Final 9:30

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Fourth Estate’s guide to the annual Fall Career Fair | page 2- 7


Sept. 30, 2013





MARY OAKEY ASST. LIFESTYLE EDITOR The Career Fair has come to Mason and with that comes the inevitable reminder to all students that sooner or later they will have to leave the wonderful world of college enter the real world. The fair will take place Oct. 2 and 3 in Dewberry Hall from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Over 180 employers will be present from a wide range of industries. Depending on the type of position and career being sought, the employer’s hiring timeline might not match up to graduation dates. “Students who are not finding employment opportunities of interest may not be looking hard enough in the right places or at the optimal time. Recruiting timelines vary by industry,” Clay-Rooks said. “To successfully secure a job or internship, it is best to understand your industry’s recruiting schedule, although there are always exceptions.” While students should consult faculty and practicing professionals for advice on recruiting time periods, there are general guidelines

for each field. For students seeking positions in science, technology, healthcare and non -profits, the restrictions are less firm. “Employers in high-demand industries such as science, healthcare and technology are always looking for talent,” Clay-Rooks said. “For example, big technology companies collect resumes on an on-going basis to have a pool of candidates to tap into whenever they win a contract bid. Non-profits generally hire one employee at a time as needs arise due to staff turnover or additional funding for a new program.” For students looking for positions in the fields of government, finance, consulting and accounting, the window of job opportunity is usually going to fall during the few months of the fall season. “The recruiting process for most major accounting, financial services and consulting firms is already well underway. Accounting firms will be way too busy during tax season in the spring to recruit and hire,” Clay-Rooks said. Students pursuing a government position should consider starting their job search now

because many government positions require background checks. “Government agencies, particularly within the intelligence and national security communities, require employees to pass background investigations and security clearances which may take several months to complete,” Clay-Rooks said “For this reason, many federal summer internship deadlines are now and job seekers should apply for full-time positions up to 9-12 months in advance of graduation.” Students interested in pursuing careers in the engineering, public relations, marketing and education fields need to keep in mind that the spring months are best for seeking employment. “Engineering and communications industries tend to have their recruitment concentrated in the spring, but job seekers are well served to always have their eyes open for positions or a short-term gig,” Clay-Rooks said. “Educational institutions take stock of their hiring needs in the spring and recruit heavily into the summer to get fully-staffed for the start of the new school year.”

In this section Make social media an advantage, not a liability | page 3 Dress for success | page 4 6 quick interview tips | page 4 Career services: professional matchmakers | page 5 How to stay a step above the rest | page 6 The art of research based networking | page 7



Linking in

Sept. 30, 2013

The importance of social media in the hunt for a job

8 References

Director at inQbation Washington D.C. Metro Area | Internet Current



InQbation Labs, World Bank, Homeland Security


George Mason University

500 + connections


NIKI PAPADOGIANNAKIS NEWS EDITOR When applying for a job, traditionally, employers will look at cover letter, resume and an interview. The first thing that Blake Newman does when he gets an application to work for his company, however, is Google their name. Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin are usually the first three results. “You might see their Linkedin profile or you might see some other profile or whatever profile is out there. They tend to rank higher if its a social media than if it was just blakenewman. org. Basically the social media networks are kind of like naturally search engine optimized.” More employers are looking at the social media sites of their applicants. Those three social media sites could make or break an applicant’s chance at getting the job. Therefore, the information on there that can be viewed publicly becomes a go-to place for employers to get a better picture of a person, outside of a resume and interview. Newman, CEO of inQbation, checks out his applicants social media profiles or any other sites that may come up to make sure that the person he might hire will fit in his company. “What they say on their resume is their marketing material and, you know there’s a saying that all marketers are liars,” Newman said. “When you’re sending out your resume you’re basically marketing yourself and so using social media basically helps to verify that stuff or get other clues about them or maybe answers questions that you’re not allowed to ask to try to get a bigger picture.” Newman said that social media is a way for applicants to brand themselves. Linkedin is the authoritative source for when Newman is looking at applicants.

Therefore, using all of the resources provided by Linkedin, for example, is a way to make sure that the applicants control what employers see. “Your linkedin profile is your living resume,” Newman said. “Prospective employers will compare the resume you send them to the linkedin profile you publish.” As the most popular professional networking site, Linkedin should be optimized to represent individual career goals. For Facebook and Twitter, making the personal professional is important. Raechel Hester, associate director of industry advising and employer development for university career services, said that on social media sites, follow interested companies and engaged them and have career-related status updates. For each industry the importance of social media is different. For example, in the technology field, it is more important to be savvy with LinkedIn whereas with communications or another liberal art, voicing opinions on Twitter and having a following is more important to an employer. Newman said when he looks at a public Facebook profile, he is looking to make sure that what was said in the applicant’s resume and interview connects to what is on their Facebook and Twitter profiles. For example, maybe someone has interest in global affairs and humanity and they have volunteered internationally since a young age, but did not include it on their resume. “It kind of affirms that okay, this person has been focused since an early age on humanity and that is exactly the type of person as opposed to somebody that was Double Leaf for the first three years and all of the sudden they just happen to switch to web design and

Blake Newman endorsed you for the following tips NIKI PAPADOGIANNAKIS NEWS EDITOR

Blake Newman



really have no interest in international affairs or something,” Newman said. “So it just kind of paints a bigger picture and gives more layers to what you see in the resume. Newman will often look at the images that come in Googling an applicants name to see, sometimes on a basic level, whether the person is male or female, or their race. [inQbation is] mostly caucasion, so I was actually looking for a woman of color,” Newman said. “Sometimes people do this for the opposite reasons. We’re doing it for, diffferent reasons.” In some instances Newman might find signs of behavior that might lead to faliure in his company. “It’s not like drinking and smoking, it’s more like, I don’t know, I think I’m just looking for signs of really highly risky behavior,” Newman said. Other times, Newman may find a mug shot from an arrest, and without searching, he may have not found out about it. “It might be good to know, well this guy’s a sexual predator or something, or this guy’s on the no fly list,” Newman said “Just things like that to where I don’t have to make the mistake of bringing them in and not having it work out and then realizing I have a dangerous guy on my hands.” As for privacy, Newman suggests to either make Facebook and twitter completely professional, or keep them under high privacy settings, because employers will get to them. “If youre a private person then don’t put it on the internet,” Newman said. “Don’t put up a social media profile. Don’t put your face up there. Don’t use your real name. That’s the answer to privacy.”

If you do an internship or a freelance gig and you get a good referral from that opportunity. Be sure to ask that person, at that point, when they love you the most, to write an online Linkedin recommendation. Sometimes, it is valuable to do an unpaid internship simply to get the experience on your resume and the reference.

10 Consistency Your Linkedin profile is your living resume. Prospective employers will compare the resume you send them to the Linkedin profile you publish. It should be consistent. Your Linkedin profile should contain your career summary and immediate career goals, your skills and expertise, your relevant job experience, your education, and your recommendations.

5 Interests The interests you list should include the normal things like travel, photography but also things that are a bit more personal like rubgy or snowboarding or whatever personal things you can list that make you look different. Be professional. If you are in a job that discourages high risk activity, then don’t list hobbies or interests that are risky.

3 Photo The photo that you use on Linkedin should be professional. It should not be a shot from the beach or a wedding.

12 Connections Work on your connections. Employers typically want well-connected employees. So, if you only have 15 or 20 connections on your Linkedin, that makes it look like you are not well connected, not social media savvy, and perhaps socially awkward.

15 Proofreading Have two or three people read your profile and help you proofread it for errors, mistakes, and awkward writing.



Sept. 30, 2013

Be nude: Nude, understated makeup will make your face look fresh and professional. Save the smoky eyes for the catwalk.

Stay slim: Get a snug suit that accentuates the shoulders and makes you look like a strong candidate.


6 ways to nail an interview from start to hired HALEY MCCOMBER STAFF WRITER The job hunt is on for Mason undergraduates and the competition is tougher than ever. One way to make sure you get the job you want is to nail the interview.

Narrow tie: A narrow tie looks clean and minimalistic and can also provide symmetry to your outfit. Your tie is also a way to accessorize with simple patterns and subdued colors.

Top button: Only button the top button of your jacket. Always keep your jacket fastened until you sit down, and refasten it when you stand back up.

Long lapels: The lapels of your jacket should extend down to your midsection. This will make you look slimmer and define the ideal V-shape of your torso.

Non-pleated pants: Pleated pants are out. Get a pair that are as smooth and suave as your personality.

Simple jewelry: Your credentials should make a statement, not your jewelry.

No pantsuits: Unless you are the U.S. Secretary of State (in which case you’ve already made it and you can wear whatever you well please), steer clear of the pantsuits. A blazer and a pair of pants will suffice, but shy away from wearing just one color.

Pencil skirts: Pencil skirts are both cute and professional and can show potential employers you are a snappy dresser with a personality.

Make sure to practice your interview ahead of time. Mason has many programs available to help students practice their interview skills. Interview Stream is an online mock interview over webcam with specific questions for the industry in which you are applying.. Mason also holds a “Practice Interview Day” where real employers practice interviews with students. When practicing interview questions, use the STAR method as described in Mason’s Moving On: A Guide for Career Planning and Job Searching booklet provided by University Career Services.

3. At the interview, arrive at least 15 minutes early and turn your phone off in the waiting area before you even go into your interview. Employers have said that seeing potential candidates sitting on their phone in the lobby can be a turn off, so power your phone down the moment you walk in.

4. Neutral heels: Black, brown or nude heals are classy and timeless. Also, you might want to invest in a quality pair of gel insoles.

Dress for interview success Students are prepping their resumes and fine-tuning their interview skills in anticipation for the Career Fair. While impressive credentials and solid communication skills are important, many students do not know that they are being judged before they even

When telling an interviewer about your skills, tell stories that reflect ways that you have used your skills in a professional environment. For instance, discuss your past internships, jobs or organizations you have been a part of that helped build the skills you have. One quick tip, make sure to use “I” when talking about past projects, even if they were group efforts, to e focus the conversation on you and why you would be a good candidate.





speak. Make sure that you are sending the right messages by showing up to your interview in the right outfit. Making the right first impression can be the difference between getting the job or going home empty-handed. While it is important to stand out, supplement your style by keeping these fashion tips in mind.

When meeting your interviewer, make sure to give them a firm handshake and smile. During the interview, listen to the company’s needs and communicate how you can fulfill them. Come prepared with at least 2-3 thoughtful questions.

5. There are three different interview types and it is important to be familiar with the characteristics of each. The first and most common is the Behavioral Interview, in which employers will ask what have you done to gauge how you have handled specific situations in real life. In the Case Interview, interviewers will examine your problem-solving skills. The Technical Interview is mainly reserved for medical jobs and other technical fields.

6. Before you leave the interview, remember to grab a business card and thank them for the interview. Within 24 hours after the interview, send a thank you card to your interviewer. Use the business card to make sure you spell their name correctly. Sending a real card is more personal, but thank-you notes can also be sent by email.



Sept. 30, 2013


Career Services reorganizes to better suit needs of students, employers Office uses industry-based approach to match job-seekers with the field that best suits their interests and skills COLLEEN WILSON EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Finding a job that provides fulfillment, a reasonable salary and fits well within the skill-set of a degree can be a tricky task, but there are a team of people in Career Services whose own jobs are to do just that. “We’re here to give students and alumni special advice that they can’t get from a Google search,” said Christine Cruzvergera, Director of Career Services. The office recently underwent an organizational overhaul. Career Services now operates under what Cruzvergera calls an industry-based ideology as opposed to a major or degree-based program. The idea is to align the office in a similar model to how professional industries organize themselves and provide students more flexibility when searching for an employer seeking specific skill sets. Liberal arts majors could lend their skills to the hard sciences or vice versa – the possibilities are endless. “Employers don’t care what you major in, they care what you’re able to do,” Cruzvergera said. The model breaks down the office into five major industry groupings, each headed by a different member of the Career Services team. After seeing the model work at her previous school, Georgetown University, Cruzvergera decided to see if it

Laura Winkler

Charlotte Strauss

would fit into the needs of Mason’s stuAdvertising, Arts and EntertainEducation, Hospitality and Tourdents, faculty and staff. ism, Human Services, Non-Profit, “I came in with the idea of indus- ment, Marketing, Media and PR Sports and Recreation try-based. I knew it could work, I just needed the feedback to prove it,” vergera said. A year and a half ago, an internal and Construction, Engineering, external review conducted by Career Technology, Transportation Services revealed that not only was the Mason community interested in an industry-based approach, outside employers were too. “It was a great opportunity to listen. We reached out to stakeholders for honest opinions and their feedback led to idea impetus,” Cruzvergera said. For students who have not yet chosen a major or narrowed down an industry they are interested in entering, a team of Career Counselors is available to provide self-assessment testing and conversation to help identify individual strengths and interests. When Career Services employees are not meeting with students for advising, offering resume advice or hosting events like the Career Fair, they are at work on what Cruzvergera calls the office’s 5-5-5 plan. Each of the industry advisors has identified five new employers to pursue, five to enhance and five to maintain a relationship with. With this approach, including additional employers who reach out to CaAccounting (Non-SOM), Consulting reer Services on their own, Cruzvergera (Non-SOM), Financial Services (Non estimates her office has a relationship with hundreds of employers who are -SOM), Real Estate, , Retail (Leadership Agriculture and Forestry, Energy and Petroleum, Health and Management Programs) and Consumer interested in hiring Mason students. Pharmaceuticals/Biotechnology, Manufacturing Products

Matt Myers

Rachel Miner

Gemma Costa



Sept. 30, 2013


Know before you go: research and prep

Staying competitive in the race for a job

DARIAN BANKS STAFF WRITER Take a look at these ten tips to help students prepare and succeed in their job search. Many resources are also available on the Career Services website. According to Career Fair Manager Bernadette Davey, these tips are designed so students don’t have to “reinvent the wheel.”

Stand out from the crowd with extracurriculars and leadership roles



When applying for jobs, each candidate wants to be a unique find for an employer. Becoming competitive and showing it, however, takes a skillset of its own. Ann Mills, associate director of career development at Career Services, said it is important for students to build their resumes to match the position they are applying for, making sure that the areas of focus for the employer resonate on their resume. “Because employers take perhaps 10 seconds [to look] at their resume, we want to make sure that our students have the key words on their resume that employers are looking for in a particular industry,” Mills said. Sometimes, using those key words is as simple as changing the word “customer” to “client,” for example. Other times, a resume needs to be restructured to match what is said in the announcement for the position. “Try to put on your recruiters hat here. If you had 200 resumes, which is pretty typical for one position, and you had to have that one that really stood out to you,” Mills said. “Really look at that announcement or look at what this employer is in business to do.” Oftentimes, the skills that employers are looking for are not just a 4.0 GPA, but rather what interests a candidate showed through participation with a student organization or the volunteer work they have done. Jonathan Lamb, the human resources director at MetroStar Systems, agrees. “We’re looking for that well-rounded [applicant]. You can have someone who has a great GPA but has done nothing outside of just going to school,” Lamb said. Lamb said that MetroStar Systems, one of Mason Career service’s Platinum partners, said that an applicant’s passions stand out more than their GPA. As part of their training program for new hires, MetroStar University, they lay out a map of the passions of the employee and how they relate to their job. “If we can map your passions to what you’re doing on a day-to-day basis, and where you see your career going, the more you enjoy the work that you do, the more productive you’re going to be,” Lamb said. “Sounds very simple in theory, but it’s not often practiced.” There are some overarching suggestions for how to be


competitive, but for each industry, the emphasis if different. Career Services has industry advisors that will work with individuals to construct their resume based on what they know from the employers that they talk to. With the visual arts, for example, employers want to see a portfolio of artwork; for performing arts, a headshot and physical descriptors; for writers, a portfolio of published pieces. “Industry advisors work with employers in those industries and know those key words, they know the different experiences that those employers are looking for and they can help the students translate those resumes to ensure that those experiences are described in the way that employers are looking for,” Mills said. With most employers, experience is vital to being competitive. At the kind of entry-level job that a college graduate would usually apply for, having one or two work experiences is often required. Even when applying for internships, previous work experience in the field is a prerequisite. “The barrier doesn’t have to be, because you don’t have experience, you can’t get experience. There are definite ways that we can help our students bridge that gap,” Mills said. Miills said that students who have a problem finding experience should look at how the description and their resume compares, construct their resume to emphasize what they already have and set goals on how to get the experiences to be more competitive. There are ways to gain experience other than internships or jobs related to a specific field. Mills suggests getting leadership position in student organizations or finding paid work-- even retail or restaurant jobs make a good impression. Mills also suggests that students take advantage of Mason’s resources. Career Services’ platinum partners look at Mason students because of their diversity, work experience and professionalism. “I hear that time and time again from the employers who recruit here,” Mills said. “Those are the things that they say we have that other schools do not have.”

Have self confidence. “We definitely want someone who has their A-game,” said Cindy Najera, Human Resources Manager for Interstate Service Group, Inc. “Employers want someone who has that go-getter mentality and knows what they want.” Selfconfidence will help you stand out at the busy career fair. Practice makes perfect. Try Interview Stream under Career Resources with your webcam for mock interviews. Select interviews based on your major for relevant questions. Think beyond the big names. According to Davey, many small companies offer jobs that may allow you to do more.. “Look a little deeper at the many innovative companies in Fairfax,” Davey said. Know the company. Select 8-10 employers to research deeper. Research their background and their mission.Davey warns against asking the company what the company does. Know the company’s products and services and which positions are available. Dress professionally. The career fair website advises students to wear a suit in conservative colors. Wear closed toed shoes and minimal jewelry. According to Davey, wardrobe requirements can change based on the nature of the industry. Prepare your resume. Start early and allow time for revision. Creating a HireMason account will open resources like a résumé-builder for students that are unsure of where to start. Attend a résumé clinic on Sept. 30 for an advisor’s opinion or Oct. 1 where employers will critique résumé s. Bring several copies to the career fair. Utilize career services. Information on the career services website comes from years of surveying companies after the career fair. “We’ve done a lot of the leg work so that you’re not on your own,” Davey said. Get an outsiders perspective. Career counselors can look at your résumé or review your Interview Stream videos to provide feedback. “It’s very nerve racking,” Davey said. “and a second look at everything can be helpful.” Make the most of your time. Help yourself stand out during the fast-paced career fair by “being engaged, enthusiastic and eager to learning about all opportunities,” said Punam Patel of Boeing Human Resources. “Students should take full advantage of their time with a recruiter.” Develop your personal pitch. This is how you start a conversation with the employer. With many companies appearing at the career fair and little one-on-one time with representatives, conversations can help you explain your interest in the company. Describe your strengths and qualifications, and follow by asking a relevant question.



Sept. 30, 2013

More than a handshake: The art of research-based networking JANELLE GERMANOS NEWS EDITOR Networking with others is a natural occurrence, but according to Lesley Perez, the employee services manager at Mason Career Services, it is important to be aware and conscious of the process. “If you aren’t sure where to start networking, in our workshops, we cover what’s called the five f’s: family, friends, foundations, which include student organizations and professional organizations, faculty, and fellow peers and alumni,” Perez said. “While students are already networking in their lives naturally without maybe even realizing it, if you want to start really stepping out and being more intentional that’s a good way to start.” According to Perez, over 80 percent of jobs are not posted online. Networking allows for students and career searchers to have access to certain positions before they are posted. “It is all about relationship building,” Perez said. “Once you have that connection to someone in an organization, you are much more likely to hear about those positions that are going to be open before it is even time to post them on those databases.” Perez advises students to practice effective networking by researching. “If you are going to a networking function you kind of want to know who is going to be there as best as you can and do some targeting,” Perez said. “Do some research as to who might be the best people to target and to talk to that would be the most helpful.” Students planning on attending the career fair should research the appearing companies in order to stand out from the rest of those attending. Because employers will be meeting hundreds of students, Perez said it is important for students to already know what the employer does and what positions are available. “Anything that’s basically on their website that anyone can find out, you should already know that kind of stuff, and if you can go a step beyond, and know something that’s not posted out there, maybe what is the latest thing that they were in the news for, find something that is really unique and just be really well informed- that really sets you apart when you are talking to employers,” Perez said. According to Perez, it is important for students to ask questions and not be afraid of reaching out to employers. Before meeting with employers, students should also practice their personal pitch, or

“Once you have that connection to someone in an organization, you are much more likely to hear about those positions that are going to be open before it is even time to post them on those databases”



-Lesley Perez, employee services manager, Career Services evator speech, a 30 second introduction. For students with limited networking experience, Perez assures that the process is already occurring. “You’re already networking,” Perez said.” If you’re on Facebook, you’re doing it. If you’re talking to your classmates, you’re already networking. If you’re on linked in, if you have a student organization that you’re part of, or are part of a residence hall, those are all ways that you [are]already networking and you might not even be aware that you are doing it.” Perez advises freshmen and sophomores still deciding on what industry they want to work in to set up an informational interview or to pursue an internship. “Experimental learning is a huge push on our campus, so the more internships you do, the better,” Perez said. “We really emphasize informational interviewing. It is just setting up an interview, not for a job, but just to get information from an employer, learn about their industry, learn about the company, maybe what their specific position does, and to see if that is something that you would want to go into.” Career Services has seen several student networking success stories. After a networking workshop in the office with some employers, students learned about new positions at a company. “One of our employers came in and we had marketed them and a few of the students knew they were going to be here, so they came prepared for those employers, and it turned out the day before they had just had these job openings, they had not been posted yet, and these students were the first to know that these positions had become available and met the employers face to face and it was a great opportunity,” Perez said. Another freshman student who took the initiative to have an informational interview with


an employer on campus was given a position normally saved for master’s students. “Usually they give [the position] to master’s students but because of his initiative and doing an informational interview and really showing that interest really stood out to them,” Perez said. Mason student James Loo, the vice president of professional activities at Delta Sigma Pi, a business fraternity on campus, has experience with networking both with the fraternity and in a more professional setting. Delta Sigma Pi won “Most Outstanding Professional Events” award at the Delta Sigma Pi Grand Congress Meeting in Seattle over 260 other universities. According to Loo, networking was essential to this award. “From a very young age, I have learned to network,” Loo said. “You learn to see how everybody fits into a bigger picture and how to establish these relationships. At the end of the day, that’s what it is. Networking is relationships.” Loo decided to join Delta Sigma Pi because he wanted to take his professional career seriously. “They develop us as professionals through an eight week long pledge process, and it basically puts you through the roles to make you a more professional student. In that eight weeks, it’s pretty much networking the entire

time,” Loo said. Networking allowed Loo to help put on a variety of business events on campus last year, including Business Fest. “Business Fest is the largest student-run networking event. We have over 40 different companies come out annually to network with students. This is different from a job fair. Students can network and learn about the culture of the company, and what is expected of employees,” Loo said. Loo advises students looking to network to tailor resumes to specific companies. “You shouldn’t print out a stack of resumes to hand out. If you go to a career fair and hand out a resume that is not tailored, they aren’t going to look at it, and if they do, it’ll be stuck in that big pile,” Loo said. According to Loo, it is important that students remember that networking is not just about their own individual needs. “The goal of networking should be to help other people, not yourself,” Loo said. “It becomes very obvious to people when you just try to get something, and then disappear. It’s about planting the seed now. You have to take care of it and uptake it, you can’t just go up to people and ask for things.”



Sept. 30, 2013

In this issue


Letter from the Editor-in-Chief






A quick look at the pressing issues at the lieutenant governor candidates debate on the Arlington campus | 15 Students learn horseback riding in physical education class | 28 Inline hockey players find new home on the ice | 26 Mason Parking offers alternative transportation options | 12

In elementary school, I read at recess. I read during class, in the lunchroom, all afternoon on the back porch and late into the night with a flashlight under my covers. I drove my teachers and parents insane and probably ruined my eyesight, but I couldn’t be more grateful for a childhood nurtured by hundreds of books. But columnist Billy Borman, on page ??, tells a sad tale about how books have fallen out of grace. We’ve lost touch with the magic and spectacle that books bring in to our lives. As a culture, we’ve been swept up by bright flashing screens and cat memes. It’s almost as if we’ve been hypnotized. My third grade self would be horrified to hear that I can hardly remember the last time I read for pure pleasure.

That between running the student newspaper, attending classes, doing homework, working a part time job and visiting my boyfriend I hardly feel like I have enough time to sleep, let alone read. I’m sure that ten-year old me would be insistent – surely there is some time in the day to lose yourself in a book for a little while? I think she’s right. The way we take part in modern media is all-consuming. No one reads just one Buzzfeed article. No one watches just one episode on Netflix. No one looks at just one picture on Imgur. I used to be that way with books. It’s almost like a virus. The internet and television have infected our lives and we’re so caught up in it all that we haven’t even noticed. In this sprint-to-the-finish life everyone leads now, sitting down to catch up on a few chapters just feels like a waste. Think of all the things you could accomplish in the time you spend finishing a book. But think of all the time you could spend reading if there was no social media. Or if movies and music weren’t available instantly at our fingertips.

I’m certainly not arguing that modern media is detrimental or necessarily evil, it’s just that one click leads to another so quickly, and before you know it an hour has passed and you’re viewing an album of your middle school best friend’s spring break pictures. This week I’ve felt like I’m starting to unravel. Exams are piling on, the newspaper is chugging along at full speed and I feel like I haven’t had a single minute to sit down and have a moment of quiet. So I’m accepting Billy’s challenge and spending some time this week to wander through the rows of books at my favorite used book store. I’m cancelling my Netflix subscription and finding some time each day to make some new friends in a book and leave my own story for a little while. I know cancelling Netflix is a pretty dramatic move for a college student, but I hope that everyone can heed Billy’s advice and slow down a bit to appreciate the stories all around us, whether they’re in a novel that feels like an old friend or this week’s issue of Fourth Estate.

Why FOURTH ESTATE ? Prior to Broadside, the student newspaper was called The Gunston Ledger. It was changed in 1969 to better represent the politically out-spoken student body at the time. A “broadside” was a pamphlet used during the American Revolutionary War to help spread information. While Broadside has become an important part of life at Mason, we believe it no longer represents the overarching goals of student-run news. Though not specifically outlined like the three branches of government, the concept of a fourth estate referred to journalism and the media as an important tenet in upholding justice and liberty through establishing an informed public. These historic roots coincide with the transforming industry of modern journalism.



Sept. 30, 2013


Online at Fourth Estate lifestyle reporters’ Fall for the Blog covered various events from Fall for the book category/category/fall-blog

Washington Wizards to host annual training camp at the Patriot Center from Saturday, Sept. 28 to Wednesday, Oct. 2. content/washington-wizards-sethold-training-camp-patriot-center

Weekly Student Senate meetings on Thursdays a 4:30 p.m. will be now be live blogged by Fourth Estate student government content/liveblog-mason-studentsenate-meeting-9262013

Photo of the Week: Holly Would...

...Metal band, Holly Would, performs outside University Hall during Patriot Day on Friday Sept. 27.

Q. What do you think about the drug MDMA, colloquially known as ‘Molly ?’


It’s surprising that so many kids have tried it and died from it. It’s something I’m not interested in. I don’t have any plan to take it and I don’t think other kids should either Jamie Capwell, undeclared, freshman

It’s definitely pretty bad on campus. Because I know a lot of friends that do it and they tend to mix it other, like alcohol. So Molly, when you mix it with other things it’s pretty terrible but on its own it’s not too bad.

I think it’s horrible. I would never do it. I know friends who have done it but I would never do it. Obviously bc it’s very serious and people just look at it like a casual drug and aren’t taking it that seriously.

Alan Cleveland, electrical engineering, freshman

Jennifer Cash, senior, public health

On campus, it’s not a good idea. Off campus, it depends. Madi White, psychology, freshman


Sept. 30, 2013

Using rankings to market Mason




Help Wanted

Help Wanted

Part time position for accounting clerk. Located near Clarendon Metro. Free parking. $13 an hour. Good opportunity to be introduced to public accounting. Send me your resume. Relaxed atmosphere.

Eldercare Needed PT position. Saturdays 4 to 9 pm. Must drive and have experience with patient transfers and personal care. Email:

Snow Plow drivers needed for VDOT subcontractor, $25 $30/hour, 12 hour shifts. Send resume to In Fairfax. Phone 703-698-0014.

Vienna, VA author needs help in home and home office 10 12 hours a week. Good sense of humor a must. Please contact Cheryl Aubin at Restaurant Team Members Join a team that offers great pay, benefits, vacation & MORE!

I am seeking a tutor for my son who is a high school sophomore in the areas of study skills, studying notes, reading and writing based on what was read, and yielding results on multiple choice tests. I am looking for once a week in my home. Email for further info: Toddler Teacher Hours: 10:00-6:30 (may consider PT 12-6:30)


Mason Ambassadors often use university rankings during tours for prospective students. EVAN PESCHKE BEAT REPORTER Mason’s recent ranking as the sixth best up-and-coming university in the country helps to improve the university’s reputation nationwide. “Anytime a university is ranked consistently high in a category like this, it inevitably results in more name recognition for the school,” said Sarah Gallagher Dvorak, the director of Undergraduate Admissions. The ranking, published by the U.S. News and World Report, represents a big accomplishment for Mason. Mason Ambassadors often use such rankings as a means of attracting new students to Mason. As an ambassador, sophomore Heather Gonyeau uses rankings to promote Mason’s core principles and to show how these principles are positively affecting the school. “We [Ambassadors] try to highlight that Mason is an up-and-coming school, but most of the time, prospective students can see for themselves because of all the new buildings and additional majors and programs that GMU is constantly adding,” Gonyeau said Dvorak believes the ranking signifies the payoff of the university’s efforts. “Mason is always evolving and striving to provide the best

opportunities for our students,” Dvorak said. “This can be seen in the tremendous growth in on-campus housing opportunities, online course offerings, innovative academic programming, world-class faculty, undergraduate research opportunities and the constant effort to upgrade and improve learning facilities on campus.” According to Kris Smith, the associate provost for the Office of Institutional Research and Reporting, Mason’s graduation rate was a major contribution for receiving this ranking. “Mason has received recognition for its comparable graduation rates across racial [and] ethnic groups and socioeconomic backgrounds,” Smith said. “We also have a good track record of graduating a larger percentage of students than projected.” The ranking also considers research opportunities, financial resources, academic reputation, faculty resources and student selectivity. According to Smith, Mason intends to continue to grow in number of students, faculty, buildings, residence halls, courses, opportunities and research.

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse is OPENING SOON at Tysons Corner in Vienna! Servers, Cooks, Service Assistants, Dishwashers, Hosts & Take-Out Team Members Apply online at: Our location is easily accessed by the Orange Line via West Falls Church - Metro bus 28T, 401 or 402. EOE

Montessori school is currently looking for experienced lead afternoon teachers to work in our toddler (ages 18 months-3 years) classrooms. Candidates should have prior curriculum planning experience, documented experience with toddlers, and strong classroom management skills. Resumes to Seeking a baby-sitter 6 hours per week. I can be very flexible with the day/times. I'd prefer an early childhood education student if possible. I live in Del Ray. Please email if interested. To place a classifed ad, email or call (703) 993-2880


Child Care Family with two well behaved and energetic boys ages 3 and 6 looking for occasional babysitter for a few hours on one week night and a date night once or twice a month. CPR certification and non-smoker a must. If interested, please email for details and salary.


Bar Louie OPENING SOON! NOW HIRING ALL HOURLY POSITIONS Servers, Bartenders, Line Cooks and Support Staff *BAR LOUIE JOB FAIR * Interview on the SPOT! Courtyard Marriott Battlefield Park 10701 Battlefield Pkwy Manassas Monday thru Saturday 10am-7pm *Please apply online prior to attending **Must be 21 years old

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News 11 Parking Services provides transportation alternatives FOURTH ESTATE

Sept. 30, 2013

QUICK TIPS Some tips on how to use alternative transportation ---

Always be ready to show a Mason ID when boarding the shuttles. Get to the shuttle early-there are no guaranteed spots. If you are carpooling to school between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m., use the carpool section of Lot A. Use Zimride to find carpool partners for routine and long trips. Ride your bike if you live close to campus. Register your bike online to receive a free Ulock and safety information.


To avoid parking nightmares, students can ride bikes, the bus or carpool to campus through resources available from Parking Services. (MAURICE C. JONES/FOURTH ESTATE)

REEM NADEEM MAHMOUD BEAT REPORTER For senior Julia Jazynka, who lives near the Vienna metro station, alternative transportation makes sense. “I live right next to the metro so it’s cheaper to just take the shuttle than have to pay for parking or anything,” Jazynka said. Not every student needs to live near a major metro station to have access to public transportation. Mason provides students with many options to avoid having a car on campus, most of which are either free or much cheaper than maintaining a car. One of these options is carpooling. Because some students may not consider the environmental benefits when making commuting decisions, Mason provides alternative incentives to find a carpool. Carpoolers save money by splitting the cost of gas and parking passes. From 6 a.m. to 11 a.m., a section of General Lot A is sectioned off for cars containing more than one person. Zimride is a private company that provides ride sharing services for free. Zimride partners with Mason to allow students to find carpools at a unique URL. Zimride was also one of the first carpool companies to allow users to log in using their Facebook, enabling students to check who they are matched up with and see if they have mutual friends. Viewing whom a user

has been matched up with can help students feel safe in their carpools. Transportation Coordinator Marina Budimir said Zimride is not only for routine commutes but also for long road trips. “If you’re going away for the weekend somewhere and you don’t want to drive or you are driving and want to split the cost of gas or just some company for your long trip, you can use Zimride,” Budimir said. Zimride allows students to enter their general location, destinations and schedules to find carpool matches. “I’ve actually used Zimride personally to get a carpool started,” Budimir said. “For the last year and a half, I’ve been carpooling with people who live in my neighborhood in D.C., so it worked out really well. Every once in a while I’ll get new matches. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t for various reasons, but it’s good to just keep getting those new matches.” Zipcar, a national rental agency that also has a partnership with Mason, is another option for non-routine trips. After making a reservation, students can pick up a card to unlock their chosen rental car. The reservation ends once the car is returned to its spot and locked back up again. There are currently three Zipcars available on campus, two near Mason Pond and one in Rappahannock Deck. Students can buy a yearlong membership for $15. “It’s intended for short one, two,

three hour trips. It’s $66 a day, $7- 11 an hour depending on what kind of vehicle you have,” said Joshua Cantor, director of Mason Parking and Transportation. “Well the idea is, if you take two trips a month instead of coming here, paying insurance and for a permit, you can just have access to a Zipcar.” Zimride and Zipcar help reduce the need for parking on campus and offer students cheap alternatives to maintaining a car. Students need only be 18 years of age, and international students are welcome. “The number of resident students that have a permit is only about 33 percent, so that number has significantly dropped over the years. For us, it’s just one part of the transportation program,” Cantor said. Mason Shuttles are another option for commuters. Shuttles found on the Fairfax campus include Mason to Metro, Metro Express, CUE Bus, Prince William Shuttle, Field House Express, Gunston’s Go-Bus and the new Burke VRE shuttle service. According to Budimir, the Gunston Go-Bus schedule was extended this semester to include a morning route. “Students were using it to go shopping quite a bit and we also noticed some students caught on that the shuttle was coming near their homes so they started using it as a way to actually commute to campus for class,” Budimir said. “Also, I’ve noticed that has helped alleviate some of the traffic in the afternoon.”

The Gunston Go-Bus is also useful for students who need to go grocery shopping and cannot walk back with many bags. Since many students work at various malls and shopping centers, the Gunston Go-Bus allows students to work off campus. “I ride the Mason to Metro when I’m trying to get to the metro, but then I’ll ride the Gunston Go-Bus which takes me to University Mall to get groceries and things like that so I guess I really do utilize all the shuttles on campus,” said senior Caroline Crawford, a creative writing major. The Burke VRE Express began its service Sept. 23. The shuttle runs between the Burke VRE train station and the Sandy Creek shuttle stops. Free parking is also available in the train station parking lot. “It’s timed so that it picks up when the train arrives and drops off before the train takes off again,” Budimir said. Alternative transportation allows students to focus on school or relaxing, rather than driving. “I’m going into Environmental Science so I’m a big person on commuting and public transportation. I ride the metro everywhere, I ride shuttles, buses, everything,” Jazynka said. “It doesn’t go everywhere and it does add on time, but, at the same time, you can sit on the shuttle and read like three pages in your textbook, [rather] than being stuck in traffic and have to concentrate on driving.”


Sept. 30, 2013




The new Visualization Lab includes updated equipment, such as the Oculus Rift, a gadget used by video game developers, and other 3-D equipment.

3-D Visualization Lab opens for classes in spring 2014 JORDAN BREEDLOVE STAFF WRITER Located on the bottom floor of Exploratory Hall is the brand new Visualization Lab, boosting students’ educational experiences through the use of three-dimensional high definition technology. In the works since the remodeling of Exploratory Hall, construction on the lab began in late May. The lab is expected to be complete in early 2014. Justin Brown, the director of information technology and security, has been working with Senior Engineer Duane King on preparing the Visualization Lab for use. “Without a high expenditure, we hope to give faculty a way to present 3-D high resolution to their students in an inspirational way,” Brown said. Some of the technology found in the Visualization Lab is the same type of machinery

used to develop game software, diagnose diseases in the medical field and assess a crime scene. Computers were donated from the FBI to promote a higher technological learning environment for students entering the crime investigation field. The 3-D glasses will be provided by the lab and use shuttering mechanics, in which small LCD frames will switch images alternating between each eye, to create the image seen projected off of the screen. Along with 3-D technology like the projector, TV and glasses, students will have access to The Oculus Rift, a gadget used by video game developers that has two different eye displays for each eye to create a singular realistic image to the mind. The lab hopes to eventually obtain head trackers to use in pair with the Oculus Rift. Head trackers have the ability to sense when the user of the Oculus Rift moves their head and moves the image along with them. This

type of technology can be used to virtually assess crime scenes and in various phobia therapies. Computer workstations will also be provided to assist with rendering the visualization process. The Visualization Lab was recently painted a dark gray in order to eliminate reflexive surfaces in the room to allow for optimum viewing of 3-D images. A tile display wall of multiple high definition TVs mounted against a wall will be installed and used for demonstrations, such as looking at satellite pictures of earth and observing the temperature patterns and following the oceans’ currents. The Visualization Lab should be ready for use during the spring semester. Forensic science and biology classes will test the lab starting in January. “Because of their need for space is the reason they will be able to use the room

experimentally for the spring semester,” Brown said. The new Visualization Lab is not the first on the Fairfax campus. The original lab was located in Planetary Hall and used similar machinery, like the Oculus Rift, but also included a SEGA power glove and multiple generations of supercomputers. “These supercomputers cost around one million dollars and are about 1/20 the speed of current computers,” Brown said. “Not even faster than my phone.” The studies and research done in the original lab earned grants to raise the funds for the new Visualization Lab In 2005, the old Visualization Lab was shut down in anticipation for the remodel and reopening of the newer lab. The older version of the lab was geared toward research and studies of groundbreaking science, while the new lab is focused on applicability.



Sept. 30, 2013


Lieutenant Governor candidates go head to head Republican E.W. Jackson and Democrat Ralph Northam took the stage on Sept. 24 at their first and only debate.

Republican E.W. Jackson

Democrat Ralph Northam

On higher education

On higher education

“We should be looking at providing quality education and higher education for everyone who wants it , but I think we have to look at some smart ways of doing it.”

“Last thing I would want to see happen is for the University of Virginia to go private and to decrease access for those children of ours who have grown up and want to go to school there.”

On government spending cuts

On government spending cuts

- figure out how to work together to make changes - government has no money - stick to the limited and enumerated powers of government

- polarization in congress is a problem - focus on tourism - create an energy plan - focus on education and prepare students to enter workforce (JENNY KRASHIN/FOURTH ESTATE)

FREE TICKETS FOR MASON STUDENTS! VISUAL VOICES SPEAKER SERIES A Bookmobile for Dreamers Lothar Osterburg, speaker October 3 at 7:30 p.m. FREE HT SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR Preview: October 2 at 8 p.m. – Pay What You Can October 3, 4, 5 at 8 p.m., October 5, 6 at 2 p.m. $15 adu., $10 stu./fac./sen. TS 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. NOW


MUSIC FACULTY ARTIST SHOWCASE FALL FOR THE BOOK October 4 at 8 p.m. David Baldacci, speaker FREE HT September 27 at 7:30 p.m. FREE CA AQUILA THEATRE Twelfth Night LAURA BENANTI October 4 at 8 p.m. September 28 at 8 p.m. $22, $36, $44 CA $40, $55, $70 CA 2 Free Tickets per ID avail. NOW 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. NOW AQUILA THEATRE Fahrenheit 451 October 5 at 8 p.m. $28, $36, $44 HC 2 Free Tickets per ID avail. NOW


703-993-8888 or

Center for the Arts


CHAMBER ORCHESTRA KREMLIN October 6 at 4 p.m. $25, $42, $50 CA 2 Free Tickets per ID avail. NOW THE VISION SERIES Sea Turtles as Sentinels of Ocean Health A. Alonso Aguirre, speaker October 7 at 7:30 p.m. FREE HC

AMERICAN FESTIVAL POPS VISUAL VOICES SPEAKER SERIES ORCHESTRA On My Work and the Portrait Image Saturday Nite Fever October 5 at 8 p.m. $48, $40, $24 CA Susanna Coffey, speaker 2 Free Tickets per ID avail. NOW October 10 at 7:30 p.m. FREE HT



VIRGINIA OPERA Falstaff October 11 at 8 p.m. $86, $72, $44 October 13 at 2 p.m. $98, $80, $48 CA 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. Oct. 1 EXHIBITION: FEAR STRIKES BACK Oct. 14 – Nov. 1. FREE FG MASON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA October 16 at 8 p.m. $10 adu., $5 stu./sen. CA 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. Oct. 8


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


Sept. 30, 2013




Faculty offer Syrian refugee children summer camp Volunteers provide educational activities for children who have lost their schools in conflict JANELLE GERMANOS NEWS EDITOR

Despite the continuous conflict in their country, Syrian refugee children find enjoyment in summer camp activities hosted by Mason’s Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution. At the camp, the children built models of their town in Syria, did morning workouts and other educational activities.

While diplomats and world leaders are debating their course of action for intervening in Syria, the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution at Mason decided not to wait to begin helping those affected by the crisis. Aziz Abu Sarah, an executive director at the CRDC, and Nousha Kabawat, the program officer for Syria at the CRDC, were in Turkey and Jordan last year at Syrian refugee camps and noticed that the camps severely lacked educational activities for children. “The center [CRDC] ran a class last year in March at the border area in Turkey. Nousha and I recognized the need,” Abu Sarah said. “We figured out the need that there are millions of children who don’t go to school, and those that do go to school are not able to receive all the help they need, whether it’s materials, training, food and lots of

things. That is why we decided to start the summer camp.” To address this problem, the CRDC decided to start Camp Amal ou Salam for the Syrian refugee children. Abu Sarah spent ten days in August at the camp in Turkey near the Syrian border. Kabawat, who is Syrian and grew up in Syria, wanted to do something to help the traumatized children who were torn away from their homes. “I knew that a summer camp is an easy way to get a message across or give them an educational experience,” Kabawat said. “The whole idea was for them to have fun but to get something beneficial about it, and I think that is what we did.” According to the CRDC, half of registered Syrian refugees are children. At the camp, Kabawat and Abu Sarah worked with over 400 children. “In Syria, we know that there are about four million children that are displaced or refugees. We want to

engage with some of those children and do whatever we can do to help,” Abu Sarah said. At the camp, the children participated in arts, music, storytelling, physical activity, team-building and trust-building workshops. In the art workshop, children participated in a “rebuild your town” workshop where they were encouraged to work together to rebuild a hospital, school, police station, garden or other building destroyed in their town using art supplies. Kabawat also led an art workshop where she asked the children to draw what they imagined peace looked like onto a piece of fabric. “They are growing up with such a revolutionary mentality that every time you give them a piece of paper, they draw a revolution flag. There is always blood in their pictures. I just wanted them to step out of that way of thinking for a few hours,” Kabawat said. Kabawat is currently working on



Aziz Abu Sarah and Nousha Kabawat spent ten days working with 400 Syrian refugee children at a summer camp near the border between Turkey and Syria. At the camp, the refugee children were separated into different teams and participated in arts, music, storytelling and other educational activities. Students participated in a design-your-own-bag workshop, peace-flags workshop and a rebuild-your-town workshop.

bringing Mason students with her to the summer camp over spring break in March 2014. Mason students were not at the summer camp that happened in August,but were able to travel to Turkey last March as part of the Oversea Seminar classes provided by the CRDC. Students met with Turkish officials and professors and talked about the Syrian conflict and their perspectives. “We cannot take students to Syria for safety reasons, but we have taken students before to Turkey to a refugee camp there, and we went to a refugee school in Turkey and they volunteered there,” Abu Sarah said. The Oversea Seminar class consisted mostly of graduate students, but Abu Sarah said that undergraduate students are sometimes considered. “We normally do meet with the students to make sure they understand that this is a little bit of a different class, and emotionally it is a harder class to handle, because you are actually dealing with reality that is different from being in a classroom,” Abu Sarah said.

According to Abu Sarah, the experience is worthwhile and allows volunteers a glimpse into the Syrian conflict. “It was an amazing experience in the sense that you do see the results of your work when you are working with those children. When you see the problem, it is very hard to watch, but at the same time you see a child smiling after a few hours of working with them or even a few minutes, it’s very inspirational, and that is why we do what we do,” Abu Sarah said. Although traveling to these camps can be a good learning experience, Abu Sarah said that students do not need to travel across the world to help those displaced by conflict. “In general, engaging with refugees is something that we don’t think about. You don’t have to go to Syria to meet refugees, there are some here, even within our metropolitan area,” Abu Sarah said. Mason students can spend time learning about the crisis in Syria and spreading the story about the conflict. “If you cannot directly go or

directly donate or do something, you can tell those stories to others, and by spreading the stories more and more, people might be able to help. Helping 4 million children is going to take way more than just a few going, and so I would say for everyone to take a little bit of time to read, to understand what is happening, and to tell those stories to people around them,” Abu Sarah said.

Scan the QR code to read Aziz Abu Sarah’s National Geographic article about his experience

Sept. 30, 2013




Sept. 30, 2013


Recycling program encourages waste reduction RICHARD CHUMNEY STAFF WRITER For the past year, an experiment has been underway at Mason. Located in every dorm room across campus are now more than 3,000 recycling bins intended to encourage residents to reduce waste. The initiative, spearheaded by the Office of Sustainability, was jointly funded by the Patriot Green Fund, the Auxiliary Enterprise Management Council and a grant from the Coca-Cola/Keep America Beautiful Program. Margaret Lo, the director of the Office of Sustainability, described the first year of the program as a success. “The program has allowed Housing to reduced their waste by almost 25 percent and has saved $50,000,” Lo said. “It’s significant because housing can use that money on other programs for the 6,000 residents on campus.”

According to Lo, the program also instituted new procedures for recycling in an effort to increase efficiency while reducing waste. “We made sure that there were enough trash pickups,” Lo said. “Since Mason is charged for every pickup, we ensure that the trash is full before it is removed from the buildings.” According to the Office of Sustainability Program Innovation Coordinator Tyler Orton, the recycling process involves a multitude of steps and is more complicated than handling and removing trash. After being removed from the various recycling bins around campus, the waste is brought to the recycling yard located east of the Commons. Paper is then sent to Georgetown Paper Stock where it is reconstituted into pulp to make new products. Other waste, including glass, plastic and aluminum, is sent to Prince William County to

be sorted by a materials recovery facility. The program’s success, according to Lo, comes from residents’ willingness to participate as well as the Office of Sustainability’s ability to communicate with residents. “Students care about these issues,” Lo said. “They care about environmental impact, and as long as we continue to educate the students about the importance of recycling, I think [the program] will continue to work.” Lo explained that the fulfillment of the program was not without its difficulties. “Making sure that everyone involved was on the same page and moving in the same direction was a challenge,” Lo said. “It’s a story we tell often because it’s a good example of a successful collaboration among multiple departments.” The departments, which worked in unison with the Office of Sustainability, in-

cluded Housing and Residence Life, University Life, Auxiliary Enterprises and Recycling and Waste Management. According to Lo, the Office of Sustainability plans to continue with various waste-cutting initiatives, including a program to conserve energy. “We would like to see what we can do to save energy in Housing,” Lo said. “Mason spends between $10-12 million on energy a year, so there is a lot we can do there to reduce waste.” Lo believes that, as long as the Office of Sustainability continues to develop projects that will benefit Mason, the office will continue to have the support of students and faculty. “When you are doing something that is right for a larger purpose, there is a good amount of people who care,” Lo said. “This [recycling program] is only a small example of what we at Mason can do.”


Scholarships: alternate method to pay for tuition MARIAM FAZAL STAFF WRITER Paying for university tuition and fees is often a stressful process for students and parents alike. From filing the FAFSA to taking out loans and meeting deadlines, many try to make ends meet just to enroll in another semester. To meet those needs, Mason provides another financial resource for students: scholarships. Scholarships are forms of aid that can help pay for a student’s education without requiring the student to repay the sum. Scholarships can be athletic, artistic, cultural, need-based or academic. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 46 percent of Mason students were awarded scholarships and grants for the year 2012 at an average amount of $8,220. “The financial aid office at Mason tries their best to help students in paying for their tuition. There are currently a lot of options right now out there for them,” said Elizabeth Carter, senior associate director at the Office of Student Financial Aid. College of Major

Depending on the college, there are needbased and merit-based scholarships for each major. “It is always good for students to contact the college, school and department you are enrolled in, or plan to major in, for scholarship opportunities and any aid that they might offer,” Carter said. For students of the School of Management, there are scholarships available that are updated periodically on the SOM website. SOM also notifies students on scholarships through their weekly buzz blog. Some of the scholarships at SOM have specific requirements, such as gender. The Volgenau School of Engineering also provides students with scholarships ranging from $500 to $18,000. Most of their scholarships, however, are aimed towards freshmen and transfer students. Every school or college on the Mason campus has at least one of its own scholarships. Competition for these scholarships is typically tense and requires a good academic and community service background as well as involvement in student organizations and events. The schools that receive the most aid are typically those with the most students

enrolled: the College of Science, School of Management and the Volgenau School of Engineering. Alumni Association The Mason Alumni Association sponsors five scholarships for students that run from $1,500-$2,500. Most of them require a 3.0 GPA or higher and an involvement in student organizations and community services. Students can apply to all five scholarships at once, if eligible. “There are a variety of scholarships, and they are for students from any academic discipline at Mason. Each scholarship has slightly different criteria,” said Christine Mutch, the assistant director for Alumni Affairs. Study Abroad Studying abroad can be financially taxing, but Mason provides need-based aid and scholarships to those who qualify. One example is the CGE Global Perspectives Scholarship, which is open to students who participate in CGE Winter Break and Summer Programs. The scholarship ranges from $250-$1,000 and is open to all Mason students. Athletic Scholarships

Athletic scholarships are provided by the Mason Athletic Division and vary depending on the sport. Each sport has at least one annual scholarship.’ Other Scholarships Mason also provides a general yearly scholarship that students can apply to in the spring. “Anytime is a good time to apply, but [spring] is the best time as we have a range of scholarships. Especially if you are an incoming freshman or transfer student,” Carter said. Mason receives their funding for scholarships through alumni of the school, donors, organizations and companies like Xerox and Dr. Pepper, through endowments and federally. Mason receives the most funding from the government, which provides funding for merit- and need-based scholarships. Mason also helps students apply for outside scholarships not provided by the university. “A typical student who would win these scholarships would be someone who has a good academic background, involvement in student organizations and the community,” Carter said. “Though low-income students are also more likely to be awarded a scholarship.”



Sept. 30, 2013


rations have noticed the trends of millions of people turning towards these old-school geek fandoms. In other words, being a geek has become a pretty popular thing to be. Geek culture isn’t about understanding why Grand Theft Auto made $800,000,000 on the day of its release or the difference between Awesomenauts and the hit app Scribblenauts. It’s bigger than that – being a geek is understanding what makes people most excited. The idea behind Geek Week is to bring out the geek in Patriots all over campus. Geek week is to remind students that geeking out is something all people do, whether they’re interested in music, comics, online gaming or sports. The topics of Geek Week span from discussions of masculinity and race – shown vicariously in the documentary White Scripts and Black Supermen: Black Masculinities in Comic Books, showing in the JC on Oct.11, to science, comics and feminism. In what is hopefully going to become an annual event at Mason, Geek Week showcases the talents and interests of the Patriot Community. The quirkiness of students and faculty has never before been so exposed and celebrated as it will be during Geek Week.

Monday, Oct. 7

Tuesday, Oct. 8

Mason is sponsoring its first ever “Geek Week” this fall from Oct. 6–12 to express the individual personalities of students all over campus, whether they self-identify as geeky or not.. Featuring geeky movies such as Batman – the 1989 version – and games like Human vs. Zombies, Geek Week is about expressing that one movie, game or idea that people obsess over. Geek culture grew popular in America in the 1980s, just as computers started to become a household item. Americans started to use the same technology that the geeks of their high school had gone to summer camp to study four years in a row. The acceptance of being outside the popular group started to take root as people recognized the contribution of geeks to their faster-paced, technology-based world. James Dean, the icon of an outsider who didn’t find the cool kids cool, strengthened geek culture by merely standing against them. In October of 1987, the last issue of Watchmen was released, and after that, geek culture was up for grabs. Being the only person that was interested in obscure bands or video games

suddenly put you two steps ahead of everyone else trailing to follow along behind you. Geeks who read Lord of the Rings were geeks because those books are incredibly long, but twenty years later the books were released in a movie format that almost everyone could get interested in. The pop culture show Glee released an episode dedicated entirely to a movie that represented geek culture with its outrageous transvestite character and The Time Warp, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Geek culture has been reformatted by something as simple (if you’re a computer geek, pardon the term simple) as the Internet. If, after watching the Batman Rises trilogy, you were interested in finding out more about Rachel by reading the comics, you had access to the comics, information about Rachel and anything else you wanted to look up that is even remotely related to the DC phenomenon. The video game icon Call of Duty made it acceptable for anyone to own an Xbox 360 and play video games from dusk to dawn, even if some of these people aren’t necessarily playing Modern Warfare. By making a game that would interest thousands of typical non-gamers, gamers suddenly weren’t ridiculed for having been playing all those years. Geek culture has grown because corpo-

Wednesday, Oct. 9


9 a.m. Smart Phones and Smart People: A Virtual Treasure Hunt 11 a.m. Geek on the Street 4:30 p.m. Zombies … They’re Everywhere: CrossCultural Conceptions of the Undead 7 p.m. Firefly Fan Film Screen and Q & A with Director/Producer, Michael Dougherty 9 p.m. Rock the Mic: Nerdcore Hip-Hop Artist Adam WarRock Performs.

9 a.m. Smart Phones and Smart People: A Virtual Treasure Hunt 5:30 p.m. Superhero Happy Hour 7 p.m. TRON Disc Battle: An Ultimate Frisbee Night Tournament 9 p.m. Wonder Women: The Untold Story of American Superheroines (Limited space available)

Friday, Oct. 11

Nerdom celebrated in firstever OSI Geek Week

11 a.m. Geek on the street 12 p.m. Doctor Who Lunch and Learn

3:30 p.m. Geek Round Up: A Diversity Discussion panel 6 p.m. Don’t Quit Your Day Job: A discussion on how to ruin your future by doing what you love 8 p.m. Nerds vs Geeks Trivia

Saturday, Oct. 12


12 p.m. - 9 p.m. Geek Out Movie Marathon at Dewberry Hall

Thursday, Oct. 10

Sunday, Oct. 6

Geek Week event schedule

6 p.m. White Scripts and Black Supermen: Black Masculinities in Comic Books (Limited space available) 8 p.m. Spell-ebration: An Adult Spelling Bee

6 p.m. Humans vs Zombies: Survive Mason! 9 p.m. PAC Mayhem: Geek Fest 2013

Read more about the events and register online at / schedule-of-events/



Sept. 30, 2013

Fourth estate

Observatory offers Fairfax a different way to see the night



Feminist Student Organization recognizes victims of sexual assault MARY OAKEY LIFESTYLE EDITOR

September is Women Empowerment Month and Mason’s Feminist Student Organization is leading the observance on campus. FSO offers education and discussion on the waves of feminism over the years and on current issues affecting students on campus. “Our feminism is all about intersectionality, which basically means that we just want everybody to be equal,” said Kaity O’Reilly, FSO’s co-president. The FSO on campus most closely relates to third wave feminism, which supports the empowerment of every race and gender. “We have men, women, different ethnicities, sexualities, genders and we are open to anyone who is open to us,” O’Reilly said. “This month we have different themes on what our discussions will be based around so right now we decided to

do feminism 101 because feminism has a complicated background story.” Pairing with the Women and Gender Studies office allows the FSO to participate in on-campus events that represent their values of empowering those around them. One of the popular FSO events coming to campus is Take Back the Night. “Take Back the Night is a night dedicated to survivors of rape or sexual assault. Although it was created as an event primarily for women, anyone is welcome. Just because you are not a woman does not mean that you cannot attend this event,” O’Reilly said. Take Back the Night is one of the many events put on during the week of Oct. 7-11 and is part of Turn Off the Violence Week, sponsored by Wellness, Alcohol, Violence, Educational Services and Mason’s Counseling and Psychological Services.

The week is intended to inform students about issues like relationship violence. “It’s raising awareness, especially being on a college campus, these things happen, more than we would like to talk about,” O’Reilly said. The event will start on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at North Plaza barring foul weather at 7 p.m. If there is rain, the march will be moved to the Patriot Lounge in SUB 1. Around 7-7:30 p.m., guest speakers, and friends will gather in North Plaza and be given the opportunity to speak about their experiences. After the speeches are concluded, students, guests, family and friends will then take the posters and begin the march around Mason’s campus. “The reason we march around campus is to symbolically take back the night from these peoples attackers,” O’Reilly said. “A lot of sexual assault violence happens at night.”

The observatory invites all to come gaze at the stars through their electron microscope every clear Monday night. On Sept. 16, Professor Darryl Wilson facilitated a lecture about Saturn that began at 8 p.m. The lecture was open to all attendees whether they were astronomy majors or not. The 30 minute lecture was packed with information about Saturn, followed by a video Wilson took of his own Saturn sighting. The slideshow and the way Wilson explained the information was easy to follow even for students who know next to nothing about the planet. Before even stepping into the dome, first opened in January of 2007, there is a fantastic view of campus. Inside the observatory is a huge telescope going through the opening in the ceiling. Through the telescope, you can see the stars, the moon and many planets. Unfortunately, attendees could not see Saturn due to its position being obstructed from the microscope, but there was a fantastic view of the moon. Most students have never had the chance to go inside an observatory before, so this was a unique experience offered by Mason. Prabal Saxena, a PhD student studying Pluto, said the telescope was like “gazing at the heavens on Braddock Road.” Saxena explained how it is so unique to get such a good view of the solar system, the spiral galaxies and supernovas. According to Saxena, the observatory is a great way for even for non-science majors to get a sense of the solar system. Saxena says the most interesting thing he saw through the telescope so far was a planet outside the solar system. Freshman Jessica Ellis, who also attended the event, has always been interested in astronomy, the planets and the moon, and thought this event was a “fantastic opportunity.” Ellis said it was unlike anything she had ever been to and she would definitely come back. The GMU Observatory is open on Monday nights until 10 p.m. with lectures at 8 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. This story was originally published on

Fourth estate


Sept. 30, 2013


On campus nutritionists help students fight the freshman 15 CHELSEY BOULDEN STAFF WRITER Being a freshman in college brings changes not only in academics, but in lifestyle as well. A well-known phenomenon for young adults beginning their college careers is the “Freshman 15.” One in four freshmen gain at least five percent of their body weight in their first semester of college. Freshman weight gain is also 5.5 times greater than that of the general population. “Portion control, physical activity and food variety are really important,” said Lois Durant, a registered dietitian at Mason. Having worked at Mason for nine years, Durant knows well how to help Mason students combat the Freshman 15. “Instead of that side of French fries, try some fruit,” Durant said. “Replace that cheeseburger with a chicken breast and you can add rice and a vegetable on the side for the same amount of calories.” Here on the Fairfax campus, Durant works alongside Mason Dining, Recreation and Student Health Services to put together workshops and events that teach students about healthy food choices. Most recently, Durant

held a food safety information session in Southside to teach students about issues like proper food storage and cross-contamination. In October, Durant will host a Whole Grains Challenge sponsored by The Whole Grains Council for students, faculty and staff. This challenge introduces participants to different types of whole grains like barley, wheat berry, whole wheat, brown rice and popcorn. The challenge will end with a whole grain sampling on campus. Durant will later give a nutrition information session to interested students in the Aquatic and Fitness Center. After the session, Mason Recreation and Student Health Services will take students’ body measurements and blood pressures in order to evaluate students’ health. This event is held monthly, typically on Wednesdays from 2-6 p.m. If students want a personal meeting, they can find Durant at the monthly “Meet the Dietitian” event held in Southside to discuss health questions. Students can also meet with her by scheduling an appointment. Durant is in Student Health Services every Tuesday from 1-5 p.m. and is also available to meet in her office in Southside if requested.


Mason Makes Careers NATHAN AMMONS LIFESTYLE EDITOR Tom Moore and Brandon Labman were two Mason students who had very big plans. Fed up with the traditional job seeking process, they started their own business out of their freshmen dorms. What they came up with was Responsible Outgoing College Students, or ROCS. Now, ROCS has grown into a full fledged company meant to help college students and recent graduates find employment in the D.C. Metro area. Q: How did you come up with the idea for ROCS? It all began in 2003 during our freshman year while we were interning for a non-profit organization. We were then assigned to a project to recruit about 30-40 students for a nationwide grassroots campaign. We ended up being successful and thought, “why can’t we do this for other companies?” Tom and I were also pretty frustrated with the typical college job offerings, like selling kitchen knives, painting houses and every other job that uses the phrase “Make Thousands From Your Dorm Room,” so we decided to set out and create a place where college students could find jobs that related to their career interests and goals. We started out with this idea at George Mason University, out of our door room, and that’s how ROCS was born. Q: What obstacles did you face when you first started out? We had $400 and no outside funding, neither of us had any experience in the industry and we were full-time students. Overall, all of these obstacles made us better. Q: How did your education at Mason help you in your business ventures? Many professors and faculty entrepreneurs helped guide us in the right direction. With their insight, advice and additional resources at Mason, we were able to gain extra knowledge and experience for ROCS. Q: What is your advice to students who are thinking about starting their own business?


Stop planning more than a few months ahead and just start doing stuff. Doing stuff, right or wrong, builds momentum. Calculating what your sales numbers or market share will be in two or five years is just guesswork and a complete waste of time. Most likely, you don’t need VC’s or a lot of money to start a business. We started ROCS ten years ago out of our dorm rooms in Presidents Park with only $400 and have never taken any outside funding. It can be an advantage not having huge amounts of startup money ready to be spent. When you have a lot of funding, the first thing you need to learn is how to spend money. Having a small amount of money forces you to learn how to make money from day one. Learn how to make money before learning how to spend money.



Sept. 30, 2013

Fourth estate

DIY: Mason Jars


until I reached the top of the jar, adding more white paint into the pink each time. When it was fully painted, I turned the mason jar upside-down for a few minutes and the sections started to blend in a matter of minutes.


Shanandoah Parking deck has one of 15 call boxes left on campus. The emergency call box and blue light is located next to the elevators near parking services.

University phases out emergency call boxes around campus JENNY KRASHIN PHOTO EDITOR Safety lights and call boxes for students to summon police in emergencies are disappearing from Mason’s Fairfax, Prince William and Arlington campuses this fall. Blue Light phones are a security measure utilized in public areas that emit bright blue lights to indicate the person’s location. Call boxes are used to report a crime or call for help from the Mason police. The light will indicate where the caller is and a campus cadet will allegedly be summoned immediately. There were originally 50 call boxes at Mason that cost $4,000 each. Now there are 15 boxes left, two have static probelms and four do not work at all, according to Mason cadets. “The call boxes never really worked well in the first place. These were very old, most didn’t work from wear and tear,” said Jake Everett, a Mason Cadet supervisor.

Meanwhile, the annual security report from this year did not indicate the boxes are in disrepair and set for removal. Mason’s Annual Security/ Annual Fire Safety Report for 2013 states that “you may also use the emergency callboxes located strategically throughout the campus” to report a crime. “Call boxes [...] provide instant communication with the University Police or the Escort Service.” According to a 2012 Broadside article, former Police Chief Lynch suggested at a 2001 Board of Visitors meeting to allow the boxes to break down. “They worked before but deteriorated with time. A woman called once, but didn’t say anything. We couldn’t find her,” said Ben Charnrissuragul, a senior Mason Cadet supervisor. With the blue lights being phased out in favor of cell phones, students are expressing concern since picking up a blue light phone and summoning help immediately is faster than typing

a ten-digit number into a cell phone and waiting for someone to pick up. Courtney Winstead, a Mason sophomore, defended the lights. “Although we don’t use it, it is necessary,” Winstead said. “If something happens, we’ll be pointing fingers at Mason.” Other students, such as senior Daniel Abrokah, do not mind seeing the blue lights go. Abrokah says he does not even know where the blue lights are located. Instead, he would like to see Mason’s money invested in other security measures. “I think we should have more Fairfax police as opposed to cadets,” Abrokah said. Other suggestions include free self defense classes and more streetlights around campus to keep certain areas well lit. Mason Police encourage students to communicate with law enforcement using their cell phone or a University phone line. Call 703-993-2810 for non-emergencies or 911 for emergencies.

KAYLA COHEN COLUMNIST Mason jars can be purchased for about a dollar, but you can just as easily use other glass bottles or containers. Those Starbucks Frappuccino to-go drinks are the only thing that can keep me awake and those bottles work perfectly. But where to begin? There are so many different mason jar tutorials out there, so I figured I might as well try one or two (or five) of them. GMU Mason Jars I poured a quarter bottle of regular acrylic paint inside the mason jar and then flipped it upside-down in a cup. The excess paint was able to leak out over night without leaving any paintbrush streaks. I then put a layer of Mod Podge on the bottom half of the mason jar, covered it in sparkles, then applied another layer of Mod Podge. Pretty simple! I made two of these jars, a gold one and a green one. They look great with my Mason canvas art from last week. Ombre Mason Jars Typically to create an ombre effect on anything you would need a few different colors. For this ombre jar I only used two paints: pink and white. On the inside, I painted the bottom inch pink. For the inch above it, I mixed pink paint with a little bit of white paint. I continued that pattern

Glitter Mason Jars This project was the most simple of them all. I filled up my glass Starbucks glasses about halfway with extreme sparkle Mod Podge and poured in loose glitter. After I shook the glass up, I turned it upside-down and let the excess mixture drip into another mason jar. I added a little more loose glitter in and then turned that jar upside-down into another mason jar. When they dried, I had three complete glitter jars. I love keeping them by the window because the extra sparkle effect from the natural sunlight is incredible. I added black paint into one of the jars and the sparkle was even more intense. Distressed Mason Jars This was definitely the project I wanted to try out the most. The rustic, distressed look was really hard to accomplish, because there’s a fine-line between looking distressed and looking sloppy. First I painted the inside of three jars white. I then painted the outside of them in three different, soft colors. When the outer paint dried, I rubbed a nail file on random spots. It takes off a little bit of the paint, letting the white come through. At first, I wasn’t too thrilled with how they turned out, but they kept growing on me. They look great when they’re lined up and have a few loose flowers in each of them. Twine tied around them would give them a cute country-vibe, too.


Fourth estate

Sept. 30, 2013


“Girlfriends” find space for women on the radio

GENEVIEVE HOELER ONLINE LIFESTYLE EDITOR WGMU’s “Girlfriends” stands out as the only all-girl talk radio show on the college’s radio roster, but hosts Miss Kala J and Miss Jones are more than ready to face the challenge. Kala J and Jones started “Girlfriends” in the second semester of their freshman year. “In class we always goofed off,” Jones said. “And people were like, ‘you guys are really funny, you should have a show together.’” When the girls got on the air with WGMU, they directed their work towards a female audience, to the displeasure of some listeners. “It gets risky,” Jones said. “We did have one guy who called in and was like ‘you’re bashing men! You’re playing all female artists; can you mix up the playlist?’ We had to be very formal and say, you know, ‘we’ll take that into consideration.’ But at the same time, the topic is for females.” Men have a far more significant presence on radio than women, especially as they continue to merge into the typically female talk radio sphere with gusto through avenues like talk radio for sports. Women’s most prominent spot in radio is on talk shows and have a very small presence in music radio, says Kala. “It feels good because we’re actually a talk show on the radio with two females,” Kala said. “It’s not Michael Baisdon talking about female problems or Steve Harvey talking about thinking like a man, and thinking that they understand women. Nobody knows a woman like a woman.” Although their target audience is female, the show is not just for women. “We do have male listeners,” Jones said. “I’ve had guy friends that would listen just because it’s like a glimpse into the female psyche.”

The show is not narrowly focused only on women but on being college students. The two hosts make sure that the radio show, at its core, discusses problems that they and other students face while at Mason. Last year their shows focused on a variety of topics, including the best parties and the awkward moments that happen around campus. In another episode, the girls talked about their idea of the “perfect man,” then took it the extra mile by dressing up like the type of man they would most want to date. Although the show is focused on a comedy vibe, both hosts have shows that have touched on personal topics that added a more serious tone to the girlfriends’ radio personas. The two girlfriends were not immediately drawn into radio, but now feel that it is a medium that will stay relevant through the tests of time. “Radio is an outlet,” Kala said, “It’s important because unlike television which really stops around 2:30 in the morning, radio is still going. It’s constant.” Their radio show has gained notice at Mason, especially with social media encouraging listeners to tweet and Facebook message the girls with their ideas and opinions about the show. The girls stress their differences vehemently. One of the major challenges of their show has been letting personal life get in the way of the program. Despite occasional problems that surface, the most important thing to both of them is to maintain the integrity of their show. “At the end of the day,” Kala said, “She’s my cohost and I’m her cohost and we’re going to be there for each other.” Tune in to WGMU’s Girlfriends at on Tuesdays at 5 p.m.


WGMU’s on air personalities Miss Kala J and Miss Jones rehearse their radio show, Girlfriends, in the bottom floor of the Johnson Center.


Sept. 30, 2013

Colleen Wilson Editor-In-Chief


Limited goverment, except in your bedroom

Andrew Stevenson Managing Editor

Niki Papadogiannakis News Editor

Janelle Germanos News Editor

Nathan Ammons Lifestyle Editor

Mary Oakey Asst. Lifestyle Editor

Will Rose Opinion Editor

Hau Chu Sports Editor

Daniel Gregory Asst. Sports Editor

Jenny Krashin Photography Editor

Walter Martinez Design Editor

Jill Carter Copy Chief

Katryna Henderson Illustrator

Kathryn Mangus Faculty Advisor

David Carroll Associate Director Fourth Estate operates as a publication of Broadside. Fourth Estate is printed each Monday for George Mason University and its surrounding Fairfax Community. The editors of Fourth Estate have exclusive authority over the content that is published. There are no outside parties that play a role in the newspaper’s content, and should there be a question or complaint regarding this policy, the Editor-in-Chief should be notified at the email listed above. Fourth Estate is a free publication, limit one copy per person. Additional copies are 25 cents payable to the Office of Student Media.

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


CONOR HAINES STAFF WRITER Ken Cuccinelli, the current Virginia Attorney General and the Republican gubernatorial candidate for the 2013, filed an appeal in early April to reverse a decision made by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit regarding “crimes against nature.” The applicable “crimes against nature” in this case are anal and oral sex. In 2003, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas that states may not ban private, non-commercial sex between consenting adults. This referenced legislation that, until late March when the court struck it down for Virginia, made oral and anal sex—even between consenting couples—a felony. With the exception of Idaho, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Rhode Island, every other state in the United States has repealed their crimes against nature laws.

Republicans want to move us backwards. A year after Lawrence v. Texas, a bipartisan group in the Virginia Senate backed a bill that would have fixed the state’s Crimes Against Nature law to comply with Lawrence. Cuccinelli, a state senator at the time, opposed the bill in committee and helped kill it on the Senate floor. This move was hardly out of character for Cuccinelli. Cuccinelli is overly concerned with the institution of marriage. In 2008, also when he was a state senator, Cuccinelli stated that society would benefit from enforcing anti-adultery laws. The governor of Virginia should have greater concerns like creating jobs and strengthening the economy. Sex acts and adultery are not the major issues of the election. Furthermore, how can anyone— conservative or liberal—trust Cuccinelli, who is also running on a platform of limiting federal government intervention, when he wants to get into Virginia voters’ bedrooms? In 2004, he stated that “homosexuality is wrong.” During his 2009 campaign for attorney general, he said: “my view is that homosexual acts—not homosexuality—but homosexual acts are wrong. They’re intrinsically wrong.

Letter to the Editor Last week, The Fourth Estate featured a hot debate on unpaid internships and whether or not they offer advantages to students. As an alumnus who also happens to have a job, I feel that I might have a worthwhile opinion. Many students in college get caught up in the ideal of their dream job, and why not? You and your parents are paying a lot of money and you’re putting in a lot of hours to insure that you have the chance to achieve your dreams. But dreams take work. For the first couple years out of college, your job is going to be difficult. It will be tedious. It may not even be fun. But it is these difficulties that teach you the skills that make you a valuable asset to your company. And being a valuable asset is

And I think in a natural, law-based country, it’s appropriate to have policies that reflect that.” Cuccinelli has also stated several times that homosexuality “brings nothing but self-destruction, not only physically but of their soul.” In a country founded on the principle of freedom of religion, a person’s soul has nothing to do with this election and has no place in the political sphere. 50 percent of Virginia voters support gay marriage, and polls have shown a majority of voters in the country do as well. Cuccinelli not only opposes anal and oral sex for homosexuals, he opposes it for heterosexuals. According to polling done by the National Center on Health Statistics on sexual behavior in the United States, 90 percent of men and 89 percent of women have had oral sex with the opposite sex. 44 percent of men and 36 percent of women have had anal sex with the opposite sex. Can, as Cuccinelli suggests, anal and oral sex even be deemed homosexual acts if this many heterosexual people also engage in them? Moreover, what constitutes a crime against nature? If homosexuality is a crime against nature, then dogs, foxes, goats, barn owls, wood turtles and dragonflies, to name a few, all commit crimes against

how you snag the opportunity to achieve your dreams. Internships are the start of this process. Interns do the tedious work because that is how you learn skills not taught in school. It gives you an understanding of the company, the market and yourself. The skills you learn at an internship pay for themselves with time. A little extra money to cover transportation expenses would be nice, but consider the ridiculous amount of money you spent for every class you’ve skipped and then consider $50 a week to ride the Metro. I’d be willing to bet they’re close to the same. Believe me, I did the unpaid internship gig. I held one with a financial management firm for six months and learned two extremely important lessons: the art of the cold call and the fact that the financial management field was not for me.

nature, too, because they all have displayed homosexual behavior. Why is it unnatural to engage in non-copulatory sexual activity? When Mother Jones asked Cuccinelli if he or anyone working for his campaign had ever committed any crimes against nature, nobody had a comment to give. Virginia voters should be able to hold Cuccinelli accountable for an answer, especially since this has been a time- and effort-consuming issue for their campaign and especially when Cuccinelli states that such acts are “intrinsically wrong.” Cuccinelli blatantly ignored the ruling of the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, when he was a state senator in 2004 and is doing the same thing now as both the attorney general and the possible future governor for this state. It is time to move forward in civil rights, not a century backwards. This Republican candidate makes a mockery of the court system, not only by refusing to acknowledge Lawrence v. Texas when he was a state senator, but even now as he has filed an appeal to reinstate the crimes against nature law. The phrase “crimes against nature” is a legal term that was used in the United States seen in 1814; Ken Cuccinelli will return Virginia to that time period if he is elected.

Neither of these things could have been taught to me at school, yet I use the skills I gained from making cold calls every day at my current job. And my job may not be the most glamorous thing right now, but it is leading me down a career path that I know I want to be on. Internships are not about the money. If you’re looking for money in college, get a job as a waiter or waitress and learn how to be a good server. If you want a career when you get out of college, get any kind of internship you can in your desired career and soak up as much as possible. The experience you gain will open doors. - Stephen Kline, Class of 2013


Fourth estate

The limits of diversity on Mason’s campus

What do YOU think?

In our Oct. 7 issue, editors and columnists will discuss the use of the drug MDMA, more commonly known as Molly. Get in on the discussion by emailing 400-800 words on the topic to by Oct. 9 and we will consider it for publication.

by Katryna Henderson

It is obvious and still worth repeating that Mason is a diverse campus. A student enrolled here can dance Bhangra, celebrate Norouz, study Espanol, eat Halal and see flags from every inhabited continent. Walking through the Johnson Center, one can see a mix of numerous shades of pigment, hear scores of languages and witness ideologies from every end of the political spectrum. Our rise to multiculturalism should not be surprising. Placed just outside of what is arguably the most powerful city on earth, Northern Virginia is home to immigrants coming from many nations and regions, all looking towards the District of Columbia for work, lobby or simply community. We are heterogeneous by default. Barring blatant segregationist policies, there is not much Mason leadership could do to limit such a cosmopolitan environment. Blessed and cursed with many definitions, diversity appears to be a broad frontier encompassing every possible identity under heaven. It is a strength of Mason’s that has been recognized by publications like US News and World Report with their renowned college rankings. Aside from the campus euphoria and idealism, however, this seemingly boundless frontier has limitations. The first limitation to note would be one that has received attention from authority figures at Mason. It is the other end of default: just because many races

Comic Corner


and peoples are brought together does not mean they interact, exchange ideas or cultural knowledge. The different groups cohabitate like the many fish of the Great Barrier Reef, swimming by each other, nearly oblivious to the others’ presence. “And what I hear from other colleagues at University Life offices, students [say]…I came to Mason for the diversity and then I leave and I don’t feel like I’ve benefitted from that,” said Marquita Chamblee, Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education director, in an interview with the Fourth Estate published last week. Officials at Mason are trying to assess the problem of the lacking indulgence in diversity, with programs and research meant to focus on the matter. Yet how far can they truly solve the problem? As administrators, they do, in some respects, have the power of coercion. They can make students be associated with others from a different race, culture or national background. However, if such draconian efforts were ever launched, they would likely be unsuccessful. A few years ago, University of Arizona sociologist Alexandra Kalev found that obligatory diversity training was ineffective. Examining 31 years of data from 830 workplaces, Kalev found that mandatory training actually led to a less diverse management and increased tension among peers. Voluntary was the better model. “When attendance is voluntary, diversity training is followed by an increase in managerial diversity,” commented Kalev, as reported by Mason leadership’s hands are tied when it comes to effectively resolving the issue. Another limitation is that, while diversity often involves a sense of moral relativism, no such absolute relativism

exists on campus. Student activists have a sense of right and wrong, even if they shun the overt recognition of this binary. There are times when such moral outrage is justified. In my senior year for undergrad, the vitriolic hate group Westboro Baptist Church protested just off of campus one early morning. In response, students of various stripes counter-demonstrated. There is the “free speech zone” at the North Plaza of the Johnson Center, where all manners of fanatics have spewed vicious rhetoric only to be confronted and shouted down by students. Yet there are bad examples as well. Consider the Students Against Israeli Apartheid, who boast of their refusal to “engage in dialogues” with ideological opponents. For them, diversity is limited to speech from entities for which they find agreement. Or the periodic consideration by some in pro-LGBT circles on campus to try and get Chick-Fil-A removed from SUB I because of ideological disagreement. For them, diversity does not include those who hold different moral viewpoints on sexuality. Then there are the inevitable contradictions that may arise when attempting to placate different worldviews and norms. Transgender activists celebrate the increasing presence of gender neutral bathrooms on campus and likely desire the elimination of all gender specific facilities. This vision of diversity would run afoul of the many Mason students, especially those from more conservative and Islamic backgrounds, who were brought up and maintain norms based on strict gender division. By virtue of our geographic location, Mason has the elements to be a diverse campus. We have scores of nationalities present andlanguages forming a euphonious noise in food courts and union buildings, and we should not be ashamed of such. It can seem so boundless from afar, but when one gets down to the basic level there are limits to tackle. Some of these limits, most unfortunately, may have to be solved in a paradigm that moves away from diversity.

Sept. 30, 2013


Once upon a story

BILLY BORMAN COLUMNIST There is a curious ambivalence that ruins always bring about in me. It is a feeling that eludes exact expression, but it might be called a sort of elegiac wonder, as awe and anguish are interwoven in nostalgia for an era I never experienced. These relics of civilization, the Old Things, move many of us in powerful ways. The magnificent castles of Europe, the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Lincoln Memorial, our national anthems and our founding flags all stir the core of our beings for reasons many of us cannot explain. There has been a recent addition to these cohorts of venerable vestiges and carcasses of culture. Joining the ranks of ancient and honorable remnants of civilization is the library. No longer do we spend hours wandering their corridors, searching happily for books and forging friendships with our favorite characters. Books have fallen out of fashion, and the library is going with them. Authors, living people with mothers who wiped the food from their chins and braided their hair and friends who enjoyed their company and laughed at their jokes, with dreams and aspirations, visions and emotions, all die and become a printed name to be locked away in a forgotten volume. The pages stick, the bindings calcify, and the characters sit indefinitely suspended in the middle of some brave deed or mischievous exploit, waiting for any reader to come and pull the book down from the shelf and to read life back into their bodies. But no reader comes. Sherlock Holmes can solve no cases, Gandalf can stop no evil, Frog and Toad can go on no adventures, Hamlet can soliloquize no longer and Tiny Tim can never soften the heart of Scrooge if they have no booklover to accompany them on their journeys. The libraries are, strangely, full of people. Hundreds of individuals sit stuffed into their desks and crammed in at tables, all staring blankly at a glowing laptop screen, wasting their eyes on a shining layer of molecules packed between transparent electrodes and polarizing filters. Huge multitudes of people tramp up and down the library steps, migrating in droves in order to gaze at the same monitor in a different chair. I would like to make an appeal, if that is permissible. Go to the library tomorrow and find a book that you were not looking for. Open it, read it and enjoy it. Cultivate an appreciation for stories and for myths and for legends. Spend a few minutes drifting between those stacks of sublime human expression and admire them.There is no need to agree with me. I only ask that we all understand what we are choosing to neglect. I only question whether someday we will not take our sons and daughters by the hand and return to these old halls of wisdom, by then unfamiliar and enigmatic, and wonder what it was we forgot.


Sept. 30, 2013



Compliance a key to athletics’ continued success DANIEL GREGORY ASST. SPORTS EDITOR As the governing body of college athletics, the NCAA currently oversees over 450,000 student-athletes. The organization hosts national championship tournaments while providing and enforcing rules to ensure fair play. The NCAA website states, “Commitment to fair play is a bedrock principle of the NCAA. The NCAA upholds that principle by enforcing membership-created rules that ensure equitable competition and protect the well-being of student-athletes at all member institutions.” Within the past few years, the NCAA reprimanded several major college athletics programs, two of which were the University of Oregon Ohio State University and Penn State University. The NCAA found these schools guilty of major violations, including lack of institutional control and providing players with improper benefits. “I tell the coaches I’d rather you do it the right way and lose a game than do it the wrong way and win a game. Simple as that,” said Tom O’Connor, Mason’s athletic director. Since Mason began participating in NCAA sanctioned sports, the NCAA has never cited the school for a major violation. “You cannot legislate integrity. So what we say with the NCAA and doing it the right way is it starts with integrity and everything flows from there,” O’Connor said. “When we hire people, we make sure they understand that we’re committed to the NCAA, we’re committed to the rules of the NCAA.” While the athletic department recognizes they cannot legislate integrity, they are not helpless in preventing NCAA violations. “Dr. Merten, the current president, and Tom O’Connor urged me saying, ‘Paul, just keep us off the front page of the paper,’” said Paul Bowden, the associate athletic director for NCAA compliance at Mason. ‘“Keep us in compliance as much as we can because we cannot control everybody. What we can control is the information we disseminate to our coaches and student-athletes.’” Bowden, who has been at Mason for seven years, works directly with coaches, student-athletes and administrators to educate them as to what the NCAA rulebook allows. The NCAA rulebook for Division I consists of over 400 pages and provides a comprehensive guide for all rules regarding all sports in Division I athletics. The density of the rulebook has caused some athletic directors and

media members within Division I to call for reform. While O’Connor admits the rulebook can be cumbersome, he does not find it complicated or a contributing factor to why schools commit NCAA violations. “I think people use it as a crutch, and usually the people that say ‘well this is too many pages,’ it is usually the people that have just had a problem that bring that up,” O’Connor said. Critics of the NCAA feel the rulebook contains outdated and unenforceable rules. Several years ago, former Mason basketball coach Jim Larranaga tweeted about how he was unable to provide players with butter and cream cheese for bagels per NCAA rules. His tweet garnered media attention and provided opportunities for people within college athletics to criticize the NCAA and the rulebook. The rule has since been remanded in 2013 with NCAA announcing major reforms. According to an AP report, NCAA President Mark Emmert announced in January a number of changes to the rulebook, cutting 25 pages, including the cream cheese rule. Clear communication also helps Mason maintain a program free of NCAA violations. Bowden tells people to avoid having “conversations in the hallway.” If anyone has any NCAA question, Bowden wants to meet and have a frank discussion. This policy helps the institution maintain transparency both within the athletic department and the NCAA. While Mason has no major violations, they do have secondary violations, which often stem from human error. “You cannot legislate integrity, but you cannot overreact to human error,” Bowden said. “Paying a kid through a bag, that is integrity. Not doing paperwork on my behalf is human error.” Mason self-reports all secondary violations as soon as the athletic department knows a violation occurs. Open communication and understanding of human error help encourage this culture. “The great thing about it [is] coaches come to me and say ‘Paul I did this,’ ‘Paul I did that” and they absolutely know when I report it to Tom, it ends there,” Bowden said. “It is not going to be let’s all meet and make this a mountain when it is not. That is the culture you need on campuses.” Self-reporting also helps the school establish a positive and transparent relationship with the NCAA.


“Credibility is built up because, when there is a situation, we handle it immediately and they know that,” O’Connor said. The NCAA does not look to investigate a program for multiple secondary violations. O’Connor feels that should Mason ever have a major violation, the NCAA would feel comfortable knowing the institution would be helpful and transparent during an investigation. O’Connor’s three decades of experience as a Division I athletic director also gives Mason advantages. Over his career, experiences like serving a five-year term on the Division I men’s basketball committee helped O’Connor establish credibility and connections with the NCAA and peer institutions. This credibility helped during the hiring process of Men’s Basketball Coach Paul Hewitt. Before he was hired, Hewitt informed O’Connor the Georgia Tech basketball program was under investigation for potential recruiting violations. O’Connor’s experience permitted him to investigate personally. “I immediately called the vice-president of the NCAA who is a good friend of mine and he told me exactly what was the situation,” O’Connor said. The NCAA informed O’Connor that Hewitt was cleared of any infraction. “You do your homework when you’re hiring somebody,” O’Connor said. “You certainly

want to know if the coach can coach the x’s and o’s, but you also want to know if they’re a good fit and they’re good for the community.” After his phone call to the NCAA, O’Connor saw no reason to stop pursuing Hewitt knowing his history at Sienna and Georgia Tech. Mason also makes a point to educate the Northern Virginia community about NCAA rules. Bowden visits multiple high schools in the area to provide information to potential college athletes and their parents on numerous topics including financial aid and recruiting. “I just want to make sure they’re getting the right information,” Bowden said. “The worst that can happen is going through the recruiting process and a student commits to a university then everything they’ve been told is wrong. That’s not fair to the student.” Ultimately, the NCAA aims to assist in the development of the student-athlete. The Mason athletic-program has the same goal. “When you look at running an athletic department, you are first and foremost concerned with the student-athlete,” O’Connor said. “There’s no question about that. When you make a decision the student athlete has to come first.”

Fourth estate


Sept. 30, 2013


Workout of the week: TRX suspension training TRX Row Target: Back, Arms, Core Grasp both handles and lean back to about a 45-degree angle. With the palms facing each other and the arms extended, pull yourself up to the handles. Return to the start position under control.

MICHAEL SNOWDEN STAFF WRITER The Aquatic & Fitness Center recently installed two new TRX Suspension trainers. The TRX is a great training tool that uses your body as the leverage and resistance. The suspension trainer can be used to complete a full-body strength workout, balance training or stretching by users of any ability level. One of the key points of successful use of this device is to maintain tension in the straps throughout the entire repetition by performing each movement in a smooth and controlled manner. Throughout all of the movements, ensure you are properly aligned so that your shoulders, hips and knees fall into a straight line. We’ve listed a few simple exercises for anyone interested to try.

TRX Chest Press Target: Chest, Arms, Core Start by grasping the handles and leaning forward about 45-degrees to tension the straps. Keeping the elbows tucked in close to your sides at the bottom, press yourself upward until your arms are straight, allowing your elbows to flare out at the top position. Return to the start position under control. TRX Squat/ Plyo Squat Target: Legs Grasp both handles and lean back to about a 45-degree angle to tension the straps. From here, squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Drive the heels down and return to the start position. The plyometric version of this exercise can be completed by driving out of the heels hard enough to leave the ground. Land softly and controlled and initiate the next rep. TRX Side Lunge Target: Legs Grasp both handles and lean back to about a 45-degree angle to tension the straps. From


here step to one side and squat down while shifting your weight to the leg that moved. Drive through your heel and return to the start position. TRX Y, T, I Target: Shoulder, Core Begin by leaning back at about a 45-degree angle to put tension on the straps. Holding the handles with the arms extended, pull the handles apart as if making the letter “Y,” “T” or “I” while squeezing the shoulder blades together. Return to the start position under control.

What we talk about when we talk about pay-for-play

HAU CHU SPORTS EDITOR The issue of mandated amateurism in the NCAA has been the center of a long-standing debate in college athletics. In 2012, the NCAA earned more than $871 million, yet student-athletes at the heart of this organization see none of this revenue. One of the most common defenses for the refusal to pay athletes is also one of the most misunderstood. Universities claim that they give scholarship athletes a ‘free’ education in exchange for the privilege of playing for a given team in a given sport. Supporters of paying players argue that players who perform well enough in a sport could earn well above the cost of tuition for a given university.

Texas A&M University quarterback Johnny Manziel was recently suspended for half of the team’s 2013 season opener against Rice University for allegedly accepting money in exchange for his autograph on various memorabilia. This accusation meant Manziel was not in compliance of NCAA bylaw, which prohibits “the use of his or her name or picture to advertise, recommend or promote directly the sale or use of a commercial product or service of any kind.” Texas A&M, it was reported on Sept. 17, took in a school-record $740 million in fundraising in the past fiscal year, breaking the previous year’s total by about $300 million. Pay-for-play supporters note that this fundraising windfall coincides with Manziel’s Heisman Awardwinning season in 2012. While Manziel is not the only reason for his team’s improved performance or increased fundraising revenue, it is clear his value to the university goes well above offsetting the cost of tuition and any other services provided by Texas A&M for its athletes. Some critics of the current NCAA system suggest paying salaries to those athletes in the

main revenue-generating sports of football and basketball. However, there have been no reasonable models created in which a salary system could work in college athletics. NCAA President Mark Emmert, who earns a $1.7 million salary, along with presidents of major universities, remains steadfast in his resolve against paying student-athletes. In her Sept. 20 column in the Washington Post, Sally Jenkins offered an interesting rebuttal to this remedy and the reasoning behind the NCAA’s opposition to the solution. “Schools do not really want to pay players. Emmert and college presidents have violently resisted the notion under the guise that it is wrong or immoral. But that is not the real reason,” Jenkins said. “They resist it because it would open universities to workers’ compensation and regulatory nightmares, and there is no feasible way to institutionally pay revenue-sport players without killing scholarships in non-revenue sports.” Another long-running narrative about college athletics is the idea of the athletic powerhouse university systematically overlooking athlete transgressions in the classroom and off the field.

On Sept. 10, Sports Illustrated published the first in a series of stories exposing the various wrongdoings of the Oklahoma State University football program, which extended from the typical allegations of paying athletes for specific tasks accomplished on field to tutors completing all coursework for players. This SI series on Oklahoma State football and the almost non-reaction to it among sports fans shows how unaffected fans have become by the idea of major college programs participating in such practices. The prevailing notion is that fans have come to expect the cheating and less-than-ethical tactics as the level playing field. Fans no longer believe or expect the current major college athletic system to be clean. Because of how they take advantage of their players monetarily, how can fans expect universities to act fairly and comply with NCAA rules when it comes to pushing players through the broken system? It is time for the NCAA to abolish its ideal of amateurism and let athletes be compensated for their participation and role in generating revenues, whether it is by taking sponsorship deals or selling autographs.



Sept. 30, 2013

Fourth estate


(Left) Seve Cordova, former inline hockey captain, looks on during a break in play. (Above) Cameron Lensing advances the puck up the ice.

Former inline hockey star learns new role on the ice JAMES ZEMBRISKI STAFF WRITER After five years of successful competition, Mason’s inline hockey team was forced to fold due to a lack of players. But Cameron Lensing did not want the dissolution of the inline club to be the reason why he stopped playing the sport he loves most. Like other former Mason inline hockey players, he decided to give the Mason ice hockey team a try. “I love hockey and I did not want to spend my last season not playing hockey,” Lensing said. “I have always enjoyed ice [hockey]. The drive to always get back on the ice was definitely there.” In 86 career games as an inline hockey player for Mason, Lensing scored 153 goals and had 129 assists, averaging over three points per game. He had 21 game-winning goals and achieved All-American status twice. He led the only Mason inline team to win the southeastern

conference championship of the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association. Lensing also played professionally for the Potomac Mavericks and briefly on the U.S. National Team. Having last played ice hockey in high school, Lensing had to adjust back to the faster and tougher version of the sport. In ice hockey there are five skaters on the ice at a time compared to inline’s four players. The puck weighs more in ice hockey, which affects stickhandling. Ice hockey also requires teams to be more physical with more hitting, resulting in less technical play. Ice hockey also requires more team skill than individual skill. “Ice hockey is a lot more about winning battles and getting grungy goals,” Lensing said. “Inline is all about flow, all about cycling and puck control. Inline is a lot more individual in a way. You’re not going to win [an ice hockey] game with just one or two or three people on ice.”

The transition back to the ice continues to challenge Lensing, who earned a spot as left wing on the second line of the ice hockey team. “The first tryout was definitely getting my feet under me and feeling it out,” Lensing said. “The speed was faster but coming out of it, I was really positive. The team looked really good. After every practice, I feel like I am improving.” One adjustment that Lensing will have to make is playing without his twin brother, Andrew Lensing, who graduated last spring. Together they were feared as one of the top inline hockey tandems in the country last year. “Not having him here will be different. Having him come out on a line with me in inline hockey with [former teammate] Harrison Murdock for every shift was one of the most reassuring things,” Cam Lensing said of his brother. “When you are confident with the guys around you, you play so much better. It will be different. I will not

have that one guy.” Not only is he improving on his own on the ice but he is also getting help from fellow former inline hockey teammates. “He is good at taking criticism really well because he wants to get better,” said Seve Cordova, former inline hockey captain and current scoring leader of the ice hockey team. “I think it will be a slow transition because of the way he plays in inline. The little things will be difficult for him. Instead of taking it backwards, just dump it in and chase the puck. He will be fine.” Lensing plays a smaller role with the ice hockey team compared to his previous role on the inline team, where he was a leader and consistent offensive threat. On the ice, Lensing is just another one of the guys. He will not be looked at to score three points every game, which to him, Lensing said, is humbling. Lensing’s new role on the ice hockey team also supplies him with a measure of relief.

“It takes some pressure off to not have to go out there and be one of the top scorers. In inline, I would score a goal and be expected to do it again right after,” Lensing said. “[On the ice] I am not going to be able to make the same moves and do the same plays as I did in inline but that does not mean I can not make up for it with hard work and good decision making.” Lensing scored his first goal of the season in Mason’s home opener against George Washington University. Lensing hopes that he can help a team that has failed to reach the playoffs in recent years. With their fast 3-1 start to the season, he sees this team accomplishing that goal. “If we do the little things right and clean up our fundamentals, we can make an impact come playoff time,” Lensing said. “I’m just trying to help the team out in any way possible.”

Fourth estate


Sept. 30, 2013


Soccer alumnae remembers hall of fame career


(Above) Lisa Gmitter-Pittaro poses with her former teammates. (Right) Gmitter-Pittaro as a member of Women’s United Soccer Association’s Washington Freedom.

DARIAN BANKS STAFF WRITER After three years of competing in the NCAA National Tournament, Mason women’s soccer faced a tough challenge when the 1985 tournament began. In the first round of the tournament, the team played the College of William and Mary at home and almost lost the battle 2-0. Then, with only two minutes left in the game, Lisa Gmitter-Pittaro took control. “We had the best record in Division I and we were ranked number one in the country and I am just like, this cannot happen,” said Gmitter-Pittaro, former striker for the Mason women’s soccer team. “And me personally, I just said, ‘I am kicking in gear and this is not going to happen.’” With Mason trailing 2-1, Gmitter-Pittaro made a cross to the right that grazed the post on the way in to tie up the game. Mason went on to win on penalty kicks and advance in the tournament. While the men’s basketball 2006 Final Four run represents the most recent sports team to go far in an NCAA tournament, the 1985 women’s soccer team joins the 1996 men’s indoor track and field team as the only Mason teams to win an NCAA championship. From 1982 to 1994, the University of North Carolina women’s soccer team dominated the sport, winning every NCAA soccer national championship with one exception. In 1985, Gmitter-Pittaro and the rest of the Mason soccer team beat UNC 2-0 to capture Mason’s first-ever national title.

“Gmitter[-Pittaro] was valuable to the team as a goal scorer,” said Hank Leung, former Mason women’s soccer head coach. Leung had a previous relationship with GmitterPittaro as her Region I Olympic Development Program coach and scouted her for the Mason team. “She wanted the responsibility of if the game was on the line, she wanted the ball,” Leung said. Her determination proved true when she scored the game-winning goal in the championship game. “She wanted to always win so bad that it hurt. She hated losing,” Leung said. “What was tremendous about her was she was athletically gifted. She was fast and strong.” That year, Gmitter-Pittaro says the team had a lot of heart with a very special bond and a great coaching staff. The team’s chemistry was evident in the game against William and Mary as they fought back with Gmitter-Pittaro, taking the lead to tie up the first round game. Her desire to be a great player shone through and set the tone for the team to go all the way. “As an athlete, I think it is not all physical, a lot of it is mental,” Gmitter-Pittaro said. “I put my heart and soul in everything, because I know if you work hard enough that it pays off.” Soccer has been a part of Gmitter-Pittaro’s life since she was 11 years old. Being in a family of brothers, she recalls thinking she could be a professional football player at one time. After trying many sports as a “tomboy,” she joined a recreational soccer team that started

her career. “More than anything, [Gmitter-Pittaro] just has a desire. She just wanted it,” Leung said. Leung added that Gmitter-Pittaro was an all around “outstanding person,” which made her a good fit for the team. “I thought the sky was the limit for her and she proved me right,” Leung said. That desire and drive that Leung praises is how Gmitter-Pittaro became an NSCAA All-American for most of her college career at Mason. She simultaneously went on to play for the first youth national team ever in the country from 1983-1987. “Winning the national championship [in 1985] was a big achievement in my life, but that was more of a team achievement. Making the U.S. National Team is what I am most proud of,” Gmitter-Pittaro said. Being a good player takes hard work, but Gmitter-Pittaro worked at more than just team play. “I worked so hard individually [to make the U.S. National Team] and to be able to represent your country as one of the top players and travel to represent your country was probably the best highlight,” Gmitter Pittaro said. Her coach also noticed the hard work that Gmitter-Pittaro put into the game. “She worked to develop her own abilities to minimize her weaknesses on her own, apart from whenever the team got together,” Leung said. Her work both on and off the field placed her in the record books. She continues to hold the record for second all-time in goals and game-winning goals at Mason.

Gmitter-Pittaro came through Mason and the U.S. National Team at a time Leung called “the golden generation of women’s soccer.” With many firsts during her career, like playing in the first televised ESPN game for women’s soccer, the NCAA honored Gmitter-Pittaro during their 25th anniversary. “I am one of the pioneers of the game, one of the true goal scorers,” Gmitter-Pittaro said. She was one of eleven other women chosen to represent all 25 years of NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer in 2006. Leung expressed his admiration for Gmitter-Pittaro, saying she deserves to be on the anniversary team. “She is probably in my top five and I’ve been around a lot of players at the national team level all across the country,” Leung said. Gmitter-Pittaro continues to maximize her gift by coaching her daughter’s soccer team and giving back to the youth of Hamilton, New Jersey where she now resides. “I’m the director of coaching for a soccer club and I was recently named director of coaching for the New Jersey Rush. I have also been coaching my daughter’s team and we’re ranked fifth in the state,” Gmitter-Pittaro said. Leung credits Gmitter-Pittaro for greatly impacting the future success of the Mason women’s soccer team. “In my opinion, [Gmitter-Pittaro] put Mason on the map,” Leung said. “We had a lot more people wanting to come to Mason to play, because she made us an attractive option.”


Sept. 30, 2013

A course on a horse


Fourth estate


to accommodate the one You aLreadY have


Senior Jade West practices riding for her one-credit horsemanship class. NIKKI HOLDEN STAFF WRITER Introduction to Horsemanship is more than an easy phys-ed class. Students of the course describe learning to ride as a metaphor for life and a challenging yet rewarding experience. “Starting horseback riding was one of the best things that I could have ever chosen to do,” Mason senior Jade West said. Instructor Bevin Nicholson aims to not only teach students how to ride, but to help them develop what she calls “the 3 Cs:” calmness, control and confidence. According to Nicholson, calmness combines with control to build confidence. The ultimate goal of the course is “for all the students to become more confident with horses, both on the ground and on in the saddle,” Nicholson said. Before mounting up for the first time, students learn how to safely groom and tack the horses. Most of the class focuses on actually learning to ride, but each class includes a lecture component where students learn about the basic care of horses. West says that the confidence she gained through the course has helped her beyond the barn. “Horses will totally take advantage of you if you aren’t firm and direct with what you want,” West said. “That is what Bevin is still having me constantly work on. By forcing [me] to be more confident, it has totally spread to other areas of my life, school, personal and work. I am definitely more focused and clear with what I want and I go for it.” Learning to ride also teaches perseverance. To succeed, riders must push themselves mentally and physically. Riding is a very physical sport. It involves several muscle groups, including the core, legs and arms. Riders must also push

past fear to progress. Learning to trot, canter and jump can be terrifying, especially after you’ve already taken a tumble and are experiencing fatigue at the end of a lesson. West described a lesson where her determination was tested. While learning to take her horse over a small jump, West fell but chose to push through her fear and try again. “It was one of the scariest things of my life to get back on when I was hurting and really embarrassed. I was literally shaking,” West said. “Bevin was really supportive either way. She told me that I didn’t have to, but part of being a rider is to push yourself far beyond what you think you can do, and I did it.” West had no previous formal equestrian training when she took the course last spring. Nicholson estimates that about 90 percent of students who enroll in the course do not have previous riding experience, but many continue riding after the course ends. Some, like West, retake the course, while others continue on with private lessons. Though the course is geared towards beginning riders, riders of all levels are welcome. “We have also had students with advance knowledge of riding too,” Nicholson said. ”We are able to provide these students with educated horses and training. Many of our horses have competed in recognized events.” Nicholson is happy to announce that an advanced course is currently in development, and they hope to add it to the schedule next semester. The course is usually limited to about 12 students and fills quickly. In addition to the tuition cost for one credit, students pay an additional $200 fee and must ensure they have long pants and boots suitable for riding. Helmets are also required, and while the barn has some for loan, Nicholson recommends students purchase their own.

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