She is currently Secretary of the Agora/EPM and Project Manager of the Democracy in Practice project. Being a member of both AEGEE-Kastoria and AEGEE-Sofia, having attended several Network Meetings, Summer Universities and Agoras, Lia Tuska has a quite rich and colourful experience in AEGEE. Moreover, she is ready to take it to the next big level and run for Member of the Comité Directeur. We talked with her and she explained a little about herself and the program she has planned for us if being elected.
The AEGEEan: To begin with, tell us three words that best describe you and why?
Committed: When I’m doing something, I give 100% of myself in that. Even when I do more than one tasks, I stay committed to all of them.
Energetic: I cannot stay idle. I love doing many tasks at the same time. Having just one task to do makes me bored.
Smiling: Even when things go wrong, I see the positive side of the facts and I face everything with a smile.
What would you say is your biggest flaw?
My empathy. I put myself in the shoes of the other person. I try to see their point of view and feel how they feel. Sometimes I do it too much. I know it’s not always a flaw as long as you know how to connect with others the right way.
How would you explain your position as a member of the Comité Directeur to a five year old?
A member of the Comité Directeur is a brave person who decides to move in with six other people (usually from different countries). They work together for the good of more than 13000 young people.
In your application you said you are planning to do quite a lot on network development and human resources. My question is, how many hours are you willing to work in order to fulfill your objectives for these important topics?
As I said, staying idle makes me bored. Having many tasks challenges me. I was the Vice-Speaker of the Information Technology Committee, Secretary of the Human Rights Working Group, myAEGEE team and Sub-commissioner (and later Network Commissioner), all at the same time for a year. Especially in the myAEGEE team, it wasn’t just reading e-mails, checking the database and answering e-mails. I found some bugs of intranet, which unfortunately cannot be fixed. What I mean is I always go the extra mile. I might say now that I will work for 50 hours per week, but most probably, I’ll work more.
Can you elaborate in one or two sentences what do you have in mind exactly when it comes to involving the locals more in Comité Directeur’s decisions or ideas that affect them?
Being a member of AEGEE for almost four years, I have realised that the Comité Directeur is not only physically away from most locals, but it does not know their point of view. I would like to involve them more in Comité Directeur’s decisions in order for their voices to be represented through hangouts and live meetings during statutory events, where they can ask questions, clarifications or give feedback.
What did you mean by making clear the task division between Network Director and NetCom? What
do you have in mind about that?
This is something I noticed while I was a Network Commissioner. There are some tasks in the work of the Network Commission that are not clear if they should be done by the Network Commissioners or by the Network Director. I don’t know exactly how they have been working in the last year, but I would like to set those straight for the future generations.
At the same time, I want to include the NetCommies more in some parts of the Comité Directeur life, which will make them understand more of the Comité Directeur tasks. This can be achieved through the NetCom-CD couple, an idea which is still vague for some people.
How do you plan to encourage the locals and European bodies to collaborate more?
I don’t want to just encourage them to collaborate more! All these years we are talking about this gap between locals and European bodies and how we can bring the locals closer to the European bodies. But what about bringing the European bodies closer to the locals? How I imagine it: we issue a survey asking the locals what they expect from the European bodies and another survey asking the European bodies what they expect from locals. In the results of those surveys, we can find the common ground where they can cooperate. I don’t want to limit the European bodies to dream big, but they should adjust to what locals can provide them.
How exactly do you want to introduce impact measurement in the work of the locals?
First of all, finalise and publish the Impact Measurement Toolkit that was created last year by a home-based CD assistant. Then, it can be introduced through a workshop at Network Meetings, together with the importance of quality events. Last but not least, have hangouts with them to answer any questions they might have and help them understand the importance of impact measurement.
Opinions are always different as well as points of view, but when a decision has to be made, sometimes you have to agree with the others, even if it’s against your own values. In what circumstances would you be able to do that?
I am quite flexible when it comes to decisions. Before making a decision myself, I try to check all the points of view, but sometimes it’s not easy to predict what others think or how they will react to that. Even if a decision is against my values, if it is taken democratically, I can accept it.
As an ending, tell us in just one sentence why should people vote for you?
Because I will do my best to make the voice of the Network heard by Comité Directeur.
QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS:
How quick do you answer to e-mails?
I am subscribed in 37 AEGEE mailing lists, but I have all of them organised thanks to Gmail filters. I usually answer to e-mails as soon as I receive them. Even when I travel, I try to answer as soon as possible, but that depends on whether I have an internet connection and time.
You have been chosen as Secretary of the Agora only half a year ago, and you would probably need to quit this task after Bergamo (if elected). Do you think this sets a good example?
I know it’s not the best situation. I informed the rest of the Chair Team of my plans before I applied. If I’m elected, we will launch an Open Call to find an interim Secretary of the Agora on time. I will have to resign from Secretary of the Agora position after I finish the minutes of Spring Agora Bergamo, so I won’t quit this task.
If you could only make one big change in AEGEE’s current state, what would you want it to be and how would you contribute to it in the position you are running for?
The big change I want to make is the Antenna Criteria Reform. The answer of how I will contribute to it can be found in the next question.
In your program, you mentioned that you would like to reform the antenna criteria by adjusting them to the locals needs. Having such a huge number of antennas with totally different situations, how could you assure that the new criteria would fit all of them? Do you already have any specific idea of what you would like to change?
Such a big change cannot be done in a short period. It needs time. Firstly, I want to consult with the Network Commissioners. Then, there is this form that locals ask for exceptions to specific criteria before the Agora, which I can check to find the ones that are the hardest to be reached by the majority of the Network. At Agora Chişinau, we can have a progress meeting, where we will discuss the idea with the network. Which and how the criteria will be changed is up to the Network.
You can read her candidature here.
Written by Gabriela Geană, AEGEE-București