“A new SU program should be more flexible to offer the organizers more room for new practices and ideas”~ Panagiotis Provatas

Panagiotis Provatas is a Greek student who is a member of AEGEE-Athina and, like other candidates, he presents as a new member of the Summer University Coordination Team for the next Autumn Agora in Salerno (Italy). With only a few months of being a member of this young European students association he decided to work in the European level. And like other candidates, from The AEGEEAN decided to get to know him better through an interview.

You have been in AEGEE for a few months now, but you have already taken part in the organization of SUs, you plan to run for the local board and this will be your second AGORA. What are the main lessons you have learnt from these experiences and in which sense have they helped you to get to where you are now? 

Being part of AEGEE is certainly a formal training on its own, even if we call it informal. You can be born to be an AEGEEan but you definitely grow through the process. Most of us didn’t start immediately looking to dive into the depths of AEGEE lore; though gradually you learn more and become more interested. Through my participation and management of these programs I expanded my knowledge in team coordination, communication, public relations, and project management.

Your program is quite interesting, you offer to expand the brand of the SU and have more cooperation with Erasmus+. But I would like you to explain your program point regarding the cost minimization of locals. How do you plan to implement this and why?

The SU project we can see has declined in participation numbers. The main problem, as in many things, would be attributed to the cost for the participants and the locals. The scope is to strive for a higher cooperation between Erasmus+ and SU programs that could make the applications process for locals that want to apply to a specific program easier.  In addition to that, we might need to differentiate the minimum fee cost in relations of the different qualities of each country. However, that would apply if a SU works outside an Erasmus+ program. In general, if we want to improve and re-ignite the Summer University Program, we need more assistance with Europe and with other organizations and foundations. 

Apart from your experience, what do you think are your most important qualities that are necessary for the SU Coordinator position?

The first quality is of course passion for the Summer University Project. Then the other qualities would be team spirit, eagerness for communication, and a curious eye for change.  

In your application you talk about giving SU Program a “new look”. What do you mean that and how do you imagine that transformation? 

Many of the other candidates have talked about that more extensive and I mostly agree with them. The SU format might need a bit of improvement. That would be about the variety of themes, format of workshops, the minimum fee or even the existence of a fee in certain occasions. A new SU program should be more flexible to offer the organizers more room for new practices and ideas.

To conclude this interview, what are your next objectives in case you would not be chosen as an SU Coordinator?

If I would not be selected as a SU Coordinator I would emphasize more on my antennas activities and projects and try to make the changes I describe above at the local level.