Alex Cho - for president
by Lillianna Byington | Hatchet Reporter & Photo by Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Updated: March 23, 2015 at 11:31 a.m.
Major: Political science and theater production
Hometown: Lancaster, Penn. “So you can give me a call, and I will hook you up with lots of Amish people. They make really good pie.”
Clubs/Activities: GW InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and the Corean Business Undergraduate Organization
Previous SA experience: None
If you didn't go to GW, where you would be going to school? “I wouldn’t have gone to school.”
Favorite monument: Lincoln Memorial
Captain Cookie order: “The original.”
Season three of "House of Cards" or "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"? Season three of "House of Cards"
Black and blue, or white and gold: White and gold
Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks: “I prefer Dunkin' Donuts because I think it is more calories for me, and calories are healthy.”
Android or iPhone: Android
Dream Commencement speaker: Oprah Winfrey
Alex Cho is the only outsider running for one of the Student Association’s top posts, but he said that won’t make his job harder if elected.
Cho, who as a sophomore is also the youngest presidential candidate, said his outsider perspective and work ethic will help him win. His lack of experience in the SA wasn’t a hurdle when he created his platform: He said he spoke with officials, faculty, counselors and other students to decide around which ideas he should center his campaign.
“It is an understatement to say that I am passionate enough to serve my community, to give my everything for my community,” Cho said.
Cho is from South Korea, and would also be the first international student to lead the SA in recent years.
Cho’s platform centers on adding more community service opportunities for students, while also making students’ attitudes more “caring, serving and respectful.”
He said he will create a program for donating leftover food from J Street and other campus dining vendors to the homeless, a model he estimates could feed up to 6,500 individuals. Cho said he spoke to J Street’s executive chef, Ernesto Pabico, and after personally watching the process of food production, Cho roughly calculated that about 100 meals a week are thrown away.
After finding mold in his own residence hall room, Cho said he will push for faster inspections for mold and will use the GW Housing Bill of Rights to support his advocacy.
“This isn’t just my problem, but it is a campus-wide problem,” Cho said.
The University created a Bill of Rights for residents in August 2013 in response to a series of complaints about conditions in GW’s residence halls that led to a Facebook page called “GW Housing Horrors.”
Like the other presidential candidates, Cho said he would prioritize mental health on campus, an issue that student leaders have pushed to the forefront of campus discussion over the past several years.
Cho said he will ask the school to make counseling services free for all students. GW students currently receive their first six counseling sessions for free each academic year. Students can sign up for a total of 12 sessions a year.
“It is the next president’s responsibility to make sure we organize student advocacy for us to ask for free, unlimited counseling,” he said.
He added that each of his campaign promises would come at little cost to the University because he would rely on “existing resources.” He said one specific source of funding would be money from the increase in next year’s housing rates.
Cho said he also hopes to partner with Center for Student Engagement Director Tim Miller and the Greek life task force that launched last month to strengthen the Greek community while easing punishments for students. Cho is not a member of a Greek organization, but has said the SA and Greek leaders should work together.
Greek leaders started pushing officials this fall to add alternative sanctioning options for individuals who break rules, like mandatory community service or fees, instead of placing entire chapters on probation.
Cho said he chose the color purple to represent his campaign because it symbolizes harmony.
“Together we are stronger, so we need to bring GW together,” Cho said.
This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported the name of the Corean Business Undergraduate Organization's name as the "Corean University Business Association." We regret this error.