The costumes, real-life, and stuffed animals that represent AEGEE locals

It is no secret that because of the revolution of Facebook we sometimes stumble upon seeing friends congratulating another person because of his/her birthday. This is normal, but what might seem less normal is when the same people post a “happy birthday” message on the wall of a stuffed animal. However, that is exactly what is happening on more and more occasions.

AEGEE-København has Gorm Junior, AEGEE-Lund has Pippi Longstocking, AEGEE-Madrid has Retirito, and the list goes on. They have Facebook profiles, they have birthdays, and they are hosting AEGEE events! It has become more and more common for antennae to have a mascot that they bring to different AEGEE events.

Arzu Lu is spreading love during the EBM Izmir '12

Other antennae have real animals as mascots. It might seem that this is due to the cute AEGEE-Izmir dog spreading love around the gym during EBM. This dog, which is named Arzu Lu, is however not the AEGEE-Izmir mascot but “only” belongs to AEGEE-Izmir member Simge Gizem. Actually AEGEE-Izmir does not have any mascot at all and for sure there are some people that think that they should have a stuffed look-a-like dog named Arzu II to represent them. Antennae that actually do have a real-life mascot are, e.g., AEGEE-Düsseldorf (a dog named Luna) and AEGEE-Piliscsaba (a cat named Cicus Pazmaneus whose story is elaborated further down in the article).


Development of AEGEE Awards 2012

The AEGEEan is working hard on organizing AEGEE Awards 2012 and the idea of rewarding the antenna with the best mascot came up. For this reason, The AEGEEan made a poll on our Facebook page last month in which we asked which ist he cutest mascot. Many AEGEE members pitched in and five particular mascots became the nominees for “Cutest mascot 2012.” And the nominees are:


The famous badger

If you have attended an event with AEGEE-Eskisehir you will most likely recognize their mascot on the picture to the left. It is featured on the sweaters from the local and their stickers too. Stickers which they, as any other antenna, put everywhere! Its name is Masagor which is a combination of MAScot and AGORa because it was designed for the Autumn Agora Eskisehir 2007. The European badger, whose birthday is October 1st 2007, was chosen as a symbol for the antenna because Eskisehir has a river in the city center which is very famous in Turkey. This river is called Porsuk which is the Turkish word for “badger”. “Also important to mention is that badgers are lovable and brave animals,” says Engin Ergezer, president of AEGEE- Eskisehir. The mascot itself is not a stuffed nor a real life animal, but a costume ready to wear.


Leoncio and all his brothers

Leoncio celebrating Christmas in Italy

It is to no huge surprise that Leoncio, the mascot of AEGEE-León, was amongst the popular mascots in The AEGEEans poll since he is one of the most famous mascots out there. There is a Leoncio in Denmark, a Leoncio in Italy, and of course a Leoncio in León but most likely other European places, too. The original Leoncio, although no one knows where he is today, was “born” in 2008. As some of you might guess, the name derives from the name of the city, which also the reason why it is a lion. León means “a lion” in Spanish and moreover it is the symbol of their city.  AEGEE-León is very generous and shows its appreciation to people whom the local cherishes (and who value AEGEE-León) by giving them a Leoncio. It started as a way of promoting the local when the antenna was small and members wanted to gain fame in Europe. “In all manners, Leoncio is like the precious ring from The Lords of the rings, it always comes back to its owner. Leoncio always has sad eyes, he is only happy whenever he is in León,” fundraiser for the Youth Unemployment project David García Rodriguez says about the mascot of AEGEE-León.


"Uca's" t-shirt

The notorious Spanish cow with her own t-shirt

Another Spanish mascot in the race to win the award is Uca, the mascot of AEGEE-Santander. She was born a little after the antenna was founded back in the summer of 2008 in connection with their first Summer University. According to her Facebook profile the birthday has been set to be the 23rd of August. She was named Uca because UCA is the Cantabrian way of ending words. All Cantabrian words always ends with –uco or –uca. The choice of having a cow representing the antenna is because cows are amongst the characteristics that are part of the landscape of Santander. Uca ALWAYS comes along whenever AEGEE-Santander is travelling with Erasmus, going to a local training course (LTC) or a Network meeting (NWM). She also travelled to the Agora in Skopje etc. The T-Shirt of AEGEE-Santander will be launched soon and Uca is of course the main feature on it.


An addition to the Greek family

Sofoklis is one of the newest mascots in the network. He belongs to AEGEE-Thessaloniki and was added to their family just before their last NWM back in October 2011. He got his name from his godmother, the secretary of AEGEE-Thessaloniki, Konstantina Katrimpouza who named him Sofoklis because of its beautiful eyes that emit wisdom. The Greek antenna chose an elephant because it is the most faithful animal to its family. All members close to AEGEE-Thessaloniki treat each other as if they were blood-related so they could not have chosen a more appropriate mascot to add to their family. He is eager to travel, but always return to home. Sofoklis is too young to have T-Shirts, brothers, or legendary stories – but AEGEE-Thessaloniki cannot wait to release him in Europe and they are sure that he will gain interesting tales rather sooner than later.


The Hungarian university cat

His name is Cicus pazmaneus and belongs to AEGEE-Piliscsaba. The University of Piliscasaba is catholic and therefore all its buildings have Latin names, even the university bar got a Latin name invented by the students, so it was a no-brainer that the cat should have a Latin name too. He belongs to everybody and hangs around the university spending his time begging for food and listening to presentations. At night he is locked inside the building which causes trouble for the security guards who has to hurry to the university whenever the alarm system goes off only to find out that it was caused by Cicus Pazmaneus strolling around the building. In this case the mascot of AEGEE-Piliscasaba was not invented by the antenna itself. He rose to fame on Facebook, after a mysterious guy created a Facebook account for it, and the cat then became a real star. People tend to post photos on his page where he is in funny situations e.g. in a flower pot or in front of a computer in the computer room.

“We chose him as our mascot because we wanted a real showman cat who is the most likely to bring us luck,” Kata Szabó says about making Cicus Pazmaneus mascot of AEGEE-Piliscasaba. However, the Hungarian antenna has realized that they cannot bring him for AEGEE events around Europe. The solution to this is that they are right now are looking for a stuffed look-a-like cat, not to replace him but so that they can bring his spirit whereever they go.

The final voting for the “cutest mascot” award will begin, alongside with the voting for the other categories, Monday 2nd of April 2012.

The final voting for the “cutest mascot” award will begin, alongside with the voting for the other categories, Monday 2nd of April 2012.

Written by Patricia Anthony, AEGEE-København

Thanks to Anil Kacan, Kata Szabó, Engin Ergezer, Ilenia Gurnale & Eleni Buni for contributing with pictures for the article.