This month we award AEGEE-Patra as Local of the Month. This antenna was founded on as they call it one cold night in December ’97; they are no strangers to the AEGEE world and they have had many members active at the European level. Perhaps you have heard of George Dimitrakopoulos, one of the masterminds behind the Information Technology Committee or Costas Deltouzos famous for his contribution to the Summer University Coordination Team. Or maybe Christos Gkagkas of International Politics Working Group? You know you know them, but we are here to talk about the current board made up of John Eikosidekas, Aris Konstantinopoulos, Apostolis Voulgaridis, Petros Spyratos and Foteini Pappa.
The AEGEEan: We all know that there have been major changes in the past months with the new board. You have introduced a ‘club system’ inspired by the Dutch locals. Can you tell us a little bit about the need for such a system and how it’s going so far?
Well, according to a Human Resources Management theory, an organization should have members that feel like they belong. To reach that goal you must give members more responsibilities on the active level. So, decentralization of responsibilities was our first idea. Also, we wanted to make induction of members easier, instead of having only one type of meeting with many members on the active level so our members can enjoy and contribute easier. So the idea hit us to categorize all things our members could contribute into clubs! It’s going great so far, and we also encourage new members to go on a trial and join a meeting. This way our antenna gains fresh new ideas and more active members! We have subconsciously agreed upon calling the club system, the “HR Strategy”.
So you built a system based on this strategy. Which clubs does is consist of?
The “HR Strategy” consists of five clubs:
1. The Social Club: it is responsible for our social events and entertaining Erasmus Students.
2. The Design Club: it is responsible for any PR material needed for our antenna, such as leaflets, e-mails to our members, designing stickers etc.
3. The External Relations Club: they are responsible for any external contact from our antenna, like for fundraising, for programs like Youth in Action, but also for sending holiday cards to our sponsors etc.
4. The IT Club: it’s responsible for the electronic networking within our antenna and they make sure that we can communicate easier through mailing lists, updating our webpage and so on.
5. The SU Club: it’s redundant to mention what goes on in this club. We are organizing a TSU together with AEGEE-Ioanninna this year.
You guys are one of our oldies and goldies and we know you have taken up the task to be mentors for the ‘’babies’’ of AEGEE-Ioannina. Tell us the why’s, the how’s and where is this heading?
We initiatively met AEGEE-Ioannina at their Network Meeting in September 2012, and got to know them even better during Fall Agora Budapest 2012. We hit it off quite well and enjoy their company. They have the AEGEE spirit and are full of fresh ideas and energy! They also joined our RTC this past December in Patra and between our antennae there is constant communication as if we were friends from the past.
We thought that it would be nice to help out building their antenna and cooperating with them in organizing European level events. So many ideas have hit both antennae and we have a lot of ideas on how we could cooperate. Let’s see what the future holds in store!
What are AEGEE-Patra’s summer plans till the Autumn Agora Zaragoza?
Unfortunately, our antenna has only approximately 60 members and is thought of as one of the average-sized antennae in our network. So during the summer, other than many meetings to organize a fantastic TSU with AEGEE-Ioannina, it’s difficult to organize something more. Hopefully our club system will make our older and upcoming members engage in more active participation in AEGEE and in the future we will surely organize more than just a TSU!
And speaking of the Agora: We know you guys are candidating for hosting the Spring Agora 2014. Can you tell us who’s idea was it and who is currently working on it?
As you know, the Agora dates back all the way to ancient Greece. It was the most important thing for their political system; democracy. The last time a greek local had the “courage” to organize one was in 2002. So during the last years there is a longing by all greek locals to have again one Agora in its birthplace! We hope that the Agora will return to its birthplace from ancient times, and make not only AEGEE-Patra, but also other greek locals happy!
We are proud to share with you, that the man behind this idea is one of our most experienced member, who is also a member of our advisory board, Costas Deltouzos. He will be the coordinator and now he is in the process of setting together the core team of the organizers and writing the application. We really are anxious about the results and are really hoping to get the Spring Agora 2014!
Thank you and good luck!
Written by Andra Toma, AEGEE-Bucuresti