First-Time Delegate at the Agora

AEGEE-København members asked me before I headed off to the Agora if I had been a delegate before at a statutory event. Despite being my second Agora, Agora Enschede was the first time that I was a delegate for AEGEE-København. My antenna tried to prepare me but there is no way they could have ever prepared me for Agora Enschede.

Wake up in the morning looking like…

This being my second Agora and yet another AEGEE event to add to the list, I already knew it consisted of waking up early in the morning after just a few hours of sleep. The very first day of the Agora was eventful for me. I started out by hitchhiking from Amsterdam to Enschede with people from the pre-event, then I was overwhelmed with the excitement of seeing familiar faces all over the place, and then getting ready for the first party.

You know you have to wake up early in the morning, right?

All these familiar faces approached me, first of all to catch up, but also to let me know that I had to wake up early in the morning. This was due to the task of being the AEGEE fair manager, which required me to rise and shine at 6 in the morning. After having more people that I can count on my hands reminding me of this, I decided to head back to the gym and sleep. I must have been beyond exhausted because I did not hear at all when people returned to the gym from the party, but little did I know that this exhaustion was nothing compared to what would hit me the forthcoming days and after the Agora.

Registering and picking up ballots

AEGEE-København had prepared me for the task of registering myself, obviously, but also the antenna. That I had already experienced at the EBM so I knew the process of answering questions such as “Who is your Network Commissioner?” “Are you a board member?” “How much is the membership fee of your local?” etc. In addition to that I was to pick up the voting ballots for AEGEE-København, which went smoothly as well.

La gente está muy locaaaaa, what the ****?

In the evening it was time for the roll call. During the day people had been practicing, whispering in the corners with smiles of excitement for being the ones remembered for their roll call at the Agora. However, Agora newbies seemed confused about what was going on. Roll what? And despite the effort of trying to explain what it is, I think it is one of those things that you have to witness before you understand. Being a member of both AEGEE-Madrid and AEGEE-København I situated myself amongst all the Spanish locals. We were getting ready to scream and sing for AEGEE-Madrid but I did not have anything special planned for introducing my Danish local. In lack of guts of doing something extraordinary, alone, in front of 700 AEGEEans, I chose to just stand up, say “present” and smile whenever Yvonne Antonovic called my local. A few locals afterwards it was time for AEGEE-Madrid. One Argentinian girl, one Danish girl and a bunch of Spaniards stood up and started screaming “Yoli, la gente está muy loca,” and I suppose the audience very fittingly thought “What the ****?” but also started cheering along.

“I have never seen the Agora this silent”

However, the cheers, smiles and laughter faded quickly after the announcement of Vote of Confidence by the Comité Directeur. As I recall a person said “I have never seen the Agora this silent,” and it was in fact quite a sight seeing 700 people almost afraid to take a breath in fear of being too loud. Despite being a first-time delegate, I am quite active in AEGEE, so I was lucky to know what the CD is and I have profound knowledge of what they already do in Brussels. However, this was an Agora with so many people, and there were a lot of newbies that had no clue what was going on. This was most definitely visible in the voting session where stress spread amongst the people in the room, questions were raised (some several times) and it was not an easy task for organisers, the Chair Team and the Juridical Commission (JC) to try to control the situation.

No food

The numerous questions, the attempt to describe the voting procedure, the division of boxes ready for the ballots, all this of course took time. Unfortunately for the organisers, it took too much time, which made them unable to serve dinner to the delegates. However, they did make an effort to feed the hungry participants who were looking at colorful papers rather than delicious food. In the end voting was done and the delegates rushed back to the gym getting ready for the party while the Chair Team, JC, and kind vote counters headed off to start calculating who had received the vote of confidence and who had not.

VIP bus to the center

So there was food provided by the organisers to the delegates but they did manage to get a discount on Turkish kebab for the participants at a local place in the city which the delegates reached after taking the VIP (party) bus to the city center of Enschede. People got food, and also smiles after seeing Turkish participants guiding them to the local place, which was a flashback to EBM Izmir to some.


In the end, nobody could have ever prepared me for this Agora. The first two days were only the beginning of an experience that will be a memory of a lifetime for better and for worse.  Some details may be placed in the wrong connection, wrong day, but this only proves how difficult it is to describe what exactly happened because to this date, despite having slept countless hours and regaining energy after the Agora, I still have difficulties answering some of the questions: who, what, why?

Written by Patricia Anthony, AEGEE-København

Pictures courtesy of Léa Charlet, AEGEE-Paris