If you never heard her name in AEGEE, you might have been living on a different planet. Suzan Dilara Tokac from AEGEE-Eskişehir has been very active throughout the nine years of her AEGEE life, going from PRC to being PR for two editions of the AEGEE Day to a term in the MedCom starting at Spring Agora Enschede. She still feels she has a lot to learn in AEGEE, and that’s why she’s candidating again for a full term with the Mediation Commission.
The AEGEEan: Everyone in the Network must have heard about you at least once, but for those who haven’t, who is Suzan? What drives you to still contribute to AEGEE after nine years? Do you have a secret to keep your motivation always up?
Suzan: Suzan is dinasour member from AEGEE-Eskisehir and also became a member of AEGEE-Groningen last year, she is 27 years old and just started her phd in Neurolinguistics at University of Groningen this year. She has been participated and contributed to many events, projects, groups, teams, committees with great love and dedication and I am happy to be that person. Actually I am celebrating my 10th year during the Agora, on the 27th of September. However, I have to be honest about one thing, I wasn’t an active member for ten full years. I was active at the beginning and I attended a few agorae and events then I was lost for a while (not very proud of it, though), then my comeback was on November 2012 with the LTC and since then I am doing the best I can to improve the organisation and myself within it. The secret of my motivation is my belief and trust in the value and the structure of this organisation. I always see AEGEE as an association way ahead of being simply a students’ organisation, AEGEE is much more mature and advanced when we know how to make use of it.
You applied to the MedCom at Agora Enschede. Why did you choose this body in particular and what have you experienced there that made you want to continue your work?
From the day that I was chosen as a MedCom member till this day it has only been four months and when you compare it to a proper working period of a commission member, which is usually a year, it is not enough at all. The amount of task and needs of the Mediation Commission need first a lot of time to read and learn; second, concrete planning and action for improvement and resolution. I like to help people and solve conflicts and in order to be a part of the solution I chose this commission. I also believe that my professional background is helping me to understand human nature and psychology, which is very crucial for mediation.
You mention that there are “serious communicational problems” in AEGEE. How do you think this relates to the “lack of interest in AEGEE events, human resources and public relations”?”
It’s a “cause and effect” relation. If you just think about it in this approach you will all remember some personal memories or stories of your friends. My point of view as a MedCom is that we receive many e-mails from individuals, bodies or locals and at a certain point they all stems from communicational roots. When people do not have a healthy environment to develop and participate, they just exclude themselves out and this results in decreased member numbers, thus in less human power. From another perspective, as an experienced member I can say that when people are experiencing some personal issues of course they are sharing this with their friends out of human nature, however sometimes this sharing is turning into influencing and bush telegraphs emerging within and outside of the organisation; this results in negative promotion.
You want to raise awareness about the MedCom. Do you already have some specific action in mind?
Members in need of help may forget or don’t know about our existence. Existence of a single entity whose only aim is to help or support when asked! I am planning to prepare, with my team members, a “How to Use the MedCom” booklet. This will be a really basically depicted booklet of the work and use of Mediation Commission, supported by pictures, examples and caricatures. Moreover, to attend as many events as possible to present the MedCom and give presentations about the commission and related subjects would be really useful to make the Network familiar with the MedCom.
One of the hot topics for the MedCom is data privacy, and you mention it in your candidature. Did you have an occasion to explore the subject in the past months in the MedCom? How would you expand the Network’s knowledge about this issue?
As I mentioned above, this four months were mostly a learning and observing experience for me and I have done my best to learn and read about it. In our MedCom archives there are thousands of pages of documents related to Data Privacy, that’s why I need more time to explore those pages. When it comes to informing the Network of course not everyone has to know about all the jargon and history of the issue. What can be done is to prepare small texts supported with pictures and diagrams and included in the “How to Use MedCom” booklet so that people can be informed properly about their and others’ rights and limits.
Lastly, why should Agora vote for you?
In the end, it is of course Agora’s final judgement to decide if I will work on that position or not but I believe my contribution to this association so far and my AEGEE resume would affect their decision positively. In every position I have been responsible of, first I learnt from it, then fed it and then offered it to the other members. Regardless of years passed and the burden of my professional life, I always give AEGEE the priority and I have never regretted it.
You can read her full candidature here.
Written by Federica Soro, AEGEE-Cagliari