The Coronavirus is heavily affecting AEGEE and its events. While online activities are flourishing, the fate of AEGEE’s trademark project, the Summer University, hangs still in the balance, since no one knows when students’ life will be back to normal. The consequences are enormous for the organisers of the 42 SUs, who cannot easily plan, promote or fundraise for their event. Moreover, no one knows how the ongoing crisis will affect the time and budget of potential applicants. The SUCT (you can find the list of its members at the end of this article) does the best it can to keep the project afloat in this crisis. The GT spoke with them.

Golden Times: Dear SUCT, you recently wrote to the locals that the continuation of the Summer University project in 2020 is not certain. The decision will be made in the middle of April. On what will you base the decision?
SUCT: The decision is not going to be an easy one, there are a lot of things that we will be needing to take into account. There are the governmental restrictions that are put on all over Europe, but also the advice of the health organisations will be taken into account. The opinion of the organisers is already something we value a lot and we are having talks with them as well. The potential participants is another group that we are taking into consideration, whether or not there actually will be people willing to apply. So all in all it will be a tough decision based on all sides of the crisis and all parties involved.

GT: How is the mood among the organising antennae? What kind of feedback do you get from them?
SUCT: The overall mood is okay, we would say. Or at least calm and good, for the situation we are in. Of course there are a lot of doubts and worries as well, but we are in constant contact with each other. Some of the feedback we already got is also linked to the question asked here. Like what to take into account, but mostly sharing with each other what the situation is and how we can all help each other.

GT: In case the project goes ahead, when will the application period start and end? When would the participants be informed whether they are accepted or not?
SUCT: In case it will go on, the application period will start on the 20th of April and be just open for two weeks, until the 4th of May. The participants will get to know if they got accepted within a few days after that.

GT: What can the SU organising antennae do until mid-April? Can they still make changes?
SUCT: Yes, there is the possibility to make changes to the SUs at the moment. Like changing the dates, or part of the program. Almost anything is possible as the situation is very different everywhere. So we will need to be flexible and innovative.

GT: It is probably quite hard for many antennae to plan an SU or do fundraising in this period. Have some antennae already cancelled or changed their SU?
SUCT: This indeed is one of the hardest things at the moment. Which is also something that is very much out of our control. But so far there have not been any official cancelations. Mostly we are all waiting until mid-April to make the call. There have been discussions about possible changes to some SUs.

GT: In case the project takes place, the promotion will be difficult. Will you provide advice or updated promotion materials to the network?
SUCT: We already worked on some tips for the online promotions, we will be helping everyone to make sure the promotion will still be the best there is. Furthermore there is the possibility for the locals to use the promotional money of the PR material for online ads – like Facebook and Instagram. We will share those tips anyway because they may be useful for future events and future SUs.

GT: What would happen if the project doesn’t take place, but an antenna wants to organise the event anyway?
SUCT: In this case it would be up to the local to decide what they want to do. They might turn the event into something more local, or maybe they want to put it in MyAEGEE as a European event. Apart from them not happening we are also very open and looking for possible alternatives.

GT: Anything you would like to add?
SUCT: These are very difficult times and nothing is set in stone. This also means the things we have already decided in the past. Things change all the time and we will have to adapt to the situation. In case of cancelations we are already looking into alternatives. As we mention every time when we have contact with locals and organisers, if there are any tips or comments, you are welcome to contact us. Stay safe, stay healthy!

This is the SUCT 2019/20

  • Project Manager: Wouter Boerjan (AEGEE-Eindhoven)
  • Content Manager: Daniel Sedlák (AEGEE-Brno)
  • Public Relations Responsible: Antonio Castiello (AEGEE-Salerno)
  • IT Responsible : Jean-Paul Smit (AEGEE-Leiden)
  • Treasurer: Marleen Talve (AEGEE-Tartu)
  • Publications Responsible: Francesca Weiß (AEGEE-Stuttgart)
  • Appointed CD Member: Hanna Alajõe (AEGEE-Tartu)

More info about the SU 2020? Check it out: