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@ivestate |



How students define and celebrate a diverse and changing school


LIFESTYLE Mason students share their story by writing a phrase on their body for Dear World event

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NEWS Koch Uncovered Part 3: Provost David Wu discusses administrative relation with the Charles Koch Foundation

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OPINIONS Who are anorexic people? A first-person insight into what it is like to live with the eating disorder source:

April 16, 2018 Volume 5 Issue 20

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NEWS Find out more about Mason’s mental health resources to help with end-of-year stress

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For all inquiries, please email a resume and two clips (or visual samples) to: AND apply online at


Fareeha Rehman Sosan Malik Co-Editors-in-Chief

Katya Beisel Copy Chief

Michael Eberhart News Editor

Alex Shedd News Assistant Editor

Dinanda Pramesti Lifestyle Editor

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Bad journalist, good human. Good human, bad journalist.

Co-Editor-in-Chief Sosan Malik

Co-Editor-in-Chief Fareeha Rehman

Not my quote, though I paraphrased due to expletives. Is a good journalist required to leave the emotion that makes us human out of work that requires human connections? Pulitzer Prize winner David Finkel used this quote throughout his keynote speech about journalism ethics this past weekend at Society of Professional Journalists’ Region Two conference. While he had plenty of captivating moments, this line is the one left echoing in me.

News Editor Michael Eberhart

Lifestyle Asst. Editor Basma Humadi

News Asst. Editor Alex Shedd

Opinions Editor Jamie Beliveau

Lifestyle Editor Dinanda Pramesti

Copy Chief Katya Beisel

One of the tenets of my decision to study journalism is that I am a good human. In fact, I feel it is necessary to do the job. As much as we are trained to question sources, I have to believe sources can sense our authenticity and in turn trust us with their stories. There is much more context needed than I can provide in this space, but essentially, unless it is truly a matter of life and death, Finkel says journalism ethics requires us to be bystanders, just shadows taking note of every action and conversation without interference.

It would be laughable to compare my experiences to his investigative journalism career, which has lasted longer than my own life. But I hope, 10, 20 years into journalism I have held on to my good conscious and still feel like a good journalist.

Fareeha Rehman Co-Editor-in-Chief Photo Editor Allie Thompson

George Mason University Mail stop 2C5 4400 University Drive Fairfax, Va. 22030 Phone 703-993-2950

Jamie Beliveau Opinions Editor

Catherine McKay Online Editor

Billy Ferguson Art Director

Allie Thompson Photo Editor

Emmett Smith Distribution Manager

Kathryn Mangus Director

David Carroll Associate Director

Jason Hartsel Assistant Director

Jessica Smith Business Office Manager

I understand this. We are observers, we are not part of the story ourselves. But to even have that kind of access… to document the last moments of a soldier’s life, as Finkel has, it is hard to believe he did not display good nature or have undocumented conversations that passed his way into his sources’ most intimate moments.

Do you agree with the quote? Let me know via email or tweeted @ivestate

Art Director Billy Ferguson

Basma Humadi Lifestyle Assistant Editor

Online Editor Catherine McKay 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 provided. Fourth Estate is a free publication, limit one copy per person. Additional copies are 25 cents payable to the Office of Student Media.

COVER PHOTO CREDITS Fourth Estate/Allie Thompson Lifestyle Dear world Fourth Estate/ Ibrahim Ahmad News Transparent GMU Photo courtesty of Twitter Opinions Anorexia Fourth Estate/ Ally McAlpine Lifestyle Mental Health Photo courtesy of common





“This means that if your next door a neighbor goes to UVA or William & Mary, the state is funding their education more than they are funding your education at as a George Mason student,” said Pascarell. “That’s what the disparity produces.”


Mason hosted a town hall meeting to discuss tuition rates and student fees with J.J Davis, Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance, and Rose Pascarell, Vice President of University Life, on Monday, April 9, in Dewberry Hall. During the meeting, they discussed Mason’s funding compared to other universities, the value and costs of higher education and divisive issues such as the salary increase of university President Ángel Cabrera and student housing. Perhaps the most highly discussed issue was the proposed increased cost of tuition that ranged from 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent -- the equivalent of roughly $537-656 per student. “Our goal is to try to drive it down to the 4.5 percent range,” said Davis.

Photo courtesy of GEORGE MASON POLICE


The main factor in determining the increased tuition for 2018-2019 year depends on the state budget, which has not yet been finalized. There are currently three different, competing proposals for the budget introduced by former Governor Terry McAuliffe, the House of Delegates and the Senate. The budget proposed by the previous governor favors Mason, giving the university $14.7 million in undergraduate funding. In the House of Delegates’ budget, Mason receives a similar amount than in the governor’s budget but there are more provisions attached. Finally, in the budget from the Senate, Mason receives only about half of the money compared to the other two proposed budgets. Davis explained the main reason the budget has not been passed yet is due

to the disagreements over the allocation of Medicaid funding between the legislative bodies in Richmond. The three budgets will be discussed in a special session on Wednesday, April 11. Apart from not having a budget passed, the state government also decreased their funding for Virginia universities from 67 percent in 1985 to 25 percent in 2018 -- a 42 percent decrease. Beyond this reduced funding, Mason also receives less money from the state compared to other universities like Virginia Tech and University of Virginia. One cause for this financial disparity is that Mason grew as a university during a time when the state budget was being cut, according to Davis, and the budget has never been rebalanced.

For out-of-state students, this issue is complicated because Virginia does not provide financial compensation for out-of-state students in any state university, further increasing the tuition gap between in-state and out-of-state rates. This includes Washington, D.C. residents such as Jasmine Johnson, a sophomore studying mechanical engineering and a representative for D.C. College Access Program. “I’m considered out-of-state but I’m from D.C., which makes no sense to me,” Johnson said. “I understand you want to put your students that live in Virginia first, but at the same time Mason is still part of Northern Virginia, which is also part of the DMV. I don’t understand why D.C. students are paying out-of-state tuition, especially since we have such limited choices for colleges in this area.” Another issue brought to attention was the three percent salary increase of Cabrera, which was one percent higher than the two percent increase budgeted for Mason’s faculty. Cabrera made $683,717 in 2016-2017, compared to $536,714 in the previous academic year. Sophomore Caroline McCaig, president of the student organization GMU Student Power, attended the meeting and took issue with Cabrera’s increase in salary increase. The Board


of Visitors recently approved a three percent increase in the president’s salary, with two percent of the funding coming from Richmond. “You’re saying we’re not getting enough money from the state yet 2 percent of that money that came from them is going straight to Cabrera,” said McCaig. McCaig also wants more transparency from Mason and the Board of Visitors as to the monetary decisions made at Mason. “They’re raising tuition and I think they shouldn’t,” explained McCaig. “Before [the university] can say it wants more from us, I think that they should be more transparent… I would like to see universities that are run by the faculty, staff, and students that care about it.” McCaig took particular issue with the funding decisions made by the Board of Visitors, whose members are appointed by the state governor rather than Mason students. “The student position that we have on there is non-voting,” McCaig said. “That’s not having student input, that’s a smokescreen. I would like to see really involved student and faculty contributions as to where the money is going and what we think we need.” The meeting ended with a conversation dominated by housing concerns, as Mason is demolishing student apartments this summer and has given housing priority to underclassmen for the 2018-2019 school year. More information about the student housing issue will be announced over the summer.

Monday, April 9, 2018 - Jefferson Hall, 11:30 p.m. Intimidation: Complainant (GMU) reported a conflict with a roommate (GMU). Referred to Office of Student Conduct (OSC). Case 2018-003495 - Referred to OSC. Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - Fairfax Campus, 4:35 p.m. (Reported)

Thursday, April 12, 2018 (Reported) - April 9 (Incident), Dominion Hall Theft from Building: Complainant (GMU) reported the theft of an unattended backpack from an unsecured location.

Stalking: Complainant (GMU) reported receiving unwanted contact from a known Subject (GMU) on multiple occasions.

Case 2018-003630 - Pending.

Case 2018-003526 - Referred to Title IX.

Friday, April 13, 2018 - York River Road and Patriot Circle, 12:20 a.m.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 - The HUB, 3:13 p.m.

Liquor Law Violations/Drunkenness/Possession of Fictitious ID: Subject (GMU) was arrested and transported to Fairfax County Adult Detention Center for being intoxicated in public and possessing a fictitious identification card. A second Subject (GMU) was issued a releasable summons for possessing alcohol while under age 21 and a third Subject (GMU) was referred to Office of Student Conduct (OSC) for the same offense.

Drug/Narcotic Violations: Officer confiscated illegal drugs. Case 2018-003579 - Pending. Wednesday, April 11, 2018 (Reported) - April 9 (Incident), Sandbridge Hall, 10:00 p.m. Sexual Assault/Rape: Complainant (GMU) reported being sexually assaulted by a known Subject (GMU). Case 2018-003582 - Pending.

Case 2018-003646 - Cleared by Arrest/Cleared by Summons/Referred to OSC.






On Friday, April 13, Fourth Estate interviewed the university provost, David Wu, and Mason’s strategic communications director, Mike Sandler. Wu’s position as Mason’s provost means he is the chief academic officer at Mason as well as Mason’s executive vice president. Each dean of every school within Mason, as well as all vice presidents in the administration, report to Wu. The one exception to this rule is Janet Bingham, the vice president of university development and alumni affairs and president of the GMU Foundation, who reports to President Cabrera directly.

“What we got was a gift,” stated Wu in reference to the 5 million dollars the GMU Foundation accepted from the Charles Koch Foundation on behalf of Mason’s economics department on March 22, 2018. Within the terms of this gift agreement, Mason’s economics department would have to hire three tenure-track faculty members that would also be affiliated with the Mercatus Center, a Kochfunded institution associated with Mason. According to Wu, a gift is a “part of philanthropy from a foundation,” that the GMU Foundation can claim as a tax deductible, as opposed to a grant, which is money given “for something in exchange.” “The donor does not have the right... to make any decisions associated to the gift,” said Wu while discussing the


Recently, President Angel Cabrera was interviewed on WGMU’s podcast, “The Spin Room.” When asked about Fourth Estate’s reports on Koch donations and his involvement with the Charles Koch Foundation, he mentioned that Mason only seeks out donors whose mission aligns with Mason’s mission. In response to this statement made by the president, Wu said, “We are an educational institution, [and] as we are growing we need to build our capacity [in ways] such as hiring more faculty, [and] make sure we have the right kind of capacity to serve students as well. In that context, we are getting as much support as we can to do that.” Wu added, “This by no means means that we agree with everything the Koch Foundation stands for.” There is a growing concern among the faculty senate for the lack of transparency and potential restrictions on academic freedom that these donations could create.

The interview was scheduled by Sandler, who, in an email to Fourth Estate, said, “If you are really interested in learning about our partnership with the Charles Koch Foundation, we’d be happy to schedule some time for an in-depth conversation. I think that would give you a greater understanding of this partnership.”

One example of this concern, brought to Fourth Estate’s attention by Mason’s American Association of University Professors chapter president, Bethany Letiecq, stems from the similarities between the Searle Freedom Trust’s mission statement and Mason’s mission statement. Searle Freedom Trust is a private donor organization that, according to The Center for Public Integrity, has close ties to the Charles Koch Foundation.

However, upon being asked in person about this “partnership,” Sandler said “We should stop at the word ‘partnership’ because i misspoke using that word.” “[Partnerships] tend to normally describe a formal agreement...that both sides of the partnership agree to do something together with an agreed upon goal. This is not the case with the Charles Koch Foundation,” said Wu of the alleged partnership.


Part of Searle Freedom Trust’s mission statement reads, “ support work that will lead to a more just, free, and prosperous society.”

differences between gifts and grants given to Mason by the Charles Koch

Similarly, part of Mason’s current mission statement reads, “A public, comprehensive, research university established by the Commonwealth of Virginia in the National Capital Region, we are an innovative and

Photo courtesy of TWITTER

“Twenty million dollars gets you a bench at Georgetown, but [20 million dollars] gets you a law school at George Mason,” said Chris Kennedy, a faculty senate member serving on the Ad Hoc Institutional Conflict of Interest Committee, in reference to recent faculty concerns over donations from the Charles Koch Foundation.

inclusive academic community committed to creating a more just, free, and prosperous world.” The mission statement was changed to add this passage by the administration in 2013, a year after Cabrera took office and six years after the first Koch donations to the school.

locally, nationally, and internationally as granting undue influence to the Koch Foundation.”

Much of the faculty senate members’ concern stems from a lack of transparency from the GMU Foundation in regard to releasing grant agreements that fund institutions at Mason like the Antonin Scalia Law School. Mason and the GMU Foundation currently face a lawsuit over the release of these documents filed by the student organization Transparent GMU.

“Koch has indicated that they would not be willing to commit the proposed level of funding if I do not continue to serve as chair until the proposal is implemented,” said Benson in a 2007 memo to the FSU faculty senate.

The Charles Koch Foundation also has a history of being accused of restraining academic freedom at other universities to which it has donated. One of these schools, Florida State University, received $7 million from the Charles Koch Foundation. In 2008, FSU received funding for the Program for the Study of Political Economy and Free Enterprise (SPEFE) and the Program for Excellence in Economic Education (EEE) at Florida State University. Funding for these programs was accepted by the FSU Foundation, a private entity that serves the same purpose as Mason’s GMU Foundation, in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding from the Charles Koch Foundation. According to “A Student Review of FSU’s Gift Acceptance Policy,” published in May 2015 by the FSU Progress Coalition and national nonprofit group UnKoch My Campus, “this agreement has been described

Funding from the Charles Koch Foundation directly impacted faculty members such as Dr. Bruce L. Benson, who served as the Economics Department chair at FSU.

Other than large state universities like FSU or GMU, smaller institutions have also been the target of Koch influence. According to an article by David Levinthal, “Koch brothers’ higher-ed investments advance political goals,” at the College of Charleston, “the Charles Koch Foundation sought names and email addresses of any student participating in a Kochsponsored class, and to be notified in advance of media outreach related to the school.” In response to faculty members and students that are concerned with the potential restriction of academic freedom, Wu said, “[Donors] have no control or direct influence on who we hire or are part of the hiring decision.” He also made it clear that “We have rejected gifts before when the donor does not understand that clear line.” When asked about these rejected gifts, Sandler replied that he and Wu were not at liberty to discuss those donations.







Stress and intense pressure can be caused by many different factors. For a college student, these difficult circumstances can be related to financial issues, lifestyle changes, academic pressures and demands, social pressures and lack of food or sleep.

MODEL WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION CONFERENCE 2018 Mason students study drug policies, practices, and prevention TISHA HERRERA STAFF WRITER

On April 14, Mason hosted their third annual World Health Organization Conference (MWHO) where Mason students heard and discussed drug crises around the world, and demonstrated a simulation of a how an actual World Health Organization (WHO) Assembly would be delegated at their headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHO is a health organization agency of the United Nations, dedicated to helping the people around the world have access to better public health. This mission includes research designed for the prevention and treatment of diseases, as well as helping those with physical and mental disorders in their overall well-being. The MWHO conference is designed to teach students to “learn about all these different global health policy crises, or health crises in general,” said executive director for MWHO, Aisha Shafi. When world health leaders come together, it can be difficult to find common ground on resolutions. MWHO “is meant to mimic” an actual WHO conference and give Mason students an “idea of what it is actually like to be put into the shoes of these leaders that are making these critical decisions.”

MWHO’s theme for their conference was “Drug Policies, Practices, and Prevention.” Teams were divided into two branches: delegates and volunteers. Matthew Owens, MWHO theme director, clarified the differences between the two positions. A volunteer would be “working behind the scenes,” and a delegate would “have the choice of representing a country” to simulate an actual WHO conference. Davide Genoese-Zerbi, a delegate-registered Mason student in attendance, said the MWHO conference “is a lot of fun, because [delegates] end of solving ridiculous crises, and can come up with really creative solutions.” Last year Genoese-Zerbi played Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, and MWHO simulated a crisis in which “there were some eco-terrorists who managed to get a biological weapon of botulinum toxin in New York and threatened to detonate it.” During the delegate training lecture, Dr. Ruben Baler, the health science administrator from the Office of Science Policy and Communications at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said, “When it comes to policy, drug abuse, and addiction, there should be a kind of ‘Goldilocks paradigm,’ that

there’s someone in-between the very cold, and the very hot soup,” where “there’s a lukewarm kind of soup that’s right for different countries—that’s very context dependent.” Bailer transitioned his discussion into scientific reasoning behind why drug abuse should be discussed in public policy. What followed was a slide of the human dopamine system, a part of the brain that processes reward. He explained the dopamine system in the human brain and its connection to drug consumption to show the “genetics of addiction,” and called for the delegates to consider “the ways in which genetic differences can contribute to interindividual differences in increased of substance abuse and addiction.” Bailer explained that researchers from NIH found in 1999 that “people with high dopamine receptor levels, tend to experience the injection of Ritalin, a cocaine-like molecule, with adversity,” and the same people are also genetically less likely to take or abuse drugs, because they do not “like the experience of the magnification of the dopamine levels,” whereas the exact opposite is found with people with low dopamine receptor levels.

Dr. Robyn Mehlenbeck, director of the Mason Center for Psychological Services and associate professor in the psychology department, stated, “[Mental illness] is one more thing that someone is trying to handle in the college setting. Someone with a mental illness may also worry about the stigma of the illness, which may lead to not taking care of themselves properly.” Stress is directly linked to higher rates of conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes, and plays a role in worsening depression and anxiety as well as drug and alcohol abuse, according to the Mayo Clinic. One campus mental health resource is the Student Support and Advocacy Center. At the center, staff members support students and guide them as they consider steps to take regarding issues such as interpersonal violence, substance abuse and overall health and wellbeing. “I think one of the main contributors to stress and anxiety is academics,” said Assistant Director John Cicchetti

of SSAC. “A lot of times for students, stressors are coupled. So it’s academics, plus this and that.” For support from clinically trained staff, students can head to Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), where staff offer mental health care and education to students in need, as well as the surrounding community. “We are one of only two centers in northern Virginia with sliding scale fees, and our highest fees are only one-half to one-third of comparable services in the community,” said Mehlenbeck, describing the support provided by the Center for Psychological Services. They also work with several community partners and agencies, including Inova Behavioral Health, Healthy Lives Fairfax, and the Pediatric Specialists of Virginia. Another group that students can turn to in a mental health crisis is the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. Mason also now offers the Mental Health First Aid course, a one-credit class taught by Kathleen Clare. The course teaches students how to help people facing a mental health crisis. “I would encourage students to consider and take advantage of their support systems, whether that’s the formalized resources here at Mason, CAPS and SSAC,” said Chicchetti. He added that students can go to personal systems as well, like friends, family members, mentors and others that can point them in the right direction in times of crisis.


With the academic year winding down, students can feel anxious with numerous end-of-year finals and papers looming ahead. In order to combat the end-of-year stress, Mason provides a variety of resources to help students handle mental health issues.







Program is expected to start before fall 2018

The statistics for sexual and gender-based harassment



The Mason Police Department recently acquired 28 body cameras that will soon be worn by patrol officers on all shifts. According to Chief of Police Carl Rowan, they hope to have the cameras in use as early as May and and as late as summer before the 2018-2019 school year begins. “The cameras provide two important elements: transparency and accountability,” said Rowan. “In cases where an individual might file a complaint against an officer, we can see what actually happens and we don’t have to rely on one word against another.” The cameras will be worn by the patrol officers on their ballistic vests and can be turned on with the click of a button. Additionally, department will have extra cameras to be used for special events or to be given to criminal investigators for special cases. The cameras cost less than $1000 each. The funding for the cameras came from the department’s existing budget. According to Rowan, the change is well timed, considering many other police departments are adopting or have already transitioned to using body cameras. “Right now we do have dash cameras in our cars, but a lot of our interactions take place in buildings, dorms, away from the vehicle, where they will

not be of use,” Rowan said. Rowan believes using the body cameras will result in a more trustworthy department. Rowan also added that student privacy concerns will be addressed in the official policies for the cameras, which are still being written. The department will also be incorporating the Virginia state policies of how long videos may be stored for various cases. “We are doing our best to learn from other departments that are using [the cameras] to make sure we come up with policies that serve everybody’s interest and don’t result in frivolous camera use and invasion of privacy,” Rowan said. One concern that the department is working with Information Technology Services to fix is how to store the data from the cameras. Once these storage issues have been resolved and the policies written, students may begin seeing the body cameras by next fall. “I think it will be a good program,” said Rowan. “I think the officers are enthusiastic about it. We’re trying to lean into technology, we’re not afraid of it. We want the university community to feel comfortable with the knowledge that if there are complaints they will be dealt with seriously. We’re willing to do everything possible to be transparent and accountable to the people we serve.”

Since the beginning of April there have been two reports of sexual assault and four reports of stalking according to the Daily Crime and Fire Log published by the Mason Police Department. In 2016 alone, there were 20 reported cases of rape on Mason’s Fairfax campus, according to the Crime Statistics Report from the Department of Police and Public Safety. The number of rapes has increased since 2014, when Mason had 11 reported cases. Other crimes reported included stalking, with an almost 50 percent increase from 2014 to the 69 reported cases in 2016. “Less than 10 percent of our students are interested in a formal investigation,” stated Jennifer Hammat, the Title IX coordinator at Mason. She added most student victims seek a no-contact order instead of an investigation, formal or informal. This order is a contract that can keep a student from contacting another.

sexual assault. In 2014, President Àngel Cabrera formed the Task Force on Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence. According to Cabrera, the Task Force members provide him with a “set of recommendations” on how Mason can “employ a comprehensive campuswide approach to eradicating sexual assault and interpersonal violence.” Items that were marked for improvement in the Task Force on Sexual Assault on Interpersonal Violence report from Feb. 28, 2015 included initiating a broad campus-wide outreach campaign, integrating bystander intervention and healthy relationship materials in transition programming for students, and using the “You Have Options” Law Enforcement program.

and gathers the evidence, witnesses and records for a report to build a case. Because Mason follows a dominating evidence standard, more than half the evidence in a Title IX investigation would need to be convincing, in order to have a case. Actual trials and verdicts are conducted and given by the Office of Student Conduct. Other schools may have the entire process done by one person or even outsource it to a private investigator. If students have been affected by sexual assault, they may contact Mason’s 24-hour Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence Crisis Line at: 703-380-1434. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). An annual campaign at Mason, events and workshops are held until April 26. .

Mason is set apart from other universities based on how Title IX investigations are dealt with, as the university has an investigator-adjudication model. This means that CDE is the investigator

According to Mason’s University Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Interpersonal Violence, items that are investigated under Title IX include: sexual assault, sexual exploitation, interpersonal violence, stalking, sexual or genderbased harassment, retaliation and complicancy.

Mason has a variety of resources and educational events throughout the year, which include Take Back the Night, Clothesline Project, The Victims’ Rights Run/ Walk, and AnyOne Can Step UP! and Mason offers a 24-hour hotline for victims of



Hammat also explained the numbers that are reported were not an accurate representation of all sexual assault victims, and there was not any way to know whether an increased number of reports reflected more crimes. “[Sexual assault cases] are so under-reported,” although the increase in reporting “does show that more people are willing to come forward and report,” said Hammat.






Sometimes all you need to tell a story is a few words, and maybe an expo marker HAILEY BULLIS STAFF WRITER

Returning to Mason for their third year, Dear World walks participants through five stages in order to narrow down to one moment in their life and from there into one message that was then written on them in expo marker. Participants then took a picture to share their story. Two participants, Aubrey Franca, junior, and Graham Ferguson, an alumnus, shared their story with each other during the fourth “connect” stage where participants shared their stories. And, while listening to their partner’s story, pick out meaningful phrases within their story. Franca’s her story began in her senior year of high school when she auditioned for the role of Tracey in the broadway play, “Hairspray”. After not getting the part of Tracey she was instead given the role of Prudy Pingleton, Penny Pingleton’s mom, and decided to play the role to the best of her ability. It was at that point her, “connect” partner, Ferguson wrote “I’m going to be the best me,” which Franca had said while telling her story to Ferguson. This ended up being the message she had written on her in expo marker.


Ferguson’s story was the story of how he came up with his drag name, “Heroine.” Ferguson struggled to come up with what he wanted to call himself until he listened to the song “Kung Fu Fighting” by CeeLo Green. In Green’s song, one lyric reads, “You’ve got to be your own hero.” This became his inspiration for his name and for Dear World.

Gee then continued teaching the class for three more summers after. She hopes to bring what she learned in the class Environmental Education degree in grad school. At the last session, where all the pictures taken that day were revealed, three students were asked to speak and share their stories: Lauren Back, Alex Gamboa, and Maggie Ryan. Back’s story came from a broken promise to her high school pre-calculus teacher to not pursue an education, and furthermore a career, in STEM. In 2016, Back added a minor in environmental science, and in 2017 she was looking at applying for her masters degree in Environmental Science with a focus in science communication and started a research project that fall.


“When Ralph Serpas came in with ‘cancer free’ written on his neck, it kind of changed it because it had nothing to do with the oil spill, it had nothing to do with New Orleans. It was based on his own personal experience from his battle with cancer and finding out he is cancer free,” said Johnson. For Dear World, and Fogarty, this was a turning point after seeing other people interacting with Serpas and asking about his message instead of the picture he had taken.

had no idea what it was, it’s called ‘Project Make’, which is just like STEM education. So I helped with that class and all these kids were super excited they got to make claw machines and ski ball things, and all these really cool stuff out of cardboard….So at the end of the week I saw these kids go home with all this stuff and they were so excited,” said Gee.

“So yes, I broke my promise to you, Mr. Calahan, I’m pursuing STEM,” Back said when sharing her story. Gamboa, a Navy veteran, told the story of when he was in boot camp, he failed to complete the physical test part. A division mate who saw Gamboa’s willingness to take responsibility for his failure, ran alongside him to help him pass. His message was, “He ran alongside me.” Finally, Ryan’s story stemmed from her father’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s. In her senior year, Ryan confided in her friend who still sends her articles on the disease in an effort to show his support a year later. “He still sends me articles,” read Ryan’s message. Johnson hopes that Dear World helps people take away a divisive mindset, “We’re so quick to look at somebody who doesn’t look like us and start to think about how different they are,” continued Johnson, “So let’s start talking about the things that are inside of us, the things that we have been through, and who we are.” “Keep asking people what their pictures mean, what their messages means, I feel like that’s the best way to hear the best stories,” said Johnson.


Dear World is a project that started in New Orleans after the BP Oil spill and was started by Robert Fogarty as a fundraiser to help those affected by the oil spill. Set up in bars and similar places, people would write “love letters” to New Orleans said Fresh Johnson, the program leader for Dear World. That was changed by a man named Ralph Serpas.

Another student, senior Spencer Gee, whose message read, “I found my passion in creation” said, “I worked at a summer camp, and the first time I went there they put me on a class that I


On April 11, Mason hosted an event called Dear World. The event was split into three sessions, two of which were the workshop portion, and the last being the “unveiling” of all the photos taken during the two sessions and the stories that came with them.





FACES OF MASON delves into the lives of Mason students, faculty or alumni, and organizations every week. This week, we take a close look at Assistant Professor Rachel Debuque, Mason student Annabelle Anderson, and Academic Advisor Bobby Yi. If you know of a Mason student, faculty member, alumnus or alumna, or organization that would like to be featured on FACES OF MASON please submit your request via: INTERVIEWS BY BASMA HUMADI


R A C H E L D E B U Q U E , A S S I S TA N T P R O F E S S O R , S C H O O L OF ART AND DESIGN What do you teach at Mason? I teach Sculpture and 3D Design classes. I am also the director of the Studio Foundations program which is all the foundational art classes first year students must take as art majors. Next semester, I am teaching an Art and Humor class which I am super excited for.

I studied sculpture in undergraduate and graduate school but I don’t primarily make sculptures. I like sculpture as a discipline because it included it’s expanded forms as well. As an artist, I am completely media agnostic. I do performance, video, installation and digital work. I am also part of a collaboration called PLAKOOKEE with my partner, Justin Plakas. He works in mostly digital forms, so my art has evolved under his influence. Where did you grow up? I grew up in Columbia, Maryland, so Mason is out of state for me. Why did you want to go to Mason? I actually didn’t want to go to Mason, mostly because I didn’t know anything about it. I originally had my heart set on VCUarts, but my mom made me apply to GMU because she must have had a good feeling about it. VCU ended up being out of my price range, and once I realized that, I toured GMU for the first time. And I totally loved it! I also ended up loving the art program much more than the one at VCUarts. I am a visual arts student, but I also have interests with theater and other forms of art. At Mason, I am not limited to just one category, which means I can take classes in and participate in basically anything I want, which would not have been the case if I had gone to a school that was strictly an “art school.”

What influences/informs your art? Are there any recurring themes and if so, why do you think that is? I am currently working on a series of portrait drawings that explore the same theme. The best way I can currently describe this theme is, “using subtle body horror to vaguely expose a mental illness or ailment,” and I am only drawing people I am very close with who actually have these mental illnesses or ailments. Some topics I have dealt with so far are severe migraines, bipolar disorder, and having a stutter. Through these drawings I don’t think my main focus is necessarily to raise awareness or attention to these issues, or to put a real face to an ailment, but rather to make others who suffer from them feel represented. I have four more drawings planned out, and my goal is to have them displayed in a show.

What made you want to be an artist? I feel as if I didn’t really have a choice. I never felt a draw to anything like I did with making art. I have always had a material curiosity. I grew up living with my grandfather and he was constantly changing and altering the house. I loved watching concrete getting poured, and stucco designs being created. For some reason, every wall was stucco….so very 80s. If I didn’t flex that material muscle regularly, I felt really lost. I just feel compelled to make things. I think and meditate while I make. It is therapeutic sometimes and at other times a compulsion that can drive me a little crazy. What influences/informs your art? Are there any themes that keep reoccurring - if so, why do you think that is? I have always been interested in themes of ambiguity and humor. The “in


Photo courtesy of ANNABELLE ANDERSON

What kind of art do you create/ gravitate toward (ex. sculptures, paintings, etc) and why?

between” is such an interesting place to me because it has no concrete answer. It is far more interesting to observe things that make you think, “I don’t know.” This has always fascinating to me because I am mixed Filipino and Czech and grew up in a very white area. I was never easily categorized. My art often mixes and merges objects, imagery, and ways of making. People are often uncomfortable with ambiguity. We like things to be in categories, it is the way our brains work. But by flexing the muscle that allows for the gray space to expand, we are opening up to new ideas and possibilities. Humor plays a role in my art because it is easy to disarm people with laughter. When we laugh, we let our guard down and more easily accept new ways of seeing. Humor has helped me survive every hard thing I have had to go through. It’s how I relate and forgive. It is natural to incorporate it into every part of my life. I am teaching an Art and Humor class this fall, which will

discuss and make work based on the role of absurdity, parody, whimsy, and wit. We are going make a lot of weird stuff, I can’t wait! What is something you want your students to take away from your teaching? I want my students to wash off their high school standardized tests and realize that failure is an essential part of learning. I have so many students who want to know how to do it “right.” There is so right in art making! You have to fail hard over and over until you get something that is interesting. Our brains will create, obvious, boring things until we allow our minds to open to the adjacent possibilities. That takes making duds to find. I think that this applies to all disciplines, if you don’t take chances, you will always make safe decisions, which will never lead to breakthroughs. So, fail hard, fail often and be proud of your failures.






Looking for a way to de-stress during finals season? Check out what platforms are available for streaming television online ANGELIQUE ARINTOK STAFF WRITER

With finals season right around the corner, students are looking for ways to destress and wind down amid the pressure of completing research papers, group projects and exams. One of the go-to methods of relaxation is watching television. However, as time goes on the likelihood of a student catching their favorite shows live on television grows slim. A schedule that balances work and school is hectic. But streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video and HBO Go make it easier for the average student to either binge-watch or plainly tune into one or a few episodes of a current or previously aired television show.


In a survey conducted by the Fourth Estate on Twitter (@IVEstate), students were asked what TV subscription they preferred among the following choices: HBO Go, Prime Video, Hulu and Netflix. The results were aggregated from a total of 53 votes with 69 percent choosing Netflix, 15 percent selecting Hulu and both 8 percent toward Prime Video and HBO Go. Conducting this survey showcased the overwhelming use and preference of Netflix among students.

I was born in Seoul, South Korea and emigrated to the U.S. in 1972 and lived in Northern Virginia most of my life. I would call McLean my hometown. Langley HS class of ‘86. What do you do as academic advisor and what do you find rewarding about this work? The purpose of my job is to guide students towards academic success. I try to do this by providing students with tools and resources that they can use to attain their personal goals. I am also the friend who is here to listen. The reward is when I witness students rise up, break through, and make their visions happen. What’s something interesting about you? I am a mutant. I was born with a condition called Bimanual Sykinesia or Mirror Movement Disorder. This

means that I have great difficulty in moving my hands independently – they move at the same time. Last I heard, there is only 1 in 1 million people who have this condition. I look silly painting because the other hand is mimicking the painting hand. The cool thing is that I can write backwards without thought. I think Leonardo Di Vinci had the same condition.

community is Amazon Prime, particularly Amazon Prime Student.

Sophomore Reagan Ortiz and senior Ashley Melton are exclusively subscribed to Netflix.

This subscription service offers both fast delivery on items like textbooks or tech needs and a special feature called Prime Video, which is comparable to Netflix and Hulu. After a free six-month trial, Prime Student is offered at $49 a year with provision of a .edu email address.

Ortiz said she personally finds herself on the streaming service during her free time and plays it in the background while studying, whereas Melton said she watches shows on the weekends. Her favorites including “90210” and “Vampire Diaries.” Binge-watching television shows is not an odd tale among college students. Ortiz admitted to binge-watching programs on Netflix such as “One Tree Hill,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “One Day at a Time,” and “New Girl.” Alessia Andrejasich, a transfer student at Mason, said she is subscribed to HBO Go, Prime Video, Hulu and Netflix. But Andrejasich finds herself more on Netflix and Hulu. Andrejasich has binge-watched “Breaking Bad,” and “13 Reasons Why.” Her favorite programs include “Law and Order: SVU,” “Friends,” and “That’s 70’s Show.” Netflix seems to be a household staple subscription. Many students use the platform with subscriptions they already had from home. Another popular subscription among the Mason

The hit music-streaming platform Spotify is available to students at $4.99 (plus tax) a month. Not only does this include a subscription to Spotify Premium, but is also packaged with Hulu featuring limited commercials. For such a low price, students have an opportunity to listen to tunes and watch television on their own time. HBO Go - a free service offered to Mason students living on campus - is also worth mentioning. By simply selecting George Mason University as a provider, any student at the university has free access to HBO programs such as “Last Week Tonight by John Oliver,” “Silicon Valley” and “Big Little Lies.” Catching television programs live is growing less prominent, especially for students with hectic schedules. Platforms and subscriptions available with just a touch of a button are shifting the game for how students are consuming their television.

You’re also an artist - what influences your work? It used to be into politics and world events and at times it still interests me because I have always believed that as artists we have been blessed with the God-given ability to both document and dictate culture. These days, minimalist aesthetics have my interests. Got to clear the clutter sometimes. What do you want students to take away from your teaching? Rules are meant to be broken with better ones.

Photo courtesy of TWITTER

Where did you grow up?

Netflix offers monthly subscriptions between $11.99-$13.99 to consumers. Moreover, students find themselves more on this specific streaming

platform than those previously mentioned.







Becoming an independent institution in 1979, Mason is constantly changing. Whenever you walk around campus, you will find new buildings being built. This is one of the hallmarks of Mason. The idea of constantly redefining and bettering yourself exists not only in Mason’s buildings and hallways, but also in the people who attend it.


Mason is one of the largest public institutions in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with 35,189 students. However, for many years, transfer students have struggled to transition smoothly from Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) to Mason. This fall, the launch of ADVANCE: a partnership between these two institutions took place.

and we can make a promise that for those majors, all 60 of the credits they take at NOVA will count productively towards their degree. No wasted credits, which leads to a faster and less expensive degree” said Marks.

Mason when I transferred but not all my credits were able to count because both schools have different requirements” she added, “The work is much harder, and more challenging compared to my last school.”

Many undergraduate students here at Mason decide to go to NOVA community college their first two years and then transfer to Mason.

The partnership aims to create a smooth transition for NOVA students to a public university with admissions, financial aid and advising. Dr. Michelle Marks, vice president for Academic Innovation and New Ventures at Mason, is one of the many faculty and staff members who worked on various aspects of this partnership for almost a year.

Edler Bonilla, a junior accounting major, transferred schools during the fall semester. “Mason is a bit more challenging than NOVA I would say, because it is harder, I felt like you have to be a little more dedicated. They expect more from you and there are a bunch of group projects, so you definitely have to be more involved.” Bonilla added, “when I transferred to Mason I noticed

Estefany Sanchez, a senior who transferred this fall said, “I had to switch up my major. I was going to do Business Administration but Mason doesn’t have that major. Instead it splits up into management, finance, marketing and accounting. That’s something I didn’t want to do, to choose only one thing.”

Miscommunication is a factor when community colleges do not have a strong commitment to helping students throughout this process. But this partnership removes barriers that prevent students from graduating on time or not getting the right amount of credits. “We have 21 majors at Mason that we can now offer to ADVANCE students who do their first 60 credits at NOVA,

that it is more as a commuter school just like NOVA and I guess that is the biggest similarity between the two.” Aba Morrison, a senior communication major who transferred in the fall of 2016, is one of many students who shared her experiences and challenges here at Mason before ADVANCE existed. “I talked to advisors here at

However, she recognized how helpful meeting up with an advisor was during orientation, “they told me what I needed to know and helped me with choosing classes. Although since I did change my major I did lose some credit. I am just glad all my math classes transferred, now it’s basically only core classes.” Dr. Marks confirmed NOVA and Mason are hiring five ADVANCE success coaches who will proactively advise NOVA transfer students. They will provide help with career advice and guidance for students navigating their own path from NOVA to Mason.

This is something that Ahmed Kamel, a senior, felt defined Mason. “Professors are always trying to push you to learn new things and be the best version of yourself,” he said. As an engineering student, he found that there are many opportunities offered for every major, and students are always encouraged to study abroad, apply for internships or join a research project. To Kamel, being a Mason Patriot means striving to achieve your full potential. Another thing that many people feel sets Mason apart is its diversity. This is no surprise given that Mason has been ranked the most diverse college in Virginia, with students from more than 130 countries and all cultural and religious backgrounds. This fact has not been lost on Mason

students. “Mason’s culture is so diverse that I can run into different people, with different ethnicities every day,” says Hassan Swaraldahab, a sophomore. “It is so fascinating how all of us are attending one school!” Rustem Boura, a junior, has also said that Mason’s diversity is one of the important things that define it. To him, being a part of a diverse school is important because he never feels alone. Having a diverse student body has made people accept each other’s’ different identities. For example, Rustem says that whenever he chooses to wear anything that people aren’t used to seeing, no one interferes. Connor Claytor, the Mason student behind Mason Spirit Squad, says Mason has a distinct vibe, culture and programs to get involved in. “It’s just a matter of connecting more students with them. Students often say that there’s not enough to do on this campus, but working for student involvement and Mason athletics has revealed to me that this just isn’t the case.” He continues on to say that Mason Spirit Squad hopes to advocate on behalf of the Student Involvement Office and the University at large in order to bridge the gap between students and Mason programs and events. To join the Mason Spirit Squad team, application is here: spiritsquadapp


Many colleges in Virginia have a culture that defines them. With Virginia Tech, for example, football comes to mind. With University of Virginia, the basketball team is the No. 1 seed in the nation. However, Mason has a lot more to offer than sports.





Photo courtesy of MASON ATHLETICS



An interview with Patriots’ pitcher Zach Mort DOMENIC ALLEGRA STAFF WRITER

On Wednesday, April 11, the Patriots (14-17) fell to the James Madison Dukes (16-16) by a score of 2-1.


“Pacific Rim Uprising” is an unnecessary sequel. A sequel is supposed to take the characters established in the first installment in a new direction. This follow-up is redundant with the feel of a spin-off. The beginning is absurd, the editing makes it feel incomprehensible, the acting is mostly monotone except for the young actors and Charlie Day - and some of the characters have no real purpose in the narrative. If it weren’t for the plot twist before the climactic battle, this movie would be rated worse than it currently is. [Star Rating: 2/4] “A Quiet Place” provides the thrills and chills fans of the genre want, but it’s more than a simple scare story. At its core is a tender story of a family trying to survive. They care for each other and will do anything to make sure they all see the light of day. Much of the content ranges from unsettling to heart-stopping and will keep people on the edge of their seats. It works like a silent film through the predominant use of sign language and use of Marco Beltrami’s score to carry the narrative. With John Krasinski as the auteur, he presents a well-acted and frightening, yet rather touching, horror film. [Star Rating: 3.5/4] (QUICK NOTE: I forgot to give Isle of Dogs a star rating in the last publication. My rating for the film is 4/4.)

KEY 4 = Great; 3 = Good; 2 = Fair; 1 = Poor; 0 = Ooh, let’s not go there

The Patriots are 11-4 at home this season but have struggled at away games with a record of 2-7. The Patriots have one goal in mind for this season: to win the Atlantic 10 Championship. After the game, Fourth Estate caught up with Junior pitcher Zach Mort. The two-time A10 Pitcher of the Week from Chesterfield, Virginia is 3-1 on the season, striking out 71 batters while maintaining a 1.73 ERA. “Every Friday we go into a series knowing what we’re going to get,” said Head Coach Bill Brown. “We’re going to get a great pitching performance from Zach, and he’s going to take us deep into the game, and we’re always going to have a chance to win the second he walks on to the mound.” Mort has come a long way from his tee-ball days, and he thanks his role models for developing him into the player he is today. Mort said the professional player he looks up to would be Sean Marshall from the Cubs. “He was an old lefty pitcher,” said Mort. But overall, he stated, “my dad always preached hard work and helped me become who I am today, so he has obviously been a huge role model for me.”

When asked about what he enjoys most about playing baseball, he responded, “definitely the atmosphere…the teammates…going out there and competing in competitions. Winning itself is fun, but you get to share it with all your guys and your teammates. It’s a big enjoyment.” Mort said that when it comes down to how he has contributed to the program, “I think every time I go out there, I try to put myself in the position where I can give the team the best chance to win. Every time I go out there I’m competing, and I try to work hard to compete.” He credits his coaches with teaching him about mentality on the mound. “It’s something that me and Coach [Pugh] have been talking about a lot recently,” Mort said. “Just preaching the mental game, getting inside your mind and telling yourself to calm down, telling yourself to control the game.” Coach Brown added that “Zach always been an impact guy for us from the day he came in… as a freshman...he was our closer and then he evolved into a starter…this year he has really come into his own and he has become one of the, if not the, top pitcher in the A10.” When asked about the best baseball advice he was ever given, Mort once again recalled his father. “[He] said,

‘throw hard.’ [It’s] short and to the point, I always liked that.” “It’s nice to be rewarded for hard work that I put in, but I’m lying if I say that this is what I go out there for...I mean… you go out there and I try to give my team the best chance to win, so the awards are something secondary that I cherish,” Mort reflected. When asked what the season highlight for the team would be, he cited two games against NC State and Louisville. “I think right now those are the two highlights of the year, even though we lost, we saw what we can do basically as a team, we can go out there and compete with those bigger level schools.” Looking forward, Mort wishes to continue playing baseball professionally after college. “[That’s] the goal, absolutely,” he said. “If I’m given the opportunity I definitely want to play professional baseball.” “We’ve had some… other guys who have pitched in the big leagues, but Zach is kinda special ‘on his own type’ guy,” said Coach Brown. “With what he throws, and how he throws...he really is a stand alone guy.” After the next series with the Georgetown Hoyas on April 13-15, the next home game will be on April 25 at 3pm against Mount St. Mary’s.





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Submissions Guidelines The Fourth Estate Opinions section is always looking for new op-ed pieces to publish in our paper! Please see the guidelines below for submission consideration. • Submissions must be no longer than 500-600 words

• Strong submissions will be timely and have topics relevant to the GMU student population and the local Fairfax area, but all opinionated pieces will be considered • All submissions must be original works written by the person submitting it • Submissions must be completed articles

I was Googling information about anorexia and fear when I saw this question under Google’s frequent searches for the keyword anorexia. It stopped me in my tracks. I had turned to the internet before when I needed information, forums and support during anorexia recovery. There are resources full of hope, advice and sympathy where those suffering and those with medical expertise can share experiences and suggestions. The trauma that comes with this disease leaves scars that fade slowly even after you have begun to rebuild your body. There are layers of pain and fear that require an enormous amount of strength and patience to overcome. None of this is easy. Not for those of us suffering with anorexia and not for the people who want to see us made healthy because they love us. And here’s this question—who are we? Who are anorexic people? Why are there anorexic people, more to the point? Why is the most basic instinct of all living creatures—nourishment—something of which we are incapable? Should we blame Barbie Dolls and photoshopped magazine covers? Should we wage a war against “fat-shaming” in comment sections all over the internet? What causes our obsession with thinness and why does it kill some of us? Why do I feel fear and guilt when I give my body the calories

I know it needs? Why is the image I see in the mirror that of a girl distorted by terror? Which parts of my self-worth are really my own and which parts are controlled by my eating disorder? So much of this keeps me awake at night, yet it remains unanswerable. Right now, as I am writing this, I know how many calories I have eaten today. I am aware of the number, the percentage of nutrients, and the way those numbers are making me feel about my body. Some days are easier than others, but today is not one of those days. I want to find the words to help myself understand even as I try to make others understand too. To explain this sickness to someone who has never endured it is no simple task. You could think of it as slowly drowning. There is an overwhelming, all-encompassing sea around you. You flail about, trying to keep your head floating above the water as you are battered about by towering waves crashing over your small body. Each attempt you make to swim only leaves you fatigued. Your head slips under the waves time and time again. You choke on water, your lungs ache, and every inch of you hurts as the panic sets in. You want to live. You are tired enough to want to die. You are all at once a contradiction of every emotion and impulse in your mind.

You refuse to eat, so your mind eats itself. Your thoughts are consumed as you sink deeper, and while you wonder if you are doomed to lose your health and life, you also wonder if you’ve lost yourself too. That’s what the most desperate stage of anorexia feels like. That’s what I was reduced to when I had starved myself down to a shred of person who would cry in fear at the slightest provocation. It was the darkest point of my life, and I am not the only one who has been there in that deep ocean. So who are we? We are your classmates. We are your students. We are your friends. We are your significant others. We are your sisters. We are your brothers. We are. We exist. And we are fighting, constantly, to recover. That’s who we are.

A strong submission will include a brief description of you as a writer, including any background you may have that gives you more credibility to write about your subject. For example, a government major would have more credibility when writing an article about government. Editors reserve the right to edit articles and headlines at their discretion. source:


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Opinions do not reflect the views of Fourth Estate. Submit opinions to

LETTER TO THE EDITOR In response to “Students examine George Mason’s Past” in Issue 18 The article “Students examine George Mason’s Past” describes chilling aspects of slavery on the estate of our university’s namesake. It understandably reduced one student’s regard for the Founding Fathers. However, I want to offer balancing information. Virginia was a slave state, the system having been imposed by the British. In spite of this, Virginia’s delegates to the Constitutional Convention, including Mason, were the most active advocates for abolition of slavery at the Constitutional Convention. Georgia and the two Carolinas – with tacit support from Connecticut, whose industries had a heavy trade with the southern states, rejected this position. Mason was one of three delegates who refused to approve the Constitution, his reason being failure to ban slavery and lack of a bill of rights. The main point is that it’s important to not just focus on a condition like Mason’s ownership of slaves but to take the times and larger circumstances into account. Doing that lets us feel good about that bronze statue of a chunky man showing his Virginia bill of rights. Frank T. Manheim, Affiliate Professor



Protecting our national security should be a priority for the United States government. Whether it is through diplomacy or military action, keeping our allies and ourselves safe from rogue states, terrorist organizations and lone wolves is paramount. The hot question nowadays is, how much is too much? According to the Department of Defense, there are around 5000 United States military bases, with approximately 600 of those located in foreign countries. This all comes with an annual price tag of $686 billion as of FY 2019. President Trump made it a priority during his campaign to, “make sure our military is the best in the world”. This likely means more spending, more bases, and more personnel. So does all this extra spending and increased presence in foreign countries make us safer? It is hard to answer whether the extra spending, military bases, etc. makes us safer, but I do think they are necessary in many cases. There is no doubt about it: the United States has an empire that stretches across the globe. Many of us are not aware of the extent to which our military is spread. We have been told since the Cold War that these foreign bases are necessary for defense and retaliation. In a world where world-peace is a rightfully important objective, I do believe our presence in foreign countries is justified.

near the DMZ – a heavily fortified border with North Korea. Although peace-talks are set to begin in the near future, North Korea remains a dangerous and potentially devastating rogue state. South Korea, one of our biggest allies in Asia, has a lot to lose if North Korea was to launch an attack, whether conventional or nuclear. The United States’ presence in the region acts as a deterrent (although some would argue it does the exact opposite), and a potential quick-action force for retaliation. In Eastern Europe, 4,500 new NATO troops (including United States) were just deployed. This military presence, again, acts as a deterrent for Russia. Many bases around Africa labeled as “lily-pads” provide assistance and support to local militaries fighting against extremist groups such as Boko Haram (Nigeria), al-Shabab (Somalia) and al-Qaeda (Libya).

Many of these bases are in response to growing threats against our allies or ourselves. I recognize that the United States spends far too much money on defense and that many of these bases are controversial (and frankly some are not needed), but there is a legitimate reason for having them. If the foreign governments agree to the installation of military bases and the military personnel are acting in accordance with U.S. law, then I see very little reason to withdrawal completely from the majority of these countries at this time. I do believe, however, that is it important to allow local governments to take the majority of control of their defense and the United States should only be involved if it directly affects our allies or us.

There are more than 20,000 troops station in South Korea, many of which are located


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Fettuccine with Shiitakes and Asparagus Ingredients: • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, cut into 2” pieces • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter • 8 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced • 1 small shallot, finely chopped • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme • 12 oz. dried or 1 lb. fresh fettuccine

• 3 oz. Parmesan, grated (about ¾ cup), plus more for serving • 4 large egg yolks 1. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate. 2. Heat butter and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add shallot and cook, tossing occasionally, until softened,

about 2 minutes. Toss in oregano, thyme, and asparagus. 3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. 4. Add pasta, ½ cup pasta cooking liquid, and 3 oz. Parmesan to skillet. Cook, tossing and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper. 5. Divide pasta among plates and top each with yolks and more Parmesan.









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4.16.18- Fourth Estate  

Published on Feb 26, 2018 George Mason University's official student newspaper. Read more online:

4.16.18- Fourth Estate  

Published on Feb 26, 2018 George Mason University's official student newspaper. Read more online: