FOURTH ESTATE September 19, 2016 | Volume 4 Issue 3 George Mason University’s official student news outlet gmufourthestate.com | @IVEstate
FLOTUS speaks at Mason
7 “Natural Fact”
PSA: Game-day etiquette
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First Lady Michelle Obama speaks at the Johnson Center on Sept. 16. Photo courtsey of Mimi Albano.
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Beta back at Mason After almost 20 years, the fraternity Beta Theta Pi has returned to campus. FAREEHA REHMAN | STAFF WRITER
Fraternity Beta Theta Pi is making a comeback to Mason’s campus after the chapter was closed down in 1997 due to low recruiting numbers. Back then, there were only about 24,000 students enrolled at George Mason, but now that Mason has an enrollment number of 34,000 students, the opportunity to grow the fraternity again has presented itself, as well as an attempt to re-envision fraternity culture. Beta Theta Pi is a part of Mason’s Interfraternity Council (IFC), which is a council “comprised [sic] of 14 men’s fraternities committed to scholarship, service, leadership, and brotherhood,” according to the Office of Student Involvement website. In addition to Mason’s chapter shutting down, several other chapters across the country closed their doors as well. Beta has closed about half of their chapters, including their founding chapter. The Alpha chapter was opened in 1839 in Oxford, Ohio, and closed in February 2014. “In the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, fraternities really became entirely about social [and] partying,” Jordan Lemoine,
a Beta Theta Pi staff member and alumnus who is here at Mason to recruit and grow the chapter, said. “It became that “Animal House” culture that you kind of see now. Beta realized that is not what we were about and we really needed to change.” Lemoine added that Beta Theta Pi’s commitment to a safer fraternity culture in terms of preventing sexual assault and the other issues fraternities face starts at recruitment. “The guys we are recruiting are the highest-caliber guys we can find here at Mason. We walk them through our membership expectations before we offer a bid. Whether it’s succeeding in the classroom and performing above the average, or maintaining the culture of responsibility around alcohol.” Lemoine continued that the fraternity will provide risk management training, which would ensure that members would understand the impact that their actions can have on others. The ones who do not meet the expectations would no longer be a part of the fraternity. Mason did not have members fail to meet Beta’s expectations as other closed down chapters had. Rather, they
struggled to recruit enough members and did not have the resources to stay afloat. One of the resources that was added to ensure the Mason chapter’s success was hiring Lemoine, who will stay for this first year to supervise and teach the founding Mason chapter. After he leaves, a Beta Theta Pi staff member will visit four to five times a year to offer additional support. “It’s first important to recognize, even with the resources we provide, at the end of the day it’s the choices of the men in the group to really want to succeed and want to be that values-based fraternity that we’re trying to provide,” Lemoine said. “We’ve brought in experts to help us keep it going and make it as successful as possible.” Lemoine will also have the help of Sharrell Hassell-Goodman, one of Lemoine’s 12 recruits and a lead advisor for Mason’s chapter. She is a Ph.D. student in Mason’s education program and was the director of Sorority and Fraternity Life at Ohio State University. “I know that with her [HassellGoodman] and the rest of the advising
(ALYA NOWILATY/ FOURTH ESTATE)
Jordan Lemoine & John Hubbard actively in the JC quad area, recruiting for a newly formed fraternity here at George Mason. Beta Theta Pi has successfully recruited 30 students but looks to expand out to at least a total of 50. team, which includes a lot of Beta members and alumni from other schools. … [I]t’s a really diverse group that’s going to be mentoring and working with our leaders in the chapter and really helping ensure we stick to who we are,” Lemoine said.
Lemoine added that an increase in diversity on campus was a factor that went into the decision to restart Mason’s chapter.
With Mason’s increase in enrollment since 1997, the diversity and opportunities offered by the university for greek organizations like Beta Theta Pi have increased as well.
The Beta recruiters have been seeking leaders on campus to recruit to the fraternity through professor referrals and speaking at different campus organizations and departments. They also have a tent pitched in North Plaza where students can ask questions and sign up. Since beginning recruitment on Aug. 29, they have reached the halfway point in just three weeks.
“There are some Beta alumni that are here and have been really wanting Beta to come back to George Mason, they’ve been telling us how exciting of an opportunity it is for the growth of the campus and the high caliber of student we’ve looked at coming here for a couple of years,” Lemoine said.
“Having a diversity of opinion and diversity of experience is what’s really going to help you grow,” Lemoine said.
Lemoine said Beta’s standards are clear: “We don’t try to dress it up and act like any other fraternity.”
Put your phone on Drunk Mode Safety and party app reaches 1.5 million downloads MELISSA MOORE | STAFF WRITER
Have you ever gone out to a party, had a little too much to drink and made a phone call that you wish you didn’t? The application Drunk Mode, which recently surpassed 1.3 million downloads, is here to help. “Drunk Mode is the drinking app that your drunken self has always dreamed of,” according to the description on Apple’s app store. Just switch your phone to Drunk Mode and your phone will have your back, according to the store’s website. Drunk Mode is free for iPhones and Androids and doubles as a safety and
party app. It has several features, including Find My Drunk (to track your friends while you’re out), Stop Drunk Dialing (which hides select contacts to prevent calls that you may not remember) and Breadcrumbs (which shows you where exactly your outing took you, from start to finish). Additional Drunk Mode features include Find a Ride, which allows students to easily find an Uber or receive walking directions to their friends’ locations, and Hotspots, to help you find the best parties in your area while showing how busy they are, in addition to girl-to-guy ratios. Finally, SafeMode allows you to add trusted
contacts to watch over you on your way home, call for assistance with a BlueLight button or easily call 911. Sophomore Rahul Bajaj serves as the app’s business development lead. He met Drunk Mode Founder and CEO Joshua Anton at a Business Club meeting at Northern Virginia Community College and decided to join the 23-person team. “I joined the team to help promote it because I really believe in the product,” Bajaj said. “When [Anton] presented the idea it was really interesting [to me] how this app can help people.” The college startup was created in April of 2013 and has thousands of
followers across its Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts. Bajaj said that the idea for Drunk Mode came to Anton after he attended his first party at the University of Virginia. The CEO answered a phone call that he regretted the next day. Thus Drunk Mode was conceived.
friends who do to stay off the roads when intoxicated and remain safe while they’re out.
Bajaj said that Drunk Mode is a necessary app for students who want to go out and have a fun but safe time.
Drunk Mode has been featured on several different news outlets including the Today Show, Wall Street Journal, E! Online, MTV News, USA Today and the Huffington Post, among others. Bajaj said the app continues to grow and they hope to reach up to 3 million users.
“It is important for college students to have Drunk Mode because it prevents them from drunk dialing and drunk texting,” Bajaj added. Bajaj said that while he doesn’t drink, he believes the app will help keep his
Bajaj said the app can be useful for students who are non-alcohol consumers or partiers, too. He added he often uses the Breadcrumbs feature to keep track of everywhere he goes.
Mason printing gets a makeover Mason-Canon partnership upgrades Mason’s Printing Services MACKENZIE EARL | STAFF WRITER
The Johnson Center’s printing system has been revamped to increase printing convenience and security at Mason. In the past, students were forced to swipe their Mason IDs and select their own print job from dozens of pending jobs, but this new system allows students to link print jobs directly to their own accounts. This new printer services feature has also updated the old printing system. Students are still able to print by swiping their Mason ID, but the individualized queue will only show the documents saved under their netID (the student’s personalized name for the print job). These individualized print queues restrict other students from being able to print other student documents and increases the security of all student academic and personal documents. This new printing system also allows students to send print jobs while off-site.
Buz Grover, administrator of camps and programs with Auxiliary Enterprises, said, “Instead of waiting for a machine to open up in a computer lab, you could send your job off to be printed from your mobile device and pick it up from the most convenient Pay for Print machine.” Canon’s Account Executive, Katie Williams, explained how this new system will help to streamline Mason’s printing process. “One centralized networked help desk [will provide] customized support and quicker resolution for service issues,” she said via e-mail. Sophomore Nathan Garner was frustrated with the Johnson Center’s printing system this past academic year, but said he thinks the new system makes more sense. Several colorful posters surround the Pay for Print stations providing detailed instructions on how to use the new system and how to link your personal computer to Pay for Print locations. “This seems like a much more pain-free
way to print,” Garner said As part of these system changes, Canon Solutions America is now the official vendor for Mason’s managed print services. Canon will now be responsible for implementing the new system in the Johnson Center, assessing current print environments throughout campus and running Mason’s Copy Center. Canon will also be responsible for maintaining printer technology, eliminating the stress on Mason to replace its aging fleet of printers. “In short we’ve managed to save money, provide better service, while also receiving usage fees from Canon,” Grover said. Canon’s new system will also reduce the number of print jobs left abandoned at the printing stations. Under the old system, selecting the wrong document in the communal queue was a common mistake people made. Individual queues will greatly reduce this waste. Canon is also promoting sustainable printing by programming their printers to, by default, print double-sided and black and white.
(ALYA NOWILATY/ FOURTH ESTATE)
Student using one of the copiers at the JC. This printing transition was the result of an 18-month long collaboration between multiple Mason departments. The Managed Print Services RFP committee carefully evaluated several vendor proposals and selected Canon to manage Mason’s print services.
According to Grover, this transition has been highly successful, without increasing printing costs for students. To access Print Services’ new feature, students can register a campus printer to their personal computer through printservices.gmu.edu.
MBA students regenerate the water supply Four Mason graduate students have created a plan to put D.C. Water’s energy to use. MACKENZIE EARL | STAFF WRITER
A team within Mason’s Executive MBA program has used their in-class learning to produce real-world results. Four students in the Critical Infrastructure track have produced a development plan to provide DC Water with a microgrid to generate reliable energy for its facilities. Luke Robertson, Kim Schubin, Bob Cross and Andrew Rovnak completed this proposal as their capstone project within Mason’s new Critical Infrastructure track. These students, who completed their program last spring, were the first to complete the newly established track within the Executive MBA program. There are several steps that DC Water uses to treat wastewater, and some of these processes generate electrical
power. Under the current system, this electricity is not harnessed in any way. The Critical Infrastructure team was able to develop a system that uses this power and routes the electricity back into regular functions of the facility. This not only reduces DC Water’s energy costs but also produces enough power to keep vital functions running in the event of a power outage. “As a civil engineer, it was clear to see how all these blocks fit together,” Robertson said. Mark Troutman, the director for Mason’s Center for Infrastructure Protection and Homeland Security in the School of Business, founded the Critical Infrastructure track and served as project advisor for the DC Water project. This capstone project was an opportunity for students to expand the techniques and strategies they have learned in the classroom to real-world applications. It also
required students to produce a consulting report with possible solutions and a briefing to their project sponsor. After a visit to DC Water’s facilities, the team observed “a real dependency on the power network,” Troutman said. This dependency meant that DC Water could face an operational standstill in the event of a network emergency. This multidisciplinary project was “the first time anybody had gone from a business point of view and looked at individual costs,” Troutman said. This required business expertise, an understanding of wastewater treatment facilities, financial analysis and technical engineering knowledge. Robertson, with his professional experience as a civil engineer, said “This jumped out as a great potential project.” Between October 2015 and April 2016, the team researched DC Water’s needs,
background, other case studies where micro-grids were used for water utilities and completed a financial analysis of the project. Maureen Holman, the sustainability chief of DC Water, worked with the team to ensure that DC Water’s needs and operations were understood. This power assessment was a project Holman was eager to see done. In completing this proposal, this team was able to provide a service to DC Water that they would have otherwise lacked the resources for. At the conclusion of the project, Holman asked the team to present their findings to the Board of Directors Environmental Quality and Sewerage Services Committee. The proposal was well-received and is undergoing evaluation to assess whether DC Water wants to pursue the installation of a microgrid at its facilities.
Students enrolled in Mason’s Executive MBA program are largely professionals who have 30 or 40 years of experience in their respective industries. These mid-career professionals come from areas ranging from nuclear engineering to business management to insurance specialists. According to Troutman, the resulting diversity “adds a richness to this program that is very rare.” As a student in the program, Robertson was impressed with the quality of students Mason was able to recruit. “This was a great group of people to work with across the faculty and students,” he said. Most of all, Robertson was excited to work with a team. Robertson explained that his engineering work has mostly required individualized projects. “Our group did quite well, and we were received well,” Robertson said. “And that’s because of how well we worked as a group.”
FLOTUS headlines Clinton rally First Lady’s speech focuses on Clinton’s strengths, Trump’s weaknesses MACKENZIE REAGAN | EDITORIN-CHIEF
First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama spoke at Mason on Friday, Sept. 16 on behalf of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Supporters lined up as early as 8:30 a.m. for the afternoon event. The crowd stretched from Johnson Center, where the event took place, to the Northern Neck residence hall on the north side of campus. The Center, the atrium level of which holds little more than 300 people, would soon be filled to the brim with students, campaign volunteers and local politicians. Brenda Hooper, a volunteer with AARP’s Take a Stand campaign, called Clinton “Well-experienced; she’s a real people person. … Experience means a lot.” Clinton is an ardent supporter of Social Security.
The crowd was upbeat and occasionally cheering for Clinton, who was campaigning in North Carolina the previous day after a bout of pneumonia.
We’re gonna choose love over hate in this election.” Rep. Connolly represents Virginia’s 11th District, which encompasses much of Northern Virginia.
She took another jab at the GOP candidate, declaring, “the presidency [and campaigning] does not change who you are. It reveals who you are.”
The only visible non-supporters were Tom and Mary Ellen McElfresh, who quietly passed out anti-abortion literature.
Interim Democratic National Committee Chairman Donna Brazile and U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-3) both gave brief speeches following Connolly touting Clinton’s experience.
Obama chastised Trump’s propensity for social media squabbles.
“[Our goal is to] educate people who might not know that the candidate they support supports killing babies,” Mary Ellen McElfresh said. At 1 p.m., the doors opened, and supporters poured into the Johnson Center. Girl-power anthems, a staple of the Clinton campaign, blasted over the PA system. U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly stepped up to the podium around 2:20 p.m. “Imagine if our founders were listening to [Trump]—They would say the choice in this election is no choice at all,” he said. “Virginia is for lovers. …
“Are you registered to vote?” asked Brazile, to thunderous applause from the crowd. Volunteers were placed throughout the Johnson Center with clipboards to register students. Just after 3:00 p.m., the First Lady took the stage in her first campaign appearance for Clinton. While never mentioning Donald Trump by name, Obama denounced many of his positions, including his longstanding claim— which he’d renounced just hours prior to Obama’s speech—that the President was not born in the U.S
“We need someone who is steady and measured. …A president can’t just pop off,” she said, too cheers. “We need someone who’s compassionate, someone who’s unifying, someone who will be a role model for our kids.” “Well, for me, I’m just saying, it is excruciatingly clear that there is only one person … with the the qualifications and the temperament for that job,” Obama said. She listed various phases of Clinton’s political career: lawyer, first lady, senator and most recently, Secretary of State during President Obama’s first term. “[W]hen [Clinton] gets knocked down, she doesn’t complain or cry foul. No,
she gets right back up and she comes back stronger for the people who need her the most,” Michelle Obama said. “So, George Mason, Virginia, as you prepare to make this decision, I urge you, I beg of you to ignore the chatter and the noise and ask yourselves, which candidate really has the experience, the maturity, and the demeanor [for the presidency]?” she asked. After the speech, junior Amanda Jackson mulled the speech on her way through the crowd exiting the building. “It was different. I’ve never been to a campaign rally before,” she said, before adding, “I’m still stuck on Bernie.” For supporters, the speech only reaffirmed their support of the First Lady and of Clinton. “[Obama’s] the bomb. Number one. The best,” organizer Drew D’Alelio said after the event.
(PHOTO COURTSEY OF LESLIE STEIGER)
Mason senior Henry Lopez introduces First Lady Michelle Obama on Sept. 16.
S TAY MASON
STUDENT SUPPORT FUND
(PHOTOS COURTSEY OF LESLIE STEIGER)
T IN F O & A P P LY A STAY M A S O N .G M U
The STAY Mason Student Support Fund, developed with input from students, faculty, staff and senior leadership, is designed to provide temporary, short-term, financial assistance to students who are managing demanding academic requirements while struggling with debilitating financial circumstances. STAY Mason aims to support students by providing short-term emergency funding and cost of attendance assistance. STAY Mason funding may be available to students who meet the following criteria: ▶Students who are currently enrolled in degree-seeking programs (and who have completed 12 or more credits at Mason) ▶Students who have applied for, or who will apply for, financial aid and have exhausted all their financial aid options, including their subsidized and unsubsidized loans (DACA students are welcome to apply for the Fund) ▶Students with proven academic potential, defined as a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average ▶Students with demonstrated short-term financial need, including a temporary hardship, sudden emergency and/or an inability to pay cost of attendance (tuition; housing; books; meal plans; transportation) are encouraged to apply. The STAY Mason Fund is NOT meant to provide long-term or full tuition relief. Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, and the decision to grant funding is based on extenuating and/or unforeseen circumstances that affect the student’s or his or her family’s ability to contribute to pay the student’s cost of attendance. There is no guarantee that funding will be available in any given semester. The Student Support and Advocacy Center provides comprehensive services for students in an effort to foster the safety and well-being of the Mason community. Staff assist students who are encountering barriers to their academic success or personal growth. For more information or to make a referral please visit ssac.gmu.edu.
“Natural Fact” exhibit opens at School of Art Artist Emilie Brzezinski showcases work from 40-year career EMILY VERBIEST | STAFF WRITER
Formidable yet inviting, Emilie Brzezinski’s lofty wood sculptures elegantly tower over onlookers in the Fine Arts Gallery. The room’s glossy grey floors and sleek white walls create an industrial atmosphere that sharply contrasts the rugged and organic wooden textures of Brzezinski’s pieces, resulting in an especially enticing exhibit. From now until Oct. 7, Mason’s School of Art is hosting “Natural Fact,” an exhibit showcasing various pieces from Brzezinski’s 40-year career as a sculptor. Currently a resident of McLean, Virginia, Brzezinski was born in Switzerland but moved to the United States during World War II. After being raised in California, she earned an art history degree from Wellesley College in 1953 and began her artistic career in the
1970s. Armed with tools such as chainsaws and axes, her work centers around the usage of wood to create immense, raw and striking pieces of art. While utilizing the timeless allure of nature, Brzezinski creates wooden pieces that remain true to their natural form. She intentionally avoids over-transforming the natural objects she works with in order to allow the pieces to speak for themselves. Brzezinski unearths the essence of the wood’s history by sawing, carving and cutting while maintaining the tree’s original outline. As an artist, she does not exert absolute dominance over the natural materials she uses, but instead works jointly with the wood to extract meaning. Don Russell, the university curator, explained how the basis of Brzezinski’s process lays in nature awareness and being able to communicate with the
natural materials. “She really asks the tree what meaning is inside it and she is just following and having a conversation with the tree, using a chainsaw,” Russell said. The exhibit’s underlying theme relates to transcendentalism, which greatly reveres nature’s intrinsic value. Exhibitions Specialist Jeff Kenney described how this perspective is reflected in Brzezinski’s approach to art. “With her work, it’s this concept of truth to materials, where you leave a lot raw and it’s not glazed or painted or colored, just reducing the art to the form of a simple line or a simple wedge.” “Natural Fact” shows Brzezinski’s evolution as an artist by displaying several pieces from her earlier, more experimental years as a sculptor. An intriguing glass figure from 1979 titled “Transparent Object #2” and a sculpture titled “The Mold as a Piece of Art” from 1982 fall under the category of her exploratory work. Russell explained how “The Mold as a Piece
of Art” was created by covering a tree with rubber foam, then peeling it off, leaving a raw impression on the foam. Innovative experiments such as that would guide Brzezinski to her future work. “A lot of these were experiments, she had a question so she came up with an experiment and this is the result. It was like a sketch, in a sense, for the later work,” Russell said. Despite the variations in her work, all of Brzezinski’s pieces possess a similar sense of vigor and liveliness, much like her character. “She’s a force,” Russell, who has known Brzezinski for more than thirty years, said. “She is graceful but also penetrating and investigatory. These [pieces] are all investigations of a tree, and of nature. She is incredibly dignified but also very warm. It’s an amazing combination.” Brzezinski’s work is undoubtedly driven by a deep love of nature. Consequently, her spirited vision has produced magnetic pieces of art.
desire to connect or reconnect with nature, natural objects or naturally rendered things, especially in this era where everything is mediated through a screen. … Artwork opens a space where people can consider different ideas, different things than what’s already in their heads. Art is an opportunity for learning.” The captivating exhibit almost acts as an on-campus sanctuary or a tranquil retreat. On a quiet Monday afternoon, sophomore Aekta Bandodker strolled through the exhibit admiring the pieces. When asked for her opinion on the art she pointed to the “Cherry Breezes” piece, a stunning redwood sculpture that bends at the core to create the illusion of movement, she said, “It looks like the wind is blowing in the trees.” Bandodker then pointed at the “Two Poplar Cores” piece, which resembles a battered shell and said, “it looks like an open acorn, it reminds me of “Alice and Wonderland.” Everything in here is so peaceful. … The more time I spend in here, the more things I notice and I don’t want to leave, it’s such a great escape.”
Russell said, “people are naturally drawn to it. As humans, we all have a strong
(MEGAN ZENDEK/ FOURTH ESTATE)
A Season of tradition and transitions
Mason Players explore class, politics and sexuality GABRIELLE NELSON | STAFF WRITER
Gangs, political power, the LGBTQ community and a hope for a brighter future—all of these are themes in the Mason Players’ fall season. “The Laramie Project” After Matthew Shepard, 21, of Laramie, Wyoming, was beaten to death in 1998 because he was gay, the Tectonic Theater Project decided to tell Shepard’s story. After conducting over 200 interviews with people in the town, the theater company put these moments on the stage.
“Just like any show of a highly charged topic, controversy and conflict surround its reception, but the most important part is the dialogue it constantly creates,” Emily Berry, a senior theater major and the production’s dramaturge, said. Director Heather Hicks, a senior theater major, has spent the last 10 months researching this unique production and the original story on which it is based. “I was given the script over the summer by a friend, and they just kind of handed it to me and said ‘You need to read this,’” Hicks said. “As soon as I read it, I knew it needed to be done here. It needed to be done now.” One element that Hicks is maintaining in this production is having actors play
multiple roles. “It’s really interesting because you get to see the world of Laramie from so many points of view and you get to really delve into what Laramie means for each of those people and what the story that we’re sharing means to all those people,” Skye Lindberg, a senior theater major and cast member, said. Ultimately, this production goes beyond the design and technical elements to delve into the raw emotions of the play. “Heather is focusing so much on the hope of this show, and I think that is such an amazing, interesting concept taking this incredibly sad story and flipping it to its opposite and not wanting to focus on the sad,” Jared Pugh, a freshman theater major and cast member, said. In the end, Hicks really wants people to walk away from this show with a renewed sense of hope. “I think my major goal is an understanding—no matter what side of the spectrum of agree or disagree you come in on—understanding that this did happen and it still happens, but also coming out with some hope in the sense that this isn’t forever,” Hicks said.
(PHOTO COURTESY OF KEENAN GIBSON)
Mason Players’ perform Crimson and Doug during the Ten Minute Play Festival.
“The Laramie Project” will be running in TheatreSpace Oct. 6 to 8 at 8 p.m.
and Oct. 8 to 9 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the Center for the Arts ticket office. Student tickets are $10 and General Admission is $20.
Macheath’s character contributes to the power play and political maze within this production that Elston is hoping to bring and make relevant to the modern world.
“The Threepenny Opera”
“I hope that people find it theatrically thrilling. I hope that they find it funny. And I hope that in the end they walk away being a little bit thoughtful,” Elston said. “One of the things I think we will achieve in this production that was not in the original production is examining power plays between men and women and empowering women as leaders.”
Originally set in London on the eve of the Queen’s coronation, Mason’s production of “The Threepenny Opera” is set in 1926 New York on the eve of the mayoral inauguration of Johnny Walker. Focusing on the issues of World War I veterans, political conflict, and power struggle, “The Threepenny Opera” provides a satirical take on these issues. “It is sort of this antihero exploration of love and war and ultimately the idea of class,” Ken Elston, director and choreographer of the production, said. “I think it’s timely, it deals with social class and it’s a highly politically-charged piece.” The show is also filled with dynamic and full characters, like the antihero, Macheath. “He is the leader of the gang, like the mob, so essentially his nickname is Mac the Knife and he is terrified of blood which is really kind of ironic because he’s a killer,” Dylan Toms, the junior vocal performance major playing Macheath, said.
The political relevance of this piece can even be drawn to the upcoming presidential election. “I think that’s super important, especially with the election year coming up and all the drama that’s happening in politics, and it’s super important but at the same time it’s a satire. People should have fun watching this,” Keenan Gibson, the junior theater major playing J.J. Peachum, said. “The Threepenny Opera” will be running in the Concert Hall in the Center for the Arts Oct. 27 to 29 at 8 p.m., Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. and Oct. 30 at 4 p.m. Tickets are available at the Center for the Arts ticket office. Student tickets are $15 and general admission is $30.
Falling for 18 years of books Literary festival returns to NoVA GABRIELLE NELSON | STAFF WRITER
What began as a two-day festival in 1999 has since become a massive effort to bring hundreds of authors to Mason’s campus and community over a short period of six days. After a year of planning, organizing and fundraising, the Fall for the Book festival returns for the 18th time. With nearly 200 participating authors of all genres. “Our mission is to enhance the role of reading and writing in our community and to connect readers with writers— both big-name authors they might already be familiar with and new writers who we think readers will love,” festival manager Kara Oakleaf said.
The Fall for the Book Festival also gives students the chance to reflect on what kind of opportunities reading can provide, including the exploration of new cultures and genres. “Through this process, we reflect the cultural value and importance of reading. And we also give writers a chance to connect with a wider audience of readers,” William Miller, the executive director of the festival, said. The amount of work that goes into such an event is as extensive as one might imagine. Planning begins 12 months in advance as members and volunteers begin selecting authors and raising funds for the next year. “Because we’re a nonprofit, we begin fundraising for the next festival almost
immediately after the current year’s festival ends,” Oakleaf said. “We are working now with the university, our board and our program committee on setting dates and identifying possible headliners for 2017.” The writers are chosen by a programming committee that meets once a month during the planning process. The committee brainstorms ideas for authors, taking suggestions and submissions for people who may not be well known or may not have been previously considered. “We do a lot of current events—this year, we have a panel on the presidential election and we have two historians talking about the importance of the Civil War and Reconstruction,” Miller said. “We do academic topics and
non-academic topics, current-event topics such as resource management and the environment.” One of the organizers’ goals is to give both sides of the reading experience the opportunity to connect within a community of fellow writers and readers. “As a student, educator and writer, I hope that members of the Mason community take advantage of this opportunity to not only discover new writers, but to connect with some of the leaders in a number of fields including journalism, history, business and more,” Suzy Rigdon, marketing director of the festival, said. “I hope that the chance to meet writers helps students think about the ways reading impacts their own lives, both
personally and in their academic life here at Mason,” Oakleaf said. Often, professors will encourage participation in and attendance to the festival with extra credit opportunities, assignments based off of festival events and spotlighting authors that may be related to their class’s topic. The festival kicks off September 25. All events are free and are located in the Northern Virginia area as well as on Mason’s campus. The full schedule of events can be found at www.fallforthebook.org or on the Fall for the Book app. Anyone interested in volunteering during the festival can reach out to Kyle Freelander at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Men’s basketball schedule released Team will be featured on national television nine times DAVE SCHRACK | SPORTS EDITOR
The men’s basketball team’s regular season schedule was released on Sept. 6, and it features nine games that the Green and Gold will contest on national television. “We’re going to play a lot of tough games against a lot of tough teams,” Otis Livingston II, a guard for the men’s basketball team, said. “We’re going to be challenged early, so by the time we get to conference, I think we’ll be well-prepared for [conference] games.” The team’s 2016-2017 campaign will begin on Nov. 12 with a home game against Towson University, and will end on March 4 with a road game at Virginia Commonwealth University. The men’s basketball schedule is divided
between non-conference and conference play. The Patriots will play teams that are not in the A-10 Conference until Dec. 30, when they host VCU. That matchup will be the first of nine games to be featured on national television, which will appear on CBS. Other games will also be shown on NBC and the American Sports Network. “That’s really exciting,” Livingston said about the team being on national TV. “I think it’s exciting for everyone, especially people who are traveling from afar. It’s exciting. It’s big-time, playing on national TV. So we just want to perform well.” The Patriots’ schedule includes a threeday excursion to Estero, Florida, where they will participate in the Gulf Coast Showcase from Nov. 21–23. The Gulf State Showcase is a tournament that
includes eight teams which will square off to highlight their abilities and their programs. The Patriots will begin that tournament with a matchup against The University of Houston. If they win, they will play the winner of Kent State vs. the University of South Dakota in the semifinals. If they win that, they will then advance to the finals. Their matchup with Houston will be among the most challenging games this season, Livingston said, who also listed games such as their Dec. 3 matchup hosting Mercer University and their Feb. 21 matchup visiting the University of Dayton. The last time the Patriots played Dayton, “they came in here, scored 98 points on us, blew us out by 36,” Livingston said. “That was a tough matchup. They kind
of just did everything right.” But Livingston noted that every game will be a challenge in its own way. “I think [the A10] is the sixth-ranked conference in the country, so every single game is going to be a tough game,” he said. “But I’m really happy about that, though.” The key to victory, he said, “is being all-in for each other, and wanting to get the ‘W,’ which is the most important thing for the team.” The team also needs “to play how we want to play, not letting the other team dictate how we play, playing our basketball, which is unselfish, and I think we might want to go uptempo a little bit.” Shooting and preventing turnovers are also crucial, as well as strengthening their defense, improving their
shooting accuracy and overall amplifying their abilities. The Patriots will ultimately play 31 games throughout their season, 16 of which will be home games. The end of the regular season on March 4 will herald the beginning of March Madness, which itself will end April 3 with the national championship. “Overall, I’m really happy [with the schedule],” Livingston said. “Non-conference is tough. It’s going to get us prepared for the conference. And the A-10 conference schedule is always a great schedule, we play a lot of tough teams.” Head coach Dave Paulsen could not be reached for comment.
(DAVE SCHRACK/ FOURTH ESTATE) (DAVE SCHRACK/ FOURTH ESTATE)
Otis Livingston moves the ball down the court despite heavy opposition during last year’s men’s basketball season opener..
OPINION PSA: Remember to be respectful during games DAVE SCHRACK | SPORTS EDITOR
Mason, you are also telling that to the visiting team.
Mason athletics is now well underway. Teams and individuals are returning to the field, courts or pitches to continue their hard work from last year.
In other words, by attending games, you become a representative of George Mason University.
Consequently, fans and students will be returning to the stands dressed in green and gold to cheer on the Patriots. Sports are, after all, an undoubtedly important aspect of Mason and Mason’s culture, as it has a tendency to unite the school. Look no further than the men’s basketball team’s Final Four run, for example. But it is important to remember exactly what being a spectator entails. At its core, a spectator is someone who attends a game, and spectators who are attending a home game are there to support the local team and its players. But that is what home spectators are on the field. In the stands, however, home spectators are also a part of the city or campus which hosts the team. The simple fact of wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with “George Mason University” tells other people that you, or someone you know, are a part of the Mason community. And by wearing such a tee to a game, you are not just telling everyone in the stands you or someone you know is a part of
This is why we must remember to be respectful during games, not just to each other but especially to visiting teams and athletes. A team coming to play at Mason is a beautiful opportunity for us to showcase Mason and its community. It is also symbolic of Mason’s growth as a school, considering Mason is markedly younger than the other schools it plays. As such, our duty as spectators is not just to support the Patriots, but to be gracious hosts that will send the visiting team home with respect and admiration for Mason. Moreover, we must also highlight why we have the right to play and compete at such a high level. Yelling “Go Patriots!” or “Go number 6!” is absolutely acceptable during games, but taunting or harassing the visiting team, let alone anyone else, is absolutely unacceptable. To think about it from a different perspective, switch roles for a minute. Imagine you’re an athlete who’s traveled hundreds of miles with your team, forcing you to sacrifice important
school time and leisure activity, to a lesser-known school in a lesser-known town, only to have that school mock you on the field. You wouldn’t think highly of that school, right? Now imagine if that school were Mason. Mason is an extraordinary school with a wonderful community, and it is on us to ensure that we do not send visiting teams home with anything less than that impression. No team should leave with a sense of dread over their next visit to Mason, and no individual athlete should be disillusioned with the people in the stands. Mason’s athletics program is also among one of the most talented and dedicated schools, boasting an Olympic gold medalist, a Final Four team, and an administrative office run by two Super Bowl champions. To have such teams go out on the courts, only to hear its fans heckle the opposing team, would diminish the hard work of not just the teams and athletes but also the administration. It is also important to be wary of the bystander effect while in the stands. Most people like to think of themselves as heroes waiting for an opportunity to fly, but human psychology suggests otherwise. They envision themselves being the dissident bystander to stop
a crime amid an unflinching crowd incapable of action, when in fact, the bystander effect states they would be part of that crowd. The bystander effect, though mainly pertaining to crimes and wrongdoing, is prevalent in the stands, too. When a friend or family member starts making fun of a visiting athlete, it is easy to join in and hard to tell them to stop. But the right decisions are often some of the hardest to make.
while itself an impolite and improper thing to do, is a mistake that most, if not all, people make from one time to another. Should you make that mistake, don’t dwell on it, lose sleep over it, or think about it constantly. Just remember not to do it again, especially when attending a Mason game. Ultimately, when attending a Mason game, remember that you are there for the team or athlete, and no one else but that team or athlete.
Hence, if a friend or family member does make fun of a visiting athlete, immediately tell them to stop because it is disrespectful and rude. Don’t cause a scene, or risk an altercation or draw attention to yourselves.
Remember you are also there as a member of the Mason community that has devoted its time and efforts to ensure that fans such as you are not only able to attend games, but to watch teams and athletes win those games.
Firmly, but quietly, remind them that by wearing that Mason tee, they are broadcasting that they are a part of Mason and are essentially making fun of that athlete on behalf of the Mason community.
Remember that visiting teams have also put in that same hard work, and spent a lot of time and money into meeting the Patriots on the field.
But if you do join in, don’t beat yourself up for it. We’re human, and our lives are spent accounting for mistakes we make, because we are fallible and susceptible to error.
Remember that games are games, no matter how important, and there is no need to over-emotionally invest yourself into that game. And remember to root for Mason, Mason teams and Mason athletes. But don’t root against the visiting team.
Taunting or harassing a visiting player,
CrossFit Booms Countywide Fitness style continues popularity across Northern Virginia area DEVAN FISHBURNE | STAFF WRITER
A Many supposed “fitness fads” have claimed to have what it takes to sweep the nation, but the most recent style of fitness to reach popularity, CrossFit, is far from a fad according to Khemeran Ing, owner of CrossFit Mainstreet.
“You’ve had Adkins, P90X, the little ab belts, that’s just fitness in general, but [CrossFit Mainstreet] has been going since 2011,” Ing said. “[CrossFit] is not going away.”
complete everyday tasks.
CrossFit gyms in the county.
“CrossFit at its base is constantly, very functional movements at high intensity. We do movements that you would do every day,” Gallagher said.
“[CrossFit] is getting a little too popular in my opinion, which isn’t good if you’re the only one, but now there are too many competitors,” Ing said.
Owner of CrossFit Burke Jamie Gallagher shares similar sentiments to those of his fellow Crossfit gym owner.
This form of recordable, measureable and repeatable group training has been popularized by pop news outlets, such as Buzzfeed, highlighting the style of workout as well as ESPN’s growth in coverage of the sport’s pinnacle, the annual CrossFit Games.
Gallagher at CrossFit Burke believes that the increase in competing CrossFit gyms, even just in Fairfax, can be helpful to convince those who may not know a lot about CrossFit of the legitimacy of the style.
“People can say it’s a fad, but what they don’t realize is that CrossFit started in 2000 and it’s been around for 16 years,” Gallagher said.
(ALYA NOWILATY/ FOURTH ESTATE)
CrossFit is seen as an alternative to the average gym experience that improves one’s ability to
“CrossFit is popular because it works. When you’re popular you pop up on Buzzfeed and other viral news outlets,” Gallagher said. The popularity of the sport nationwide is being felt right here in Fairfax, as a number of gyms have opened in recent years, creating more competition among
“I think there are other gyms that are opening in Fairfax, I’m not concerned with the competition honestly,” Gallagher said. “If other gyms are doing a good job, that means CrossFit is getting a better reputation. I want that. I want the other gyms to succeed.” Even with the new crop of Fairfax fitness buffs and average gym-goers flooding
to the wealth of CrossFit gyms in the area, Ing admits it takes a lot of work to get someone to the level of the athletes competing at the CrossFit Games. “It takes four workouts a day. You have to be strong, good at Olympic lifts and have a good motor,” Ing said. Ing also said that an athlete hoping to achieve that level should focus on strength, skill conditioning and their own weakness. That is one of the formulas gym owners are noticing to be effective in their gyms, and Ing is confident that anyone who wants to get there can do so. “The best athletes are the most dedicated. It’s training all of those energy pathways,” Ing said. “As long as you’re dedicated, I don’t want to tell anyone you can’t make it.”
Mason cross-country teams compete in Richmond Men and women web fourth-place finish at Spider Invitational JAMES STEMPLE | STAFF WRITER
George Mason’s men’s and women’s cross-country teams dashed to success in their first race of the season at the Spider Alumni Open Invitational, which was hosted by the University of Richmond in Mechanicsville, Virginia, Sept. 3. Although the men and women did not run their standard distances, their results at the meet remained unaffected, as both the men and women finished fourth. The men, instead of racing the standard 8K (which is about 5 miles), raced a 5K (about 3.1 miles). Meanwhile, the women raced a 3K (about 2 miles) instead of their normal 5K. “It’s a really low-key meet, just to see where we are as a team and individuals,” distance runner Luke Sharkey said. Sharkey finished 16th in the race with a time of 15:39.2.
Just down the line, his teammates, sophomores Dustin Jutras (15:59.3) and Jonathan Schloth (15:59.9), senior Brent Coulter (16:05.4) and sophomore Trent Lancaster (16:06.7), rounded out the team’s score to 99 points, securing them fourth place. On the women’s side, distance runner Ciara Donohue led the team in the 3K in seventh place with a time of 11:10.09. Junior Amber Hawkins (11:23.0) and freshmen Kyla Carte (11:41.9), Sarah Richart (11:59.7) and Khalilah Hamer (12:14.7) combined to bring the team to 114 points, also at fourth place. “I was a little nervous going into it, but we had a lot of successful training over the summer so I wasn’t too worried,” Donohue said on her performance. Before the season, the men’s and women’s teams were recognized by the Atlantic 10 Conference coaches preseason poll and in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association
Preseason Regional Rankings. These polls and rankings are measures of expected success as agreed upon by coaches and administrators within the collegiate track and field community. The men were picked to finish fifth in the A-10 poll, as well as picked to finish 14th in the Southeast region by the U.S. Track and Field poll. Meanwhile, the women’s were picked to finish tenth in the A-10 poll. Sharkey says “the preseason poll isn’t accurate at all” because “there’s a lot it doesn’t take into account. We’ve got new runners and returning runners that have a lot of potential for this season.” Last year, the men’s team was voted to finish first in the 2015 A-10 Conference Coaches’ preseason poll, but finished fifth. Their fifth place finish allowed them to advance to the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships, where they placed twelfth.
Last year’s 12th-place finish looms over the team, and will be used as motivation to do better this coming season, according to Sharkey. “This year I think we could be top 10— maybe top 5—in the A-10’s,” he said. The women’s team, meanwhile, was voted (PHOTO COURTESY OF GEORGE MASON ATHLETICS) to finish seventh in The men’s cross country team during last year’s Mason last year’s A-10 poll. Invitational. They finished 11th, which qualified them excited about to upcoming cross-counfor the NCAA Southeast Regional try season and where it will take us.” Championships, where they ultimately The men’s and women’s cross-counplaced 25th. try teams recently participated in the “I think the women’s team will do a lot James Madison Invitational on Sept. better in the A-10s compared to last 10, where the men placed first and the year,” Donohue, who remains optimistic women third. They will host the Mason about the upcoming season, said. “I’m Invitational on Oct. 1.
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