If you attended Agora Skopje, EBM Izmir or are one of the lucky participants of Agora Enschede then you should know who the current chair team is, and more importantly – the secretary that takes all the minutes and writes down all your interesting questions. Her name is Sygrit Andringa and she is candidating for half more year with the chair team family, eager to be the secretary of the chair team leading Agora Budapest this fall.
The AEGEEan: You have been assistant secretary, secretary of EBM Izmir, will be secretary of Agora Enschede. However, you are not coming from a background of journalistic education, how can it be that you like typing so much?
Sygrit: I have always liked to type. My mum made me follow a blind typing course in primary school, I learned to type fast on an electric type-writer. Ever since I enjoyed typing, as well as playing the piano. I guess I like the feeling of moving my fingers. I did for a while want to be a journalist in primary school and once had a birthday party related to this theme. Also I like order, organising and being involved in the organisation. I was secretary of AEGEE-Groningen last year where I was able to work with my interests for secretary-related tasks, even though I have studied Nutrition & Dietetics and Spanish, something totally different.
Why did you decide to candidate for secretary of the Agora?
I like the task so far and at the moment I do not feel like I am finished, there is a lot more to do, to work on and to improve. I believe that now that I have the knowledge and experience, it will only become easier to work with the team next term. Also I do not feel like leaving the team half-ways since they will continue till Budapest anyway.
Now the participants of the statutory events see you alongside the chair team during the Agora, and during the EBM , but can you tell me a bit more about the work that goes into chairing such an event? How many times do you meet? What special bond is created between the chair members and possibly the members working with you guys?
We mainly have only Skype meetings every week and besides that we exchange e-mails a lot! It took me a while to get used to this kind of communication, I was used to work in teams where you see people in person, so this is a little more challenging. But once you are used to it it’s almost just as much fun. Before the Agora we had a Chair Meeting, this time in lovely Cagliari, where everything was arranged perfectly by AEGEE-Cagliari and we even got to join their Local Training Course. The special bond is, I guess, the desire to work hard for AEGEE, working when others are partying or relaxing during Agora/EBM, the funny moments during our meetings, you have a lot of inside information about AEGEE and of course the ‘you’re important’ status we apparently have. And during the EBM/Agora we can see all of you from the stage, that is something special as well. So remember that next time you’re watching us we can also see you! So better don’t fall asleep or do other stupid stuff.
You mention in your candidature that you have learned to distinguish different accents through being in AEGEE? How so, and are there any accents you find more difficult than others, do you have any funny stories?
Being part of many AEGEE events has taught me to distinguish many different accents. There are no specific accents I find more difficult, but the ones for example that took me a while to get used to, but that are for me a part of AEGEE, are Mirka’s (Miroslava Ganzarcikova) and Manos’ (Valasis) accent. And as Chair Team we love Ermi’s (Ermanno Napolitano) Italian accent in English which we really like to make fun of.
Besides AEGEE how do you spend your time?
Right now I’m working for one year to be able to enjoy my last active year of AEGEE and in Groningen. I work in a super market as assistant floor manager (check-out) and in the hospital as a nutrition assistant. I’ll start my masters degree finally coming September and move to Wageningen, the only university city in the Netherlands without AEGEE. I love going out, being around friends, dancing, sports and of course traveling!
It seems like you really do enjoy writing and being a secretary. Will we see you candidating for the Comite Directeur (CD) Secretary next year?
Haha, no. I’ll start my master degree in September in Nutrition & Health and won’t have much time for AEGEE anymore unfortunately. If I had time I’d like being the Secretary General but after being in the board in my local for one year, which I enjoyed at lot, I can’t imagine being in the CD for one year and living in the so-called Zoo, so it would still be a no.
It was clear during the whole interview that Sygrit loves AEGEE, typing and being the chair. The AEGEEan wishes her good luck with her candidature!
Written by Patricia Anthony, AEGEE-København