Published on: 11 April 2018
Written by: Lennart Geertjes

Interviewed and edited by Lennart Geertjes

Chair of the Sports Committee; representative for the S-Feest; one of the driving forces behind the Parents day. Of course I am talking about Paul, and I had the chance to sit down with him.

Good afternoon Paul, nice to have you here. To start off ,can you introduce yourself a bit?

Hi, I am Paul, 21 years old, and I come from Beesel (Limburg). Beesel is a small village in between Roermond and Venlo. At the moment I am the only one living with my parents now since my  sister also moved out. Besides this I also have two older brothers, and we have two dogs. I do however plan on moving out as soon as possible.

Paul does mention that he has a visitation evening for a room that evening. Unfortunately at the moment of editing this Paul still does not have a room, so if anyone is in need of a nice and social roommate who occasionally does the dishes, make sure to contact him!

Can you tell me a bit about your brothers and sister?

One of my brothers works as a tax lawyer and my other brother is studying to become a teacher. My sister is doing Law, also here in Nijmegen.

If you had to choose, would you choose Limburg or Nijmegen?

Paul takes a deep breath and starts to think.

Outside of the Carnival period, Nijmegen. Limburg does not have a lot to offer outside of the Carnival period, while on the other Nijmegen is always nice. My brother studied here, my sister is studying here and my grandfather also lives here. There is always ‘gezelligheid’ in Nijmegen.

What are your hobbies?

I still play football in Limburg and I train there once a week, specifically goalie training. I am also still a member of the brass band back home, I try to still go there weekly.

What Instrument do you play in the brass band?

Euphonium. (I was confused and intrigued at the same time, which Paul noticed so he started to explain) A euphonium looks like a bass but is a smaller version. (as a layman it is hard to spot the difference) I have been playing euphonium for 12 years and 8 years in the brass band. I did multiple theoretical and practical exams. I passed all the theoretical exams, the only exam I did not pass was the highest practical exam (D-level).

I am wondering how you chose for  the euphonium, because it is not the first instrument you would think of when you start playing music.

It is pretty standard in our village that you start with the flute when you start taking lessons. After this you are allowed to play with the brass band once and try the different instruments. My brother played the horn and I looked up to him a bit so I also wanted to play the horn. My parents however were not very keen on having a second horn in the house. The best friend of my other brother played Euphonium which also looked very nice, so that is how I ended up with the euphonium. I still to this day play in the brass band next to my brothers friend.

So now that I know what music you play, I am wondering what music you listen to.

Basically everything. One moment I listen to Hardstyle, but on the other hand I also listen to almost everything in EDM. On the other hand I also went to Pinkpop for example, and I am a fan of bands such as Linkin Park and Kensington.

You said you visited Pinkpop, did you visit other festivals as well?

After my high school exams in 2016 I visited quite some festivals.

Which ones did you go to?

Directly after the exams I went to Daydream(Hardstyle/EDM) in Belgium. I also went to Intents (Hardstyle). After that I went to Pinkpop (Rock/Pop). I went to Parookaville(EDM/House), they want to compete with Tomorrowland. I also went to Solar (Pop/Dance). The last one I can’t remember but I am sure there was one more!

At this point I was quite impressed at the amount of festivals Paul went to in the summer.

And that was also the summer in which I went to the Introduction of the university. It was a good summer, but definitely also an expensive one.

Which festival was your favorite?


Now that we know a bit more about you, I want to continue to who you are within CognAC. So let us start at the beginning, how did you become active within CognAC?

At the committee picnic in my first year I decided that I wanted to do some committee work, so I enrolled for three committees. For two of them I had to write a motivation. But at the time I was too lazy for this. So in the end only the Sports Committee(SpoC) remained (Which was basically best case scenario because it is the most beautiful committee).

What is your experience with the SpoC, and specifically with your chairmanship?

The SpoC had a slow start last year, but then the committee started taking speed (figuratively speaking) and the first activities such as basketball and ice skating were organized. Then the second semester we continued organizing more, personally I organized monkey caging back then. I also did the Batavierenrace together with you.

Further we organized indoor football, for which we did not have a hall so it was an interesting experience. But I improvised it even though I was not even responsible for the activity, because the person who was responsible was in Sweden… (for the people who are unaware, Paul is talking about me). In the end it did work out though.

Lastly we organized dodge ball at the beginning of this year!

So then you decided you wanted to continue with the SpoC this year, tell me about that.

Even though I liked the SpoC I hoped that we could do better in my second year. I really wanted the SpoC to have a good start, so that is when I decided that I wanted to be chair of the SpoC.

And you were confident that you would be able to pull it off?

It felt a bit inappropriate to be a chair in my first year, I really wanted to observe how things would go. Then in my second year I would have the right experience.  Up until now the SpoC  is doing well, the activities are well attended. We have had at least 30 people every activity.

Can you give us a sneak peek of what is still to come?

We are probably going to organize softball and we mainly want to focus on outside activities from now on, but we are still busy figuring out what.

We have discussed the SpoC quite elaborately but could you also tell a bit more about the other committees you are in.

I am also in the Parents day Committee(PC) and the Party&Co. The Party&Co will still go for a while, up until January. On behalf of the Party&Co I was the CognAC representative for the S-Feest.

Since the Party&Co was created this year I am curious what you think of it.

I think it is nice, it actually all went quite smoothly. Also now that the CognAC open party has a name (Algorhytmic) and a style it will be even less work next year, which is nice.

And the PC?

The PC was a big learning experience for me. I was very active in the committee which was not always easy. At one moment, I had to send all the confirmation emails to the parents during my exams. In the end the day itself was really fun and the committee as a whole was very informative for me. In hindsight I am glad I did the PC but for next year I think I will probably look for a new challenge.

Understandable. Is there a committee that is your favorite?

This is an easy one.

Paul looks at me and laughs which is enough for me to write down the SpoC, We continue.




Any committees that are still on your list?

There is a difference of what I want to do and what I will actually do, but the Symposium committee is something I would still like to do. Maybe the Weekend committee. Furthermore I think that I will stay with the SpoC for a while.

Once again we lose track while talking about the future of the SpoC and the things it might do in the future such as the water skiing activity. Which was something CognAC has organized before.


This is the point where we continue to the more arbitrary questions of the interview. This is a question I have been dying to ask, what is the story behind the picture of you in the dress? (the photo used for the interview)

It was the year in which I had to repeat classes in high school.  After the exam grades were published, the lower grades organize cabaret for the exam students. A lot of my friends passed their exams that year so I decided to participate in the cabaret. I got quite some parts and I became quite active. At some point in the cabaret I would get a wedgie. I also bruised my hip because I had to practice falling on stage so much, and  I also had to do a really bad rap battle.

When the morning of the cabaret came they asked me if I could do an extra role and I was fine with it. That is when I was informed that I had to play a girl, so I went to get a wig and called my father to ask for the carnival dress from my sister, which he brought. So then I went on stage in a dress in front of all of my friends, who could not stop laughing.  This caused me to laugh uncontrollably as well, because I knew how ridiculous I looked.  It was a good time.

Luckily the girl I played was not there, otherwise she would not have been amused.

Let us continue to one of my favorite questions, what is your favorite Disney movie?

Can I look up Disney movies so that I can see which movies are Disney?

You are allowed to look up a list of Disney movies.

Paul starts scanning a list of Disney films concentrated.

I watched a lot of Disney films when I was young. Also I did not know that the movie ‘Remember the Titans’ was a Disney film. I really like that movie and I want to do a shout out to that movie even though it is not animated. I watched that movie in high school and I was really intrigued by the movie. It is about one of the first schools where black and white people could go to school together. The movie is about the football coach and how he handled this.

I still also want to have an animated favorite, but it is really hard to choose. Finding Dory is really cool, but Moana and Frozen are also gold. But I cannot ignore the golden years of Tarzan and The Lion King.



Disney has a special place in your heart, or not?

Definitely, I watch almost all Disney movies! I see some new movies on this list which I still need to watch such as Cars 3 and Coco!

Besides Disney movies do you have another guilty pleasure?

It is almost not even a guilty pleasure anymore but more of a habit nowadays. Namely dancing around in my room to music! It is just the best! I also love playing gamecube games with friends.

Will CognAC have a special place in your heart?

I think that people will always have good memories of their student life, and for me CognAC plays a significant role in that.

And if CognAC should have a pet, what should it be?

Paul curses me under his breath for this cliché question, but I am relentless and demand an answer and remind him that  he could have seen this coming.

Because of the board I am tempted to say alpaca, but I will not. I will go for the Fennec because they are so cute.

(for everyone unaware of what a fennec is, here is a picture: )

Well that was the interview, you made it! Do you have any last words?

This is always hard. Actually Max would come here after his meeting, this would have been a good moment so he could support me with this.

‘Support me with this’ are you sure you want this to be your final remark?

I will say what I also say to Ilse sometimes: ‘Studying is important, but do not forget to have a good time on the side.’

Finally shout out to the SpoC, shout out to PongBoys&Co the winners of the audio master. They never lose to the BoyCo.* Shout out to the best girlfriend. And lastly shout out to the board, and maybe a great future board, of which I might try to take part.


That brings us to the end of our interview with the AI* of March 2018: Paul Heldens. I sincerely want to thank Paul for his time and I really enjoyed the interview. Know that at this moment he is still looking for a room so do not hesitate to contact him before he is taken!

*Disclaimer: CognAC is not responsible for the consequences of remarks that are made by its members.