Gerardo Garcia for SUCT

By | October 29, 2013 at 6:11 pm | People | Tags: , , ,

Gerardo Garcia is candidating for the second time for the Summer University Coordination Team, below you can read his interview. 

The AEGEEan: You had some past SU experience. Why do you want to get involved again? Why do you recandidate?

Gerardo: Well, as I’ve said in my candidature, I want to be here again is because I have some pending stuff to finish, some part of my program for this term that I was not able to accomplish, such as the redesign of the website. I don’t like to leave things unfinished or finish them in a hurry just to be able to say I did so. Also, because since I have some past SUCT experience, as you remark, this will be a great advantage for me to be more efficient in my work, so I won’t just finish my pending goals, but achieve faster and better the upcoming new ones.

Of course that being SUCT’s Publications Responsible for this past term is an advantage to you, so what kind of improvements do you propose for the next term?

I have tons of ideas in mind, but they are still “drafts” that I will have to discuss with the next team (If I get re-elected). So far, I already have some locked targets, such as developing more the SU Map format in order to make them the standard printed PR material (due to their proven advantages over other ones, such as booklets), developing with the next IT responsible a refreshed version of the SU website (following the new Visual Identity, but maintaining SU core), improving the QR codes on maps, posters and leaflets (I know this year ones are decoded better from iOS devices than Android ones, for example), keep strengthening the “SU is not (just) cheap vacation” message (something that got started with last term posters and marketing strategy) and also developing further the merchandise stuff as part of SUCT’s FR, among other projects.

How do you think your local activity would help you in developing the tasks in the SUCT?

I’m AEGEE-Oviedo’s Public Relations and Graphic Designer since September 2011 (officially, but I’ve been doing these duties for the Antenna since September 2010), so this has for sure given me a lot of background knowledge that improved my past graphic work for SUCT. In addition to that, I’ve been main organizer in 2011 and organiser in 2012 and 2013 of Oviedo’s SU, and also organizer of the Fall NWM Gijón 2012, so I’ve gained some experience in the managing duties, but also in teamworking and leadership areas.

In your application, you wrote that you were planning to “find a solution to the increasing amount of applications from Spain”, how do you plan do this?

First of all, you should notice that the following words are just drafts of my plan, but my idea is to open a debate and discussion with the involved ones, id est. Spanish members of La Nave (Portuguese, Spanish and French Antennae, and also AEGEE-Brussels/Bruxelles) to get ideas, suggestions, advice from more experienced members, etc.

For example, one of the ideas that I found at La Nave last term was to strengthen the exchanges and keep focusing on the “AEGEE is much more than Summer Universities”, especially on the “AEGEE is not a cheap holiday company” message. We all know that SUs are the main recruiting tool we have right now (I joined AEGEE three years ago due to some “cheap holiday in Europe” campaign at my University and look at me now), but maybe there are different ways to promote ourselves.

This is something that I’m also developing with Luis Alvarado, Ksenia Lupanova and Tom Simons for the upcoming Official AEGEE Promo Videos. We can’t hide that we travel and have fun and go to parties (such as almost every youngster) but we have to make people notice that this is also career / skills developing, empowering students and young people, building Europe, getting to know other cultures and customs… As Tom said at our last meeting, this is “Expanding your borders”. I like this idea so much that I will consider to use it for next year’s SUCT material.

So, according to all these, I’m confident that among us all we will be able to find a solution, or at least, lay the groundwork in order to achieve that result in next terms since this will take some time to work.

What changes would you like to see in the application and evaluation processes?

One of the ideas we had this term -but we couldn’t develop due to its complexity and the lack of time- was developing some kind of “organiser evaluation of participants”. This may lead to misunderstandings if the basic idea is not properly taken, but mainly this system would allow organisers to have more information about participants at the time they receive the applications (imagine that during the past 3 SUs your applicant just received bad evaluations, so maybe you will change your mind even though its Motivation Letter is awesome) and also will be a persuasive measure to participants about their behaviour at the events.

But, as I’ve said, this system poses some implementation problems (maybe organisers will give less weight to MLs and just pick people according to this evaluations, maybe organisers just give random or extremely good / bad evaluations to participants, maybe this “bad” participant suddenly become a “good” one, etc) so it has to be carefully discussed before any attempt of implementation.

Also, for the evaluation process, I’d like to see more interest in the thematic part, the workshops and the AEGEE sessions. You know, there are some SUs that are based on tourism, free time and “random workshops just to fill the quota”. SUs must not be like this. We are on holiday, right, so we want to have time for laying on the beach / field. We also want to discover other places and customs. But we should get something else form a SU. The word “university” in on the name of the project, so let’s honour it. There’s no need to bring paper and pens and attend to lectures to honour it: we can do so maybe discovering how to do first-aid maneuvers. Maybe learning how to play some local sport. Maybe getting a lesson on how to take sunset pics. Maybe learning simple life-hacks at some funny workshop.

But these are just some draft ideas. I’m sure that, if I get re-elected, more will spring inside of the team.

6) What are the other “stuffs” you are talking about in you application? 

Well, as I’ve said before, I have lots of ideas in mind, but still “drafts” that I will have to discuss with the next team (If I get re-elected) and that are just that, ideas that are not ready to be revealed yet. Actually in this interview I’m revealing part of that “stuffs” that I didn’t at the candidature, so I guess your curiosity is partly fed. In order to see the rest, we will need to wait, first, for the voting results.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I think you all are just asking me to stop writing once and for all, so nothing else to add but to thank you for the interview.

 Written by Cosmina Bisboaca, AEGEE-Torino

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