New Vice-Chair Erika Bettin: “My Love for the Agora Motivated Me”

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Eri­ka Bet­tin is best known for being Edi­tor-in-Chief of The AEGEEan mag­a­zine and the Key to Europe, as well as Sub­com­mis­sion­er for the Net­com, Pres­i­dent of AEGEE-Venezia and board mem­ber of AEGEE-Verona – all of this in five years. Now she will add anoth­er task to her very rich AEGEE CV: Eri­ka was cho­sen as Vice-Chair at the upcom­ing Ago­ra in Enschede.

Eri­ka Bet­tin

GT: Eri­ka, you will be Vice-Chair at the Ago­ra Enschede. Is this sort of a dream come true?
Eri­ka Bet­tin: Yes, we can say that final­ly I am in a team I always dreamt to be in.

GT: What moti­vat­ed you to apply for the posi­tion?
Eri­ka: My love for the Ago­ra. I think that statu­to­ry events are THE events in AEGEE, and con­tribut­ing to it has always been an amaz­ing ride. When I saw the open call I decid­ed not to leave any­thing undone in my AEGEE life and here I am!

GT: You applied for Chair twice before, but lost against strong com­pe­ti­tion. This didn’t make you fed up? Are you such a fight­er per­son­al­i­ty?
Eri­ka: What you call fight­er per­son­al­i­ty, some­one else can call delu­sion­al. But I don’t con­sid­er myself as such a fight­er, I just go after what I love. The first time I wasn’t elect­ed I took it as a les­son, as a chance to improve myself fur­ther. In Ago­ra Cagliari the sit­u­a­tion was slight­ly dif­fer­ent and it was very hard to recov­er. My view of AEGEE changed as if the enchant­i­ng was bro­ken, but fed up? Maybe some­times yes. After all, moti­va­tion in life is like a wave, you have ups and downs.

The old Chair Team. Tom Simons (left) will be main organ­is­er in Enschede, Mar­ta Wnuk (sec­ond from left) will be Chair.

GT: You will work with Mar­ta Wnuk, the Ago­ra Chair. How were the first chats or calls? You have sim­i­lar ideas?
Eri­ka: I like Mar­ta and I believe that she did over­all a good job last year. We have been in con­tact since the news was deliv­ered to us. For what I have seen we have two dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties and this is very good because we will bal­ance each oth­er per­fect­ly. The prepa­ra­tion of the Ago­ra is still at ear­ly stages and for now we agreed on most of the things.

GT: What’s your best strat­e­gy to make peo­ple be on time and to make noisy peo­ple in the ple­nary shut up?
Eri­ka: Dur­ing Spring Ago­ra Enschede noisy peo­ple and peo­ple who will be late will be pro­hib­it­ed to eat Stroop­wafels. I think that should be enough to pre­vent any form of dis­re­gard towards the ple­nary (smil­ing). When it comes to these things, first of all it’s up to each one of us edu­ca­tion to respect oth­ers and the agen­da. I hope that with the Chair team, the CD and the local organ­is­ers we will be able to cre­ate an appeal­ing agen­da.

Eri­ka Bet­tin at Ago­ra Gijon 2015, rep­re­sent­ing The AEGEEan.

GT: Ago­ras often have end­less ple­nary dis­cus­sions. How will you deal with sit­u­a­tions like in the final ple­nar­ies in Kyiv — key­word: EPM top­ic selec­tion — or in Cagliari — key­word EPM and Ago­ra date?
Eri­ka: From what I expe­ri­enced as a del­e­gate in those two Ago­ras you men­tioned, the main prob­lem there was the con­fu­sion among par­tic­i­pants. I would have summed the dis­cus­sions up every now and then, cut cer­tain dis­cus­sions that were going too far and would have been pre­pared for every case before the Ago­ra. Chair­ing those sit­u­a­tions is very del­i­cate and you need not to be stressed out, but firm and think quick­ly. It is easy to say when you are not in the sit­u­a­tion, right? (smil­ing)

Eri­ka with some of her best AEGEE friends at Ago­ra Berg­amo 2016.

GT: Is there any­thing you want to improve in the Ago­ra struc­ture or agen­da in Enschede?
Eri­ka: There is always room for improve­ment and room to grow. I would like to make the agen­da more vary­ing, but it is also true that we are kind of oblig­ed to insert cer­tain top­ics. I also would like to focus more on con­tent dur­ing pry­ta­nia and less on gram­mar, espe­cial­ly now that the Juridi­cal Com­mis­sion has the pow­er to fix those lit­tle mis­takes.

Eri­ka — spread­ing AEGEE spir­it also in Japan.

GT: Are you also part of the Ago­ra Reform Task Force? If yes, do they have some ideas you would also like to try out?
Eri­ka: Indeed, as mem­ber of the Chair Team I am also part of the Ago­ra Reform Task Force. I see our pres­ence there as essen­tial to give our per­spec­tive, since even­tu­al­ly it will be the Chair Team run­ning the Ago­ra. After the first meet­ings some ideas were pre­sent­ed. Some of them are very inter­est­ing and shall be devel­oped fur­ther.

GT: Are you also apply­ing for the Chair elec­tion in Enschede? Or is this Chair task your final good­bye?
Eri­ka: The inten­tion is def­i­nite­ly there. I would real­ly like to do it for the full term, espe­cial­ly because I would end it in Cata­nia, at home. But for now, it is too soon to con­firm any­thing, because we are focused on the prepa­ra­tion of the Spring Ago­ra.

After being Vice Chair, the only way is up!

GT: When does the appli­ca­tion peri­od for Ago­ra Enschede start, by the way?
Eri­ka: This will be a sur­prise, because I know you like to be among the first ten appli­cants!

GT: Any­thing you would like to add?
Eri­ka: Fol­low the Chair Team and the Ago­ra Enschede Face­book Page: #shame­lesspro­mo­tion.

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