Voices of the Members: Sena Adikutlu

SCC consists of more than just the Members of our Board. Our engaged members are an equally integral part of the association. In this series, we want to present to you some of them and what they are volunteering as.

What is your name?
Sena Adikutlu

Where do you volunteer?
I volunteer in the IstKon Student Exchange as an organizer.

Since when and as what do you volunteer as?
I’ve been volunteering at IstKon since 2018 and currently am in the IstKon Core Team as the Head of Culture on the Istanbul-side.

Please tell us a bit about your organization.
IstKon is an academic and cultural exchange organization, which was founded by a group of students from Marmara University in Istanbul and from the University of Konstanz. It is fully organized by students, has nine days of a yearly conference and financial support provided through sponsors. The main aim of the program is to provide cultural exchange and to support social science students academically.

What is your motivation for volunteering there?
I have participated in many conferences, seminars and workshops to improve myself, have taken part in many student clubs and worked as a volunteer in some organizations. At the beginning, IstKon was also one of these “self-improvement” tools for me, but today I see, that IstKon means more to me than an ordinary tool.  Because all the results of addition equal one in Istkon. Two plus two equals one, ten plus ten equals one, sixty plus sixty equals one. With that I mean, that we are able to become “one” and “same” here, although we are coming from different cultures, different geographies, different languages or different beliefs. That’s why I am still part of this organization and try to do my best here.

Do you want to tell the readers something additionally?
Our perspective can sometimes be quite narrow in some cases, even though we do not notice much in daily life. Because we all use personal windows to look at life. These windows consists of what we have learned so far and the experiences we have gained. So what should we do? Should we keep looking at the increasingly globalized world through our windows which are not wide enough? Of course not! We need to get out of the comfort zone. Right now! And take an action step immediately. How about taking your first step to IstKon to look at life from a new window? 

Interested in this organization?
Check out their webpage: https://istkonexchange.com

Be up-to-date with their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/IstKonExchange/

Or keep yourself informed with their instagram:

Voices of the Members: Helena Akst

SCC consists of Members of the Board and members of our association. In this series, we want to present to you some of them and what they are volunteering as (outside of SCC or our projects).

What is your name?
Helena Akst

Where do you volunteer apart from SCC / IstKon?
I volunteer in the Equality Council of the University of Konstanz.

Since when and as what do you volunteer as?
I was representing the students of the University of Konstanz between spring 2018 and autumn 2019.

Please tell us a bit about your organization.
The Equality Council is – as the name already suggests – dealing with matters concerning gender equality and diversity in different spheres (teaching, research, etc.).

What is your motivation for volunteering there?
I volunteered for the simple reason that our society as well as the University of Konstanz are still shaped by patriarchal structures and norms. Topics related to gender, race, class etc. are discussed too little in teaching and all too rarely reflected upon when it comes to the working conditions and organisational structures in the academic field. I believe that the University of Konstanz can and should do better. It should do more to promote people of color, working class people, women, people who do not fit into the binary constructed notion of gender etc. Being a student representative in the Equality Council is a good possibility to contribute to those efforts and to make the university a better, more inclusive place.

Do you want to tell the readers something additionally?
The knowledge and experience gained from the Equality Council can always also be used to promote a more inclusive organisational culture within other organisations, such as the SCC.

Interested in this organization?
Check out their webpage (in German only): https://www.uni-konstanz.de/universitaet/leitung-organisation-und-verwaltung/gremien-und-ausschuesse/ausschuesse-der-universitaet-konstanz/gleichstellungsrat/


Voices of the Members: Samuel Wörz

SCC consists of more than just the Members of our Board. Our engaged members are an equally integral part of the association. In this series, we want to present to you some of them and what they are volunteering as (outside of SCC or our projects).

What is your name?
 Samuel Wörz

Where do you volunteer apart from SCC / IstKon?
Alongside SCC / Istkon I am also a member of the Young European Federalists (JEF) group in Konstanz.

Since when and as what do you volunteer as?
I am a member since November 2018. Right now I am organising an international seminar for the JEF in Konstanz.

Please tell us a bit about your organization.
The JEF is a non-partisan youth organisation, advocating for more European integration as well as a better and stronger European Union.
Education and similar youth topics are a focus of the JEF programme alongside simple awareness-raising. An exemplary project would be the European Youth Parliaments. For this, high school students are invited by the JEF to do a mock parliamentary session of the European Parliament.

What is your motivation for volunteering there?
I have joined JEF because I believe in the idea of a multicultural & united Europe. The JEF is a possibility for me to discuss and share these ideas with other people, all accompanied by a fair bit of fun socialising.

Interested in this organization?
Check out their webpage (in German only): https://www.jef-bw.de/konstanz/

Be up-to-date with their facebook page (in German only): https://www.facebook.com/jef.konstanz

Meticulous evaluations, academic discussions, new roadmaps, and entertaining cultural events – Future Conference 2019

by Sena Adıkutlu

The Future Conference (FC) is much more than an ordinary conference; it is about evaluating the previous year, creating new roadmaps and planning the next year. Along this line, it’s about becoming a team and getting to know a new culture. If all of this excites you, why not take a look at what happened at Future Conference 2019?

The Future Conference 2019 was held at TAK Kadikoy in Istanbul with the participation of the old and new IstKon Student Exchange Core Team and new and old SCC Board members. This intensive three-day program consisted of two main sessions; morning and afternoon sessions, and of course coffee breaks to ease the intensity of them! The German-Turkish Youth Bridge supported the event and, thus, was a big support for this and last projects.

In the morning session of the first day, the participants of the Future Conference had the opportunity to get to know each other and to talk about the vision and values of the association in Workshop I ​​under the moderation of former SCC chair Jonas Monninger. For this session, the participants were divided into various groups and worked on different issues. After an efficient workshop, the participants enjoyed their lunch break of delicious Döner and Falafel. In the afternoon, Workshop II proceeded from two different branches. For the IstKon Core Team, Thomas Kurz and Puthyraksmey Yama presented the last year’s feedback. After the presentation, the core team was divided into specific teams and evaluated the feedback. In line with all this feedback, the core teams created the framework for the IstKon Student Exchange #IstKon2020. SCC – Student Connecting Culture – reviewed the last year’s feedback and discussed how to improve with this feedback for the next year. At the end of the day, all participants came together and made a short evaluation. And that’s how the academic part of the first day was completed! 

In the first workshop of the second day, individual roadmaps were created by the Core Team heads. After a short lunch break, it was time to create a common roadmap. All Core team members came together and combined the individual roadmaps to form the overall roadmap of IstKon 2020. Meanwhile, SCC also created a roadmap by developing its strategies under the moderation of Andreas Brox. Practical issues were also discussed in the last workshop of the day. The evaluation of the day was done and the academic part of the second day was finished. The last workshop of the last day was devoted to express opinions about the IstKon project and SCC. Also, decisions were made on key issues affecting the whole team. All of these three days were evaluated as a whole team and officially, the Future Conference was over.

Cultural Events

It is impossible to think of a program about cultural exchange without cultural events! Therefore, the fruitful and intensive academic days were crowned with cultural events.

The Restaurant Khalkedon Fenerbahce was preferred for the opening dinner. This is a delightful place to eat delicious meals while offering a fascinating view of Istanbul. The Formary Honorary President Assembly of European Regions, Hande Özsan Bozatlı, accompanied the IstKon & SCC family at this dinner. You know what is said: Music is universal. That’s why the FC participants dived into a night of music in a karaoke bar. Sometimes the participants left themselves to the rhythm of music, sometimes they sang songs arm in arm. Music once again proved to be the best uniting force. On the second day, the traditional Meyhane Night event took place in Shisha Tavern in Kadikoy. Participants enjoyed Raki with many traditional appetizers (called “mezze”) while having dinner. Again, everyone had an evening full of fun and live music, which is a must for this special night! İrem Aytaç and Eylül Eva Cemail showed a great performance by arranging all these cultural events. 

Meticulous evaluations, academic discussions, new roadmaps, and entertaining cultural events… That’s the summary of the whole conference! The Future Conference 2019 has already ended, but this end is a new beginning. Hang on to your hat, IstKon 2020 and the General Assembly 2020 is coming soon! 

SCC takes the next step: The first Annual General Assembly of SCC

by Jonas Monninger

I want to start and structure this Blogpost with 3 beautiful numbers which summarize the developments inside SCC of the past three months: 1, 11 and 24.

1: the first Annual General Assembly of SCC took place on the 18.05.19. 

11: highly motivated new board members from 6 different nations, ideally mixed in terms of gender (6w/5m) and experience (6 new/5 experienced board members) were elected by the GA and are excited to contribute to the future of SCC.

24: new members joined SCC, after SCC’s presentation to the public and to participants of IstKon19, leading to an astonishing increase in association members! 

1. Annual General Assembly 

This May, SCC stepped forward with its first annual General Assembly (GA) and the election of a new SCC Board. This challenging, crucial and (hopefully) successful step was a milestone for the future of our organisation, and we are now ready for the upcoming work. This step was challenging because we did not have any experiences yet of how to manage the first board transition process. It was a crucial step because this first process of renewal and change needed to proof our organizations inclusive and democratic character. It was also a (hopefully) successful step as we received positive feedback and felt the acceptance of the democratic election of the new Board. 

The Preparations
In advance of the board elections, the former SCC Board invited all members to express their motivation to become part of the next Board. Our initial fear of having too few applicants for all necessary board positions was proven wrong by more than 13 people motivated to join the next Board. Through several informing calls and personal dialogue, the old chairs prepared the upcoming elections in order to ensure, that all people will be fine with whatever the final result will be and that the upcoming board election won’t decrease the motivation of all involved people. 

The election
During the General Assembly, we conducted the election of the new Board. We followed a process of a) presentation of the applicants, b) discussion with the present members and c) secret voting to ensure the highest standards of democratic decision-making. We were impressed by the high motivation of all candidates and we are sure, that the newly elected Board (presented below) will move SCC forward together with all members. 

Other important points discussed during the GA
During the almost 4 hours of our GA, many other topics were also presented and discussed. The overview over the decisions taken by the GA can be found here: Protocol of the first General Assembly. All members additionally received a lengthy report where all discussions are included. 

The most important decisions include:

  • The membership fee of SCC is kept at only 5€ per year (Become a member here).
  • The charter (English / German) was changed to include the possibility for people to join SCC via an online form (will be online soon!)
  • An optimized decision-making process for the selection of the new IstKon20 Core Team was adopted.
  • The budget for the upcoming year as well as the cash report of the last year were adopted.
  • The actions of the past Board were presented, discussed and approved.

11 motivated new SCC board members

First front row, left to right: Johannes Alber (External Relations), Frederike Kaiser (External Relations).
First back row, left to right: Nursena Sadoglu (Public Relations), Osamah Al-Huri (Membership), Elisabetta Girardi (Chair), Felix Kreis (Finance), Gordana Nikic (Membership).
Second back row, left to right: Stefanie Ruess (Public Relations), Emir Tahiri (Project Management), Andreas Brox (Chair), Helena Akst (Project Management).

“A picture is worth a thousand words” – Here you see our new excited SCC Board, which will work the next year together with all motivated members to take SCC to the next level.

The goals for the next year include: The creation of a new project; the extension of our membership events; the inclusion of many people as active members in one of our various working and project teams (e.g. Public Relations Group, Membership Group, …) and much more ?

The Board already started to work and will meet, together with the new IstKon20 Core Team, from 15.08 – 19.08. for the annual SCC Future Conference in Istanbul

24 amazing new members of SCC

The most amazing number and outcome of our GA is the number of our new members – TWENTY-FOUR people who are motivated to contribute to the goals of SCC in the future! We are so happy to welcome every single one of you in our SCC family and we are very much looking forward for all your ideas! The Membership Team around Osamah and Gordana is already planning how to integrate you in SCC and how to keep all of us connected. We are also anticipating your new ideas for innovative projects or events, which would benefit our members and contribute to our goals. All new members will be personally introduced by our Membership Team through “Welcoming Skypes” to our structure and possibilities to participate. 

If you are reading this and you are not yet a member of SCC, do not hesitate and join us! All information about how to become a member is here.