Hometown: Harbin, China
Major: International affairs and international business
Student Organizations/Activities: International Affairs Society
SA experience: SA senator; finance committee chair; reforms and operations committee chair
Favorite restaurant in the District: Diner DC
Favorite GW tradition: Corcoran Music Festival
Role model: Parents
Ideal GW mascot: Hippos
Proudest GW moment: Receiving an additional $100,000 to spend on student organizations in March
Dream job: Supporting the development of underdeveloped regions
Something you cannot live without: Calendar to keep track of finance meetings with student organizations
Yan Xu hadn’t stepped on campus until 2021, but he’s wasting no time meeting with students and exploring the Disrict – and he has bigger plans for next academic year.
Xu announced his bid for SA vice president earlier this month, with hopes to implement his platform focused on two tenets of aiding student organizations – connecting students and administrators and making the body more accessible for student organizations. Xu said securing funding for student organizations this academic year has pushed him to continue his advocacy in the vice president role.
He said the vice president role would allow him to work with administrators from the Office of Student Life to increase funding for the SA budget, which would increase allocations for student organizations.
If elected, Xu said he will advocate for reducing rental costs of Lisner and Betts auditoriums for student organizations and increasing student representation on the Board of Trustees to include more student groups.
“I realized that VP actually can help me to do more than what I already have done because it’s both executive and legislative, so it will help me to do more than I would otherwise be unable to do as a senator, so then I decided to run for executive office,” Xu said.
Xu currently serves as chair of the SA Senate’s finance committee, which allocates $1.5 million to student organizations over the academic year. He said he helped secure an extra $100,000 for durable goods for student organizations earlier this month.
Xu said his two years of experience with the SA’s bureaucracy qualify him to achieve his policy goals as vice president.
“I’m pretty proud and confident to say that I’m pretty experienced and effective,” Xu said.
He said is consistently communicates with student organizations that need help with financial matters in his role as the finance committee’s chair.
Apart from financial matters, Xu said he will push officials to add more student seats to the Board to ensure that student opinion is considered when making decisions, like the selection of GW’s next president.
Students overwhelmingly approved a referendum in 2020 calling for officials to add one undergraduate and graduate voting seat with voting power, but the Board has not taken any action on this proposal and Board Chair Grace Speights declined to take a position on it.
Xu said he will push for bylaw changes to require senators to hold town hall meetings in an effort to make the SA more accessible to students.
“I want to do my part to make students feel fulfilled at GW, feel like they have their GW experience that they’re expecting, and I’m really passionate about helping students in different ways,” Xu said.