Many AEGEE members have heard about the Network Commission (aka NetCom) but probably have no clue what they are up to and what they are doing there. Created in 1996 to support local antennae, their members are responsible for various supervision tasks and initiatives:

  • the organization, good practices and the accomplishment of defined antennae goals;
  • make possible discussions about the situation and future of antennae in Network Meetings (NWM) events. 

For further information about the NetCom, and what are the practices they are exercising during this course, from The AEGEEan Magazine we have an interview with their current team:

  • Joan Sánchez Francisco (AEGEE-Castelló, La Nave)
  • Lila Quaile (AEGEE-Paris, Boomerang Area)
  • Roberto Meneghetti (AEGEE-Torino, Rainbow Locals Group)
  • Fabian Dennenmoser (AEGEE-Bamberg, Kraut Crowd)
  • Marija Valentina Žuvić (AEGEE-Zagreb, Baldria)
  • Kutay Kaya (AEGEE-Eskisehir, Kebab Working Area)
  • Saramijn Luijken (AEGEE-Leiden, Pancake Area)
  • Adam Kubak (AEGEE-Praha, Wild East)
  • Rita Semchenko (AEGEE-Bamberg, AEGEE-Moskva, 40o longitude area) 
  • and Oksana Prokopchenko (AEGEE-Sheffield, Network Director). 

Hello there! Thank you so much for being in this interview. As maybe readers want to know it we can start it knowing a bit more about you. What is the main reason you wanted to get into the Network Commission? 

Adam: I always enjoy talking to people in locals and helping them to sort out their issues, develop or just provide the information which they find useful.

Joan: After half a year working with Isa as their “subcommie”, I fell in love with the spirit of the NetCom, so I did not doubt to apply to be the next Netcommie of La Nave. 

Kutay: Since I have joined AEGEE, I have always found NetCom work really engaging and close to me. I like helping out locals in our Network as much as I can in different aspects and helping them to connect with each other for something even bigger and impactful. Besides, who would not like to be part of a big team or even as we call it “family”? 

Rob: After these years that have given me so much and made me a better person, I wanted to pay it all back and support locals in their good (and bad) moments :) 

Saramijn: I had an aspiration to continue growing within AEGEE and working with locals sounded appealing to me, so I have decided to apply for Netcom. 

Valentina: I wanted to take up a new challenge in my life, to improve myself and at the same time to help locals with all the knowledge which I have. It would be a shame if I could not share my experience with them.

Fabian: I was a “subcommie” before and enjoyed working on projects of Network Development and Sustainability. Then I decided on a new challenge and to take more responsibility. Moreover, I enjoy being in contact with people from other locals and getting to know more about them. 

Lila: I was a “subcommie” of Oksana before my term and I really liked working with locals from the Boomerang area. I was eager to continue to help the locals to use 100% of their potential! Most of the locals are quite small and a lot of people think they are weak, but they actually have a lot of good ideas to develop themselves, they just need a little push and support. That is why I joined the team to support and develop the Boomerang Area.

Margarita: I was inspired by previous Netcommie Polina Khapaeva and my sub commissioner work and wanted to continue. This was a perfect chance to continue my own personal growth, doing the same for the locals from my area and help them out wherever I can. 

Some of you are Netcommies from some years and others started a few months ago. From your experience and personal point of view, is it complicated to manage a group of locals in an area? What are the main difficulties you have to face? 

It depends on the area, we have ones with locals so active and other less, but the crucial thing is the work we do with them and the effort to improve the network. 

What are the main topics you are working on? What is the most important one in each area in your opinion, or do you try to put all of them equally in all around the Network? 

In our Activity Plan we focus on Network Visibility, Education and Sustainability topics. Moreover, we are working on improving the Health Indicators and the concept of the Development plan, which has been newly introduced in Agora Bucuresti. Secondly, in some areas is Network sustainability and recruitment are increasingly important. We have to ensure that experienced members pass their knowledge to their successors. We are working on increasing the visibility of AEGEE-Europe because the local level can be sometimes very far from it. Lastly, we are encouraging motivated members to step up to European level, for example, to join the new Netcom team which will be elected soon in Agora Yerevan. 

The Network Commission, like any other human institution, has its pros and cons. What things you think can be improved and what should be kept? 

The biggest pros is that we can connect people within AEGEE network and could see a bigger picture, so if you consider all the netcommies, you get pretty much a solid picture about the entire network. This is also the reason why Netcom has a significant role in network development. It is hard to think of cons because our current team is very dedicated, everybody is doing a fantastic job and we are also good friends together. Maybe sometimes one can be feeling powerless when it comes to struggling locals because you cannot be there always physically and internet calls cannot have to make much difference. 

To conclude, you have done a remarkable job in the span of almost a year and gained more experience. Does this job of being Netcommie encourage some of you to run for a position in AEGEE’s Comité Directeur? This question depends on who of the team you ask, some of us like being a NetCom and that is we want to do and for others, this is a step to learn and grow inside AEGEE, so we cannot say yes or no, let’s wait to see what the future holds for us.