Hometown: Palo Alto, Calif.
Major: Political Communication
Club/activities: GW Justice Journal editor, College Democrats president, University Honors Program, School of Media and Public Affairs research assistant
Previous SA experience: Freshman Advisory Council, Vice President for Public Affairs
Favorite GWorld spot: Peet’s Coffee
Dream job: Special Assistant Attorney General in California
Fun fact: I have been slowly teaching myself Japanese. I want to move to Japan for a bit after I graduate and live with family there and become fluent in the language.
Favorite D.C. museum: Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery
All-time favorite city: San Francisco
Favorite show on Netflix: The Office. It’s a classic.
Lande Watson may be known as the president of College Democrats, but her motivations to run for Student Association president this year were personal, not political.
“I’ve really been pushed to run because of the gradual, three-year-long realization that so much of life here doesn’t work for students,” she said.
Watson led CDs during the 2016 election cycle, when the group attracted more than 350 new members – 150 more than the previous year. This past year, Watson helped the group organize phone banks and campaign trips to places like Raleigh, N.C., and Philadelphia.
“I would say one of my favorite experiences in College Dems has been the debate watch parties we’ve hosted,” she said. “It is a really great opportunity I think for students across campus who aren’t necessarily members of Dems or politically active to come together and be engaged.”
From watch parties to phone banks, Watson said her work in helping students be active members of CDs shows that she would be able to energize students as SA president.
“We are going to need students to be engaged in these issues and work alongside us,” she said. “I think the SA needs to be bold in advocating for changes we need, not just changes we want.”
Watson said while most of her more than 15 platform points deal with students’ daily issues, like the cost of booking large event venues on campus, she thinks her dining plan proposal will have the most direct impact on students’ everyday lives in softening the financial burden of not having a campus dining hall.
Students at all grade levels would have hundreds more dollars to spend on food if the University used its commission and swipe fees to give 15 percent to student dining plans, she said.
Watson said she thinks her plan for tuition transparency – which asks the University to provide a breakdown on each eBill of exactly where students’ tuition is being spent – would have the greatest impact beyond her year as SA president.
“It will give the Student Association and students in general a tool to understand how the University spends their money and be able to advocate on costs that are clearly unfair or going to the wrong places,” she said.