AEGEE-Mainz-Wiesbaden organises a Network Meeting beyond borders

After attending Network Meeting (NWM) Berlin, some members of AEGEE-Mainz-Wiesbaden thought it would be great to organise a NWM themselves. They didn’t just get the chance to organise a NWM, but also to organise a NWM different from the others. NWM Mainz-Wiesbaden is not organised by the Network Commissioner responsible for AEGEE-Mainz-Wiesbaden, making it the first NWM that proves the vision of AEGEE for a borderless Europe. The AEGEEan asked one of the organisers, Rene Schröder, and Network Commisioner, Hanna Alajõe, about the upcoming NWM.


AEGEE MW- Board 2016The AEGEEan: Tell us more about your local.
Rene: AEGEE-Mainz-Wiesbaden is a small, but highly motivated antenna. After the board had nearly completely changed, we as well faced to restructure our antenna to a more networking attitude. We are willing to participate in more European events than before and will also organise events ourselves. With the help of the new recruitment strategy and new PR-work, we hope to get recognised both in Europe and in Mainz to gain more interested people.

Why did you decide to apply for hosting a NWM?
The organisation of the Spring NWM 2016 was a ‘glimpse of a moment’ idea. Because some of us had recently taken part in the NWM Berlin, we were quite enthusiastic organising one for ourselves – to show the AEGEE network how motivated we are. The idea reached immense support within the antenna. However, we had to face some challenges in finding an accommodation, because our usual accommodations are crowded with refugees, both in Mainz and Wiesbaden. Thanks to our Network Commission, we were able to create an all-time-first: because our Netcom (Marieke) has got to plan another NWM, we got into contact with Hanna, who is normally responsible for the “Nordic Stars”. Thereby, we already live in borderless Europe while Cathedral Mainzorganising beyond borders. It would be great if other antennae follow our path to make Europe even more open.

What is the name of your NWM? Can you explain it?
NWM Mainz-Wiesbaden: How to…? Crazy theme, right? No! Because do you know, how to enjoy the AEGEE spirit? Do you know how to recruit people and overcome difficulties in your antenna? Do you know how to have fun the “Rhine-hessian” way? Do you know what it’s like to spend three nights in two cities in one antenna? See, that’s why we have chosen this topic! We are excited to show you that and so much more in our workshops and our social time, where you will get to know around 30 people from all over the network, a nice Netcommie and also a Comité Directeur member, as well as an external speaker.

How is the cooperation with the NetCommie?
We’re working together with Hanna, and until now the cooperation works pretty well. We’re exchanging information and ideas about the social program, the content and everything else. As we’re not living in the same part of Europe, we are communicating via Skype and Facebook instead of actually meeting, but it still works out fine!

What does the program of the NWM include?
1Hanna: Although the program is not completely set yet, I can say that there will be some awesome sessions happening. For example, besides me and a CD member as a trainer/facilitator, there will be at least one European Body represented and also another NetCommie – so a lot of variety in sessions is sure to be. Some of the sessions of the program are also already announced in the event description and I am very open to suggestions from participants as well. NWMs are there for the Network, so when applying, don’t be shy to express your opinion about what you’d like to see.
And talking about the social program – AEGEE-Mainz-Wiesbaden will make it amazing with the EN, pub crawl and a city tour.

What is the main goal of the NWM? Can you share some ideas you already have about it?
The main goal of the NWM is as described in the CIA: “sharing best practices, keeping the locals closer to each other, connecting them with the European level, updating them about last progresses and launching initiatives. Network Meetings should improve the functioning of the locals, increase cooperation between them, to inspire and renew the motivation of active members.
But the name of the NWM in Mainz-Wiesbaden is “How to…?” meaning we will talk about different how-to’s, like how to get new members, how to be more active as a local, how to cooperate with European Bodies, how to have fun in Wiesbaden etc.
My biggest goal and hope for the NWM is to have active participants, willing to express their opinion and being motivated afterwards – I want the NWM to be a discussion, not a training [she smiles].

What are your plans for the social program?
Rene: Of course we want to show you the best parts of our both home-cities. Both of the cities have beautiful historic Kirschgartencentres, and you will get to know it in a cool pub crawl and a city tour, where you will get to know the wine, which is very common in our region. Of course, we will have an awesome European Night, too.

What are AEGEE-Mainz-Wiesbaden upcoming activities?
After the NWM we will fully concentrate on our Model European Union, which will take place in July this year. It is our big annual event since 2009, now having its seventh edition. We’re also planning to do a Members’ Weekend and some internal training for our team. As our board term has just started on February 1st, we don’t have a completely finished schedule for the upcoming term, but we are working on it consistently and we are looking forward to a good year in Mainz-Wiesbaden. And, foremost, we are excited for our NWM in April!

You can apply for the NWM here and here.

Written by Lia Tuska, AEGEE-Kastoria/Sofia