AEGEE-Budapest had to wait for three long months, but finally it became official: the autumn Agora 2012 will take place in the capital of Hungary from 31st of October till 4th of November. The GOLDEN TIMES spoke with Márton “Marci” Demeter (24), head of the Agora organising team of AEGEE-Budapest.

Golden Times: Márton, you are main coordinator of the Agora. Can you tell us something about you?
Márton Demeter:  I just finished my studies at the Corvinus University of Budapest, where the Autumn Agora will be held and also the previous Agoras were held. In 2006 I became member of AEGEE-Budapest and since that I’m active member. I participated in many, many events both on local and international level. Actually, I became AEGEE member just by an accident, but that is an another story…

Golden Times: How did you feel when the news finally came that AEGEE-Budapest will organise the autumn Agora 2012? And how did your antenna react?
Márton (smiles): We had been e-mailed in the night and I had to read that e-mail many times, because on first sight I didn’t believe it. Since that we announced it also on our local channels like our mailing lists, our online pages and we also contacted all the AEGEE locals in Hungary. Of course I immediately contacted our main partners, with whom we are organising the Agora.

Golden Times: You had to wait a long time for this CD decision. Did you have any doubts?
Márton: Organising and preparing an Agora takes a lot of time, also the decision can’t be made quickly.

Golden Times: Do you also have a preliminary date for the Agora?
Márton: The plan is to open the Agora on All Saints Day at the end of October. The dates are 31st of October till 4th of November 2012.

The Agora plenary hall

Golden Times: Do you already have an organising team?
Márton: I have a big bunch of people around me helping in everything, and also the board of AEGEE-Budapest is helping a lot, but at this very moment we do not have a team yet. The board set the election of the Core Team on the last days of February. I expect the first meeting with the Core Team in March.

Golden Times: Nevertheless, AEGEE-Budapest has already been preparing for some months for the Agora. What has been arranged so far?
Márton: Now the things can speed up! We had already a pre-contract with our partners, and now we can negotiate and finalise all our agreements. For example, with the Sports Club, which provides the gym and also with the management of the university.

Golden Times: You’ve been to a lot of Agoras yourself and saw good and bad examples. Which was your favourite Agora so far?
Márton: In my case it means two Agoras: Ljubljana and Kyiv. I was amazed by both: lots of adventures, meeting AEGEE friends again, fun and of course work. Of course I heard many stories of many other statutory meetings, but I think you can’t judge which was bad or good. They were all great, but also very different in many aspects.

Golden Times: And what will you do regarding the programme and organisation in order to make the Budapest Agora special? For example parties, sightseeing, distances from lodging to plenary…
Márton (smiles): Well, we have great plans, but most of them shouldn’t be told till the first moments of the Agora. But the AEGEE people who have been at any of our events in the last couple of years can guess: we will do similar activities, but in a larger size.  I can give you some hint: our tradition, the Bad Hair Party will be organised in the Agora for sure!

Golden Times: Where will the plenary take place? And where will everybody sleep?
Márton: The plenary will take place in the main hall of the Corvinus University of Budapest – in the same hall as in 1991 and 1995! The participants will be lodged in a gym of the sports club of ELTE University.


The Agora gym

Golden Times: Nowadays IT issues became a topic too at Agoras. Will there be a video stream?
Márton: Yes, of course! At our University we use live stream on a daily basis in lectures and events, I hope all the AEGEE people, who can’t come to Budapest will enjoy the Agora online. Also we have plans about electronic voting, but that needs to be discussed, due to its long preparation time and testing period.

Golden Times: Will there be pre-events and post-events?
Márton: For sure we will organise pre- and afterparties in Budapest, but about pre- and post-events I can’t tell you anything yet. However, we have a really good friendship with the locals around us! I expect many events to be organised, maybe the crazy bus from Belgrade will come to us, too?

Golden Times: AEGEE-Budapest is one of the biggest antennae in the network. Can you tell us how a typical month of AEGEE-Budapest and its activities look like? For example this February?
Márton: After recovering from the ice-cold winter break and the examination period we will start February with the meetings of all our working groups and committees, but only after the AEGEE-Budapest Skitrip! We will prepare the Freshmen Camp which will be at the beginning of March. Also we will focus on recruiting the Agora team, because at the end of February there will be the elections of the team. And we shouldn’t forget the local Agora when the former board’s activity report will be voted upon. Sounds like that busy weeks are coming!

Márton: Golden Times: Anything else you would like to add?
Márton (smiles): We welcome you all in Budapest, also the oldies! I can tell you that we are preparing something for them as well!

At the moment there is no Agora page on Facebook yet. Until that time you can enjoy reading the participants booklet  of the previous Agora in Budapest, made in 1995. It contains the famous spelling mistake which triggered a beloved tradition: the SINGING of the Convention d’Adhesion. I’ll put it online tomorrow. You might also be surprised to see how short Agoras were, although the network had the same size and there were as many projects and Summer Universities as today. Two full days were enough. Download it here.