AEGEE 2013 (X): Christianna, Paula, Nicola, Alberto, Patricia and Andrea

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2013 was an event­ful year for AEGEE: The Gold­en Times asked many active mem­bers how they per­ceived the year and what they fore­see as high­light in 2014. Always men­tioned: the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions and the Y Vote project. In this tenth edi­tion: read what Patri­cia Antho­ny, Alber­to Cues­ta Nor­ie­ga, Paula Puchacz, Nico­la Gui­da, Chris­tian­na Fokia and Andrea Schmelz said.

Patricia Anthony, former editor-in-chief of The AEGEEan, Network Commissioner

Patricia AnthonyWhat was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2013?
I have two per­son­al high­lights: being elect­ed edi­tor-in-chief of The AEGEEan and being elect­ed as Net­work Com­mis­sion­er. Both projects are the best things I have done in AEGEE by far, because I enjoy very much devel­op­ing myself through work­ing with two great and very dif­fer­ent teams. AEGEE is learn­ing-by-doing and there are so many inter­est­ing things to do with both projects that it doesn’t mat­ter the large amount of hours need­ed to ded­i­cate. It was very hard for me to give up the posi­tion as edi­tor-in-chief of The AEGEEan as the mag­a­zine is like my baby, even though I haven’t been there from the com­plete begin­ning. How­ev­er, I con­tin­ue spam­ming the team with many ideas and there couldn’t be a bet­ter per­son than Anna Gum­bau as my suc­ces­sor. Just to men­tion one more high­light out of the many: the Scan­di­na­vian Dream Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty was a big moment for me! It seemed so unre­al­is­tic in the begin­ning when we start­ed work­ing on it, but in the end it turned out great and I think there is a bright future for the small anten­na of AEGEE-Køben­havn — and that makes me very hap­py!
AEGEE-Europe had many mem­o­rable moments in 2013. Which one do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
Prob­a­bly win­ning the Charle­magne Youth Prize for Europe on Track. Usu­al­ly you don’t hear a lot about AEGEE in Den­mark and it was a very proud moment to see such great news about our orga­ni­za­tion reach­ing our small coun­try. In gen­er­al it was an out­stand­ing project that shows there should be no lim­i­ta­tions on which ideas can become real­i­ty.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2013?
There are so many out­stand­ing mem­bers, but for me per­son­al­ly Beá­ta Matusz­ka is the par­tic­u­lar per­son that comes to my mind. Not only is she an amaz­ing friend, but also always very moti­vat­ing and it’s fan­tas­tic to work with her! Fur­ther­more, Maria Arends from AEGEE-Gronin­gen is also an ever inspi­ra­tion to do more things for AEGEE. She helped me when times were dif­fi­cult espe­cial­ly with the organ­i­sa­tion of the Net­work Meet­ing in Tar­tu. I admire her high spir­it to always devel­op projects or anten­nae as it is the case with her work with AEGEE-Sheffield, AEGEE-Lon­don and AEGEE-Durham! It is def­i­nite­ly also more than amaz­ing work­ing and talk­ing with her every day.
Which one was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2013?
Again, so many great anten­nae indeed! With this ques­tion two Span­ish anten­nae come to my mind. AEGEE-Zaragoza for their ded­i­ca­tion and moti­va­tion not only to organ­ise the Ago­ra, but also organ­is­ing the Euro­pean Struc­tured Dia­logue and many oth­er local activ­i­ties at the same time. It seems like yes­ter­day that I was scream­ing, shout­ing and clap­ping full of excite­ment when they were elect­ed as host anten­na dur­ing Ago­ra Budapest and the event was amaz­ing as all the peo­ple who orga­nized it. Sec­ond of all, AEGEE-Bur­gos for me is a spe­cial anten­na too. Dur­ing these last two years they have built them­selves up to be an anten­na with many moti­vat­ed peo­ple and organ­ised the big event of Ren­ove, gath­er­ing 100 peo­ple in Sep­tem­ber — and if things con­tin­ue in this speed, then there are no lim­i­ta­tions to what projects they can take on in the future!
Which one was for you the out­stand­ing project in 2013?
Obvi­ous­ly Europe on Track and win­ning the Charle­magne Youth Price. Besides that it is also amaz­ing to see the ded­i­ca­tion that the Health4Youth team mem­bers have to the project and its great to see how effec­tive it is.
What do you fore­see as a high­light or big top­ic in AEGEE in 2014?
Def­i­nite­ly the return of Europe on Track 2, but also East­ern Part­ner­ship 2. Many moti­vat­ed peo­ple are inter­est­ed in the organ­i­sa­tion of both and it will be inter­est­ing to fol­low the two projects close­ly. Oth­er than that of course also the Y Vote 2014 project that already had suc­ces­ful con­fer­ences in Agri­gen­to, Val­ladol­id and Las Pal­mas.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2014?
I will become less active lit­tle by lit­tle. I need to focus on my stud­ies so that means less ded­i­ca­tion to AEGEE on Euro­pean Lev­el. Of course I will con­tin­ue kick­ing ass in the Net­Com and The AEGEEan, but what I would real­ly like to do is to focus more on the local lev­el. I have just moved to Zaragoza and one of the rea­sons behind that deci­sion was because of how many active mem­bers they have and the large amount of things they organ­ise. It is real­ly moti­vat­ing and I hope to take part in many of their activ­i­ties.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
Had this ques­tions been asked to me in the past then I would have been able to respond four months in advance. Now I am a bit affect­ed by the “we will see tomor­row” way of think­ing and actu­al­ly I have no plans yet, but I am sure that it will be great! There have been many chal­lenges for me in this year and in the end it couldn’t end in a bet­ter way than liv­ing in Spain again with a big smile on my face.

 

Alberto Cuesta Noriega, Vice Chair of the Agora and the EBM

Zaragora0536What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2013?
For me of course my per­son­al high­light this year was my elec­tion as vice chair­per­son for the next term and even more being it at an Ago­ra in Spain.
AEGEE-Europe had many mem­o­rable moments in 2013. Which one do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
The most amaz­ing thing I have seen this year in AEGEE was dur­ing the protests in Gezi park, how we showed the world what kind of active com­mit­ted cit­i­zens we are, with many AEGEEans in the streets in Turkey and report­ing live with the spe­cial page the AEGEEan cre­at­ed, car­ing and know­ing about what was hap­pen­ing there much before I even heard about it in the news here. Also mem­o­rable and very impor­tant has been the Charle­magne prize to the Europe on Track project, which is a great exam­ple not only of the good qual­i­ty of projects we can make, but also of the great new and orig­i­nal ideas Euro­pean youth can put into prac­tice with a lit­tle bit of sup­port.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2013?
This is an easy one. For me it is with­out any shade of doubts Alla Resheten. I have alawys seen her work­ing a lot and always being involved, but this year being in the chair team and in the East­ern Part­ner­ship project, hav­ing a job and a fam­i­ly… just that she had the time and the will­ing­ness to achive all her objec­tives is just amaz­ing. For me she is clear­ly the most out­stand­ing mem­ber of AEGEE and I can proud­ly say I have been work­ing with her for a long time now and I am hap­py to con­sid­er her my very good friend! I can only wish her the best in this new stage of her life she is start­ing now and a great hap­py suc­cess­ful future.
Which one was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2013?
Obvi­ous­ly AEGEE-Oviedo. I am so proud of all the new board and active mem­bers, who are keep­ing the anten­na on the move. They are so moti­vat­ed and hard work­ing! We are not a huge anten­na, but even so we have sev­er­al mem­bers involved in the Euro­pean lev­el and work­ing very hard. But if I have to leave my heart aside, to be hon­est I wouldn’t know which one to name. I am sure there are many locals work­ing super hard on events that I don’t know, the ones that organ­ised Spring and Autumn Ago­ra, EBM, Plan­ning Meet­ing, all those that con­tributed some­how to our Action Agen­da, SUs: all of them deserve to be men­tioned — after AEGEE-Oviedo of course…
Which one was for you the out­stand­ing project in 2013?
I already men­tioned before Europe on Track, our award-win­ning project. But also super impor­tant has been the East­ern Part­ner­ship project, with lots of events on an inter­est­ing and actu­al top­ic, so suc­cess­ful that they are going to start their sec­ond phase now. I would like to men­tion here also Y Vote, because they have start­ed so active­ly, with so much ener­gy and have gained so much vis­i­bil­i­ty in such a short time.
What do you fore­see as a high­light or big top­ic in AEGEE in 2014?
First of all the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions next year, there­fore the Y Vote project will con­tin­ue to be some­thing we will have in our dai­ly lives in AEGEE. Also nation­al­ism as top­ic for EBM should be some big issue and is also an actu­al top­ic in Europe about which we should care as active Euro­pean cit­i­zens. And last but not least, I am sure we are going to hear a lot about stu­dents mobil­i­ty and Eras­mus+, and because of that I hope that the Europe in Exchange project will become an impor­tant one also in 2014. We as youth organ­i­sa­tion have a lot to say in that top­ic and we have been already work­ing on it for quite some time.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2014?
Well, I am always think­ing about final­ly quit­ting, but in the end I end up here for one more year. So I guess AEGEE is not some­thing you can quit so eas­i­ly, there’s always some­thing or some­one to help. For now I will focus on fin­ish­ing my term in the Chair Team, work­ing with Paul with whom I have great fun and try­ing to find a sec­re­tary and an IT per­son for the chair team — those are my real chal­lenges for this year. If some­thing else will come, nobody knows for now.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
This year I will spend it in the amaz­ing New Year’s event by AEGEE-Oviedo in a small love­ly amaz­ing vil­lage in Asturias, with lot of oth­er AEGEEans from all around Spain. Hope­ful­ly it will be great fun and a big injec­tion of ener­gy for the new year. Final­ly I would like to wish you all mer­ry Christ­mas and a hap­py new year!

 

Paula Puchacz, President of AEGEE-Lublin

Paula PuchaczWhat was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2013?
The best moment was at the spring Ago­ra in Ger­many, when we were announced as the orga­niz­ers of the EBM!
AEGEE-Europe had many mem­o­rable moments in 2013. Which one do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
AEGEE-Europe should be proud of many things, but for me the new iden­ti­ty was the most mem­o­rable thing.
Which one was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2013?
The AEGEE mem­bers of Turk­ish and Ukrain­ian anten­nae, because of their strength and con­tri­bu­tion in the whole network’s under­stand­ing of what active cit­i­zen­ship tru­ly means.
Which one was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2013?
Again, I would like to men­tion the Turk­ish and Ukrain­ian anten­nae.
What do you fore­see as a high­light or big top­ic in AEGEE in 2014?
The Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions, the spring Ago­ra in Patra as well, and we hope EBM Lublin!
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2014?
Dur­ing 2014, I will still be active in AEGEE-Lublin as a Pres­i­dent and of course, help­ing out the most I can with the EBM.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
At work!  I have nev­er had a good New Year’s Eve par­ty, I was always at home eat­ing some pan­cakes and watch­ing movies. I believe that a bad New Year’s Eve gives you a good year.

 

Nicola Guida, Member of the Action Agenda Committee, Pool of Representatives, Advisory board member of AEGEE-Napoli

Nicola GuidaWhat was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2013?
Well, the fact that I have become active on the Euro­pean lev­el and to see that my anten­na is keep­ing on doing great even with­out me! Also, and that’s actu­al­ly what I love in AEGEE, all the dis­cus­sions, debates, exchanges of opin­ion and ideas that I had with many peo­ple in every kind of event, activ­i­ty or con­fer­ence. Active and involved peo­ple every­where, that’s the high­light!
AEGEE-Europe had many mem­o­rable moments in 2013. Which one do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
I’d say the EBM in Val­let­ta, it was real­ly inspir­ing for a lot of mem­bers!
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2013?
It’s dif­fi­cult to choose only some, but if you ask I would say Ivan Bielik for his com­mit­ment in stim­u­lat­ing inter­nal debate inside AEGEE, Kse­nia Lupano­va for her ever­last­ing ener­gy, a true flag-bear­er of the AEGEE Spir­it, Alice Bed­naro­va for her attempts to raise the cul­tur­al side of the organ­i­sa­tion, espe­cial­ly dur­ing statu­to­ry events and Anna Pyhk­ti­na who gets more and more active in a lot of dif­fer­ent things day by day.
Which one was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2013?
If I don’t say AEGEE-Napoli my anten­na will kill me, so that has to be my answer! Jokes aside, they are doing a real­ly great job with a lot of ini­tia­tives and there is a big sur­prise we are hid­ing up in our sleeve for the future that I believe will make a lot of peo­ple real­ly hap­py. Then for sure AEGEE-Val­let­ta for their per­fect organ­i­sa­tion of the EBM and the high qual­i­ty of the food at the event! You know how much this is impor­tant for an Ital­ian. AEGEE-Lviv for the Net­work Meet­ing they organ­ised and their enthu­si­asm and ener­gy! Also cheers to them and all the Ukrain­ian locals sup­port­ing Euro­Maid­an, we are with you!
Which one was for you the out­stand­ing project in 2013?
I think both the East­ern Part­ner­ship project and the EuroArab project have to be praised. They rep­re­sent the will and the efforts of young peo­ple who want to change some­thing and to have an impact on soci­ety. They are deal­ing with top­ics that more and more often are sim­ply regard­ed as prob­lems by media, politi­cians and com­mon cit­i­zens, who don’t try at all to under­stand the com­plex­i­ty of these issues.
What do you fore­see as a high­light or big top­ic in AEGEE in 2014?
Next year will be the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tion year, we have the Y Vote project and a lot of local and inter­na­tion­al ini­tia­tives will be organ­ised. On the oth­er hand, I think that what AEGEE should focus on and maybe it will is edu­ca­tion as the only way to make peo­ple respon­si­ble and active cit­i­zens.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2014?
We are try­ing our best to revive the Action Agen­da Coor­di­na­tion Com­mit­tee and we are work­ing hard on it, so I think my efforts will go most­ly in that direc­tion. Also in Feb­ru­ary I am going back to Napoli after my Eras­mus and I will work hard for local the­mat­ic activ­i­ties, still don’t know for sure what to organ­ise but prob­a­bly some­thing about Euro­pean elec­tions and stu­dent mobil­i­ty. We will also apply to host again the Europe on Track ambas­sadors. For sure I will go to the EBM and the Ago­ra, and who knows maybe some Net­work Meet­ing or some con­fer­ence, as I’m part of the Pool of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
I will be cel­e­brat­ing with a lot of oth­er AEGEEans in Beograd, after hav­ing a ski week in the Carpathi­ans with my girl­friend, def­i­nite­ly a great way to wel­come 2014!

 

Christanna Fokia, EnWG, External Relations Responsible of AEGEE-Athina

Christianna Fokia2What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2013?
My per­son­al AEGEE high­light for 2013 was the EBM in Val­let­ta! I will nev­er for­get the out­stand­ing orga­ni­za­tion of this great event, the amaz­ing orga­niz­ers full of ener­gy and all the new and inter­est­ing peo­ple I met there! Of course, I could not omit say­ing that I was so glad I attend­ed this event, because I also rep­re­sent­ed one of the cur­rent­ly most active work­ing groups in AEGEE, the Envi­ron­men­tal Work­ing Group! I had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to present a work­shop relat­ed to the phe­nom­e­non of air pol­lu­tion, meet new mem­bers in the Fair, and hope­ful­ly inspire some of them to live in a more sus­tain­able and envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly way.
AEGEE-Europe had many mem­o­rable moments in 2013. Which one do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
I think that AEGEE-Europe should be proud of many things that hap­pened dur­ing the year of 2013, but for me, the most mem­o­rable moment was when the deci­sion of giv­ing AEGEE a new and a more inte­grat­ed iden­ti­ty was sup­port­ed by the net­work dur­ing the autumn Ago­ra in Zaragoza.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2013?
AEGEE mem­bers of both Turk­ish and Ukrain­ian anten­nae deserve to be named as mem­bers of the year 2013, because of their strength and con­tri­bu­tion in the whole network’s under­stand­ing of what active cit­i­zen­ship tru­ly means.
Which one was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2013?
AEGEE-Reg­gio Cal­abria for orga­niz­ing its first and I hope not last Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty!
Which one was for you the out­stand­ing project in 2013?
I will say Europe on Track! The news of an AEGEE project win­ning the Charle­magne prize were one of the most inspir­ing ones! Can’t wait for Europe on Track 2!
What do you fore­see as a high­light or big top­ic in AEGEE in 2014?
The upcom­ing Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions will cer­tain­ly be one of the high­lights of 2014, as the Y Vote project and the peo­ple involved in it have put a lot of effort in rais­ing aware­ness and sen­si­tize all AEGEE mem­bers regard­ing the impor­tance of vot­ing. Besides this, I would lie if I didn’t men­tion the spring Ago­ra in Patra as well! Get ready because the best is yet to come!
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2014?
Dur­ing 2014, I will still be active in AEGEE-Athi­na as a board mem­ber, because one year is nev­er enough! I am also plan­ning to be a helper in the spring Ago­ra in Patra.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
In Athens, with friends and fam­i­ly.

 

Andrea Schmelz, Network Subcommissioner

Andrea SchmelzWhat was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2013?
The sign­ment of the Twin Anten­na Con­tract with AEGEE-Delft, of course! Ever since it has become a very fruit­ful con­nec­tion with cul­tur­al exchanges, knowl­edge trans­fers and many new friend­ships. It’s already the third board gen­er­a­tion who is involved in our grow­ing anten­na friend­ship, so I’m excit­ed to see how this will con­tin­ue.
AEGEE-Europe had many mem­o­rable moments in 2013. Which one do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
One of the most out­stand­ing moments for me was the final pre­sen­ta­tion of the East­ern Part­ner­ship project at Ago­ra Zaragoza. You could see how much pas­sion and emo­tions the involved peo­ple put into the project. The whole AEGEE net­work acknowl­edged them with a stand­ing ova­tion – this was just awe­some.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2013?
There were two, but I’m afraid I don’t remem­ber their names, although I promise that I still know how they looked like – regard­ing the names, I’m very sor­ry. They were par­tic­i­pants at the EBM just as me, and I had the most inspir­ing dis­cus­sion with them at an AEGEE event so far. The two came from a Turk­ish anten­na and we talked about each oth­ers moti­va­tion to be in AEGEE. They showed me such a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive and I learned in this hour more than I would prob­a­bly learn in a semes­ter of uni­ver­si­ty.
Which one was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2013?
The Rhein-Neckar anten­nae, of course! They showed as a great exam­ple of organ­is­ing such a big event as the Ago­ra by bring­ing so many anten­nae togeth­er. I was helper at the Ago­ra and the organ­i­sa­tion was incred­i­bly good.
Which one was for you the out­stand­ing project in 2013?
I love the idea of Health4Youth. It’s anoth­er exam­ple of peo­ple get­ting pas­sion­ate about a top­ic and bring­ing some­thing into action. Have you ever spent an Ago­ra break­fast with Mayri? You learn a lot about healthy life style! Regard­ing AEGEE events it’s some­thing also our mem­bers should get some edu­ca­tion in.
What do you fore­see as a high­light or big top­ic in AEGEE in 2014?
The Euro­pean elec­tions in May, of course. I’m look­ing for­ward to see what events the net­work will still cre­ate and how involved peo­ple get.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2014?
Try to help our Net­com Hol­ger as a sub­com­mie as well as I can and then look for a uni­ver­si­ty for my Mas­ter stud­ies where AEGEE exists, as well.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
I’ll be work­ing on a ship in Pas­sau and won’t on a New Year’s event unfor­tu­nate­ly.

 

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