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 UCR Student Wins Competition

The Roosevelt Foundation, in cooperation with University College Roosevelt, invited students from all University Colleges in the Netherlands to submit a column on the theme ‘what does it mean to be free’ to the 2018 Four Freedoms Column Contest. The challenge of this contest was to impress and move their audience in no more than 300 words.

The jury consisted of drs. Han Polman, King’s Commissioner of the Province of Zeeland, mr. Adriana van Dooijeweert, President of the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights; prof. dr. Giles Scott-Smith, director of the Roosevelt Institute of American Studies in Middelburg and professor of Transatlantic Relations at Leiden University and Sarah-Jane Koulen, PhD candidate at Princeton University and member of the Netherlands National Commission for Unesco.

In the end, 57 columns were submitted by students from all University Colleges in the Netherlands. After careful deliberation of the anonymized columns, the jury decided that Column 33 was the best submission, saying ‘This column was one of the few that made me smile and stayed with me after reading. It is well-written, sets the scene, initially catches the reader off guard, and then goes on to make an important and clear central argument about the power of humor and creativity in resisting oppression. The column itself uses humor as a rhetorical device, and in so doing, successfully makes a powerful and lasting impression. The reader also ends up learning something about the anti-communist movement in Wroclaw in the 1980s - no small feat in 300 words.’, and ‘Simply: it is the only column with and about the power of a sense of humor. And written in a direct and vivid style.’

Column 33 was written by UCR student Cecilia Uitermark. Cecilia will present her winning column during the Four Freedoms Award ceremony to a public of members of the royal family, laureates, dignitaries, and guests. She also receives a Four Freedoms student scholarship ( worth €2500,-) for a trip to New York, including a visit to the Roosevelt Institute, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library and the United Nations. The two runners up, Andrea Van Acker from Erasmus University College and Jennifer Pfister from Leiden University College will also be present at the Four Freedoms Award Ceremony.

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From left to right: Jennifer Pfister (LUC), Cecilia Uitermark (UCR) and Andrea van Acker (EUC).