Last term there was a female speaker, and a large number of female representatives in the Network Commission. Then at the Agora Enschede we saw that this tendency would most likely continue with the division of eight female and two male candidates for the Network Commission. In the end six out of the eight ladies were elected and if you would like to get to know them a little bit better then you should have a look here.
To get to know Tika one should understand that despite her young age she has founded her own handmade chocolate company, so The AEGEEan asked Tika about how it all began: “It began very simply – we just thought why not to have a chocolate shop (without any specific image of that). Almost three years passed after that moment – those years were full of ups and downs, a lot of happy moments along with situations when we felt completely lost, demotivated, disappointed. But it was interesting and still is. I wouldn’t say that we are extremely successful by now already – there is a lot to work on and improve. But we created our own working environment that gives a lot of freedom in terms of ideas and creativity. Now I have totally different view on entrepreneurship, than I had three years ago when I was graduating.” However, this does not seem to prepare Tika for her presentation at the Agora. She was, as most likely everybody else, very nervous but her advice is to think of something really enjoyable and funny. At least that turned her mind to the positive mode, enabling her to enjoy doing the presentation.
She was the founder of AEGEE-Kaunas, but her wish to do great work for AEGEE in the North goes beyond “her” Lithunanian local since she was recently elected as Network Commissioner as well. Funny thing is that she was thinking about her outfit during the presentation of the Agora because of how nervouse she found herself to be “I was doing a presentation in front of so many people for the first time in my life, so it was really scaring! I was joking that it was a good decision not to wear tight trousers, so people couldn‘t see, how my legs were shaking. But it was a great experience and I know that the next time I wouldn‘t be so nervous anymore.” There are many reasons why Karolina chose the Network Commission as she describes it as one of the most lively, interactive and closest to the locals body in AEGEE which never sleeps. Working for the Nework Commission she gets motivated more and more everyday and despite all the required time and energy she thinks that it is definitely worth it. What excites her even more is the great team behind the Network Commission, and furthermore that she will be working with the Northern antennae “The Nordic Stars” which are the antennae belonging to area where she is from, her home, and from where she is eagering to see a fruitfull collaboration and making AEGEE strong and visible in the area
Olia Yushchenko from AEGEE-Kyiv joined the Network back in 2010 and has been active ever since, completely in love with AEGEE for many reasons but most of all for people, who are here. There is nothing better than to be surrounded by ambitious and active people who are following their dreams and making them true making her sound as a perfect Network Commissioner ready to “serve and protect”. Intially she was planning to become a scriptwriter but she smiles saying “life is life” and it is a proof that life for sure has its peculiarities when a person longing to become a scriptwriter is now passing her last exams to get a Bachelor degree in Banking and Financing. Besides not being from AEGEE-Zaragoza she admits to be addicted to chesse and jamon and is not so fond of everything having a sweet taste. Two facts important about Olia is that she admits to talking a lot, that her friends sometimes suffer from that fact, and that six years of her life previously was dedicated to dancing career, attending competitions of hip-hop. These might be the reasons that Olia stands out when saying she felt comfortable speaking in front of the Agora, “Talking in public is not my day-by-day activity but I definitely like doing it. Anyway don’t feel uncomfortable or scared and ready to make as many presentations as its necessary! And that’s totally different point of view, to watch the Agora from the other side of the stage. Interesting thing by the way!” Another thing she is confident is the potential of the ladies of AEGEE when asked what she thinks about the large number of representatives especially on European level “That demonstrates that we have A LOT of amazing, clever and talented girls! Guys, don’t miss a chance.”
Now Carol maybe did not attend Agora Enschede but most people will remember her for being main organiser of the Agora Alicante last spring. However, being a biology PhD student, running long duration experiments, made it impossible for her to attend the Spring Agora of 2012, “Let’s say the animals I am working with needed me at that time,” Carol describes it.
So when not being able to go Carol had to leave the responsibility to Fernando Campo Gomez, president of AEGEE-Santander, but she was completly confident in doing so. “Well, since some years now, we succeeded not to create only a group of subcommies, but a real team that elaborates as one planning for our region, new events, etc. So we are used to share responsibility and I trusted Fernando 100% and the other subcommie to present truly who I am, as they know me well and helped me to design my candidature! Moreover, I already left in Fernando’s hands the responsibility of presenting the Agora Alicante just one year before, so I was very sure he could do a great job, and he did: I mean, Fer was very funny saying “hi, I’m Carol Bello”!! This is totally the spirit of the team!! Work seriously but also be friends and share good feelings with other AEGEEans. I have to admit that, even if he doesn’t feel really confident on stage, I really trust him because he always supported me, now was my turn! Good teams support each other, even in uncomfortable situations. So, for me they were perfect and simply awesome.”
Despite not being able to be at the Agora, Carol joined the event somehow through following it online. She actually got so happy and excited about being chosen for NetCom and winning the AEGEEans’ Choice Award for the best event with the Agora Alicante team that she ended up shouting and running on the street.
Many people would say that it is a big task to “take over” such region after future president Luis Alvarado Martinéz, and Carol also decribes this task as huge! Making her proud to get the chance continue the previous work with subcommies who was included in the past team “My Knowledge Transfer included several active members in the package! I really believe in this structure, I mean subcommies that are close to their antennae. That’s the key to keep AEGEE growing. “
Most of you already know Ana Dragic, and her high number of “likes” on the “Ana Dragic for NetCom” Facebook page and the large amount of votes at the Agora proves that the Network trusts this lady. She could not unfortunately attend the Agora because she has been playing for the basketball team of her faculty for four years and the final tournament was at the same time as the Agora. Paul Smits from AEGEE-Enschede was the person who took the responsibility and Ana explains the situation as this: “As no one from experienced members from AEGEE-Beograd went to the Agora, I started thinking about my friends from other locals. Paul came to my mind as we are very good friends, he is familiar with my work and I just knew that he would do a great job presenting me. I didn’t suspect at any moment that he might not be perfect, and at the moment when he came on stage I felt like I was there. He did a great job!” So while following the Agora and playing Basketball at the same time Ana also learned the rest of the results, such as the large number of ladies elected but Ana doesn’t see female domination as something to be worried about , “Well I noticed that in other commissions and in CD that the number of female/male elects are more or less equal, but yes, in the NetCom six girls were elected this time. I guess that the time comes when girls are more active and interested in contributing to the Network of our association, so I don’t see it as something standing out,” Ana smiles.
Wieke van der Kroef – the new Speaker of the Network Commission
You have probably seen her asking questions during statutory in the past, which is probably the reason why a) she felt quite comfortable when doing her presentation and b) she is elected Speaker of the Network Commission. What is the recipe for speaking in front of 700 people? “I just told myself this would only take slightly longer then asking a question on stage, which I had done before. And it did in the end, time flew by, I still have the feeling my presentation took less time than any other but that might be because I wanted to tell more about my ideas.” Maybe it is all the experience that keeps Wieke calm, she was working on the pre-event Utrecht/Amsterdam before Agora which she describes as nice but hard becasue she was quite exhausted after being in the AEGEE-Amsterdam board for a year. Futhermore, she was also preparing a proposal before the Agora, working on a flagship topic and preparing to be a delegate at the Agora, so it is clear that Wieke is experienced in handling a lot in the same time, and she sure is good at it too! As Ana, she did not really realise the large number of elected ladies, saying: “I did not even realise the large number of elected females before pointed out. If it reflects anything I would say it reflects that either the Agora thinks these were the best candidates or that there were a lot of females with a lot of friends in AEGEE. As always I just hope the best people were elected, whether those are male or female.”
How did it feel being elected by the Agora?
Tika: This Agora was really emotional and at the same time stressful for me, because of all famous events going on and of course because of me being a candidate. At the final plenary I was completely empty, not feeling or acknowledging anything. I realized the results a bit later while getting all the congratulations, especially from people that had been supporting me for some time already.
Ana: Just one hour before the results were announced I won the golden medal with my team, after that I ran to watch the live stream with my best friends, I can not describe those feelings in those moments… That was definitely my day!
Karolina: That moment was really one of the best moments in my life, full of emotions, happiness, and joy. I was so happy when I sawmy name in the list of elected people that I didnt know who else was elected in the first minutes. Such moments make worth all your hard work, sleepless nights you spend and time you dedicated to the organisation.
Carol: Very exciting!! It was a pity I couldn’t be there. Feeling the support of the Agora gave me a boost of motivation! Actually, it was a great moment when the results of the elections of the voting were announced
Olia: Of course happy! Thats the moment when you realise that all the efforts done before, worth it, and that’s the beginning of one more amazing page of your life. Amazing feeling, full of expectations and inspiration.
Wieke: I had faith I would be chosen, but I cannot lie and say I wasn’t nervous in the end. I remember not even seeing who else was elected until I got to the stage and saw the others.
Preparing for Netcom meeting Katowice
When asked about if the girls have started working with the Network Commission the answer is a clear “yes”. Koen Berghuis grabbed everybody directly after results was announced, and they went to a meeting in which the experienced NetCommies gave advices. Examples on work already done is Wieke, who stayed two days extra with her team in Enschede to write the work plan, alongside getting knowledge transfer from Koen, visiting some locals already, and starting on working on the Netcom Meeting which will take place in Katowice in the second weekend of June, which especially Carol & Ana are looking forward to because then they’ll meet the rest of the team and get to know each other.
Written by Patricia Anthony, AEGEE-København