“We have to be the model of the new Europe”~ Joan Sánchez Francisco

AEGEE members across all of Europe will reunite again at another Agora that will take place in Salerno this autumn. However, this one will be special for only one reason. Thirty years ago, the Berlin Wall was torn down by common people who wanted to put an end to the division of the continent in the final moments of the Cold War between the United States of America and the Soviet Union, reaching Germany with the unification of the country on October 1990 as a prelude of European ideals on which AEGEE bases on its existence. As a tribute to that historic event, new bricks on the wall still divide many different people for various reasons will be retired to reach a borderless Europe by statutory event like this every year. 

Of course, this kind of job requires new hands year by year and the Network Commission members have an important role in this task. One of these candidates that want to make his contribution is a young, enthusiastic member from AEGEE-Castellón (or Castelló in Valencian language), Joan Sánchez Francisco, a Videogames Development and Design student from Spain who is presenting his candidature to be a Network Commissioner. We talked with Joan about his programme and objectives for this year.

Hi Joan, and thank you so much for your time to speak with us. Could you tell us a little more about yourself? How did you start in this little world of AEGEE? 

My first contact with AEGEE was during a talk in my university, I was new in Castelló (because I’m from Alicante, but I came to Castelló to study) and I wanted to meet new people. I heard about the Summer University project and I couldn’t believe it. The opportunity to know about other countries with a group of unknown people from all parts of Europe, I couldn’t resist the temptation! 

What were the most important things you have learnt in the time you were subcommsioner in La Tripu and on the board of your local antenna? 

I have learnt a lot about internal things of AEGEE, how it works, all the things that we do, the importance that we have, etc. But I think the most important thing that I have learnt is to work in a team and how to deal with a lot of problems that alone, is impossible to be solve. 

There are lots of ideas you defend in your programme to be a member of the Network Commission. One of the most important ones is to keep the relationship with locals. What kind of projects and activities would be necessary to keep locals active from your point of view? 

A lot of antennae, unfortunately, are only active on a local level, so I want to encourage these locals to try to organise European events to show their members that there is more than the local level, at the same time encourage locals to invest in their members to give them the opportunity to travel to other locals and learn more about this wonderful family called AEGEE. 

As a Videogames Development and Design student, is there something you can add from your career to improve members formation in workshops or any other initiatives along with the help of European Bodies? 

My degree is really related to IT and design, so in all these kinds of things I can help teach members in workshops. Of course, I’m still learning but this is a great opportunity to learn more outside of my degree. 

And how could you increase the awareness of AEGEE to the rest of the society? 

We have to be the model of the new Europe, we have to continue fighting for our ideas and try to show the rest of the society who we are. We should promote what we do and collaborate with other associations and institutions. 

To conclude this interview, what are your next objectives in case you are not chosen for the Network Commission? I think a lot about this question. If I’m not chosen I will continue helping in the association all that I can and maybe I will try new objectives in AEGEE for me like ITC, who knows!