SUPS: Summer University POWER School

Originally planned in December in Cluj-Napoca, the Summer University Project School had to be postponed to March due to a lack of participants. Now, from the 5th to the 12th of March, the Romanian city will host 25 participants and trainers who are eager to share all their secrets about the Summer University project. Deadline for applications: 31th of January. 

Even though the abbreviation stands for Summer University Project School, it is actually the power source for the organisers of Summer Universities. For evelen years, this great school has educated AEGEEans to make them better organisers, helpers and even participants. As the project develops itself year by year changes and improvements are inevitable. Among the many highlights of this year are: GREEN SU, more Action Agenda ACTivities, inclusion of disabled people and extra award categories. As Outgoing Responsibles are the best allies of the project, their duties and importance are revised and strengthened as well.

Of course we don’t want to reveal all the secrets of the training by giving spoilers here, but we call it a quick trailer in order to attract the audience and provoke your curiosity. From PR strategies to budgeting, from managements to logistics, leadership, risk assessment; all blended in case studies – practical tasks in groups to show what kind of situations organisers can face during the SU. These are only some of the ACTions of the movie.

The director of the SUPS is Anna Pykhtina (but you can call her Smailikova), former SUCT PR responsible who will act as Trainer Manager of the Project School. “It was not a planned decision”, Anna says. “I was asked by the Academy if I was interested in doing this. Honestly, I wouldn’t apply as I never thought I can be a training manager, but I love challenges and now I’m super happy!”.  Although SUPS was moved from December to March, she still feels “excited to be the Training Manager of such a great event. As I saw the project from the inside, now I am willing to make it even better.” She won’t be alone, but she will be assisted by four valiant trainers.

Antonis Triantafyllakis (AEGEE-Heraklio and SUCT IT manager) is “extremely experienced and highly motivated” to use Anna’s words. He will explain everything about logistics, give examples of games and best team-building practices and teach how to deal with intercultural learning and how to work with disabled participants. Moreover, he will do the impossible: showing the participants how to make the “what is AEGEE?” session appealing even for veterans.  Luca Lombardo (AEGEE-Torino and member of the Audit Commission) is in charge of project and conflict management, fundraising and a mysterious and intriguing inspirational session. Another member from SUCT is Ksenia Lupanova (AEGEE-Moskva and Publication Responsible), who will explain how the SU project works and share her experience about risk assessment and Public Relations. Last but not least there is Ioana Duca, Financial Director of AEGEE-Europe, who will deal with budgeting, Action Agenda and Green Summer University.

The location of the event is still Cluj-Napoca. “Half of the inhabitants of Cluj-Napoca are student and it is the European Youth Capital of 2015. Also, our city has a rich cuisine like sarmale (cabbage filled with meat), mici, cozonac, mamaliga and countless others”, Bia Sabau, the main organiser, explains. Despite not being such a big local, AEGEE-Cluj-Napoca is very active. “We are a just a hand-full group of members, but we are very active and energetic. Last year we organised a lot of events: Yvote convention, Network Meeting, a Summer University and many more”.

Asked for reasons to apply for SUPS Cluj-Napoca 2015, Anna said the first reason is that “ the sessions that will be delivered are useful not only for organising Summer University and not only for AEGEE as you will learn so many things and get not just theory, but seven days of practice!” The second reason has a lot to do with the past edition of SUPS in Izmir. “Four  out of four members of the newly elected Summer University Coordination Team first met there and gained knowledge which helped them to not only organise Summer Universities, but even apply for working on the European level!”

The Summer University Project School in Izmir in 2014 was unforgettable for a lot of participants. “I have to say that after the SUPS I felt like I had been in the dark for so many years”, Masi Njeshi from AEGEE-Tirane says. “After the event I felt stronger because the training sessions somehow showed me the right way to take what we needed for our SU.” It was also a spur to set the bar higher for local organisers. “Before SUPS I was thinking about how I can organise a picnic with my local member, after SUPS I understood that the time is right for an AGORA”, Göksan Kahraman from AEGEE- Izmir concludes.

For more information you can visit the SUPS facebook page or their website
or you can apply here.

Written by Suzan Dilara Tokac, SUCT PR responsible and Erika Bettin, AEGEE-Venezia