Does AEGEE-Europe need an Advisory Board or Supervisory Board in order to mediate or avoid conflicts like in the CD 2012? The Golden Times asked this question on Facebook during the Agora. The result is an overwhelming “Yes”: altogether 42 clicked the “Yes” button, only 9 said “No”.

The CD at Agora Enschede before the clash

The spring Agora 2012 in Enschede made it clear: conflicts between CD members are inevitable, since every single person has different ideas about the work AEGEE should do and the way this work should be done. It is very hard to create a common vision that everybody agrees to all the time. Usually, problems in the CD house in Rue Nestor de Tiere are not only about facts and topics, but more often about people, personal values, attitudes and friendship. While it might be just pure fun to live together during an Erasmus like in the movie “L’Auberge Espagnole”, being under the pressure to perform all tasks for AEGEE and being constantly judged or criticised from the network can make life in the headoffice very hard. Leading such a team is even harder, because different from a company with clear hierarchies and forms of disciplinary actions, being in the CD means being under equals. The CD introduced evaluation sessions, also with external help, but obviously these debriefings could not present the meltdown of the CD at Agora Enschede, which left no one unharmed.

Can an advisory board help? And who should be in it? Former CD members? Other people? While the latter remains unclear, the first questions received a clear answer.”Yes, I think this is very much needed”, says Zsófia Komáromi from AEGEE-Budapest, former head of the PR Committee. “Not just to mediate conflicts, but to supervise the work of the CD, interfere if they see it is needed and give them adice upon request.”

Maurits Korse from AEGEE-Enschede and SUCT member, has a similar opinion. “Yes, I agree as well. And such an advisory board should not only be for mediation or internal conflicts, but also as a knowledge base for the CD in case they need some information about how previous CDs came to certain decisions or how they dealt with certain situations. I think the advisory board can and should always give advise, even when not asked. However the CD should be free to decide what they do with the advise.”

Others think that AEGEE can deal with CD-internal conflicts with existing tools. “Call the Mediation Commission next time”, says Verena Schmidt, former speaker of the Human Rights Working Group. And Seren Günes from AEGEE-Ankara adds: “Call a psychologist next time.” Carlijn Van De Meulenhof also would like to see an advisory board, however she is a bit sceptic: “Well, there has been a proposal on that but it has been rejected. If I remember correctly, it was proposed by Kai Lehmuhl from AEGEE-Aachen.”

Yet, under the light of the recent circumstances at the Agora, it might be worth to consider the idea again.

Check the results: