­i­nite­ly my par­tic­i­pa­tion in the organ­i­sa­tion of Spring Ago­ra Kraków. When we decid­ed to do it I was actu­al­ly the only one in the whole anten­na who was oppos­ing that idea. Sev­er­al months after the event, I am real­ly proud of it, although we sure­ly made some mis­takes.
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
This year I was sur­prised how many new Con­tacts appeared on our map! I think there more of them than in recent years and hope­ful­ly that could be some turn­ing point. I also real­ly appre­ci­at­ed this year’s Europe on Track edi­tion. I was sur­prised with the size, con­tent and PR of it. I would be very hap­py if we could keep this lev­el in the next years.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
I would like to high­light AEGEE-Angers! They have just cre­at­ed their anten­na and they are so active – they co-organ­ised a Net­work Meet­ing and just won the Franck Biancheri Award. Just wow! Keep going guys!
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
Europe on Track was the most out­stand­ing project for me. They real­ly did an awe­some job. I am real­ly hap­py also with the Europe Cafe, organ­ised by POLIG. The first part of the year was real­ly full of inter­est­ing the­mat­ic events. I was hap­pi­est with those, which were organ­ised by the Civic Edu­ca­tion WG and Euro­pean Cit­i­zen­ship WG. The Sum­mer and also Ago­ra Istan­bul went real­ly green! Thanks to the Soci­ety & Envi­ron­ment IG of course. Now, we have a real­ly suc­cess­ful Y Vote project. I think, this year was just full of the­mat­ics! And that is what I appre­ci­ate the most!
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
Def­i­nite­ly the Euro­pean elec­tions and Y Vote cam­paign. These are the hottest top­ic every­where, I guess. Sec­ond top­ic in my opin­ion will be sus­tain­abil­i­ty, as we already have EPM Izmir in plans. These are two very impor­tant or even cru­cial top­ics of today’s world.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
I thought I would retire just after Ago­ra Kraków, but of course I didn’t. I am active on local lev­el – I am mem­ber of our local Inter­na­tion­al Pol­i­tics Work­ing Group where we week­ly dis­cuss polit­i­cal top­ics and plan to organ­ise big­ger dis­cus­sions for stu­dents. And, what is kind of a sur­prise even for me, I have just cre­at­ed our local “Eco Group” where we start­ed edu­cat­ing peo­ple on some “green top­ics” — start­ing from AEGEEans of course. I will focus on these two top­ics for the next sev­er­al months. But after that, I guess I will get real­ly close to my final retire­ment!
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
Last four years I spent New Year’s Eves in real­ly crazy ways, so this year it’s time to take a rest. I will play table games with a few good friends and drink hot wine. A lot of hot wine. Some­times it’s good to just calm down.

 

Katharina Jiménez Weese, AEGEE-Bamberg & AEGEE-Barcelona

Katha­ri­na Jiménez Weese

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Katha­ri­na Jiménez Weese: Unex­pect­ed­ly becom­ing an hon­orary mem­ber of AEGEE-Bam­berg. It was an amaz­ing sur­prise and it is a great hon­our.
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
The incred­i­ble boat par­ty at Ago­ra Istan­bul was a moment to remem­ber. Hun­dreds of AEGEEans danc­ing on the Bosporus between Europe and Asia… Well done, AEGEE-Istan­bul!
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
Chris Seul­ing, Project Man­ag­er of SUCT and fel­low Bam­bi. I still remem­ber telling him about AEGEE back in our Busi­ness Eng­lish class in 2015… And now look how far he got!
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
Y Vote is doing a great and impor­tant job! The team is work­ing high­ly pro­fes­sion­al and so far, the out­comes seem very pos­i­tive.
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
The Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions in May and relat­ed to that, youth par­tic­i­pa­tion in pol­i­tics.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
Jan­u­ary will start with the atten­dance of an event about exter­nal rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Brus­sels, not from AEGEE but through AEGEE. After­wards let’s see if I get to com­bine my last mas­ter semes­ter with AEGEE activ­i­ties. I hope so!
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
We will have a pri­vate mini event with AGEE-Bam­berg “oldies” and “not-so-oldies” which I’m very much look­ing for­ward to.