Hometown: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Major: Journalism and Mass Communication
Clubs/Activities: Class Council, Alternative Breaks, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, former Hatchet photographer
Previous SA Experience: Director of Information Technology, Vice President for Public Affairs
Favorite GWorld spot: Los Cuates
Dream job: War photojournalist, White House photographer
Nickname: Bắp, the Vietnamese word for “corn”
Favorite show on Netflix: “Fauda”
Fun fact: I’m an Uber driver.
Favorite movie from past year: “The Greatest Showman”
Favorite or most-used emoji: The poop emoji. I actually thought it was a smiley chocolate ice cream the first two years I started using an emoji keyboard.
Ashley Le’s approach to her campaign for Student Association president is simple: telling stories.
Le, a junior majoring in journalism and mass communication, said her desire to be a storyteller is what initially drew her to GW. She said she plans to create change on campus by sharing students’ stories with administrators, a skill she said has served her well in the past.
When Le, an immigrant from Vietnam, first moved to California in 2010, she wasn’t fluent in English and relied on other forms of communication, like photography, to express herself – which is where she first found her interest in journalism.
“Because I was unable to speak in a way that I wanted to and express what I was feeling, I decided to pursue another way to express myself, and that was through photography,” she said.
As a freshman, Le quickly became civically engaged, she joined Class Council and accepted a position in SA President Erika Feinman’s cabinet as the director of information technology at the end of the academic year. She continued her involvement into her sophomore year and served on current SA President Peak Sen Chua’s campaign last spring.
She became Chua’s vice president for public affairs after he assumed the role and continued working while studying abroad in Israel last fall.
She said she was interested in joining student government and felt passionate about the opportunities the SA provided her to be a voice for students and connect them with others. Parts of Le’s desire for storytelling have slipped into her platform – she wants to collect letters and visuals from students about their GW experience to present to administrators and share their stories.
She said the letters will only be shared with administrators, but if students are comfortable displaying their visuals, they’ll be hung up in the SA office.
Le said her role this past year as vice president for public affairs allowed her to directly collaborate with students when hosting events like GW Responds – a fundraising campaign held in August and September that provided assistance to GW students who were affected by Hurricane Harvey.
“I think that because I get to connect to students, talk to students about their concerns and assist students in what they think would be able to empower the community, I was able to witness firsthand how important it is for us to come together as a community,” she said.
Le said assembling an event like GW Responds, which required the efforts of more than 10 student groups working together within the span of one day, has shaped how she believes the SA can function in the future. In addition to pursuing long-term projects, she said the SA should be able to respond quickly to natural disasters and other events that call for student support.
Le’s platform also highlights community service as a major priority – she wants to build on the annual Freshman Day of Service to offer more structured community service opportunities and expand already-existing SA-sponsored service events to the general public, like an annual clothing drive and Foggy Bottom cleanup.
“We are part of each community on campus and the reason why we’re in the Student Association is so that we can connect all those student communities together,” she said. “The fact right now that it is so distant from the rest of the student body and the rest of the student organizations is something that I want to be able to change.”