Recently updated antenna, AEGEE-Valladolid, has a lot of experience already

At Autumn Agora Zaragoza one of the Contact antennae that was upgraded was former Local of the Month AEGEE-Valladolid. An antenna that in its short lifespan in AEGEE has been organizing many things, such as Renove 2.0, Travel Summer University (TSU) together with AEGEE-Madrid and the Y Vote 2014 kick off conference a few months ago.

AEGEE-Valladolid have recently been focusing on the preperation for the Network Meeting (NWM) in Santander, and has added three experienced members to the people who call themselves members of AEGEE-Valladolid. So with a number of 44 members, the antenna is already doing well in terms of growing. However, they do consider the low number of less than ten active members to be the their biggest issue at the moment. The AEGEEan interviewed the board members of the antenna to hear more about all the things that they have been doing in the past year and what lies in their future plans.

How do you feel about being an antenna already?
We are really proud of it, because we have been working very hard to be upgraded. It was our dream when we started and now it has become true. But this is only the beginning.

What local activities do you organize to motivate members?

Normally we arrange social meetings in bars, go for tapas and wine, have endless dinners where we discuss about our next steps… On the other hand, we also enjoy hiking, cycling and going on weekend trips, an amazing opportunity to make knowledge transfer with a less intense planning than a Local Training Course (LTC).

This summer you organised your first Summer University, how did it go?
At first we had to do a huge effort because we did not have all the contacts we needed in Valladolid. Eventually, and after a lot of lodging problems, we found very interesting contacts and they were nice enough to organize quite a good TSU, according to the evaluations.

Will you organize a Summer University (SU) next year as well?

We are not sure. It depends on how many active members we can count on during the Summer period in Valladolid. Nevertheless, we have such good memories from our last SU that we will try our best to organize it again.


You also organized a Y Vote 2014 event, why did you choose to do so?

At that moment our motivation was growing and several of our most active members were really interested in the topic of the next Parliament Elections, so we decided this was the best opportunity for our antenna to show that we could also organize an event focused on a serious topic for youth and really contribute to the important projects being developed within our association. With regard to the topic, AEGEE-Valladolid liked the focus and the objectives of Y Vote 2014 project, therefore we supported it very strongly. We consider that, in these hard times for Europe, it is important that the voice of youth is heard by the European leaders, especially the EU parliament members, so we can help improve the future of Europe.

How did the event go?
Undertaking this project was a true challenge for such a young antenna and we are really happy about the results. The organization was tough, due to the lack of active members in our antenna, but we were happy to see how all our members came together to help out during those days. The event was a success especially thanks to our highly-motivated participants and all agreed on the relevant lessons learnt through the interesting program developed by the Y Vote 2014 team and the logistics and cultural activities we provided. More importantly, thanks to this project AEGEE-Valladolid gained greater recognition within our City Hall, our university and quite a few local and regional institutions and we are convinced this will come in handy during future events.

What lies in the future plans of AEGEE-Valladolid? What will you be working on in 2014?
We are thinking about organizing a language tandem in the city to be in contact with Erasmus students, attract new members and activate the ones we already have.

Moreover, as AEGEE didn’t exist in Valladolid, the antenna is establishing contacts with all kind of bodies and entities (University, associations, City Hall…) so it’s very complicated in the beginning. That’s why our biggest milestone is getting the full recognition from the University of Valladolid and we will continue working very hard on it. This recognition will make it possible to reach a significant step for us in Valladolid, so we will be able to access a huge amount of students and an important support to organise events and to establish alliances.

It is great to see a new antenna working on so many projects, contributing to the Network in a great manner and at the same time managing to grow. 

Written by Patricia Anthony, AEGEE-København