Saramijn Luijken will be twice on the candidate stage at the upcoming Agora in Bucharest. The AEGEE-Leiden member is running for the position of Equal Rights Working Group (ERWG) Coordinator and for the Network Commission as well. This is possible, because the working group term will end on 31st of July. Heper Sayar from AEGEE-Istanbul is applying for the ERWG position for the next term. On the long run Saramijn is aiming for another task: “President of the European Council seems like a cool job.”

Golden Times: What would you do now if you hadn’t joined AEGEE?
Saramijn Luijken (laughing): I might have finished my bachelor a little earlier without all the extracurriculars, but I wouldn’t have met all these amazing people and would have never travelled as much – so, no regrets whatsoever!

GT: How did you join AEGEE exactly?
Saramijn: I found out about AEGEE through a classmate of mine and heard about all the great people and the travelling. I decided it was something for me so I signed up for AEGEE-Leiden!

GT: What’s the typical drink and food you bring to European Nights?
Saramijn: I try to mix it up, but Stroopwafels are a definite must to bring and greatly requested!

GT: At an AEGEE party where will we find you? On the dancefloor? Talking at the bar?
Saramijn: Both!

GT: What was your first position in the local board?
Saramijn: European Affairs Officer

The Equal Rights Conference in Leiden

GT: What was your favourite event as organiser – and why is it your favourite?
Saramijn: I have two I can’t pick between. The first is the Summer University I organised in 2017, we had a great team and awesome participants and it was an amazing experience! Secondly we  organised the Equal Rights Conference in Leiden last year; it was one of the greatest challenges in my AEGEE career so far, being responsible for both the content and the logistics, but the event was amazing and I loved the challenge!

GT: What was your first Agora and how did you feel there? Happy, excited, overwhelmed, lost?
Saramijn: My first Agora was Agora Chisinau in 2016, I was super excited getting to represent locals, asking questions in front of all those people, and discussing proposals in prytania! I enjoyed it so much that I became a delegate at two more Agorae!

GT: Do you like cooking and what’s your favourite dish you like to cook?
Saramijn (smiling): I enjoy baking more than I like cooking, so I love to bake cupcakes and cookies mostly! My roommates really like this about me…

GT: What’s never missing in your fridge?
Saramijn (laughing): Pesto… for some reason.

GT: What do your parents think about the idea that you are so active in AEGEE?
Saramijn: First they were very apprehensive because they said I should focus on my studies, but then it became apparent how much I was learning and how much I enjoyed it and ever since it’s all very supportive!

GT: What other hobbies do you have aside from AEGEE?
Saramijn: Reading, trivia knowledge – I like learning really random facts and other interesting things – and I love food!

GT: Did you consider joining a political party or maybe want to do it later?
Saramijn: Yes, I was a part of a youth political party in my high school years and might join the official one at some point.

GT: What do you study – and why?
Saramijn: History with a minor in European Union Studies. I chose History, because I loved learning about it and think the world can learn a lot from past mistakes. I also chose European Union Studies because AEGEE kickstarted an interest in the EU and I hope to pursue a master in this direction.

GT: What’s your dream job?
Saramijn: President of the European Council seems like a cool job.

GT: What’s the favourite city or place on this planet you ever visited?
Saramijn: I loved the Alps I visited during my SU in Brescia and I love New York!

GT: And where would you really like to go?
Saramijn: Surinam and Vietnam are the highest on my wish list right now.

GT: What’s your biggest frustration in AEGEE?
Saramijn: I don’t really know.

GT: Please complete the sentence: “AEGEE is for me…”
Saramijn: Opportunities!

GT: How would you describe yourself in a few keywords?
Saramijn: Dedicated, enthusiastic and open minded!