She is Miss 100 Percent: Yvonne Antonović, a couple of years still unknown to most people in AEGEE, has taken the hearts of the delegates of the Agora in Skopje/Struga by storm. The former secretary of the Agora will preside over the chair table next time from the centre – as new chairwoman of the Agora and EBM, after being elected into her new task with 100 percent of all valid votes. The open, humorous and energetic girl from AEGEE-Utrecht gave the Golden Oldie her first interview after the Agora.


Golden Oldie: Yvonne, congratulations for your election result! Despite the fact that everyone saw you during the Agora, not everyone might know you that well. Can you tell us about yourself? Are you actually, Dutch, German or Serbian…?

Yvonne Antonović: In AEGEE it works like this: I say I’m German, since I grew up in Cologne and German is my mother tongue, but nobody listens. When my AEGEE friends are annoyed, they say I am Dutch – my mother is Dutch and I live here since a couple of years. When they like me again, they claim I can only be fun because I am Serbian at heart – my father is from Belgrade. I don’t really have a say in this.


Golden Oldie: When did you first get the idea to candidate for Chair?

Yvonne: I thought about it at the spring Agora 2011 in Alicante when I was running for Secretary. I liked being the Secretary a lot, it gave me the opportunity to get a better understanding of what being the Chair involves.


Golden Oldie: While being Secretary of the Agora you did a lot more than necessary, really being integrated in the chair team. How much work was it to prepare for the Agora Skopje?

Yvonne: Of course there were stressful moments, but in general it was pretty okay. There was a strong team around me and it involved a lot of e-mailing so this did not feel like a very stressful task to me.


Golden Oldie: What were the best and worst parts in the Agora preparation?

Yvonne: The best part was the teamwork with the Chair Team, Juridical Commission and CD and I enjoyed the Chair weekend a lot. There were some moments that were a bit frustrating to me. There was one frustrating moment is particular which is typical for me because I proofread everything in the Chair Team: I suggested the organisers to change the motto of the Agora from “Raise up your hand” to “Raise your hand” or “Put your hand up “.


Golden Oldie: They did not want to do that and in the end of the Agora you could actually hear some people using the wrong phrase. Has there been a moment in the preparation when you had second thoughts about your candidature?

Yvonne: In the very beginning I was not sure if I wanted to run for Chair or Secretary again. It depended on the other candidates. There were some other people that wanted to run for Chair and had they candidated, I had wanted to be a Secretary so we could be in a team together.


Golden Oldie: You experienced the local organisation crisis in Struga first hand. What was your impression about the handling of the crisis? How could the escalation have been avoided?

Yvonne: I do not want to elaborate on how it could have been avoided, but I learned from it. I think the CD handled the crisis in a very classy way. I think that the JC, CD and Chair Team gave it their all – and always did so with a smile towards the participants, never letting them down. Their attitude was like: “Bye bye sightseeing, hello cutting voting ballots, hello arranging a new agenda, hello all other unexpected tasks”.


Golden Oldie: Let’s talk about nicer things. It was mentioned a few times at the Agora that the Chair Team had a weird sort of humour. How would you describe it? Can you give an example?

Yvonne: Yes, there was a particular sense of humour. A healthy mix of lame, rude, sexist, hilarious jokes. The most important thing is that it was always time for a laugh. Robert has a great sense of humor, Alberto would always calm everyone with a joke and send some kisses and I am afraid that Percin and I made this all a bit worse. We might be a bit more annoying at times, but we always have a blast together!


Golden Oldie: Talking about your Chair Percin Imrek: we saw your great performance singing Barbie Girl with him. When was the last time you were this embarassed?

Yvonne: I once swore to myself never to sing karaoke in public again. When I said my first word I remembered why. I cannot remember being this mortified and I hope all evidence of this will be destroyed. For good.


Golden Oldie: You were singing Ken’s part, Percin Barbie’s. What does this say about the two of you?

Yvonne: The people who had stolen the Where Does Europe End flag asked for this task division. Percin is a close friend of mine and I could not let him down. Right now I’m thinking I should have let him embarass himself alone…


Golden Oldie: How did you actually join AEGEE?

Yvonne: I joined AEGEE at the end of 2007 because I wanted to be more Dutch. I studied at an international university and lived with international people. I loved it there, but I also wanted to integrate into Dutch student culture, so I joined AEGEE. Since people see me as Dutch now, I think I managed to integrate fairly well.


Golden Oldie: Among your local experience in AEGEE-Utrecht is PR work, IPWG work, but also bartending. What were the most interesting tasks locally?

Yvonne: The most interesting task was to organise the event “IPWG goes the Hague 2008” and being a mentor for new AEGEE members. Right now I just do things for my sorority Zauvijek Moja, because I love these ladies to pieces.


Golden Oldie: On European AEGEE level, you are project leader of AEGEE-Queer. Can you tell us about the idea behind this project and how it is doing?

Yvonne: The project wants to achieve more tolerance and acceptance for the LGBT community and especially open up the minds of AEGEE people. We are supposed to be cosmopolitan students travelling Europe and respecting our neighbours. I am passionate about this, because nobody consciously decides who they fall in love with and nobody has the right to devaluate you because of whom you love.


Golden Oldie: Now you will have the task to put the new EBM reform into practice. The EBM is turning into a thematic conference with quite limited participation, which might lead to a big competition for places. Can you describe the changes and what they mean for the delegates?

Yvonne: There will be an application procedure, including motivation letters and also recommendations will be taken into account. Parts of the programme will be mandatory for everyone. We are working on all the changes, I already have lots of Chair work to do even though the Agora is barely over. I am really excited about the EBM Izmir and visiting Turkey before!


Golden Oldie: Is there something you want to improve about the Agora? If so, what?

Yvonne: I want to make it a bit more professional and a bit more efficient. This also means I will have to be strict and cut people off more than happens now. What I really wish for is a better voting system. And I will continue proofreading everything.


Golden Oldie: You are looking for a Vice-Chair. Did you already get a few interesting answers?

Yvonne: Nobody has sent an email yet, we are still looking for a Vice-Chair!


Golden Oldie: What do you do when you are not doing AEGEE things?

Yvonne: I study and I work as a freelance translator. In my free time I like dancing, fitness, hanging out with my friends and I love reading. My closet is smaller than my bookshelf.


Golden Oldie: Something many people want to know: are you single?

Yvonne: Really? I was not aware many people taken an interest in this. I am single and it actually was my first AEGEE event in which I was single.


Golden Oldie: What will you do after finishing AEGEE and your studies?

Yvonne: Look for a job.


Golden Oldie: What is never missing in your fridge?

Yvonne: Ceasar salad dressing.


Golden Oldie: Please describe yourself in five keywords.

Yvonne: cheerful, outspoken, outgoing, chaotic, open-minded.