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Agora For Newbies (and not only)
Transcript of Agora For Newbies (and not only)
...can help you.
* In mandatory parts of the Agenda, the attendance is checked with the help of bar code scanning. Each participant/member of the Agora has a badge with an individual bar code. Delegates and envoys have to scan their bar codes at the doors of the rooms. Attendance of these sessions is one of the Antenna Criteria.
*and not only
The Agora was a central spot in ancient Greek city-states. The literal meaning of the word is "gathering place" or "assembly".
The Agora was the center of life of the city. The ancient Agora of Athens was the best-known example,
birthplace of democracy.
You can find more info in this video by AEGEE-Ioannina.
For AEGEE the Agora is our
, our members' General Assembly. The Agora is the place where we get together to take decisions on the future of the organisation. We find out what the state of the organisation is, we suggest new ways and choose new leaders and representatives.
The Agora in Numbers
Each year, we have Agorae - one in Spring and one in Autumn.
Each Agora has around participants, AEGEE members, depending on the capacities of the local organisers.
Typically, the Agora lasts days - 3 full working days, plus arrival day, when first activities take place. The 5th day is departure day.
Agora Bergamo will be the st Agora in AEGEE history.
Purpose of the Agora
The Agora is the has the highest decision power in AEGEE, and this means it is more important than any other body.
The Agora is also the place where most members come together, and therefore the place where we update each other on developments, give feedback and share opinions.
This is why the Agora has the following tasks:
The Financial Director of AEGEE-Europe, part of the CD, has to present the budget of AEGEE, so the Agora can see the income and expenses and what the money, e.g. membership fees of the locals, is actually spent on. The financial report is voted upon.
The Agora decides and votes upon the acceptance of new Projects, the Action Agenda, the 3-years Strategic Plan and the topic of the European Planning Meeting. Which means it decides on the thematic priorities the organisation will work on.
If you want to change the rules that AEGEE works by, you can make a proposal to change them. These proposals are discussed at the Agora and voted upon.
The Agora elects
the Comité Directeur,
the Audit Commission,
the Network Commission,
the Juridical Commission,
the Mediation Commission,
the Working Group Coordinators,
the Chair Team and
the Summer University Coordination Team.
It also ratifies the Policy Officers, the Liaison Officers, and the Advisory Board, who are appointed by the CD.
This is why the Agora serves also for:
Meeting of different bodies and people which don't have too many chances to meet face-to-face to coordinate and plan their work
Promotion of projects and working groups to make their work more known
Motivation of members to become more active and more identified with AEGEE
Discussion on current issues
Presentations and updates of processes within the organisation
small trainings for our members
Last but not least, the Agora is also a place where we catch up with friends and meet new AEGEEans.
Who goes to the Agora?
The around participants of the Agora can be separated in 4 different categories.
The Delegates are the main stars of the Agora. They are the ones with the voting rights. Each AEGEE-Europe member (meaning each antenna) has the right to send up to 3 delegates to the Agora. The delegates represent the antenna at the Agora, make decisions for it, voice its opinion, etc. This is why delegates have to attend plenaries and prytania.
Speaking Rights (means they can ask questions, make remarks, etc.)
Envoys are representatives of Contact Antenna and the European Level bodies. They are at the Agora to represent and speak on behalf of the body that they represent, meaning a Contact Antenna, Working Group, a Project, a Commission, a Committee, or the Comité Directeur. They cannot vote, but they can state opinions and ask questions.
When Delegates and Envoys have been given their spots at Agora, the rest of the places are filled up with Visitors. Visitors are invited to the Agora to contribute to the discussions and to learn more about AEGEE.
They don't have voting rights. They also don't have speaking rights, but can be given speaking rights by the Chair if they ask for them at a specific moment.
Speaking Rights (but can ask for them)
What's in an Agora?
Plenaries are the sessions where everyone is present. This is the main place to be at the Agora. Presentations, reports and candidatures for positions happen here, but there are also updates of everything else happening outside the plenaries.
Pry - what? Prytanium is also an ancient Greek word. In the prytania, we discuss the proposals, changes to the statutes and legal documents to AEGEE. Delegates and envoys can propose amendments to the proposals. At the end of the prytanium, an indicative voting takes place, which is passed on to the plenary of the Agora as a recommendation.
Progress Meetings serve to update on current processes or present an idea for feedback and discussion to the members. Examples are e.g. the Visual Identity of AEGEE, which has been presented at several Agorae to give feedback.
Workshops are spaces for participants of the Agora to train themselves on a specific topic. It can be on a thematic issue, e.g. Youth Participation or Human Rights, or more on organisational skills, e.g. on Human Resources Management or Fund raising. Workshops are usually very interactive.
Since it's an important part of the Agora as well to catch up with old friends and make new ones, at every Agora the local organisers arrange a Social Programme for the participants. Party hard, but party responsible so you are prepared for the challenges of the next Agora Day ;).
Envoys (of Contact Antennae)
Progress Meetings are not mandatory, but since they are about collecting feedback and gathering ideas and opinions, it's important that delegates attend.
Also visitors are welcome to come and contribute. Progress Meetings are not chaired and less formal. Everybody participates on the same level.
Workshops are primarily intended for visitors who prefer workshops to attending Prytania or Progress Meetings. Delegates and Envoys are very welcome if they don't have any other obligations in the same slot.
In case you are planning to have a common project or exchange with a group of antenna, the Agora is the perfect place to have a discussion with them. Try to agree on a meeting with them to discuss and arrange everything!
Since the Agora is our main place to meet, also a lot of informal internal meetings of interest groups, working groups, projects, commissions, Network areas etc. take place. These meetings are usually announced in advance by the Chair Team. They are open to the members of the relevant group or to every body, depending on what the group decides. They can be a good way to get involved more in a Working Group, Project or initiative. Find out who is the main responsible and ask them if you can join :).
At many Agorae, there are theme parties. Check the Social Programme before you start packing to prepare your outfits.
At each Agora, on the second day, there is slot for the European Study and Career Fair combined with the AEGEE Fair. Universities and Companies looking for students and employees with the profile of AEGEE members present themselves there for you. Bring your CV to make yourself more interesting!
At the same time at the same place, the AEGEE Fair takes place, where the European Level of AEGEE presents itself to you. You can get to know the people on European Level, ask questions and learn more about their work and get involved yourself.
The Chair Team
The Chair Team is responsible for the smooth implementation of the Agora. They have a lot of work already in the preparation. During the Agora, they chair the plenaries and prytania, making sure that everything goes according to the rules, that every opinion is heard and that everything runs within the time frame.
Marta is the
Tom is the Chair Person
The local organisers take care of all the logistics of the Agora, meaning the location, the food, the parties, the showers, the gyms, the rooms, etc. Without the local organisers, an Agora would not be possible, and they are the ones that work hardest for this event.
Agora Bergamo Team
Comité Directeur, or CD, are the board of directors of AEGEE, living and working full time for AEGEE in Brussels.
CD has to report their work and present new initiatives at Agora for discussion and approval or change. This is why they are contributing a major part to the content of the Agora and you will see them quite a lot on stage. They are also responsible for AEGEE-Europe registration, merchandise and membership cards.
Comité Directeur 2015-2016
I'm a newbie at an Agora, what do I have to do?
Follow closely this presentation :)
Follow the online communication before Agora, a lot of useful information will be already given there about candidatures, proposals, the general Agenda and logistical issues. Read the booklets as well as the Agora for Dummies booklet.
When you arrive, go to the registration of the LOCAL ORGANISERS, there you will get your badge, your welcome package and all other necessary information. There is also the Agora for Newbies session, which will explain to you everything you need to know.
YOU ARE a DELEGATE or an ENVOY of a CONTACT ANTENNA
, you also have to
register your antenna at the AEGEE-Europe registration
to pick up your ballots so you can vote. You will be asked to pay the membership fee of your local in case you haven't payed it yet.
After this, listen closely to Chair Team and Local Organisers and you're good to go :).
The Juridical Commission
The Juridical Commission, or JC, is on stage with the Chair Team and supports them if something is unclear considering legal questions and proceedings.
I have a question...
We can imagine you have lots of questions, and important to know who to ask them to.
I want to change my status of application/I have not been accepted as visitor...
With questions about Agora applications,
...can help you.
Our delegate was not in the previous members list...
With questions that require an exception to CIA and the antenna criteria,
...can help you.
I need the register my local/pick up my membership cards/pay my membership fee...
With anything related to AEGEE-Europe, including AEGEE-Europe registration,
...can help you.
I have a problem with paying the participation fee/I need a visa letter/I don't know what to bring/where to go...
With questions related to arrival and preparation of arrival
...can help you.
I don't know which room to go/when will be the Progress Meeting about topic X/which prytania to go to...
With anything related to the Agenda of the Agora,
...can help you.*
I need my ballot papers/I don't know how the voting works...
Yay JC (Juridical Commission)! They are the ones responsible for voting.
I forgot something at the Gym/don't know where room X is/forgot my badge/want to know what's for lunch/want to know where the party is tonight....
With anything related to logistical aspects, including registration of participants,
...can help you.
Here is how you can reach us:
Observers are representatives of Contacts of AEGEE-Europe, potential future Antennae that haven't been established yet. Each contact can send up to two observers. Observers don't have voting rights. They don't have speaking rights, but can ask Chair for them if they want to ask a question or make a remark.
Speaking Rights (but can ask for them)
*in case of questions about room allocations, also the local organisers can help you
Envoys (of Contact Antennae)
Each body on European Level has to give an Activity Report at the Agora about what they have been doing in the last six months (since the last Agora).
The Activity Report of the Comité Directeur is voted upon and approved or rejected depending on whether the Agora is happy with CD's work.
check on the work of all AEGEE bodies, especially the CD
check on the financial situation of AEGEE
decide on future developments of AEGEE, and especially the thematic future and the topics we will work on
decide on changes of the rules of AEGEE, meaning the Statutes and the CIA, the legal documents of AEGEE
elect the leadership of AEGEE
Which reminds us...
how does voting work?
Only Delegates have voting rights. Envoys, Observers and Visitors can participate in the discussion, but decisions of the Agora are lastly taken by the Delegates. The number of votes each antenna has depends on the number of members it has.
4 kinds of voting
Voting by Acclamation
Ratification is used for simple decisions, for example approving the Agenda of the Agora, giving of a new project the status of an AEGEE-Europe project, or accepting new locals to the Network.
Usually the Chair asks whether there are any questions or objections to a specific issue. If there aren't any, s/he asks if there are any objections to approve by Ratification (because some locals might prefer voting by ballots, e.g.). If there aren't any, the Chair asks for Ratification by Acclamation. Then the Agora claps, which means it accepts and approves the decision. In this case, the issue is accepted with 100% approval.
Voting by Ballot Paper
Ballot Papers are used for elections of candidates into a new position (e.g. Comité Directeur, Network Commission, Chair, etc.)
Delegates receive their ballot papers when they register their local at the AEGEE-Europe Registration.
It's important that you take good care of your ballot papers and bring them to the plenary.
Voting takes place usually at the end of the plenary. Visitors and Envoys are asked to leave the plenary. The JC explains to delegates how to cast their votes.
Voting by Roll Call
For the Roll Call, the Chair calls your antenna. If you are delegate, you can then state if you are in favour, against or you abstain on a specific decision.
The Roll Call is used in case something unexpected happens at the Agora which has to be decided on the spot. In this case, there is usually first an indicative voting with the red and green cards you receive with the ballot papers. In case this doesn't give a clear results, there is a role call in the plenary. You have to state the number of votes your antenna has and how many of them are in favour, against or in abstention of the specific issue
Online Voting is used for proposals, reports and motions. They are used for issues that cannot be approved by acclamation and to avoid that roll call has to be used for every decision, so the Agora goes smoother and faster.
Every Delegate has access to the Online Voting System at aegee.org/vote. The login data correspond to the login data of the Intranet.
After discussion of the proposal or report and presentation in the plenary, Chair announces that the Online Voting System for this specific proposal. Then, Delegates can log in to the Online Voting System and cast their votes.
Still a little confused? No worries, everything will be explained to you in detail on the spot.
That's it :).
But we need more information!
Lia is the Secretary
of the Agora
Erik is the