Soon the Agora Salerno stage will be full of candidates who want your vote! For sure you have read all about their programmes in the official booklet, so now you want to find out more about them, their hobbies, whether they can cook and which AEGEE member they would take with them on a deserted island. In short: classic first date questions from the Internet! The GT will take you on a date with the candidates. In this edition: Panos Provatas from AEGEE-Athina, running for member of the Summer University Coordination Team. Get ready, your date is starting now!

Golden Times: Are you afraid of your candidature speech on the Agora stage? And how will you prepare for it?
Panos Provatas: I think I am excited; being my first time talking to one of the biggest assemblies of AEGEE people! I will prepare my main ideas in a draft but I want mostly to speak freely and feel the moment when I step on the stand and see how brief I can be!

GT: Where would you be now if you hadn’t joined AEGEE?
Panos: There are too many possibilities to really say — I might as well be and work in Italy— but I prefer to focus on the present.

GT: How did you join AEGEE exactly? How did you find out about it?
Panos: From colleagues during my university days.

GT: How long did it take you from the first moment you heard about it until you signed the membership form and joined AEGEE?
Panos: It is a funny story — you know Rea Kyriakidi, a previous president of AEGEE-Athina — she was trying to convince me for five years when I, at last, decided that it was the right moment to enter! Maybe I was waiting to finish my studies first before diving into the crazy AEGEE world. By the way, let’s all send a hello to Rea— she is right now in her favorite country: South Korea!

GT: What’s the typical drink and food you bring to European Nights?
Panos: Since many people really have a “slightly issue” with ouzo due to its main ingredient anise I always bring one bottle just to convince that it is good and then see their strange faces! Haha, I am a bad person!

Summer University memories from Chania

GT: At an AEGEE party where will we find you? On the dancefloor? Talking at the bar?
Panos: Nowhere and everywhere — I like to move around.

GT: What was your first position in the local board?
Panos: We just had our local elections and I took the position of Secretary/Vice-President. First time for me~. In a few days we will make a public announcement!

GT: What was your favourite event as organiser – and why is it your favourite?
Panos: I participated in two events as an organizer and helper. Both I really enjoyed but AEGEE-Athina’s SU is the one that I personally co-organized with the rest of my team and that I really enjoyed. It was also a dream of mine and one of our current board members, Anna; when we were participants in an SU in Napoli, one and something year ago, we jokingly said: “Lets make a SU in Crete…!”

GT: What was your first Agora and how did you feel there? Happy, excited, overwhelmed, lost?
Panos: It was Agora Bucuresti. I would say I was overwhelmed at first; but I like that energy it had.

GT: Have you ever hichhiked to an AEGEE event? If yes, what’s your favourite hitchhiking story?
Panos: Nope. Maybe one day…

GT: There is a classic typology of AEGEE members, dividing them according to the three aspects fun member, career member and idealist – to which percentage are you which of these aspects?
Panos: I started as a fun member, I became something between a career and idealist working actively to evolve my local. Maybe after one or two years I will become again more of a fun member; we will see…

GT: What do your parents think about the idea that you are so active in AEGEE?
Panos (laughing): They are jealous. No really, they are happy that I found something I enjoy giving my free time  and maybe more than that.

GT: What other hobbies do you have aside from AEGEE?
Panos: I enjoy writing, cooking, exercising and spending time with my friends.

GT: What was the last book you really got into?
Panos: I think that would be “The 100-Year Life. Living and Working in an Age of Longevity”. Our societal environment is changing and this book really describes that very well.

GT: What TV series do you keep coming back to and re-watching?
Panos: “Supernatural”, “The Expanse”, “Colony”, “WestWorld”, “The Magicians”, “Daredevil” —they are many, I could go on but that’s some of my favorites…

GT: What are some obscure things that you are or were really into?
Panos: Poetry and instrumental music – I don’t think many people really listen to or read these.

Panos, a bit younger

GT: What’s your favourite app on your phone?
Panos: That would be MyFitnessPal; I really enjoy to use it. it has a very smooth interface and it is a nice assistant that helps me with my diet and exercise lifestyle.

GT: What nickname do or did you have – and why?
Panos: Hm, I don’t know… Ah yes, in my recent SU with AEGEE-Athina I really “enjoyed” a trip with a boat. Being Greek I think it suits me but well I am not the best sailor…

GT: Do you like cooking and if yes – what’s your favourite dish you like to cook?
Panos: Tabbouleh, with a lot of rocket instead of  parsley, so it is a bit spicier. Especially in the summer you only need that, some ouzo, some “Greek sushi” – pasto – and a slice of watermelon for the finish! Of course, before that you need to jump into the sea, so you are ready to eat!

GT: What’s never missing in your fridge?
Panos: I think that would be yogurt, tomatoes and some kind of fruit.

GT: Did you consider joining a political party or maybe want to do it later?
Panos: Maybe at some point, but the current national parties don’t really define me. Maybe we need to create something truly new that can offer some different viewpoint.

Panos, also a bit younger, playing guitar.

GT: What do you study – and why?
Panos: I studied politics and international relations. I think mainly by chance due to suggestions, although I really enjoyed it.

GT: What’s your dream job?
Panos: Being in AEGEE for over a year and working also often with AEGEE or other organizations now and in the past, I think I would like to work more on that sector expanding the influence of non-profit organizations and helping them expand their social impact.

GT: What’s the favourite city or place on this planet you ever visited?
Panos: Haha Napoli! I also really enjoyed the island Lesvos where I grow up— I like to spend some time there to refill my batteries after a SU-filled summer! I also have to say Kerkyra, on the island of Corfou, which is a special place in my heart being the birthplace of my father.

GT: And where would you really like to go?
Panos: I think I would like to live in Kerkyra at some point of my life. It has a really cosmopolitan feeling I enjoy.

GT: This Agora is about walls – what was the most difficult wall you had to overcome?
Panos: It is a drive of mine and always has been: to understand the others and to communicate better. I think people talk better with food. That’s why the “Eurotrip” or the European Night in general is so popular.

GT: What’s your biggest frustration in AEGEE?
Panos: I think we need more co-operation as locals with the main European body of AEGEE. If we need to develop the AEGEE brand and not lose even more members we need better cooperation. And probably a reduction of expense. AEGEE is still cheap in relation to regularly traveling in Europe, but the costs are increasing.

GT: Please complete the sentence: “AEGEE is for me…”
Panos: …Europe.

GT: How would you describe yourself in a few keywords?
Panos: “Explore, discover, listen, see, talk and then write something with music in your mind.”