2018 Election Interviews: Cas, Dana and Julia

It’s Election Season! Names and posters have been flying around for a while, and everyone is getting prepared to present themselves and their ideas next week at the Election GA. Each year, Tabula RASA gives the candidates the opportunity to react to a quick Q&A, so that the whole student community can read a bit about who they are, and what they stand for. In this article, you can read about Cas Visser for RASA treasurer, Dana Zoutman for Elliott Facility Manager and Julia Cottrell for HAC Koestraat Campus Elder!


1. What is your full name, semester, hometown, and the position you are running for?

My name is Cas Visser, I am in my 4th semester, I come from a tiny town in Limburg in the Netherlands called Meerlo, and I am running for RASA Treasurer.  

2. What is it that you feel you can contribute to RASA?

First of all, I am going to continue what Ruben and previous treasurers have been doing: making sure RASA stays financially healthy, and that its money goes to the right places.

Secondly, I will bring a considerable amount of board experience. My year as RASA IT Team chair, and especially my year as Music Society GBM have taught me so much. With Music Society being one of RASA’s largest societies, organizing its events can be quite scary, but also really exciting.

Although I have never actually been a treasurer before, I do have some experience in finances. As Sales & Projects manager of Elliott, I get a little peek into the constant flow of transactions that goes on in Elliott, and adjust the Mensa menu according to what happens. Furthermore, I was put in charge of organising Music Society’s Classical Concert, and made the budget proposal for this event.

3. What issues do you consider to be the most pressing for RASA?

I think there are many issues, and not all of them can be solved in a year. As was pointed out several times recently, there is a lack of unity. We, the students of UCR, the Vikings of RASA, do not feel united. In a united student community, people look out for, help, and connect with each other. Roosevelt’s All Student Association should make its name true (or truer).

Another issue I see, is that people often do not express their issues and concerns directly to RASA or another big board. This causes these issues to not be resolved, causing people to have less faith in RASA and other big boards. This in turn makes them even less likely to express issues and concerns. This vicious cycle impedes all big boards in helping the student community, which in the end is their main goal.

4. Please outline a few ideas/initiatives you would like to implement if elected.

To remedy the issues mentioned above, I think it is important that RASA’s work is more visible. Students who bring up issues should feel like they are listened to. Weekly updates on progress should be available, and maybe there could even be a large overview page on the RASA website of all issues currently being worked on.

Another thing I would like to look into is more campus wide events: events that are for all students. Of course, this is a challenge, because there are few activities, if any at all, which everyone likes. However, RASA’s experiences with their birthday party last year will certainly be useful, and I feel like this could be one of many solutions for the lack of unity.  

Lastly, maybe the RASA website can take over some of Facebook’s functionality, now that many people want to leave Facebook, but feel like they can’t.

5. What is your favourite icebreaker activity?

I like to grab a block of ice, and then just drop it down from a high place. The way the ice like almost explodes when it hits the ground is so spectacular!


  1. What is your full name, semester, hometown, and the position you are running for?

I’m Dana Zoutman, a 2nd semester student from The Hague and I’m running for the Facility Manager position in the Elliott board!

2. What is it that you feel you can contribute to Elliott?

The position of Facility Manager comes with a lot of freedom, and therefore a lot of creative possibilities. My background at an art academy has taught me how to find creative solutions to things, and my position as project manager of the Interior Design team has taught me a lot about some of the tasks of a Facility Manager. I’m excited to get the chance to use my experience. Diederik has been doing an amazing job as a Facility Manager, and I hope to continue his work to improve the functionality, as well as the atmosphere, of the building.

3. What issues do you consider to be the most pressing for Elliott?

Keeping in mind the building’s functionality as well as simple aesthetics, I think the area that could be improved the most is the study lounge area. Right now, it’s a collection of tables and chairs that have seemingly been scattered around the room: it decreases both the serious, focused vibe of the space, as well as the functionality, because such disorder can definitely be uninviting and make some people less focused. Even during midterms and finals, many people still choose to sit in the Mensa, and it can feel very crowded. That’s why I think improving that the study lounge will be an important task for me as Facility Manager!

4. Please outline a few ideas/initiatives you would like to implement if elected.

Next to improving the study lounge, there are many of other things I would like to undertake if I’m elected. With the Interior Design Team, we’ve already worked on improving the downstairs bar area. Together with the addition of Diederik’s bar, I think we are definitely getting somewhere – but there are still things that could be better. I will be working with the Interior Design Team on this larger project, as well as on improving the toilets, and the hallway to the toilets. Collaborations with RAW and other people with creative ideas are also important to me, because everybody has a different perspective that could help me figure out what parts of Elliott need improvement.

5. What is your favourite coffee/drink/sandwich?

This is not an official drink, but if I had to name it, I’d probably call it the “Has Veganism Gone Too Far?”. You start off by putting some dark chocolate drops and cocoa powder in a latte glass. Then, you get the annoyingly small soy milk can and foam soymilk. Pour a little bit of the hot soymilk in the glass to melt the chocolate, then pour in the rest of the soymilk as if you’re making a latte – after this, get two shots of espresso and pour them in. Finish with some cacao powder on top and serve!


  1. What is your full name, semester, hometown, and the position you are running for?

My name is Julia Cottrell. I’m a child of the world, and I’m running for Koestraat Campus Elder.

2. What is it that you feel you can contribute to HAC?

I already have some experience with housing and housing companies, as well as fixing (or recognizing someone else needs to fix) things. More importantly, I am open minded and can tackle issues with a fresh set of eyes and opinions. I’m adaptable, and a kinesthetic learner, so I can improvise, adapt, and overcome very well and quickly when thrown into situations.

3. What issues do you consider to be the most pressing for HAC?

I consider the communication between UCR, Villex, HAC, and us students to be the most pressing issue. There should be no surprises, yet I feel that we are constantly presented with information that is way too close to the date and/or poor timing for us (for example; when we were notified our water was going to get turned off a day before it happened. Also when later in the year when they turned it off and added a two-day extension without letting us know). This is important to me because I feel that so much frustration could be avoided if people were open about what is going on, and students were kept more in the loop.

4. Please outline a few ideas/initiatives you would like to implement if elected.

Specifically, for Koestraat, I have noticed issues with the facility itself that need to be dealt with. There is water damage, leaking washing machines, exposed outlets, and missing ceilings. Thanks to our current campus elder, new freezers in Koestraat will be added, so monitoring those and touching up the common rooms are just some of the things I would like to do.

We’re getting a lot of first years next semester, and I’d like to make more people involved in more Koestraat affairs. This means working closer with the floor elders to host more successful events, and finding the perfect medium between too many and too little opportunities to get together and enjoy each other’s company.

5. Describe your dream house!

On the smaller size, but more gezellig than cramped. Has everything I need, with space for the things and people I want, and a bit for things to clutter up. Lots of windows and lots of light. Close to the sea, but in a city with safe public transportation. Practical and smart.



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