The summer is over, but that does not mean that there are no stories left to be read from the Summer Universities. The AEGEEan editor Patricia Anthony came up with the idea of having a “Summer University Story of the Week” every week of the summer, an idea that became reality over this summer.
The story behind “SU Story of the Week”
The AEGEEan cannot emphasize enough that everybody can write for us – and that is something that this project proves. If there are members out there with decent English, a journalistic touch and an eagerness to write some stories about the Network for the Network then it is up to these people to contact the magazine. It can also occur that that team members of The AEGEEan contact the members – hoping they would like to help covering all aspects of AEGEE in one magazine.
Having more than 80 different Summer Universities The AEGEEan had the challenge of not publishing any article at all or to set up some rules about how to get the “promotion” in the magazine. The best and the chosen solution became the latter one. The main responsible for the SU Story of the Week project was the editor of European Events section Patricia Anthony, who pushed members, antennae and organisers over the summer to find a journalist and then submit an article within a restrictive deadline (one week after the respective SU ended) in order not to bombard proofreaders and editors with articles and to spread out the articles concerning this subject just a tiny bit.
Not all Summer Universities will have an article – but they all received the opportunity at one point or another. Patricia has been pushing antennae to contribute with something, and given that it is a first-time project then some deadlines were postponed a day or two – but that will probably not happen next year. “It has been difficult and exhausting, because I do not want to seem pushy or to spam people with information or requests but I genuinely believed that all organisers would be glad to see their SU in an article on The AEGEEan,” Patricia says about finding the journalists. In general it was difficult to know what to expect but in the end more than 25 SUs contributed with a story! There can be many reasons behind why others chose not to – some had a bad experience, others did not have the time, and some felt pushed to do something that was not an official requirement so they chose not to do it. However, the ones that did take the time and made the effort seemed to be pleased with the result. Diana Ondza from AEGEE-Riga tells The AEGEEan “I was highly involved in the organisation of the event and I am sure that our SU had its own sparkle and something unique to be shared with the whole Network. It is also a way of promoting and advertising our local, I also provided our sponsors with the link to the article.
It should be noted that publishing “external” articles does require a lot of effort from the team. Proofreading something written by less experienced writes takes more time, and sometimes the voluntary SU journalists had to be pushed in order to contribute with articles and/or photo. However, Patricia believes that it was all worth it; “I was pleasantly surprised on how much this project worked. It was hard to push the voluntary SU journalists to contribute with articles and my already overloaded e-mail inbox was pushed to the limit when receiving questions, articles and more. What is more is that this whole process made me even more proud of The AEGEEan team than I was before. The proofreaders have been reading many more stories than normally, and the whole team has been voting and electing the best SU story of the different weeks.”
Publishing the remaining articles
It was promised to the journalists that their articles would be published one way or another, and that promise will be kept. All the different stories have been a constant reminder to Patricia of why she loves being an editor in this team – getting to read warm stories from all over Europe – making her wish she was there. Due to the high quality of the articles it has been decided that they will be published one by one in the magazine – so stay tuned to see when your antenna will be mentioned in The AEGEEan – the likelihood is quite big! In the meantime you can get a recap of the Summer Universities that were chosen as the SU stories of the week:
Cross the ecopath with AEGEE-Cluj-Napoca, AEGEE-Piliscsaba and AEGEE-Gliwice
AEGEE-Catania & AEGEE-Valletta
Written by Patricia Anthony, AEGEE-København