“It is vital that we, as AEGEEans, provide equal chances for every local and their members to shine” ~ Yunus Emre Ünal

Get to know Yunus Emre Ünal from AEGEE-Ankara today! He is running for the NetCom and already has many ideas on how AEGEE can reverse the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hey, for starters, could you introduce yourself to your fellow AEGEEans? How long have you been a member of AEGEE, which antenna(s) have you joined and what are your best memories with AEGEE?

Hiya there! I’m Yunus Emre, I am 20 years old and from A-Ankara. I knew about AEGEE before, however it was only when the COVID started sweeping the world that I became a part of it. At the beginning, I tried my luck with the Language Interest Group. However,  I did not participate in it after a few weeks, thinking that I had a long way to go before shaming myself in front of motivated learners :)

My best memories would be one where we (with the help of CD58, Veronika especially helped us with the edudip and I sincerely want to thank her for it) organized an event for the Human Rights Week, arguably one of the most important terms that emerged after the early-2000s. The turnout was amazing, and it felt good to be able to organize such an event while learning a lot about the subject as well.

And another would be, us, the board members going back to our office, after what seemed like an eternity (after 1.5 years of COVID, probably) and cleaning up the place. My memories of the office prior to COVID still were there, the smell and the sincerity of it all. I honestly felt like home. Now I am glad to be able to use, and visit our office whenever I want to.

Network Commission is arguably one of the most prestigious positions in the entire organization. However, the NetCom job is highly challenging. What motivated you to submit your candidature and why do you think you are suitable for it?

I’ve always wanted to be a part of the Network Commission, but I never knew if I was eligible for it. Either time constraints (being a board member in A-Ankara almost felt like a day-to-day job, with its both stressful and enjoyable moments) or the lack of experience on the European level were my initial reasons for why I did not partake in any business related to NetCom. 

Now that I realize that there is no way of solving the problem of my lacking European level experience without just gaining experience (genius, right?), and knowing that I may never ‘have time’ for the things that I have always wanted to do, I believe that being a part of NetCom is a good start.

Born and raised in Turkey, which exposed me to both the Eastern and Western values of the world, I am open to any culture and its people. I believe NetCom will help me see the wider picture, and meet more people with colorful perspectives all around Europe.

What are some current policies or projects in AEGEE-Europe do you disagree with and why? Do you think some things should be changed in order to respond to the Covid-19 situation more effectively?

Covid-19 left the world in an estranged place, this is no surprise. However, while some nations were able to pick up the pieces and continue, some failed to do so, and as a consequence, these countries are still struggling. At the time I’m writing this, there are talks of the Omicron variant and the possibility of bringing the nation-wide restrictions again. This probably will hinder the developments of the locals whose governments or state officials fail to deliver in their responses to COVID. Maybe, then, there is a chance of doing something for those locals whose governments/countries have impeded their processes during COVID, or even until now.

Do you have a preferred Network Area? What would you do if you’re appointed to another?                                                                                                                                  

I would like to be responsible for Kebab, as that’s where I am from, and I am familiar with the culture. If I am appointed to another Network Area, I will do my best to get acquainted with the region and its culture, since that was my primary goal of joining AEGEE in the first place.

 Is there something you want to tell us? Now it’s your time to do so.

Reversing the effects of COVID might seem hard, but if we all work together, hand-in-hand, I believe we can bring life to the lessons learned from it. It is vital that we, as AEGEEans, provide equal chances for every local and their members to shine.