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Student Government Profiles
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Want to get to know your future student body president? Learn more inside. NEWS• Page 3
George Mason University’s Student Newspaper www.broadsideonline.com
April 2, 2012
Volume 88 Issue 19
Photo by: Trevor DeSaussure
Photo by: Stephen Kline
Mason students gathered on Friday for the Million Hoodie March to raise campus awareness about the controversial shooting of Trayvon Martin. The march was organized in support of the arrest of Martin’s shooter, George Zimmerman. “We’re just hoping that people come by, learn a little bit, pick up some Skittles and AriZona tea and take that message we bring forth today to another person,” said Britt Wright, a senior communication major and event organizer.
Photo by: Stephen Kline
Mason Not Allowed to Recognize Domestic Partnerships Gay Faculty Members Cannot Extend Health Insurance Benefits to Partners Hannah Smith Asst. News Editor Director of women and gender studies Suzanne Scott’s passion for social justice has earned her the respect of her colleagues. But unlike many of her peers, if either Scott or her companion were to become ill and leave the university, she would not be covered by her partner’s insurance. That’s because domestic partner beneﬁts of any kind are illegal under Virginia law, which prevents George Mason University health insurance policies from covering the partners of unmarried employees. “It is a real hardship for people at Mason that they cannot oﬀer it,” said Scott’s partner, Lynne Constantine, a professor in the School of Art. “At our ages, especially at my age, that kind of security is important,” Scott said. For many years, health insurance coverage for the couple’s children had hinged upon Scott’s employment at Mason. Although Constantine is for all other purposes a mother of four children, Scott is their biological parent. Constantine cannot adopt them because Virginia law only allows for the spouse of a birth parent to adopt a child. In Virginia, both gay marriage and gay adoption are llegal. This means that if Scott’s health insurance were to be terminated, Constantine’s insurance could not be extended to their chil-
dren. The couple’s health insurance situation would be even worse if they were not both faculty members. Gay professors who are not faculty members have to buy additional coverage for their partners. The pair does not blame the university for their situation. “I want to be very clear,” Constantine said. “George Mason University would do it if they could.” The matter is frequently brought up in Faculty Senate meetings and has support from senior members of the university administration. “I believe it’s the right thing to do,” said Peter Stearns, provost and vice president of academic aﬀairs. “It would be beneﬁcial for us [to oﬀer same-sex couples beneﬁts] because it would help to recruit better talent to the university.” This argument has been made before. In the 2008 Virginia legislative session, Virginia State Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D-31st) proposed a bill that would extend health coverage to domestic partners. Supporters of the bill argued that extending health beneﬁts to same-sex couples would help recruit the best candidates for jobs in competitive markets such as Northern Virginia. That legislation failed in the Virginia General Assembly. “It’s obvious that many corporations have extended those beneﬁts [to same-sex partners],”
Stearns said. “It would be very desirable for George Mason to do the same.” There is no legislation that explicitly bans health insurance policies from applying to samesex couples, but two existing laws combine to make it illegal. One is the federal Defense of Marriage Act, passed in 1996, which prevents federal recognition of same-sex marriages. The other is the Marshall-Newman Amendment, passed by Virginia legislature in 2006. This bill amended the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which founding father George Mason helped draft in 1776, to deﬁne all unions, including marriage, as between a man and a woman. In Fairfax County, where the cost of living index is 19 points ahead of the national average, Mason faculty who cannot receive the full beneﬁts package are at an economic disadvantage. “Part of the way that the university makes up for our salaries not being competitive is a pretty decent beneﬁt package,” Constantine said. Full-time faculty salaries at Mason are ranked at the third percentile among self-deﬁned peer institutions, according to Institutional Research and Reporting. The State Council for Higher Education for Virginia has made it a goal to reach the 60th percentile among peer institutions
Raul Grijalva Gives Speech on Public Health Arizona Congressman Discusses Link Between Health Care and Immigration Reform care law reauthorized Indian health care, which the federal government is required by treaty to provide. Asst. News Editor Audrey Ferguson, a senior nursing student, “A communicable disease doesn’t understand asked Grijalva what he would tell people who say that that it needs a green card. It doesn’t understand that they don’t want to pay for the health care of undocuit should have checked with IAS before it came into mented workers. the country.” “I hate to disappoint you,” Grijalva said. “[but] Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva said this in an address you’re already paying for it.” He said that the average to the George Mason University community Thurs- taxpayer picks up the tab when undocumented imday, about the connection between health reform and migrants use the emergency room or health care sysimmigration. tems. Grijalva is the co-chair of the Grijalva also addressed the “Education is the [next Progressive Caucus in the House of DREAM Act, which would proRepresentatives. He has served great] or is the civil vide a pathway to U.S. residency there since 2003. for people who were brought to rights issue of our He recently caught the attenthe United States as young chilgeneration. My parents tion of the national media when he dren. The caveat is that they have callen on entertainers and sports believed that school to complete at least two years of teams to boycott Arizona in order to was the great equalizer. military service or college. protest SB 1070, Arizona’s “papers, “Education is the [next It doesn’t matter where please” law, which will be considerd great] or is the civil rights issue by the Supreme Court. you come from, [what of our generation,” he said. “My The speech also came on the parents believed that school was you] look like, anything heels of the Supreme Court prothe great equalizer. It doesn’t or how much money ceedings regarding the Obama admatter where you come from, ministration’s health reform law, your family has.” [what you] look like, anything or dubbed “Obamacare” by oppohow much money your family nents. Grijalva said that striking has.” -Rep. Raul Grijalva down the legislation would have The DREAM Act was passed the greatest impact on immigrants by the House in 2010 but died in and people of color. the Senate. It was reintroduced Hispanics are only 14 percent recently in the House, but is of the population in the United States, yet they make stalled in committee. The Student Senate at Mason up 30 percent of the uninsured, according to the fed- recently passed a resolution in support of the eral department of Health and Human Services. DREAM Act. One issue Grijalva has with health care reform Elise Marsh, a graduate student in public health, is that it doesn’t allow undocumented workers to buy and one of Grijalva’s constituents, said that she plans into the system. “But we have what we have. It’s to to vote for him in November. “Growing up in Tucson, some extent a leap of faith,” he said. I think it’s important to have a congressperson who is District 7, which Grijalva represents, is the only sensitive to the fact that immigrant populations are congressional district in the nation to have a major- people, too — that they need access to health care ity hispanic population. It contains 300 miles of the just [like] anyone else in this country.” U.S. border with Mexico. Native Americans, whom Grijalva describes as “the most aggrieved population in this nation,” are also a sizable demographic in his district. The health See CONGRESSMAN, Page 3
The number, in millions, of miles between Jupiter and the Earth
Monday, April 2, 2012
Event Calendar Monday, April 2 Pride Week 2012: Season Opener 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Vision Series: Josh Paden Center for the Arts, Concert Hall 7 p.m. Astronomy Observation Research Hall, Observatory 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 3
Concert: Mason Symphony Orchestra Center for the Arts, Concert Hall 8 p.m.
Wednesday, April 4 Student Government Spring Elections Results Announcement Johnson Center, Atrium 12 – 1:00 p.m. Film Screening: If a Tree Falls Arlington Campus, Truland Building, Room 555 7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Thursday, April 5 Pride Week 2012: LGBTQ Photo Voice Community Forum Mason Hall, Room D3 A&B 3:30 – 6 p.m. Mason Players: The Life of Galileo Harris Theatre 8 p.m.
Friday, April 6
Pride Week 2012: Speed Friending Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall, North 7 – 9 p.m.
The Final Frontier
Observation Sessions Teach Students About the Universe Vernon Miles Broadside Correspondent Jupiter is 483.5 million miles away or four times as far from the Earth as the Earth is from the sun. There is a good chance most George Mason University students will never see it as more than a distant light in the night sky, barely discernible from a star. Harold Geller, a professor in the astronomy department, is helping to change that. He hosted one of his ongoing astronomy observing sessions last Monday. These sessions give any student a chance to use Mason’s astronomy observatory tower atop Research I to better see and understand the universe. Geller has been hosting the sessions at Mason since 1996, eight years before construction began on Research I. It wasn’t that long ago when he directed the students’ attention through telescopes much smaller than the one that he now uses. It’s 9:00 p.m., an hour after the session begins, and the line coils down a narrow staircase leading up to the main telescope. Jupiter was the focus of this session. The night was clear, and both the planet and its four Galilean moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, were visible. Outside, another line formed for a smaller telescope focused on the moon. While only 10 percent visible, the crags and craters along the moon’s surface were clear and sharp when seen through the telescope lenses. As the night progressed, the view of Jupiter became obscured
Photo by: Stephen Kline
The telescope, perched above Research Building 1, is one of the largest owned by a public school on the East Coast and provides both students and researchers with excellent views of the heavens. by the tree line; the telescope was readjusted for a view of Venus and, later, Mars. Those who stayed later into the evening were given a view of Messier 81, a spiral galaxy 12 million light-years from the Milky Way. The Research I telescope has the largest diameter of any oncampus telescope on the east coast. According to Geller, the University of Virginia and University of Maryland both have larger ones, but neither observatory is on its respective campus. Geller arrived at Mason in the ‘80s as a graduate student and swiftly thereafter began petitioning for the university to get its own telescope. According to many stu-
Presidential Address Among Key Points of Meeting
For more events and activities, check out: today.gmu.edu
March 26 March 27
Larceny. Commonwealth Person(s) unknown took a bike that was secured to a bike rack. (44/Somerville) Medical Assist. Skyline Fitness Two students collided with each other playing basketball. EMS arrived and transported one of the students to Fairfax Hospital for further evaluation. (44/Somerville) Hit and Run. Lot K Vehicle was parked and unattended and was struck by another vehicle that fled the scene. (50/Issa) Theft from a Building. Aquia Building Complainant stated that her secured bike was stolen from the bike rack outside his dorm. (60/Stahl)
Possession of Marijua Rt. 123 / Marlbourough Rd Chase Smith (GMU) 19, of Fairfax, VA and Benjamin Rooney (Non- GMU) 23, of Stafford, VA were charged with the above offense and released on summons. (56/Lighthiser) Possession of Marijuana. Rt. 123 / University Drive Brian Meader (GMU) 20, of Virginia Beach, VA was charged with above offense and released on a summons. (46/McCartan) DUI 2nd Offense Braddock / Roberts Lee Strutzel (Non-GMU) 22, of Fairfax, VA was charged with above offense and transported to the Fairfax County ADC where was held on a $1500 secured bond. (56/Lighthiser) Motor Vehicle Accident. Fenwick Library A bus struck a low wall while turning around causing damage to state property. Estimated damage $500.00 (46/McCartan)
Police Files are taken verbatim from www.gmu.edu/police. Broadside does not make any changes to public records.
[space] from a distance.” Erald Kolasi, a Ph.D. student studying theoretical astrophysics, weathered the cold to come see the session for the ﬁrst time. “I saw Jupiter. I’ve seen it before but never this large,” Kolasi said. “The whole thing was very interesting, I’ll deﬁnitely be coming back to see Venus and Mars.” Geller cited his youth in New York and in particular trips to the Hayden Planetarium in the American Museum of Natural History as the source of his passion for astronomy. He intends to replicate his inspiration for another generation.
Merten Addresses Faculty Senate
Pride Week 2012: Drag Show Johnson Center, Atrium 9 – 11 p.m.
dents at the observing session, it was a wise choice. A diverse crowd was in attendance. Everyone from freshmen girls with newly earned sorority letters to older couples coming out from the city with their children all peered through the lenses into the night sky. Junior government & international politics major Joseph Quarcoo, who is also a resident advisor, took his ﬂoor to the observing session. “It’s great. You’re going to love it,” he said to his residents in the crowded Research I lobby. “I used to want to be an astronaut. Then stuﬀ started blowing up, and I was much happier just looking at
Photo by: Stephen Kline
President Merten spoke about his retirement and return to teaching.
Justin Lalputan News Editor The Faculty Senate met last Wednesday to discuss issues including parental leave and the possibility of video conferencing future Faculty Senate meetings. President Alan Merten delivered his ﬁnal address as the top university oﬃcial at the beginning of the meeting. The session was also Peter Pober’s last as chair of the Faculty Senate. Pober has been
chair since 2009, and the Faculty Senate will elect a new chair at their next meeting. In his speech, Merten reﬂected on his time at George Mason University, expressed his love for the institution and said he plans on remaining involved with the university in coming years. Merten said he intends to teach an honors course at Mason dealing with technology in the modern world. Following Merten’s speech, Suzanne Scott, chair of the Aca-
demic Policies Committee, said in her report that the add/drop period will remain unchanged despite the Student Government’s recent request that it be extended. The Faculty Senate then discussed a new parental leave policy for faculty members. According to the Faculty Senate, the current economic situation means that unpaid leave is no longer a feasible option. The proposed parental leave policy would allow new parents to work half-time for one academic year. New parents would have the option to work half-time for two semesters or work just one full semester. Star Muir of the Organization and Operations committee discussed the possibility of video conferencing Faculty Senate meetings. Attendance at Faculty Senate meetings is open to anyone at Mason, but some people, especially those who work on the Prince William campus, cannot make the commute to the Fairfax campus. Video conferencing would solve this issue and would allow Faculty Senate discussions to reach a wider audience. Identi-
fying a location large enough to accommodate the Faculy Senate that is equipped with video conferencing technology, however, has proven diﬃcult. The Faculty Senate also discussed the fact that the operating systems of all PCs on campus will be upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7 in fall 2012. The Innovation Hall computer lab has already been outﬁtted with Windows 7. The upgrade is necessary because Windows will stop producing security updates for Windows XP, and Windows 7 is a stable operating system. The Faculty Senate also honored two members of the Mason community. Linda Monson, the director of keyboard studies in the School of Music, was named faculty member of the year. Anthropology majorand Connect2Mason executive editor Kevin Loker was recognized as senior of the year. The April 11 meeting has been canceled, so the next Faculty Senate meeting will take place on April 25.
Students Help Honduras Students Donate Supplies and Help Fortify School Jessica Smith Broadside Correspondent Many students spent spring break relaxing and vacationing, but six members of Students Helping Honduras used the time oﬀ from classes to complete a week-long service project in Honduras. Founded in 2006, SHH is an international organization aiming to raise awareness about poverty in Honduras, one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere, and to fund poverty reduction projects there. SHH members have the opportunity to experience life in Honduras ﬁrsthand, instead of simply donating money. SHH members at George Mason University used personal funds to ﬁnance the trip, freeing up the money raised by the organization earlier in the year to go directly to projects in Honduras.
SHH members contributed to the construction of a school in Honduras. They also donated computers, books and other educational supplies to schools in Honduras. The SHH members who traveled to Honduras were history major Jessica Campbell, government & international politics major Jorge Carvajal, mathematics major Mallory Taylor, government & international politics major Kali Matalon, public administration graduate student Lauren Grimes and business graduate student Luis Sanchez. Campbell worked at a bilingual elementary school at the main project site, named Villa Soleada, where her knowledge of Spanish enabled her to translate for her friends who are not as familiar with the language as she is. Fluency in Spanish, however, was not necessary to fully appreciate the experience.
“It was neat to see how people could communicate even through the language barrier. It wasn’t an impediment at all,” Campbell said. Campbell was pleasantly surprised by the condition of the area where she volunteered. Honduras is known to have drug and gang activity, but these problems were not visible to the volunteer students. “I felt completely safe there. I didn’t feel threatened at all,” Campbell said. She also described what she felt to be the native optimism of the Hondurans. “There’s this desire to better the lives of their kids,” she said. This was the second consecutive year that Carvajal, the president of Mason’s SHH chapter, volunteered in Honduras. Having already worked on the some of the projects Carvajal was rewarded in seeing the progress of his past work. “Since the last time I went, I
saw that the ditch which we built last time [is] now a wall,” he said. “The blocks that we laid last time I went [are] now a school, and the trench we dug for a foundation is now a tool shed.” Carvajal also said many of the Honduran students he met last year remembered him and thanked him for returning to help build their community again. The Mason chapter of SHH has volunteered to help the Honduran community every year since it was founded in 2009. Students interested in joining SHH are encouraged to attend any of the meetings, which are held every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in Room D of the Johnson Center. There is no membership fee. SHH’s next event will be the Second Annual Cup Challenge, a water pong tournament from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday in East Plaza. For additional information about SHH, visit ceciskids.org.
Monday, April 2, 2012 | 3
SG Election 2012: Meet the Executive Candidates Three Tickets Comprise Ballot P â€” Alex Williams VP â€” Jordan Foster
P â€” Gabriel Lavine VP â€” Ellie Shahin
P â€” Liam Hennelly VP â€” Mohamed Ahmed t o
Photo by: Gregory Connolly
Photo by: Gregory Connolly
Presidential candidate Alex Williams, a junior government and history major, and vicepresidential candidate Jordan Foster, a sophomore government & international politics major, bring a wealth of experience to their Student Government campaign. Williams and Foster are running with the slogan â€œPutting the Student Back into Student Government.â€? According to Williams, he wants Student Government to focus on being an advocacy group for students. â€œAt the end of the day, we are the biggest cheerleaders,â€? Williams said. â€œWe canâ€™t make decisions or set policy, but we can advocate our hearts out for something.â€? Williams also wants students to have more of a voice at the administration level. He believes that while students cannot make decisions vote on administrative matters, it is beneďŹ cial to have a student voice advocating for what students want. Foster would like to see students become more active with the OďŹƒce of Student Involvement. â€œA very small fraction [of students are] involved, and those students are the face of the school,â€? Foster said. â€œYou can have one student whoâ€™s the president of three diďŹ€erent organizations. In a school with 30,000
Presidential candidate Gabriel Lavine, a sophomore communication major, and vice-presidential candidate Ellie Shahin, a junior communication major, are running a write-in campaign for the Student Government elections. The pair missed the application deadline by one minute and seven votes and was accordingly not allowed on the ballot. Lavine said that there needs to be a greater connection between Student Government and the student body that they represent. â€œThere are people who donâ€™t know who our current Student Government president is, and they donâ€™t know where to ďŹ nd the Student Government oďŹƒce on campus,â€? Lavine said. â€œWe feel thatâ€™s a problem. We feel everyone should know where their biggest resource is in connection to administration and how to use it eďŹ€ectively.â€? According to Lavine, he and Shahin are trying to ďŹ nd new and innovative ways to connect students with Student Government using social media. Lavine is currently utilizing Twitter and Facebook and live-streaming his campaign. Another goal of the cam-
students and 3,000 organizations, that doesnâ€™t add up.â€? Foster has been involved with Student Government since the ďŹ rst semester of his freshman year. He started as the undersecretary of dining and was later appointed chief of staďŹ€. This year he has focused more on the legislative side of things as a student senator. Foster is the chairman of the Mason Committee, which deals with George Mason University aďŹ€airs, outreach and state networking. Williams ran for Student Senate last year following his fatherâ€™s visit to Mason. Williams was uncomfortable with the fact that his father is an asthmatic, yet he could not enter the Johnson Center without passing through a cloud of smoke generated from nearby smokers. Williams looked for a solution for to the issue, and he became a student senator to work on the smoking policy. This year he took the chief of staďŹ€ position left vacant by his running mate. Williams also stated that he and Foster had been working on their issues before they decided to run for oďŹƒce. â€œWe didnâ€™t say, â€˜Oh, weâ€™re running for oďŹƒce, so letâ€™s come up with some issues,â€™â€? Williams said. â€œWe said, â€˜Weâ€™re working on some issues. Letâ€™s run for ofďŹ ce.â€™â€?
paign is to bring more events onto campus. Lavine is a proponent of doing so especially on the weekends so students can ďŹ nd entertainment at Mason instead of having to go elsewhere. In addition, Lavine feels that there needs to be more school spirit on Mason campus. â€œI want to instill that Mason Nation pride back in our community,â€? Lavine said. Lavine, being a former senator, has experience in Student Government, but his running mate, Shahin, has no such prior experience. Nevertheless, she believes she has what it takes. â€œI personally believe that I have the leadership capability,â€? Shahin said. â€œSo far, just running this campaign, Iâ€™m in love. The politics are exciting. Iâ€™d like the opportunity to make a change at this university because I feel that we need it.â€? Lavine and Shahin do not feel that they should give up simply because they are a writein. â€œThe campaignâ€™s not really about us. Itâ€™s about the student body,â€? Lavine said. â€œWe really want a Student Government where the experience of each student is a top priority.â€?
Photo by: Stephen Kline
Presidential candidate Liam Hennelly, a sophomore government and international politics major, and vice-presidential candidate Mohamed Ahmed, a junior environmental science major, aim to focus on simple steps to improve studentsâ€™ overall experience at George Mason University. â€œWeâ€™re running on a number of simple steps,â€? Hennelly said. â€œOne of the big things we want to do is increase school spirit. A simple step for that would be to give everyone the same Mason Patriot shirt at welcome week.â€? Hennelly also wants to have bigger tailgate parties, not just for basketball, but for other sports such as baseball. Another goal is to put ice in dorms that donâ€™t have kitchens. According to Hennelly he has received numerous requests from students to put ice into dorms. â€œThatâ€™s something simple that a student body president could actually do in a year,â€? Hennelly said. Ahmed said that the ďŹ rst step is to restore student conďŹ dence in Student Government. By giving students simple things that they need, Student Government can then move on
Donâ€™t Forget to Vote! Ballots are Released Monday, April 2, and Polls Close Wednesday April 4 at 12:15 a.m.
Congressman Sparks Discussion About DREAM Act
If you struggle to control your asthma, even with medication, you may want to learn about the FLUTE clinical trial.
CONGRESSMAN, from Front
Local doctors are conducting the FLUTE clinical trial to evaluate an investigational inhaled corticosteroid drug and device combina combination called Fp Dry Powder Inhaler. If you are experiencing persistent, uncontrolled asthma despite the use of non-corticosteroid therapy, we hope that you will consider participating in this clinical trial. To pre-qualify for this clinical trial, you or your child must:
Photo by: Stephen Kline
Rep. Raul Grijalva giving the speech to a full house in Research I. The Arizona congressman visited Mason Wednesday to discuss immigration and healthcare reform.
To learn more, please contact: 3,&RRU&OLQLFDO5HVHDUFK )HUQ3DUN'ULYH %XUNH9$ PLOHVIURP*08&DPSXVRII%UDGGRFN5RDG
t #FBUMFBTUZFBSTPGBHF PSBHFJO countries that permit enrollment of adults only) t )BWFBNFEJDBMEJBHOPTJTPGBTUINB t #FPOBTIPSUBDUJOHÂ•2-agonist or noncorticosteroid medication for at least three months prior to this clinical trial t /PUIBWFVTFEBOJOIBMFEDPSUJDPTUFSPJEGPSBU least six weeks prior to this clinical trial Qualified participants will receive clinical trial-related medical evaluations and clinical trial medication at no cost. In addition, reimbursement for travel may also be provided. Study Information by PPD, Inc. 0408111200
Free Tickets for Mason Students! TONIGHT!
â€œNow insurance companies arenâ€™t allowed to kick us oďŹ€ our parentsâ€™ coverage until weâ€™re 26,â€? said Ibrahim Kargbo, a graduate student in the public health program. â€œThat will deďŹ nitely buy us more time to ďŹ nd a job.â€? After graduation Kargbo plans to advocate for minority access to health care. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, an additional 2.5 million young people became insured after the AďŹ€ordable Care Act went was passed. On the other hand, Democrats do not have a contingency plan if the Affordable Care Act is struck down. â€œThe president would have to go back and force another negotiation with Congress, which is not really in a negotiating mood,â€? said Kelsey Mishkin, the senior legislative assistant to Grijalva. â€œOf course, the coverage up to 26, that would be revisited.â€?
tackle larger issues. Ahmed has no prior experience in Student Government, but he has held positions of responsibility with his fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, and is currently the campus involvement chair. Hennelly is currently a student senator. He has been involved with Student Senate for the past two years and has been on a multitude of committees. Ahmed believes that despite his lack of experience, he will bring fresh ideas to Student Government, and he has the leadership abilities to handle the responsibility. Hennelly agrees that students need to get involved with Student Government, but there are steps that need to be taken ďŹ rst. â€œThe other campaign slogan [of Foster and Williams] is that we need to put the student back into Student Government,â€? Hennelly said. â€œI would say that students have to ďŹ rst realize what Student Government can do before they can approach it. [There are] simple steps that people can identify, that this organization can actually do something for you and thatâ€™s who can advocate for you.â€?
The Vision Series RELIGION AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN AFRICA: THE CASE OF NIGERIA John Paden, speaker Apr. 2 at 7 p.m. Free CH
THE LIFE OF GALILEO
A Co-production of Mason Players and Theater of the First Amendment Apr. 5-7 at 8 p.m.; Apr. 7 at 2 p.m. $20 $15 students half-price HT LimitedFreeStudent Tickets AvailableMar. 6 MFA Thesis Exhibition OLIVIER GIRON Apr. 2-6 FG
MASON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Apr. 4 at 8 p.m.; $15 adu. $10 stu./sen. HC LimitedFreeStudent Tickets AvailableMar. 20
METROPOLITAN JAZZ ORCHESTRA
PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE CONCERT
Mason Jazz Ensemble NIGHT AT THE PALLADIUM Apr. 18 at 8 p.m. $15 adu. $10 sen./stu. CH LimitedFreeStudent Tickets AvailableApr. 10
Apr. 12 at 8 p.m. Free DL
Moscow Festival Ballet GISELLE Apr. 12 at 8 p.m. ff $34 $42 $50 HC ppd LimitedFreeStudent Tickets AvailableApr. 3 Moscow Festival Ballet THE SLEEPING BEAUTY Apr. 13 at 8 p.m. ff $27 $46 $54 CH ppd LimitedFreeStudent Tickets AvailableApr. 3 Mason Opera H.M.S. PINAFORE Apr. 13 & 14 at 8 p.m. $20 adu. $15 sen./stu. HT LimitedFreeStudent Tickets AvailableApr. 3
Apr. 22 at 4 p.m. $15 adu. $10 sen./stu. CH LimitedFreeStudent Tickets AvailableApr. 10
Apr. 7 at 8 p.m. ff $24 $32 $40 HC ppd LimitedFreeStudent Tickets AvailableMar. 27 Visual Voices Series RECENT WORKS Sangram Majumdar, speaker Apr. 12 at 7:30 p.m. Free HT
University Chorale BROADWAY SHOWCASE Apr. 15 at 3 p.m. $15 adu. $10 sen./stu. HC LimitedFreeStudent Tickets AvailableApr. 3
M3E (MASON MODERN MUSIC ENSEMBLE) CONCERT Apr. 23 at 8 p.m. Free DL
MASON CHAMBER ENSEMBLES CONCERT Apr. 25 at 6 p.m. Free HT
Family Friendly BB Black Box CH Concert Hall DL de Laski Rm.3001 FG Fine Art Gallery GTIII Grand Tier III HC Hylton Center HT Harris Theater TS TheaterSpace
703-993-8888 or cfa.gmu.edu/students
Center for the Arts FAIRFAX
American Festival Pops Orchestra BROADWAY LIGHTS Anthony Maiello, conductor; Lisa Vroman, soprano Apr. 21 at 8 p.m. ff $23 $38 $46 CH ppd FreeStudent Tickets AvailableApr. 10
MASON WIND SYMPHONY AND SYMPHONIC BAND
Moscow Festival Ballet CINDERELLA Apr. 14 at 4 p.m. ff $27 $46 $54 CH ppd LimitedFreeStudent Tickets AvailableApr. 3
Mason Dance Company SPRING CONCERT Apr. 19-21 at 8 p.m. $15 adu. $10 sen./stu. HT LimitedFreeStudent Tickets AvailableApr. 10
7 0 3 - 9 9 3 - 7 7 5 9 o r h y l t o n c e n t e r. o r g / s t u d e n t s
Hylton Performing Arts Center PRINCE WILLIAM
The number of live radio programs on WGMU
Monday, April 2, 2012
WGM Who? A Look at Mason’s Official Student Radio Station Jeffrey Giorgi Style Editor With walls of CDs and a plethora of posters, the WGMU studio is a visual extension of the hard work and dedication that goes into ensuring George Mason University’s student-run radio station is always delivering the best content possible to the Mason community. “Currently we have 80 hours of programming every single week,” said Alex Romano, a senior and general manager of WGMU. “[We have] live and original programming created by students, hosted by students, and there’s everything from sports shows and talk shows to music shows and variety shows. There’s a little bit of everything.” Some of the shows that students can listen to include “Party Like It’s 9 Teen 90 Nine” with Alex Howard, “Girlfriends” with Le’andra Jones and Kala West, and “The Fearless Hour” with WGMU Program Director Monet Sutton. “Last year, taking the radio workshop class, we were supposed to come up with our own original show, and I did purely ‘90s,” Sutton said, “and doing that show was fun. But I also realized that there are a lot of bands that I listen to that I think are great that a lot of people don’t know exist. So I decided to do a feature show about bands that don’t get a lot of play — you know, like things that would never be on MTV.”
WGMU is unique because it is available solely online with no FM broadcast. Because of that, however, it’s capable of reaching an even broader audience. “A lot of people ask me why we’re online only,” Romano said. “The reason is because we used to have an FM signal, but now if we had a signal, it would be extremely expensive to maintain and to keep buying the license. There also wouldn’t be enough power to reach far enough to be worth it. A lot of our programming is one-tothree hours long, so unless you’re stuck on Patriot Circle, which actually happened to a lot of people last year, it really wouldn’t be worth it.” Knowing that their core demographic is of the tech-savvy variety, WGMU’s greatest strengths come from its accessibility. “We’re on a site called RadioFlag, which is basically a site that has hundreds of college radio stations from all around the country signed up on it,” Romano said. “You can listen on TuneIn, and both of these different services have mobile applications that allow you to listen on your smartphone or Apple TV. We’re on the iTunes radio directory. You can even go to the site on your smartphone and just listen to the stream straight from the site, so even if you have a Blackberry you can still listen on your phone.” It wasn’t always so easy to listen to WGMU though. “When I came in as a WGMU
manager we only had a [Microsoft] Windows stream and not a lot of people,” Romano said. “Not a lot of people, if any at all, have that.” In addition to the ways WGMU can be listened to, they also live stream via a webcam from the studio whenever a DJ is on air. But even with all of the live programming that happens weekly it’s still difficult to have someone in the studio at all times. “If there’s not an active DJ in the studio, we have this system that’s called OTS Audio Video,” said Storm Paglia, a freshman and operations manager for the station, “which is an automated DJ system. We’re always consistently streaming — 24/7, 365. If it’s not live, it’s automated.” A misconception that students have about WGMU is that you have to take a workshop course if you want to work for the radio station. That’s not the case. “If you want to come in here, anybody can be a DJ, but if you want to volunteer, you have to put time in the practice studio,” Romano said. “Basically you get an introduction to radio with Professor Roger Smith and every week you come into the practice studio and do what we call a rotation shift. You do a one-hour radio show and then Monet and I break them up and listen to all of them and decide who gets to go on air. The Communication 148 class is a good prerequisite for getting yourself acquainted with radio, and it
Photo by Stephen Kline
WGMU, the oﬃcial student-run radio station of George Mason University, broadcasts online at wgmuradio.com. The station features a variety of programming, including talk, variety, music and sports. teaches you how to go on air. But you don’t have to take the class to go on air. That was a misconception that was around for a long time. All of the Mason ambassadors were telling everyone on tours you had to take a course before you can go on air and that’s not true.” Like many organizations on campus, WGMU knows that working with other groups is paramount to bringing in new listeners. One such collaboration is the Intimate Concert Series, which is hosted by WGMU and Mason Cable Network. “The Intimate Concert Series
is basically a series of concerts that we’ve done a convergence project with MCN on. They come in and record the whole concert and we do the audio,” Romano said. “Then the video streams on MCN and the audio will be on WGMU. The whole idea behind it is to have an intimate setting where people can ask the performers questions and make it really personal.” WGMU can be seen at many different events on campus, from the Career Fair to Mason Day. “We always have something planned for Mason Day,” Romano said. “We’re going to have a table set up, and we’re actually working
on having one of our DJs spinning music while there are breaks on the local stage.” Whether you hope to pursue a career in radio, or it’s just something you’re interested in, WGMU welcomes anyone who comes to them. “If anybody wants to get involved, we’re always looking for on-air DJs,” Romano said. “We’re always looking for new staff. If you’re interested in the business aspect, we have that. If you just want to be on air, we have that. WGMU has it all.”
Button Mashing — Afterthoughts
Get Your Relay On
A Look at Why the ‘Uncharted’ Series is So Popular
Annual Fundraiser Generates Sense of Unity Among Students Krista Germanis Asst. Style Editor
Photo Courtesy of IGN
The “Uncharted” series oﬀers an unparalled story-telling experience not seen in other games.
Antonio Washington Broadside Correspondent Gaming has been a passion of mine since the tender age of 4. Gaming allowed me to retreat into a world where imagination had taken a physical form, where the fates of one or more characters were literally at my fingertips. Knowing this, I would remain vigilant and complete the objective whether it was a strenuous boss battle or simply clearing a stage, I was in it for the long haul. The reason behind this was simple: I enjoyed a game with a good story. Recently there have been a string of disappointments with this important element that should be in games. Flustered, I searched endlessly for a game or series (besides “Mass Effect”) that would give me that childhood nostalgia I wanted to feel again, and it was given to me a few weeks ago. During the well-needed spring break, I had the rare opportunity to throw the textbooks aside and focus on some muchneeded game grinding. Although I had quite the pile to finish (Dead Space 2, Final Fantasy XIII-2), there was one game series amongs the others that induced me into a geek-like trance. The “Uncharted” series is an action-adventure platformer, mixed with basic shooter elements. Developed by Naughty
Dog—the team behind the forgotten “Crash Bandicoot”—and a Sony Playstation 3 exclusive, the series follows treasure hunter Nathan “Nate” Drake as he and his itinerant group of treasurehunters travel the world to uncover the mysteries of the past. Gameplay blends elements of a classic shooter. During combat, Nathan has the option of taking cover behind structures such as crates, road mediums and other environmental aids that can shield him from barrages of gunfire. Blindfire can be utilized as well, having the treasure hunter spray bullets onto enemies without the worry of taking damage. If shooting isn’t your cup of tea, then maybe going old-fashioned fisticuffs is your preferred way of combat. This is implemented with three buttons that are prompted on screen when hand-to-hand is used: the square, which is Nathan’s standard melee attack; the triangle, which is the counterattack; and the circle, which is used primarily for both grabbing and escaping the clutches of Nathan’s foes. The “Uncharted” series gives the platform genre a well-needed makeover, and it is very successful. In “Uncharted,” players guide Nathan through some of the most dangerous environments ever. These environments range from climbing up a derailed train
while still hanging off the edge of a treacherous snow-capped mountain top, to nearly escaping death as a plane is engulfed in flames, spiraling toward the desert ground. “Uncharted” offers many different environments, all with different experiences. The series has received universal acclaim, complemented with positive reviews across the board. “Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune” received an 88/100 on Metacritic. “Uncharted 2: Drake’s Fortune” received a 96/100, and this trend of success followed with “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception”, which received the ratings as its predecessor.” The success of the series doesn’t rely on the stunning visuals that the Playstation 3 presents — at least to gamers who enjoy a good story with identifiable characters that grow on you. The “Uncharted” series has plenty to offer gamers. It has an engrossing story that will have gamers pleased at not only the experience of “Uncharted” but also that good feeling of knowing that they have just invested in a great series. With the addition of “Uncharted: Golden Abyss”—the prequel before “Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune” for the Playstation Vita—the series will leave an even bigger footprint in gaming history.
“Cancer doesn’t sleep, and neither do we.” The motto for this years Relay for Life is telling of how much effort has been put into this year’s relay. The student-led organization puts on an all-night walk in which they hope to raise a lot of money to send to the American Cancer Society. The walks are created with the intention of raising money while having a good time, so it is carefully planned and crafted beforehand. “This years’ theme is Festivals Around the World, but we’re kind of focusing on Marti Gras in particular,” said Mackenzie Ellis, a sophomore government and international politics major. “We make these purple batons out of yardsticks, and each team gets one. You want to have at least one person from each team on the track all night because cancer never sleeps, and neither do we. We try to cater our events to our theme. So this year with the kind of festival Marti Gras theme, we are doing a limbo lap and you get a [Marti Gras] bead lap. We try to gear the kind of mini events that we have going on during the entire event towards our theme.” Teams typically consist of five or more members and can be from anywhere in the community. Some of the groups in the past have been formed from fraternities, sororities, student organiza-
tions and even different small businesses such as hair salons and sports teams. Many local high schools form groups for Relay for Life as well and are known for bringing great contributions. Cancer survivors also enjoy attending the event to share their stories and help raise money for the cause. “Right after the opening ceremony we have a survivor lap where basically we get all the survivors together, and they take the first lap, and everybody else just lines the track and cheers them on,” Ellis said. The walk will take place from 4 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. on April 21 in the field house. It consists of walking along with many other activities and concessions to raise money in the fight against cancer. “We have side games going on throughout it so people get to win games. And then at the end we’ll announce the team who’s achieved their goals and who’s reached the highest amount of money,” said Grace Jacoby, a junior community health major. Some of the committee members offer advice to people wanting to start a team and raise a lot of money for relay. “When I reach out to family and friends to ask for money I always give them an update about my life because I feel wrong just asking people for money without giving them something in return. It’s fun because I get to reconnect with family members and friends, and I get to hear their stories [of
how cancer has affected them],” Jacoby said. For people who are more serious about raising money, they can go about earning it by working as well as asking for donations. “Teams fundraise and do outside fundraisers,” said Stephanie Guiton, a sophomore art and visual technology major. “You can send emails, bug your family members and that kind of stuff. They will set goals throughout the whole season then they attempt to meet their goals by the time of the event.” The Relay for Life committee would love to see the event grow exponentially. “I think one of our goals is to make it more of a tradition on campus because it is still the largest student-run event,” Jacoby said. “So we just want to advertise it to people, to bring to people’s knowledge that this is what you should be doing on this day every year. People should be looking forward to it and we want to make a presence on campus.” The Relay for Life is a great event that benefits people with cancer as well as brings people together to make lifelong friends. “At the end everyone just seems very united because everyone comes in with their individual teams, and then by the end everyone is just formed into a large relay,” Jacoby said. “It’s nice.” “It’s like a big happy family,” Ellis said.
Relay for Life 2012 — What You Should Know - Location: The Field House directly across the street from Mason’s main campus. - Time: Relay kicks off at 4 p.m. and will conclude around 6 a.m. the next morning. - Tradition: This is Mason’s sixth annual relay, with planning already underway for a seventh. - Incentive: The top fundraising participant this year will receive a brand new iPhone.
The Latest Slice is Quite Nice The Fourth Entry Generates Nostalgia, But May Alienate New Viewers Jeffrey Giorgi Style Editor
Photo Courtesy of IMDB
Luaghs abound in the fourth installment of the “American Pie” series.
When I was 13 my parents rented me a film they thought would speak to my blossoming adolescence — “American Pie.” Needless to say the film packed more punch than either I or my parents were expecting, but from that moment on, I forever felt a connection with Jim, Stiffler, Oz, Kevin and, of course, Finch. Luckily, after 13 years — has it been that long? — “American Reunion” proves that even if the actors involved haven’t had stellar film careers, they still understand these characters and deliver all the raunchy, crude humor that is associated with these films. “American Reunion” is going to work best for people who grew up with the characters or at the very least have seen the films. Considering that a majority of the film’s soundtrack is made up of songs ripped from the ‘90s, it’s possible that the feeling of nos-
talgia the film is going for will be “American Wedding.” This film is lost on those who weren’t old the closure the series deserves. It enough to appreciate the decade. delivers bigger laughs and more As the title suggests, the film outrageous gags. Like the earlier centers on the gang reuniting to films, “American Reunion” delivgo to their school’s ten-year re- ers consistent laughs while setunion, three years late — some- ting up the larger scenes, like the w e b c a m thing I’m scene in the glad the original, or movie refI enjoyed erences. the lesbian “American scene in the “American Wedding.” Reunion,” sequel. This film is the closure I took a spends its the series deserves. It friend with first act giving us a me who haddelivers bigger laughs look at n’t seen any of and more outrageous where all the original films; even the chargags. though he acters are l a u g h e d in their t h ro u g h o u t lives. Some are married, and one is a small- the entire movie, afterwards he time celebrity, but it would seem said he felt there were a lot of inthat their lives didn’t turn out the side jokes he didn’t understand having not seen the other movies. way they had planned. This is probably its biggest Not that the plot is super engaging, but to say anything more fault if any. The movie is a love would ruin the fun. I enjoyed letter to its fans and doesn’t make
any attempts at welcoming newcomers. The film could have been even stronger if there had been a new character who could have served as the voice of everyone watching who has yet to have their first slice of pie. As an example, one of the longest-running jokes in the series involves a certain character’s mom. After all these years there is some big payoff, but if you haven’t seen the originals, you won’t appreciate the moment as much. “American Reunion” is everything a fan of the series can hope for. If you haven’t seen the originals yet, do yourself a favor and spend a day laughing at the sexual exploits of misguided teens and then head to the theater to see what happens everyone grows up
This Week, Take Pride Week-Long Event Designed to Raise Awareness While Having Fun Jeffrey Giorgi Style Editor Pride Week began Sunday with the annual Pancakes With Some Queer on Top offering free pancakes and some queer-themed films. The remainder of the week will be dedicated to celebrating LGBTQ culture and educating the Mason community about relevant issues. “The planning for Pride Week is always an unpredictable and fun thing,” said Ric Chollar, associate director of the LGBTQ chapter at George Mason University, “because we bring in lots of students as well as whatever departments and offices want to help us in the planning process.” This year’s Pride Week takes its cues from Mason’s very own motto, “Where innovation is tradition.” It offers events that students have come to regard as traditional, like the drag show and the Pancakes this past Sunday, while also introducing a host of new events. “Some years the group wants to fall back on traditional programs that we have every year,” Chollar said. “But this year, with regards to things we do all the time, the group said we don’t have to do all of them just for the sake of doing them. So we’ve got some innovative things and some traditional ones as well.” First-time events include Let’s Talk About Leather, a photo forum and speed friending.
“I’m excited for Let’s Talk About Leather,” said junior marketing major Neil Offner. “It’s interesting. I don’t know too much about the leather community, and it says they’re going to show a little film, a themed movie.” The drag show will be making a return this year with a new guest to lead the festivities. “We’re really excited about our celebrity host,” Chollar said. “We’re bringing in Carmen Carrera, from ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race.’” Even though the drag show is one of the more popular events to take place during Pride Week, it’s not the only one. “The drag show ends up being what everyone thinks about when they think about Pride Week,” Chollar said. “But whatever way we can perpetuate that that’s not all that Pride Week is, we should be doing that.” Among the more educational events taking place this week is Asexuality: The Invisible A, an event that aims to clear up misconceptions about what it means to be asexual in a world dominated by sex. “A balancing act we have to perform is between going with the images that the community already has versus trying to highlight areas that don’t get a lot of attention,” Chollar said. “So we try to consciously go beyond just gay white men and drag queens.” Monday night, The Shondes will be rocking out in Dewberry Hall.
“I’m really looking forward to the Shondes coming,” said freshman conflict analysis & resolution major Catherine Castelvecchi, “which is this feminist LGBTQ band that StandOUT is sponsoring. I’m really sad that I have to miss some of it from class, but I’m going to come late, and it’s going to be awesome because if you look up their music it’s really good.” Another event taking place this year is about Mason as a community and how it reacts to its LGBTQ community. “One thing that’s happening this year that’s a little bit on the serious side is what we’re calling the photo voice community forum,” Chollar said, “and what that is we’ve been having students go out and take pictures of the Mason community that illustrate their feelings on what the campus climate is like. They’ve picked out their favorite photos and they’re going to be shown in Mason Hall atrium. Then we’re having a forum where the students are going to talk about what these pictures mean to them and what their experiences here at Mason have been like and what we can do to make the climate better.” Regardless of your sexual orientation, Pride Week is a celebration, and all of Mason should get in on the fun. “People should come to everything because it’s going to be fun, and they’re going to learn a lot,” Castelvecchi said.
April 1 — Pancakes Wtih Some Queer on Top 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. April 2 — Let’s Talk About Leather/ The Shondes 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. / 8 p.m. - 11 p.m. April 3 — Pride Alliance: Drag 101 7:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. April 4 — Asexuality: The Invisible A / We’re Here 2012 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. / 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. April 5 — standOUT Meeting / LGBTQ Photo Voice Community Forum 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. / 3:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. April 6 — Speed Friending/ Drag Show 7 p.m. -9 p.m. / 9 p.m. - 11 p.m. April 7 — TQ Mason Semi-Formal 8 p.m. - 11 p.m.
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Opinion Monday, April 2, 2012
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Correction In the article from the March 26 Broadside titled “Greek Week: ‘90s Style,” it should have said the theme of Greek Week is “We all stand out but we never stand alone.” Also, it should have said the Panhellenic Council was involved in Greek Week.
Thumbs up to GMU uniting to honor Trayvon Martin. Check out Twitter #Hoodies Up #GMU4Trayvon. Thumbs up to the Greeks for an Awesome Greek Week! Thumbs up to the Mac Miller concert. Thumbs down to the circus, which exacerbates an already-ugly parking situation. For a place that has “university” in its name, Mason might want to consider a longform event that’s a little more cerebral than the spectacle of trained animals and cheap theatrics. Thumbs down to Mother Nature’s instability. What’s with the low temperatures right when we were getting used to 80-degree weather?
The Inconvenient Truth About Racism Recent Hate Crimes Against Trayvon Martin and Shaima Alawadi Prove that Racism Will Always Have a Place in Society Sayed Z Shah
Student Government Monthly Attention, everyone! Spring elections for Student Government president, vice president and 30 senate seats have begun. Mason undergraduate and graduate students can log onto gmu.collegiatelink.net to vote. But hurry because time is limited. Voting ends at 12:15 a.m. Wednesday. Election results will be announced in the Johnson Center Atrium Wednesday at noon. Come ﬁnd out who will be serving the Mason student body next year! Throughout the voting process, students can use the Twitter hashtag #GMUSG2012 to let us know what you think about the elections. This is a very exciting time for everyone. Some terriﬁc candidates have stepped forward for the elections, so don’t miss out on the action. SG will also hold the monthly “What Do You Want Wednesday” event this weekfrom 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Southside Plaza. April’s WDYWW will be bigger than ever, featuring a dunk tank, a Facebook photo competition and an opportunity to hear from a senior administrative personnel from Parking Services. Students can pay $1 to dunk their favorite teacher, student or administrator to raise money for the March of Dimes. For those of you who do not know, the March of Dimes is a great charity that works to prevent birth defects and premature births. The winner of the SG Face-
book photo competition will receive an 8GB iPod Touch. Participants can take pictures using an on-site iMac, then visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/MasonS t u d e n t - G o v e r n ment/113807462056288 to “like” the photo. The winner will be the student whose photo accumulates the most “likes” after a certain number of days. As always, free cookies will be given out, so come on down to the Southside Plaza and tell SG what you want here at Mason! The SG Diversity Committee will host “Critical Conversations” from 5 to 7 p.m on April 10 in room 3334 of Student Union Building I. This event is designed to bring all types of people together in the same room to discuss race issues in our society and on campus. The goal is for students to take a closer look at their own identity, understand how questions of race appear within institutional structures and delve deeper into the issue of racism as a system of oppression and privilege. Along with this great discussion, students will be able to watch the awardwinning documentary “Angry Eyes” to conclude the evening’s festivities. For more information regarding any of these events, please visit our website at sg.gmu.edu, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Paint Brush Your Dreams Overcome the Realization that the Ceiling, Not the Sky, is the Limit Hala Numan
Columnist Growing up, we were constantly told that we were capable of becoming anything our little hearts desired. We were young elementary school children frolicking about in a plastic jungle, pretending to be cops and robbers. We imagined ourselves as superheroes and villains. Some of us wanted to be shiny stars, while others were earthier and saw themselves as oak trees. Then one day we were jolted awake by the pretense that we are restricted, and the ceiling, not the sky, is our limit. We then became average individuals
dreaming in black and white — not even shades of gray. Without the impetus of a passion we can become accustomed to our mundane way of life. We consistently look for a means of sustenance rather than ﬁlling our souls with what we love most in life. To quote my ideal career woman, Carrie Bradshaw from “Sex and the City”: “When I ﬁrst moved to New York and I was totally broke, sometimes I would buy Vogue instead of dinner. I felt it fed me more.” She was hungry and chose to ﬁll her soul. If staying broke to live big is the way that it must be done, then by all means feed your overburdened soul. Writing does for me what Vogue did for Carrie. It is my reason for being. It nudges me to wake up in the morning and sings me to sleep at night.
See Dreams, Page 9
Columnist The recent hateful murder of Trayvon Martin in Florida and the xenophobic beating and subsequent death of Shaima Alawadi in her own home in California accentuate the fact that racism still exists. Events such as these deflate the fantastical notion that we have developed a racism-free utopia. It is an inconvenient truth that racism — compounded by xenophobia and religious antipathy — not only exists in today’s world, but is an innate part of human nature. It will exist for as long as the human race endures. Racism, defined by Webster’s Online Dictionary as “the discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of another race,” exists in one form or another on every continent and in every country, every society, every neighborhood and every individual. Surprisingly, even our own human immune system behaves in a such a manner. Immunologists speak of a process in which our bodies react defensively to an
“unwanted intrusion” by “foreign non-self” elements that are not recognized by the body. Sometimes, however, the process breaks down and the immune system attacks its own cells and tissues leading to what’s called “autoimmunity.” In this state of hypersensitivity, much like overt racism and hatred, the body attacks normal cells or members of its own society as if they were harmful foreign organi s m s . S i m i l a r l y, Martin and Alawadi were two normal citizens of the United States who were regarded as harmful beings by their killers. Much of today’s world functions in a state of autoimmunity, repelling and destroying anything that threatens the status quo. One way to treat autoimmunity in humans is through the use of autoimmune suppressive medicine. The analogous medicine for society — such as the federal antiracism laws and civil rights institutions, organizations and grassroots movements — has failed to treat or suppress racism.
The failure of these efforts to stem racial discrimination may be attributed to the absence of any sustained and continuous campaign against racism. Efforts to address racism thus far have been impartial and fragmented, displacing racism instead of fully eradicating it. Paradoxically, and perhaps ominously, we see displaced racism today regrouping and showing its symptoms again and again.
There will always be some part of society that feels under threat from multiculturalism, immigration, religion or race.
It is important to note that racism is not strictly confined within the borders of the U.S. It is rampant abroad as well. It is universal. Racism is not bound to one set of races, colors, ages, religions or ethnicities. In fact, victims of racism and hate can be found not only in places such as Florida and California, but also in places like the Panjwai District of Kandahar, Afghanistan; Toulouse, France and Homs, Syria. Racism is viral; it will mutate and persist in our society as part of nature. It morphs from an overt racism to a more subtle and more systemic racism that impacts our entire society. It won’t just follow
a traditional method of expression such as whites against blacks; it also expresses itself through other outlooks such as through browns or blacks against other minorities. In some places racism will be made explicit through codified laws, entrenched as part of the law of the land. In other places racism won’t be so institutionalized but will instead be expressed indirectly through other vehicles — such as through the actions of a neighborhood guard rather than a policeman. Unfortunately, there will always be fodder for this viral disorder. There will always be some part of society that feels under threat from multiculturalism, immigration, religion or race. If a society is not color-conscious, then it may be religion-conscious or languageconscious. There always will be reasons to hate anyone for any “unnamed or unnamable sin” such as wearing a hoodie or a hijab. As a result there will always be an artificial class viewed as the untouchables of society. And that is the inconvenient truth about racism, which cannot be eradicated but only reduced through a sustained, multi-faceted campaign that addresses its root causes and quarantines its symptoms effectively in all spheres of society.
Keystone Pipeline XL: A Bad Idea Functioning Pipeline Was Built Two Years Ago Andrew Bratcher
Columnist Nasty stuﬀ happens when you let other people think for you — especially if those people happen to be House Speaker John Boehner and his allies, who are still mourning the death of a bill last month that would have let them approve the Keystone Pipeline XL. The bill was killed in the Senate by just four votes. Proponents of the bill were mostly Republican. However, a few Democrats joined Boehner, including our own Sen. Jim Webb, because they feared their chances for re-election might die along with the bill. But every George Mason University student should be dancing on its grave. The Keystone Pipeline XL is an anti-green project, and when I say “green” I mean your money. According to a September 2011 study by Cornell University, if Keystone XL is ever built, your gas could cost you between 10 and 20 cents more per gallon. Unless you believe the June 2010 Perryman Group study,
which claims that the building of want you to know that because Keystone XL would lower gas he’s part of a plan to ship that oil prices by an uncountable amount. overseas. Since the Perryman study was This plan is known as the funded by TransCanada Corpora- “Keystone XL” project. If aption, the very company that wants proved, the project will allow the to build Keystone XL, I think it’s pipeline’s owner, TransCanada safe to assume the people at Per- Corp., to extend the already-built ryman Group K e y s t o n e weren’t being Pipeline all the Extending the pipeline way to Texas. Oil objective. Boehner once bound for to pors means they can would prefer reﬁneries in the sell the gas to other you didn’t heartland will countries instead, know about end up in two major ports, this debate. creating an artificial “We can’t wait Houston and shortage here that will for this projPort Arthur. only end when you’re ect to get Then it’s s t a r t e d ,” just a short boat willing to devote whole ride through the B o e h n e r paychecks to your fuel wrote in a reGulf of Mexico tank. cent letter to or the Panama Canal, and sudPresident B a r a c k denly we’re payObama. Boehner is exploiting an ing a lot more for gas here in image in your head. He’s happy to Fairfax. You see, Canadian oil let you think “this project” is a companies don’t like the fact that brand new pipeline and a solution Keystone has made your gas to high gas prices. cheaper. Extending the pipeline to What Boehner isn’t telling ports means they can sell the gas you is that the Keystone Pipeline to other countries instead, creating an artiﬁcial shortage here that already exists. You read that right. The Key- will only end when you’re willing stone Pipeline was built almost to devote whole paychecks to your two years ago. Even as you read fuel tank. this, it’s moving oil cheaply from If you don’t believe the oil will the source in Canada to reﬁneries be exported, let me remind you it’s in Illinois and Nebraska. Without a free market. According to the that oil, your gas would be even U.S. Energy Information Adminismore expensive. Boehner doesn’t tration, American corporations
found it proﬁtable to export 2.7 million barrels of oil out of the country every day last week. Trust me. Canadian oil companies aren’t going to feel guilty doing the same. Boehner and company won’t feel guilty either, and I’ll close by clarifying their motives. Just by reading this article you know more about Keystone XL than most Americans. If Boehner exploits that ignorance carefully, it could translate into a Republican victory in a tough election year. And let’s not forget money. TransCanada and the oil companies that use Keystone are publically traded corporations. If you’re a wealthy politician like Boehner, you could make a fortune buying stock now and selling it after you help approve the Keystone XL scheme. But what if you’re a regular Mason student? All Keystone XL oﬀers you is higher gas prices. Join the ﬁght to keep your gas aﬀordable. This issue will resurface and the Democratic side needs to refortify its defenses. Call Democrat-in-name Webb, who joined Boehner on this issue. Tell him you know what’s up, that you’re not fooled. Tell him that Mason students think with their brains and not with their Boehners.
Ads and Body Image Don’t Mix
The Evolution of Animosity in Classrooms Technology, Larger Classes Alter Education Marie Mangano
Columnist Jonathan Leonberger took a seat toward the back of room 103, Innovation Hall’s largest lecture hall, as his 236 classmates began to ﬁll the 287-seat auditorium. “One of the fascinating things about sitting this far back is that you are able to see what all of the other students are doing,” said Leonberger, a sophomore marketing major at George Mason University. One by one, students pulled out their notebooks and laptops. “In a class of 236, paying attention is a choice rather than a requirement,” Leonberger said as he pulled out his i>clicker2 handset, which are used in large classes to perform tasks ranging from taking attendance to administering quizzes The classroom of antiquity was not the large lecture hall with rows of students squished together listening to a teacher’s monologue but an arena of interactive and explorative philosophical thought. Socrates created a method of interactive teaching known today as the Socratic Method. He used thought-provoking questions to force students to examine their own beliefs and form hypotheses. The Socratic classroom was an open forum of discussion for the betterment of both the student and the teacher. With successive technological advances, we seem to have strayed from this method of learning and its quest for higher knowledge. Leonberger’s class certainly did not seem to be on a quest for higher knowledge. While many students in the class were busy doing work for other courses and browsing the Internet, the professor just continued talking, pacing about on stage and ﬂipping through the slides. Leonberger tries to attend all of his classes including the ones he ﬁnds boring. “I treat school like work, and you don’t just skip work,” Leonberger said. “If I end up doing poorly but went to every class, I don’t feel bad.” Leonberger’s 3.33 GPA certainly reﬂects his dedication and his if-there’s-a-will-there’sa-way attitude. “Some professors try to make things interesting,” Leonberger said, “but others just don’t seem to care. They just go through the motions.” Leonberger said that a lot of the business courses are like that.
“It is very one-sided learning. The classes are too big for it to be interactive,” Leonberger said. He explained that while it helps to have interesting and engaging teachers, in the end it is the student’s responsibility to pick up the slack if a teacher falls short. Unfortunately, not every student has that kind of dedication. “It is assembly-line education,” said Robert Gabay, a senior Spanish and anthropology double major, who had a similar experience during his sophomore year. “Batch by batch, get them in, get them out.” Gabay had a prerequisite math course in the same 287-seat auditorium of Innovation Hall. “It was deﬁnitely the worst class I have had to take at Mason,” Gabay said. “There were maybe 220 students in the class, and 99
“In a class of 236, paying attention is a choice rather than a requirement.” —Jonathan Leonberger, sophomore, marketing major percent of the time the assistant was the one teaching the course. He would take the time to ask if you understood, but sitting in the back, you aren’t really able to communicate eﬀectively. It wasn’t an atmosphere I felt motivated to immerse myself in.” Rick Reo, a senior member of Mason’s Division of Instructional Technology and an adjunct professor, provided some enlightening perspective on class structure. “A lot of the prerequisite courses are built to be fair. All of the sections are the same,” Reo said. According to Reo, having the instructors of each section teaching the same material means that each student, regardless of which instructor teaching the class, will have the same opportunity to succeed in the course. As an adjunct professor, Reo is provided with the material that he then delivers to the students in his IT classes. “A lot of these prerequisite courses have to be structured and standardized,” Reo said. According to Reo, this classroom structure allows for consistency across the board and it “keeps things manageable.” Leonberger and Gabay both used i>clickers in their courses. “It is a sneaky way to mandate attendance,” Leonberger said. “In general, I don’t
Women Go Under the Knife for Ideal Body
ﬁnd the questions helpful.” Class sizes in excess of 200 students bring about many logistical problems. Handing out and collecting pop quizzes or tracking attendance by calling roll becomes increasingly diﬃcult as the class size increases. These challenges are easily resolved by incorporating the use of i>clickers. There is no need for instructors to try and learn their students’ names. A small remote control will make sure students receive the points that they earn. DoIT at Mason works to help teach professors how to use technology in classrooms. “I teach instructors how to set up and use Blackboard, PowerPoint and other online resources,” Reo said. Ideally, these resources are meant to enhance the classroom experience and allow instructors to connect with the students. “Unfortunately, you can only do so much,” Reo said. “Even with technology, there is still going to be that kind of animosity in the larger classrooms.” Reo added that while interaction is not always achievable, instructors still have the ability to engage the students. “When class begins, you have 20 minutes to engage them — to catch their interest — or you end up losing them completely,” Reo said. The key to connecting with the students starts with getting — and keeping — their attention. “Every 20 minutes, do something else. Get the students involved, have a small discussion, show a video that relates to the material,” Reo said. Keeping students engaged becomes diﬃcult in the larger classrooms, but it is certainly possible. Leonberger’s favorite course at Mason had less to do with the course itself than with how his professor, Stacey Verardo, taught the course. “She was passionate about the subject to the point where it was infectious,” Leonberger said. “The class had more than 100 students, but she was still able to keep your attention. She used PowerPoint presentations, but she actually explained the slides, telling personal stories that related to the material and throwing in little anecdotes and pictures.” One of Gabay’s favorite courses was a prerequisite that actually inspired him to change his major. “I took an anthropology course with Susan Trencher, and she really challenged the class to look at the world from diﬀerent perspectives,” Gabay said. “When she explained diﬀerent concepts, she would use everyday examples to make the material relatable.” Not every prerequisite course is going to interest every student, but that should not mean that instructors should stop trying. A teacher’s goal should be to inspire, and a student’s goal should be to inquire — regardless of the class size.
Opinion Editor Decades ago women were cherished for their overtly round hips, plump buttocks and full, natural breasts. However, in the 21st century the idea of naturally occurring beauty has all but disappeared, leading to an incessant need to alter bodies in order to have “normal” appearances. “Clearly, there’s an idealized breast out there, round and very full. Trouble is, it doesn’t quite go with another ideal — the slim, slim torso,” Canadian freelance journalist Judith Timson states in her article “Breast Stroke.” “Those Victoria’s Secret models, for instance, with their slender bodies and major boobage — this is not an anatomically normal set of events. No exercise, diet or potion can produce those contradictory proportions for most women. But surgery can.” The reality is that people, namely women, are consulting plastic surgeons to obtain ideal bodies whether or not their bodies are anatomically correct. In the 21st century, American society has done away with uniqueness and created a norm which most women feel the need to conform to. “Comedian Joan Rivers was asked on an A&E documentary to come up with one word to describe breasts today,” Timson continued in her article, “and, ever succinct, she replied ‘plastic.’” Breast augmentations aren’t becoming increasingly popular alone; aesthetic surgeries are becoming popular as a whole. “In 1999, American women had 167,318 breast augmentations, 120,160 blepharoplasties, 201,083 liposuction procedures, and 66,096 face lifts,” Debra L. Gimlin
stated in her article “Cosmetic Surgery: Paying for Your Beauty.” That was 13 years ago; can you imagine what the numbers must be now considering the technology that allows for the portrayal of the perfect female body in advertisements? But that’s not all. Now there is a widespread infatuation pertaining to labia reduction and reshaping surgery. As Simone Weil Davis states in “Loose Lips Sink Ships,” women are not only hoping for the boobs and bronze of porn stars and models but for their vaginas as well. After being exposed to literally thousands of advertisements everyday, it’s no wonder why women feel inferior in their own untouched bodies. Once upon a time such sightings didn’t occur, and bodies were left up to the imagination. Now scantily clad, well-endowed women are spanning the pages of every magazine, are on every billboard and in every television show and movie. These ideal bodies are inescapable. Women are going to extreme lengths to obtain the perfect body that the media often portrays. Serious complications, even death, are not enough to keep ordinary people from attaining a socially acceptable body. When we think about socially acceptable bodies, we begin to question what makes one such. Is it a body that gains attention? Does a body need to be altered to maintain a relationship? Will an alteration diminish anxiety and self-consciousness? Surprisingly, Gimlin reveals in her article that many women approach the idea of plastic surgery in order to match their outer appearance with their inner spirit. If that’s the case then it’s a wonder why so many women are void of unique qualities. If they are trying to conquer their inner sprit with lipoed thighs, larger breasts, smaller labia, injected lips and raised eyebrows, what makes them any different from the other women that routinely go under the knife?
The Coﬀee Sundress A Woman’s Guide to Self-Confidence
Columnist We frequently hear that imperfections make us unique and beautiful, but this idea of the importance of individuality is incomplete. Imperfections are what make us gorgeous, but only when we embrace them unconditionally. All too often, however, we exaggerate and obsess over our perceived “flaws,” thereby confining ourselves to a mentality akin to slavery. We allow ourselves to be consumed by silly externalities that no one else actually notices. Our keen eyes seem to be constantly searching for something to be unhappy about. Who cares if your hips are big or small? Maybe you’re on your way to loving yourself unconditionally and regardless of your “deviant” waist-to-hip ratio. You’re beginning to feel that it’s the way you’re supposed to be — completely and uniquely you. Then a friend who is secretly wearing devil horns steps into your happy situation and starts making snide comments about you. These remarks stem from her envy of your ability to simply adore yourself, but you still feel guilt and shame. All of a sudden you’re the odd girl out just because your friends all settled for self-hatred whereas you are on track to an emotionally
healthy state. Loving yourself seems like it should be easy — I mean, it’s you, right? It’s never that easy. It takes time, patience and space to foster confidence and a healthy selfimage. However, here is a simple step-by-step guide to get you started on the journey to embracing yourself. Step One: Cut out females who call themselves your friends but constantly undermine your self-esteem. Step Two: Don’t allow the comments of your frenemies — or anyone else, for that matter — to bring you down. They are the ones who are lacking. They wish they could be as happy about their thighs as you are about yours. Step Three: If you have friends who are obviously struggling to check “Step Two” off their list, you might need to offer a heaping pile of comfort and support. Be careful, though. Your friends in this category might be tempted to take their own problems out on you. If so, deflect their comments with happiness and help them see their own beauty. When helping others discover their beauty you feel happier — which multiplies your already giant confidence streak. Step Four: Take time to look in the mirror. If you’ve never done this before, try it. Put on a bikini and stand in front of the mirror. Then list five things you love about your body. Try not to see what hurts you but rather what heals you. Look away from the cellulite and behold your divine body. Step Five: If you wear make-
up, try not to think about it as a means of covering up your flaws but instead as a way to accentuate your natural beauty. If you don’t wear make-up, you might like to try it on some time just for an extra perk in the morning. Step Six: Regardless of the methods you choose to help you feel better about yourself, make sure you’re doing them only for yourself. At the end of the day, if you’re doing it to make men notice you or women envy you, you’re doing it for the wrong reason. You will never satisfy everyone with respect to your appearance, but you can satisfy yourself — and that’s all that really matters. The Two Solutions: “I will never be the woman with the perfect hair who can wear white and not spill on it,” Carrie Bradshaw once said. You can take one of two approaches to the white apparel quandary. You can choose to only wear dark colors so spilt coffee doesn’t ruin your day. Alternatively, you can wear white and if your latte spills, proudly strut your way down the sidewalk, smiling at everyone you see. With the first solution, the stain is invisible, but the stench is not. You may have managed to “hide” your flaw, but your lack of confidence will draw the unwanted attention of onlookers. However, the latter solution allows you to embrace your clumsiness and any other flaws that come with being unique. You might not be the woman who projects perfection in a white sundress devoid of spilt Starbucks stains, but you can make spilt coffee look damn good.
Applications being accepted fo for May and Sept. 2012 start dates.
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EDUC E D UC ATING A T I NG T THE H E NE NE X XT T GENER GENER A ATION T ION O OF F PH PH Y YSICI S I C I A NS NS
8 | Monday, April 2, 2012
Letters to the Editor Vote Liam and Moe On March 28, 2012 Michael Jordan and I oﬃcially suspended our campaign for student body president and vice president. Many people have asked me why I endorsed Liam Hennelly and Moe Ahmed. I am now going to present my logic for you: There are three tickets left running: Williams/Foster, Hennelly/Ahmed and Lavine/Shahin. I wish all of the luck in the world to Lavine/Shahin, but, statistically speaking, a write-in campaign does not have as good of a chance as the two on the ballot. I’m now left with Williams/Foster and Hennelly/Ahmed. I went to the Student Government debate held on March 28 to listen to each campaign plead their case to the student body. The Williams/Foster campaign slogan hit me across the head: “Putting the Student Back into Student Government.” This has to be the most hypocritical thing I’ve heard in the past two weeks. Williams/Foster, you are what’s wrong with Student Government. How can you run a campaign on putting “student” back when you are the ones who took it away in the ﬁrst place? Williams/Foster is part of the same leadership team where a committee chairman stated, “I feel like we’ve forgotten that [we’re here just to have fun].” They are part of the same leadership team that did not devote a single committee meeting to sitting down and addressing student concerns brought to Student Government at What Do You Want Wednesday. Williams/Foster is part of the same leadership team that met in secret to plan my lynching (excuse me, I mean “impeachment”) in Student Government. Yes, Liam might also be a member of Student Government, but he isn’t part of the elitist group of chairmen who steer the organization’s direction. Bowers/Yoo did a marvelous job this year but their two level-headed voices are trumped by a clan of between seven and nine senate “leaders” who choose to ignore student voices. Liam Hennelly and Moe Ahmed will bring a fresh perspective to student governance on campus. If you are reading this, and you were upset at how I was removed from the ballot, vote Liam and Moe. If you are reading this because you looked forward to what William Rose has to say this week about Student Government, vote Liam and Moe. Hennelly submitted a proposal that would require all senators to do a measly ﬁve outreach hours a semester. This was killed in the committee that Matthew Short chairs. This is an example of what’s wrong with Student Government — the senators themselves aren’t willing to sit down and do the job that they’re elected to do. While Jordan Foster voted to spend $997.50 on an exclusive dinner with SG members and some deans, Liam Hennelly voted no and recognized that student money shouldn’t go to dinners that get nothing done except for some small talk. I’ve probably upset some of my friends and colleagues in Student Government by writing this, but the truth will set you free. Liam Hennelly and Moe Ahmed receive my highest endorsement for student body president and vice president. On April 2 and 3, go to gmu.collegiatelink.net to cast your vote. Liam and Moe deserve it. —Donald Garrett Well, We’re Not Here to Sell Cookies Will Rose’s recent piece attacking Student Government (“Is Student Government Just for Fun?” March 26, 2012) makes me wonder if he knows what we do, what we have the power to do and if he, as a columnist for Broadside, even reads the Broadside. While I was initially annoyed by his piece, I’m now thankful for the opportunity to address his concerns and set the record straight. This is a bit of a challenge because his insults were chock-full of contradictions, and his article was more of an assault against SG rather than respectful, constructive criticism. In short, Will, we’re not here just to give away cookies. Many students don’t know what SG really is for and what we are working on. As a recent appointee to the Student Senate, I have been part of a massive amount of work by this organization to support our mission in the last two months. In that same issue last week, Broadside published three separate arti-
cles on the work SG is doing to extend the add/drop deadline, the SG Academic Advising Expo and the creation of the Shared Governance Task Force to explore opportunities for giving students real decision-making power rather than expecting students to be satisﬁed with just non-binding resolutions and non-voting student members in governing entities. We’ve also passed a resolution in support of the DREAM Act (front page coverage in Broadside February 20, 2012), hosted a Police and Housing Forum and organized countless other successful events. In his piece, Rose unfairly projected the statements of one or two senators onto our entire organization. SG is a diverse organization of students with diﬀerent political ideologies, multiple identities and many reasons for joining. Additionally, the statements on which Rose focused were taken out of context. One senator did say that SG is about having fun. However, taking the quote in context, this senator was recently served by the lawsuit, encouraged to seek legal assistance, and told to go to the Fairfax County Circuit Court to face the frivolous charges that the judge later quickly dismissed as ridiculous. Under these circumstances, many people would have questioned the lawsuit as being too serious and would want to bring things back to the ground. Because Rose stated that SG is breaking laws while citing the lawsuit, it is important to make it clear that the judge dismissed all charges. Rose intentionally avoids the result of the lawsuit but quickly stated that student government “broke a state law.” I completely understand and sympathize with Rose’s frustrations with the gap between what students ask for and what changes are ultimately made by administrators. Rose cites the “What Do You Want Wednesday” events organized by former Senator Donald Garrett, whom the article largely defends, before Garrett’s resignation. I have spent all of my three years at Mason working on making positive institutional changes and have learned how little power students actually have. Even Student Government, the most powerful student organization, can ultimately only make recommendations, and we don’t hold any signiﬁcant decision-making power. This is a problem we are highlighting with the creation of the Shared Governance Task Force, as I believe decision-making power should be shared by students, faculty and staﬀ based on how much the decisions being made impact us. I can say with complete conﬁdence that the input SG receives from students is communicated to decision makers. Unfortunately, those decision makers often don’t make the changes we recommend. Rose also questioned how we spend our money and went further, saying that maybe SG’s funds should be taken away. How we spend this small budget is made public at sg.gmu.edu under legislative log showing recent legislation, and if you attend any of our public and open meetings, you can see for yourself that our money is spent carefully and wisely. Giving context to our small budget, University of Maryland SG spends approximately $1.5 million and University of Colorado SG oversees $37 million. By Rose’s logic if SG is bound to all Freedom of Information Act regulations, all student organizations are as well. In my experience being active in more than a dozen organizations, student organizations don’t follow all these strict regulations and would be bogged down if it were mandated. Rose cited his leadership in Global Zero, but the group has 50 members on their Facebook page and three members on Collegiate Link. In fact, if I didn’t know where to look, his leadership would be a complete secret to me. If this group has met since February 11, those meetings were not made public according to these websites, which is a direct violation of FOIA from my understanding. However, I do not intend to ﬁle a lawsuit because I don’t believe FOIA applies. I personally did not join SG for fun and am insulted by Rose’s accusations. I, like many other senators, take my obligations to represent students seriously and work hard to make positive change on campus for the beneﬁt of the student body. Reaching over 32,000 students is a challenge for a student government with a maximum membership of approximately 75, and I understand Rose’s misun-
derstandings. I believe I speak for all of SG when I say we are always open to hearing from students. I personally appreciate any feedback to be constructive and respectful. I welcome Rose to work with SG in the future and hope that I have cleared up some of the issues he raised. —Jason Von Kundra Student Senator The Positive Impact on Greek Life at Mason It’s April and Greek Week 2012 has just concluded. As someone who has been an active member of a Greek organization for the past four years of college I can truly say that my experience at George Mason University would not have been what it was had I not been a part of Fraternity & Sorority Life at GMU. I was appalled to have read the article last week “explaining” what Greek Week is about and the fact that it is considered a “burden” on the rest of the Mason community. The following is an unbiased, neutral position regarding the positive impact GMU Greeks have on the Mason community. As you all know, every spring, GMU Greeks participate and compete in several events that make up Greek Week. This year, there were several major changes made in order to build more unity among all four councils (PHC, IFC, NPHC and MGC). For the ﬁrst time, Greek Week incorporated NPHC and MGC and encouraged chapters to participate by pairing with another Greek organization. Not every organization chose to participate, but those who did become a part of a new tradition in Greek Life at George Mason that will hopefully continue to grow and improve with time. The week started oﬀ with a Greek Week kick-oﬀ party held in the Corner Pocket on Saturday March 24. This was a new event, which encouraged organizations to come together in a social setting and celebrate the beginning of the very busy and exciting week. This is the one time of the year that Greeks really stand out on campus and are recognized by the university. Sunday morning, March 25, Greeks participated in Shackathon. Traditionally, this event consisted of Greeks building shacks or other randomly shaped structures out of wood. This year, the challenge was to construct the shack using cardboard and other recyclable materials. The shacks were put up Sunday afternoon and stayed on campus until noon the following Tuesday. During this short time, Greeks collected cans for Food for Others and raised funds for Habitat for Humanity. Every single year this is an extremely successful event that the Greek community as a whole can come together and give back to those who are less fortunate. This year, Greeks donated 8,292 pounds of canned good to Food for Others and raised $7,500 for Habitat for Humanity. There were several other events throughout the week, some of which were old, and some of which were new. These events included a faculty staﬀ appreciation luncheon, an academic advising expo, the Real World: Greek Edition (a forum to present issues faced by each council), Field Day and Aquatics Night. Despite these events completely dominating the schedule of anyone who is participating, they demonstrate the dedication Greeks have toward their organizations. Every year Greek Week concludes with Greek Sing, which is a skit/song/dance routine that goes along with the set theme. This year’s Greek Sing theme was I Love the 90’s. Some may ﬁnd it absurd the time and energy organizations put into the preparation of this production. Regardless of the outcome it is a great time for chapters to bond within while working very hard towards a common goal. I personally cannot imagine not participating in this event with all my sisters. No single other college experience can compare to the memories I have from participating in Greek Sing. Greek Week aside, every organization works hard throughout the year to raise awareness for their philanthropies as well as participate in community service events to show their support in the NOVA area. It is unfortunate that many are not aware of the positive contributions all Greeks are involved in. We are leaders on this campus and deserve more recognition for the enthusiasm we instill within the GMU community.
Each and every Greek organization holds their members to certain standards, which reﬂect their values. Greeks are also required to maintain a minimum GPA to remain active. Not only are they heavily involved in Greek life but typically are also involved in other clubs, organizations, sports or activities. I encourage all current and upcoming Mason students to get involved in something on campus. Greek life may not be for everyone, but you’ll never know whether or not it is the perfect ﬁt for your college experience unless you push stereotypes aside and allow yourself to accept the fact that we are a strong community that has a positive impact on this campus. —Katie Hennis Chicago Should be Known for Corrupt Politicians, not Mason As Ron Paul stated in the CNN Arizona debate in February, “It isn’t the oath to our party; it’s the oath to our oﬃce to obey the law, and the law is the Constitution.” In our case, the law is also the Freedom of Information Act. Normally, abiding by FOIA shouldn’t be a big issue for Student Government. However, given the fact that we had undergone secret ballots, misinformed the student body and failed to update all our minutes and legislation, I’d have to rethink where we stand as an organization. I’m from Chicago. I had to live with corrupt politicians for 15 years. Usually, the scandals have to deal with selling someone a seat in oﬃce, not discrimination or ousting them from oﬃce. I am not a veteran senator, but I have been a senator long enough to understand that we have a number of individuals who can’t separate personal sentiments from business. We have a lot of “type A” personalities in the organization who have a tendency to vigorously retaliate against any form of constructive criticism. When a movement like Occupy GMU conducts an event, we shouldn’t be offended or mock them because they state the changes they want to see within the university. Isn’t that what SG is all about? Shouldn’t we listen to and address the concerns of the student body? I ﬁrmly believe that Will Rose had a legitimate reason behind his article and I’m disappointed by the remarks made by fellow senators (who are also my closest friends). We should hear everyone’s cases even if we disagree or we are oﬀended. When we hold an elected position, we should expect negative feedback or criticism. After all, we are the public servants of the student body. We shouldn’t have such a heavy focus on our reputation. If there is one lesson learned, the more we are distracted by the focus of our reputation, the more likely we’ll receive a bad reputation among the student body. We should keep an open mind. We don’t learn from praise, but we learn from the criticisms we get. Given that the SG budget is compiled by public funds, we are obliged as an organization to follow two sections of FOIA: Open record and open meetings. Unlike SG, Global Zero doesn’t have any constituents to serve, nor do they have any funds. Therefore, they are not subject to FOIA. It is not your beliefs that make you a good person. It’s your behavior. I also ﬁnd it very discouraging that when a senator speaks out and informs people that they are going about things in the wrong ways, the senator is either scrutinized or is impeached. I also don’t think lawsuits are the best form of conﬂict resolution, but if the opposing party is refusing to cooperate, what other options are there? Also, the past lawsuits that we had gone against hadn’t really been in our favor. The judge dismissed the Jordan v. Short case because the petition for mandamus listed Short as the individual, not as the chairman of the Government and Academic Aﬀairs committee. However, before dismissing the case, the judge stated that he would have ruled in favor of Jordan. The recent lawsuit by Donald Garrett (and may I add that it is his ﬁrst lawsuit) was not dismissed because the judge believed it was “ridiculous.” The attorney, on behalf of the SG members sued, motioned for a summary judgment, which suggested that Garrett did not have a case. The judge rejected that motion believ-
ing that Garrett did have a legitimate case but ultimately dismissed it because he felt that the leadership meeting that planned the impeachment resolution was very similar to a political party caucus. I’d have to agree. Our organization has adopted a political party system, and all those who are not a part of the majority party are scrutinized. I do believe that our organization wants the best for the students. However, I believe that we sometimes get caught up in our personal feelings or are confused about what the students really want. Actually, in the past court case concerning Garrett, the attorney stated on behalf of SG, “Student Government has no power.” I ﬁnd that oﬀensive as a senator. If we hold no power, then why do we rightfully receive a $25,000 budget? If we hold no power, then why is it necessary to wrongfully impeach a senator? If we hold no power, then why do we spend thousands of dollars for a dinner with the dean and provost and an Academic Advising Expo? If we hold no power, then why are we trying to set up a safe rides program? I believe that SG does have power, and I also ﬁrmly believe that we should use our power to eﬀect positive change for the Mason community. That being said, I would like fewer bills calling for policy changes within the student body constitution and codes, and more resolutions implementing a fairer drug policy. I would like to see less wasteful spending on food, cookies and shirts, and more spending for environmental changes at Mason. (Thankfully, the resolution for taxing students ﬁve cents for plastic bags has been tabled.) I would like to see less retaliation toward students for their concerns and more interaction with students. I ﬁnd it my duty, as a student representative, to take urgent action for a revision of the drug policy when a productive student has been suspended for the possession of marijuana and isn’t able to graduate. We’re all here to obtain a degree. I ﬁnd it unfair that a student who has contributed to the Mason community greatly and studied diligently can’t have her rightfully earned degree. So when my resolution was tabled for two weeks without a chance to provide a rebuttal, I was furious that we forgot the urgency. However, I decided to continue working on this with the GMU Students for a Fair Drug Policy. I ﬁnd it unfair that those who push for transparency, fairness and productiveness are branded as the culprits, the outsiders or the troublemakers. I just want to remind everyone that when you point a ﬁnger at someone, the other four ﬁngers are pointing at you. An elected oﬃcial shouldn’t be a “team player” and go with the popular opinion when popular opinion is wrong. As a trustworthy individual, you will stand up for what is right, even if you stand alone. You can be a great speaker and a great politician, but ultimately you have to be a good person. We are elected student oﬃcials because the students voted for us. We shouldn’t be disrespectful toward the student body. If my colleagues ﬁnd this rude, I apologize, but I believe that the truth should be spoken. I believe that the most disrespectful action right now is made by the organization toward the student body. I really do love my colleagues for who they are as individuals. I think they’re great people with great ambitions. I just have to respectfully steer away from their ways. And if they are reading this, I want them to understand that I do have a high respect for every individual. I still do consider them friends after all our disagreements and diﬀering concerns. In all honesty, I am afraid that this might result in isolation or repercussions from the organization. However, I will stand by my statements because I think it is necessary and it is the right thing to do. -Sarah Harvard Student Senator A Tale of Two Dentists This may be a bit of an assumption, but chances are you’ve heard at least one or two things about the current state of the U.S. economy. Leaving aside all preconceptions of politics, it’s important to step back and take a good, hard look at what each side, Republicans and Democrats, actually want to do rather than say about the economy. Understandably, sound bites concerning
“failed stimulus” and “fat-cat bankers” are much easier to process, emotionally and rationally, than a ﬂow chart and equations. Would you rather listen to a live brieﬁng from the Congressional Budget Oﬃce on the latest deﬁcit and spending statistics or have a nice man in a suit and tie explain it to you over a TV dinner? Or perhaps neither choice appeals to you, and you think, “How could I possibly understand all this, anyway?” Well, you’ll no doubt be pleased to know that it’s quite easy to understand the ﬁner points of economic policy. All you need to be able to do is tell a story. Imagine for a moment that there is a patient sitting in a dentist’s chair. Let’s call this particular patient the U.S. economy. For the past few years, the U.S. economy has developed what can only be described as one mother of a cavity — let’s call it the 2008 recession. Now two dentists enter the room and begin to examine the U.S. economy. There’s some bickering between the two about what really caused the 2008 recession, but both agree that something drastic must be done. After a few minutes, the ﬁrst dentist straightens up, saying, “I’ve got the solution. We inject the aﬀected area with Novocain, and that will ﬁx the chronic pain the U.S economy faces!” The other dentist proclaims loudly, “No! The correct course of treatment is to aggressively drill around the infected areas, and any other area which might still form a 2008 recession!” Then both dentists proceed to administer their personal remedies — imagine a slapstick routine a la “The Three Stooges,” complete with power drills and needles. Oh, and one very unfortunate patient. Now, substitute the word “Novocain” with the words “economic stimulus,” the word “drilling” with the phrase “enact ﬁscal austerity,” and you’ll have neatly summed up the current debate surrounding the aftermath of the 2008 recession. Democrats want to keep up the economic stimulus in an attempt to free up currently sluggish lending markets. In economic jargon, it’s called “injecting liquidity into capital markets.” Republicans want to aggressively slash the U.S. government’s debt burden in an attempt to incentivize private sector spending and growth to combat the problem known in economics as “crowding out.” Both courses of treatment have very good cases going for them. However, the caveat is that either solution by itself won’t do the economy any good. Sadly, neither dentist wants to give the other credit for solving the problem, so both ﬁght tooth and nail to administer their treatments while doing everything they can to thwart the other. Don’t expect the U.S. economy to be smiling any time soon. —Nathan McBrady, sophomore, managerial economics Everett Got It Wrong On behalf of the Greek Week Steering Committee, we would like to address the Mason Community in response to Clara Everett’s column posted in the March 26 edition of Broadside. Greek Week has been going on for over 20 years at Mason. This year we worked hard to come together to unify the Greek Community and showcase to Mason the amazing work that we do on behalf of our institution for the surrounding communities. This year’s theme was not “I Love the 90’s”, but rather, “We All Stand Out but We Never Stand Alone.” As a community we are proud to share that we raised over $7,500, which was not given to the homeless in Washington D.C., but to the Northern Virginia chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Over 8,292 lbs. of food was donated to Food for Others to support those in need right here in Northern Virginia. Countless hours are put into the planning of the shacks, and other events during the week to celebrate the Greek experience at Mason. There is so much pride in this week from the majority of the community that it hurts many of us to read an article like the one that was printed by one of our less-informed members. Greek Week is a time for us to come together and for organizations to stand out. We are all not “yogapant wearing, Starbucks-drinking, shady-looking girls.” We are men and women who are strong leaders within this community who work hard to better ourselves and the future of Mason. -The Greek Week Steering Committee
Monday, April 2, 2012 |9
Student Government: Inefficient or Incapable?
Flawed Process Leaves Little to Voters
â€˜What Do You Want Wednesdaysâ€™ Never Seem to Bring Studentsâ€™ Requests to Fruition
Who Does the Political Process Serve?
Columnist Student Government is holding a â€œWhat Do You Want Wednesdayâ€? this week. I really regret that I canâ€™t attend as Iâ€™m sure whatever problems Iâ€™d like to see solved here at George Mason University â€” lower tuition, lower parking fees, less wasteful spending, traffic lights at the overcrowded intersections â€” would certainly be tended to immediately and efficiently. Itâ€™s comforting to see that when students say they want to see a reduction in penalties for drug possession, SG understands this to be code for â€œWe want plastic bag taxes, $9,000 worth of Gold Rush T-shirts and then Donald Garrett, the guy who privately raised half the funds to buy these shirts, to be impeached and then kicked off of the presidential ballot.â€? But, hey, at least they give you a cookie.
Since Iâ€™ll be gone on â€œWhat Do You Want Wednesday,â€? I decided to conduct my own version by asking some students here at Mason what they would like to see done on campus and include the list in Broadside. Not only are some of the students I asked currently campaigning to make SG better, more useful and less wasteful, but some of the students I asked are in SG now. Hereâ€™s what theyâ€™d like: lower parking fees, universal parking permits, fairer drug policies, cheaper tuition, more responsibility from the organizationâ€™s administration, lengthened withdrawal periods, reduced budget and more efficiency. The students I asked, to the man, said they would rather see $9,000 spent on â€œanything other than what it was spent on.â€? Iâ€™d like to meet the student who told SG he wanted $9,000 worth of Gold Rush T-shirts. Iâ€™d like your budget cut by, say, $9,000 (worth of T-shirts) and published on your website. Iâ€™d like the people whom I email to ask for information, which theyâ€™re required and paid to give me, respond with the information before I am accused of having not asked for it. Iâ€™d like to see
more honesty on the issues. Oh, and I want to see Mike and Donald back on the ballot. I know there are people currently in SG or who have been in SG who work hard to represent students. I also know that a lot of them donâ€™t. If you arenâ€™t doing anything, where do you get your legitimacy? With regard to my last article, Iâ€™ve already heard some members of SG, many of whom I am friends with, call me misinformed; I call those people wrong. In fact, I think itâ€™s the general public that is misinformed about what youâ€™re doing for our campus. Not misinformed by their choice but misinformed because you hide your budgets (my email was never returned) and you impeach and remove from candidacy the most capable senators on the basis of private feuds. As my email requesting the public expenditures was not returned, I sought the information elsewhere. A member of SG who did not have the information I requested referred me to someone who logically should â€” the chairman of finance. When I emailed the chairman of finance and asked for SGâ€™s expenditures for the past year, he said he did-
nâ€™t have the authority to release that information. In fact, that information is public under the Freedom of Information Act as SG is a body supported by taxpayer money. More likely, he didnâ€™t have the information. You can see why Iâ€™m frustrated that people accuse me of not taking the initiative to ask SG what they do, yet the SG adviser has not responded to my emails and the committees do not keep records of public information readily available to give those who ask to see it. If even one of these requests, which came directly from students, is met, Iâ€™ll be shocked. SG, we know what we want. You know what weâ€™ve asked you to do because it always consists of the same requests. Your legitimacy comes from your claim to be able to make the changes weâ€™ve persistently asked for. Otherwise I might be inclined to believe that rather than being inefficient and ineffective, youâ€™re incapable. When are you going to do anything people request to see done at â€œWhat Do You Want Wednesdays?â€? Seriously, do people actually ask for those damn shirts?
Believe in Yourself and Your Dreams Will Come True DREAMS, from 6 Day and night I silently reassure myself that no one in this world will ever strip away my deeply engraved passion to write. Sadly, many believe that a ďŹ ery imagination can be the death of oneâ€™s reality because failure is inevitable. These people must have forgotten what it felt like to be a child and imagine their world as they saw ďŹ t. There were castles everywhere, and they imagined themselves doing
whatever they wanted. They were true to themselves and were untouched by pessimistic points of view. In order for you to live your dream, you have to be willing to forgo nights of sleep, meals and hours of socialization. It may be diďŹƒcult at times without the support of a cherished one or a group of friends who reiterate their conďŹ dence in your hard work, but it can be accomplished because of one reason: believing in yourself. Yes, I know â€” ex-
tremely clichĂŠ. However, if you understand your dream, look forward to the journey ahead with optimism and support your passion, then no one can deny you the luxury to dream even bigger. When your passion is intact, failure can be seen as an opportunity. What might otherwise be perceived as failure acts as a revitalizer, recharging your passion to continue dreaming bigger than before. Color your life with the power of your imagination and
dare to be a dreamer. Donâ€™t ever allow othersâ€™ pessimism to drain your rainbow of its full spectrum of vivid colors only to become another shade of gray in the drab paint bucket of society. Donâ€™t pay attention to what the pessimistic ones say. Just remember what your second grade teacher taught you: â€œYou can be anything you set your mind to.â€? Look, itâ€™s simple â€” if you still want to be that oak tree, then you better be the best damn oak tree in the forest.
Columnist The state of American presidential politics is simply depressing. The media has taken the reigns of the Republican primary and continuously injects Americans with their two anointed candidates, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney. These candidates have records of expanding government, increasing spending and advocating market and foreign interventionism. On the other side we have our president who ignores the calls for restoring ďŹ scal sanity, respecting civil liberties and halting the expansion of our overseas empire. The similarities between the â€œfrontrunnersâ€? make them nearly indistinguishable; Americans might as well ďŹ‚ip a coin to decide whom they will vote for come Election Day. Our severe lack of choices should not come as a surprise. The unabated, diminishing interest in policy and increasing focus on both the electoral horse race and party labels have diluted American politics and pushed out philosophical voters. Ask your average voter why he supports a certain candidate. The usual response seems to be, â€œI want this person because he is a better option than the other.â€? What this shows is not only a symptom of widespread ignorance of the issues but also the fact that people arenâ€™t completely satisďŹ ed with their choices. Some may take this lightly and shrug it oďŹ€. But choosing elected leaders is not like choosing between Coke and Pepsi. The decisions that a president or any elected leader makes directly impact you, your family and every single American
citizen. The president has the ability to drag us into war, continue the abuse of civil liberties, indeďŹ nitely detain American citizens and bypass almost every constitutional guarantee. So while I try everyday to remain optimistic that one day we will elect a principled president or at least have more than two choices, the passing days and subsequent elections chip away at my remaining optimism. So who is to blame for this idiotic political madness? Maybe it is the media, campaign ďŹ nance laws or corporations. Perhaps a constant, entertainment-induced coma or political sideshows like Rush Limbaughâ€™s comments and Obamaâ€™s birth certiďŹ cate plague the American people. I tend to think itâ€™s all of the above. The United States has so many real problems that should be addressed immediately, but no one seems to care. Our out-of-control deďŹ cit spending, rising gas prices, broken immigration system and disastrous education programs are just a few items that should be front and center on headlines across the country. Yet they fall to the side as politicians and the media frame less-signiďŹ cant events for political gain. Candidates, like Congressman Ron Paul, who have extensive grassroots support for speaking about sensible monetary policy, ending the war on drugs, bringing our troops home and upholding our constitutional rights, are blatantly sidelined by the media and ignored by the establishment. Itâ€™s almost as if the truth is intentionally silenced so those in power can hold on to it. Itâ€™s just one big club, and weâ€™re not invited. Maybe Iâ€™ll never understand but Iâ€™ll also never stop thinking independently. I urge you all to think before you vote and never compromise on something you donâ€™t agree with.
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The projected cost, in millions, for a George Mason football stadium
Monday, April 2, 2012
An Undying Question Director of Athletics Tom O’Connor Describes What Would be Necessary to Bring Football to Mason
Photos by Stephen Kline
(Left) George Mason played Valley Forge to start their 2011 season. (Right) Senior quarterback Jack Langley led the Patriots to the Mid-Atlantic Conference Championship, the ﬁrst in NCAF history.
James Ho Broadside Correspondent We wonder about it every autumn Saturday afternoon. It is a question we all want answered. We are all dying to know. Why does George Mason University not have an NCAA Division I football team? “Football must ﬁt strategically within the vision of the university,” said Tom O’Connor, director of athletics and assistant vice president at Mason. For years, the university has wrestled with the desire to start a football program. For years, most of the factors informing the decision of whether or not to start a team can be attributed to cost. That remains the case today, and as the landscape of college athletics continues to change, so do those costs. “Cost is the biggest issue,” O’Connor said. “It is very costly to be successful in a spectator sport like football.” The university’s 2010 estimate of the potential expenses associated with a football program included operating costs, the cost of additional women’s sports programs, potential conference movement and the cost of a stadium.
Where Do We Play? If Mason does decide to start a football program, the greatest cost factor will arise from the conference and division the team would play in. Division I college football is split up into two subdivisions: the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly known as Division I-AA, and the Football Bowl Subdivision, formerly known as Division I-A, which is the top level of college football. If the team were to play in the FCS, it would presumably join the CAA, which is where all of the other Mason sports compete. But if Mason were to immediately jump into the FBS, it would have to move into a larger conference, such as the Big East. There is a dramatic diﬀerence in the costs of playing in the FCS and FBS. According to the 2010 estimate, the total annual costs that the university would incur playing in the FCS was estimated at $12,367,167 versus $30,048,700 playing in the FBS.
Title IX and Gender Equity If Mason adds a football program in either divi-
sion, the university would have to either cut an existing men’s team or add more women’s teams to be in compliance with Title IX. The university would elect to add women’s ﬁeld hockey and golf. The university would also have to add scholarships to existing women’s programs. The additional costs of the new and existing women’s programs were included in the total annual costs estimate.
speculation surrounding a Patriot football program. One rumor has it that concerns about tailgating were a primary reason for not starting a program. “Tailgating is not much of a problem or concern. It’s something you manage,” O’Connor said. “We’ve done a pretty good job managing it with Homecoming basketball games.” Another rumor that has circulated around campus is that the Washington Redskins oﬀered to help ﬁnance the construction of a stadium, provided that they would be able to use it to host their oﬀ-season training camp. According to O’Connor, those rumors are completely false. He added that the Redskins only inquired about using the current Mason facilities for their training camp, but the team decided against it because of limited space.
Construction costs for a football program’s facilities and stadium must also be considered. George Mason Stadium cannot accommodate a Division I football game. The university would have to build a new staBeneﬁts of Football dium and additional facilities. “We would do it like we do everything else at this Although football is a costly endeavor, the addiuniversity, and that is ﬁrst class,” O’Connor said. The size, design and cost of a new stadium tion of a program could beneﬁt Mason immensely. A football prowould be heavily dependgram could raise ent on which league the school spirit, as well team chooses to play in. as build a stronger In order to accom“Tailgating is not much of a sense of community modate an FCS football on- and oﬀ-campus. program, the university problem or concern. It’s A football prowould require 25 to 35 gram would provide acres of land for a 15,000something you manage. We’ve students a richer colseat stadium, with parkdone a pretty good job managing lege experience and ing and additional also encourage facilities that would cost it with homecoming basketball alumni to return to approximately $64 milgames.” the university. lion. A Division I For an FBS program, football team would Mason would build a -Tom O’Connor, asst. vice president and garner greater media 40,000-seat stadium with director of athletics attention, which parking and facilities on would raise the pro45 to 55 acres of land at a ﬁle of the university cost of approximately $170 as well as its other athletic programs. The attractivemillion. During past considerations of a football pro- ness of a football program would also have a positive gram, the university marked the Recreation and Ath- impact on enrollment. “I would love to have a football team for all those letic Complex (RAC) and West campus as potential reasons,” O’Connor said. locations for a stadium. O’Connor added that the decision could not be Today, no potential locations have been decided based on emotional factors. on. “I have an obligation to do what’s best for the university. It cannot be an emotional decision,” he Rumors Surrounding football said. A number of rumors have arisen with all of the
Games of the Week Tuesday, April 3
Football is not in Mason’s plans for the near future. According to O’Connor, football must ﬁt into the serious priorities of the university. The process of gaining approval to start a program requires the administration to submit a proposal to the university Board of Visitors, which would vote for or against it. The BOV has voted against a football program in the past. Football is a sport that requires a variety of components to be successful and all of those components would have to be in place in order for the university to sign oﬀ on a team. “If we do it, we have to do it right,” O’Connor said. Asked if the university fears the risk of failure, O’Connor said, “We wouldn’t go into it with that mindset. We would have to be successful.” Incoming university president Angel Cabrera recently said that he would support the acquisition of a football team if the university is able to aﬀord it. Of course, ﬁnancing such a program is no simple task and would require aggressive fundraising, outside donations and additional student fees. The university estimated in 2010 that student fees required to help fund a football program would amount to $515 per student for an FCS program and $1,252 for an FBS program. If the administration were to submit a formal proposal to the BOV, it would ﬁrst have to conduct a feasibility report that would explore both the potential costs and revenues of a football program. The university has yet to conduct a study on revenue potential, but one thing to note is that there are very few Division I FBS athletic programs that actually turn a proﬁt. According to a 2010 NCAA report, only 14 of the 120 schools competing in the FBS proﬁted from their athletics programs. O’Connor said it would take four to four and half years from the BOV’s approval of a football program before the school would see a team on the ﬁeld. The school would need time to ﬁnd coaches, fundraise, recruit and build necessary facilities. Whether or not an NCAA Division I football team is in Mason’s future remains to be seen. But it is clear that such a program would be a costly endeavor, and if it were to happen, the university would go all in with the intention of being the best.
Support Your Favorite Mason Teams at Home
Friday, April 6
Tennis (W) vs. Loyola, 3:30 p.m.
Lacrosse (W) vs. Drexel, 7 p.m. Golf vs. Rutherford Intercollegiate, TBA
Wednesday, April 4
Saturday, April 7
Tennis (M) vs. Richmond, 3 p.m.
Potential for the Future
Softball vs. James Madison, 12 p.m.DH Golf vs. Rutherford Intercollegiate, TBA
Sunday, April 8 Lacrosse (W) vs. Hofstra, 12 p.m. Softball vs. James Madison, 12 p.m. Golf vs. Rutherford Intercollegiate, TBA
Monday, April 2, 2012 | 11
Photos by Stephen Kline
Baseball Two for Three Against Georgia State
The weekend began with a bang. After trailing late in the game, the Patriots rallied to score ﬁve runs in the seventh inning to earn a 6-3 victory in game one of their three-game series with the Georgia State Panthers. Behind seniors Dan Schaﬀerman and Zack Helgeson, Mason tallied 10 hits and recorded a ﬂawless defensive eﬀort to hand starting pitcher Anthony Montefusco his third victory of the season. In the second of a three-game home stand against CAA rival Georgia State, the Patriots were stopped 8-3. The loss ended the team’s three-game win streak after it was unable to overcome a complete game by Georgia State pitcher Ben Marshall. The Patriots fell in a hole early as after pitcher Ryan Pfaeﬄe gave up ﬁve runs in only three innings in the loss-earning eﬀort. Highlights for Mason come in the bottom of the sixth inning when Josh Leemhuis recorded an RBI and Brig Tison scored on a passed ball. The loss was Mason’s second in the past eight games. Much like game one of the series, the Patriots rallied behind a strong pitching performance to take the season series over Georgia State and earn a 3-1 victory in the game. Senior pitcher A.J. Johnson notched seven strong innings and paired with junior closer Chris O’Grady to retire the ﬁnal 12 Panthers’ batters on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Patriots improved to 18-11 overall and claimed their ﬁrst series over Georgia State since the 2008 season. -Cody Norman and Colin Gibson
Weekly Roundup Softball Competing in a double header against in-conference opponent Delaware, the Patriots managed to split the series with a win and a loss. In the ﬁrst game of the series, the Patriots bested the Blue Hens 4-2. Shortstop Rachael Davies led the team with two RBIs and also scored a run of her own. In the second game of the series Delaware made up for the earlier loss and beat Mason 4-3. Three hits and an RBI from center ﬁelder Tori Dudley were not enough to lead the team to victory as a late charge by the Blue Hens got the better of the Patriots. The split series brought the Patriots’ CAA record to 3-2.
Men’s Volleyball Coming oﬀ a 3-1 victory over St. Francis, the Patriots took on the eighth-ranked Nittany Lions from Penn State. After taking the ﬁrst set of the match by a score of 25-21, the team was unable to continue its momentum and dropped the following three sets. Junior Andrew Dentler managed a game-high 14 kills for the Patriots, but the Nittany Lion defense held the Patriots to less than 19 points in each of its three winning sets. The loss dropped the Patriots’ record to 8-14 for the season overall and a conference record of 4-5.
Track and Field
In the men’s discus throw, sophomore Kirk Nguyen placed ninth of 24 individuals. Mason’s most successful even came when Jason Wellington competed in the men’s javelin throw. The sophomore placed third of 18 after recording a distance of 58.49m.
Women’s Rowing After racing four boats in the 30th Memorial Murphy Cup Regatta, the Patriots competed in the second annual George’s Cup as they ﬁnished in third place behind George Washington and Georgetown. The Patriots raced four boats in the event, including the varsity eight, second varsity eight, third varsity eight and the varsity four. Mason’s highest placing boat was the third varsity eight, which placed second with a time of 07:31.6.
Women’s Rowing In the ﬁrst conference game of the year, the Lady Patriots were unable to muster enough oﬀense to keep up with the Dukes form James Madison. The 16-6 loss extended Mason’s losing streak to three games in a row. Three goals from midﬁelder Emily Ellisen were not enough to rally the Patriots to victory against the JMU oﬀense which outnumbered Mason in shots 33-13 and ground balls 18-14. The Lady Patriots are now 2-8 overall and 0-1 in the CAA.
Several Mason individuals shined in Richmond’s Fred Hardy Invitational. In the women’s hammer throw, junior Tia Boyd placed ninth out of 23 competitors. Sophomore Merideth Oare also competed in the event and placed 12.
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Women’s Rowing NCAA Rule Change Will Improve Recruiting Options Colleen Wilson Sports Editor A change to the 2013 NCAA rules will give the Mason women’s rowing team an advantage when it comes to the selection process for the championship tournament. Like basketball, the selection of the top 16 teams to vie for the championship will no longer be determined solely by the committees. Next year, conference champions will automatically secure a spot in the championships. “The new rules will really help us on the recruiting front,” said head coach Geoﬀ Dillard, who has been with the team for seven years. “If we get the right people here, we can have the chance to go to NCAA championships. Our goal this year is to be in the top three teams for the CAA. It’s an attainable and achievable goal, and would be a major success for us.” The team rows home races, also known as regattas, at the Occoquan reservoir and occasionally travels to compete on the Potomac and in Philadelphia. Regattas are scored similar to a swimming or track meet. Individual boats are given weighted scores based on their ranking. Each boat, or shell, seats eight rowers. The added point total of the boats determines the team score. “We can have one boat be really successful in a regatta, but if the other two boats aren’t, then we probably won’t go to the NCAA. It’s the same way with the championship,” Dillard said. During Welcome Week, the team attempts to recruit walk-ons for their novice team to train and, eventually, compete on the oﬃcial team. The majority of athletes on the oﬃcial team are walk-ons with no scholarship incentive. “The girls on our team, they’re doing it for the right reasons,” Dillard said. “Most of the girls are not on scholarship, they’re doing it because they love to do it, because they’re motivated
and want to be successful.” Dillard cites the team’s limited resources for scholarships a weakness in their conference. “We don’t use it as an excuse, we just work harder,” Dillard said. The typical rower is tall and athletic. The longer your arms are, the longer your oar and stroke is. However, natural build is not the only characteristic of a successful rower. “We’re a racing sport. The bottom line is that the biggest thing we’re looking for is a competitive spirit,” Dillard said. Many rowers, including Dillard and assistant coach Laura Mikels, don’t pick up the sport until college. “Rowing is unique in that it gives college students a chance to try a sport for the ﬁrst time and be successful at it,” Dillard said. “Once you learn the basic motion and how to repeat it, your success comes down to your work ethic.” There are many misconceptions about rowing as a sport, which Dillard says most rowers ﬁnd amusing. “It’s common that people don’t know much about our sport,” Dillard said. “We’re not insulted.” A usual misconception about rowing is that it is primarily an arm sport. While the rowers look like they generate power from their upper bodies, 85 percent of the power actually comes from the legs. “One common thing that we see is people who get on the rowing machine in the gym and do it all wrong,” said Dillard. The machine, called an erg, helps rowers perfect their form and strengthen key leg muscles. At the CAA Championships on April 29, Dillard and his team will christen a new boat in honor of President Alan Merten and his wife, Sally. “Having a boat named after you is the highest honor in the rowing world,” Dillard said. “And we’d like to honor the Mertens for supporting our program.”
Photo Courtesy of George Mason Athletics
A change in NCAA rules that will guarantee conference winners an automatic spot in the championships will give the Women’s Rowing team a competitive edge in the 2013 season.
Rowing Terminology Coxswain: Usually a smaller person, 110 lbs. or less. The coxswain steers the boat and acts as an assistant coach directing the other girls. Since the rowers sit backwards in the boat, the coxswain has a small device that tells her the rate, speed and distance, which she relays to the rest of the boat over an intercom system. Shell: The rowing term for a boat. Mason shells are 57 feet long and seat eight people. Each shell costs $30,000 and weigh only 190 lb. Regatta: The oﬃcial rowing term for a competition or race between three or more teams. Rowing blisters: The row of blisters and calluses rowers develop from the oars. Rowers are not allowed to wear gloves while they row. Ergometers: An ergometer, or an erg, is a machine used to simulate rowing on dry land. Rowers use the machine to improve their form and strength.
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