After having been Sub-commissioner (SubCom) and Commissioner of the Juridical Commission for one year, Glòria (AEGEE-Heidelberg) wasn’t finished yet and decided to run for another year as Commissioner. We spoke to her to find more about herself, her plans and motivation!
First of all, can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
Glòria: I come from my beloved Barcelona, I studied law in Madrid and Heidelberg and I did a Master of Laws in Frankfurt am Main. I am currently living in Heidelberg, where I work in the contract management of the purchase department of a multinational corporation. It has been almost four years since I moved to Germany, but I still have the same emotion and encouragement like the first day. I have learnt a lot there and I wouldn’t change these years for anything. I really think it’s important to spend some time abroad because it helps you to see everything from a more objective perspective.
What is something AEGEEans wouldn’t expect of you?
For sure they expect neither irresponsibility nor lack of professionalism nor loss of motivation. All that would lead to a disregard of the functions assumed, which in its turn would bring instability to the Juridical Commission. AEGEEans are right by not expecting all that of me, because if I’m re-elected I’ll keep on doing my best!
How did you join AEGEE?
Well, I must admit I’ve never heard about AEGEE in Spain. However, when I was on my Erasmus year in Germany I joined some activities AEGEE-Heidelberg organised, like bike and city tours, switching tables (international dinners), Language Café, brunch, “Fackelwanderung” (a hike with torches), etc. When my Erasmus year ended, I thought it would be a great idea to keep on participating in these activities, but this time from the side of the organisers. So, in September 2012 I joined AEGEE-Heidelberg and I can affirm it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever taken in my life (she smiles).
What is your experience within AEGEE?
At the local level I started in the Erasmus group being responsible for the Language Café (Sprachcafé) for a year. At the same time I organised a lot of events for Erasmus students (like the ones I participated in when I was an Erasmus student). Heidelberg is a student city, so our local is more oriented to local activities rather than European events. However, I am in the Europe group since last year and we tried to really bring the energy and motivation to be more active at the European level. I did the compulsory sessions for the SU, I organised a workshop for the members of the local called “AEGEE, the basic knowledge” and I arranged a weekend with my local in Brussels to visit the Comité Directeur.
I organised a meeting with the delegates and visitors that were going to Autumn Agora Cagliari, so we discussed about the proposals, position papers and some other topics. For Spring AgorAsturias I prepared a simulation of a Prytanium for all members, so new members can already have an idea of what an Agora is. I am currently working on a new project: the Gala Ball in the castle of Heidelberg next winter!
At a regional level I attended the meeting of the Rhein-Neckar-Region in Kaiserslautern in November and I prepared the meeting in February because it took place in Heidelberg. I have just participated in the RTC in Mannheim and in April I am going to Aachen to celebrate the Night of the Seven Antennae! At the European level I was an observer in Bosnia and Herzegovina in November 2014 within the project Election Observation Mission. It was a great experience that I really recommend to everybody! Moreover, I have been Sub-commissioner of the Juridical Commission from June 2013 until July 2014 and, as you all know, I am currently Commissioner since last August.
What do you do in your life outside of AEGEE (if any)?
If any?! Everybody should have a life outside AEGEE. That’s the great thing about our association: you really realize you love being in AEGEE when you’re waiting for an event, a meeting or an activity to take place. So when you’re “out” for some days or weeks, you miss the excitement of AEGEE. So when I’m not with my local, in any European event or working as a Commissioner of the JC, I’m mostly at work. I always go for a walk in Heidelberg to see the beautiful river, castle and buildings that there are. I also read, swim and love to buy and cook Spanish food. Travelling is another passion, so when I can I always visit cities and small villages in Germany. When I’m at home, in Barcelona, I spend most of the time with my family, my friends and of course with my dogs: Elvis, a Labrador, and Lola, a Maltese.
You were already in the Juridical Commission for one year. What made you decide to run for another year?
I decided to run for another year because I really enjoy being in the Juridical Commission. I will explain to you my reasons thoroughly. Firstly, I like the tasks that have to be carried out because of their variety. At first sight one may think we always perform the same tasks, but that’s not true at all. The fact that we have defined tasks doesn’t mean everything is the same. Each question we receive from all of you is different from the last ones. Even if two questions seem similar, there will be for sure differences that change your argumentation or your way to proceed. All the gained experience helps us enormously with the future questions we receive.
That’s why I strongly believe that the more you work within the Juridical Commission, the better you know how to improve your job. In contrast with the other bodies of AEGEE, the commissioners of the Juridical Commission can still contribute a lot, not despite the fact that they have already worked there, but BECAUSE they have worked there.
Secondly, there are some changes I’d like to implement and things I’d improve, and that will only be possible if I’m Commissioner. Last but not least, I’m having a great time with the team I’m part of. Working with them has been always easy because we understand each other very well. To me the tasks are as important as the team you’re in, and my two colleagues have made the work more comfortable and amusing.
What has been your favorite part about the work for the Juridical Commission?
That’s an interesting question! I must admit I like everything I do, but there are two tasks I especially enjoy. First, receiving complicated questions or questions that can’t be answered with the CIA, like problems with the associations (the locals), so you have to search other sources or just apply common sense. It’s really interesting to both develop your own argument and read the opinion your colleagues express. I definitely have more fun when I have to deal with complicated questions. Secondly, assisting the Agora. It’s the most interesting and challenging event AEGEE has, and having the pleasure to be there as a commissioner of the JC makes it more exciting.
You wrote in your application that you are not afraid your second year will mean you get stuck in a routine. Do you already have some ideas about things you would change?
You should always try not to get stuck in a routine, whatever job you’re doing. Therefore you should think about how you could perform your tasks better and what changes you could successfully implement. There are three main reforms I’d like to do: develop a new strategy for SubComs, improve the twin antennae contract and, of course, keep on fixing mistakes in the CIA. We have organised a progress meeting for the upcoming Agora, where we want to show how we have standardised some points of the Working Formats of the Committees. If this change is accepted by the Committees, I’d like to keep on modifying the Working Formats, so we have more common rules for all Committees.
How can you ensure that you will be neutral?
I can only show that I’m neutral when I’m working, so my neutrality can only be ensured after having done my work without having preferences for anything or anybody. I firmly believe that in my first term I haven’t had any predilection, I did what I really thought was the right or the best solution. Sometimes it’s not easy to be neutral, above all when you have to resolve issues that come from the Comité Directeur. But as a commissioner of the JC you can’t allow yourself to be weak and choose the easiest way: you have to decide what your knowledge tells you to be the right solution, without taking into account friendship or position. That’s what people expect from you and you shouldn’t disappoint them.
It’s difficult that three commissioners care about three or four SubCom at the same time. That’s why I’d like that each commissioner is responsible for one Sub-commissioner, so it’s easier to follow his/her work and answer his/her questions. First of all, the commissioners should make a list of the tasks the SubComs should do in the next period. Then, one SubCom should be assigned to each Commissioner, so that we have no more than three SubCom. Only in that way the Commissioner can really help him/her and have an overview of their development. The SubCom can get the main idea of our work and continuity in the Juridical Commission can be easily ensured. It’s very important to have a good strategy for the SubComs because it’s really difficult to start being a commissioner without having acquired the main competences and internalized a general idea of the work.
One of our readers asked: May you, please, point out the most relevant aspects of your candidature?
Well, after this interview you can have a really good overview of my candidature. But to sum up I’d say that my experience as a Commissioner allows me to run with full awareness. So I know what I must do, what I must correct from the past and what is expected from me. I am very motivated and I really have interest to continue for the next term.
Written by Svenja van der Tol, AEGEE-Nijmegen