Who is the AEGEE mem­ber of the year 2018? Which anten­na, which project was the best? What were the high­lights of the year? And what will 2019 bring? The Gold­en Times asked more than 70 active mem­bers. Over the next two weeks you can see what they answered. In this edi­tion: read what Oksana Prokopchenko, Mar­ta Pąk, Mar­ta Labanows­ka, Mar­ta Massó, Fran­jo Lovro Popovic and Tim­on Tur­ban said.

Oksana Prokopchenko, Network Commissioner, AEGEE-Sheffield

Oksana Prokopchenko with AEGEE-Sheffield

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Oksana Prokopchenko: One of the most emo­tion­al moments for me was the first meet­ing of the new­ly cre­at­ed area of Boomerang, which con­sists most­ly of locals in France, Great Britain, Bel­gium and Nordic coun­tries, and which I am hon­oured to be assigned to. It hap­pened at Ago­ra Istan­bul and made me feel once again, how amaz­ing the peo­ple from these locals are, how inspir­ing all the work they are doing is and how reward­ing it is to bring them togeth­er, see them cre­at­ing con­nec­tions and big­ger projects togeth­er.
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
I believe that one of the impor­tant moments for our organ­i­sa­tion was the pry­ta­ni­um on the anten­na cri­te­ria pro­pos­al at spring Ago­ra Kraków. First of all, it was great to see peo­ple fight­ing for what they believe is right. Sec­ond­ly, it showed me that we can raise impor­tant issues at Ago­rae, instead of just dis­cussing minor bureau­crat­ic changes to CIA, which don’t have any sig­nif­i­cant impact on the asso­ci­a­tion what­so­ev­er. And that is what I would like to see more in AEGEE, more vision and big­ger ideas, sup­port­ed by rel­e­vant data and analy­sis, of course!
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
First of all, I have to men­tion Lila Quaile. I hon­est­ly don’t know how she man­ages to find time for all the work she is doing — coor­di­nat­ing a Work­ing Group, being Pres­i­dent and then Vice-Pres­i­dent of a local, organ­is­ing mul­ti­ple events, doing a great job as my Sub­Com­mis­sion­er, reviv­ing AEGEE in France, all while stay­ing pos­i­tive and hav­ing fun with all of that. Sec­ond­ly, Pao­lo Ghisleni — for always being there when some­one in AEGEE needs his advice or guid­ance, inspir­ing and hav­ing a mas­sive pos­i­tive influ­ence, all behind the scenes and with­out try­ing to be in a spot­light for it. Last but not least, my fel­low Net­Com­mie Poli­na Kha­pae­va — an amaz­ing team play­er, who fights for her beliefs and always remains gen­uine and heart­ful – it is tru­ly a plea­sure to be work­ing with her.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
One local in my area had a stag­ger­ing ris­ing this year — co-organ­is­ing a Net­work Meet­ing, sign­ing the Con­ven­tion d’Adhésion at Ago­ra Istan­bul and just recent­ly win­ning the Franck Biancheri Award 2019 for a con­fer­ence in July next year — all the more impres­sive when you realise that AEGEE-Angers was only approved as a Con­tact of AEGEE-Europe in June! I am very excit­ed to see their future devel­op­ment, and I think they will impress the net­work even more next year! Sec­ond­ly, AEGEE-Helsin­ki for an amaz­ing come­back this year, which shows that no sit­u­a­tion is hope­less when there are the right peo­ple, their hard work and prob­a­bly a bit of luck from the uni­verse.
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
The Y Vote team did an amaz­ing job this year. There were a few peo­ple I met in dif­fer­ent coun­tries, who knew about the project even before hear­ing about AEGEE — it seems like a fair indi­ca­tor that the project man­aged to have a real impact. I am excit­ed to see more from them in the upcom­ing year!
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
After all the con­sul­ta­tions we as the Net­Com team did at Net­work Meet­ings and some RTCs, I feel like anten­na cri­te­ria can be that big top­ic. We will make sure to analyse the opin­ions we gath­ered from the net­work. Let’s see what the new year brings!
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
Con­tin­ue doing my work as a Net­work Com­mis­sion­er as good as I pos­si­bly can and fin­ish my term with results for my locals.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
It will be in a small cir­cle of good friends in Kyiv, hav­ing fun and mak­ing sil­ly res­o­lu­tions for the New Year.

 

Marta Pąk, Former Network Commissioner, AEGEE-Warszawa

Mar­ta Pąk

Gold­en Times: Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
Mar­ta Pąk: One of the most mem­o­rable moments was not that entire­ly hap­py and pos­i­tive at all — I am talk­ing about the Spring Ago­ra Kraków dra­ma. The local orga­niz­ers did a won­der­ful job ensur­ing that every­body felt good and com­fort­able, and then the Shell issue appeared. It was an incred­i­bly demo­ti­vat­ing expe­ri­ence see­ing all the vivid dis­cus­sion in the ple­nary, and local orga­niz­ers who sud­den­ly, apart from all their tasks, had to wor­ry how to deal with that shit. The whole Ago­ra was full of dra­ma, and was super stress­ful for many peo­ple that had to explain them­selves for less or more valid rea­sons. I am hap­py that AEGEEans are active and they care about qual­i­ty of events, plan­ning, life, future, what­ev­er you call it — and I hope that we will slow­ly learn how to solve prob­lems with­out mess­ing things up.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
I would like to men­tion two locals: AEGEE-Kraków for all their heart and ener­gy they put in orga­niz­ing the Spring Ago­ra! The sec­ond one is AEGEE-Odessa, with whom I had the plea­sure to coop­er­ate for the Autumn Net­work Meet­ing. They are a great exam­ple that, even when a local is small and not the most expe­ri­enced, if you have a will to do things, you can real­ly devel­op fast: two Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ties, an NWM, par­tic­i­pa­tion in inter­na­tion­al events, and some incred­i­bly moti­vat­ed and moti­vat­ing young peo­ple there — if you ever have a chance to vis­it them do not hes­i­tate!
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
Y Vote! And I am not say­ing it only because of the local event in Warsza­wa, or because I high­ly rec­om­mend their app to all my non-AEGEE for­eign friends. They real­ly make an impact. I also feel kind of jelaous of this year’s Transsib edi­tion! But only kind of, I can hear Vladi­vos­tok call­ing me! [laugh­ing]
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
Of course the Euro­pean elec­tions and the Y Vote project. The team did a won­der­ful job, and I am cer­tain that in the fol­low­ing months many AEGEEans and out­siders will get more inter­est­ed in inter­na­tion­al pol­i­tics, show­ing that young peo­ple know how to use their voice — after all, we are not the future, we are the present of the world. Speak­ing of elec­tions, we will also have impor­tant elec­tions in Poland — and I believe it will be a tru­ly hot top­ic in this part of Europe. And let’s hope we will not burn.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
I am going to become this annoy­ing oldie or, as some peo­ple say, “dinosaur”, that unex­pect­ly joins ran­dom local or region­al events and tells peo­ple how things were in the past… [smil­ing]
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
One of the coolest things about AEGEE is that you meet peo­ple with whom you want to spend your pri­vate time even when the pro­fes­sion­al bounds end. Sofia. Again.

 

Marta Łabanowska, EaP+ & 30 Years of SU project member, AEGEE-Warszawa

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Mar­ta Łabanows­ka: 2018 was an extreme­ly busy year for me, also in terms of AEGEE activ­i­ties. But if I have to choose I would def­i­nite­ly men­tion two moments: the SU Adven­ture dur­ing which I vis­it­ed five dif­fer­ent Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ties as an inter­view­er and train­er; and the study trip to Geor­gia I par­tial­ly par­tic­i­pat­ed in — and as a result of which new con­tact in Batu­mi has been found­ed.
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
Doubtless­ly EPM Yere­van as a first statu­to­ry event in the beau­ti­ful area of South Cau­ca­sus. It was a real­ly well orga­nized event both in terms of logis­tics and con­tent, but the fact that it was held in that par­tic­u­lar region makes it even more spe­cial.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
Jas­min Kaiser, the girl for whom the sky is the lim­it. I had the plea­sure to coop­er­ate with her in two dif­fer­ent projects and I have to admit that her hard work left me speech­less. Arme­nak Minasyants, who did an amaz­ing job as main orga­niz­er of EPM Yere­van, prov­ing that our asso­ci­a­tion can be more pro­fes­sion­al and that it’s worth dream­ing and act­ing big. And also Anas­tasi­ia Sheremet, who showed us that even small locals like AEGEE-Odessa can do amaz­ing events. Orga­niz­ing two SUs this year as well as a Net­work Meet­ing just a few months lat­er, in the mean­time suc­cess­ful­ly run­ning for SUCT… Is there any­thing the girl can­not do?
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
I won’t be orig­i­nal and men­tion three locals that took the chal­lenge of orga­niz­ing statu­to­ry events in 2018, so hats off to AEGEE-Yere­van, AEGEE-Kraków and AEGEE-Istan­bul.
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
I was real­ly impressed by the amount of work the Euro­pean Cit­i­zen­ship Work­ing Group with Álvaro González Pérez as a coor­di­na­tor did. The coop­er­a­tion with that great team while orga­niz­ing the “Cit­i­zen­ship at its Grass­roots” con­fer­ence in War­saw was a real plea­sure and it was only one of numer­ous activ­i­ties the work­ing group worked on dur­ing its term.
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
I am real­ly look­ing for­ward to Spring Ago­ra București, to see how crazy Ște­fa­nia Ciu­raru along with her team man­ages to orga­nize such a big event only in a few months. On the oth­er hand, I am real­ly curi­ous what the out­come of the Strate­gic Plan­ning Meet­ing 2019 will be and what direc­tion AEGEE will choose for 2020–2023.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
After months of being abroad I am more than hap­py to spend my whole Xmas break back in Poland, includ­ing the last night of 2018. I don’t have a spe­cif­ic plan for the New Year’s Eve yet, so prob­a­bly, just like it hap­pened in past years, I will end up cel­e­brat­ing it with my clos­est friends.

 

Marta Massó Estradé, President of AEGEE-Tarragona

Mar­ta Mas­so Estrade

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Mar­ta Massó Estradé: I will remem­ber 2018 as the year in which AEGEE-Tar­rag­o­na appeared again on the map of AEGEE locals. After three years of not being that much active, togeth­er with a few mem­bers we man­aged to moti­vate new­bies to orga­nize one RTC and “Ren­ove VIII”. For the ones that don’t know, Ren­ove is the biggest event in our region in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Net­com. Its aim is to bring togeth­er new­bies and oldies to share expe­ri­ence and do net­work­ing while hav­ing light­weight work­shops. Per­son­al­ly, I feel very proud of being the main orga­niz­er and to have received such a good feed­back from the 110 par­tic­i­pants.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
Instead of nam­ing just one per­son, I would like to name one type of peo­ple! For me the most out­stand­ing mem­bers in 2018 are the ones who have ded­i­cat­ed their time and ener­gy to make the AEGEE fam­i­ly big­ger, found­ing new con­tacts. Big thanks and con­grat­u­la­tions to the new Con­tacts of AEGEE-Europe in Mont­pel­li­er, Par­ma, Stras­bourg, Pal­ma de Mal­lor­ca, Batu­mi, Mün­ster, Gothen­burg, Würzburg and Angers.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
All anten­nae are involved in great projects and for that they are out­stand­ing. How­ev­er, I would like to con­grat­u­late AEGEE-Mosk­va for orga­niz­ing the Transsi­ber­ian Dream year after year — and to have climbed to the top posi­tion in the rank­ing of Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ties this year. I also appre­ci­ate the hard work of AEGEE-Kraków, AEGEE-Yere­van and AEGEE-Istan­bul for hav­ing orga­nized both the Ago­ra and EPM this year so well.
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
Beside the Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty, Europe on Track is one of the biggest projects in AEGEE. Every year it is gain­ing more and more fans as it com­bines the pas­sion of trav­el­ling that most of us have while bring­ing the­mat­ic work­shops and rais­ing aware­ness to young peo­ple.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
For 2019 I want to keep learn­ing and work­ing hard at the local lev­el to increase the num­ber of mem­bers of our local and to moti­vate them to have a more active role. Among oth­er activ­i­ties, we are plan­ning to orga­nize a Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty togeth­er with two oth­er anten­nae which will be the first one since 2014.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
This New Year’s Eve will be dif­fer­ent for me as I will be in a train trav­el­ling from Moscow to Tyu­men togeth­er with the par­tic­i­pants and orga­niz­ers of the New Year’s event “Mean­while in Siberia vol 2”. Can’t wait for that!

 

Timon Turban, Eastern Partnership+ Project, AEGEE-Aachen

Tim­on Tur­ban

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Tim­on Tur­ban: The EPM in Yere­van and every­thing which hap­pened before and after the trip. Many spe­cial moments which go for me beyond AEGEE!
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
I think I should men­tion here that I eval­u­ate mem­bers here rather on a friend­ship-based approach than the AEGEE view due to my miss­ing infor­ma­tion about what is going on in the net­work and how the peo­ple are. I admire Dominic Dimi­an for his pas­sion and huge effort for AEGEE, Jonathan Less­ing for his amaz­ing work in the back­ground which unfor­tu­nate­ly almost no one sees and Réka Sala­m­on for what she did in Turkey and what we didn’t real­ly appre­ci­ate.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
AEGEE-Yere­van for what they man­aged this year. The first EPM in the Cau­ca­sus, con­tribut­ing to a rev­o­lu­tion in Europe and orga­niz­ing amaz­ing events for peo­ple that don’t get these oppor­tu­ni­ties every­day – a youth leader event for Eng­lish and Russ­ian speak­ers from Rus­sia, the East­ern Part­ner­ship coun­tries and Cen­tral Asia! Also I’d like to men­tion AEGEE-Izmir as the lead for a lot of Turk­ish locals with their con­tri­bu­tion in Istan­bul and the upcom­ing EPM. Last but not least: AEGEE-Tyu­men. I have no idea about you guys, I don’t know any­one there but you sur­vive the fuck­ing low tem­per­a­tures in Siberia — that’s sim­ply amaz­ing. Keep on doing that!
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
Luca’s Human Rights Days are amaz­ing. To be so crazy about such a project is amaz­ing. I hope now every­one knows why we cel­e­brate the Human Rights Day on the 10th of Decem­ber!
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
I see a lot of fun com­ing up in Izmir with the EPM. Let’s have a nice sec­u­lar event and be open! Apart from this I am open for any oth­er high­light show­ing up!
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
Def­i­nite­ly reduc­ing my work and try­ing to get more effi­cient with what I do. I want to look beyond Europe — and I will try to make AEGEE take part in this! We have some ideas in mind and will see what we can actu­al­ly real­ize.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
With my beloved ones and my beloved one in my beloved city!

 

Franjo Lovro Popović, Mediation Commissioner, AEGEE-Zagreb

Fran­jo Lovro Popovic

Gold­en Times: What was your per­son­al AEGEE high­light in 2018?
Fran­jo Lovro Popović: This was a real­ly excit­ing and suc­cess­ful year, but with­out a doubt, my per­son­al high­light was get­ting elect­ed as mem­ber of the Medi­a­tion Com­mis­sion dur­ing the Autumn Ago­ra Istan­bul. It was a sur­re­al expe­ri­ence, and a long-time wish come true.
Which mem­o­rable moments of AEGEE-Europe in gen­er­al in 2018 do you remem­ber most vivid­ly or was out­stand­ing?
The moment I will remem­ber most vivid­ly from this year is the vis­it of the “30 years of Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty” project to Zagreb dur­ing the final week of prepa­ra­tions for the Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty in Zagreb and watch­ing the World Cup final with them.
Who was for you the out­stand­ing mem­ber in 2018?
The most out­stand­ing mem­ber this year for me is Vio­la Bianchet­ti. Just the fact that she was nom­i­nat­ed for the “Women of Europe Award” should tell you how active and impor­tant she is. Also, I would like to men­tion the incred­i­ble work of Loes Rut­ten, for­mer pres­i­dent of AEGEE-Europe and my fel­low Med­Com­mie, who just got elect­ed to the board of the Euro­pean Youth Forum for the year 2019/2020. She has done great things for AEGEE, and her desire to active­ly shape the future of Europe and fight for young peo­ple and their rights tells all you need to know. Last, but cer­tain­ly not least, I would like to men­tion the incred­i­ble work of Ola Mik­lasińs­ka as a route man­ag­er of the Europe on Track 5 project.
Which was for you the out­stand­ing anten­na in 2018?
This is always a tricky ques­tion to answer, but I believe AEGEE-Kraków deserves a spe­cial­ly men­tion, for orga­niz­ing an extra­or­di­nary Spring Ago­ra! Hon­est­ly, that was one of the best expe­ri­ences I have had in this orga­ni­za­tion and they deserve all the praise for the will­ing­ness to take on such a big task on them­selves and mak­ing it so spe­cial. I would also like to say AEGEE-Angers, one of the newest anten­nae in our net­work and already doing amaz­ing things, like orga­niz­ing an NWM with­in a few months of their exis­tence, and win­ning the Franck Biancheri Award. And last, but not least AEGEE-Sheffield and AEGEE-Man­ches­ter for orga­niz­ing a Sum­mer Uni­ver­si­ty in the Unit­ed King­dom and help­ing to bring more AEGEE spir­it to the Isles.
What was for you the out­stand­ing Euro­pean project or WG/IG in 2018?
Out­stand­ing project was, with­out a doubt, Europe on Track 5. It was cre­ative, ambi­tious and real­ly impact­ed the think­ing and plans of many AEGEEans who were a part of it. The lega­cy of this project is an increase in events and dis­cus­sions about the envi­ron­ment and sus­tain­abil­i­ty with­in the net­work, and for that, they deserve our col­lec­tive thanks. Spe­cial men­tion also goes to the Equal Rights Work­ing Group for all their activ­i­ties, con­fer­ences and hard work put in cre­at­ing a more con­tent-full AEGEE.
What do you fore­see as high­light or the big top­ic in AEGEE in 2019?
Hope­ful­ly, sus­tain­abil­i­ty will con­tin­ue to be a top­ic dis­cussed in the net­work, espe­cial­ly after the EPM in Izmir deal­ing with this top­ic.
What are your per­son­al AEGEE plans for 2019?
Per­son­al­ly, my plans are just to devote my free time to the Medi­a­tion Com­mis­sion in order to improve a few things that we have dis­cussed with the cur­rent and for­mer team.
How and where will you spend New Year’s night?
This will be the first time since 2014 that I won’t be trav­el­ling some­where for the New Year’s Eve. I will spend it with my friends, plan­ning my next adven­ture or trip.