Year: Fourth-year doctoral student
Hometown: Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Clubs/Activities: English Graduate Student Association, Graduate Teaching Assistant
Previous SA Experience: G-at-Large, senate pro-tempore, CCAS Graduate Senator, Student Life and Financial Bylaws Audit Committee, Governance and Nominations Committee Chair
Favorite GWorld Spot: Sweetgreen
Dream Job: Professor of English or American Studies
Favorite show on Netflix: “The West Wing”
Fun Fact: In the summer of 2015, I got a grant to write and research on One Direction, the boy band.
Favorite movie from past year: “Black Panther”
Most-used or favorite emoji: The shrugging person
Brady Forrest has been preparing to lead the Student Association Senate for more than three years.
After building up leadership experience as a resident assistant at University of California, Santa Barbara as an undergraduate, Forrest knew he could take on the role of being a senator in the SA. Now, after three years working with officials and fighting for causes important to him, he says he’s ready to take on the role of executive vice president.
“I’ve been in SA for so long now that it was kind of the natural progression of I want to be involved and I want to do more,” he said.
As a doctoral student, Forrest said his favorite part of being on the senate has been directly reaching out to graduate student communities to let them know that the SA represents them, too. He said he knows the issues these students face every day, like food insecurity and D.C.’s cost of living, and wants to serve as a voice for the graduate community and the student body as a whole.
“I’ve talked with admin – and even high-up admin kind of think, ‘Oh, well, grad students are fine and we don’t need to worry about them, they’re good on their own.’ But we’re not always good and we could use some help,” he said.
Forrest’s platform includes plans to address graduate food insecurity by encouraging those students to utilize GWorld. Most graduate students live off campus and are not required to have a meal plan, so they must add dining dollars to their GWorld cards.
If elected, Forrest would be the first graduate student to hold a top SA position in recent years.
Forrest’s platform focuses on diversity and inclusion, which he said he has worked on since he first became involved with the SA. Forrest, who identifies as queer, said he has been an advocate for underrepresented groups during his time in the senate. He said he helped to fund the South Asian Heritage Celebration keynote speaker in 2016 after the SA’s finance committee repeatedly declined to do so and the committee was accused of making insensitive comments about the event.
His platform includes creating a diversity and inclusion task force on the SA senate to address the issues that he’s been concerned with since he started as a senator.
“It’s kind of been like a long-term endeavor to try to make some progress on this and I think that having a dedicated task force will go a long way in continuing that work,” he said.
But Forrest’s passion for learning and advocating for minority communities is also a staple of his academic work. Throughout his graduate career, he has completed several research projects involving the LGBTQ community.
In his first year at GW, he focused his research on the history of LGBTQ student organizations on campus dating back to the late 1960s. In 2015, Forrest researched the way the members of One Direction “disrupted norms of masculinity” by having a close relationship with one another.
“I think, inevitably, you impact your research,” Forrest said. “My experience being queer, coming out, being part of a community, means I’m really interested in my community’s history, and I’m really interested in what’s happening.”
Through his years at GW working with all communities, his experience as the senate pro-tempore and strong knowledge of how the SA operates has given him a solid handle on what it takes to run the senate, he said.
“I exclusively handle the senate and lots of behind-the-scenes things, so it will be good to have a larger role and be able to make some of the changes that not only I want, but I think a lot of people around campus want,” he said.