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FOURTH ESTATE November 14, 2016 | Volume 4 Issue 10 George Mason University’s official student news outlet | @IVEstate

6 Mason gets out the vote


Visiting filmmakers series


Club sport of the week: Underwater Hockey

Fourth Estate

2 11.14.2016



MacKenzie Reagan

Crime Log Nov. 5

2016-032801 / Destruction/Damage/ Vandalism of Property Complainant (GMU) reported intentional damage to a vehicle

Fairfax Ice Arena is hiring part time:  Cashiers/Café/

Customer Service We offer Flexible schedules and a great work environment. Fairfax Ice Arena will provide training for all positions. Hourly Rates: $10 –$12.00 (depending on experience)


on Duty (Part-time)

• Candidates must be dependable, honest, and self-motivated. • Must be available on weekends • Excellent customer service skills • Previous experience in a supervisory/training position Hourly Rates: $14 – 16/hour

West Lot| Inactive | 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Sosan Malik Managing Editor

Jennifer Shaskan Online Editor

Todd Gonda Copy Chief

Megan Zendek Art Director

Natalia Kolenko Campus Editor

Taylor Wichtendahl

Nov. 9

2016-032994 / Disorderly Conduct / Destruction/ Damage/Vandalism of Property / Intimidation Subject (GMU) was referred to Office of Student Conduct (OSC) for acting disorderly, intimidating a complainant (GMU), and destroying property during a dispute. Lincoln Hall | Referred to OSC | 10:17 PM

Culture Editor

David Schrack Sports Editor

Naomi Folta Photo Editor

Billy Ferguson Graphics Editor

Regine Victoria Social Media Editor

Emmett Smith

Nov. 10

2016-033017 / Stalking Complainant (GMU) reported receiving dozens of unwanted messages from a former intimate partner (GMU). Fairfax Campus| Referred to Title IX | Multiple Times

Distribution Manager

Kathryn Mangus Director

David Carroll Associate Director

Leslie Steiger Fiscal and Operations Assistant Director

Alyssa Swaney Sales Team

Wesley Ward Sales Team


Vice president-elect Mike Pence speaks at a campaign rally in the Hub on Nov. 5. Photo by Mimi Albano.

Please email Todd Martin at: or pick up an application at 3779 Pickett Road Fairfax, VA 22031


Fourth Estate is printed each Monday for George Mason University and its surrounding Fairfax community. The editors of Fourth Estate have exclusive authority over the content that is published. There are no outside parties that play a role in the newspaper’s content, and should there be a question or complaint regarding this policy, the Editor-in-Chief should be notified at the email provided. Fourth Estate is a free publication, limit one copy per person. Additional copies are 25 cents payable to the Office of Student Media. Mail Fourth Estate George Mason University Mail stop 2C5 4400 University Drive Fairfax, Va. 22030 Phone 703-993-2950



Campus News



Adjunct faculty demand change Mason’s Adjunct Faculty Task Force publishes report in response to petition NINA MOTAZEDI | STAFF WRITER

Mason’s Adjunct Faculty Task Force recently published a report recommending an increase in current adjunct faculty conditions. Mason’s Provost, Davis S. Wu, established this task force back in March 2015 to identify issues in the adjunct faculty population, partly in response to a petition created by the Mason Coalition of Academic Labor and Service Employees International Union Local 500. The Mason Coalition of Academic Labor is a coalition of faculty, staff and students working to improve contingent faculty conditions, and the Service Employees International Union is an education and public service union. Upon creation, the task force developed an Institutional Review Board survey, a committee established to review and approve research involving human subjects according to their website. This review board then sent the survey out to about 1,000 adjunct faculty members for the fall 2015 semester. According to the survey report, 535 adjunct faculty responded to the survey, although the specific number of responses varies slightly between questions. “I think the survey is very well done. I think it’s a very thoughtful survey that gives a more accurate picture of our adjunct faculty population and it also provides a more balanced representation of what they are,” Wu said. While some believe that this information is helpful, others say the report merely confirms information already known. The study “Indispensable but Invisible,” published in 2014 by doctoral students and contingent faculty members Marisa Allison, Randy Lynn and Victoria Hoverman, found similar areas of concern in their study of the contingent faculty population at Mason, which consists of all non-tenure track faculty, not only adjunct faculty. “I actually think that they [the Adjunct Faculty Task Force] list off a whole lot of recommendations that are very

similar to the ones we came up with for our own research,” Allison, a doctoral candidate in Mason’s Sociology Department and one of the writers of the study, said. One such similarity between the two includes a desire for adjunct faculty to obtain a full-time teaching position and participate in research. The task force found that 232 adjunct faculty members indicated an interest in full-time, non-tenure line positions and 174 indicated an interest in full-time, tenure-line positions. Additionally, 241 adjunct faculty are interested in conducting research with Mason colleagues and 235 are interested in writing scholarly articles. “The goal for a lot of people is to work in academia… I don’t feel like a small raise is going to make me feel wanted anymore than what I get paid now, whereas some kind of path to employment would get me really excited,” Derek Sweetman, a graduate lecturer for the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, said.

respective departments’ web pages and that academic units should be more inclusive of adjunct faculty members, whether that involves invitations to faculty meetings or special events. The report notes that respect averaged the lowest overall satisfaction among participants at 2.96 on a 5 point scale. The report also addresses issues regarding compensation and recommends increasing “minimum salary figures, aligning adjunct faculty compensation with other comparable institutions in the area.” The task force found that adjunct faculty who teach at other institutions in the area are less satisfied with their overall Mason experience (mean of 3.78) than the overall satisfaction of faculty who only teach at Mason (mean of 4.02). These respondents cite a number of benefits available for them at other institutions, some of which include free or reduced parking fare, discounts and the ability to work on research grants. Although Mason has comparable pay to

other institutions in the area, how much one is paid is determined at a college and departmental level, Wu said. “The variation [in pay] is pretty significant, even within our own university… it is a lot of times driven by their specific disciplinary considerations, this is I guess in many ways the market at work,” Wu said. According to Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Task Force Co-Chair Deborah BoehmDavis, the 41 percent of respondents who are not retired or do not work full time are impacted the most by low wages. Wu said the university is looking to adjust the pay matrix over time since “there is a part of the adjunct population that is paid close to that minimal level,” and that increasing wages is “important to keep ourselves competitive.” Much of the financial constraints Mason is experiencing is due to reduced state funding. Because of the state’s budget shortfalls, planned pay raises will not occur this year.

Public universities across the country have experience reduced state and federal funding in the past several decades and, as a result, universities have had to push the burden onto the consumers, students, staff and the faculty, Sweetman, who considers the corporate model of higher education “a symptom” of decreased governmental support, said. “Mason could be integral in coming up with a solution, but to come up with a solution we need to be having those larger discussions that are far beyond ‘Do I get a faculty permit or not?’” Sweetman said. Although Virginia prohibits collective bargaining for public employees, Anne McLeer, the director of research and strategic planning for Service Employees International Union Local 500, advises faculty members to organize and voice their concerns, “because you’re going to have to hold the university accountable for implementing these recommendations.”

Other issues the Adjunct Faculty Task Force report found included hiring difficulties, lack of support, lack of or confusing communication, lack of professional development and lack of respect/inclusion. The report provided a list of recommendations, for the university as a whole and for individual academic units, to go along with their findings. “Anything that requires significant institutional investment from a financial perspective is something that feels like it’s hard to do right now… Things like putting together resources and creating information for people and being more visible about those kinds of things is something that we can definitely do this year with the resources we have,” Kim Eby, associate provost for faculty development at Mason, said. Eby and others are currently working on compiling information into a web page specifically devoted to adjunct faculty, which is in line with the task force’s recommendation. As for departmental changes, the task force recommends that all adjunct faculty have an online presence on their



Campus News




GMU hosts Christians United for Israel panel The panel was met with protests from Students for Justice in Palestine. RYAN COONEY | STUDENT GOVERNMENT BEAT

The Christians United for Israel (CUFI) at GMU held a panel discussion in the Johnson Center Gold Room Saturday, Nov 5. The moderator at the talk was Jessica Marzucco, national director of CUFI on campus, with speakers Izzy Ezagui, Jonathan Schanzer and Noah Pollak participating. The purpose of this panel was to explain, discuss and inform those in attendance about some of the intricacies of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, a conflict that dates back to the inception of Israel in 1948 following a United Nations mandate. Specific topics would include the work of Israel’s military and the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, a movement with a large backing from Palestine that seeks to deter groups from doing business with Israel. The first speaker was Izzy Ezagui, a decorated veteran of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Ezagui’s talk was on a more personal level. He spoke about his personal experiences, beginning with his family’s change to becoming practicing Jews at the age of eight. He said that at age 13 he and his family narrowly missed a terrorist attack that killed 130 people when they visited Israel for his Bar Mitzvah. At 18, Ezagui again traveled to Israel, this time with the Birthright Israel

group. Birthright Israel is a nonprofit educational group that sponsors free 10 day heritage trips to Israel for young Jewish adults. It was during this trip that Ezagui met an IDF Special Forces soldier his age, and following many conversations, Ezagui decided to enlist. At 19 he began his service, and following nine and a half months of training he was ready to serve. In 2008, Ezagui was sent to protect the Gaza border, and after two and a half weeks his group received orders to prepare to cross the border. Ezagui, though, would not make the trip: while he was still in camp a mortar round, a small artillery shell used to damage enemy positions or injure and kill enemy combatants, exploded within feet of him, resulting in the loss of his left arm. This did not stop Ezagui though, as he continued to serve with IDF as a combat commander and today serves with the Special Forces Reserves.

is not only discriminatory, but also has many alarming connections to Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist group. Pollak, however, went even further, stating that Students for Justice in Palestine, a registered student organization at Mason, also has ties to Hamas. Pollak added that the Students for Justice in Palestine is fronting as a group that is sympathetic to social justice but in fact has radical Islamists working behind the scenes. As it happens, Students for Justice in Palestine was hosting a conference at Mason from Nov. 4 to 6 and, following the conclusion of the panel discussion, many gathered in the lobby outside. Pollak told the group that he would be

protesting the conference and explained how the protest would work. A legal expert on the First Amendment and civil rights also explained to the group what could and could not be said, as well as what actions could be taken during the protest. Marching orders in hand, the group boarded an elevator and on the journey to the third floor of the Johnson Center, the elevator stopped in between floors. Following a 20 minute wait, the group was rescued by Fairfax County firefighters, thanks in large part to Mason Police Officer Ed Gannon who was with the group at the time.

reassembled his forces and, signs held high, they assembled outside the conference area. Over the course of an hour, the anti-Students for Justice in Palestine group engaged in some taunting, with little response from the group other than the turning of backs and the playing of music to drown out the protests. When asked about his take of the protests, Pollak said, “It’s about time that we’ve come to the SJP’s back yard, and it feels good to speak the truth about SJP. It’s time they saw that they’re free ride is over.” At the time of this writing, SJP was unavailable for comment.

Undeterred by this setback, Pollak

The next speakers, Schanzer, vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and Pollak, executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, both discussed the economic and social side of the disagreements between Israel and Palestine. Schanzer cited that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, is nothing more than economic warfare at its most basic level, while Pollak compared the movement to a hate group. Schanzer also noted that the movement


Students in Justice for Palestine protested Israel panel discussion at the Johnston Center on Saturday, Nov. 5.

Finding your voice Sophomore Emily Smith tells her story about family prescription drug abuse at TEDxErie GRACE ZIPPERER | STAFF WRITER

The livestream of TEDxErie picks up, and a soft male British voice speaks alongside a vibrant video backdrop and says, “Today you are part of a global conversation about our shared future.” It is Nov. 5, and time to watch sophomore psychology student Emily Smith present her first TEDx talk. According to the voice, “TEDx is an initiative of the TED conference, a non-profit devoted to ideas worth

spreading,” but it is independently organized by local communities. After applying and months of waiting, Emily said she finally had the chance to live her dream in helping to normalize the conversation of addiction on one of the world’s most powerful platforms. The room of the historic Warner theater hushes, the drum beat stops. Standing in front of the iconic red block letters, Emily announces she is fighting for her life. In order to know why, she starts with her most vivid memory of her mother. Every

week, her mother would meticulously lay out her pills, one pile by one pile, in a perfect row on their kitchen counter in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Emily’s mother fell into a generational addiction cycle of prescription drug abuse, just like her mother and her mother’s mother. She left when Emily was 12. Emily’s dad, however, broke the cycle. Mark Smith grew up with cerebral palsy, taking care of himself with two alcoholic parents, whose parents before them were alcoholics. Emily said Mark is her inspiration, her best friend.

Ultimately, though, Emily knows it’s up to her whether she can break her family’s legacy of addiction to save her life. Emily’s mom is currently dying in hospice due to organ failure. Emily said she was just a physical presence in Emily’s childhood, never able to provide emotional support. Most of the time she would sleep after taking her pills. One night when Emily was 10, she decided instead to be a “functioning addict.” One thing led to another, and all Emily can remember nearly 10 years later is locking the door of one room with her

and her father on the inside while her mother was holding a knife on the other side. Mark called 911 and the police showed up about 30 minutes later. Emily remembers feeling numb. Then she saw her mother being taken by the police. Right before she was walked out, she looked at Emily and kind of murmured sorry. That’s when Emily said she broke down. (EMILY, continued on page 5)



(EMILY, from page 4) Once her parents got divorced when she was 12, she rarely saw her mother. Sometimes she would get an out-ofthe-blue text saying something lewd or hurtful. Here is the one she presented at her TEDx Talk: “You need to take a class on mental illness. I have hurt you over the years but you have hurt me too. I cannot take it anymore. I am giving up,” the text read. It’s moments like these Emily said she has to dig deep into herself to find some empathy. Nearly a week before her TEDx talk, Emily said, “I look at her and it’s hard. She wrecked part of my life. But I have to realize that she isn’t all there, she isn’t healthy.” Because of her mother’s mental illness, Emily said her mother chose to put her addiction before her family. She had a choice.

Campus News Emily knows it’s still not going to be an easy path. For her TEDx Talk, for instance, Emily presented Harvard scientists’ research on epigenetics. “Epigenetics is the evolutionary pool of certain genes that affect how our brain works,” Emily said. Because of her two generational addition cycles on both sides of her family tree, and given she grew up with an addict, Emily is four times more likely to suffer from addiction. Yet Emily emphasizes that evolution and environment aren’t the only factors at play; she knows she has the same choice as her mother.


legacies. In high school she received the chance to volunteer for an adolescent drug and alcohol counseling rehab center. She felt she made an honest connection with those teens. She knew what they were going through.

as she is, her story was so real. She certainly set the bar for anyone else,” D’Silva said.

Emily’s vulnerable, genuine nature came across as so powerful in her TEDx application video that no one out of the 20 volunteers who chose the final eight speakers out of the 40 applicants voted against her, according to TEDxErie curator Jonathan D’Silva.

“I think she made a connection to people because they saw themselves in her. We all have struggles but she brought inspiration. People come to TEDx events to hear the speakers because they bring ideas with soul to the platform,” Stone said.

“No one really saw any need to discuss it. She was in,” D’Silva said.

“You see, every alcoholic took that first drink. Every addict took that first drug. And it’s knowing one’s risk, and knowing my risks, that I know not to go down those paths,” Emily said.

D’Silva said that they decided to open with Emily because her story spoke to this year’s theme for TEDxErie, Don’t Give up the Ship, in a more direct and unique way than their other speakers.

Emily knows it will be her purpose in life to help others make the choice not to go down those paths despite their family’s

“Emily is fighting in the now. With others, more time had elapsed with their stories. For someone as young

Lesia Stone, a TEDx talk coach, specifically requested to work with Emily after seeing her submission video.

Emily said she is a firm believer that in order to start movements, you have to share stories. For her this meant overcoming a fear of speaking. As she wrote in her Odyssey article, The Courage to Speak Up, Emily said, “I’ve always sat and watched TED and TEDx talks and all of these amazing people and admired them for being so courageous and thought-provoking. I’ve always wanted to use my voice to make


a difference, but never quite knew how. As I started writing, I found my voice. I found I was so passionate about something that it led me to using my voice. If I could write it on paper, why can’t I speak about it?” Emily added that her comfort in saying things on paper but fear to speak in public comes in part from her father. For Mark and Emily, her TEDx talk was the quintessence of a way of life they share: not generational addiction, but their willingness to risk failure in the pursuit of success. “For Emily to get up on that stage and present her truth took an incredible amount of courage,” Mark said. Emily said she knows what it’s like to not have the courage to speak. But she wants her fellow Mason students to know that they can overcome that fear for greater mobility in conversations that are affecting our world in this very moment. You have a choice.

Bridging religious gaps Embrace Diversity at GMU hosts Interfaith Dinner to bring together people of different faiths SARAH BASSIL | STAFF WRITER

Embrace Diversity at GMU hosted an Interfaith Dinner Nov. 4. According to their website, Embrace Diversity is a group that wants to “create a space in which people of all backgrounds, whether they identify by a certain ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender or sexual orientation, come together to share their experiences and to learn from one another.” The interfaith dinner was held in coordination with Mason Hillel, which is an organization whose mission is to “enrich the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the

world,” according to Hillel’s website. The event was hosted in Dewberry Hall in the Johnson Center and drew a significant crowd. Mason students from many different religious and ethnic backgrounds were in attendance, including Jewish, Muslim, Baha’i and Christian students. Activities from the night included a roundtable that encouraged students to introduce themselves and discuss their faiths. Mason student Fatma Gdoura shared her thoughts about the event and said, “This event is very well organized, they did a good job reaching out to various groups of people and from various denominations. Personally, I am from the Muslim Student Association, and

I had the pleasure to have friends that encouraged me to come tonight.” As the event was on Shabbat, which is the Jewish Sabbath, Hillel member and representative at the dinner Juliana Moskowitz led Kiddush, or the ceremonial prayer, before dinner was served. Speeches from students of different faiths were given, highlighting the dinner’s commitment to open dialogue. Mason student and Hillel member Olivia Vita expressed her appreciation for the “safe space” and said, “I am just really happy that there is a space being made here at Mason where everybody can come just freely and comfortably be himself or herself. I am thankful to be here.”

This event was also held at the same time the GMU Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) hosted the 2016 National Students for Justice in Palestine Conference, which had events around the D.C. metropolitan area and on Mason’s Fairfax campus.

“Conversations like this fail to recognize the reality of Palestinian life under Israeli apartheid, where Palestinian land and culture are continuously appropriated and violence that targets all Palestinians and particularly Palestinian youth and students,” Black said.

Across the U.S., many organizations such as SAIA have been growing in numbers and support as the conflict between the state of Israel and the Palestinian territories goes into its seventh decade.

All in all, the event served as a space for open discussion about the diverse student population at Mason, the dinner’s host Cecile Wolfe said.

When asked about his thoughts regarding the dinner, Mason student and SAIA core member Noah Black expressed his concern about the event.

“It’s our hope that tonight will be one of religious learning, broadening our knowledge of the many faiths represented tonight and to broaden our perspectives,” Wolfe said.



Campus News




Get out the vote A breakdown of Mason voting On Nov. 8, many Mason students voted in their first presidential election. Below are data from Mason Votes’ exit poll of 500 students. In addition to voting for the 45th president, students and other area residents voted on other issues. Here’s a breakdown of how Fairfax County voted:

Meals tax: No (54 percent) Right-to-work: No (56 percent) Tax exemption for surviving spouses of first responders: Yes (80 percent) Transportation bond: Yes (65 percent) Parks bond: Yes (65 percent)

President: Clinton/Kaine (65 percent)

Human services bond: Yes (62 percent)

Congress (11th District): Connolly (D) (unopposed) Congress (10th District): Comstock (R) (51 percent)

statistics via

Congress (8th District): Beyer (D) (65 percent)




Campus News



Student Government Night Walk A look at Mason’s infrastructure RYAN COONEY | STUDENT GOVERNMENT BEAT

The scene inside the Office of Student Involvement was anything but quiet Nov. 3. A sea of people milled around and engaged in conversation, while sophomore Danni Gonyo ran around ensuring that every last detail was finalized for the evening’s Night Walk. A tradition dating back to the ‘80s and initially created by Mason’s student government, Night Walk serves as a way for students and administrators to connect while also identifying problem areas on campus. Gonyo is the chairwoman of the Mason Student Senate committee for University Services. For the Night Walk, Gonyo, sophomore Senate Clerk Brendan Sullivan, freshman Senator and Executive Secretary of Government & Community Relations for the Senate Sunita Ganesh and Marc Fournier, assistant vice president of Business Services for Auxiliary Enterprises, would tour sections of Mason’s campus looking for infrastructure problems.

Their group would be group one of 15, with each group comprised of student government officials and at least one member of the Mason administration team. Overall, 17 administrators and almost all of student government were present for the night’s activities. While awaiting the arrival of Fournier, Ganesh and Sullivan sat and talked about hometowns and discussed punctuation on a number of Senate resolutions that Sullivan was working on finalizing. Gonyo continued her efforts to organize everyone and get them started on their section of campus. Soon Fournier arrived, and after a round of introductions and pleasantries, the group was off, taking the stairs to the top level of the Hub before emerging onto Rivanna River Way, the road that cuts between the Hub and Southside. Taking a right, they headed for the loading docks and the small parking area behind the Hub. Here, they identified the need for more lighting, as well as a stop sign for traffic re-entering Rivanna River Way, as one does not currently exists. Heading down the road, the group engaged in some light

conversation, and Fournier took the time to answer some questions. Fournier has been with Mason for almost three years now, and this year marks his third time participating in Night Walk. “I love being able to participate in events such as Night Walk, as it allows me to get out of the office and work with the students while also creating that connection between the administrators and students,” Fournier said, “which is so vital to our continuing work of improving campus.” Making their way to the parking lot on Buffalo Creek Court, Fournier kept true to his word, discussing hometowns and food with Ganesh, while also talking about sports and the latest highlights from college football with Sullivan. As they looked around the lot, they again noticed that more could be done in terms of lighting. As Gonyo noted it on her clipboard, the group again moved out, taking the path to Eastern Shore. Following the path behind Eastern Shore, the group identified a number of lamp posts that were out, including some at Pilot House. From here the

group began to circle back, this time taking the walking bridges that connect Eastern Shore and the Commons. Here the team noted there were some loose boards, as well as missing parts to the bridge’s railings. Reaching the other side, the group split up, with Sullivan and Fournier inspecting Dominion, Franklin and Grayson, while Ganesh and Gonyo inspected the rest of the Commons. During this part, they found that a walking path side light could use a new bulb, and the light outside of Carroll could use an increase in wattage. Overall, the biggest concern was the need for a new safety barrier arm outside of Southside that would prevent cars from driving onto campus walkways. Rejoining with Fournier and Sullivan, Ganesh and Gonyo’s group learned that the other group found some areas of improvement as well, including lighting with exposed wiring, a student-made path behind Grayson that had numerous drop-offs and a lack of railing on the stairs outside of Dominion. From here the group made its way past Southside, noting numerous lights out on the walkway that connects Southside with

Skyline Fitness Center, the walkway that connects Southside with its iconic tower and one on Skyline itself. Taking a right, the group walked towards Sandbridge, the outer edge of their zone. Finding no issues along this path, they turned back towards the Hub and again engaged in conversation, with Gonyo and Fournier discussing current and prospective dining establishments on campus. Outside the Hub, the group noted that the lighting situation could be improved here as well and discussed the possibility of creating a new crosswalk and set of ramps that would go straight from the stairs at Southside to the walking path beside the Hub. Having finished the inspection of their zone, the group made their way back to the Office of Student Involvement. “We definitely filled our sheet with issues tonight, which is a great thing. We want campus to be better, and our overall goal is to recognize what we have fixed, and what we can still improve on,” Gonyo said. At the time of this writing, student government is still working to create a full report on all issues identified by the 15 groups.

New name, new school The School of Policy, Government and International Affairs gets $10 million and a new name SARMAT CHOWDHURY | STAFF WRITER

Mason’s growing and expanding school of government has a new name. Formerly known as the School of Policy, Government and International Affairs, the school’s name has been changed to the Schar School of Policy and Government. The name change follows a merger between the School of Public Policy and the department of Public and International Affairs. The name is in honor of American businessman and philanthropist Dwight C. Schar. The founder of NVR Inc., one of the largest home builders in the United States, Schar is no stranger to the Mason community, in part because of his familial ties to the school but also due to his philanthropic nature. According to the Schar school’s website,

Schar has served on the Mason Board of Trustees, established an endowed faculty chair, supported Mason’s Center for Regional Analysis and was part of the formation of the Stephen Fuller Institute, which analyzes the economic strengths of the region and the greater Commonwealth. In 2003, Schar received the Mason Medal, the university’s highest honor. According to the News at Mason website, the Mason Medal is awarded to those recognized by Mason administration for a record of service to their community, state or nation. The service also has to be consistent with the level and quality of the historical figure George Mason’s public service to his community, state and nation. Schar’s latest pledge of $10 million, along with the past contributions that he and his family have made to Mason, led to the school changing its name to

reflect the dedication that Schar has shown to the program and Mason. “[SPGIA] was a confusing and embarrassingly long name that didn’t work. President Cabrera would make a joke whenever he would have to mention the name as if he was not saying it correctly, and he would defer to me to accurately state the name; School of Policy, Government and International Affairs,” Mark Rozell, the current dean of the Schar school, said. However, Rozell emphasized that the name change involved more than just aesthetics. He added he was quite proud of the fact that the pledge, along with the name change, would give Schar and Mason a competitive edge, especially over D.C. schools such as Georgetown University, George Washington University and American University, due to its better marketability. “There has been a media campaign to

advertise the school, utilizing Metro ads, radio ads, et cetera. Web clicks are up compared to years pasts’. We have also seen higher turnouts in the open houses for our graduate programs,” Rozell said. Though the donation consists of $10 million, the funds will be distributed to the school on a five-year basis with installments of $2 million each year. To determine how the pledged funds will be spent and allocated, a faculty-composed committee is currently reviewing the allocation plans and process.

Recently, the Schar School and the Washington Post launched an initiative to conduct political polls in Virginia over the next year. According to the school’s website, the project will focus on polling opinions within the Commonwealth on local and state-level issues, making Mason the destination in the region for political and statistical analysis. The school will offer 14 degree programs for more than 2,000 enrolled students being taught by 80 full-time faculty members.

“It is important to note that [Schar] wanted to ensure that the donor agreement was public, and made clear that donation was an unrestricted gift with no influence on spending,” Rozell said. Rozell also stressed the importance of the development of the relationship between Schar and the Schar School for the future.







Destination D.C.

Things to do before you graduate DINANDA PRAMESTI | STAFF WRITER

1. Visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture The opening of the new Smithsonian museum has guests from all over the nation visiting the district to get a sense of African-American history and culture. With racial issues at the forefront of this nation, people are seeking to gain more knowledge of African American history. During the opening ceremony, President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush made speeches about how important this museum is to the American people. This museum’s opening day in September was crowded with celebrities, dignitaries and politicians. So far,


this museum has held film screenings such as “Moonlight,” which is about an African-American male growing up questioning his sexuality when it was taboo to do so. Speakers and activists such as Bobby Seale, founder of the Black Panthers, have visited the museum and led discussions at the museum theater about black rights and black empowerment. The museum has been a popular attraction, with timed passes selling out through March of 2017, so students should get their tickets fast before they are gone. 2. See a show at U Street Music Hall or 9:30 Club From big name DJs to up-and-coming artists, these two concert venues are top destinations for college students to

let loose during the weekend. U Street Music Hall is a basement dance club and live music venue. It can hold up to 500 people, and many up-and-coming artists start their careers here. Artists such as Troye Sivan and Krewella have performed at U Street Music Hall and went on to have prominent careers. U Street Music Hall is also partnered with U Street Music Foundation,an organization supporting D.C.’s growing music scene and a music education program for D.C. youths. The 9:30 Club is a more popular destination for music lovers. It’s also located on U Street and it has more of a reputation for having well-established artists perform. Artists and bands such as Sia, Deadmau5 and Good Charlotte have performed live at this venue. The 9:30 Club is also a part of the U Street Music Foundation.

3. Food Truck Stations There are many food truck location stations in D.C. people can enjoy the wide variety of food from different nations from Japan to India. The food trucks are lined up from bumper to bumper in places like L’Enfant Plaza and Rosslyn next to sidewalks and in front of office buildings, museums and empty fields. 4. Visit as many Smithsonian museums as you can! With 19 different museums and galleries and the National Zoological Park, there’s always something to see in Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian museums are there to help you expand your knowledge a bit more on history, arts and culture. The


museums cover a variety of topics and fields of study, which means there is something for everyone. 5. Visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Opened just five years ago, the MLK memorial is a popular destination for visitors. Located on Independence Avenue near West Potomac Park, visitors can also enjoy the beautiful scenery across the Tidal Basin. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most celebrated historical figures and civil rights activists in the United States. Fully immerse yourself in this space filled with his memorable quotes highlighting his work as a civil rights activist in the 60s.




1. Hirshhorn Museum in DC. 2. CLASSIXX playing at 9:30 Club in DC. 3. One of the many exhibits at the National Portrait Galley in DC. 4. View of the Washington Monument from the tidal basin.






Local band debuts second album Stone Driver delivers innovative, eclectic rock at Fat Tuesday’s concert KATYA BEISEL | STAFF WRITER

At a concert Nov. 5 in Fat Tuesday’s at University Mall, local band Stone Driver celebrated the release of its second album, “Rocks,” where they played new tracks as well as old favorites from their earlier LP, “Descent.” A classically-inspired space rock band, their music is a diverse and eclectic mix of different rock subgenres, infusing a deep-rooted genre with new vibrancy. “It’s a little bit of rock, a little bit of grunge and a little blues,” lead vocalist John Gossart said from Fat Tuesday’s stage. Gossart is joined by drummer Dan Epley, bass guitarist and backup vocalist Tim Boyer and lead guitarist Chad Lesch. While the bandmates are scattered throughout the greater Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, they recorded the album at Zephyr Sage Studios in Falls Church. “Rocks” features nine new tracks and was produced by London-based sound designer, composer and mixer

Sefi Carmel of Soundtrack Creation Studios. A music industry veteran, Carmel has worked with artists such as Bruno Mars, David Bowie, Phil Collins, Michael Buble and Massive Attack. “Outside of the band really getting into a groove with new material, I think having Sefi Carmel agree to produce our album had a huge impact on our final product… getting his input, feedback and experience on our songs was absolutely invaluable,” Lesch said. The band said it took the better part of a year to make “Rocks.” The 10 months of work that went into the album saw new additions to the artists’ families, impromptu concerts and numerous rounds of re-writing and re-recording. Lesch said that the band has a number of disparate musical influences that they draw on. Melding all of those different styles and subgenres together and distilling them into a cohesive album is a delicate operation. Stone Driver’s inspirations span the full spectrum of rock subgenres and entire decades of musical innovation.

“Modern rock acts like Tool and Queens of the Stone Age, grunge and alternative rock bands like Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Jane’s Addiction and classic rock artists like Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd have all made a dent.” Lesch said, describing the band’s myriad influences. “There is also some funk thrown in there from Parliament Funkadelic, and some punk influences with the Melvins and Iggy and the Stooges.” The group identifies as working within the space rock genre, a style pioneered by psychedelic rock bands such as Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix. Characteristically, space rock music is defined by the use of sound manipulation, synthesizers and atmospherics to create a science fiction or out-of-this-world feel. Space-rock has influenced many popular rock groups not strictly inside the genre, including Muse, Radiohead, Thirty Seconds to Mars and Starset. Stone Driver’s diverse mix of influences makes describing their unique sound difficult. Both in “Rocks” and

“Descent”, their eclecticism shows. Epley’s percussion is full-throttle punk— as driving and heavy as any Buzzcocks, Misfits or Sex Pistols beat. Each track is built on a foundation of full-bodied and open percussion. Gossart and Boyer’s vocals belong to a different brand of rock. Their singing is throaty, powerful and gritty, reminiscent of grunge and alternative rock groups like Pearl Jam or Creed. Likewise, Lesch’s range stretches from blues, funk and psychedelic to classic hair and glam metal. Lesch and Boyer’s guitar skills feature prominently in each track, acting as the brick and mortar to Epley’s percussive foundation. The emphasis on guitar is a welcome throwback to classic rock principles. Overall, Stone Driver’s sound is reminiscent of the rock and roll of generations past, when rock music was dominated and defined by blistering electric guitar riffs and strong musicianship. However, with its vocal roots steeped in a southern rock tradition, complimented

by thoroughly punk rock beats, Stone Driver’s sound is a hybrid of old school rock and new age eccentricity. “In the short term we are stoked to get out playing again local... although recording an album is a lot of fun and very rewarding, nothing beats playing to a hometown crowd,” Lesch said. Lesch said the group plans to go on tour and play gigs in larger east coast cities like New York, Baltimore and Nashville. Lesch added that he would not be surprised if Stone Driver began to work on a third album as soon as late 2017. The band will play another concert locally Dec. 3 at the Epicure Café in Fairfax. They are currently booking shows for the winter of 2017. Fans can purchase both “Rocks” and “Descent” in MP3 format on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play. Stone Driver’s music can be heard online using Apple Music, SoundCloud, Spotify and Tidal.






In the market for fresh food?

Check out these area farmers markets before they close for the winter SYDNEY CANO | STAFF WRITER

Fairfax County has 11 different farmers markets to choose from. All the food sold at these markets must be grown from the vendor’s farm or made from scratch, so everything is fresh and natural. Some market locations include Lorton, McLean, Fairfax, Annandale, Alexandria and Burke. The farmers markets offer different vendors and take place on different days, so there’s time to visit them all! Here’s a little on a few of the markets: McLean: The McLean Farmers Market happens every Friday starting May 6 and ending Nov. 18 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Some of the vendors include Cocina Al Volo, Grace’s Pastries and Reid’s Orchard & Winery. Cocina Al Volo offers fresh Italian pasta and sauces that are made with fresh, organic ingredients. They recently opened a restaurant in Washington, D.C., called Osteria Al Volo, so if you can’t make it to the market you can check out their restaurant. Grace’s Pastries has been around for over 25 years and sells fresh treats including bread, cake and scones. Like Cocina Al Volo, Grace’s Pastries has a storefront in Herndon that also sells their fresh baked goods. Reid’s Orchard & Winery is a Pennsylvania-based family farm winery. The company came about in 1976 and sells its wines all over the DMV area. Along with selling at farmers markets, they also have two winery tasting rooms in Gettysburg, PA. You can attend the McLean Farmers Market easily via metro. Take the Mason Metro shuttle to the Vienna/ Fairfax-GMU Station and then ride the orange line to the East Falls Church stop. At East Falls Church, transfer to the Silver Line to the McLean Metro stop. It’s approximately a one-mile walk from the metro station to the market. An Uber from Mason to the McLean Farmers would cost approximately $20. If you drive, it will take about 25 minutes via I-495 N. Burke: The Burke Farmers Market happens every Saturday starting May 7 and runs until Dec. 17 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Some of the vendors that the Burke Farmers Market offers are Honeycomb

Heroes, Mt. Olympus Farm and Fresh Crunch. Honeycomb Heroes is a Falls Church-based company that produces raw honey and beeswax products. The company was started by veterans, hence the name. They own more than 200 hives and sell lip balm, pure beeswax, lotion and a variety of flavored honeys. Mt. Olympus Farms is a family farm that is located between Richmond and Fredericksburg. While you can go to their farm and pick your own produce, they also sell a variety of fruit and vegetables at the farmers market, including strawberries, pumpkins, blackberries and blueberries. Fresh Crunch sells a range of pickled products. They sell the classic pickle, pickled carrots, pickled beets and even a wasabi green bean. In regards to transportation, there are a variety of ways to get there. If you want to bus there, hop on the 17A towards the Pentagon. Get off at Burke Road and Ashbourn Drive, transfer to the 17L towards Burke and get off at the Burke VRE parking lot. Then the farmers market is less than half a mile’s walk from there. An Uber would cost around $11. If you drive it will take about 9 minutes via Roberts Road.

to $30. By driving you could get there in about 30 minutes via I-495 S. Something to take note of is that the farmers markets are not able to accommodate pets that aren’t service animals, so it’s best to leave your dog at home. Kristen Dalton, a senior majoring in communication, has attended a Fairfax County Farmers Market. Dalton said that she loves them, as they have a great ambiance and are very inclusive. “It’s like a little family, everyone knows another and they give out free samples. It’s like going to your favorite yoga class,” Dalton said. Most of the farmers markets do end in November or have ended in October, so go to the open ones and get fresh food while you can!

Alexandria: The McCutcheon/Mount Vernon Farmers Market happens every Wednesday starting May 4 and running until Dec. 14 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Some of the vendors that the McCutcheon/Mount Vernon Farmers Market offers are Great Harvest Bread Company, BorekG, and The Jammerie. Harvest Bread Company is a Burkebased bread company that sells fresh bread and baked goods. They offer a variety of fresh, homemade goods including granola, grain bread, mixes and cookies. BorekG is a vendor that sells homemade Turkish food, including baklava, hummus, baked eggplant, and borek. The Jammerie is an Alexandriabased company that produces jams, jellies, chutneys, syrups and more. They aim to have versatile, delicious products that can be used with toast, for meats and even for salad dressings. Along with the other vendors, the McCutcheon/Mount Vernon Farmers Market offers Grace’s Pastries and Honeycomb Heroes as well. The public transportation routes to get to this farmers market are a bit lengthy, so it would be best to drive or take an Uber. An Uber would cost around $25







Filmmaker series “City of Trees” brothers Lance and Brandon Kramer bring their film about the environment and jobs to campus CAROLA PATTY GORENA MORALES | STAFF WRITER

As part of the Visiting Filmmakers Series, the Film and Media Studies program, along with other university departments at Mason, hosted a screening of “City of Trees” Nov. 9. In a Q&A with the filmmakers following the screening, brothers Lance and Brandon Kramer shared with students the process of making their first feature film, “City of Trees.” They also discussed their most recent project, “The Messy Truth,” which focuses on starting healthy conversations in the aftermath of a hyper-political election season. “City of Trees” tells the story of a nonprofit after it receives a stimulus grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2010. This grant allowed for the hiring of 150 unemployed Washingtonians to help them gain the skills needed to get a job by planting trees and revitalizing parks in D.C. neighborhoods. But six months before the grant was set to expire, both staff and trainees faced not only the uncertainty of what would happen to this program and its employees, but also the challenge of trying to connect with and bring

change to a community in the District that is often left neglected. The idea for “City of Trees” came to the brothers when they started their search for a story after starting their own production company, Meridian Hill Pictures, in 2010. It was then that Lance and Brandon met Washington Parks and People, the nonprofit that is the center of their film and which is aimed at reducing chronic unemployment though a green job-training program for residents in Southeast D.C. There they met Charles Holcomb, one of the program’s trainees who would later become a leading participant in their film. “We were so fascinated by Charles,” Brandon said. “He was at this moment in his life where he was about to have his first kid, this was the first stable job that he had had for a while, he was so filled with hope and optimism and was coming from such a difficult painful point.” So they set out to capture a character-driven account of the challenges of living in a city with high unemployment rates. The film touches on themes of unemployment in urban areas, community distrust of outsiders and the difficulty

organizations have to push for change with limited resources. As the staff and trainees navigate these issues, the film does not try to generalize or offer a solution. “It’s a starting point, not an answer, not an end,” Lance said. Instead it gives an unobstructed and nuanced view into the challenges D.C. residents had to confront in the years following the recession. The character-driven storytelling that carries the film shows that there is immense value in simply being able to peek into the day-to-day lives of others. There are the heartfelt moments as Charles prepares for fatherhood, the letters and pictures he sends to his brother in prison and his perseverance in looking for a stable job. It also gives a view into the shoes of the organization’s director, Steve Coleman, who, unlike members of the training program, has a secure job and a life that Charles strives for but is equally anxious about the prospect of losing the program as the grant comes to an end. The filmmakers said their decision to present personal stories with an observational approach was deliberate because in a 76-minute film, “The story is not going to answer everything,” Brandon

said. “It’s not going to provide you with all the context you need.”

repeated or internalized by people across the country.

The Kramers want viewers to continue asking questions and speak about these issues after seeing their film. They hope to see a movement of conversations taking place beyond the film screening and into real interactions.

But Brandon and Lance say a lot of the responsibility of creating good conversations rests on storytellers and media creators.

This is also the reaction they hope to elicit from viewers with their most recent project, “The Messy Truth.” The Kramers have collaborated with Magic Labs Media to produce a digital mini-series with Van Jones, author and CNN political contributor. The three-episode series is available to watch on Vance Jones’ Facebook page. Following the screening of “City of Trees,” students watched the first episode of “The Messy Truth,” in which Jones visits a family of Trump supporters in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Part of the short film shows a balanced political discussion between Jones and a woman named Kim, who disagree with each other but continue to have a passionate and civil conversation. In the wake of a divisive and draining political election, Lance and Brandon stressed the need for these types of interactions. Lance hopes these short films model a behavior of openness that can be

“The structures that exist out there, the norm is to put you in those boxes,” Brandon said. “Whether it’s reality TV, or news. Most of the jobs out there that you’re going to find are reducing storytelling to the exact problems that caused the toxicity of this election. So it is up to everyone in this room to try to inject some nuance, some humanity and try to break that down.” Senior and film major Serge Magnavox, agreed with the filmmakers’ discussion on media responsibility, particularly because of the polarized responses seen across the nation since the results of the election. “As any kind of storyteller—whether you’re a writer or filmmaker—you should really listen to the people in front of you because they’re going to teach you things,” Magnavox said. “And they’re going to open up different parts of you which think, ‘Wait a minute, we do have something in common after all,’ and maybe we don’t have to fight so much and disagree so much.”




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Club sport of the week: Underwater Hockey JAMES STEMPLE | STAFF WRITER

just in front and behind them, but above and below as well.

You might do a double take when you see the words “underwater hockey” together. Mason’s underwater hockey team is there to tell you to believe it.

“You’ve got to keep yourself close to the ground,” Dean said.

Underwater hockey (or Octopush, in England) is a sport that originated from the British Navy wanting to keep their divers in shape. The game was a perfect way for the navy to train their lung capacity and swimming skills, as underwater hockey requires both of those.

The players use their sticks to “curl” the puck across the pool floor, hopefully along the wall, to attempt to get the puck into the small trough-like goal at the other end of the diamond.

The players use special gear nowadays: gloves, a 4-pound puck, fins, a polo cap, a snorkel, goggles and a foot-long stick curved just like an ice hockey stick. “The most common injuries in the sport are broken fingers and broken noses,” Captain Alex Dean said on the topic of gear. Underwater hockey is defined as a limited contact coed sport. The teams consist usually of 10 players, though the games are six on six. The players swim around in a diamond-shaped wall structure in the pools, dodging players not

Referees float around in the pool to observe players underwater.

Experienced players sometimes “flick” the puck across the pool to pass or attempt to score. “If you’re really good, you can flick it about 5 feet. Getting it off the ground— that’s what we call a flick—is probably the hardest thing to learn about the sport,” Dean said. Dean got his own start in underwater hockey in the beginning of his freshman year after he had heard about the club in orientation a few weeks prior. The deciding moment was when he “was walking down the street, and

written on the sidewalk was ‘underwater hockey tonight, AFC 9 p.m., free pizza.’ I had heard of it before and wanted to try, but then I saw the sidewalk writing and said ‘Yes! Now I know.’” The name might’ve gotten him to go initially, but the community itself caused him to stay. When the Mason team practices, two other teams—the D.C. team and the Northern Virginia team—practice with them. These other teams are within 30 minutes of the Mason team, so a tightknit community has developed. Some of the members of the D.C. and Northern Virginia teams are even Mason alumni and help out the Mason team. There is no official coach for the team, so newer players look to the older players for guidance. The community expands outside of Northern Virginia, too. Mason’s team regularly travels out of state, and sometimes out of the country, for tournaments where they have met more teams.

“I have friends in Canada who I go play tournaments with, and friends in Hampton Roads, and the University of Illinois; [the team] knows people from all over the place,” Dean said, adding that “it’s just a really big community and everyone is really close.” The team travels out of state for every tournament they participate in except for the one they host. The tournaments usually consist of five to seven games over the course of one or two days. The sport is played year-round, with nationals taking place at the end of the season in the middle of summer. At the last national tournament, the Mason team placed third in the C Division. Divisions are based on skill level—players that go to the world championships typically play in A, whereas Mason’s club plays in C. Twice a year, the team travels out of country. The team travels to the Canadian towns of London and Guelph over the course of the year. The Guelph trip typically happens in the

spring, but the London trip happens the last weekend in October—the team just travelled there a few weeks ago. “I’ve never spent Halloween at Mason,” Dean said. The team uses fundraisers and dues to raise funds for the trips, and the school matches whatever they can raise. Like many club sports, those who wish to join need only show up to a practice. Many, if not all, of the players on the team had little to no training beforehand. Most didn’t even swim in high school. Players of any skill level can join and work with the older members of the team to get better. Dean said if you’re nervous and just want to watch, the “best way is to just jump in the pool. And if you’re in the pool at that point, might as well play.” Though there are no tournaments left in this semester, the team looks forward to a calm winter of practices to prepare for the busy spring season.

11.14.2016- Fourth Estate  
11.14.2016- Fourth Estate