Summer may be coming to an end, but Summer Universities are still taking place all over Europe. The Summer University Coordination Team (SUCT) has been working tirelessly for many months, and their work has not finished yet. This month, we are honoring Maurits Korse as member of the month, for his work as a member of the SUCT.
The AEGEEan: How do you feel about becoming the Member of the Month for your work in the SUCT?
Maurits: Well, I expect some extra attention from my fellow SUCT members now. No, it is nice that people have liked my work for SUCT so far. I had the feeling I was acting more in the background with this kind of work. Especially as my SUCT work has, unfortunately, been a “job in between” my Bachelor Assignment and the Spring Agora organisation.
What made you decide to apply as a member of the SUCT?
Honestly? Well actually because I was complaining about last year’s booklet and that I could do at least a bit better. But, if you make such claims and complain about others, then I think it is also your duty to take action and not leave it at empty words. So that was my main reason. Besides, I was approached by some people asking whether I was interested, this really convinced me that I had to apply.
What was your position in the team and what were your main tasks?
My position is Publication Responsible. So the most important part was the design and layout of the main publication, or actually the booklet that was handed out during the EBM in Izmir. Besides the two crazy weeks in which I had to layout the booklet, I have been, and am still, working on some smaller things. Espcially things considering design. For example posters, website banners, a new SUCT logo and Summer University towels, which we might create more of.
What was the biggest challenge that the team had to face during this term?
Well for the team there were several I think. The biggest challenge is maybe the time pressure right around several deadlines that we set. Especially because a lot of questions are being asked around that time, extraordinary cases which we have to discuss, and problems with the system we have to overcome in matters of seconds.Even though some things are not always the task of everyone, we try to act as a team and make proper decisions considering participants and organisers. Especially because we want the project to be a great success again this year. Which means constantly balancing between quality and quantity. Quantity in the sense that there are as many SU’s as possible, open to as many participants as possible and thus a great diversity. But there are many problems to overcome in this. We want to keep the fees as low as possible for example, but we want also to increase the quality of the events.
What do you consider the greatest achievement for team and yourself, related to the Summer University project?
The greatest achievement for the team is, I believe, to have been able to continue the Summer University project in a decent and active way. I have the feeling that the Summer University project is undergoing more pressure as competition increases. Competition in the sense that more people can organise their own holidays without the need of an organisation like us. So that is why we tried to add more quality things to the Summer Universities. Asking organisers to make movies and people to hand in pictures for the photo contest. Of course this is not only a way for us to check whether Summer Universities do get up to the level we would like to see them at, but we’re collecting nice PR materials for next year’s Summer University Project. Everyone will benefit from that.
My personal achievement has been the booklet of course. As I said, it is crazy to make it within the available timespan. Honestly, I do not see much future for this way of working because it makes the project much more complicated for the SUCT but also organisers who have to decide whether they will have a Summer University and how it will look like already before January. As in previous years, that we were able to get it done is a great achievement, and certainly not only of me but also of the team and all organisers who sent their feedback and extra info when they were asked to.
In your opinion, why is the Summer University project important for AEGEE and its members?
For members it has several important factors. First, it is a playground for organisers to learn how to set-up, lead and evaluate an event and while at it, be criticised by the participants day-in and day-out, because they had “five minutes too short to shower”. So it is a great learning project for the organisers.
Also for the participants, of course. They make new friends or groups of friends that meet each other again during other events, laying the foundations for more integration as well. It is awesome to hear and see those people meet up and then introduce the rest of their friends to their Summer University mates. That is how our network gets built and becomes stronger. It creates a basis for the network in which we become less localised and more equal on European level so that we understand each other much better during discussions, and so that we can organise other great and successful projects and events.
What are your plans for the next year regarding your work in AEGEE and your studies?
I’ll officially start my Masters in Industrial Design Engineering. I have been active in AEGEE for six years now, especially on the local level, which has slowed down my studies significantly. Not that I regret of course, but I do need to spend some more time on university again. However this does not mean that I don’t like to do other things besides that anymore. So maybe some small side projects, focus a bit more on my hobbies like painting. However if the opportunity arises there is still one more thing I would like to contribute to within AEGEE. This all considers the upcoming European Parliament Elections in 2014.
Why the European Parliament Elections?
It will be 100 years after the first World War started. An era in which a lot happened on the European continent. Happenings that were certainly not always the most peaceful. Only since one or two decades a lot of progress considering peace and unification of the European peoples has been made. However, this progress is at stake since the current crises that started a couple of years ago. The European people have started to argue and protest against each other once more. We don’t seem to be tolerant any more towards each other. Why? Well, because the people are actually losing control within Europe. Considering our leaders, considering our banks and considering our welfare system. And that is why I think AEGEE should be more involved in the democratic process towards the upcoming elections. To show that we as young Europeans want a more democratic Europe in which we are free to elect anyone, that we can gain control over our financial system again, and thus keep our welfare states safe and robust.
Written by Zsófia Komáromi, AEGEE-Budapest
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