Published on: 25 April 2019
Written by: Jorrit Geels

I met up with Sanne for our anticipated interview. After some trouble with finding a proper recording device, we manage to get Garageband going on her MacBook. We set the BPM to 150, we press play and we’re off to a great start already.

I am here with a very special person. Could you introduce yourself perhaps? How old are you? Where are you from? Any pets? Tell us everything!

I am Sanne, I am 23 years old and currently a 5th year AI student. I am from Millingen aan de Rijn, a beautiful town roughly 20 kilometers from here.

Hold up. You always say you are from Nijmegen, and now you do this to me?

Yes, I always just pretend to be from Nijmegen, as nobody ever knows Millingen, but this is the true me. Well… we were at pets, right? I own five stick insects, since last week! I currently also have a dog at my Father’s place, Tommie. You can see Tommie shine at the picture of Niels’ interview.

You can see the picture, and perhaps read the interview here:

Last year you were interviewed as the Chief of Education of CognAC. The interview mainly focused on travelling: did you make any cool trips in between these interviews?

No probably not, I don’t recall.


Let me think... yeah wait! I went to Lanzarote with Stan as a surprise, we surfed a lot there at the black beaches: really cool! We didn’t go away a lot this year. However, we will road-trip to Bulgaria this summer for 2,5 weeks, which is also going to be a lot of fun.

Do you have any travel tips for us?

Laos! Definitely very cool, also relatively less “explored” by tourists. Travelling tip: when packing your luggage, as soon as you have your bag done, challenge yourself to remove half of your luggage. You will probably be fine with even less than half anyway. 

Do you have any other hobbies other than travelling?

I am currently playing football, but I have also always danced in my life, both in class and casually. I really like going to festivals as well for instance, did I tell you I am looking forward to going to Defqon.1 yet today?

Defqon.1 is a hardstyle festival Sanne will be attending with a.o. Niels, Arjan, Paul, and her boyfriend Stan (who she has been together with for over 5 years!).

No, you didn’t yet. I know you’re a big hardstyle fan. Who are your favourite artists?

If you’re into this genre, then definitely listen to D-Sturb and Sub Zero Project’s new album Contagion. 

Have a listen to one of their tracks here if you feel like:

Some more on your free time. You’re currently not studying, but taking a gap year, right?


What are you currently doing in your free time, do you have a job?

Well... About that. I’m currently doing five different jobs at university! I am organising all the informative activities of our study programme, so Open Days, Experience Days etc. I also grade the numerus fixus applications for AI and psychology, I am a TA for ‘Intro AI-B’ and ‘New Media Lab’ (a MSc course), I help out with course evaluations, and finally I am helping out with the development of an app for a PhD research. Finally, I am helping with the accreditation (=’grading’ of the programme), which is done every six years.

Wow. How did you get to all of that?

Well, mostly campus detachering vacancies, but I also got personally invited for some things as I am working with those people now anyway.

And ofcourse you are also active within CognAC. What are you doing currently?

I am in the almanac committee 18-19 and 19-20 (hype hype hype hype hype), and I was the chair of the parentsday committee. Furthermore, I am in the dies committee of my student association, Ovum Novum.

Are you still very active there?

Well, not as much anymore. However, I still dine with nearly my entire year club on Wednesdays, which is quite unique. I was quite active there in my earlier years though, and the dies committee now is lots of fun!

Going back even more in time, why did you come here? Why do you study AI?

I followed the track N&T (Science and Engineering) at my high school, shoutout Stedelijk Gymnasium Nijmegen, and there I noticed I really liked science. However, I liked it not too science-y. I came across AI and it was the perfect combination of science with social stuff for me. I actually never had a second option, so if I wouldn’t have made my BSA, I would have been screwed. Luckily, I had no trouble; I got my propedeuse cum laude without any resits (still on that no resit streak!).

Poaaahhhh excellent. Proud of you! Which courses did you enjoy most?

Courses on logic, by far. I loved Formal Reasoning and Logic and Applications.

Did you do any Logic-related electives?

No! Unfortunately, not: I did my electives abroad in Australia, and they didn’t have that luxury.

In your Master’s then?

Also not... I am probably doing a double MSc of AI Intelligent Technology together with Data Science. That will take three years, so I will be around for a while. Did someone say 6th CognAC Lustrum? Lustrum committee?

Winky face.

Sanne was the chair of the last Lustrum committee, and is planning on applying again in the near future. That was her first experience as an active member of CognAC.

I wasn’t there during our last lustrum and I can imagine a lot of others reading this were not as well: could you provide a rough outline of the lustrum week you organized, to give people an impression of what they should already be looking forward to?

We organized a full week of activities in May: we had an opening BBQ with inflatable obstacle course (stormbaan) behind the Huygens, a pub quiz, a gala-dinner, a crazy 88, an alumni day, a beer pong tournament and closed off the week with the very first CognAC open party. And we organised the first CognAC Weekend cantus! We also had lustrum lunches where you could get different types of food (wraps, tosti’s, desserts etc) every day the entire week! It was quite busy and a huge success!


Sanne wants to get her facts straight and starts looking in her old files. She discovers the Lustrum Committee drive folder, on which I have been trying to get my hands for the last year. She sent me the files after the interview: hooray! They are now on the CognAC cloud and waiting for you, future LC member.

Sanne showed me a long to-do list she provided her committee with, but, the cute chair she was, she also facilitated the members with enough cat pictures, and a couple of dog pictures for the dog-people in her committee.

10 out of 10, would do again. But really. Would do again.

You provided me with smooth transition there: are there any committees you would like to do in the future?

I am currently already in the AlmanaC of 2019-20. Next to that, I am in the senate of CognAC.

The senate is the advisory council of CognAC.

I will first get a good feeling of what doing my Master will be like, as I really want to finish within those three years as well. Then I might do any other committees.

Yeah, I totally get that. You already meant a lot for our association, so we won’t take it personally, Sanne!

Sanne was the first ever Chief of Education of CognAC, introduced in 2017-18 in the XXVII board of CognAC.

Could you tell the readers at home what that function entails, and what you basically did?

The best part was that I could make up myself what I did and did not do, as the first ever Chief of Education. I for instance set up the tutoring network for AI students in my year, which has grown a lot since. I also attended the DPC meetings of the Bachelor and Master AI programme, I was the main contact person for teachers and the programme in general for CognAC and I joined all study-related committees. So as a Chief of Education you really know what’s going on study-wise, both from the members as from the department.

Why do you think you’re the AI*?

I think it was because April is the fourth month of the year, which happens to correspond do my favourite number: number 4.

Almost there. Keep on guessing.

I think it was because of the parents day which took place on Saturday before the CognAC evening.

Here I explained Sanne that she deserved the title because of all her numerous efforts for CognAC over the years. Not only was she the chair of the lustrum committee, she also for instance did a board year in which she gave life to the function “Chief of Education”, she helps guiding the first ever CognAC Almanac committee, and to top it all off: she chaired the organisation of the first ever international Parentsday. The latter totally crowns her great achievements, both personal and CognAC-wise, and we grant her the title of AI* as a memory for all of her efforts in the past and those yet to come.

That was one long monologue. Well... how did you experience the parents day?

Well, it was my first parents day. I never actually attended one with my parents, however hopefully that will change next year! It was a lot of fun, it went very smooth, and afterwards we had a great afterparty with the committee.

Moving on to already the very last CognAC-related question; - No I am not going to ask the pet question – what does CognAC really need?

What do you mean?

Well, anything. It could be a member-card for everyone with which you can get discounts at the Gall&Gall,


It could be giving each member a lawn-mower with their name on it, it could be a barber in the BK, up to you.

Sanne thinks for quite a bit and visibly struggles, but then shouts: CognAC Jet!

Flying to where exactly?

Everywhere! With a huge surround-sound music installation, playing hardstyle 24/7.

Basically a flying defqon then?

Did I already tell you I am hyped for defqon today? I don’t think so.

I also don’t think so. You also didn’t tell me your greatest achievement yet, as it’s the next question on my list.

Smooth. Well, I think that’s quite hard. I think my personal development over the last couple of years is a big achievement for me. I have been able to get out of my comfort zone a whole lot more than I expected which is really something.

But if I had to name something more specific, I think it is also really cool that I managed to travel through Europe for a week without any money. I never expected it would work out, but there I was, sleeping in a four-star hotel in Genève for free.

This story is in Sanne’s last interview, you should read it as well while you’re at it:

Most bad-ass story?

I was once closed down by a police car with their lights and sirens on hah, almost got a fine.


I was in Delft for a 21-dinner. On my way to the club I found a traffic sign that I wanted to bring home. Though I obviously couldn’t take it to the club, so I planted it somewhere to pick up on my way home. The whole walk back I was super excited and looking forward to the traffic sign, when 30 meters before I reached it, there was another EXACT SAME TRAFFIC SIGN lying right in front of me on the sidewalk!! Can you imagine my excitement?!

Stealing traffic signs isn’t necessarily my jam but I feel you. What did you do with it?

So I picked it up, and started running towards my friends that were walking a bit in front of me to tell them I found another one! So I ran, in my friend’s mom’s (oversized) jacket and hood on my head because of the rain, with the traffic sign under my arm, crossing a red-light on the way too. And EXACTLY when I reach at the point where I left the first sign, I see the police lights behind me and a police car closed me down so I couldn’t run anymore.

They got you! How did you react?

 I quickly drop the traffic sign together with the other traffic sign as they roll down there window. What in hell I thought I was doing there. Obviously I was my sweetest, nicest self and told the two men that I was just “picking up the traffic sign because I wanted to put it right next to the other one that was already laying there” (very convincing). At first they were quite mad, but then my friend put my hood down, as actually the police men couldn’t even see my eyes properly as the jacket was way too huge. There was the sparkly hair band that I had put on for the ‘diamond’ theme of the dinner and immediately their hearts melted and they saw that I was just a tiny innocent girl and they let me go, telling me to don’t do this again. “No I really will not, I am so sorry!!” were my final words, and I was luckily free to go hah. They didn’t even mention the red light!

You got really lucky there! You didn’t get to keep them in the end then, right?

Nope, unfortunately not.

Do you own something else with a funny story?

Well, I have a plant in my room that I brought from London as a souvenir. In the airplane. In my luggage.

Hahahaha, was it a huge one?

No, it was rather cute actually. I also have a pineapple plant which I planted myself! I just cut off the top of a pineapple and planted it.

Here we look up pictures of pineapple plants as I had no clue what they actually looked like. They’re quite funny, when a pineapple grows, it kind of looks like it is being presented by the plant.

Do you have a favourite game? Board game, card game, videogame?

Yes! I am a huge Assassin’s Creed fan. I especially like the one in Egypt, Origins.

I call myself a passive gamer; I usually watch someone else play and then we decide together what we’re going to do. However, I can only play games at my boyfriend’s place, so always when I’m over I want to play games there hahaha.

Favourite series or movie?

Currently I am watching a series about a female detective in the 1920’s that solves crimes in a fascinating way. The series contain a lot of humour as well, which adds a lot. It’s called Ms. Fisher’s Murder Mysteries; it’s on Netflix. Also the series Timeless I really recommend!

Imagine: you come home after a long day, you don’t have a lot of money left. However, you would like to have a nice meal. What do you cook?

I am in love with those “Verse soep pakketten” from the Albert Heijn (and Jumbo). They are very low effort, quickly done, yet very healthy. Everything you need is in there.

I also really like Kip Apero’s Paprika. It’s the cheapest yet most delicious chicken they sell at the Albert Heijn, and it’s honestly a great snack.

Sick! I will definitely keep that in mind.

What about cooking with a higher budget though?

I love eating fish, unlike my boyfriend. However, I have no clue how to prepare it. Luckily Niels does! Always when I have dinner with Niels, he prepares some delicious fish for me.

What are you proud of?

I think one of my rather unique talents is my Dumpert-knowledge. I know a lot of Dutch funny videos by heart, which is something I am very proud of. I actually have a Dumpert-afternoon with Lea this Friday to show her the best of the best!

Going down the list of questions; do you have a life motto?

Yes, but it’s very cliché. It’s “Life is a party, but you need to get the decoration yourself.” I feel like whenever you want something, just go for it and make it happen. Why not?

Inspiring, to say the least. I also noticed quite a lot of party-decoration at your house during our parents day after party.

Yes! We currently have gold-glitter garlands in our house. It’s a tradition that when it’s your birthday, we decorate the house with some garlands. However, we never remove them afterwards. People always ask whether we had a party, but that’s just how it’s been for years.

Lastly, do you have any shout-outs?

Shout-out to Tommie, shout-out to board 27, shout-out to Muséçum (the temporary museum Sanne and I hosted at the CognAC weekend of 2018, was lit), and finally shout-out to all the amazing people I’ve met over the past few years at CognAC! You really made my student experience the best :’)