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: Wouter Boerjan from AEGEE-Eindhoven, running for Member of the Summer University Project 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?
Wouter Boerjan: Well actually not afraid at all, unfortunately I won’t be able to get to Salerno due to an exam. Franjo will be presenting for me, so I will prepare everything for him and then I am sure he will do great.

GT: Where would you be now if you hadn’t joined AEGEE?
Wouter: If I wouldn’t have joined I most likely would now almost be finished with my complete student life. Because of AEGEE I got to experience much more, which is totally worth it.

GT: How did you join AEGEE exactly? How did you find out about it?
Wouter: A friend of mine told me they had dinners for free at the start of the year, so I just came along to one and as I was looking for other opportunities I simply joined the next week.

GT: How long did it take you from the first moment you heard about it until you signed the membership form and joined AEGEE?
Wouter: So basically a week and I was sold.

GT: What’s the typical drink and food you bring to European Nights?
Wouter: It depends on the event, but mostly it would be either goldstrike or silverstrike with some salty cheese snacks.

GT: At an AEGEE party where will we find you? On the dancefloor? Talking at the bar?
Wouter: At first I would most probably be talking on the side but as soon as the drinks kick in I will go on the dancefloor.

GT: What was your first position in the local board?
Wouter: I was vice-president and internal affairs. I did this for 1.5 years in which some of the tasks I took care of were guiding the board, checking tasks being fulfilled, coordinating the committees and many more. I also took care of the outgoing participants for SU, which in that year got a very high number of members going to one.

GT: What was your favourite event as organiser – and why is it your favourite?
Wouter: I think the exchange to AEGEE-Skopje, it was a very successful exchange with a lot of new members and older ones joining. Also with great collaboration on AEGEE-Skopje’s side, which made the event as great.

GT: What was your first Agora and how did you feel there? Happy, excited, overwhelmed, lost?
Wouter: My first one was also in Italy, in Catania. At first I felt really like a newbie, as I just got elected as board member and already had to represent my local at such a big assembly. But I quickly learned all the ins and outs and felt amazing to be there. The discussing, meeting, partying and most of all the way in which so many people from different places all mingled and worked together was really amazing.

GT: Have you ever hichhiked to an AEGEE event? If yes, what’s your favourite hitchhiking story?
Wouter: Sadly, no, hitchhiking is still on my list of things to do.

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?
Wouter: I would say 40 percent fun, 40 percent career and 20 percent idealist.

GT: What do your parents think about the idea that you are so active in AEGEE?
Wouter: They are happy for me that I am this active in such a big organisation, but actually I hadn’t told my parents about my new venture till yesterday. They are however always guiding me to make sure I don’t lose track of my studies, since spending time on AEGEE is way better then studying.

GT: What other hobbies do you have aside from AEGEE?
Wouter: AEGEE has been a big part for the past years, but now also started playing lacrosse with an awesome team. I switched universities and this also brings in a lot of new things to explore. So currently I am trying out many new things.

GT: What was the last book you really got into?
Wouter: To be honest I don’t read that many books anymore, so the last one that really got to me is probably “The Yellow Birds”. A book about the Iraq War through the eyes of a soldier.

GT: What TV series do you keep coming back to and re-watching?
Wouter: There are multiple actually, I do enjoy some good science fiction but also historical series work for me. So “Avatar: The Last Airbender” is a childhood favourite of mine, but also “Downton Abbey” is very nice to watch a couple of times. Of course, “Game of Thrones has passed my screen multiple times too.

Young Wouter

GT: What are some obscure things that you are or were really into?
Wouter: Eating frikandelenbroodjes! These are a very nutritious Dutch snack. On the healthier side: I am now playing lacrosse three times a week, which is a lot of fun but also gives me plenty of bruises, already made it to team captain in just a few weeks.

GT: What’s your favourite app on your phone?
Wouter: The one I use most is WhatsApp, but the one I use a lot too is Buienradar, basically an app that shows when it is going to rain.

GT: Do you like cooking and if yes – what’s your favourite dish you like to cook?
Wouter: I do love cooking. When I have the time I like to make a nice stew with beef, hachée, it’s a typical Dutch autumn dish.

GT: What’s never missing in your fridge?
Wouter: Recently soymilk, it used to be normal milk, always to put in my coffee.

GT: Did you consider joining a political party or maybe want to do it later?
Wouter: I did consider it, almost did it too, but for now I will wait a little bit and after a while see if the party is still in line with what I envision. Things change so fast these days.

GT: What do you study – and why?
Wouter: I finished my bachelor in mechanical engineering and am now doing a master in Biobased Sciences. The change is mostly because I wanted to do something more sustainable and futureproof that would really be the next big thing.

GT: What’s the favourite city or place on this planet you ever visited?
Wouter: I really enjoyed my trip to Morocco, visiting several cities there, but I would put Fez on top of them all, everything is so different compared to what I am used to.

GT: And where would you really like to go?
Wouter: I still want to visit Spain, all of it, as I have never been there, probably one of the few Dutchies that hasn’t gone south in summer there.

GT: If you could take one AEGEE member to a desert island, who would it be? And why?
Wouter: I would take Ingeliis Siimsen with me, as she will for sure have a pot of garlic or paprika mayo with her so we could survive on that. But just the two of us together will be so much fun.

GT: This Agora is about walls – what was the most difficult wall you had to overcome?
Wouter: I don’t think I had that many difficult walls, but coming out might have been the hardest, but luckily there was a very soft landing on the other side of the wall.

GT: What’s your biggest frustration in AEGEE?
Wouter: The ban on nationalities.

GT: Please complete the sentence: “AEGEE is for me…”
Wouter: A place to flourish.

GT: How would you describe yourself in a few keywords?
Wouter: Strong minded, stubborn, open, helpful and kind.

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