During Agora, some people are meant to be in charge of conducting the sessions, giving the timetable, taking minutes and solving any possible problem with the IT infrastructure. They are the Chair Team: Chairperson (Marta Wnuk), vice-Chairperson (Erika Bettin), Secretary (Gabriela Geană) and IT (Jani Dugonik). They have been recently selected to prepare and manage Spring Agora Enschede 2017, and The AEGEEan interviewed them for you.
The AEGEEan: Please introduce yourself
Marta: I am a member of AEGEE since 2012. I have been active locally in AEGEE-Poznań and AEGEE-Warszawa. Then I became the Content Manager of the Eastern Partnership Project and a Network Commissioner for locals in Poland and in Ukraine. Recently, I had the opportunity to work on Statutory Events as Vice-Chairperson.
Erika: I am a member of AEGEE since 2011, back then joining AEGEE-Venezia and now I am a member of AEGEE-Verona. I have been part of some team, but my most relevant activity was being Editor- In -Chief of both The AEGEEan and Key to Europe. Speaking about the work of Chair Team, I have been job shadower for Autumn Agora Cagliari, secretary assistant in three Agoras and chaired two prytannia in Autumn Agora Chisinau.
Gabriela: Hello, my name is Gabriela Geană and I am from AEGEE-București. I am 24 and recently employed, I also graduated Communication and PR Faculty, a field which I am really interested to find out more about. I joined AEGEE in autumn 2011 and ever since I have been an active member both in my local and on the European level. I am currently a member of the Public Relations Committee and former journalist for the AEGEEan magazine, which I am really proud of having been a part. I love cats, good movies of all kinds, people who can make me smile, the little things in life. [she smiles, ed.]
Jani: Hello, my name is Jani and I have been an official member for two years and a board member as a representative for IT. I graduated in Computer Science and Information Technology, and currently working at the university as a researcher and teaching assistant. Also, I am in several associations as a board member (IT, disciplinary board,…). I love animals, travelling, meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, and having fun with my friends.
Why did you decide to apply for the Chair Team?
Marta: Chairing a statutory event is both exciting and demanding task. It is a unique experience that teaches a lot and gives a lot of satisfaction. Each Agora is a challenge. Moreover, I realised I am willing to take up this challenge once again. At the same time, I wanted to assure continuity of the Chair Team’s work to make sure that Agora is handled in the best possible way.
Erika: Because I wanted to be part of the team for some time. I always loved the Agora, even if the sentiment was not always mutual, and I have been fascinated by the work of Chair Team.
Gabriela: I decided to apply to the Secretary of the Agora because I always thought I can do more in AEGEE and learn a lot at the same time. I was also thinking of this job before applying to the secretary of the agora, but I felt it was not the right time for me then. This time I did not hesitate, I took the opportunity and applied. It will be challenging, but definitely worthwhile.
Jani: I was always interested in organising conferences and other events. Also, I love challenges and Agora is certainly one of them.
Marta, a second term is in front of you. What will your major challenge be?
The motto of the Chair Team should be “expect the unexpected”. In other words, the challenge always is to handle the unexpected situation that may occur during the Agora. The challenge is to make fast, accurate decisions that are in line with rules and procedures and which lead to quick resolutions taking all the involved factors into account. Everything else is a matter of a good preparation.
Erika, what will your contribution to the team be?
For now, I already created the hashtag #blueeyedchairteam. What undoubtful contribution, right? [she smiles, ed.] Jokes apart, I hope to bring some ideas that I have for the team and for the agenda. The lack of time is a well-known enemy in our statutory event, so I hope that we will manage to fit everything.
Gabriela, how important are minutes for our association?
Minutes are essential, as they are one of the main sources of information during the Agora, not only to people where the information reaches but also to the people who deliver it. Minutes are messages delivered to the people we want to reach and a constant source of information for all of us at Agora.
How do you envision the cooperation with your fellow Chair Team members?
Erika: For now the cooperation is going well. We all have been members of this association for quite some time and we lived the Agora in different roles: delegates, visitors, envoys, organisers, that I am sure it will bring some different perspectives. We will have the chance to do some team building in Brussel when we will meet in person, in order to be a perfect oiled machine in Enschede.
In Agora Enschede, what is the thing you are most looking forward to?
Marta: The Opening Plenary, I would say. The beginning of the Agora is always a big moment that is a transition point between preparations and the Agora itself. It is a great feeling after the months of preparations to seat finally behind the Chair table with the whole team and take up the challenge of chairing.
Erika: An Agora in Enschede is said to be legendary. I have heard so much about Spring Agora Enschede 2012, that now I am dying out of curiosity to finally taste the touch of the Dutch local at first hand. Needless to say that the thing I am most looking forward to is the very first plenary when all our preparatory work will see the light and the chairing part will start.
Gabriela: The thing I am most looking forward to of the Agora is seeing my friends again, of course. Agora is the best event to meet again with all of your friends or at least a part of them and catch up. I am also looking forward to being on the other side of the table and learning valuable things.
Jani: I am looking to gain even more experience in the IT field as well as in organising such big events and teamwork.
Written by Federica Soro, AEGEE-Cagliari