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About a possible common practise - Anarchism within AEGEE

PostPosted: 21 May 2009 22:12 UTC
by Michele Turati
This is an open letter addressed to the Juridical Commission and to the Network.
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Hello dear Juridical Commission,
probably you got to know (by Sjuul and her knowledge transfer) that I like to point out when CIA-related things are wrong.

Here's a new one, and somehow it's again about my best friend (he doesn't know I like him...)

First of all, the CIA quote. Art 17.8 of the Statute (pag 14) "All members of the Comité Directeur have to present together with the financial report of the association an individual report of the travels they made during their mandate, specifying the expenses of these travels"

Now, when the Activity Report was published online I've raised a question to AGORA-L about this issue (11.April.2009), about why the prices of the travels have not been shown. I quote myself: "In the Activity Report only Evren has written the costs of the travels he made. Why the other members of the Comité Directeurs didn't do it? It will be nice to see at least the travel costs of the President, as he was most of the time out of the office. Should we believe that all the travels will be presented by all the members of the Comité Directeur as conclusion of the presentation of the Financial Report of the association? That's gonna be something new! Then more: did any CD member got travel reimborsement for moving to Bruxelles? Why this travel cost isn't included in the travel list on top of each personal list? (except for Dragan, who was already living in Bruxelles). Why the travel costs of Anita Bosneva aren't updated? Wasn't his travel to EBM booked directly by AEGEE-Europe? sorry for asking my questions here, I won't be able to do it at the Agora :) as I'll be busy with typing the minutes of the Agora."

There was no answer to these questions.

Then the same question has been asked by Jan-Philipp Holthoff from AEGEE Tübingen during the question round of the Financial Report 2008 (asked to Ivonne van den Berg). The question was the same as mine: "the Activity Report only Evren has written the costs of the travels he made. Why the other members of the Comité Directeurs didn't do it? It will be nice to see at least the travel costs of the President, as he was most of the time out of the office" but the answer was "This question is not relevant for the financial report 2008" (those are exactly the words of Ivonne).

There was a question to Dragan from Maarten Fonville (AEGEE-Enschede). “In the Task description the Secretary General is responsible for the communication with the network, but some emails were not sent by the Secretary General and the AR wasn’t put online by the Secretary General. Why were the AR not put online by the SecGen but by Robin and why were recently mails sent by the CD as a whole and not by CD members?". Dragan's reply (as it is in the minutes.. I've finished the day one, so it's definitive) “The issue with the AR report booklet. It’s a practise that CD members send the AR to the president, that has the right to check them. The one put online was different than the one I’ve read and the other five members of the CD felt that was offensive. And more, there was only one email send by the CD and not by the Secretary General.â€

PostPosted: 15 Jun 2009 17:39 UTC
by Ramon Martinez
:lol: :lol: :lol:

More than anarchy, this is becoming a travel agency. The good thing is that more people will apply for the positions in the Comité Directeur.

PostPosted: 17 Jun 2009 12:12 UTC
by Anita Kalmane
Ramon, how do you see both travel agency & applying for the CD connected? :S

PostPosted: 17 Jun 2009 15:12 UTC
by Michele Turati
If you have more people willing to candidate for the CD, it means that in % there are also more people interested in idealism and administration.
In this sense, ES1 and ES2 have shown to be very successful.

What I don't understand is why Ramon posted his comment under this topic, that is about respect of rules and anarchism in AEGEE. Maybe the discussion you are referring to is "AEGEE losts its direction",
...have a look at the results: 45% of the interviewed members think that AEGEE "was a successfull NGO in the past. Nowadays it lost direction".
45%. Fourty-Five percent.

Anita Bosneva wrote:No wonder that people think AEGEE has lost direction. And this will continue as long as more and more people perceive AEGEE as a cheap touristic service! Just take a look at this comment I found under one picture on facebook.com ---> "Next to the beautiful places you get to see...The main thing is the people you get to meet. Therefore I joined a studentstravel association called AEGEE which has given me the opportunity to meet all these lovely strangers, like you can see on this picture of one of our own events."

I got so many "motivation letters" for the CST Iceland which sounded more like "hey, I really want to see this country and meet new interesting people, you should take me because I'm an experienced traveller!"

Edoardo Binda wrote:...It shouldn't be a surprise that most people are attracted to AEGEE by the Summer University.. what people see is: travel + low costs... everything else is an addition that doesn't really matter if you don't know what AEGEE is...

that you can find here in the forum http://www.zeus.aegee.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=23

PostPosted: 21 Jul 2009 00:10 UTC
by Dennis Kruegel
I wouldn't call it directly anarchy. It is more either one of those:
- exploiting the trust of the network to his/her own benefit
- ignorance (simply not being aware of own wrongdoings)
- lack of responsibilty despite holding a position which carriees lots of responsibilty

Unfortunately AEGEE lacks active members who:
- are idealistic
- don't think only of their own benefit and career
- stick to the rules
- take responsibility serious
- and most important: have the time and resources to put so much energy into a NGO.

Just two weeks ago I talked to a fresh AEGEE-member. I was pleased to hear that this member wants to join the IPWG (hey, a fresh member on a SU who knows already more about AEGEE!). However I was not very pleased about the motivation: pure career-boosting!

This is not only a problem on the european level, but also on local level. And since I joined AEGEE in 2004, I've got the impression that it gets worse and worse every year. Especially with the bad implementation of the Bologna-Process it became worse, at least in Germany. (AEGEE is not the only international student association with this problem).

In one sentence: AEGEE is most probably not attractive enough or simply unknown to those members AEGEE would need.

This would lead of course to the other discussion about AEGEE having lost its focus.

PostPosted: 27 Jul 2009 10:43 UTC
by Rene Keijzer
It's sad to see, that AEGEE has lost it's focus, and also has lost the idealists, together that makes a dying organization.

Maybe the idealists should get together and have their own meeting, to see how it can be stopped. We need more content, and also a focus on the outside world and not looking inside (like to many trainings). In each of our 4 pillars, we should have one main event. And when we have a flagship project, the whole network should be behind it... and for sure the CD. Because I feel like that the SUFU project is not getting the attention it should get.

But the good part is the following. I have hope, I'm sure there is HOPE, hope that the upcoming CD is more Idealistic, if the leaders are more Idealistic, that helps the organization.

So, maybe the 2010 year will be a turnaround, with the celebration of 25 years of AEGEE, with a lot of events, fun, content, formal and social ones.

It will be my last year actively on the European Level, and I will do my best to give it a last shot!

Greetings from a Sunny Rotterdam,

René Keijzer
AEGEE-Lëtzebuerg & Magusa

PostPosted: 28 Jul 2009 00:34 UTC
by Wim van Ravesteijn
Looking forward to the new CD already, but, there is still a month left with the anarchists in charge. And this starts to get more and more scary.

During the past many years, ITWG has been responsible for maintaining our IT services. Unfortunately, this will end soon, as CD is right now working on taking over full control over everything (by their try to control the DNS of aegee.org). This will very likely result in many of the current IT systems going to collapse, like the aegee.org forwards (firstname.lastname@aegee.org), mailing lists, websites of locals, commissions, working groups and projects as well as the current databases which store huge amount of information, which is kind like impossible to be transfered to the new intranet.

Conclusion: the expected mess CD-elect will have to clean is getting bigger and bigger, while there will be nobody to maintain anything, as the people that try to gain full control right now will be gone in a month.

Question for current CD stays: why didn't you officially delete all the WGs yet if you are anyway going to take over all their responsibilities, making them totally useless?

Finally new IT will go live!!!

PostPosted: 28 Jul 2009 01:03 UTC
by Maria Polhout
Finally we may have a new site !!! yuppy!!!
I propose to officially kick off the new IT party...


Wim van Ravesteijn wrote:Looking forward to the new CD already, but, there is still a month left with the anarchists in charge. And this starts to get more and more scary.

During the past many years, ITWG has been responsible for maintaining our IT services. Unfortunately, this will end soon, as CD is right now working on taking over full control over everything (by their try to control the DNS of aegee.org). This will very likely result in many of the current IT systems going to collapse, like the aegee.org forwards (firstname.lastname@aegee.org), mailing lists, websites of locals, commissions, working groups and projects as well as the current databases which store huge amount of information, which is kind like impossible to be transfered to the new intranet.

Conclusion: the expected mess CD-elect will have to clean is getting bigger and bigger, while there will be nobody to maintain anything, as the people that try to gain full control right now will be gone in a month.

Question for current CD stays: why didn't you officially delete all the WGs yet if you are anyway going to take over all their responsibilities, making them totally useless?

Re: Finally new IT will go live!!!

PostPosted: 28 Jul 2009 01:42 UTC
by Wim van Ravesteijn
Maria Polhout wrote:Finally we may have a new site !!! yuppy!!!
I propose to officially kick off the new IT party...


I think there is some misunderstanding here. Me neither ITWG have ever been against a new site. The anarchy in which it is arranged bothers us a lot though, as much better results could have been reached by cooperation, instead of ruling of a single person.

The change is also not a problem, problem is that people are trying to get control of something they don't understand, especially not its implications of changing (and making AEGEE pay more, as service is for free now, with 100% flexibility, which is very unlikely not to continue with the change). Cooperation is the keyword, but this word does not have a place in CD dictionary.

Maria, enjoy your party, but I fear there will be lot of people not having much fun seeing their local, WG, project or commission website broken, mail addresses non-functioning or mailing lists not working. And who knows what more is going to break.

And imagine, with simple cooperation no money has to be spend, things will continue to run stable and continuity of maintenance would be guaranteed. But well, suppose cooperation can only be a dream for the next month...

PostPosted: 28 Jul 2009 23:02 UTC
by Anita Kalmane
Rene Keijzer wrote:Maybe the idealists should get together and have their own meeting, to see how it can be stopped.


Rene, I really like this idea, however, I am afraid and wondering if idealists wouldn't be only AEGEE oldies? I don't see a future of decisions, which would be made only by oldies, because then there is nobody who has agreed to take the actions which would have been decided... Unfortunately most of the idealists - or people who speak about idealists - are AEGEE oldies and not so active members anymore, while the new generation has quite a different opinion abt it all... :(

But "Quo Vadis AEGEE?" should be implemented again. I'd say "a new project team", but we already have got too many projects going on... So maybe a thought for BoBiGoSa?

PostPosted: 30 Jul 2009 12:39 UTC
by verena schmidt
I'm also idealist! So it's a bit too generalised to say that idealists are only oldies. And I'm sure I'm not the only one of still active members. ;-)

And how do you define "too many projects"? Is there a concrete number? If there are new ideas for projects, and enough motivated people for that, why should it be not accepted? Just because some already existing project teams may not be as active as you'd want them to be? Then it wouldn't be the fault of the new project team...

PostPosted: 30 Jul 2009 12:44 UTC
by Anita Kalmane
verena schmidt wrote:I'm also idealist! So it's a bit too generalised to say that idealists are only oldies. And I'm sure I'm not the only one of still active members. ;-)


That's why I said "I'm wondering..." as I was not sure -> but it was my feeling. Good to know that I am wrong and some idealists are still active :)
However, how many idealists are there amongst the new members (<1 year)? That's another question, which would lead to the same conclusion as before...

verena schmidt wrote:And how do you define "too many projects"? Is there a concrete number? If there are new ideas for projects, and enough motivated people for that, why should it be not accepted? Just because some already existing project teams may not be as active as you'd want them to be? Then it wouldn't be the fault of the new project team...


No concrete reply again, just a feeling :) But I think that if AEGEE can't manage and make the existing projects to run and be active, then it definitely should work more on helping those projects to get active and work again rather than creating a new ones. Every new projects means extra administration work & attention, so I'm for quality, not quantity!
If there are people willing to have another project and working on it, they can always do it :) But it should be the initiative of themselves.

PostPosted: 30 Jul 2009 12:54 UTC
by verena schmidt
What about making a survey? ;-)
And I'm sure there are more idealists out there, because otherwise choosing AEGEE would be very random as you can have fun and career-oriented activities also in more or less any other organisation, and AEGEE is not the only European/international students organisation with which you can travel around. ;-)
(now you can blame me if AEGEE suddenly looses most of it's members because noone knew this so far) ;-)

Maybe there should be more information sent to the network about current projects, because I guess that many (esp new) members don't know all possibilities to get active, so I'm not that surprised that there are no new members in the team, as it usually helps to try and get personal contact with interested members to make them aware of the possibilities first (e.g. send open calls and updates about projects on aegee-l, some kind of monthly newsletter about all AEGEE projects,...). Interested members will react to that, and then some personal contact will help to get them active.
And if a project doesn't attract new members anymore, you could also think about deleting it, so there's more HR for new projects which attract more HR and interest.

PostPosted: 30 Jul 2009 12:59 UTC
by Anita Kalmane
verena schmidt wrote:What about making a survey? ;-)


Ah, one of the hundreds of ideas I have as well :) Should realise indeed -> will think how to do it!

And I completely agree abt higher internal visibility, that will be done for sure -> about working groups, project teams, other antennae etc.! It's on my top of the "To Do" list :)

verena schmidt wrote:And if a project doesn't attract new members anymore, you could also think about deleting it, so there's more HR for new projects which attract more HR and interest.


I think CIA needs to be checked what does it say abt PT and how long can they last, how can they get deleted etc. Definitely a job for PD or the person doing PD tasks ;) But I agree with you, if the project doesn't work even several attempts to try to reviel it, then apparently it's not meant to work anymore and shouldn't be the project. Either it is and it works or it's not -> very simple! :)

PostPosted: 31 Jul 2009 11:41 UTC
by Rene Keijzer
C.I.A. PROJECTS WORKING FORMAT - Article 3: AEGEE-Europe Projects

(9) 1The Comité Directeur shall decide when to close an AEGEE-Europe project, in consultation with the
project team. 2The project and its outcomes shall be evaluated by an independent person (not a Project
Team member) appointed by the Comité Directeur. 3At the following Agora the Project Coordinator or the
Content Manager shall present the project and its outcomes, and the evaluator shall present their
evaluation. 4If the outcomes include positions or opinions, these should be approved by the Agora by an
absolute majority.

Here is how you should delete some projects. Because what happend lately with Caucasus Project, Cyprus Project and EuroIslam? So, I guess these can be deleted, or a new fresh team should be there which will make a report on the next agora, what they will do, and also make a new project proposal.