Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri
Major: Political Science and Psychology
Student organizations/activities: GW NAACP, Residential Hall Association, The Undergraduate Chapter of the Black Law Student Association, GW Debate, 2020 GW Black Heritage Celebration, Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service, web and communications project assistant, staffer for GW Writing Center
Previous SA experience: Vice president for diversity and inclusion
Favorite quarantine activity: Cooking or watching videos of cooking
First place you will go after the pandemic is no longer a concern: Chick-fil-A in District House for the sweet tea
Show you are currently binge-watching: None currently but recently “Criminal Minds”
Favorite restaurant in the District: Oohh’s & Aahh’s (or any corner store)
Favorite outdoor activity: Running
Favorite place in the world: Home
Who is your role model: My high school counselor, Mrs. Gray
Proudest GW moment: Getting my acceptance letter while working a shift at Chili’s and silently screaming in the bathroom, as not to disturb customers
Something you cannot live without: My family
What would your walk-up song be: “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys
Hannah Edwards vowed not to leave home for college unless she was accepted to GW.
Edwards said in eighth grade, she took a family trip to the District and fell in love with the University when she stumbled upon campus. Since then, she said she made it her mission to attend the school she saw in the middle of this “great” city.
“I worked my butt off in high school so that I could try to go to GW, and I’m also a first-generation college student,” Edwards said. “Nobody in my family has gone to college before.”
Edwards, who announced her candidacy for Student Association president earlier this month, is running on a platform centered around a 15-point plan, including initiatives like advocating for a mandatory diversity and multiculturalism course and establishing an SA task force to participate in conversations with officials about plans for potentially reopening campus this fall. She served as the SA vice president for diversity and inclusion last year.
Officials announced earlier this month that they will initiate a phased reopening plan over the summer in preparation for students potentially returning to campus next semester.
Edwards said the student body does not fully realize the impact that the SA can have both on GW and the broader GW community. She said she intends to organize events, like the LGBTQ conference and a welcome banquet on the Mount Vernon Campus for Black students, to advertise SA resources to students and connect the SA with the GW community.
She has served in the SA for two years, but Edwards said she still considers herself an “outsider” in the organization because she brought forward legislation independently or with a group of people she already knew rather than with officials’ help.
“The ideas that I’m proposing, because of the experience that I had working as a cabinet member, like in the executive side last year, I figured out how to get things done on my own without University leadership, without even a whole bunch of support from the Student Association,” Edwards said.
She said hosting SA fundraisers like a 5k run/walk for the entire D.C. community can help create stronger bonds among the SA and the GW and D.C. communities as the event will be open to everyone to get to know each other. Edwards said she is also hoping to create a Men of Color Conference and a Women of Color Conference for students and the D.C. community to establish stronger connections with GW students and D.C. residents.
“Engaging the community in those types of events and then engaging the broader D.C. community as well into those types of events that we’re integrating students into, that is what will truly make a difference,” Edwards said.
This article appeared in the March 29, 2021 issue of the Hatchet.