SA guide: Samantha Free

Year: Junior

Major: Sociology

Hometown: Stamford, Conn.

Embarrassing freshman year moment: During peak traffic hours, I face-planted in front of the Hippo statue while waving to friends across the street. They all saw it.

Next song University President Steven Knapp should dance to: “Teach Me How to Dougie” by Cali Swag District

Platform: online tracking system for student org reimbursements; implement course auditing for the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences; increase campus-wide communication on student issues

After being a part of nearly a dozen student organizations during her time at GW, Samantha Free complained so much about the struggles student groups face that her friends told her she should run for the Student Association. A

Although she is an SA outsider, Free believes she would make an ideal executive vice president because she is committed to student advocacy.

To remedy students’ feelings of being disconnected from the SA, Free is proposing “roaming office hours” across campus, during which students can speak openly in an informal setting.

“I want to be able to say, I know what you’re about and I know your concerns,” Free said.

Free said it is important to improve the access students have to the SA, especially through existing media outlets on campus.

“The technology and the resources are there,” Free said. The SA should update its website and Twitter account more often and look into using television and radio programs to broadcast their meetings to more students.

It is also important to showcase the SA’s achievements many of which currently pass under the radar.

“The SA doesn’t do enough tooting its own horn,” Free said.

Free said the SA “needs to get people excited about reform” by incorporating student feedback and using it to put more pressure on the University to act on issues students care about, such as dining and Gelman Library improvements.

“I have the perseverance, and I refuse to take no for an answer,” said Free, who feels prepared to dive into the SA climate after reading past bills and studying the group’s rules of order.

Free also wants to focus on is the unpredictability of student organization reimbursements. She plans to create an online tracking system through GWeb that would allow students to locate their requests as they move through different departments at the University.

“If students know exactly who to talk to, they can put pressure on the right department in order to speed up the process,” said Free.

If elected, Free said she would learn the ropes of the Student Association the same way she learned to swim.

“Toss me in. I’ll flare around a bit, but then I’ll figure it out,” she said.

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