The Coronacrisis changed the life of AEGEE. Instead of flying, driving and hitchhiking all over Europe, the antenna life takes place behind smartphones and computer screens. The Golden Times asked AEGEE’s largest antenna, AEGEE-Amsterdam, how the are dealing with the situation. You can also find out news about the new board, which is an interim board, since the antenna changed the term in order to attract more potential board members.

GT: How is your antenna dealing with the Corona crisis? How does it affect the life in your antenna?
AEGEE-Amsterdam: Everything quite changed when the government activated the so-called “intelligent lockdown”. All our physical events had to be cancelled. We did not want our members to feel alone or to be bored in this weird times, so we decided to make a switch and organise everything online. We organised brainstorm sessions as soon as the lockdown started for online activities and we tried to invite our members to our Discord server so we could still have our social drink every Tuesday. All the efforts worked for the better, as there are now more than hundred people at our Discord Server and plenty of people have joined the online activities we have held. We are quite proud of the cozy online network that has been created in these weird times, and hope that all will turn back to normal pretty soon.

GT: Which events were cancelled?
AEGEE-Amsterdam: All of our physical events from the 12th of March until now have been cancelled. This meant that we had to cancel our annual General Members Weekend and an open mic night. Most recently we had to cancel our annual BBQ to celebrate Kingsday. Events that are always highly anticipated by our members.

GT: Can you give examples of the online activities you organised? And how are people participating or appreciating them?
AEGEE-Amsterdam: Some examples of what we have done online already are: social drinks, sharing your hobby activity, game nights, movie nights, a museum visit, GMA’s, pubquizes and much more! Our members do appreciate the efforts and the committees help organising some of the events as well! People are happy that we still remain in contact and that we are still a group even though we are far apart.

GT: Recruiting and HR management is essential for antennae. How can you do it in these times?
AEGEE-Amsterdam: The key to good promotion is to do it online. Usually most of our members are found with good online promotion, even without Corona. That is why we will continue to use multiple social media platforms. People need to be able to find you when they are looking for “Student association” in combination with “Amsterdam”. We will prepare a good visibility for AEGEE-Amsterdam, so that our next board can reap the benefits when recruiting members.

GT: What will your antenna do when the Corona crisis is finally over?
AEGEE-Amsterdam: We think it goes without saying, but we are very much looking forward to having our weekly social drinks again where we can all meet with each other. Not seeing you members in these trying times is very hard and you hope to see them all after this is over. When this is over, we hope to welcome new people that just went to university and show them what it means to be a member of AEGEE-Amsterdam.

Golden Times: You also just elected a new board. Who is having which tasks?
AEGEE-Amsterdam: We elected an interim board, which consists of four of the previous board members, no new members have joined:

  • President: Nadine Timans
  • Secretary/Vice-President: Nelleke Stibbe
  • Treasurer: Jasper Prinsen
  • Officer European Affairs: Mandy Wierda
From left to right: Mandy Wierda, Nelleke Stibbe, Nadine Timans, Jasper Prinsen

GT: When did the elections take place? And when does your term end?
AEGEE-Amsterdam: We were elected for the interim board on the 5th of March and our term started on the 9th of April. Our interim board period will count as a transition period of three months between the 34th and 35th board of AEGEE-Amsterdam. The interim board term will end on the 3st of July.

GT: Why do you have an interim board at all?
AEGEE-Amsterdam: Our elections always took place in March and therefore the new board started in April. As we work full time this was sometimes a problem for people that wanted to apply. For instance, members struggled with the continuation of their studies, as their studies end in July instead of April. Moreover, the 35th year would be our “Lustrum year” a.k.a. our 7th 5-year-anniversary. This means more activities and more special occasions. Therefore we needed a board consisting of at least four people. We did not have a full board a month before the application deadline and decided that some of us would continue to change the date of the elections to a more convenient one. Therefore hoping to ensure that we would have more applications in the future.

GT: When will the next physical election for the next board be?
AEGEE-Amsterdam: The next election is set on the 3th of June. It is most likely that this election for the next board will be held online. We have had three online GMA’s until now, and according to Dutch law, we were able to vote on documents and candidates online. Our IT committee made a very successful voting system for our GMA’s. If this quarantine lasts, there is no other way than to do it online.

GT: How many members does your antenna have?
AEGEE-Amsterdam: 452 members!

GT: So you are still the biggest antenna in the network?
AEGEE-Amsterdam: Yes, we are!

GT: How can people in the network contact your antenna or find out more?
AEGEE-Amsterdam: Here are our contact data:

GT: Anything you would like to add? Maybe a message to the network?
AEGEE-Amsterdam: We hope to connect our board with our members, but also with the network during these trying times. Hopefully we can bring a positive light in people’s lives. We can’t wait to show our members and the network what we can do during our short extended board period. Look out for our events, because even now, we hope to organise quality European events and share our association with the world!