BROADSIDE AND CONNECT2MASON PRESENT
FOURTH ESTATE Oct. 21, 2013 | Volume 1 Issue 7 George Mason University’s official student news outlet
PATRIOT PRIDE A recap of the first A-10 Mason Madness celebration | page 17
(MAURICE C. JONES /FOURTH ESTATE)
Sept. 30, 2013
Oct. 21, 2013
In this issue
Letter from the Editor-in-Chief
COLLEEN WILSON EDITOR-IN-CHIEF firstname.lastname@example.org
Board of Visitors approves four new degree programs | 9
A few years ago, I visited Havasu Canyon in Grand Canyon National Park, Az., home of the Havasupai Indian tribe. It’s no question that Havasu is the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited, but in stark contrast to the crystal blue waterfalls and red canyon walls were the depressing conditions of the Native American community. Everyone was poor and had little chance for upward mobility in their lives. I left feeling upset about how people living in such a gorgeous environment could be suffering through such terrible conditions. But my limited experience with a Native American community does not make me an expert on their affairs or a spokesperson for their culture. Unlike some people, I recognize that knowing one minority or having one interaction with a subjugated group does not justify my opinions. I do, however, strongly support a name change for the Washington Redskins because I believe that a name with such an overt disrespectful and offensive meaning has no place in our modern society. Just because something was not originally intended to be offensive does not mean it cannot evolve into something distasteful. It wasn’t until the 1920s that the word gay came to be associated with homosexuality and it took several more decades for it to gain the negative and hateful use that some
so carelessly throw into conversation now. It is time for the Redskin’s team, owners and fans to recognize that while they have a deep love and dedication to their team, there are bigger themes at hand. Tradition is not an excuse for anything – from women’s rights to the name of sports teams, things just change with the times. Even the approval of one Native American, or of many, is not a get-out-of-jail-free pass. There are many words, slurs and phrases that some minority individuals endorse and even engage in, but that does not make it okay. Some black people use the “n” word. Some girls call each other “bitches” as a term of affection. Some gay people use the word “gay” in a derogatory or negative fashion. I’m not condoning or excusing these examples – the point is that individuals cannot speak for a minority group as a whole. You also don’t have to be a part of a minority group to feel the offense. If a word or phrase is offensive to someone’s culture, sex, religion or sexuality its use should be avoided - especially by high-profile organizations. To be perfectly honest, I’d like it if all of the references to Native Americans were removed from sports teams. Even those with less jarring names at first glance depict Native Americans in unflattering caricatures or with cheesy spaghetti-Western cliches. It is not fair to reduce such a rich and complex culture to shallow and simplified stereotypes. Read more about what students and faculty think about this controversy on pages 18-19. If you have thoughts of your own on the topic, join the conversation on gmufourthestate.com/content/ poll-washington-redskins-name-change
Why FOURTH ESTATE ? Mason Madness kicks of ﬁrst A-10 basketball season | 17
Avery Powell shares his experience as an intern at Meet the Press | 14
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.
Oct. 21, 2013
gmufourthestate.com The parkway controversy Check out an infographic explaining the proposed parkway connecting Loudoun and Prince William Counties. http://www.gmufourthestate. com/content/ infograph-parkway-controversy
Horror story competition Fourth Estate will be searching for the most bone-chilling short stories and poems until Oct. 29 at 11:59 p.m with its Horror Story Competition. All works should be no less than 100 and no more than 1500 words in length. Winners will have their work published in our Fourth Estate Online Lifestyle section on October 31. http://www.gmufourthestate. com/content/ fourth-estateannounces-its-first-horror-storycompetition-2013
(JOHN IRWIN/FOURTH ESTATE)
Photo of the Week: Aziz Ansari Mason hosts Aziz Ansari for family weekend at the Patriot Center on Saturday Oct. 19.
Q. How do you define sexual assault?
“Sexual assault is any means of harming someone, either physically or emotionally, based on their sexuality, be it rape or slut-shaming or, it’s kind of, it’s a pretty wide umbrella term there. There are a lot of ways to hurt people based on their appearance, mocking people based on how they dress. I think that is the extent of my definition.” Gabriel Komisar, freshman, theatre
“Infringement upon an individual, personal or emotional state.” Taylor Washington, sophomore, biology
“A person is trying to have sexual contact with someone without their consent. That could be rape or just touching somebody without them wanting you to.” John Ayala, freshman, computer science
“Someone coming and taking your clothes off and trying to forcefully rape you.” Nicole Silva, freshman, communication
Oct. 21, 2013
FAQ: Distance Education
Online courses cater to non-traditional students
Q: Are all courses available online? No. Courses offered via online education can be searched either by program or individual course at the Programs tab on the Mason Online website. Q: How much do online courses cost? (ILLUSTRATION BY KATRYNA HENDERSON/FOURTH ESTATE)
The cost for the online education classes is the same as for ground-based undergraduate and graduate courses. Q: How do I see the GMU catalog for course details? You may go to the Mason online catalog at http://catalog.gmu.edu. Q: Can I use online courses toward programs at other schools? Acceptance of transfer credit is determined by the receiving school, so you should check with the receiving school. Information courtesy of http://masononline.gmu.edu/
SUHAIB KHAN STAFF WRITER Despite the traditionally bad reputation of online classes, university administrators and students alike agree that they provide consistent results for nontraditional students. According to Dr. J. Goodlett McDaniel, associate Provost for Distance Education, having a wide array of distance education courses is convenient for students with various other obligations that may prevent them from taking on-ground courses. “A lot of our students are adult learners,” McDaniel said. “They have jobs; they have families. Having online courses as an option allows them to do what they’d like to in terms of finishing more quickly.” While online courses are generally stereotyped to be less effective than on-ground courses, some students contend that being able to take most of their course load from a distance has been the only way to complete their schooling. “I’m taking online courses primarily because of my lifestyle,” said senior Amber Mellon. “I have to work 40 hours a week.” Mellon also rejects the notion
that online courses are lower in quality than on-ground courses. “There’s not much of a difference between online and going to class,” Mellon said. “It’s either a professor reading you a PowerPoint in class or you’re reading a PowerPoint at home.” However, the very nature of an online course significantly decreases the face time that students have with their professors, thus prompting the question of what the university is doing to improve communication between students and professors of online courses. “When faculty sign up to receive support from our office for an online course, we give them the expectations that we have for how frequently they should contact students and monitor students to see if they’re online and working, and also the amount of time maximum before they return emails,” McDaniel said. “We normally say 24 hours during the business week.” In addition to the extra monitoring that faculty face while running an online course, they must also exert extra effort in building the online course itself. However, Provost Peter Stearns contends that while the quality of any given course depends on a
variety of factors, the assessment of online courses is extremely rigorous, allowing for a continuous process of improvement. “It does take extra time for the faculty to build an online course because the learning objectives have to be comparable to a ground based course,” McDaniel said. However, students may find that these extra requirements for online courses are a bit of a hindrance. “For all of my online classes, there have always been a ton of extra assignments to do,” Mellon said. “The layout of Blackboard is very confusing, and you’re not always sure what’s due and when it’s due.” Even though he contends that online courses are closely monitored for quality, McDaniel does say that the university receives a small degree of complaints about distance education. “There are complaints, especially for students who don’t want to take distance education,” McDaniel said. “Sometimes they take courses that are online because there isn’t a groundbased equivalent at the time they want it.” McDaniel also notes that certain types of courses may
be better designed for distance education than others. He says that according to a famous entrepreneur, Michael Saylor, the future of STEM courses is headed in the direction of online courses. “The futurists are saying that the STEM courses are the courses that would be offered with the most precision,” McDaniel said. “Mostly because they’re formulaic and require more memorization and problem solving.” While there are notable benefits to some students in taking online courses, McDaniel states that there are some advantages to teaching an online course from the professors’ perspectives. “Research professors that build their courses online are then allowed to be more mobile if they’re doing research in their field,” McDaniel said. Mellon refutes the idea that professors care less for their distance education courses. “I don’t think they care less,” Mellon said. “Their classes provided all the same elements as my on-ground courses, but on your own time. You have all week to do the same amount of work you would do in the classroom.”
Oct. 21, 2013
Here’s to you, Robinson
Administration officials set demolition of Robinson Hall as high priority
(AMY ROSE/FOURTH ESTATE)
Robinson Hall has been noted by the university as needing rennovations due to its age. The new Robinson Hall will reflect the environment of buildings such as Innovation Hall, which include equitment that allows for technology integration.
JULIANNE WOODSON STAFF WRITER The deliberation is complete: Robinson Hall is in desperate need of an upgrade. According to Provost Peter Stearns, the Robinson project is based largely on the fact that the building is outdated. “We are short on classroom space in Fairfax by state standards, so we think we can amply justify the need for the kinds of improved classrooms that the Robinson reconstruction will allow us to have,” Stearns said. “The classrooms [in Robinson Hall] aren’t up to contemporary standards. They mostly have fixed seats and are inflexible. That’s not the kind of classroom you want anymore.” Originally built in 1975, Robinson Hall houses about 30% of Mason’s classrooms. Since its completion, no significant upgrades or improvements have been made to the building. The project was originally intended to be a renovation, but after reevaluation, demolition was deemed necessary. “We came to the conclusion that to make Robinson work the way we would want it to work, renovating was essentially the same cost as demolishing and starting over again because of all the major changes we’d have to make to the structural system to make it be
a building of the 21st century,” said Thomas Calhoun, vice president of facilities. The replacement of Robinson Hall is part of an effort to incorporate collaborative technology into all of Mason’s classrooms and to create separate buildings for the different schools and colleges within the university. “Robinson, as every student who’s been here for a while knows, is kind of a catchall building. There’s English in there, there’s history in there, there’s math in there, there’s labs in there – there’s a little bit of everything in there. But now that we’re a more mature university, we’re building facilities that are purpose-built,” Calhoun said. Robinson Hall currently houses the dean’s office for the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) and numerous departments in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS). The new Robinson Hall is planned to be a central hub of CHSS, while CHHS offices will move to another planned building called Academic Seven. The construction of Academic Seven and the new Robinson Hall go hand in hand. In order to compensate for the loss of classroom and office space, Academic Seven must be completed and CHHS fully moved into it before the Robinson Hall demolition can take place. The Robinson project would involve
multiple phases over the course of two years. “The first phase of it would be to demolish Robinson A. Classes and offices would remain in Robinson B. We would demolish Robinson A and build a new building on top of the spot where Robinson A used to be. And then when that’s done and everyone’s moved in, we would demolish Robinson B,” Calhoun said. According to Stearns, the new construction could also be beneficial to student learning. “With this plus Academic Seven, we’ll be able to handle the enrollment expansion that we anticipate and students will be in classrooms more appropriately designed for current teaching and learning methods,” Stearns said. “We’re finding that when classes are taught in these newer classrooms where there’s more opportunity for student participation, student grades improve.” However, there may be potential challenges to execute the plan. In order to go ahead with the project, Mason must receive funding from the state of Virginia. “This particular project is in the phase where we’ve asked for the money but we haven’t figured out whether it’s in the governor’s budget or not. It’s on the wish list,” Calhoun said. Every two years, institutions like Mason wishing to receive money from Virginia’s general fund must submit capital requests to
the governor. The governor and his staff then create a budget which is sent to the General Assembly for review. After legislative negotiation and the Governor’s signature on the final budget bill, the new budget is passed on July 1. The governor’s budget for 2014-2016, which may or may not contain funding for the Robinson project, is due to come out in late December. Mason has requested $98,504,000 from the state to fund the building of the new Robinson Hall. If the project ends up in the General Assembly’s July 1 budget bill, then demolition and construction of a new Robinson Hall will go forward with the target completion date of the fall semester of 2019. Although the project has not yet received funding, Robinson Hall reconstruction remains a top priority for Mason officials. “Our strategic plan is focused on producing 100,000 degrees in the next ten years, so we need to have space to be able to do that. This project does provide additional, efficient classrooms – ones that people want to use,” Calhoun said. “We can’t accomplish our mission of producing those graduates without great facilities to attract students, train them, educate them and help them produce their degree.”
Oct. 21, 2013
Student teachers face long hours, low pay
Ph.D. students teach courses and take on double load for extra experience (jOHN IRWIN/FOURTH ESTATE)
Ph.D. student Zachary Combs is one of the many teaching assistants gaining experience while completing their degrees.
AMY WOOLSEY STAFF WRITER Graduate students are saddled with an enormous amount of responsibility. In addition to studying, many graduate students teach classes, conduct their own research and work multiple jobs. “[We’re] gluttons for punishment,” said Steven Harris-Scott with a laugh. Harris-Scott is in his eighth year in Mason’s history Ph.D. program and has served as either a teaching assistant or a professor at various points throughout his graduate career. This semester, he is a teaching assistant for a section of Honors 110: Research Methods, grading papers and leading recitations. Mason enrolls more than 10,000 graduate students and offers 200 masters, doctoral and certificate programs. Although specific requirements vary across programs, students usually must pass a cumulative exam and complete a dissertation in order to obtain a Ph.D. Assistantships and other teaching
positions appeal to students for a number of reasons, most notably because they provide a source of income and an opportunity to gain professional experience. Harris-Scott aspires to be a teacher and finds his work rewarding. “I like to think of my years as a TA and graduate lecturer as an extended apprenticeship that will only make me a better teacher when I start to do it full-time,” Harris-Scott said. However, other graduate students have more complicated feelings about being a teaching assistant. Golala Arya is a chemistry and biochemistry student who enrolled in the Ph.D. program at Mason largely due to convenience. “I knew I wanted my Ph.D., knew Mason didn’t have good incentives,” Arya said. “But I stayed because my husband works in the area and I could commute here easily.” Compensation is a common complaint of student teachers. Graduate lecturers receive $2,500$3,000 a class, roughly the same salary as an adjunct professor. Teaching assistants are a little better off, earning $10,000-$14,000 a class. Teaching assistants can also
be eligible for tuition waivers and subsidized health care. “One thing that’s difficult is [benefits are] unpredictable,” said Gavin Mueller, a fifth-year Ph.D. student in the cultural studies department and a teacher at New Century College. “A lot of times the benefits will change from year to year and you’re not always ready.” Because the northern Virginia area has a high cost of living, many students try working other jobs, though some have contracts that restrict their weekly working hours. To make ends meet, Mueller has done an assortment of odd jobs, from teaching at places other than Mason to writing for magazines and conducting market research. The combination of work, classes, research and auxiliary duties that come with teaching as a graduate student, such as holding office hours for students and advising younger students, can put a tremendous amount of pressure on graduate students. Many of them struggle to manage their time efficiently and to find a balance between all of their obligations. “I want to be the best teacher that
I can be and sometimes, it feels like I can’t give it as much time as I would want to,” said Alexandra Perloe, a psychology student. She works an unpaid position at a clinic in addition to teaching ten hours a week and conducting I.Q. tests for children. Arya is the president of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Student Association and has spoken to the university administration about raising the stipend paid to graduate teaching assistants. She finds that the time she devotes to teaching often hinders her research, and given the low pay, she cannot afford to take her daughter to daycare. “It is beneficial to Mason and every other university in the country to produce quality grad students because that is how they get a lot of their money,” Arya said. “But in order to get quality grad students, you need to give them good incentives.” Even with the time commitment and economic anxiety, most graduate students still consider teaching a welcome experience. Adam Mitchell, a cultural studies student like Mueller, feels lucky to
“I like to think of my years as a TA and graduate lecturer as an extended apprenticeship that will only make me a better teacher when I start to do it full-time.” -Steven Harris-Scott , Ph.D. student teacher
have the opportunity to share his knowledge with others. “There are so many beautiful and challenging moments, I think, in every classroom,” Mitchell said. “And there are so many possibilities that come from – I believe it was Bell Hooks that said this – from the comforting co-presence of other learners, that as challenging as it might be to work in this field, to try to be a scholar in the 21st century, I still believe it’s worth it.”
Oct. 21, 2013
Federal budget cuts affect scientific research
(NIKKI HOLDEN/FOURTH ESTATE)
Dr. Yuntao Wu of the National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases and the Department of Molecular and Microbiology at Mason is facing financial trouble due to federal budget cuts. ANGELA WOOLSEY STAFF WRITER Recent budget cuts have had a severe impact on scientific research conducted at Mason. The National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases and the Department of Molecular and Microbiology failed to receive a grant from the National Institute of Health in May because of the NIH’s tight budget. The center, which studies biodefense-related pathogens in order to help combat bioterrorism and researches infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, had received a continuous NIH grant of over $1 million for the past four years. This year, however, the grant was not renewed. As a result, the center now faces serious financial trouble that has made it difficult to conduct research. One of the chief scientists at the center, Dr. Yuntao Wu, runs a laboratory located in Discovery Hall on Mason’s Prince William Campus in Manassas. His team focuses on studying HIV infection of CD4 T cells, a type of white blood cells that regulate the immune system and are killed by the HIV virus. Due to a lack of available funding, Wu had to lay off a technician who had worked at the lab for seven years.
The budget cuts also made it difficult for him to conduct research, as they are unable to get their results out of the lab. “Some of the projects have to be stopped. We lost employees, so the research really closed down,” Wu said. “A technician lost a job because of the budget cut. She had many years of expertise, so we lost expertise in this research.” Wu added that he now must spend hours in his office writing appeals for new grants, a tiring process that takes away from the time and energy he should be putting toward the lab. This loss of funding affects more than just faculty and professors. It slows student research, and because they only have about $3,000 to spend each month, many student experiments have been postponed. The center can no longer afford to pay students a salary for their work. They now work in the labs as unpaid volunteers. Wu’s lab alone currently has five Ph.D. graduate students and four master students, all of whom depend on constant NIH funding for their training and research. They do not have as much experience in the field of AIDS research as the technician who was fired, putting their research in jeopardy. To offset these budget cuts, the center has turned to other sources of funding.
While the majority of the institution’s money comes from NIH grants, it also receives some small grants from drug companies. Wu and others are now looking more into private companies and other sources of fundraising for research. The recent government shutdown has only made getting funding even more challenging as the NIH has been unable to increase its budget. If the NIH budget does not increase, the entire biomedical community will be affected. According to Wu, many of his colleagues have already been forced to shut down their labs. Mason is not the only institution in the academic science community that has been hurt by these budget cuts. Both public and private universities have been affected to various degrees. Some institutions have not been hit as hard because they are able to work together when applying for grants. However, Mason lacks the mass scientific personnel needed to make that kind of coordinated effort. In 2008, Wu’s research team published a groundbreaking study describing how HIV uses a signaling system to trick the CD4 T cells into breaking their cytoskeleton barrier, which normally blocks viruses from invading the cells, for the virus. In the near future, they hope to be able to
provide new drugs and ways of treating HIV/ AIDS and might even find a cure. The budget cuts, however, have stalled possible progress. According to Wu, when they get funding again, they will be allowed to continue their research. His lab will be able to push its many discoveries further, perhaps even to clinical trials. “You will see the benefits for patients very soon,” Wu said. If or when it receives a new grant, his lab would also like to invite the technician who was let go to return, because she has so much expertise in the field. The technician has started to look and interview for new jobs, though, and might have a new position by the time new funds come in. In the meantime, the center is mainly relying on help from Mason’s College of Science, which has offered temporary loans to keep labs like Wu’s functioning. Wu has also gotten help from friends and colleagues who have aided his research in the past. An Internet fund that they started on his behalf has raised around $20,000 for his lab. Wu also teaches both undergraduate and graduate classes at Mason. This semester, he is teaching a course on HIV/AIDS and society and another on virology and immunology.
Oct. 21, 2013
to accommodate the one You aLreadY have
New Sodexo contract prompts changes in campus dining
(PHOTO COURTESY OF HIEU TRAN/FACILITIES MANAGEMENT)
Renderings for the new Southside-style dining hall that will be located in Ike’s previous location. The new facility will seat 375 people. EVAN PETSCHKE STAFF WRITER
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Mason’s next big project targets its dining options and promises many changes for the near future. Mason Dining signed a new contract with Sodexo on Sept. 25 to replace the old contract that was set to expire in 2014. Mason picked Sodexo as their continued dining provider after a lengthy competitive bid process in the spring. “Sodexo listened to students, proposed helpful suggestions and overall offered a better retail program and financial package,” said Mark Kraner, Executive Director of Campus Retail and Auxiliary Enterprises. The new dining contract, which includes several changes to Mason’s dining options, is a $400 million contract that will be in place for 10 years. The dining team has scheduled renovations to begin at the start of winter break this year. “The spring will be exciting as the program starts,” Kraner said The east side of the Johnson Center, where the computer store, Freshens, Hot Spot and Sprouts are currently located, will undergo the first set of renovations. The space the computer store currently occupies will be converted into a Panera,
which is scheduled to open for the fall 2014 semester. The Panera will be replacing La Pat. There are tentative plans to create an outdoor seating patio outside of the Panera. The computer store will move to the opposite end of the Johnson Center where the TV lounge is currently located. The area occupied by Freshens, Sprouts and Hot Spot will be converted into more seating options to accommodate the large crowds that gather in the Johnson Center during the day. A new convenience store will open in the space that holds the art gallery, and the current store on the opposite side of the building will close. Sprouts will move temporarily across the building to the Simply-to-Go kiosk. Freshens will reopen inside of the new convenience store and Hot Spot will close for good. These renovations will continue into the spring semester and are projected to be completed by the fall. Winter break renovations will also take place on the bottom level of the Johnson Center. Jazzman’s coffee shop, currently located on the bottom level, will be converted to a Starbucks, projected to open by spring or summer of 2014.
Oct. 21, 2013
(ILLUSTRATION BY WALTER MARTINEZ/FOURTH ESTATE)
(1) The space the computer store currently occupies will be converted into a Panera. (2) Sprouts will move temporarily across the buliding to the Simply to Go kiosk. Freshens will reopen inside of the new convenience store. Hot Spot will close for good. (3) The computer store will move to the opposite end of the Johnson Center where the TV lounge is currently located. (4) A new convenience store will open in the space that holds the art gallery and the current store on the opposite side of the building will close. Once Panera opens, La Pat will close. “This is the 18-month forecast. Additional places may morph over the years,” Kraner said. Further renovations are planned for 2015, which include renovating the dining options on the west side of the Johnson Center and adding another outdoor patio. Mason is currently discussing bringing a Chipotle to the Johnson Center. However, no agreement has yet been formed. In a recent survey among Mason students, Panera was ranked as the most preferred restaurant and Chipotle was ranked second. With the plans for Panera settled, Chipotle is next on the list. Changes for the rest of the west side of the Johnson Center are still in the works. According to Kraner, Sub Connection and IndAroma will stay and Burger King will receive an upgrade. The auxiliary team is currently looking at other options to possibly replace Mein Bowl, including a modern Asian-inspired option. The team also plans to have Red, Hot and Blue replace Original Burger in the Hub, which will open more space for the possibility of another new option. Work has also begun on a second
dining hall. The area that formerly housed Ike’s in Presidents Park is under renovation to become a Southside-style dining hall that will seat 375 people. The new dining plan will also change meal plans starting the fall 2014 semester. These plans will introduce “Anytime Dining,” which allows students to swipe into a dining hall once for the entire day, after which they are free to come and go as they please. A point system will be used for students to access food from dining facilities other than the dining halls. Current students will be able to keep the old version of the meal plan. Incoming freshman for fall 2014 will be the first to utilize the new plan. The plan for this sizeable dining update has been in the works for approximately two years.
Oct. 21, 2013
RICHARD CHUMNEY STAFF WRITER A little-known Mason tradition is facing declining interest as new competitors emerge. George’s List, Mason’s answer to Craig’s List, competes with websites like GMU Marketplace as the online gathering place for the university’s buyers and sellers. Junior Adarsh Pradeep visited George’s List before deciding to sell items on GMU Marketplace instead. “[George’s List’s] interface is ancient,” Pradeep said. “Moreover, there are hardly any users who view George’s List. If I’m trying to sell a product quickly, I’m going to go and post in places where I will get the most responses.” Pradeep, who successfully sold a TI-84 calculator and multiple books, believes Facebook to be the best platform for selling items. “[Facebook] allows me to reach a collegeaged audience on a site where I know college students are already very active on,” Pradeep said. “You can reach a large targeted audience for free and expect much quicker responses.” George’s List has experienced declining interest in recent years according to Amy Brener, the director of VPIT/CIO Global Projects at Mason.
GMU Marketplace or George’s List? “It’s unfortunate,” Brener said. “Its not heavily utilized primarily because people don’t know it exists.” According to Brener, however, George’s List has the potential to be a popular site. “I think it’s successful within the realm of what it provides,” Brener said. “It’s just underutilized.” Brener said that George’s List may not see an increase in activity as long as the ITU and Office of Student Involvement continue to operate it. She believes a fresh perspective from a different organization would be able to build a more popular site. “No one really owns it,” Brener said. “If there is some student organization that wants to take it over I would be delighted.” Meanwhile, GMU Marketplace, an online shopping organization unaffiliated with Mason, thrives on Facebook. Users are able to posts a status of their products along with prices and ask for other users to message them
for more details. Items for sale range from electronics and textbooks to more lucrative items like workout supplements and a Bud Light charcoal grill. Brener sees the Facebook marketplace as a nice alternative to George’s List. However, she still believes that George’s List offers many advantages. “You may find things [on Facebook] that you won’t find on George’s List, things Mason is not okay with,” Brener said. “The posts [on Facebook] aren’t organized by categories.” Listings on George’s List are approved by Brener and the Office of Student Involvement to conform with Mason policy. “Posts are vetted,” Brener said. “We reject ads from local clubs that serve alcohol. We deliberately wear our mother’s hats. We err on the side of safety.” Corrine House, the communications manager for the Office of Student Involvement, runs a team of three who help vet the listings.
(ILLUSTRATION BY KATRYNA HENDERSON/FOURTH ESTATE)
“We go online and approve all of the more noncommercial sales and ads,” House said. “Anything that’s more of a company ad [will be rejected]. We look for things local to Mason and the community.” Brener, who helped to create George’s List with two other now-retired ITU staffers, continues to operate as the program head with assistance from the Office of Student Involvement. “The original thought of George’s List was to provide a vehicle for faculty and staff to sell goods and services with a concern for safety,” Brener, said. Users have the ability to create a title, assign the product to a category, set a price, write a description and then add up to four images. “We looked at Craig’s List and we used their categories,” Brener said. “Over the years we’ve added categories and we’ve removed categories.” The list of 41 categories includes clothing, furniture, textbooks, housing for rent, child care and ride share. George’s List was designed to be cheap and easy to run. “We deliberately made it as low maintenance as possible,” Brener said. “It’s barebones because we want to keep it simple. I don’t think it costs anything. The database is small and it’s on an existing server.”
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UNIVERSITY CHORALE, UNIVERSITY SINGERS, AND WOMEN’S CHORALE November 3 at 4 p.m. $10 adu., $5 stu./sen. CA 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. Oct. 22 PARSONS DANCE November 9 at 8 p.m. $23, $38, $46 CA 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. Oct. 29
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Oct. 21, 2013
Board of Visitors approves new degree programs
At the Oct. 2 meeting, the Board of Visitors voted to approve three new degree programs for the University. REEM NADEEM BEAT REPORTER In order to meet the demands of the job market, Mason has proposed four new academic programs. Starting fall 2014, Mason will provide a Bachelor of Science in cyber security engineering. A Ph.D. in bioengineering and Masters of Science in data analytics will be available to graduate students. The proposals for the new programs were approved by the Board of Visitors on Oct. 2. According to Provost Peter Stearns, the next step is approval from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, which may take time. “The State Council has a fairly demanding format for submitting proposals and there’s a bit of a time lapse between our approving the programs and having them ready to present to the state,” Stearns said. The new programs will include existing engineering classes with new ones with entirely new curriculums. Most of the faculty will consist of already hired staff. Associate Professor Peggy Brouse worked with vice president of Information Security and Cyber Initiatives for Northrop Grumman Michael Papay on the cyber security program.
Papay helped tailor the program to give students desired skills. According to Brouse, the new cyber security program is different from others because it aims to create proactive engineers. “This new degree and these new graduates, these cyber security engineers will be a part of the development team from the very beginning,” Brouse said. Because Mason will be pioneering this path, there is excitement in the work force and education departments. “Most of these classes have some kind of a lab component or a practical component so students are actually doing something, they’re not just listening to people talk,” Brouse said. “The other thing we have is that we discuss a lot of the physical systems. It’s not just all the software that goes wrong.” Mason has received indication from Richmond that the Department of Education is excited for the creation of the cyber security engineering degree, Brouse said. Data analytics engineering is a quickly growing field. The proposal for a Master’s of Science in data analytics was approved by the Board of Visitors and will be reviewed by SHEV on Oct. 20 and 29. The program prepares students for a career in communicating mass amounts of data, or
“big data” into English. The initiative for data analytics came from several departments, each of which contains various aspects of data analysis. The new program contains components of each department. Statistics, systems engineering and operations research, computer science, implied information technology, electrical and computer engineering all played a part in the creation of the proposal. “All of them were interested in working together to try to put together a degree that would capture all of these methodologies and technologies,” Senior Associate Dean Stephen Nash said. “There are components of all of those departments that play a role in this interdisciplinary data analytics field. The strength, I think of the degree comes from the range of our capabilities within this school.” A Bachelors of Science in bioengineering has been available from Mason, however, the department desired Ph.D. level students to add research. The field of Bioengineering combines biology and life sciences with engineering new technologies. “So many of our faculty are active in research, there’s always a desire to have a PhD program where they can train students to do research and bring students into help in
(JOHN IRWIN/FOURTH ESTATE)
research projects,” Nash said. The growing field has proven attractive to students with interest in both biology and engineering, according to the Board of Visitors agenda. One of the first goals of the doctoral program in Bioengineering is to train potential faculty, who will then guide the increasing number of students in this field. Martha Bushong, the recently hired director of communications for Volgenau, said she plans to help publicize the new programs by networking through existing students and faculty. If approved by SHEV, the new programs will be available for students fall 2014. Each proposal details a new course of study that aims to be interdisciplinary and has involved input from faculty and workers in several different fields of study. “When you bring together people from different disciplines, they have to learn how to trust each other, communicate with each other and develop a set of shared goals that don’t necessarily match their individual goals,” Nash said.
Oct. 7, 2013
Quidditch team brings magic to Mason, disappointment to opponents
(COURTESTY OF THE MASON QUIDDITCH TEAM)
SAVANNAH NORTON STAFF WRITER While some sports teams are trying to find the best play for a slam-dunk or to score the winning touchdown, there is a group of athletes at Mason packing up their broomsticks and quaffles for the next quidditch game. Quidditch has become a popular sport amongst the generation of young adults who grew up reading the books. The sport is a mix of rugby, dodgeball and tag. According to the International Quidditch Association official website, quidditch is played worldwide by over 300 teams. Mason Quidditch started with a Facebook page of students interested in making a club. After two years of noncompetitive practice, the group of friends decided to make the team official. “There were a couple of posts on the Facebook page and someone said, ‘well let’s start this thing!’” said Chris Pavlovych, captain of Mason’s quidditch team. “There were three or four of us that got together, and we just went for it.” Students quickly took to the idea of playing competitively, and the newly-formed quidditch team targeted their recruiting and advertising to the class of 2017’s Facebook page, ending up with a solid team of about 25 members. “There’s the competitive aspect of the game, and then there’s the people who just like the movies and books and stuff. So it kind
of brings together a mix of those two groups, which is pretty sweet,” Pavlovych said. The game of quidditch played here in the muggle world of college students is modeled after the game played in Harry Potter’s wizarding world. Each team one keeper, three chasers, two beaters and a seeker for a total of seven players on the field. Just like in the books and movies, a chaser can score ten points by putting a quaffle through one of the three goals. The game ends when the seeker catches the snitch, earning his or her team 30 points. Due to the lack of magic in muggle quidditch, the snitch is placed on the back of a non-affiliated athlete who is chased around by the two seekers. Mason’s quidditch team practices on the field located on George Mason Boulevard and takes place on Tuesdays from 4:30-6 p.m., Thursdays from 6-7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 11-1 p.m. On Saturdays, Mason Quidditch usually competes in a scrimmage against another local team. The quidditch team is in the process of becoming a registered student organization, making it easier for the group to reach out to others interested in the sport. Mason’s quidditch team is a part of the Virginia Quidditch League, in which they play a handful of Virginia schools that have teams, Pavlovych said. The team is also working to be a part of the IQA next year so that they can have a chance to play for the Quidditch World Cup.
(Left) Mason’s Dylan Bynon attempts a block against UVA during a three-game series. In the final match, Mason pulled off a two-one win. (Above) The quidditch team formed after a group on Facebook took initiative to recruit and organize the 25 members that now make up the team.
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Oct. 21, 2013
Thrilling local haunts MARC ZALASKUS STAFF WRITER The air is getting colder, and Halloween is right around the corner. This holiday leaves a hanging predicament for Mason students: what is there to do when someone is too old for trickor-treating but too young to stay inside for a holiday that is meant to celebrate scares and skulls? Fairfax and Northern Virginia are known for their haunted locations that give students the opportunity to be immersed in supposed hauntings and paranormal activity. Bunnyman Bridge Rumored to be the place of a gruesome murder in the early 1900s, Bunnyman Bridge is a popular destination for thrillseekers hoping for a glimpse of the Bunnyman himself. Although this haunting is considered an urban legend, there have been accounts of mimicry that attempt to keep his story alive. Be warned, Bunnyman Bridge is a popular location on Oct. 31. It is advised to choose an earlier date to seek out this location to avoid the traffic and crowdedness of other thrill-seeking visitors. (MARC ZALASKUS/FOURTH ESTATE)
Manassas Battlefields Located approximately six miles away from Mason’s Prince William campus, the Manassas Battlefields at Henry’s Hill are famous for one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. The Manassas Battlefield Park is perfect for a hike through the woods in one of the most important battles in American history-- but with a twist. According to community lore, between the relic cannons and the historical landmarks lies the fallen souls of soldiers who died in the battles. The lost souls supposedly haunt the battlegrounds with their screams and cries for help. It is also purported that spirits haunt a stone house directly next to Henry’s Hill. The house can be seen at the intersection of Sudley Rd. and Route 29. The house was used to hospitalize
Manassas Battlefield is rich in Civil Way History and scary adventures. The stone house on the corner of Sudley Rd. and Route 29 was used as a hospital for Civil War soldiers who are said to have returned to haunt the place. soldiers wounded during the Civil War. Some soldiers carved their names on wooden banisters to be remembered; others supposedly never left and were likely forgotten. The Manassas Battlefield’s trails and attractions are open to the public to enjoy. Unfortunately, the stone house is not open for walk-in visitors. However, if interested, there are scheduled tours given by the Manassas Park Authority. Roundtree Park
Homemade Halloween HALEY MCCOMBER STAFF WRITER
(NIKI PAPADOGIANNAKIS/ FOURTH ESATE)
Looking for an easy, last minute costume? Want something unique and up-to-date? Be the twitter bird! This costume is really simple and only takes a few steps to create. The twitter bird itself is blue, so I bought blue shorts, a blue top and blue socks at Wal-Mart, but you could even find any blue-colored clothes from your own closet.
According to local lore, Roundtree Park is known for supposed paranormal activity involving an alleged haunting of a screaming woman who walks the trails in the forest. Located in Annandale, Roundtree Park is deeply wooded with a concrete trail winding through tall trees that is likely to cause a scare at sunset. Other supposedly haunted locations in the DC area include Georgetown, the White House and Ford’s Theater.
Get other party-goers tweeting with a simple DIY costume
Wear whatever blue items you want and don’t be afraid to accessorize. I added wings to mine that I found at Wal-Mart. Wings are also available at Party City. Next, you need somewhere to display your tweets. Take a whiteboard (which can be found at Wal-Mart and craft stores) and attach ribbon with tape, a stapler, glue or whatever works easiest for you. I went for a little bigger of a whiteboard so there would be room to write on it, but if you are worried about comfort, you might want to go for smaller.
For fun, you can add the twitter symbol or little birds to your ribbon or board for an extra touch. I searched for the twitter symbols online and printed them out to tape them to the board. Lastly, add your twitter handle and a tweet to your board. Tell people to write their own tweets and hashtags on your board to make it even more fun. You can even let people tweet at you or other people. This costume is ﬂexible, inexpensive and a great way to start conversations.
Oct. 21, 2013
Each week, Fourth Estate features a student or alumnus with a great internship or job to highlight the opportunities a degree from Mason can provide. MARY OAKEY ASSISTANT LIFESTYLE EDITOR Avery Powell is a junior Global Aﬀairs major at Mason with a minor in Electronic Journalism. His ideal job is to become an on-camera correspondent with a network when he graduates. Avery interns for one of the most popular broadcast shows in the area, NBC’s “Meet The Press.” (COURTESY OF AVERY POWELL))
How did you get this internship? I applied to places like NPR, CBS and I also went to the general NBC website and looked through their diﬀerent categories. They have diﬀerent options for network interns, diﬀerent things for online, multimedia and they also have one speciﬁcally for Meet the Press. If you go to MeetThePressNBC.com, they have a section where you can actually email your resume and cover letter to them for consideration. So what made you pick “Meet The Press,” with all the other options available? Mostly because when I ﬁrst visited Mason for a tour, the girl who was actually giving the tour was a “Meet The Press” intern, I believe. I remember her talking about it so that kind of led me to want to do it and then my freshman year it kind of went out of my mind until I applied. It is “Meet The Press,” honestly. It is one of the longest running news programs in the world, and it is also just an example of good, fair news. It is a great place to start and many people who start at “Meet The Press” end up going on and doing successful things, so it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
diﬀerent roles. Three of us are in charge of guest greetings and maintenance of the greenroom, which is where we hold the guests until it is time to go into the studio. We also have the interns that stay with our assistant producers in the control room and there is one intern in the electronic journalism room, or what we call the intake room, who does all the taping. So once the show is over, they collect all the tapes from the show, and they also transcribe some of the footage if they need an interview quickly transcribed during the show.
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Who are some of your favorite guests you’ve gotten to meet? David Gregory is really cool and he is also around always in the building. I will deﬁnitely say that my ﬁrst show I was the only new intern and Ann Curry was the guest and she was the nicest and took a selﬁe with me and it was so much fun. I met Bob Woodward of the Washington Post and then this Sunday, Savannah Guthrie of the Today Show guest-moderated the show and the White House Chief of Staﬀ. What is one of your favorite moments that you have had during your internship?
What is a typical day like? One project that we are working on is archiving a lot of our video clippings, so from 2000 and from 1947. We’ve been clipping out newspapers or news articles that mention “Meet The Press,” that mention certain shows. Sundays are a totally diﬀerent story because it is the actual show, so interns are split into three
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I would say talking to Ann Curry outside. Me and another intern escorted her outside and she just talked to us for like ten minutes and it was like a star struck moment for me since I have been watching her since I was very little and just talking to her about journalism and where it is going.
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FOURTH ESTATE Colleen Wilson Editor-In-Chief email@example.com
Andrew Stevenson Managing Editor
The lure and danger of Molly (MDMA)
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
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.
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ALEXANDRA SUDAK STAFF WRITER When educating young people on the dangers of hard drugs, it is counterproductive to withhold information. The Fourth Estate article on the drug MDMA, also known as “molly,” only lectures young adults on the dangers of the drug, and makes no effort to delve into why people use it or why its use is becoming so prevalent. Here’s what MDMA does: users experience an increase in the release of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Normally, these chemicals would release themselves gradually, but MDMA forces the brain to release the chemicals from their storage sites. The result is the user feels an intense euphoria for several hours, depending on the amount of MDMA consumed. This euphoric sensation is referred to as rolling. Users do not see hallucinations like those caused by the drug shrooms, and they cannot experience a “bad” trip caused by the drug acid, which is part of why it is so appealing. Rather, MDMA elevates the user’s feelings of happiness to extremely high levels, and also strengthens feelings of empathy towards those around the user. This is why people do MDMA: it feels incredible and it is hard to have a negative experience. However, herein lies the problems with MDMA. It can be “cut” with more dangerous drugs, and it can cause overexertion and dehydration. Additionally, taking too much of the drug can overload the body and ultimately result in death or a trip to the emergency room. When a drug like MDMA is “cut” with other drugs, it means that the seller has combined the MDMA with cheaper drugs in order to increase his profits. For example, a seller could combine
a bag of MDMA with a little bit of cheap methamphetamine and pass it off to the buyer as pure MDMA, which is undoubtedly profitable. And it is foolish to think that making a profit isn’t the bottom line for a drug dealer. Sometimes people obtain a drug that they think is MDMA, but it can either be a completely different substance or can be cut with other drugs that are far more dangerous, such as heroin or methamphetamine. This is why using MDMA is dangerous — the drug is illegal, and therefore not regulated by the FDA, which means that you never know for sure if you’re getting pure MDMA or if it is combined with something else. It is virtually impossible for the average person to tell what drug or drugs he is consuming before actually consuming it. It is important to realize that when it comes to illegal drugs, you can never truly know what you’re getting. It’s unlikely that a bit of cheap methamphetamine in your MDMA will kill you, but it’s possible, and for some, it’s not worth the risk. If a user is lucky enough to obtain MDMA that isn’t cut with anything dangerous, MDMA still has its own risks. Users experience an increase in heart rate, as well as an extreme increase in energy, leading to users overexerting themselves physically (like dancing a lot) and becoming dehydrated. The problem is that sometimes users are too high on the drug and consumed with feelings of happiness to realize this. Users of hard drugs do it because they want an escape, because they’re bored, because these drugs allow them to see things in a different way. However, it is naïve to assume that just because you tell young people not to do something, they won’t. So, it is important for information to be available. Regardless of the reasons for drug use, if a drug is illegal, you don’t truly know what you’re consuming. If you choose to do any drug, you must do it with people you trust, be cautious in the amounts you consume, remember to stay hydrated and stay in a safe environment.
Oct. 21, 2013
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Cartoon Corner by Katryna Henderson
Oct. 21, 2013
Increasing education costs are destroying college
CONOR HAINES STAFF WRITER I am a junior at Mason studying government and international politics. I pay for my own food, my own housing and my own tuition. I have to pay, out-of-pocket after financial aid, $2,446 this semester for my education (not including food and my cell phone bill each month). While this may not seem like a lot, the burden of working and class combined is definitely stressful to say the least. I am unable to obtain most private loans because I have no one to cosign with me and because I only recently acquired a credit card, I do not have enough credit history to obtain one on my own. I also apply to a plethora of scholarships every year. If I did not have to work these jobs to stay in school and obtain my degree, my test scores would undoubtedly be higher. My grade point average would be higher. I would be able to put more of a focus on my schoolwork because I would simply have more time. The point of this article is not to garner sympathy. It is to point out that the cost of an education is an unfair burden on a significant portion of Americans. My own balance of finances and education can be seen in many other college students’ lives, even here at Mason. Many women turn to stripping or escorting to pay for their college education. People are desperate not only to pay for college in the first place but to pay off student loans after they’ve graduated. A Morgan State University architecture major stated this about her choice of becoming an escort: “It’s not something I’m happy to be doing, but when you’re applying for all these jobs and noone is calling back, it’s like, ‘Well I have to do what I have to do.’” Will Arenas, a 2009 graduate of Virginia State University, says that working while in college can ostracize students from the college experience: “You miss all the social aspects and memories of college while you’re working. You don’t have time to make friends, and that’s if you can even find a job, because coming in, you don’t have a lot of experience. It can be frustrating.” The think-tank American Enterprise Institute reported that college textbook prices are 812% higher than they were three decades ago. There has been an increase of 559% in tuition and fees over the same period of time.
There also seems to be a de-emphasis put on college education, especially when compared to other civilized countries. In 2012, Rick Santorum said to a crowd, “President Obama wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob!” How does that make him a snob, though? I am neither supporting nor opposing President Obama, but why would it be snobbish to want every American to be able to go to college? I am also not saying that college is for everyone, but it should be for everyone who wants to go. Denmark, France, Italy, and Spain all offer free or almost free post-secondary education. Even in Canada, education costs on average are less than half of what they are in America. The average collegiate burden for graduates is $28,000 in debt. When credit card debt is included, it is around $35,000 in debt. California is one of at least ten states which now spends more on their prisons than on education. It takes an average of nineteen years to pay off a bachelor degree. There is over $1 trillion in student debt, 60% of which is owed by people over thirty. College debt can literally cost you for your entire young adult life. Student loan rates were set to double on July 1, 2013 from 3.4% to 6.8%. Back in May of this year, Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts federal senator, claimed that student loan interest rates should be the same rates that affect the banks (0.75%). If the banks are allowed to borrow at this rate, why shouldn’t students also be allowed to do that? Elizabeth Warren stated the following: “The federal government is going to charge interest rates nine times higher than the rate they charge the biggest banks. The same banks that destroyed millions of jobs and nearly broke the economy. That isn’t right. And that’s why I’m introducing legislation today to give students the same deal that we give the banks.” The government is set to make $51 billion from student loans this year. That’s more than the most profitable company in the world, Exxon-Mobil, who made $44.9 billion in 2012. This evolving discussion involves every college student. Not all of us can simply borrow money from our parents.
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In our Oct. 28 issue, editors and columnists will discuss the new program in Fairfax to discourage drunk driving. Local restaurants are hosting a program called Cab or Cell to encourage drinkers to call a cab or end up in a jail cell. Get in on the discussion by emailing 400-800 words on the topic to firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct. 25 and we will consider it for publication.
Oct. 7, 2013
Mason Madness ignites basketball fever DANIEL GREGORY ASST. SPORTS EDITOR
(MAURICE JONES/FOURTH ESTATE)
Last Friday marked the first opportunity for the public to take a look at the Mason men’s and women’s basketball teams on the court in the Green and Gold scrimmage. The annual Mason Madness event gives students, alumni and local Mason basketball fans their first glimpse at the 2013 teams as well their first chance to get inside the Patriot Center to see performances by the Green Machine, Mason cheerleaders, Urbanknowlogy and The Masonettes. The event kicked off with a joint performance of Macklemore’s Can’t Hold Us by the Green Machine, Mason Cheerleaders and the Masonettes in front of an excited crowd. After the performance, the new Women’s Basketball Coach Nyla Milleson was introduced to the crowd. After she and coach Paul Hewitt jumped out of life-size fake cakes, Milleson spoke on how thrilled she was to be at Mason and how she hopes to pack the Patriot Center for women’s basketball games. After Milleson’s address, Hewitt took the microphone and asked Doc Nix and the Patriot Center crowd to show two potential recruits how loud the Patriot Center gets. The crowd responded with a roar and Doc Nix and the Green Machine jammed to Stevie Wonder’s Superstition. Normally, Mason Madness coincides with the NCAA mandated start of practice, but the basketball teams were already practicing for over a week when the event started this year. The men’s scrimmage looked similar to the NBA all-star game with highlight reel plays and little-to-no defense. Both squads went up and down the court throwing alley-oops and stuffing home dunks, much to the pleasure of the Patriot Center crowd. The women’s scrimmage started strong with each team making their opening buckets. This scrimmage featured much more defense than the men’s game as each side looked to lock down their opposing teammates. After five minutes of continuous clock the gold team defeated the green team 9-4.
Oct. 21, 2013
Arguments for and against the Redskins name change HAU CHU SPORTS EDITOR While Congress may have ended the government shutdown and resolved the debt ceiling crisis, one debate in the D.C. area seems nowhere near a solution: the argument of whether the Washington Redskins should change their name. The debate about the Redskins name stems from the issue of whether Redskins is a racial slur toward Native Americans or simply an 80-year old nickname that symbolizes pride and celebrates the tradition of Native Americans. In an unscientific poll of the Mason community, through gmufourthestate.com, 60.45 percent of the 134 respondents believed that Washington should not change their nickname. This result goes in line with other informal and formal polls available. In an ongoing Washington Post online poll that began on Oct. 3, as of this publication date, 57 percent of those who weighed in believe that Washington should not change their name. The Redskins name has popular support, but the controversy over the name led Washington owner Daniel Snyder to write an open letter to the fans regarding his steadfast support of the Redskins name. Snyder recalls going to Redskins games with his father and how the experience of the game and being united under the tradition of the Redskins name with his father was a formative bonding experience. “That tradition -- the song, the cheer -- it mattered so much to me as a child, and I know it matters to every other Redskins fan in the D.C. area and across the nation,” Snyder said. “Our past isn’t just where we came from -- it’s who we are.” Snyder, beyond anecdotal backing, also cited a 2004 poll of Native Americans that supported the name.
“The highly respected Annenberg Public Policy Center polled nearly 1,000 self-identified Native Americans from across the continental U.S. and found that 90% of Native Americans did not find the team name ‘Washington Redskins’ to be ‘offensive,’” Snyder said. Supporters of the Redskins name, like Snyder, ground arguments in tradition and pride in the nickname as an unifying moniker. Mason professor Eric Gary Anderson, coordinator of the Native American and Indigenous Studies minor has a different take. “The team’s management tells one story about the team name’s history, but it’s important to see their story as only one version of a more complicated and contentious history,” Anderson said. “Taking a look at not decades but centuries of American Indian history, and at not decades but centuries of Indian-white and Indian-nonwhite relations, what [be]comes clear is that this team’s name connects to an extensive history of American racism.” Anderson believes the name itself also paints a larger picture of relationships between Native Americans and society. “[The name] stereotypes Indians,” Anderson said. “And, very much connected, the name is an example of non-Indians defining and characterizing Indians. It’s much more important, and much more necessary, that Indians represent themselves and that Indians determine for themselves how they wish to be represented.” Anderson believes that the Redskins name is a racial slur and chooses not to call the team by their nickname. “Legally, I suppose the team has the right to keep its name,” Anderson said. “But morally and ethically, the team is in the wrong, in my view.”
(ILLUSTRATION BY KATRYNA HENDERSON/ FOURTH ESTATE)
The other poll cited in Snyder’s open letter as evidence of popular support for keeping the Redskins name was an April 2013 Associated Press survey where 79 percent of 1,004 respondents favored keeping the name while only 11 percent thought the name should be changed. “Sadly, I’m not all that surprised by the results of the poll you cite. Some Americans don’t realize that American Indians still exist, even,” Anderson said. “There is a huge amount of work to be done in raising awareness about American Indian history and about Indian cultures and experiences and perspectives.” Those who oppose the Redskins name, like Anderson, cite the general history of American culture ignoring the plight of Native Americans. “[It is right to point out] support for this team’s name connects to the U.S.’s ability and willingness to ignore Indians, to remove them, one way or another, from their land and to disappear them from contemporary, mainstream, dominant-culture life in general,” Anderson said. “And then to prop up this team name, and the image on the helmet and on all the merchandise, as a way of trying to argue that they/we are not ignoring them.” With all the debate from both sides of the argument, it could be
expected that fence-sitters, or those without a view on the issue, would be swayed one way or the other. Fourth Estate’s poll results said otherwise. 66.16 percent of respondents strongly disagreed or disagreed with the statement, ‘the recent debate over the name change has made me rethink my view on the Redskins name.’ The assumption could be made then that this issue elicits strong opinions from people. On this issue, there is seemingly no middle ground. The history of the team name dates back to 1932, when the team was located in Boston and the nickname was the ‘Braves.’ The next year, the team was renamed the ‘Redskins’ because of a decision by then-owner George Preston Marshall, which is where the story gets muddled. In 1933, the team fielded four Native American players and was led by head coach William Henry ‘Lone Star’ Dietz. Dietz claimed to be part-Sioux and in a Washington Post op-ed piece -- that has been lost to time -- Marshall’s granddaughter claimed that her grandfather renamed the team in Dietz’s honor. It remains a mystery today if Dietz was of Native American descent. In a 2013 paper, in the magazine of the Montana Historical Society, titled,
‘On Trial The Washington R*dskins’ Wily Mascot: Coach William ‘Lone Star’ Dietz,” Linda M. Waggoner’s key piece of evidence against Dietz’s Sioux heritage was a June 1919 federal trial against Dietz. In the trial, Dietz was accused of violating the Selective Service Law. The charges against him were falsely registering as “a non-citizen Indian of the U.S.” and making false statements related to his ability and eligibility to serve in the military The assistant district attorney believed that Dietz was a natural born citizen of the U.S. and was a white person born in Barron County, Wisconsin. After twists and turns in the trial, the jury failed to reach a verdict. In Waggoner’s opinion, Dietz lied about his Sioux heritage. The results of our poll as well as the man-on-the-street survey we conducted show that the Mason community’s views align with the popular opinion. Anderson has taken the informal opinion of the indigenous students at Mason. “I’ve talked with Indigenous students -- members of the GMU Native American and Indigenous Alliance as well as students in my classes,” Anderson said. “They don’t come to a unanimous consensus about the name, but I would say that the majority of the Native students I’ve talked to about this agree that
A long-lasting disgrace
Hail to tradition
JOHN HILL STAFF WRITER
ALEXIS LAHR STAFF WRITER I’m going to go out on a limb and say I know that those who want to keep the name are not ruthless, mean people. What I do know is that they are seeing the ordeal in an egotistical, narrow-minded fashion. In his open letter to the public regarding the Redskins name controversy, team owner Dan Snyder went off on a nostalgic tangent as he recalled all the amazing memories he created as a child at his first Redskins game. To Snyder, I pose a question- why would changing the name to be culturally accepting obliterate fond childhood memories? The answer is that it wouldn’t. My own question is this- why is it historically so incredibly difficult for Americans to acknowledge and fix racial inequality? Are people that afraid of losing tradition? At one point in history, slavery was traditional. And it took an alarmingly long time for people to settle down and accept that it is never a good tradition to treat minorities with such blatant disrespect. Nowadays, it is completely socially unacceptable to express noticeable racism - so people express it in more subtle ways for no reason other than that they are afraid of change. Those same individuals that claim the Redskins name simply can’t be changed because their childhood memories are so important also like to say that the name was given to honor the Native American people. This is literally hilarious- it is so ridiculous that you would think it is a satire. You see, there is no possible way we can argue that the name was given with positive intent. The name was probably given a long time ago to cash out on the popularity of “Indians” in old western films and such. Americans have absolutely never honored the Native American people, and most don’t pay enough attention to know that they are an incredibly impoverished culture. Reservation life is terrible, and those who live there are stricken with sky-high rates of poverty, obesity, diabetes, violence and teen suicide. Also, please take a closer look at the name itself: Redskins. The name is an obvious racial slur regarding the skin color of a certain nationality. It would not go over well if a team was named the Yellowskins, Brownskins or Whiteskins. If it is so difficult to prove that a team name is not offensive, the odds are that it is. If the name of the team were to be changed, America would be taking a great step to banish one of the most prominent displays of racism in the public eye. For now, some people will cry and whine about how they have lost all of their happy childhood memories and there is no tradition left in the world.
Q. Do you think the Washington Redskins should change their name?
A controversy surrounds the Washington Redskins because of their name. “Redskin” is a term that was used to describe the Native American people and it is supposedly offensive to some, which is odd because, when examining history, one would find that they gave that name to themselves. Regardless, some people are upset and there’s been a big push to change this team name that’s been around since the early 1930s because it’s supposedly a derogatory slur. Someone offended by the name must have asked by now why the name was changed to “redskins” in the first place. If they had, they might have a feeling of pride, rather than offense. In 1933, after the team moved to Fenway Park, their name was changed to “redskins” by George Preston Marshall. Why would a football team purposefully give themselves a name that was seen as something negative? The Washington Redskins were named the “redskins” to honor the coach at that time, Lone Star Dietz, an American Sioux. “Redskin” wasn’t seen as negative, nor was it used as a negative term, but instead it was used with honor and respect. It’s pretty clear the name was only given for positive reasons. This is Washington Redskin heritage, and to remove the name now would be disrespectful to the coach and the Native American people that he proudly represented. It’s no wonder the National Annenberg Election Survey from 2004 shows that 90 percent of Native Americans say the Washington Redskin’s name doesn’t bother them, because it isn’t meant to bother them and never was. I’d certainly hope the name doesn’t bother them, considering they’ve given some of their own high schools the “redskins” name on Indian reservations and in other areas with high populations of Native Americans. Surely, they wouldn’t use a derogatory slur to name their schools with? If the name was meant to honor a Native American, a survey shows the name doesn’t bother the population as a whole, and Native Americans have named some of their own high schools the “redskins”, then why in the world should we demand the Washington Redskins change their name? From Bob Costas to Barack Obama, it seems like everyone is weighing in on this issue. Instead of looking at the facts, these people demanding a name change are just contributing to the start of a fire just to get a little attention. Hail to the Redskins, best of luck to them with the rest of this season and many more seasons t o come under their historic team name, the Washington Redskins.
“No, we shouldn’t. The name is a tradition and it’s a tradition of D.C. It seems silly to change it since most reports say Native Americans don’t care about the name.”
“I don’t really know much about the debate of the name but it seems like a traditional name and there’s no reason to change it now.”
Andres Chovil, senior, government and international politics
Joe Seamster, freshman, undeclared
“If Native Americans are offended, then change it. If they’re not, then it’s no big deal.” Luis Vallesteros, freshman, government and international politics
“There’s no reason to change the name. It’s not offensive. I mean, red skin is the name of a potato, and the name has always stood.” Tiﬀany Kornegay, freshman, global aﬀairs
Oct. 21, 2013
Why fake rivalries stink
(PHOTO COURTESY OF GOMASON.COM)
DANIEL GREGORY ASST. SPORTS EDITOR Last week, Mason and George Washington University announced the beginning of the Revolutionary Rivalry, in which the two athletic departments will compete in a seasonlong series across all sports. Each school earns points from victories against the rival school. At the end of the year, the school with the most points earns the Tri-Corner Hat Trophy. Can you feel the excitement? Does the tradition overwhelm you? Are you brimming with hate for GW? Of course the answer to all of those questions is simple: No. The announcement of the rivalry bothered me on so many levels that it’s difficult to know where to begin my argument. First of all, you cannot just say, “Hey you’re close by, lets be rivals” and expect it to pan out. Rivalries are supposed to be based in history, tradition and genuine dislike. There is none of that between Mason and GW. Sure, both schools are named after founding fathers, but the basketball teams have only played 12 times in 47 years of Mason athletics. Mason is a basketball school. The Atlantic 10 is a basketball conference. Mason already established a rival in the A-10. It’s VCU. Mason students hated VCU when Mason was in the CAA. VCU students hated Mason. This is the school that chanted “What’s in your wallet?” when Andre Cornelius was shooting free throws the same season he was suspended for credit card fraud. Clearly the hostility exists, but you cannot ignore the history either. Both teams made historic Final Four runs in the past ten years, and the basketball games between the schools
were epic. VCU waxed Mason in the CAA Tournament the last time they played, but that was one game after Sherrod Wright knocked down a buzzer beater to end one of the most exciting games I’ve ever seen. Why create a new rivalry when Mason can grow an established one? So Mason wants another rivalry within the A-10. Creating this competition across all sports might help create interest, but these first few years are going to be a struggle. Imagine this spring: Mason and GW are tied in the Revolutionary Rivalry. The baseball game between the two schools will decide who will win the Tri-Corner Hat Trophy. Would Mason students actually go all the way to Arlington to see who gets crowned the victor? Students hardly go to games of the week and those have free food. The Tri-Corner Hat Trophy is about the only redeeming feature of the Revolutionary Rivalry at this point. The schools borrowed this idea from college football. Drawing inspiration from The Old Brass Spittoon (Indiana vs. Michigan St.) and The Platypus Trophy (Oregon vs. Oregon St.), Mason and GW will compete for an obscure artifact. The only thing that could make this better would be a ceremonial crowning of the victor’s athletic director when the yearly competition ends. When I first heard about the new “rivalry,” I thought the architects applied some Rage Against the Machine logic here. You know, like Guerilla Radio:“It has to start somewhere. It has to start sometime. What better place than here, what better time than now?” While I know the song might not have inspired this rivalry, the idea behind it applies. Why not start a rivalry? Ultimately, rivalries take years to develop. In 25 years, the Revolutionary Rivalry could very well be relevant. I honestly hope it is, but for right now and for a while to come, this rivalry is bogus.