Who is the AEGEE member of the year 2017? Which antenna, which project was the best? What were the highlights of the year? And what will 2018 bring? The Golden Times asked more than 70 locally or Europeanly active members. In this fifth edition: read what Alejandra Piot Pérez-Abadín, Damien Latacz, Polina Khapaeva, Mareike Ritter, Marcell Buzás and Zenaïde de Stigter said.

Alejandra Piot, Content Manager AEGEE Day 2018, AEGEE-A Coruña

Golden Times: What was your personal AEGEE highlight in 2017?
Alejandra Piot: Being able to combine Network Commissioner, Speaker of the Network Commission and Editor-In-Chief of Key To Europe 2016/2017. It was totally a challenge but I made it and I just can be proud of it!
Who was for you the outstanding member in 2017? Please name up to three.
I would like to highlight my beloved friend Tekla Hajdu. Her commitment to CD and NetCom this year was something remarkable and I couldn’t wish for a better Network Director. Also, Spyros Papadatos, for his commitment to the Network Commission for already 1.5 years, who is going now for his second term as speaker and from whom I learned a lot. I hope we can continue cooperating for so long!
Which was for you the outstanding antenna in 2017? You can also mention up to three.
I have to highlight AEGEE-Alicante. With them I have organized my last Network Meeting as Network Commissioner and their work was remarkable. So I just have a big thank you and congratulations for them.
What was for you the outstanding European project, working group or interest group in 2017?
It seems that this year new interest groups are growing and the working groups are totally in action, so it is really difficult to choose just a few of them. The Languages Interest Group is really active and always willing to help; their suggestions, guidelines and help for the European Day of Languages are really cool, and I hope that they will keep on like this for so long. Regarding projects, I would like to highlight Europe on Track. From the outside and regarding the outcome in Agora Catania, it was amazing! This gave them even more motivation to make it even greater in 2018. Congratulations to the whole team!
What do you foresee as highlight or the big topic in AEGEE in 2018?
Probably any topic related to youth development and trainings, as it is the main topic for the AEGEE Day and it seems that the quantity and hopefully quality of trainings in AEGEE is increasing.
What are your personal AEGEE plans for 2018?
Well, right now, keep working for the AEGEE Day as content manager – #greatthingsarecoming! If everything goes in this way, I would also like to candidate for CD member at Agora Kraków.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
I will spend it in my city, A Coruña, of course with a lot of AEGEE people, but also with my family.

 

Damien (right) spent two years in the Mediation Commission

Damien Latacz, former MedCom, AEGEE-Aachen, AEGEE-Düsseldorf

Golden Times: What was your personal AEGEE highlight in 2017?
It’s something really personal for me: doing the facilitation of the CD evaluation was terrific! It can be really challenging, but at the same time, it feels like I am helping and it is really rewarding.
Who was for you the outstanding member in 2017? Please name up to three.
I want to mention Réka Salamon, for her willingness to continue working in AEGEE, tackling problematics, and helping new people, even after two years of CD. Her determination is really admirable.
Which was for you the outstanding antenna in 2017? You can also mention up to three.
AEGEE-Köln, because even though they are a not a big antenna, in the last year they managed to create a group spirit and friendships in their antenna which is for me a symbol of AEGEE.
What was for you the outstanding European project, working group or interest group in 2017?
I am not sure if it fits in the category, but I will mention it anyway: for me it was the Safe Person project. It is tackling some society and internal issues, and not just talking about it, but actually trying to change ourselves to give a better example. I was impressed by the people taking action.
What do you foresee as highlight or the big topic in AEGEE in 2018?
I think voting rights and different political systems will be a big topic next year, but I would like to see AEGEE tackle more science-related problem, like artificial intelligence or gene modification, and how it will deeply change society in the upcoming year. I think it is an opportunity for us to be in the front row of societal changes.
What are your personal AEGEE plans for 2018?
After two years in the Mediation Commission, I have no idea what I will do now – and I am quite happy about it. I can take some time to find something new to do in AEGEE and enjoy again some other parts rather than just responsibilities.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
I will be in San Diego! Hopefully in shorts and t-shirt, drinking cocktails under the sun!

 

Polina (right) is not only active on European level, but was also recently reelected as President of AEGEE-Sankt-Peterburg.

Polina Khapaeva, Member of YDWG, President of AEGEE-Sankt-Peterburg

Golden Times: What was your personal AEGEE highlight in 2017?
Polina Khapaeva: 2017 was full of bright moments, but if we talk about personal highlights there are some special ones. The live meeting with the Youth Development Working Group and the first time in the CD house, the most inspiring weekend of the year. Our Network Meeting in Saint Petersburg, where I have seen not just organizers but a team! And of course the start of a new term as President of AEGEE-Sankt-Peterburg with a family of highly-motivated people.
Which memorable moments of AEGEE-Europe in general in 2017 do you remember most vividly or was outstanding?
Agora Enschede and Agora Catania. The first one with all the drama made a lot of people realise that we totally need to change something in AEGEE. And Agora Catania was the opposite: it was calm and showed the power of people in AEGEE.
Who was for you the outstanding member in 2017? Please name up to three.
I have two personal heroes this year. Svenja van der Tol and Anna Smirnova. Both were and still are my mentors – not only as experienced members of AEGEE, but also as amazing people. Svenja, who did sooo much for AEGEE, still has motivation, never-ending energy and courage to rule a working group of fresh and unexperienced members is my favourite soft dictator. Anna just started her fourth term in AEGEE-Sankt-Peterburg; without her help, advice and love our local couldn’t have survived these years.
Which was for you the outstanding antenna in 2017? You can also mention up to three.
AEGEE-Catania – the example of a team-family-power antenna; AEGEE-Tyumen – a small power that is getting stronger and stronger; and I would be a bad president if I didn’t mention AEGEE-Sankt-Peterburg!
What was for you the outstanding European project, working group or interest group in 2017?
Europe on Track is for sure one of the brightest projects of AEGEE in these days: involving a lot of internals and externals, working with super important topics and having real impact. Also this year the AEGEE Day team is doing a great job spreading #aegeespirit around Europe. If we talk about next year, I am eagerly waiting for the Working Group Months, especially February with the youth development topic.
What are your personal AEGEE plans for 2018?
I have a lot of plans, both with my board and with the YDWG. My personal goal is to make a perfect time-management in order to combine these two sides of AEGEE life. The Youth Development Month will be a great challenge, also we are waiting for hot April with Agora Kraków and celebrating 25 years of AEGEE-Sankt-Peterburg, which is on 24th of April by the way, the first day of the spring Agora!

 

Mareike finished her team as Network Commissioner and supports her successor as Subcommissioner.

Mareike Ritter, former Network Commissioner, AEGEE-Heidelberg

Golden Times: What was your personal AEGEE highlight in 2017?
Mareike Ritter: The first NetCom live meeting in January 2017 was a great experience. One could see a group of NetCommies developing into a team in just four days. I also enjoyed staying in the AEGEE house for the first time as it gives you a completely new perspective on the work of the Comité Directeur.
Which memorable moments of AEGEE-Europe in general in 2017 do you remember most vividly or was outstanding?
Spring Agora Enschede was outstanding, in good and bad ways. For me, it was the first and only Agora I took part in as an envoy for the NetCom. Working on the future local distribution until four in the morning on the European Night more asleep than awake was just crazy and something I won’t forget for sure! However, this was also a very emotional Agora, one that revealed what exhaustion and a never-ending and overwhelming workload can do to you and your team, as well as what limits there are when it comes to personal commitment for an organisation of volunteers.
Who was for you the outstanding member in 2017? Please name up to three.
Tekla Hajdu for being one of the most energetic and hard-working people I know. Marco Daniele, for his amazingly creative mind I will probably never understand properly and for always keeping up the big picture. And of course, all Network Commissioners I worked with this year. Working in this great team full of wonderful and enthusiastic people taught me the most this year. Knowing that there were another nine or ten people backing me up made this year so much easier.
Which was for you the outstanding antenna in 2017? You can also mention up to three.
AEGEE-Bamberg and AEGEE-Passau for the great cooperation before and during my Network Meetings. AEGEE-Zagreb for an awesome EPM and the team spirit that should be an inspiration for other antennae. And finally, AEGEE-Köln for developing immensely this year!
What was for you the outstanding European project, working group or interest group in 2017?
The Sustainability and the Environment Interest Group did a great job this year! The cooperation for NWM Passau went super and sustainability being the topic for Europe on Track 5 is a great achievement for such a young interest group.
What do you foresee as highlight or the big topic in AEGEE in 2018?
I am not the most visionary person, I leave that to others. However, I hope that we will carry on the discussion about internal improvements, especially regarding the education of our members. I am happy about sustainability being the topic of EoT5 and I think the 30th anniversary of the Summer University project will be another highlight of AEGEE in 2018.
What are your personal AEGEE plans for 2018?
As you might have already seen, I will remain SubCommie for NetCommie Dominic. Aside from that, I want to take it a bit slower, at least for a bit.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
I am looking forward to being in Heidelberg for a bit and spending New Year’s Eve together with good friends of mine. Happy Holidays and a great start into the new year to everyone!

 

After five years in AEGEE Marcell is still organising events.

Marcell Buzás, former President of AEGEE-Pécs

Golden Times: What was your personal AEGEE highlight in 2017?
Marcell Buzás: It was definitely the TSU “The Tale of the Three Betyárs” in cooperation with AEGEE-Budapest, AEGEE-Debrecen and AEGEE-Pécs. I could not attend the whole event unfortunately but I contributed quite a lot to the organizational matters from the beginning, especially for the Pécs part. At the end of the event I was elected best organizer by the participants of the TSU which was quite moving for me since it is the most important to make them happy with our events after all! I think we succeeded.
Which memorable moments of AEGEE-Europe in general in 2017 do you remember most vividly or was outstanding?
I attended all statutory events this year. All of them were amazing. Just like many others I would still underline Agora Catania the most. 1000 AEGEEans at one place is always special. Oh and before I forget: I think is a great achievement that most of us have started to use the VI 2.0 manual. It gives a bit more room for creativity and the usage of colours in AEGEE-related designs. If it is used well it makes us look even more professional.
Who was for you the outstanding member in 2017? Please name up to three.
First I would name Philipp Blum from SUCT because he was very helpful and responsive whenever we had some SU-related technical issues. Also I highly value his contribution to PR in AEGEE and the SU project and the state of the SU project today. Second I would mention Kike Asensi because he was the only Spanish helper in our SU, right after attending the one in St. Petersburg and then he returned to Valencia to be an organizer of their own SU. Three SUs in a row are quite an achievement physically, mentally and spiritually in my opinion! Third, let’s not forget Viktória Patyi, the main organizer of our all-Hungarian TSU in 2017. I really appreciate her work and that she made sure that things were in order despite all difficulties.
Which was for you the outstanding antenna in 2017? You can also mention up to three.
AEGEE-Catania. Thanks for an awesome Agora and showing a new example of family to AEGEEans all over Europe! There are also many other honorable mentions. I am personally impressed for example by AEGEE-Aachen and AEGEE-Moskva, because of the quality and the amount of work they do for their members.
What was for you the outstanding European project, working group or interest group in 2017?
I am a great fan of the Summer University project and I liked the fact that in 2017 we had multiple SUPS opposed to the past years. It gave even more useful knowledge to future organizers of SUs and AEGEE events in general. Also, it is nice to see that more and more locals are actually putting effort into improving the content of their events. I consider relying on solely the nice sunny beaches of a country quite lazy.
What do you foresee as highlight or the big topic in AEGEE in 2018?
It will be nice to follow Europe on Track this year since we are addressing a topic that was a bit foreign to AEGEE so far. I am also particularly excited about Agora Kraków. It is a perfect and easy to reach location and AEGEE-Kraków is a local full of nice people. I have high expectations that it will be an outstanding Agora. Of course Agora Istanbul is highly expected as well.
What are your personal AEGEE plans for 2018?
At first I am planning to start the New Year with a great New Year’s event. I am in AEGEE for five years now and I am not having many more world-rocking plans for this organization in the close future since it is time to move on a bit. Of course I am there for my local and for other locals I worked with, whenever they need some support. Visiting Agora Kraków is also among my plans and you may find me in Budapest and on events randomly around Europe!
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
I am going to be an organizer of the New Year’s event “Winter Wonderland – Magic will find you in BudaPécs” and the coordinator of the Pécs part of the event. We are preparing it with full power. I think it will be a fun and relaxing event as promised, the perfect way to end the old and start the New Year with 35 new friends from 18 different nationalities. If I don’t travel I usually like to bring the international atmosphere to my own country – and maybe some AEGEE spirit.

 

Zenaïde can be proud of her work in AEGEE-Leiden, one of the fastest-growing antennae.

Zenaïde de Stigter, European Affairs & External Affairs, AEGEE-Leiden

Golden Times: What was your personal AEGEE highlight in 2017?
Zenaïde de Stigter: My personal AEGEE highlight was becoming a board member of my local and getting involved in so much things such as organizing events, trips and working together with a lot of great people. Since becoming a board member I can’t remember a day without AEGEE and that already resulted in amazing moments in Leiden and during events in Europe. So for sure it was the best decision I made in 2017!
Which memorable moments of AEGEE-Europe in general in 2017 do you remember most vividly or was outstanding?
Most definitely this was Agora Catania, because this was my first Agora where I also went as a delegate and it was an amazing experience. Meeting everybody from all different places, discussing the things that are going on in AEGEE and also the parties were awesome! The Agora resulted for me in a lot of enthusiasm for AEGEE and I hope to spread this within my whole local to make members aware about every amazing thing you can do or become because of AEGEE.
What do you foresee as highlight or the big topic in AEGEE in 2018?
A big topic in AEGEE in 2018 will be sustainability. This starts by being the topic of Europe on Track and will become more integrated within AEGEE. It is a topic that deserves even more attention, because we as young people are the ones who can make a difference for everyone and do something good for the future!
What are your personal AEGEE plans for 2018?
My personal AEGEE plans for 2018 are finishing my board year in Leiden. On the European level I am looking forward to organizing amazing activities with the topic sustainability in April, together with a committee of my local and Europe on Track. We also started with organizing a conference about equal rights in collaboration with the Equal Rights Working Group and a team full of enthusiastic members of AEGEE-Leiden, so you will hear more from us soon about these amazing events. Even if I don’t see you during these events in Leiden, I am sure we will meet somewhere in Europe because my plans are also to attend as many AEGEE events as possible!
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
I will be in Londen with a friend and I am sure we will have great fun and an amazing start of 2018!

Check out also:

Facebook Comments