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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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President: Nicole Cennamo

Sophomore Nicole Cennamo is running for Student Association president.

Updated: March 25, 2019 at 1:31 p.m.

Year: Sophomore
Hometown: New Fairfield, Conn.
Major: Political science
Student organizations/activities: Women’s Leadership Network, International Affairs Society, Leading Women of Tomorrow
Previous SA experience: Assistant vice president for academic affairs, vice president for academic affairs
Favorite GWorld spot: Au Bon Pain
Favorite off-campus spot: National Museum of Women in the Arts
Dream job: Starting a global nonprofit to encourage women to go into public service
Fun Fact: I have a type of synesthesia called grapheme-color synesthesia. I see letters and numbers and days of the week and months in color.
Favorite place in the world: Fare Well, a vegan diner
Role model: My Aunt Laura

Nicole Cennamo is a listener.

It’s the one trait that has defined her leadership style in multiple student organizations on campus. While she isn’t the most talkative person in the room, Cennamo said she is often taking in students’ concerns and trying to translate them into “concrete solutions” – a characteristic she wants to bring to the Student Association’s top post.

“I think for me, personally, what I’ve learned throughout my different organizations is that it’s OK to not be the loudest person in the room and still be a leader,” she said.

Since joining the SA as a freshman last year, Cennamo has moved into two different cabinet positions – but she has noticed that those outside of the organization often view the SA as removed from the student body. She said she wants to use her insight and experience in the student government to elevate student voices in an organization many view as “elitist.”

“A lot of times, when we picture student government, we picture fancy policy proposals or committees, or some kind of bureaucratic title in a way, but for me, student advocacy transcends that,” she said. “It’s about having compassion towards people around you and being willing to help no matter the cost.”

Cennamo’s platform highlights more than a dozen points, including examining the physical accessibility of academic buildings across campus and creating diversity training for faculty in every academic department. She said some of her goals are continuations of her work as the SA’s vice president for academic affairs.

In her role this year, Cennamo surveyed students and faculty on the need for a standardized clicker brand and helped pilot one-on-one academic advising for students in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. She said she also created freshman forums to give students a platform to discuss their first year on campus.

If elected, Cennamo said she also wants to dedicate a room on the fourth floor of the Marvin Center for students to watch TV or play board games. She said community is often lost on a campus with no dining hall, and most student spaces are used for studying instead of mingling.

Cennamo said she wants to frame students’ artwork and tack photos of student organizations on the wall of the room to give individuals an area where they can see each other’s work and potentially learn about students from different backgrounds.

“There’s not a space on campus to just be a person and really kind of relax after a long day or hang out with friends,” she said.

Cennamo also included an initiative on her platform inspired by her experiences at her home in Connecticut. She said that after a shooter killed more than 20 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, her nearby town was shaken.

She wants to place active shooter kits including medical supplies in classrooms on the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses to help members of the community prepare for an emergency situation.

“It was just a very hard time for us, and I really want to make sure that situation doesn’t happen at GW or anywhere in our community again,” she said.

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