NWM Salerno – Not Only Summer University Material

Babbo Natale (the Italian name for Santa Claus) arrived a little late for AEGEE–Salerno. On December 29th, Network Commissioner Mattia Abis (AEGEE-Cagliari) sent an email to the Rainbow Network (Italian-speaking, Maltese antennae and the Contact of AEGEE– Europe in Lugano) announcing that the Southern Italian antenna was chosen to host the Spring Network Meeting in 2014.

It was not an easy decision for Mattia and his team of subcommissioners, since other locals had also applied. However, in his words, they found their candidacy “perfect for the offer made and the motivation that was proven: it was really difficult to say no!”. AEGEE–Salerno is very well-known for organizing for already 25 years the Non Solo Sole Summer University, that has reached the top several time, like in 2012 when it was placed at a second position.

Carolina Alfano, the Vice-president of AEGEE-Salerno, will be the main organizer. She will bring her huge experience on NWMs, since she has attended six of them in the last three years. “ The idea of bringing a NWM in Salerno started being shaped in my head during the NWM in Foggia. We were joking with other participants about that, but only when I came back it became serious. After speaking with my board, friends and fellow members, I got full support from them”, Carolina explains.

Nothing was decided until Mattia had delivered the good news. Normally, in the Italian-speaking and Maltese area, there is the unwritten rule to have one NWM in the South and one in the North, but when choosing AEGEE-Salerno this rule was broken. “For me it doesn’t change a lot because I’m living in an island and I have to take a flight or a boat to get there anyway, and I guess it happens the same thing to the members of AEGEE-Valletta and somehow also to the Sicilian locals”, Mattia jokes, and he adds: “ I asked them (his team of subcommissioners) to consider the candidatures not only for the geographical condition and we unanimously selected AEGEE-Salerno. We had decided to give the NWM to a Southern local because they were offering very good conditions for us: from a low fee participation to all the meals covered, passing through an already closed agreement with the municipality for accommodation”.

Mattia and his team of subcommies have already a pretty clear idea of what the NWM will be about. Besides the usual sessions focusing on the needs of the Network, there will be some promising sessions such as the ones related to Erasmus+, conflicts within the local boards, Action Agenda, Strategic Plan, and a European Level Bodies Fair, as well as some preparation sessions for the Agora.

Following the path of the former Network Commissioner Claudio Armandi (AEGEE-Napoli), Mattia and his team decided to set the date from 10th to 13th of April, right before Spring Agora Patra. “I think it’s better to have a NWM before Agora: you can discuss proposals with a lot of locals, you can discuss the candidates of the next Agora, it makes you feel more important in our General Assembly!” At the same time he noticed that “the NWM before a Statutory event pushes people to discuss about it and makes them more productive; in fact, in Agora Zaragoza, the only proposal written by locals was the one by people from the Rainbow and we had five candidates there; a record if we think that in general very few people are interested in the European level”.

This year is a very important year for AEGEE–Salerno. The antenna will blow their 25 candles. “We want to make this year a very lucky one for AEGEE – Salerno and the city”, Carolina explains. “In 2014 the city will celebrate the 70th anniversary of Salerno Capitale d’Italia (Salerno Italy Capital city) and, with the support from the Municipality, the NWM will be added in the calendar of celebrations”. The Southern Italian antenna decided to take action and to challenge themselves into something different than their notorious Summer University. “ We stepped a little bit out of our comfort zone bringing the NWM in Salerno”, added Carolina, “but AEGEE – Salerno is full of active members, we are organizing plenty of events in the city and we cannot wait to show our best”. But for the true aficionados of their Summer University, don’t worry! There will also be the 26th Edition of the Non Solo Sole Summer University.

Written by Erika Bettin, AEGEE-Venezia