HOW IT ALL STARTED

a.k.a. last minute candidature

Posted by Blaž Artač on 12th February, 2017
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Standing ovations. People cheering. Feelings of happiness, pride, excitement! No place for thoughts about the next year and the hard work ahead of us. This is not important at this moment. We are elected. True, we were the only candidate. True, without our candidature, things would get really complicated. So it kind of made sense to just elect the first one that came along. But did it? And if yes, why almost unanimously? Looks like we convinced a bunch of people with a candidature that was quickly put together. In a matter of minutes. On one side of an A5 paper sheet. Written with a pencil! A candidature that could put the very existence of the association at stake.

Picture of a paper containing financial calculations for our candidature Picture of a paper containing financial calculations for our candidature

Let’s rewind back time for a couple of hours. The last GM of EESTEC Congress in Belgrade was approaching, but no LC had yet applied to organise the next Congress. This was a rarely seen occasion in our association. Usually, we have at least 2 LCs competing for this prestigious, yet responsible and demanding task.

But why is this so important? Well, not having the next congress organiser would eventually result in the dissolution of the association.

So you can imagine the effort that the International Board put into finding the next Spring Congress Organising Committee (SCOC), before and during Congress. Still, no one applied. Maybe it was just an unlucky coincidence due to various conditions in each LC. Who knows…

The last GM came. Since breakfast, there were quiet rumours going around about who might step up at the last minute and run for the next SCOC. International Board has again called out for an LC that would run for SCOC. Still, no reaction.

Then came the proposal to ask the first 10 LCs for the reasons why they couldn’t become SCOC.

It was then when we (Ljubljana representatives) reviewed our situation for the first time but realised fundraising would be too big of a problem for us. Instead, we proposed a joint candidature. This idea was well accepted and Trieste immediately supported us. Also, German Commitments started discussing their own joint candidature. A break was announced, and this is when the excitement started.

Imagine national parliament before important votes - groups of people talking in the corridor, others approaching and lobbying, persuading Commitments to apply. As proud millennials we also made a few Messenger group chats :D There were two joint candidatures in the air - German Commitments and Ljubljana-Zagreb-Trieste-Budapest.

Imagine national parliament before important votes - groups of people talking in the corridor, others approaching and lobbying, persuading...

After the break, no final decision was accepted. Half an hour is simply not enough time to decide on a joint candidature, it just brings up more questions. Therefore the GA decided to address this topic again after lunch.

The GA Chair even offered a big award for the next SCOC organiser - a cookie per person! That really boosted our motivation :D

During lunch, none of us was calm. The growing idea of organising a congress… well, let’s just say it was very tempting. I don’t recall all the talks we had with other LCs about joint candidature, but it slowly fell apart. After GM started, Iza, Leon and I asked the GA Chair if we can step outside for a few minutes, just to check on something.

We were standing in the corridor, in a tight circle. Looking at each other. Checking our finances and projections for next year. Phones buzzing with messages from Ljubljana - “Apply! Apply!”. Various thoughts popping in our heads. Should we? Let’s not! Or.. perhaps it won’t be so bad. How hard is it to organise a Congress, c’mon. If you have the finances, it’s just minor logistics. PR is almost not needed. Mainly logistics. So, actually, it should be easier than organising a JobFair!”

It was then that we said: ”Fuck it, let’s do it ourselves! :D” I still remember feelings of excitement mixed with dark thoughts of the year upon us.

Don’t get the impression that this decision was based on our current state of mind and that the emotions clouded our judgement ;) As an LC, Ljubljana has been steadily progressing for the last few years, we have a good relationship with faculties and university, we established contact with most of the major Electrical Engineering and Computer Science companies in Slovenia, and our members are very skilled and experienced … We thought of organising a Congress in the near future, but, well, you know what they say. The Future is Now!

So we entered the GM again and applied as SCOC! We presented our candidature, promised a minimum Congress in Kranjska Gora and waited for the vote to come in.

"We did it!!!"

35 in favour, 4 abstained, 0 against.

Standing ovations. People cheering. Feelings of happiness, pride, excitement…


Saying thanks to GA for giving us this amazing opportunity Saying thanks to GA for giving us this amazing opportunity!