Hometown: Albany, N.Y.
Major: Political science and women’s studies
Clubs/activities: Allied in Pride member, Phi Sigma Sigma member, GW Alternative Breaks member, Feminist Student Union co-leader, University Hearing Board justice
Dream job: Women’s studies professor
Favorite GWorld-friendly place to eat: Bobby’s Burger Palace
Fun fact: Really into desserts and forever sad that Cone E. Island closed.
Dream Commencement speaker: The Obamas, including Sasha and Malia
Favorite city: D.C. because it’s a good size, and it’s still pretty up and coming.
If not GW, where would you go to school?: GW had been my first choice since sophomore year of high school, but I’m pretty sure Northeastern University was my second.
Whether it’s dancing or performing as a member of a touring Rocky Horror Picture Show group for two years, Erika Feinman said she’s always found her place in tight-knit communities.
If she is elected Student Association president this week, the junior said she would build relationships between the SA and small communities like those she’s worked with in the past.
Feinman performed in “The Vagina Monologues” last month for the third time with fellow members of the Feminist Student Union and Allied in Pride.
“I really want to give students a platform: passionate student leaders who can have this platform that the SA can provide for them, so they can make a lot of progress and get things done for their communities,” she said.
She said she will make sure all students feel included by creating one graduate and one undergraduate seat on the Board of Trustees. Those seats will help fill a gap between student communities and the trustees, she said.
She said, as a member of groups that discuss problems like violence against women, she was one of the strongest advocates for revoking comedian Bill Cosby’s honorary degree last fall.
Feinman sponsored a SA Senate resolution in November condemning GW for not revoking Cosby’s degree. She said she reached out to President Steven Knapp, former Provost Steven Lerman and interim Provost Forrest Maltzman, but heard back only from Carrie Ross, the assistant director for sexual assault prevention and response.
“The best way to change someone’s mind is meeting with them and being persistent,” she said.
Her proposal to include two students on the board would require two-thirds confirmation from members of the Board of Trustees, she said. For more than a decade, students have tried to be included on the board, though administrators have said the trustees’ bylaws prevent any student or faculty member from voting with the 34-member group.
“One of our roles is to critique the University. No students were involved in this decision-making at all. I’m quite disappointed,” she said at the Nov. 9 senate meeting.
Feinman also wants to create a position on the SA that would focus solely on sustainability and change the title of the executive cabinet position in charge of diversity and inclusion from director to vice president to give minority groups a more official voice in the SA.