Every Agora participant in Enschede will remember Maurits Korse as one of the main driving forces behind the scenes. After all, the antenna applied for organizing the Agora when he was president of AEGEE-Enschede. After being in the SUCT, Maurits still doesn’t have enough of AEGEE: in Budapest he will candidate for the Mediatiion Commission. “It seems a nice and maybe logical step in my AEGEE career”, told Maurits the Golden Times.

Golden Times: Maurits, you are candidating for the Mediation Commission. Why?
Maurits Korse: Well, as you might have noticed I applied only after the first deadlines passed. After that I was approached by several people whether I was not interested in joining the Mediation Commission. That started to make me think about it. And after some considerations it seemed a nice and maybe logical step in my AEGEE career.

Golden Times: What qualifies you for the MedCom?
Maurits: Hmm, I usually don’t like these kind of questions as I have the feeling I start to brag about myself. But if I want to be elected I guess I should name some characteristics of myself. So, I think I can put myself easily as objective person. Besides that I listen and think a lot before I draw conclusions or start to tell my own story or opinion. And a third important thing that qualifies me is that I can work with anyone on any level. So within a team, as partner or party that is involved. I believe that this can be of much importance when taking up a mediation role.

Golden Times: For the few who don’t know you: how old are you, what do you study?
Maurits: Well, I am Maurits Korse, born and raised as AEGEEan in the local of Enschede, a city on the border of the Netherlands and Germany. I am currently six AEGEE years young, and 24 years old. I moved to Enschede six years ago for my studies. The master I follow there is Sustainable Technology for Product Development.

Maurits was one of the driving forces behind the spring Agora 2012 in Enschede

Golden Times: How and when did you join AEGEE? Is there a nice story about it?
Maurits: A nice story, not really. Like most people from AEGEE-Enschede I officially joined AEGEE in a drunk state of mind. It was a nice cocktail party organised by AEGEE-Enschede about six years ago during the introduction period of the university. Unlike many other locals, this is the moment that we get our new members. So I just followed the herd of freshmen in Enschede and joined. I am happy that I did because AEGEE has given me many awesome friends, unforgettable moments and great experiences!

Golden Times: You were president of AEGEE-Enschede. What have been your main achievements and challenges there?
Maurits: Yes, that was an amazing year with a great team. Actually because of my team running so smoothly I could focus on other, sometimes unforeseen matters. For example there were issues with other associations which we had to overcome in a diplomatic way or internal matters with members. But maybe one of the main challenges was our application for the Spring Agora. Especially within AEGEE-Enschede this was a controversial move from me and my team. And a lot of discussions and arguments were held and given before people agreed on continuing the organisation of the Agora. But I consider it still a great achievement and I could not be more happy with how the Agora turned out.

Maurits and other AEGEE-Enschede members at Agora Skopje/Struga

Golden Times: On European level you are best known in your interest in PR matters and design matters. What do you like about designing in general and publications in particular?
Maurits: I am a visually minded person. I like to make things real. Besides that something has to look nice – even in the smallest details – I like to make it easily readable. But the best thing I like about publications is that there is some tangible result at the end. It usually is a quick way to get some satisfaction from the work that I put in. However, even though it gives quick results, it is always a challenge to make a certain text, and accompanying information, as accessible as possible for the purpose it will be used for. And I will always try to outperform the last one as I keep constantly learning.

Golden Times: Which designed item are you most proud of?
Maurits: It is difficult for me to point one out. I think the Key to Europe I designed together with Isaac Andela (AEGEE-Utrecht) is one of the key publications for me right now. Not only because I am proud of it, but because I learned a lot from the cooperation with him, the rest of the team, and to see the final result compared to what it looked like on the screen. I am also happy with the Summer University booklet as it was a great challenge. I raised the bar quite high for the short time I had. In about ten days I could create the booklet as it turned out. With a lot of help from my fellow SUCT members. Afterwards I concluded that it is a crazy job, especially as it could have used much more improvements, but then a lot more time is required. This is also why we proposed the CiA change as SUCT last time considering the booklet of the Summer Universities.

Maurits and Katre-Helena from the AEGEE-Academy

Golden Times: How was working in the SUCT? Did you just design the booklet or did you have other tasks too?
Maurits: My main task was the booklet indeed. I also worked on the SUCT towels we have been selling during the Agora and a new SU logo, which is near to completion, has also been part of my job. Unfortunately I couldn’t spend more time on SUCT due to the Agora organisation which took nearly my entire year. I would have liked to do so to create more and better PR materials and a proper package of materials for the next SUCT. Also something I like to mention is that we initiated is the Summer University photo competition. The winners will be presented at the Agora in Budapest!

Golden Times: What do you think about the proposal for Agora Budapest to abolish the SU booklet?
Maurits: In short: I think it is unavoidable. Creating a printed version in the timespan that is given is mad-man’s work. Even though I think a booklet can add a lot to the promotion of the Summer University in quite some locals, it has become logistically and planning-wise a disaster. This is especially because of the distribution of the booklet during the EBM, which and determines the planning and many too early deadlines for locals, next to the fact that it costs an awful lot of money. However we want to give every SUCT the option what they think is best, and the freedom on how they will organise it. We came to this conclusion after considering the digitalisation of our society, the time constraints which differ every year, and the financial impact.

Memories of Agora Enschede

Golden Times: One of your freshest memories is the Agora Enschede. What was your role in the organising team?
Maurits: My official position in the team was treasurer, but besides that I was responsible for the promotion, the art work and the IT. So besides treasuring the money, I designed the badges, the website, and other materials.

Golden Times: What are you best and worst memories of the Agora?
Maurits: To start off with the worst: The fact that we couldn’t serve dinner for the delegates one night. As I noticed that this Agora will be remembered for its Comité Directeur troubles, one of the consequences was that it was too late to still serve dinner on actually two nights. It was very difficult to decide on this but the financial risks were too big for us. The second night when it turned out that the plenary would end too late once more, we decided at the last moment to still serve dinner as by then we were able to bear the consequences and we took some extra preventive measures.

Golden Times: So, what about the best memories?
Maurits: I have several, of which one I am reminded every time I visit Facebook. It is the group picture we took after the opening fair. A great way to keep the memories alive. Another very impressive moment for me was the commemoration during the plenary. We were not sure how it would turn out, but I felt that everyone in the room was one at that moment. I felt the emotions of other people, it was so strong. And last but not least, I was very glad to have all those external speakers and workshop leaders visiting the Agora. The great thing is that we all managed to do that without spending a single Euro on travel reimbursement or any other compensation. We managed because the speakers were invited on a basis of conviction, that they visited the Agora for a cause they and AEGEE both share. I think that AEGEE could learn to take that as an example more often.

Golden Times: What other hobbies do you have outside AEGEE?
Maurits: I love to paint. It is something I haven’t done properly for a long time, but I would like to start doing it again. Especially because I have been spending too much time behind the screen. Other hobbies of me are skiing, sailing and cycling (yeah, I am still Dutch), travelling, creating and executing new ideas and being happy!

Golden Times: Please complete the sentence: “AEGEE is…”
Maurits (smiles): Is this a trick question? AEGEE is a great youth organisation in which I have become more conscious of our society, other cultures and fellow Europeans, something that no one should miss out on!