Organising a Summer University just five months after the Convention d’Adhésion? Doesn’t this sound crazy? AEGEE-Genova, which became part of the AEGEE network in February  2011, did it last year. And it was one of the five best Summer Universities of the year. No wonder, that this young antenna has many fans all over Europe. In March 2012 it managed to win the Golden Times’ Rising Star Award for being voted the best new antenna which signed the Convention d’Adhésion in 2011. The Golden Times asked presidentTizianoTosatti, secretary Enrico Meloniand treasurer Antonio Carassiti about the secret of their antenna’s popularity.

Golden Times: Congratulations for winning the Golden Times’ Rising Star 2012 Award! Can you tell us, who are the founders and how was the AEGEE contact established?
AEGEE-Genova: Thank you very much! The founders are Tiziano, the president, and Tercio, the vice-president. A third founderhad to quit due to job commitments.Tiziano already knew AEGEE quite well, because several years ago he was AEGEE member in Torino. Very enthusiastic about the association, he worked as secretary and visa-responsible for a couple of years. During spring 2010, after coming back to his hometownGenova he developed the idea of founding a new local, and these two friends were as enthusiastic as he was. The Convention d’Adhésion was finally signed in February 2011 at the EBM in Riga!

The final result of the Rising Star poll: AEGEE Genova 77 votes, AEGEE-Sumqayit 66, AEGEE-Leipzig 23, AEGEE-Kharkiv 14, AEGEE-Rotterdam 11, AEGEE-Tenerife 8 votes.

Golden Times: Founding an antenna can be a stony road. How difficult was it to make AEGEE happen and to become contact antenna?
AEGEE-Genova: Founding a new Antenna is indeed a stony road, as well as managing it later! It implies making a new statute, gathering a minimum number of members and creating an activity plan. Genova is not an easy city concerning youth associations. Many people are not interested at first, and it’s always a very challenging task to try to involve people. Concerning this, spring 2011 saw the entrance of our treasurerAntonio and our secretary Enrico, who became really active. Besides, we decided to organise a Summer University during our first year of activity… just crazy! But luckily everything went fine, even better than what we expected.

Golden Times: How many members do you have now?
AEGEE-Genova: 37. We have a pretty heterogeneous group with representatives from all faculties: medicine, engineering, languages, economics… A good way to represent the entire network in local level!

Golden Times: What characterises the AEGEE-Genova spirit best?
AEGEE-Genova: We are newbies full of enthusiasm, energy and good mood, but we are also really determined, committed and involved into AEGEE… this powerful combination leads us to reach great results!

Golden Times: I heard you had a great TSU called “Wine & Pesto”. How was it?
AEGEE-Genova: At the moment the only European event we have organised is the TSU “Wine & Pesto”, together with AEGEE-Torino. The only word we can use to describe it is “amazing”! We have been kind of crazy, it’s not an everyday thing organising a SU just after five months after signing the Convention d’Adhésion. We definitely have to thank AEGEE-Torino members, they have been good teachers during the first part of the SU. We managed to organise a great program: all the participants were extremely happy, and thanks to their evaluations our SU ended to be 5th in the final ranking of all SUs! It’s not a bad start for newbies like us!

Golden Times: What does AEGEE-Genova do locally?
AEGEE-Genova:We didn’t manage to replicate the success of the SU at local level. Despite being a big city, with lots of students, it’s really difficult involving people in student’s associations. We are putting a lot of efforts promoting the SU project all around the faculties of University of Genova and planning new activities for the upcoming months.

Golden Times: Do you get support from the university or other authorities?
AEGEE-Genova:The University of Genova helped us a lot: we had patronage, a good promotion of the SU project among students, discounts for the university canteen and gadgets for free. We also obtained a grant. “Wine & Pesto” received patronage also from Municipality of Genova and the Regional Government.

Golden Times: Which events are you planning for 2012 and the future?
AEGEE-Genova:We are organising another TSU, this year in collaboration with AEGEE-Firenze and the EnWG: it’s called “EATalianTSUnami”, it will start on the 21st of July and will end on the 5th of August. We are really satisfied about the ongoing organisation: we want to let you know that all the three main places we are going to visit – Firenze, Cinque Terre and Genova – are in the Unesco World Heritage list!Besides that, we have already decided that the second part of the year will be dedicated exclusively to the local level: we have ideas for new activities, and at the end of the summer we will definitely develop them.

Golden Times: When will we see the first AEGEE-Genova members on European level?
AEGEE-Genova (smiles):Let’s say it’s a work in progress.

The whole TSU group 2011.

Golden Times: Why can’t AEGEE members from all over Europe miss an event of AEGEE-Genova?
AEGEE-Genova:We take the main characteristic of our city: we can surprise! Genova is not very well-known and if you ask people abroad which cities they visited in Italy, the answer is always the same: “Roma, Venezia, Firenze”. But if you ask feedbacks to people who visited Genova, be sure that the answer will be: “I didn’t expect it to be that beautiful!” AEGEE-Genova is not well-known in the AEGEE network, but be sure that if you will participate to our events, you won’t regret your choice!

Golden Times: Anything else you would like to add?
AEGEE-Genova:We want to thank all the people who voted for us! We are looking forward to receiving your applications for our SU!See you somewhere in Europe, hopefully in Genova!


AEGEE-Genova website:
AEGEE-Genova on Facebook:
AEGEE-Genova Summer University: