7 easy ways to make friends during your first Agora

Here at the Silver Times we are really delighted to see so many new faces in Bucuresti even the day before the Agora actually started! But, as always, first time Agora participants generally have no clue whatsoever how the AEGEE politics work and how they should behave. That’s why we want to help you a little bit with getting settled and provide you with some easy things to liven up your Agora experience!

  1. Show your love for your country and bring a customized AEGEE-(Your Country) Flag. All the other antennae from your country will unite and you will make new friends in no time! Imagine how many free drinks you will receive!
  2. You can steal the flag or mascot of an antenna and use it as your own. Bonus points if the (soon to be former) owner is holding it firmly. This is exactly how AEGEE-Aachen originally got their Polar bear costumes, as they originally belonged to some former antenna in Siberia.
  3. Propose a Vote of Confidence towards one of the members of the Comité Directeur to show your trust and loyalty in them.
  4. Different cultures are sometimes difficult to understand. That’s why it’s very common to find some friends from your own country. That way you can even talk in your native language. People from other countries will understand you, just not what you’re saying.
  5. When the real parties are over, the party continues in the gym. Bring your boombox and drop ’em some heavy beats.
  6. Bring alcoholic drinks for the volunteers guarding the gym. They will appreciate you thinking about them and probably also let a few mishaps slide if they happen.
  7. Find Gunnar Erth and tell him we should drastically lower the age limit of being a member.

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First Agora Participants Arrived in Budapest

Do you know that amazing feeling when you arrive at an airport and all you see is people who are clearly AEGEE members? It’s something that is very likely to happen in the 24 hours before an Agora starts. What’s less likely is that this happens at the wrong airport. This morning a very strange version of this feeling happened at Budapest Airport. It was when people found out that they booked a flight to the wrong city.

Nastya, just arriving on a flight from Odessa was shocked: “Omg, how can I have mixed this up? My Visa isn’t even supposed to work here. I took so much care in everything, including booking a bus to the Gym location. I did wonder why it was taking over 11 hours, but guessed it was just very busy with Budapest traffic.”

Miška from Lubljana came from the arrivals hall in a very cheerful mood, and hearing the news that she went to the wrong city couldn’t bring her down: “Oh, strange. But hey, now that I’m here, why don’t we just organize a Dark Agora for 5 days?”

Gabriella from AEGEE-Budapest told our reporter they would gladly host people, but are unable to do so because they are all in Bucharest.

TSU Tartu to be completely CO² neutral

In AEGEE, we always strive to leave a carbon footprint as small as possible, and where doable even leave the world a little bit better as we enter it. That’s why our reporter was very delighted to see that AEGEE-Tartu & AEGEE-Eindhoven are organizing a very special Traveling Summer University this year!

During this Traveling Summer University, the participants will see many parts of Estonia and ending in Tartu, then they will take a flight to Bielefeld and travel to the Netherlands from there, visiting The Hague, Amsterdam and Eindhoven.

While this is impressive on itself, the fact that it will be completely CO² neutral is way more impressive! Wouter from AEGEE-Eindhoven explains: “With such a widespread summer university, we wanted to create an even more widespread awareness to the environment around us. That’s why we looked for a way to make this trip completely CO² neutral, and i’m very delighted to announce that we managed to do so!”

While Wouter was still impressed with such a genius he was, we asked Hanna from AEGEE-Tartu how they actually managed to do so. “Well, it’s quite easy. At first we wanted to just pay for CO² flight compensation with Wizz Air and just make the fee a bit higher. Then we realised that that would not even be the biggest possible way to reduce our carbon footprint. That’s why we decided to take it a step even further, and have participants bring their own cups!”, Hanna says.

Wouter smiles so proudly at this point that he can’t stop himself from interrupting Hanna to explain what the genius part was: “And then it all suddenly clicked! All the pieces of the cake fell in place like a puzzle. The costs for CO² compensation for our flight were about €4,32 per person per flight, so we realised we only had to make our participants bring reusable cups worth €4,32 or more to compensate! And because we want this to really work, we ordered some nice AEGEE-Tarthoven cups that participants are obligated to buy if they don’t bring one. Probably we have too many of them, but we’ll just throw the excess cups away.”

Daniël to bring a Grand Piano to CD House

CD Canidate Daniël is considering bringing a Grand Piano to the CD House if he gets elected as member of the Comité Directeur, he told us in an exclusive interview. “I just love playing instruments like the Piano, Harp, Bass Guitar, Djembé drums, Triangle, Nose flute and Violin, and I can hardly imagine having to stop doing so when I move to the CD House”.

It would not be the first time a musician gets elected to the Comité Directeur, but it would be the first time for one to actually bring such a big instrument to Bielefeld. “Well, it involves some logistics, but Germany is only one country away from where I live now, so it can easily be arranged. AEGEE has a great partnership with Europsender, and I can hardly imagine it’s not possible for them to put my Grand Piano in a cardboard box and ship it. Alternatively, I can hitchhike to the CD House with the piano. I see enough big trucks on the road, why can’t one take me?”

Daniël on his piano in the board office of AEGEE-Leiden

Daniël is considering other improvements for the CD House as well. “We could use some animals to keep the members of the Comité Directeur a bit happier. I’m thinking about an owl or something. Furthermore, I would really like to organize more parties in the CD House, and invite AEGEE Locals and other Student’s Associations as well. ‘Minerva’ from Leiden already showed their interest in coming, but we do need to make sure they don’t steal the owl.”

After Bring Your Own Cup – Bring your own Lodging!

With big efforts made in Bucharest to make the Agora more sustainable, the project “Bring you own cup and plate” is now expanded to other necessary commodities.

From the next Agora on, all participants are asked to bring their own lodging as well. According to Viola (full name known by our editors) organizing an Agora means getting resources to accommodate 600 to 800 participants for like 5 days. “Can you imagine how much electricity and water it takes to keep the gym and plenary halls running?”

Supported by the Comité Directeur of, all consequent Agorae are required to not supply gyms and plenary halls anymore.

“Just let the participants bring their own home. I mean, it is a waste to leave your home unoccupied when travelling across Europe”, an anonymous employee at the headoffice explains. These actions will surely make AEGEE greater and greener again.

When asked for the opinions of the AEGEE members, some members do not take this matter seriously. “How about cutlery? Do we need to bring own forks and knives as well?”, Rik Smale asks himself.

Other members find this new policy a great plan: “Personally I care about the environment, and during the events a lot of buildings are occupied… and I really hate this”, according to one of the organizers of Agora Bucharest.

Agora Leiden 2010 already tried this, according to one of the organizers back then: “We could bring in some tents instead of a gym, Agora Leiden in 2010 proved to be a great success as well with the use of tents. If we could do it then, we can do it now as well. People can keep each other warm, and beside the improvements for the environment this will also improve integration between antennae as well.”

While the autumn Agora is still far ahead, plans are still to be developed. One thing is sure, according to us, the Agora experience will change for the better!

CD Candidate Interview: Oksana

It always moves our hearts here at the Silver Times to see many candidates applying for the Comité Directeur, willing to dedicate a year of their lives to live in Bielefeld and work for AEGEE-Europe.

One of the candidates for CD member was Oksana and we were delighted that she had the availability for us to interview her! So, without further ado; here is our interview with Oksana!

Can you say something about yourself? What was the moment you realized AEGEE is for you?

Well, I was born in a charming Ukrainian city. I’m currently working in the Lviv City Council where a French guy showed me a map of Summer Universities. His language skills impressed me so much, that I decided to join immediately. This is a good way to make the amazing city of Sheffield known not only to AEGEEans but worldwide as a convention destination.

What’s the typical drink & food you bring to European Nights?

A cranberry liqueur, Horilka with pepper, some Varenyky – our typical dumplings, some Lviv chocolate, or a full blown english breakfast. Don’t we all love scrambled eggs?

What was your first position in your local board?

After coming back from being Secretary for a year, I became HR responsible for my Antenna.

What is your biggest frustration in AEGEE?

I feel very frustrated when people don’t use their full potential to find hot showers and tasty food at statutory events.

Oksana smiling broadly during a meeting in Bielefeld

Oksana, thank you so much for joining us today! We understand you are very busy so we’re really grateful you took the time and effort to talk to us. We have one final question: Who would you like us to interview next?

I would definately go for that Ukrainian girl who applied, Oksana. I’m very curious about her motivation and plans! Thank you very much for asking me, and see you somewhere in Europe!

Mystery unraveled: CD-House found in Bielefeld, Germany

For years it has been a mystery where our money went and where the CD-house was actually located. Official documents stated it being in a so-called city “Brussels” or “Bruxelles” or “Brussel”, depending on who you ask and what Era the documents are from.

Brussels, seemingly located in a country known as “Belgium”, is a widely known hoax spread around the world. But, as you might have discovered on exchanges, it’s location seems to vary all over Europe, and after our reporter tried getting a Visa for Belgium to go look and see it with his own eyes, officials from Visa center just laughed at him.

Because he had the money anyway, he requested a Visa for Germany and visited the beautiful city of Bielefeld. This would be a sad end of this story, if not he totally randomly and accidentally stumbled upon a very familiar looking building in the Einbahnstrasse in Bielefeld.

The CD-house, the very headquarters of AEGEE-Europe, was right there, in front of his very eyes. Our reporter rang the bell ready to ask a bazillion questions about the what and why, but no one answered. Apparently they were all in a Skype meeting with Philipp Blum. #blumtoblame

Questions about this basic flat-out lie will be asked by our reporters during Popcorn Agora Bucharest.