Some people in AEGEE are just born to become Network Commissioner. Lisa Gregis from Bergamo is one of them. She joined the Netcom team half a year ago and enjoys a lot being in charge of more than 20 locals in the famous Rainbow area, comprised of locals from Italy and Malta. “Nothing in AEGEE has made me fall in love with like the Rainbow did. It is one of the loudest, controversial, funny, vital, powerful, caring and feared group of locals”, says Lisa, who is also Vice-Speaker of the Network Commission. Next to telling more about her daily job in the Netcom, Lisa also told the Golden Times why you cannot miss the next Network Meeting in Cagliari in November.

Lisa Gregis Ballots
Lisa Gregis

GT: Your first half year as Network Commissioner is over! Was it a good half year?
Lisa Gregis: Definitely yes! I had the chance to get to know all my locals better and to work in cooperation with my amazing subcommie team and a fantastic team of Network Commissioners made by inspiring and hard-working women. I feel blessed to have had the chance to learn from them.

GT: What motivated you to candidate for Netcom?
Lisa: The love for the locals and the people managing them. This was the one and only goal I had in mind, and, being elected as NetCommie, was the realization of the dream I always had: leading by example and inspiring people to do more than they think they are able to.

Some of Lisa’s lovely Rainbow people

GT: Looking back – was the work like you expected?
Lisa: It is not exactly what I expected, but better.

GT: What do you do in the NetCom exactly?
Lisa: I answer to a lot of help requests from my locals, I try to support them as much as I can in their AEGEE life and update them on AEGEE news and opportunities. I also try to proactively push my locals to challenge themselves – and I remind them of deadlines and bureaucracy. I lead the team of my subcommies, who are working with me to help and to develop the locals. Within the Netcom team, we have weekly meetings on Skype, support each other daily and carry out the work in order to achieve the goals we set in the workplan drafted at the beginning of the term.

Network Commission
Lisa Gregis and the Network Commission at Agora Bergamo

GT: One can definitely say that you don’t live in a boring part of the network, which is also known as “Rainbow”. What makes the Rainbow so special?
Lisa: Everybody has a different idea of my locals, not only those who don’t know them, but also my members themselves. What I can say is that nothing in AEGEE has made me fall in love with like the Rainbow did. The Rainbow is one of the loudest, controversial, funny, vital, powerful, caring, feared and unaware group of locals in the network in my opinion, and the only thing we lack is the capability to understand it. When I’ve met all the active members of my locals some years ago, before even thinking of the possibility of becoming a NetCommie, I’ve found beauty and an unbelievable unused potential in them. Since that moment, I’ve never stopped to seek those and they have never let me down, even in the darkest times.

Lisa Gregis Rainbow
Lisa loves the Rainbow!

GT: True words. You are responsible for the biggest amount of locals of all Network Commissioners. How do you manage this workload?
Lisa: I don’t have the biggest amount of locals anymore, but indeed, I’m still one of the NetCommies with the highest number of locals to support. I try to prioritise the tasks, and, thanks to my subcommies, I can rely on them for some aspects of the work with locals.

GT: The network is shrinking. Also in your area?
Lisa: My locals are small to medium and this is not a big news, but indeed we lost a couple of them in the past years.

Presentation at NMW Valletta, spring 2016

GT: What can you do to stop this trend?
Lisa: My plans are to work with the ones who are the most in need of help together with my subcommies, to support them in planning their activities and walking the right path. I also would like to make the strongest locals to care for their neighbours, so that they feel responsible for them and lead by example, helping them in their issues. In my opinion it is a matter of personal relationships, without them everyone is closed in his or her local. I also wanted to be a netcommie because I loved the people around me. If there is not this bond between people, we are only dots on a map.

GT: What can you personally do to make the network grow and be stronger?
Lisa: First, my daily work as NetCommie is totally devoted to that. Apart from that, I can push them to work more in certain fields like thematics and non-formal education.

GT: AEGEE locals have to fulfill a lot of criteria. There is also a lot of bureaucracy involved. Do you think it’s justified or would you change something if you could?
Lisa: I think that there is the need to revise the Antenna Criteria and most of all to understand what makes a local healthy and what is not. For me bureaucracy is needed only when it helps the locals; not when it’s used to measure, control, catalogue and rank them.

The European Night is a highlight also at Network Meetings. And the Netcom has to try all drinks!

GT: You will organise a Network Meeting in autumn. Can you tell us more about it?
Lisa: Yes! The Network Meeting will be hosted by one of the pearls of our Network: AEGEE-Cagliari, who has already prepared an all-inclusive package with a lot of activities and a high quality event for only 35 Euros. During the NWM, there will be around 20 hours of tuition and it will be from the 3rd to the 6th of November. I’m drafting the programme together with AEGEE-Cagliari and the Network Commission so I cannot say a lot about it now. What I can say is what AEGEE-Cagliari has prepared so far: we will sleep in a hostel in the city centre, we will have lunch and dinner at restaurants, we will participate in the famous “Mattia Abis pub crawling” and the best is yet to come!

GT: Finally some off-topic question: How enthusiastic were you about the European Football Championship? Or do you care more about the Olympics?
Lisa: I did not watch all the games, but I am a fierce fan of my national team in whatever sport, so I tried to watch our matches or to catch up with their results. For the rest, I am more likely to watch the Olympics than I watched the Euro Football Cup.