Hometown: Chesapeake, Virginia
Major: International affairs
Student organizations/activities: Black Student Union, Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service, Young Black Professionals in International Affairs, DREAMS
SA experience: SA senator, diversity and inclusion assembly chair, vice president of diversity and inclusion, student engagement committee
Favorite restaurant in the District: CIRCA
Favorite GW Tradition: To avoid walking under the middle arch at the Kogan Plaza gates
Role model: My mom
Ideal GW Mascot: Hippo
Proudest GW moment: Working as an orientation leader
Dream Job: To have a stable job that allows me to make a difference
Something you cannot live without: My phone
Sophomore and SA presidential candidate Dasia Bandy is no quitter.
After mounting three campaigns for a spot on her high school’s student government, Bandy entered college without any election wins after dropping each race. But that didn’t stop her from diving headfirst into the Student Association the first chance she got at GW.
Bandy first joined the SA last fall as a freshman, serving on the SA’s student engagement committee before stepping up as vice president of diversity and inclusion last January. Now with a year of SA Senate experience under her belt and a presidential bid in full swing, she has looked to spread her name across the student body, campaigning around campus about every three days.
Bandy said she has chatted with students on her way to class to gauge their views on the SA and even stopped at the line outside of the COVID-19 testing center to remind students to vote in the election.
“I just want to be a friendly face on campus, and so this allows me to do this regardless if I win or lose because that’s not the main goal,” she said. “The main goal is the journey – for me to have fun and yell at people while they’re waiting in line for their COVID tests and to hear some of the impact that campus is having on other students and to hear the feedback whether that’s good or bad.”
Bandy was the first student to announce a campaign for SA president last month, running on a platform to ramp up inclusion initiatives and increase the accessibility of technology and health resources, like GWireless and Counseling and Psychological Services. If elected, she would become the first Black woman elected to the SA’s top position.
Bandy said inclusivity is the most critical element of her platform, which she hopes can institute a University-wide diversity course requirement and ensure that training for new faculty who join GW accounts for diversity, equity and inclusion.
“We all come from different backgrounds, different understandings, and when we get to college, it’s an opportunity for us to all have the same foundations to further analyze on from our different backgrounds and experiences,” she said.
She said she will expand the bias reporting system housed under the Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement to include unfair grading practices and insufficient SA finance allocations. She added that she will also push administrators to require bias testing for students and new faculty and staff, including the GW Police Department.
As part of her other student experience and accessibility initiatives in her platform, Bandy said she will work with Fraternity and Sorority Life officials to enlarge bathrooms and widen hallways in Greek Life housing like Strong Hall for students with disability accommodations like wheelchairs. She also committed to working with officials to increase laundry credits by $30 each semester to accommodate students with larger loads.
Bandy considers recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic to be the largest long-term challenge facing GW as students continue to build back community ties that fizzled out during virtual operations. She said the reforms she hopes to bring to the SA should ultimately reach beyond the current student body and last for years to come.
“The change in the improvements that I’m making for the student experience isn’t just going to be for the students this year or the students next year but for the next eight classes and more coming after me,” Bandy said. “So I think what motivates me is the students and the generations to come. I just really want their college experience to be great.”
This article appeared in the March 28, 2022 issue of the Hatchet.