Recently the Golden Times asked in an Internet poll whom the AEGEE members want to see as next Agora Chair. Surprisingly Amaia Plazabona won with a very clear result: 23 votes, ten votes more than the runner-up in that poll. “Amaia who?” you might ask. Also the Golden Times became curious who this member of AEGEE-Zaragoza is that so many people have trust in – and asked her for an interview. One thing that she revealed: there might be an Agora in Zaragoza soon.

Amaia Plazabona

Golden Times: Amaia, in a Golden Times poll 23 people suggested you for the position of Agora Chairperson! Do you feel honoured or surprised?
Amaia Plazabona: I was really surprised when I saw such an amount of people suggesting me for being Chairperson of the Agora, because I have never thought about it. Last Agora, the Spring Agora Enschede, was my first time ever in an Agora. There I realised the importance of the Chaiperson’s position in this kind of events. So, unfortunately, I’m pretty sure that I am not going to apply for it… at the moment. Maybe in future, when I have more European experience, I will think about it. Right now I can just say “thank you” for proposing me to apply for this position, it is an honour for me.

Golden Times: Tell us about you: how old are you, what and where do you study?
Amaia: I am 21 years old and I am from Pamplona, but I am studying veterinary medicine in the lovely University of Zaragoza.

Golden Times: Do you actually have chairing experience?
Amaia: Not exactly. I organised several things inside my local and outside of AEGEE. Some of these event required lots of responsibility and I really enjoyed it. But anyway, it wasn’t similar to chairing an Agora.

AEGEE-Zaragoza – organiser of the autumn Agora 2013?

Golden Times: Are you actually interested in joining the European level in general later? If yes, what would it be? Project, commission, WG board, CD, SUCT…?
Amaia: I am really interested in joining some working groups on the European level, but for the moment I am not sure which one I would want to join. Some people are trying to convince me to do that, because, as they say, that is a really good experience to grow up. Probably I will use the AEGEE fair in Budapest to talk personally to AEGEEans participating in working groups, to choose the one that fits me best.

Golden Times: You are one of the most active people in AEGEE-Zaragoza. What were you involved in this year?
Amaia: I’ve taken part in most of our projects in AEGEE-Zaragoza: The New World (Maño) Records, the activities for Erasmus, all our trips, and as far as I can remember… I was one of the organisers in our great, great, GREAT Summer University!!!

AEGEE-Zaragoza, an antenna famous for its amazing spirit!

Golden Times: How did you actually join AEGEE?
Amaia: I joined AEGEE in April 2011 after I attended a presentation that AEGEE-Zaragoza members did at my faculty. After that I realized that I must join AEGEE – these guys were so, so convincing. They were talking about how much I could improve my English, and how I could become an active citizen and so on and all those things they tell you at presentations. So, right now, I’m in, and I know that there’s much, much more to AEGEE. I’m pretty sure I will stay here for a long while, because there are still a million things about AEGEE that I want to learn and participate in.

Golden Times: Which is your greatest single AEGEE moment so far?
Amaia: All of them. First of all, I realise that huge part of my motivation of continuing in this association is due to this marvelous team we created in the last years. We meet every Friday, sometimes to discuss important issues – and then, of course, a dinner and a beer – or, if we don’t have anything to discuss, just to see each other, to talk to each other, to have fun. Why? Because we are not only members of a local, we are also really good friends and we cannot pass more than one week without having a meeting. Another big part of my motivation comes from the good experiences I had in other events like, for example, the SU in Kraków & Lviv this year. It was amazing – I’m still thinking on the great people I met there. Also the Agora in Enschede, the Network Meeting in Burgos or the RENOVE in Madrid.

The active members of AEGEE-Zaragoza

Golden Times: How many AEGEE events have you been to?
Amaia: I have been in two SUs as participant, one SU as organizer, one Agora, one Network Meeting and many events around Spain as participant and organiser. Maybe it seems that I don’t have a lot of experience, but for one year it is quite enough.

Golden Times: Are you a party animal?
Amaia (smiles): It depends on my mood of the moment. When I go partying I like to do it like there is no tomorrow, but when I need to be responsible, I’m ready the first one.

The Summer University 2012 of AEGEE-Zaragoza

Golden Times: AEGEE-Zaragoza applied with 30 people for Agora Budapest! How come that your antenna is so enthusiastic? Can you describe the AEGEE-Zaragoza spirit?
Amaia: AEGEE Zaragoza is set to rock Europe! Our antenna has become one of the most active and we are not gonna stop there. This and our ‘old traditions’ in the parties – the way we drink the tequilas, the famous anticobra – make the rest.

Golden Times: What will happen to the motivation of your members if they are not accepted?
Amaia: Well .. I understand that there have been many applications to go to Budapest and many people of all antennas will be out. In our case, too many people applied and so, we are afraid about new members losing their motivation because of not being able to attend this event. Another reason why we want to go altogether is because we are thinking of organising something big for 2013. Possibly a statutory event like EBM or Agora, so be ready to receive news from us very soon!

The poll – Amaia in front!

Golden Times: Please complete the sentence. “AEGEE is…
Amaia: …the experience of my life that I recommend to all the people.”

Golden Times: What other hobbies do you have except AEGEE?
Amaia: Apart from AEGEE I have a lot of hobbies. Animals is one of them – that’s the reason why I’m studying veterinary. I also like to read books, practise sports and try different typical foods from every place I visit.

Golden Times: Anything else you would like to add?
Amaia: Just to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to express what I feel and thanks to the people who want to see me as Chair and to know more about AEGEE-Zaragoza motivation. See you somewhere in Europe!