BROADSIDE AND CONNECT2MASON PRESENT
FOURTH ESTATE Oct. 28, 2013 | Volume 1 Issue 8 George Mason Universityâ€™s official student news outlet
Strategic plan overview A look at the blueprint Dr. Cabrera and the Board of Visitors have established for the next 10 years at Mason | page 4
(JOHN IRWIN /FOURTH ESTATE)
Oct. 28, 2013
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COLLEEN WILSON EDITOR-IN-CHIEF firstname.lastname@example.org There’s a lot of chatter about the ever-evolving role and scope of journalism in our modern world. When Connect2Mason and Broadside made the decision to merge this year, we hoped that we were taking a step forward towards a model that spoke to the times and to our audience. It’s still very much a work in progress, but we’re proud of all that we’ve accomplished so far. Now, I am proud to announce a new partnership that Fourth Estate weekly has made with the Northern Virginia Community College student newspaper NOVA Fortnightly. This week you will notice that tucked inside the pages of Fourth Estate is this year’s inaugural issue of NOVA Fortnightly. For those picking up a copy of the paper on NOVA’s campuses, Fourth Estate will be inside. This new venture is a continuation of all the other partnerships NOVA and Mason have formed over the years. It is important to note that our respective papers will continue to retain their autonomy and individual focus. While we’re both dedicated to covering the larger northern Virginia community and issues related to higher education and students, our
focus will remain on our separate universities. We’re proud that in an industry that is struggling to retain its identity and find its place among the bloggers and tweeters, we are continuing to work towards a model that serves our readers and student-workers well. And all of our hard work has been recognized. A few weeks ago, Fourth Estate was contacted by a New York Times reporter who is working on a story about the changing face of college media. Across the country, student news outlets are struggling with decreased funding and competition from alternative news sources online. NYT reporter Jennifer Preston found our story at Mason to be an interesting anecdote about a student media group that was continuing to prosper in spite of industry-wide funding and support problems. Student media serves a very important role at a university. The newspaper and website not only give students a chance to learn how to write, report, interview and work on deadlines – it gives them a platform to express themselves and engage in relevant and important discussions. According to Preston, college newspapers around the country are folding and students are losing the multi-faceted resource that is student media. I’m glad that Fourth Estate and NOVA Fortnightly can come together to solidify our own organizations and make a firm commitment to student media on both campuses. I hope everyone enjoys our first partnership issue between Fourth Estate and NOVA Fortnightly and I look forward to any and all feedback.
Why FOURTH ESTATE ? Prior to Broadside, the student newspaper was called The Gunston Ledger. It was changed in 1969 to better represent the politically out-spoken student body at the time. A “broadside” was a pamphlet used during the American Revolutionary War to help spread information. While Broadside has become an important part of life at Mason, we believe it no longer represents the overarching goals of studentrun news. Though not specifically outlined like the three branches of government, the concept of a fourth estate referred to journalism and the media as an important tenet in upholding justice and liberty through establishing an informed public. These historic roots coincide with the transforming industry of modern journalism.
Oct. 28, 2013
gmufourthestate.com Q&A: Anali Okoloji Watch the video interview with redshirt junior men’s basketball player Anali Okoloji. http://www.gmufourthestate.com/ content/video-qa-anali-okoloji
Gubenatorial Mock Election Fourth Estate is holding a mock election for the Governor Election on Nov. 5. Vote for your candidate for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. http://www.gmufourthestate.com/content/ poll-virginia-governors-election-2013
(JOHN IRWIN/FOURTH ESTATE)
Photo of the Week: Senior send-oﬀ Senior captain Lyndsey Hokanson embraces teammate Sydney Mitchell after the last women’s soccer home game. Mason won 1-0 against George Washington University.
Q. Where do you see Mason in 10 years?
“I see it as a leading institution regionally, a top institution nationally. Obviously we’re expanding into Korea, we’re expanding here in Virginia, but it’s really amazing to see the future visions of the university.”
“Hopefully more popular. People will know about it more. I mean it’s a great school so I hope more people will come here. “
John Tackeff, senior, government & international politics
Sindey Smith, freshman, international government and politics
“Hopefully growing. Construction will be done.” Tyler Teagle, freshman, music education
“I see the university expanding beyond Fairfax. Actually adding more campuses. It’s a growing school and I think it’s going to keep that way.” William KC, freshman, accounting
Oct. 28, 2013
Adjunct faculty pay, benefits not on par with comparable universities NIKI PAPADOGIANNAKIS NEWS EDITOR While adjunct professors are an essential facet of the instructional faculty at Mason, they are hired per-class, meaning they do not receive all of the benefits nor the pay of full-time faculty. “[Adjunct professors are] considered part time and it’s usually course by course,” said Linda Harber, the associate vice president of human resources and payroll. “So I need someone to teach English 101 and you go out and then get someone just to teach that course or a couple courses like that. It’s not salaried, it’s not benefited, it’s just teaching a course or a few courses.” According to the faculty handbook, adjunct professors are “Faculty on temporary appointments contract for and teach a particular course or courses on a part-time basis. Part-time faculty are appointed one semester at a time, have no permanent status and are not eligible for benefits.” Adjunct professors often cannot dedicate time to an entire workload due to having another full-time job or other obligations. “Many of our adjunct professors have full time jobs working for the government, working in business, working in the community, in some way and they are teaching a course at Mason weekends and evening, some parts during the week on top of their full time job,” said Michelle Marks, the vice provost of academic affairs. Kris Smith, associate provost for institutional research and reporting, said that hiring adjunct faculty allows for flexibility. “It allows us to respond to student growth in certain areas that we may not have anticipated so we can bring in adjuncts to help fill a need on a short-term basis,” Smith said. Harber noted that universities often use adjunct professors instead of full-time professors because they receive a lower pay and it’s cheaper to accommodate classes because they are paid as part-time. According to the Provost website, a “qualified/experienced” adjunct faculty member that is equivalent to an instructor receives a minimum salary of $837 per didactic hour for a 100 to 200 level course. The actual pay of professors depends on the
college or department, but the minimum for graduate courses taught by an adjunct professor whose experience is equivalent to an associate or full-time professor is $1,326 per didactic hour. Some adjunct faculty, however, do not have a full-time job and have other obligations where they cannot work full-time as a professor. This makes their situation so that they do not receive healthcare benefits or a livable wage because they are part=time. The Chronicle for Higher Education has a user-created database called The Adjunct Project that shows how much adjunct professors across the country get paid per class. According to the Adjunct Project, adjunct faculty salaries at Mason can range from $2,439 to $5,000 per course. An adjunct professor who teaches English at Mason receives between $3,480 and $5,000 per course. For the same class at the University of Virginia, an adjunct professor gets paid $8,000 per course. “I think we may be a little lower,” Marks said on how adjunct faculty are paid at Mason compared to other universities. “We may also be consistent but one thing I know for sure is that the cost of living in the Washington D.C. area and its suburbs is more expensive so it’s certainly harder to make ends meet than if you were an adjunct professor at Virginia Tech.” Marks said that the reason why the salaries are at the rate that they are is because of the lack of funding to increase pay. “Our adjunct faculty are part of our faculty and we want to pay them comparatively as well,” Marks said. “Where will the money come from? Boy, that’s a good question and we are working through some scenarios that look at ways.” Marks said that getting to the point of providing adjunct faculty with higher pay will require long-term investments that will provide revenue for the university. “Adjuncts here tend to be extremely well-qualified,” said Guilbert Brown, assistant vice president and chief budget officer of the Office of Budget and Planning.. “They’re in the
(WALTER MARTINEZ/FOURTH ESTATE)
real world. Arguable it’s one of the strengths of our program that we have such highly qualified [instructors]. Depending on what program you’re in, but say engineering, you’re going to get great faculty who are out in the field and so they bring that into the classroom. And they are less expensive.” Some adjunct faculty have the flexibility to work part-time without benefits because they work full=time in the public and private sector in the community. ] “They want to give back. They want to have the opportunity to interact with our students and we are able to because we are in the metro areas, an area with so many educated people who are talented in their careers and also want to teach,” Marks said. “We are in the position in getting our students exposed to some remarkable folks who, again, do other things for a living, but who come here and spend a part of their week educating students. Adjunct professors are of the lowest-paid
faculty at Mason and in many institutions. “That’s not just a Mason thing, It’s everywhere,” said Marisa Allison a graduate sociology student, who does research with New Majority Faculty, an advocacy group for adjunct faculty, on the growing number of contingent faculty and their inequality in higher education. Allison also researches with the Public Sociology Association, the graduate sociology student group, on contingent faculty at Mason. Allison uses the term “contingent” to describe not only adjunct faculty but also lecturers, graduate lecturers, part-time faculty and instructors. Allison said “contingent” is more of an umbrella term than “adjunct” because “adjunct” implies teaching for a short time. “Ultimately my hope is that people would be paid at an equal level in these contingent positions as tenure-track faculty are per class,” Allison said.
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Oct. 28, 2013
(WALTER MARTINEZ/FOURTH ESTATE)
Strategic plan outlines university ten-year goals NIKI PAPADOGIANNAKIS NEWS EDITOR Mason’s new strategic plan lays out the university’s goals for the next ten years, showcasing the priorities of the university and where resources, including funding, should be allocated. “It’s a structured approach to anticipating our future,” said Michelle Marks, chair of the strategic planning committee. “It will help us concentrate our resources in areas in highest priority to key stakeholders which include students, number one, also faculty, staff, also our community, our region and also the world.” The purpose of the strategic plan is to create a blueprint for Mason that will allow the university to grow in parallel to projections of the future of higher education and of workforce need. Several of the key areas of the plan include focus on global initiatives, distance education, diversity, innovative learning, student success, research and well-being. The plan in still in draft form and will receive revisions from town hall meetings about the strategic plan goals. “[We] thought a lot about what kind of university northern Virginia needs, what kind of university Washington D.C. area needs, what kind of university does the world need and will the world need ten years from now,” Marks said. “That’s a really hard exercise to go though because we’re not futurists and it’s really hard to predict the future.” According to the Oct. 10 draft published on the strategic plan website, the plan is broken up into four categories, for students, for the community, for faculty and staff and for the world.
The four areas stem from the Mason IDEA and the Mason Graduate constructed by President Ángel Cabrera. The Mason IDEA focuses on innovation, diversity, entrepreneurship and accessibility. The Mason Graduate highlights that a graduate from the university “is an engaged citizen, a well-rounded scholar and is prepared to act.” The strategic plan notes the several ways that the university will invest in students, faculty and the community. One goal is to make students’ investments in their education yield a high financial result that will not lead to insurmountable debt. According to a report by the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia on in-state tuition, Mason’s in-state tuition for 2013 is lower than the state average for 4-year institutions and the dollar increase over 2011-2012 is $354 - $30 lower than the state average increase. “Every time the state pulls back a dollar universities have, unfortunately, had to raise tuition and put that on the backs of parents and of students,” Marks said. The strategic plan goal is to insure that the money students spend on tuition is worth the education and will pay back with success stories. “We don’t want to be the cheapest university, we want to be affordable and accessible,” Marks said. “We want to be the best return on investment for our students. We want them to think about not only what they’re investing in, not only being the cheapest, we want to be an investment that pays dividends when they finish.” Another investment goal is to work with community businesses by providing resources for the community to continue their education. Current initiatives include the Mason
Enterprise Center, which serves Fairfax, Prince William County and a partnership in Leesburg with development programs for international and small businesses, platforms to create partnerships with organizations such as the Department of Defense and access to other networking. “We have faculty members who are in our school of management, in our school of public policy for example, that work with business people in the area, again to incubate and further develop companies but we so far haven’t created a coordinated institutional effort in this area and we think we can do more,” Marks said. Marks emphasized the high educational level of the Washington metropolitan area and how Mason wants to create non-degree programs for businesses and organizations in the area. The goal includes that revenue from these programs will account for more than 10 percent of the Education and General budget. According to the strategic plan, in ten years the university wants to reach Carnegie “very high research activity,” which would mean a significant increase in research expenditures. Currently, Mason is ranked as having “high research activity” according to Carnegie Classification. According to the Carnegie Foundation, the median amount of expenditures on science and engineering projects for institutions classified as “very high research activity” was about $250 million. Currently, Mason spends about $80 million on similar projects. “In order to get to very high, we would have to think about tripling the sponsored research dollars we bring in over the next decade and continue to increase Ph.D. productivity and the amount of research faculty that are on our
staff,” Marks said. “It’s an ambitious goal and it’s going to take some investment in infrastructure, but we have ten years. It’s not a goal that we’ll meet next year or the year after or even in five years, but I think as we think about organizing ourselves into interdisciplinary centers, research excellence, there’s a way to harness the power of collaboration across disciplines in some key areas and we’re going to try for it.” For faculty and staff, the strategic plan promotes increasing salaries to increase competition. According to statistics by the Office of Budget and Planning, in the 2012 fiscal year, Mason’s average salary was $92,523, in the 27.4th percentile compared to peer salaries. The strategic plan goal is to match the number or higher of the median salary for the peer group. In the 2012 fiscal year, the 60th percentile of peer salaries was $100,399. “To be able to recruit and retain the best professors we can get and the best staff at the university that we can get and the best graduate students,” Marks said. “We want to have a compensation system that pays them at levels that are at least sort of average to where we ought to be in our peer group. We’re not there yet.” Other concrete goals include increasing the number of study abroad ventures, creating a collaboration of international universities called the “U8,” increasing diversity of faculty, doubling the current amount of cultural and athletic activities, graduating 100,000 students and creating a unique learning experience for every student. Leaders in the university have been put into nine committees to help shape the final form of the strategic plan that will be approved by the Board of Visitors in December.
Oct. 28, 2013
Mason plans to boost research credentials through investment, undergrad involvement
(ANDY GHOLSON/FOURTH ESTATE)
FRANK MURACA EXECUTIVE EDITOR As part of its strategic plan, Mason will try to attain a “very high research activity” ranking from the Carnegie Foundation, a research center that measures the research activity of hundreds of universities. The move is part of an attempt to increase Mason’s reputation as a high-class research institution. To reach the goal, officials hope to invest heavily in research projects and to restructure academic programs to make research a more prominent component of Mason’s academic experience. Daniel Cox, an associate professor at the Krasnow Institute, puts a heavy emphasis on mentoring undergraduates in his lab. “All graduate students are required to work with undergraduates,” Cox said. “They really need to develop strong mentoring skills. We work in a team-based environment. I match the undergraduate and graduate students based on their interests.” Cox’s lab, which studies fruit flies to help determine the origin of neurological diseases, is representative of the kind of research environment that Mason wants to make universal
across all academic programs. Over the next ten years, Mason will be actively working to boost its research credentials, focusing both on the amount of research being conducted as well as the quality of their results. To accomplish this goal, the university plans to restructure academic programs, invest millions in research projects, create new institutes and recruit top-class researchers. Vision of research at Mason In March of 2013, the Board of Visitors approved a new vision for the university, a two-page document that gave broad guidelines about the mission and commitments that Mason provided. As part of that document, the university highlighted several areas that would receive greater financial and institutional attention in the future. One of those areas involved expanding the research opportunities available to students and investing in research that would have an impact economically and in the field of study. “We will expand research as a central element of our mission; we will work to translate our discoveries into interventions
and applications with social, cultural, and economic impact,” read the strategic vision document. With the vision approved, university officials have shifted their attention to drafting the strategic plan, a more detailed document that set specific goals for Mason to achieve within the next ten years. One of those goals is to be ranked as a “very high research activity” institution by the Carnegie Foundation, an independent policy and research center. Beginning in 1970, the foundation has been classifying higher education institutions on a number of characteristics, including enrollment, undergraduate instruction and research. The Carnegie Foundation takes several variables into consideration when rating universities on their level of research activity, including research and development expenditures in science and engineering fields, the amount of S&E research staff and number of doctoral conferrals “It captures a lot of elements other than just research expenditures,” said Vikas Chandhoke, the vice president of research and economic development at Mason. Mason is currently rated as a “high research activity” institution, one ranking below the
desired “very high research activity” classification. To make the change, the university will have to actively recruit top faculty, create a strategy for winning grants and restructure academic programs to put a heavier emphasis on research. Differing levels of student engagement To reach the “very high research activity” rank, Mason will need to find a way to incorporate research into more undergraduate academic programs. “I believe very strongly that every student should be able to engage in research,” Chandhoke said. “This is something that will be a differentiating factor in their college years when they’re competing for jobs.” According to a student engagement report conducted by the university in 2013, only 13 percent of seniors reported conducting research with faculty outside of coursework or program requirements. That number has gone relatively unchanged since 2006. The report made several conclusions that compared Mason with institutions that were already classified as having a very high research activity.
Oct. 28, 2013
“Mason’s [senior] population consists of a large proportion of transfer and part-time students. These students tend to work and, compared to peers, are more likely to work off-campus and for longer hours,” read the report. “When compared to native and/or full-time counterparts, these students tend to have less student-faculty interaction and are less likely to participate in enriching educational experiences. These students represent a challenge for Mason as we continue to emphasize student success.” Bethany Usher, director of Mason’s Students as Scholars initiative, contests that the study’s findings are an accurate representation of undergraduates’ views of research. “[The survey] specifically asks for ‘out of class,’ and in our testing, many students who received credit for their project don’t see it as being outside of class - and especially if the research is built into a standard course,” Usher said in an email. “Also, it says research, so students who have put on a play, sung in an opera, presented an art project, created a business case analysis, or wrote a new video game may not associate that with ‘research,’ even though it is the scholarly work of their major.” While Usher contests that more Mason students are engaged than the report says, there are still difficulties with getting less engaged students involved in research projects. “In many ways, there are two very different types of students at Mason,” said Associate Director of Assessment Stephanie Hazel, referring to on-campus and off-campus students. According to Hazel, off-campus students are more likely to be older, hold part or full-time jobs, or have families, leaving less time available for academic involvement. “This is one of the areas where we do want off-campus students to be equally engaged,” Usher said. Usher said that the university plans to look at digital tools to make research opportunities available to off-campus students and build stronger relationships with students who aren’t traditionally involved. (WALTER MARTINEZ/FOURTH ESTATE)
Creating a more inclusive research environment To incorporate more undergraduate students in the research process, Mason hopes to incentivize incorporating undergraduate research in the classroom. According to Cox, the administration needs to do more to incentivize undergraduate research. “We want to do these things, but individualized instruction has to be built into the pay structure,” Cox said. Cox has taught 305 credits of individualized instruction over the last four years, none of which count towards his teaching requirements. In 2012, the Students as Scholars Leadership Council developed a list of suggested changes that departments could make to better incorporate research into traditional undergraduate instruction. “Our commitment to creating a culture of undergraduate student scholarship cannot be realized without our faculty,” read the document. “They are the drivers of this change. There are a myriad of ways that faculty can contribute to this goal, both large and small.” One of these recommendations includes “finding strategies to allow faculty to count mentoring undergraduates as part of their teaching load,” incorporating undergraduate research into the decision-making process for promotion, and finding grants for travel expenses and encouraging partnerships. Most Mason officials involved in the discussion believe that there isn’t anything inherent about a subject that makes it more or less conducive to more open research involvement. “I don’t think it’s more difficult in any department,” Usher said. “There’s a lot more of an understanding that students contribute. Some departments are shaped more by involvement in research, so they have a history of working with
undergraduates.” Cox, who currently has eight undergraduate students working in his 21-person lab, thinks that building a collaborative environment in any field of study should be encouraged across all academic departments. “I would urge the faculty to be more open minded to see what freshmen can come to bear,” Cox said. “It just makes for peerbased learning in a research lab, which is incredibly valuable.” Closing the funding gap While Mason is working to restructure its academic departments to create a more inclusive environment, researchers will also need to boost the amount of funding going into high-impact research projects. The median amount of investments in science and technology research for very high research institutions is $250 million, $177.5 million more than Mason’s current expenditure level. “The slope from here to $250 million is pretty steep,” Chandhoke said at a Mason Board of Visitors meeting on Oct. 2. “The investments are going to be made from various sources.” Mason plans to create five new research institutes to help achieve this goal. By the end of 2013, the university hopes to finalize the creation of institutes in game modeling and medical sciences, which build off of already existing programs at Mason. “Universities with medical schools usually have high levels of research expenditures,” Chandhoke said. “This is something that we will have to address as we go forward.” To increase the number of grants being awarded to projects at Mason, officials hope to build a number of collaborative
partnerships with corporations, government entities and other foundations. “There’s actually growth in the corporate areas with regards to research funding,” said Keith Bushey, the chief of staff for the Office of Research and Economic Development. “We are in the process of hiring development officers in those areas. Defense is a big one for us. In the past, we’ve strived to become an excellent academic institution. We’re now a selective college as opposed to a college of last resort. Hopefully there is a shift to us becoming a major research institute.” Stuart Mendelsohn, a Board member sitting on the Research Committee, raised questions about the university’s efforts to receive enough funding from partnerships with both corporations and government entities. “I just don’t necessarily know if this is going to come to fruition any more successfully than what we’ve been doing,” Mendelsohn said. Chandhoke replied that Mason hasn’t created a system for building the kind of partnerships needed to raise $177 million in additional research funding. “We have done a dismal job of interacting with the corporate sector,” Chandhoke said. “It has to be more than just picking up the phone and saying I need $50,000. It has not been done systemically. All major universities engage with corporate research activity.” While Mason’s commitment to reaching a “very high research activity” classification is a component of the university’s 10-year goals, the Board of Visitors has not officially adopted those goals as part of the overall strategic plan. The Board hopes to vote on a final draft of the plan by the end of 2013.
Oct. 28, 2013
(NIKI PAPADOGIANNAKIS/FOURTH ESTATE)
A new phone app called “In Case of Crisis” offers resources for crisis situations.
Crisis app prepares students for the worst ANGELA WOOLSEY STAFF WRITER
Mason has helped develop a new mobile app designed to teach students about what to do in an emergency. The app “In Case of Crisis” provides detailed instructions for what to do in events ranging from severe weather and power outages to on-campus violence or bomb threats. It also lists emergency contacts and offers more general, basic information, like how to receive notifications of an emergency and how people with mobility impairments or disabilities should respond. Mason’s Director of emergency management and fire safety David Farris met with Irving Burton Associates, the company that created the app, in 2012. While the Herndonbased company provided the framework for the product, Farris and his office colleagues were responsible for coming up with the content and specific events that the app would address, as well as the visual layout of the app. One of the main ideas Farris’s team thought of was the inclusion of a table of contents to allow users to find information as quickly as possible. They also suggested a couple of new features, such as a flashlight feature, that IBA could integrate into an updated version. Farris said they decided to implement the app after realizing that students were not utilizing other resources. They distributed flip
charts with much of the same information provided by the app to residence halls before students move in, but these would often get thrown away or tucked into a drawer and quickly forgotten. “[It is] very easy from an administrative perspective to manage the app, and [is] accessible to our users. It’s very simple and intuitive,” Farris said. It also provides a useful complement to the Mason Alerts system. Mason Alerts acts as a notification system, sending emails and text messages to make sure students are aware when an emergency occurs. By contrast, “In Case of Crisis” is intended as more of an informational resource and has the advantage of not being reliant on cellular service. It can be used even if cell towers go down or there is a power outage. Farris stressed that they designed the app in the hopes that people would take the time to read through it and become familiar with the available information before an actual emergency occurs. “It’s a great tool in a pinch if you need to look it up,” Farris said. “But the idea is we should all be familiar with how do you respond to an earthquake before an earthquake happens. If you haven’t done that, then at least the information’s available to you when it does happen.” The app stood out from competitors because IBA offered an affordable flat rate and unlimited downloads, unlike other companies
that either charged users to download or had the university pay on a per download basis. Farris noted that, while some other apps had niftier features like the ability to get tracked by friends and family when walking across campus, “In Case of Crisis” was easier to reference and use and was more geared toward providing information about handling an emergency. “The timing’s right,” Farris said, explaining why they decided to move toward a mobile app for emergency response information now. “Most students now are carrying smart phones. If we had rolled this out a couple of years ago, that is something we’re concerned about.” Farris added that they are still providing flip charts and posters to accommodate students who do not have an iPhone or Android. “We want to make resources available in a number of different media so that everybody has access to information,” Farris said The app is available for download from the app store and can be used like any other app. The Emergency Management Staff is currently focusing its attention on informing students about the app, creating posters, flyers and t-shirts that sport a QR code on the back that can be used to download the app. In addition, they have used the TV screens around campus to promote the app and announced it in previous Mason Alerts, including one sent during a recent earthquake drill on October 17.
Their goal is to have 10-20 percent of the Mason community using the app by Christmas time. Ariana Vega, a junior majoring in art history, subscribes to Mason Alerts and is interested in the app. “[If ] it’s easily accessible and doesn’t cause me more stress by requiring a lot of reading,” Vega said. According to Farris, the rate of download has indeed seen a steady increase. Early on, they saw a rate of five or six people per day, but more recently, that rate has ticked up closer to 12 to 13 people. However, they still hope to see even more of an increase. “It’s going to take us a while to get to that 10-20 percent number if that’s our rate of adoption,” Farris said. IBA has started developing new features that can be included in future updates, such as giving users the ability to report a crime. “If you were to observe a crime,” Farris said. “[You would] be able to attach a picture or something like that and report your location and the crime to university police or local police.” Farris said he hopes that nothing will ever happen. “In the event that something does,” Farris said. “I want to make sure that we’ve done our absolute best to… help our students and we think this is a great way to do that.”
Oct. 28, 2013
Study abroad program features National Geographic explorers AMY ROSE & JANELLE GERMANOS STAFF WRITER & NEWS EDITOR Mason’s school for Conflict Analysis and Resolution recently announced a new study abroad program in collaboration with National Geographic Explorers. For the first time ever, the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution will include National Geographic Explorers on their yearly trip to Israel and Palestine in Jan. 2014. CRDC Executive Director Aziz Abu Sarah helped establish this collaboration between National Geographic and Mason. “CRDC already runs travel classes for Mason, so it seemed natural to try to bring National Geographic into the picture as well,” Abu Sarah said. “I reached out to National Geographic Explorers to see if they would want to be part of these classes and got a lot of positive responses, so that’s how the collaboration came about.” Dr. March Gopin, the founding director of the CRDC program, will lead the class, which is called “Interdisciplinary Approaches to Social Change.” “This course is unique because it combines our original program with National Geographic Explorers,” Gopin said. “It’s an experience of reflection and practice. Students will be engaged in study, in the context of meeting and supporting people and communities in conflict.” Professional tour guides and peace builders will lead students to sites across Palestine and Israel. “They will have access to people who are doing cutting-edge research and practice in social change, and they will learn about the importance of an interdisciplinary approach in this field,” Abu Sarah said. “They will have exclusive access to the field where these explorers and Dr. Gopin are doing their work. They will see examples of how social change happens on the ground -- they’ll understand the problems and challenges but also learn about the solutions from multiple points of view.” Abu Sarah has been working with National Geographic as an explorer for the last two years and has ideas for the future of the collaboration. “I would like to create a new kind of study abroad that focuses on practical approaches, where students can learn from a variety
of National Geographic explorers who do cutting-edge work in their discipline -- be it science, humanities, business or what have you -- and have access to things that students don’t normally have access to and learn from people who are the best in their fields, even if it’s only for a short period of time,” Abu Sarah said. According to Gopin, the January 2014 trip is the beginning of possible future programs. “This is a pilot class and a future collaboration will be based on explorations underway,” Gopin said. According to Abu Sarah, this program is a combination of fields dealing with social change that has not been seen before. “The plan is to have an intense program on social change that focuses on religion, business, archeology and biology,” Abu Sarah said. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the National Geographic explorer’s studies and research, as well as hands-on experience. “The explorers will be sharing more than their studies and research. For example, Beverly Goodman will be taking us to her archeology site to have a day of fieldwork there. I will lead discussions on business, conflict, and social change -- how they work together, how we can work within that approach,” Abu Sarah said. According to Abu Sarah, future classes may feature different explorers and prominent faculty. “These classes, their content and the explorers featured in each will likely change every year, so each of these classes might be the only chance for students to enroll in them -- the one chance to meet the explorers and work with them and study with them,” Abu Sarah said. “For our first trip, to Israel and Palestine, we will be bringing together people who work in Princeton and Haifa but also George Mason -- people who it’s rare to have teach together for one university class and build off of one another’s expertise.” According to Abu Sarah, the CRDC plans to run classes over spring break and summer. “The goal is to have a few more classes this year and eventually to have many more in the years to come, to create a variety of classes that offer these unique experiences,” Abu Sarah said.
(JILL CARTER/FOURTH ESTATE)
Mason’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution has partnered with National Geographic Explorers for their Jan. 2014 trip to Israel and Palestine. Dome of the Rock and the Old City
of Jerusalem, pictured above, is a major holy site and popular attraction in the region.
Oct. 28, 2013
Governor Bob McDonnell announces new Virginia Center for Excellence in Teaching at Fairfax campus ELLEN GLICKMAN BEAT REPORTER Governor Bob McDonnell announced on Oct. 21 that the new Virginia Center for Excellence in Teaching will be located on Mason’s Fairfax campus. The center and its future programs will focus primarily on providing resources to experienced K-12 teachers looking to take a leadership role in their local education community. Doors will open in June 2014 for an initial program involving 100 outstanding teachers from across the state. In December of 2012, Governor McDonnell announced the creation of this center and its initial summer program as part of his All Students education initiative, which was designed to highlight the vital role of K-12 education in a community. According to McDonnell, the center and its programs will host “exemplary” teachers for grades K-12 who are “seeking to improve their instruction, knowledge of educational policy, and capacity to provide instructional leadership.” Elizabeth Sturtevant, the director of the Virginia Center for Excellence in Teaching, said her staff is still developing a method to find these teachers. “We’re in the process of developing the specific criteria, because we just got the money a couple of weeks ago,” Sturtevant said. “We’re going to have a marketing campaign going on in early January where we’re going to be contacting school principals throughout the state. There will be an application to send in… and they’ll have to have their principal’s strong recommendation that they’re an effective teacher... but we’re not trying to compare them on some sort of rubric we develop.” The summer program will consist of four academies, each designated for a different subject area: STEM subjects, fine arts, humanities and language arts, and interdisciplinary studies. “By establishing the Virginia Center for Excellence in Teaching, we continue to elevate the teaching profession and send a message that there is no higher calling than inspiring, mentoring and preparing young people for the future,” said Governor McDonnell in a press release. “The center will set a new standard for excellence in classroom instruction and prepare teachers for leadership within their
fields and beyond.” In May 2013, the state sent out requests for budget proposals to institutions of higher learning throughout Virginia. The proposal devised by staff at the College of Education and Human Development was awarded the $720,000 contract to kick start the center and fund the summer academies and other center programs through its first year. The center’s staff is responsible for discovering other funding sources besides the state for the following years. The money will be used to pay for the teachers’ housing, transportation, meals, tuition and textbooks. Mason faculty members running the academies will also receive pay. According to Sturtevant, an initial amount of $220,000 will be used for spreading the word about the academies. “The first amount of $220,000 is [for] planning and recruitment, so we will have a marketing company, a marketing subcontractor to help us with the web development and the marketing throughout the state,” Sturtevant said. “We don’t want to just get the word out to a few teachers - we want all the teachers to know.” One of the program’s goals is to bring teachers together throughout the state who have at least five years of experience, Sturtevant said. “I think that we just need to do more for teachers that have experience,” Sturtevant said. “Sometimes teachers around that point in their careers... they’re looking for something interesting to boost their career forward. After about five years in teaching you really understand how to be a good teacher, but you maybe want to go to the next level and become a leader among your peers, and we don’t have much support for that...We want [teachers] to be good supports for each other and then they can become mentors to new teachers. They just need more support on how to do that.” According to Sturtevant, the center will benefit the conversation on education in Virginia. “I think [the center] is a big opportunity for our college to be of service to the teachers in the state and for the teachers throughout the state to get to know one another on a deeper level and talk about how to improve education in Virginia. We want to take advantage of getting this opportunity,” Sturtevant said.
(PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA)
PERSECUTION of Women&
Minorities in the
MUSLIM WORLD Malala Yousafzai has highlighted the plight of women and minorities facing daily persecution in the Muslim world. Does Islam promote such practices? You are invited to a symposium exploring the rights of women and minorities in Islam.
Time: RSVP: Email
Thursday November 7, 2013 George Mason University Mason Hall RM D003 4400 University Dr. Fairfax, VA 22030 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM Register at http://goo.gl/i8j4Hc email@example.com
Refreshments will be served.
Sponsored by the Northern Virginia Chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community & the Ahmadiyya Muslim Student Association
Oct. 28, 2013
Mason Players mix saucy humor with classic theatre themes
(AMY ROSE/FOURTH ESTATE)
“The Merchant” storyline features a love triangle between a father, son and a prostitute in an eclectic mix of vaudeville and Roman theatre. GENEVIEVE HOELER ONLINE LIFESTYLE EDITOR Mason Players broke into comedy for the first time this season with a hint of Rome doused in a healthy helping of early twentiethcentury vaudeville. As part of their 2013-2014 season, the Mason Players are performing “The Merchant” by Titus Maccius Plautus, bringing back an ancient comedy and early twentieth-century vaudeville with a seamless finesse. This play, however, is not about the story. It is about the vaudeville experience. Similar to what Saturday Night Live is for us today, vaudeville presents a series of short acts throughout the evening. The acting is entirely presentational, with gags and tricks to keep the audience laughing, which many of the cast members did well. For some, pandering to the audience seems more difficult, causing the actors to be stiff and closed off when they are supposed to charm the audience with warmth. The play is directed and adapted by Ed Gero,
who works as a professor at Mason’s School of Theater while maintaining a prosperous acting career in Washington D.C. The language of the play seems dated to the twenty-first century college audience, but that only adds to the vaudeville charm the play oozes throughout the performance. It is surprising how well the story of Plautus’s work—written in the second or third century, and based on a play written even earlier— translates to the vaudeville style. Underneath the hat tricks and the songs is a story of two families: the families of Demipho and Lysimachus. Demipho, played by Scott Blamphin, adulterously lusts after the beautiful and very sparkly prostitute Pasicompsa, played by Cynthia Newby. He does not know that his son Charinus, played by Collin Riley, also lusts after Pasicompsa and begs his friend and neighbor Lysimachus, played by Ron Boykin, to purchase the girl and hide her in his house. Lysimachus does as his friend asks and trembles in fear that his wife Dorippa, played
by Rachel Harrington, will come home and find the prostitute. She does show up in act two, adding to the escalating levels of misunderstandings until finally Demipho realizes that his son is in love with the prostitute he wanted to sleep with and decides to give up his lustful hopes. The play ends with a full cast song and dance number. Ron Boykin’s performance is seemingly perfect for the vaudeville format. He moves like a man half his age with comedic timing that nails it almost every single time. His relationship with Rachel Harrington, who plays his wife, is exemplified by his delightfully comedic display of a cowed husband. The leading women of this play, Harrington and Becca Ward—who plays Dorippa’s talkative but loyal slave Syra, are the highlights of this production. Their ease with the vocal material and the audience makes the second act, the only one they are in, fly by far more quickly than the slower, slightly more awkward first act. Ward’s monologue, tied in with a spoken
song waxing on the crimes of men and the injustices of the world, are some of the truest moments of the play. Aside from the occasional stiffness from actors still learning to break out of their “actor” headspace, the main disadvantage this play has is sound. The live music is fantastic and only serves to make the play even better. However, the music occasionally overshadows the actors who sing songs that sometimes the audience can hardly hear. Volume is always a challenge actors have to conquer, especially in spaces that deaden sound like Harris Theater. However, the volume causes many of the jokes to go unheard, which is a shame since the ones the audience can hear are enough to make the audience squirm in their seats with giggles. “The Merchant” plays Oct. 31 - Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 2 - Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. at Harris Theater.
Oct. 28, 2013
Each week, Fourth Estate features a student or alumnus with a great internship or job to highlight the opportunities a degree from Mason can provide.
MEGHANN PATTERSON STAFF WRITER Sarah Weimar is a junior Communication major at Mason with a minor in Multimedia Studies. She hopes to become a branding consultant with a marketing firm when she graduates. Weimar interns for the popular radio station WTOP Radio. How did you find out about this internship? I had a contact who worked at WTOP radio and he mentioned that there were internships. I went and did a pre-interview, and he basically thought I was a go-getter and would get a good experience out of the internship. How will this internship help with your future aspirations? Any experience is good experience. Even though I’m not entirely interested in the radio portion of the internship, it does help strengthen my writing and interviewing skills. I’m a communication major but I’m interested in marketing and branding so I do a little of everything. I’ve had to do a lot of photography, photo editing and video for the web. It’s not directly related to what I think I want to do but I’m very open to new experiences that will help me narrow down what I want enjoy doing.
were. I’ve worked with reporters like Tucker Echols from the Washington Business Journal and of course Neil Augustine. I get so excited now when I hear their voices on the radio because I interact with these people at the station. How have your past experiences help prepare you for this internship? When I got to college, I didn’t really pursue anything in journalism for a while and so this internship kind of reignited my journalism bug. I would definitely say that my experience with interrupting people’s lives, getting in their business, photographing and interviewing has helped me be more comfortable with it now. Everything I have done up to this point has taught me how to be fearless in a way. Doing things out of my comfort zone has given me thicker skin. Most importantly, you have to learn how to face rejection. A personal motto of mine is when I’m scared, do it anyway.
What is a typical day on the job like? A typical day is waking up at 5 a.m., momentarily hating life and getting to the station at 7 a.m.. The internship is in DC so dealing with DC drivers was an adjustment as well. When I get to the station, I work with a guy named Neil Augustine who’s been on the radio for many years. The projects vary from day to day, usually Neil will flip the stories that were on the page yesterday and we’ll work on the new stories. I’ve done woman-on-the-street reporting, over-the-phone interviews and helped Neil shoot video. There’s always a lot going on. There’s TVs and WTOP Radio playing everywhere around the station. They even have the radio playing in the bathrooms so you always know what’s going on in the journalism world. I do whatever projects we’re working on that day then I drive back to campus at one in the afternoon. Have you seen or met any famous people? I mostly come in contact with political figures. Once, I got locked outside the station with Tim Kaine, which was pretty funny. As an intern, I didn’t have a key to get us in the building. I’ve been told that some of the TV news reporters I’ve meet are big deals but I didn’t know who they
What is the most challenging part of working at the radio station? There was a lot of hype that came with the job but also a lot of pressure too. I don’t think I’ve relaxed since I started. The writing itself has been the most challenging but not because my writing isn’t good but because it’s not the voice that WTOP writes in. I’m from a completely diﬀerent generation then their older target audience. Not only that, I’m working on the tech page and since our target audience is older, they want technology they’re familiar with. There not super tech savvy. So what we do is focus on things that they would care about, which isn’t necessarily that same kind of technology that I would care about. We focus less on how it works and more on how it’s relevant. Anything radio related has also been a challenge. What is your ideal job? I think I would want to be a details manager for a company or do a little of what I’m doing now, which is branding consulting. I love everything about branding. I would either want to do branding consulting for a marketing firm that works with diﬀerent companies or getting heavily involved in one company’s brand and doing a lot of stuﬀ for that.
(COURTESY OF SARAH WEIMAR)
Oct. 28, 2013
Cosplay pros oﬀer costume advice
HOUSING HORROR STORIES Nightmare on University Drive MACKENZIE BAILEY STAFF WRITER
Incarcerated Man Sleep with a night light for the rest of your life.
“My freshman year roommate decided to go out one night and throw up all over my side of the room before leaving for the weekend. I did not stay in my room that weekend, and when she returned she began to yell at me and tell me it was disrespectful for me not to have cleaned up after her. She had also invited her boyfriend who had just gotten out of jail to stay with us for the week until he could find some place to go. She didn’t mention the jail part until an hour after he arrived. The same year, when I returned back to my room from Thanksgiving Break, my suitemate was drunk and wrapped in my comforter naked.”
(PHOTO COURTESY OF KATRYNA HENDERSON/FOURTH ESTATE)
MARY OAKEY ASST. LIFESTYLE EDITOR
- Ariel Brown (Class of 2013, Alumni)
Much Ado About Mold
“I had a roommate that kept the room at 87 degrees all year round. It was like a sauna. She sprayed oil in her hair, and it always got on my stuff, so I had to scrub the walls and my desk and everything with soap and water on a regular basis. We ended up not speaking to each other. Then I came back to school after winter break (I had left first and returned first), and I was unpacking my stuff when I turn around and see this Don’t look under patch of something on the floor about the size of a football. I realized it was a patch of your bed. mold, so I texted her and asked if she had spilled anything and she answered, ‘I spilled ice cream, but I didn’t feel like cleaning it up.’ So that sat on the floor for five weeks while no one was there. It smelled really bad too, so bad the smell was embedded in my books and everything I owned, so when I moved back home for the summer everything smelled like the room, and I had to wash things multiple times.” - Maria Williams (Class of 2015)
Night of the Skyping Roommate Hair-raising and goosebump-chilling.
“Freshman year, I was put in a triple with two random roommates. One was perfectly fine, but the other roommate, however, was not. We got off to a rough start on day one when he had dumped all of his stuff onto the bed that I had already put my things on, and all he could say about it was “oops.” Even my mother apologized before she left me alone with him. As the year went on, things didn’t get better. I would often come back to him on Skype with his friend, openly discussing all sorts of topics such as his friend’s sexual preferences and his detailed medical issues and how he was feeling about that. These conversations lasted until roughly 4 a.m. on nights when I had to wake up at 6 a.m. the next day to travel for a soccer game. He also spent a lot of time playing my Call of Duty on my PS3 until all hours of the night with all of the lights on, screaming at the TV at the top of his lungs when someone who could not even hear him killed him.” - Michael Castiglione (Class of 2014)
Cosplayers are the masters of making costumes. Cosplay, short for “costume play,” is a sensation that many students love to participate in. Showing their love for a series or movie they’ve watched or book they’ve read, cosplayers will go out and buy materials to make amazing costumes from scratch. We sat down with Katryna Henderson and asked her to give our readers some tips on how to make an amazing Halloween costume, Cosplayer-style.
Check out the local thrift stores. Wash everything once to get the stink out and you’re good to go.
Search Ebay and Craigslist for specific items. Somebody, somewhere, has what you’re looking for.
If you want your wig to look legit (which you obviously do), skip the Party City-type stores.
If you really want to make your costume from scratch, stop by Joanne Fabrics or A.C. Moore for materials.
Unless you’re dressing up as Prince, don’t use satin or velvet. The materials are very difficult to use and get dirty easily.
If you’re trying to change up your eyebrow look, use makeup rather than those cheap forehead caterpillars from CVS.
If your costume is revealing but you don’t want to show off too much skin, get a nude body suite. Or you could just try a different costume.
Looking to make cool weaponry? PVC pipe can serve as a great frame. Wrap it with packing material to give it just the right amount of hurt.
Styrofoam is your number one amigo when making props.
Metallic spray paint can give a futuristic finish to your costumes.
Oct. 28, 2013
Uranium mining poses threat to Fairfax drinking water
Andrew Stevenson Managing Editor
Niki Papadogiannakis News Editor
Janelle Germanos News Editor
Mary Oakey Asst. Lifestyle Editor
Will Rose Opinion Editor
Hau Chu Sports Editor
Daniel Gregory Asst. Sports Editor
Walter Martinez Design Editor
Jill Carter Copy Chief
Katryna Henderson Illustrator
Kathryn Mangus Faculty Advisor
David Carroll Associate Director Fourth Estate operates as a publication of Broadside. Fourth Estate is printed each Monday for George Mason University and its surrounding Fairfax Community. The editors of Fourth Estate have exclusive authority over the content that is published. There are no outside parties that play a role in the newspaper’s content, and should there be a question or complaint regarding this policy, the Editor-in-Chief should be notified at the email listed above. Fourth Estate is a free publication, limit one copy per person. Additional copies are 25 cents payable to the Office of Student Media.
Mail Fourth Estate George Mason University Mail stop 2C5 4400 University Drive Fairfax, Va. 22030 Phone 703-993-2950
SAMANTHA PARSONS STAFF WRITER Clean and safe drinking water is fundamental. And typically it’s a given—when was the last time you questioned the safety of your drinking water? But sadly we are in the midst of a serious fight to protect our drinking water from significant health threats—both our surface waters’ like the Potomac and the Occoquan which are the source for our drinking water here in Fairfax, and groundwater sources that give water to rural communities not served by municipalities, like my family in Pittsylvania County. For the last 31 years, these drinking water sources have been protected from the pollution threats of uranium mining. A ban was passed in 1982 by Virginia’s General Assembly and thankfully it is still in effect to this day. It is important that this ban stay in place—it protects our drinking water and our public health from the damages of radioactive and toxic waste. I grew up in Pittsylvania County and for the last few years I have been surrounded by the debate over whether a uranium mine should be allowed in my back yard. Now that I am here at Mason I understand that the threats to Fairfax County from uranium mining are the same threats I’ve been learning about back home. This isn’t just a problem for people in Southside Virginia. According to the Fairfax Water Authority’s Assessment of Potential Water Supply Impacts from Uranium Mining in Virginia, there are 16 former uranium mining leases in Fauquier County. These localized areas of highly concentrated uranium are located upstream from us in both the Potomac and Occoquan watersheds. There is a devastating history
of uranium mining waste containment failures throughout the United States that have caused water contamination. Fairfax Water recognizes that “leaking detention ponds, impoundment failure, and spills are the most common mechanisms that would enable untreated wastes to enter the environment.” Radioactive and toxic contaminates are held in these waste ponds or waste facilities and include radium, uranium, thorium, arsenic, chromium, lead, and cadmium, amongst others. The accidental release of these contaminates into the Potomac or Occoquan watersheds would be devastating to the water quality of Fairfax County, including the George Mason University community. Fairfax Water’s report highlights a particular financial concern to the County: If a leak or discharge occurs, Fairfax Water or other stakeholders would have limited legal recourse because waste materials from mining and milling are exempt from the Clean Water Act. Their report says, “For example, the Clean Water Act is not applicable to uranium mill discharges, and thus cannot be used as the authority to bring a suit against a mill owner.” The County would be on its own to pay for clean up of any uranium waste that gets into our municipal drinking supply. That’s a big financial risk. This pernicious history of uranium mining waste, paired with the fact that Fairfax is located in a region characterized by heavy precipitation, periodic extreme flooding, and the potential for landslides and earthquakes, demonstrates the public health and financial risk that lifting the ban on uranium mining could pose to those of us living and taking classes on campus as well as to every taxpayer in the county. The contamination potential in the Potomac and Occoquan watersheds is significant enough to measurably impact source water for Fairfax County, including Mason. This means residents and students could be put at risk to harmful health effects including cancer,
birth defects, respiratory disease, and negative toxic effects on kidney function, bone development, and the formation of blood cells. Furthermore, property values could decrease (as they are expected to do in the Pittsylvania County area), tourism could be impacted by a negative stigma effect, and agricultural production, including crops and livestock, could be polluted by contaminates in the water and land. Fairfax County’s Environmental Quality Advisory Council recently passed a resolution asking the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to follow in the footsteps of other government entities and take a stance supporting the ban on uranium mining in Virginia. Last year, this same request was presented to the Board of Supervisors, but no action was taken.
This is an issue that is not going away. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors should add to their legislative agenda support for Virginia’s uranium mining ban. Also, if the administration and leaders within Mason expect to keep the best interests of our school community in mind, they should monitor this issue and strongly urge the Fairfax Board of Supervisors to take action to support maintaining the ban on uranium mining in Virginia. Uranium mining is a growing threat, which, if allowed in our state, could place the livelihoods of students, faculty, and administration, as well as the future of Mason, at risk.
by Katryna Henderson
Oct. 28, 2013
We cannot afford more of Cuccinelli’s anti-woman policies
ELVIRA RAZZANO STAFF WRITER On Sep. 25, the Center for American Progress released a report about Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli’s record of supporting legislation that hurts Virginia women. This includes (but is not limited to) support of bills that would limit Virginia women’s access to reproductive health care, sponsoring state funding of faith-based crisis pregnancy centers that are not required by law to provide medically accurate information and pushing for trivial regulations on women’s clinics that have already forced several in Virginia to close their doors. Apart from hurting Virginia women as a whole, this legislation disproportionately harms college-aged women, or women in their late teens and early 20s. According to the Guttmacher Institute, these women are more likely than women of other age groups to use contraceptives (emergency and non-emergency), experience an unintended pregnancy and need access to abortion services. During Cuccinelli’s term as a state senator of Virginia in 2007, he co-sponsored an amendment to the Virginia constitution stating “that life begins at the moment of fertilization,”
Letter to the Editor When I came across an announcement for author Margaret Randall’s new book, Che on My Mind, on George Mason University’s website, I was truly disturbed by the event description. The University’s event website stated: “She [Randall] is deeply admiring of Che’s integrity and charisma and frank about what she sees as his strategic errors. Randall concludes by reflecting on the inspiration and lessons that Che’s struggles might offer early twentyfirst-century social justice activists and freedom fighters.” This view is similar to the one held by many professors and students in university campuses across the U.S. and around the world. However, while they celebrate this “icon” by wearing his image on their t-shirts or viewing films about his exploits, they ignore the other side of the story. Whether willingly or not, they ignore the bigoted views reflected in his writings, and his murdered victims in Cuba and throughout Latin America and Africa. These victims were someone’s parents, someone’s siblings, someone’s children. They were also subjected to show trials reminiscent to those carried out in Nazi Germany. The accused were convicted and sentenced to death by firing squad. In order to present a balanced view of the facts, as our academic integrity demands, a group of undergraduate and graduate students from George Mason University held a vigil in honor of Guevara’s murdered victims. The vigil, which took place outside of the university’s Mason Hall, was held in conjunction with Randall’s presentation of her
more commonly known as the Personhood Amendment. Had Virginia’s congress passed this amendment, many common forms of contraception could have been outlawed. For someone so against the termination of unwanted pregnancies, why would Ken Cuccinelli want to pass an amendment that would effectively outlaw measures preventing unwanted pregnancies? It looks as if Cuccinelli’s agenda is more about controlling women’s bodies than it ever was about preventing abortions. In addition, yearlong undercover investigation conducted by NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia found that in early 2009, thenstate senator Ken Cuccinelli sponsored legislation directing funds from the sale of “Choose Life” Virginia license plates to faith-based crisis pregnancy centers. Crisis pregnancy centers are centers that attempt to pass as comprehensive women’s health clinics but actually exist to talk women out of having abortions through false information and emotional manipulation. The investigation also discovered that crisis pregnancy centers are sponsored by the Virginia Department of Health in a directory of no-cost ultrasound providers, available to women considering abortion who are required by law to have an ultrasound before they can have an abortion. Under Ken Cuccinelli, state sponsoring of crisis pregnancy centers could only get worse. It’s completely within the rights of individuals to seek out crisis pregnancy center services or to donate their personal funds to crisis pregnancy centers, but I think we can all agree that state legislatures and the state department of health have an obligation to present unbiased, factually correct information regarding medical science. That is not currently the case in Virginia. On top of all of this, the Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider laws were implemented in Virginia under the
McDonnell administration, which Cuccinelli currently serves under as attorney general. Through this legislation, arbitrary restrictions were placed solely on facilities that offer abortion services; restrictions that are unnecessary to increase the safety of those who utilize said facilities and have truly been implemented in hopes of shutting down women’s clinics. So far, two clinics were forced to close their doors as a direct result of this legislation—one in the Hampton Roads area and another in Fairfax—and a clinic in Falls Church is in danger of becoming number three. If that wasn’t reprehensible enough, Cuccinelli personally bullied the Board of Directors of the Virginia Department of Health to impose such regulations even after they were deemed medically unnecessary. Again, I think we can all agree that partisan politics have no place in determining what is medically necessary and accurate. We should leave that up to doctors and health care professionals. This is simply yet another example of how Ken Cuccinelli has acted in his own interests with no care for the interests of the Virginia women he hopes to represent as governor. Ken Cuccinelli poses a severe threat to Virginia women, especially college women, who tend to utilize the services he threatens more than most. His positions, which defy the opinions of health experts, are clearly based off of a partisan agenda instead of care for a large demographic he hopes to represent as governor. The only power we have to stop him is through the power of our vote at the ballot box this Nov. 5. It is crucial that we utilize that and put a stop to his harmful policies once and for all.
Send your letters to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org book. During the vigil, students ceremoniously lit candles and read the names of 106 men and women executed on Guevara’s orders—only a sample of Guevara’s real death toll, as the real number of victims may never be known. They proceeded to hold a moment of silence in honor of the fallen. While Randall is defending Guevara’s “inspiration and lessons,” she is ignoring the ultimate sacrifice made by those who did not have an advocate on their side as show trial tribunals were condemning them to death. It was out of a sense of duty and responsibility to their memory that these students came together to honor their lives and remember the circumstances of their deaths. When an event such as this one is held on campus in the future, I challenge my fellow students to inform themselves on all the facts and press speakers and lecturers to answer the difficult questions. Guevara’s victims gave their lives to protect that right, and we must honor their memory through intellectual challenge and curiosity. Daniel I. Pedreira is a graduate student at Mason Peace Operations Policy Program
The Virginia gubernatorial race is in full swing and Election Day is less than a month away. This election season I would like to shed light on an issue that affects all of us: that of the use of corporate money in elections. The 2008 Supreme Court ruling in favor of Citizens United has allowed corporations to greatly influence the outcome of elections by spending large sums of money to promote candidates who will create policy to contribute to the corporations’ interests. The issue is expanding this October with the hearing of McCutcheon v. FEC Supreme Court, another money-in-elections case. If the court rules as it did in the Citizens United case I would argue that the court is perpetuating modern voter suppression. This is a bipartisan issue because it is a threat to our democracy. These corporations
are drowning out the voices of individual citizens because we simply cannot match their economic influence. As young people, our voices are seldom heard, and the use of corporate money in elections is quieting us even more. We may not have the economic influence that corporations do, but we do have the privilege and the duty to vote. Our voices deserve to be heard. If you aren’t registered to vote, you can now do so online at vote. virginia.gov. The on-campus polling place is University Hall. Please take the time to vote on November 5th. Emily Bonzek GMU 2014
Oct. 28, 2013
New women’s basketball coach brings different mindset
(MAURICE C. JONES/FOURTH ESTATE)
(Left) Women’s basketball coach Nyla Milleson with her players before her first Mason Madness on Oct. 18. (Above) Nyla Mileson brings a career win percentage of 70.2 to Mason. IAN CRIMAN STAFF WRITER Despite transitioning with a new coach into a new conference, the Mason women’s basketball team has high expectations for their season. “Our ultimate goal is an A-10 championship, but we need to take small victories and baby steps first before we get to that point,” Coach Nyla Milleson said. On April 16, 2013, Milleson was announced as the eighth head coach in Mason women’s basketball history. In 13 seasons as a collegiate head coach, Milleson brings a career 70.2 winning percentage to Mason. Milleson is entering her 29th year coaching. In 1999, Milleson became the first ever head coach of Drury University in Junction City, Mo. In a program that she helped build from the ground up, Milleson led Drury to a Division II National Championship appearance in 2004. After Drury, Milleson spent seven years coaching at Missouri State University, also in Junction City. Coach Milleson grew up in Goodland, Kan., a town situated 19 miles from the Colorado border. Milleson originally desired to be a physical therapist but fell in love with coaching as a sophomore in college. “I felt that coaching was a really good fit for
me,” Milleson said. “I enjoy the competition it brings and I love teaching. I had some really positive coaches growing up that taught me well.” Upon arriving at Mason, Milleson wanted to bring a new playing scheme to the team, a process that has taken time and effort and is still in work. In the beginning, fundamentals and conditioning were stressed as Milleson took charge of the program. “The first thing I did was have several team meetings to get to know the girls better,” Milleson said. “After that, I would meet with individual players to get to know them on a more personal level.” The players practice developing trust so they know where they are supposed to be and know they will be taken care of by their teammates. After getting a sense of each player’s strengths and weaknesses, Milleson made tweaks so that players can be put in the best positions to succeed. Milleson has already had an impact on players on the roster. Redshirt senior forward Janaa Pickard said that it has been easy to trust Milleson. “You trust her. You know she is a great coach because she knows how to work with what she has,” Pickard said. Learning the strategies has taken time. Practice performances have been inconsistent
as players are learning entirely new systems and are learning how to work with a new coaching staff. “We definitely get to work every practice. It has really forced us to get out of our comfort zones,” Pickard said. “The system is pretty intricate and it was a difficult process, but if you really want to win, you’ll do whatever you have to do.” Milleson is bringing an up-tempo offense to Mason, something that she has worked with successfully in her previous coaching experiences. The new strategy also features an emphasis on man-to-man defense. “Practice requires a lot of mental toughness,” said senior guard Cierra Strickland. “They are more intense and they require a lot of attention to detail. We work on a lot of transition as well in practice so that we can play up-tempo.” Practices under Milleson are simulated to resemble games so that players get used to in-game situations and maintain conditioning levels. “We are always making practices more game-like at this point,” junior forward Talisha Watts said. “It is good having that mindset to push to your limit. Coach really wants us to get out and run during games, and the coaches really encourage us to be the best people we can be.”
Milleson takes time to make sure that players are doing well off the court as well. “To me, the biggest priority in coaching is making sure that players grow as a person from the first time they walk in the gym to when they are walking on the stage at graduation,” Milleson said. “Getting a degree is the number one priority, and I try to help players so they can succeed after basketball.” When recruiting, Milleson first looks for players who would be a good fit in the Mason community. After it is deemed that the player would fit well, Milleson and her assistant coaches look for players who fit the strengths of the system. “You try to put people in the best spots so you can hopefully avoid dealing with players transferring out of the program,” Milleson said. “Our first priority is to take care of players as a person, and then we worry about the basketball side of things.” Milleson values the position and impact that she can make in players’ lives. “One of the greatest joys in coaching for me is when former players call you before major life events like weddings and such,” Milleson said. “I love being able to make a difference in these girls’ lives. I can pick a whole lot of memorable teams and moments that I have had over the years, but the best part is just being able to make a difference.”
Oct. 28, 2013
Hockey club continues work with children’s hospital DOMINO’S GMU STUDENT DEALS Spec #1 One Large 1 Topping Pizza for $7.99 plus tax & delivery (PHOTO COURTESY OF MASON CLUB ICE HOCKEY TEAM)
Team members of Mason’s club ice hockey team visited the Children’s National Medical Center to meet and spend time with child cancer patients. DANIEL GREGORY ASST. SPORTS EDITOR As the number one seed of the Blue Ridge Hockey Conference, the Mason club ice hockey team has a lot to be proud of. One source of pride for the team and its coaches is their involvement with the Children’s National Medical Center. On Oct. 25, the Mason club ice hockey team visited the Children’s National Medical Center’s main hospital in Washington D.C. for a tour of the facilities and the opportunity to meet and spend time with patients. “We got to spend a good amount of time with the kids, and it’s a very humbling experience,” said Brian Bock, senior co-captain of the team. “It really makes you think about how good you have things.” The team began their association with Children’s National Medical Center due partially to their coach, Steve Hyjek. Prior to coaching at Mason, Hyjek ran the charity golf outing for the Washington Capitals that benefited the Children’s National Medical Center. Through this connection with the hospital, the current team and Mason alumni hockey players participated in a program called “Be Brave and Shave.” For the fundraiser, over 25 players, coaches and alumni shaved their heads and raised $19,700 for the pediatric oncology department of Children’s National Medical Center. Although the team raised a substantial amount of money, they wanted to do more. “Some of the guys on the team said, ‘We’d really like to go and visit this hospital, see what this is all about, and meet some of these kids,’” Hyjek said. Wearing shirts, ties and their gold Mason
jerseys, the team toured the facility where doctors showed them the difficulties in treating children. Throughout the initial part of the tour, players learned about the work the hospital does as well as information about pediatric cancer. After the informational portion, the players got the opportunity to meet some of the patients. “It was a great day where we got to meet a lot of kids and see a lot of smiles,” said Seve Cordova, senior left-winger for Mason. “It didn’t matter if they like hockey or played hockey, they were just excited that Mason was there.” Sophomore defense-man and team president Nick Baker shared a similar sentiment about meeting some of the patients. “Seeing what those kids go through everyday makes me see how minor our problems are,” Baker said. “We went into this little boy’s room, and we gave him our t-shirt and signed the puck for him. To see the look on his face was priceless.” The visit to the Children’s National Medical Center represents one example of the Mason club ice hockey team’s commitment to give back to the community. Every year the team holds an annual fundraiser that supports different charities that aid military veterans and their families. In addition, several Mason players participate in the kids’ skate at Kettler Ice Plex, where players help special needs children learn to skate. “Doing these things really makes you realize you gotta give back. I think it’s something that everyone loves to do,” Cordova said. “We know we have responsibilities. Not everyone is fortunate enough to go play college hockey. I think it’s a huge thing that we give back and continue to give back [to the community].”
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Oct. 28, 2013
Baseball has an old man stink
DANIEL GREGORY ASST. SPORTS EDITOR If baseball had an apartment, I imagine it would have plastic-covered couches, black and white pictures and a candy jar filled with Necco Wafers and Werthers Original Butterscotch candies. Economically, the sport is healthier than ever. But baseball is getting old. America’s past-time now appeals to an older audience more than any other major sport. On Oct. 23, Bloomberg News released a story citing that the median age of the 2012 World Series viewer was 53.4 years-old. Comparatively, the median age of viewers during the NBA finals was 41 while the average age of prime-time viewers for NFL games was younger than 45. If the sport does not change, the TV broadcasts will eventually look like a golf broadcast, with commercials for Citi Bank, Cialis and Cadillacs. That can only last so long before the average viewer’s dinner coincides with an afternoon first pitch. Baseball needs to attract a younger audience, and should start by shortening game time. This summer, the Boston Globe calculated that the average Red Sox game lasted three hours, 11 minutes, and 34 seconds. Last season, the average NFL game lasted three hours, 11 minutes, and 56 seconds. While the games run for essentially the same amount of time, the average baseball game includes much more spitting, scratching
and strapping of Velcro. The NFL and NBA feature far more action that helps keep fans’ attention. The nature of baseball makes the sport vastly different from most other sports. Baseball is the only sport where the defense has the ball. Baseball is not based on time, but requires a completed series of events in order finish the game. All this helps contribute to a lot of standing around instead of action. Baseball seems the most resistant to change of the major sports. Fanatics argue that any changes to the rules would violate the sanctity of the game, but baseball officials have made efforts to shorten games, adding a replay system similar to the NFL where managers can challenge plays. MLB thinks challenges will cut time arguing and more calls will be correctly made. Challenges could help shorten games, but MLB should take cues from their advertisers and be wary of any games lasting longer than three hours. Baseball can limit mound visits or pitching changes, both of which would also help shorten games to a more viewer-friendly product. Think of it this way: In what other sport do coaches have virtually unlimited chances to stop the game? Basketball, football and even hockey have a set amount of timeouts for each team. Baseball managers or catchers can go give their pitchers an impromptu therapy session on the mound whenever they want. The mound visit scene in Kevin Costner’s classic baseball film Bull Durham kinda has it right. The mound visits I was a part of when I played baseball normally would focus on strategy, but others were simply to stall time or tell a joke to calm down. While those instances can be hilarious for players, they do not make good TV for viewers at home, During the semifinals of a tournament
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I played in, my pitcher struggled to throw strikes as the game reached the end. With the winning run on base, I called timeout and went to the mound to offer some sage advice. “Knock, Knock,” I said. He cracked half a smile and answered, “Who’s there?” “Interrupting cow,” I said. As he began to respond, I interrupted, “moo.” I know, it’s a terrible joke I stole from South Park, but he laughed. I laughed, and the next pitch he threw was a strike. Unfortunately the
batter crushed it into the gap causing my team to lose the game. What’s the moral of the story? Don’t tell bad jokes, and baseball really should limit the amount of visits to the pitcher’s mound during a game. Speeding up the game will not solve the problem of an aging fan base completely, but faster games can only help baseball attract a younger demographic. Without a younger demographic, the Old Country Buffet 4 p.m. dinner rush might be the best place to catch a game.
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Oct. 28, 2013
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Fairfax native reflects on Mason swimming career HAU CHU SPORTS EDITOR For some college athletes, it can be tough to put aside personal goals and to place the team before themselves. After an acclaimed high school career, senior swimmer Joey Kelly had to put his role on Mason’s swim team and his passion for swimming in perspective after falling short of personal goals. Kelly dedicated himself to swimming in the 10th grade when he joined the Mason Makos youth swimming team. While swimming for the Makos, who practice at the Aquatic and Fitness Center, Kelly attracted the attention of Mason’s head swimming and diving coach, Peter Ward, who also coached for the Makos. “I knew that he had a great deal of talent and was just kind of scratching the surface in high school on how good he could be, so I was very interested in getting him to come to school here,” Ward said. Kelly’s high school career did not start out the way he had hoped. In his sophomore year, Kelly barely placed in any events that he competed in at the state tournament. Even at that time, Coach Ward believed in Kelly’s abilities. “I remember talking to Peter and him saying, ‘by the time you’re a senior, you’ll be winning that,’ and I didn’t believe him,” Kelly said.
It was not until Kelly’s junior year that he began to gain confidence in his abilities as a swimmer and felt he really broke out after placing third at states in the 50M freestyle and fifth in the 100M freestyle. In his senior year of high school, Kelly won both the 50M and 100M freestyle Virginia state championships. Because of his finish, Kelly earned an honor on the Washington Post’s All-Met swimming team in 2010. In Kelly’s freshman year at Mason, he again faced struggles acclimating himself with the increased workouts, training and competition at the collegiate level. “I did what I wanted to do, mostly, I reached pretty much all my goals. I wanted to prove to everybody that even though I was a freshman I could still help them compete,” Kelly said. “Freshman year was mostly survive, and then sophomore year I got to actually start training at a higher caliber.” Kelly made strides in his sophomore year, winning relay medals in meets, but he did not reach any individual goals that he was aiming to accomplish. At the 2012 Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb., Kelly focused on making the time standard for that summer after being reinvigorated by a personal record at a post-season exhibition meet. “A couple weeks after conferences, I hadn’t really been swimming that much, but I really wanted to qualify for Olympic Trials. I thought I would be pretty close, so after [the exhibition
meet], I dedicated myself that spring and the first part of summer to get a trials cut,” Kelly said. “I swam my meet and missed [the cut] by about .3 seconds, so that was pretty hard to deal with.” Kelly’s slim defeat at Olympic trials brought about a strain of doubt and defeat. “During [Olympic Trials], I just felt like I kind of let myself down and it kind of messed with my head a bit for the rest of summer. I didn’t really want to swim anymore that summer,” Kelly said. “I was not really taking things too seriously and I needed a break.” After a month to reflect, Kelly came back to Mason for his junior year re-energized and determined to train harder and act as one of the leaders to younger swimmers. “[Kelly] very much likes being part of the team and a team leader. He understands what’s made him better and wants to see others do the same thing. He’s become a very good team player,” Ward said. Kelly embraces his role as a leader and upperclassman on the team and is proud of his fellow senior swimmers in changing the culture of the swimming team. “When I was a freshman, it was kind of hard because I felt like not necessarily that we were being judged, but that it was harder to impress the upperclassmen. Not that it was a bad thing or anything, but that was just kind of the way things were,” Kelly said. “Not only me, but our freshman class in general, has brought the
“I’m pretty focused on the team right now. With this being our inaugural year in the A-10, I really want us to come in there, guns blazing, and just show everybody like, yeah, we’re ready to out-swim you guys and we’re ready to compete,” Kelly said. “We’ll show them what we’re all about.” Joey Kelly, senior team up with a much more positive attitude.” For the upcoming season, Kelly is focused on the team’s performance and wants to make a statement in Mason’s first season competing in the Atlantic 10. “I’m pretty focused on the team right now. With this being our inaugural year in the A-10, I really want us to come in there, guns blazing, and just show everybody like, yeah, we’re ready to out-swim you guys and we’re ready to compete,” Kelly said. “We’ll show them what we’re all about.”
Oct. 28, 2013
PATRIOTS! VOTE ON NOVEMBER 5! Got something to say about politics? Speak up! Vote on November 5!Virginia students have a chance to make decisions on important issues facing the country. Here is what you need to know to vote this year: Check Your Voter Registration: ConďŹ rm whether you are registered at your school address or back home at www.sbe.virginia.gov. Make a plan: Find your polling place at www.sbe.virginia.gov. Virginia residents registered back home should apply to that county board of elections for an absentee ballot by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 29. What ID is needed to vote: Student IDs from a Virginia college or university can be used as voter ID if it has your picture or your name and address. A list of acceptable IDs can be found at www.sbe.virginia.gov. VOTE! POLLS ARE OPEN FROM 6:00 A.M. TO 7:00 P.M. ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 5. Find your polling location at www.sbe.virginia.gov.
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9/26/13 2:39 PM