FOURTH ESTATE October 24, 2016 | Volume 4 Issue 7 George Mason University’s official student news outlet gmufourthestate.com | @IVEstate
Bomb scare at Mason
Avett Brothers get psyched
Women’s tennis fall season ends
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Bomb scare at Mason
Johnson Center closed, investigation finds no threat RYAN COONEY | STAFF WRITER
On Thursday, Oct. 13, students and faculty at Mason’s Fairfax campus were notified via Mason Alert of a possible bomb threat in the Johnson Center at approximately 4:05 p.m. Following the alert, the building was immediately evacuated while Mason police set up a perimeter, stretching from Enterprise Hall up to North Plaza and down to the South Plaza. At this time, other agencies were called in for support, including Fairfax County police, Virginia State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. All agencies, with the exception of the FBI, provided at least one bomb sniffing dog to the search. At approximately 6:45 p.m., police
began letting in Sodexo employees who had been working at the time the threat was received to gather their belongings. At 7 p.m., the public was notified via Mason Alert that while a search of the Johnson Center had been completed, and that no threat was found, police would keep the Johnson Center closed throughout the night due to the length of the investigation and subsequent disruption to activities within the building. When asked if police had any leads, Mason’s Interim Chief of Police Carl Rowan Jr. said, “I cannot comment on any leads as this is an ongoing investigation. What I can say is that we take these kinds of issues very seriously and investigate thoroughly.” In addition, the chief congratulated everyone within the Mason community on their response to the threat.
“I believe that the Mason officers and our law enforcement partners from surrounding jurisdictions did an excellent job of analyzing the threat and reacting quickly to what was believed to be a credible threat,” Rowan said. “Equally important was the reaction of the students and staff in the Johnson Center who evacuated the building in a rapid but orderly manner. That made our jobs much easier and we thank them for their assistance.” Freshman Sehar Hooda agreed with Rowan, stating that everyone did an excellent job in reacting to the threat and applauding the police on their efforts to keep the community safe. Hooda also said that while she learned about the supposed threat from her roommate, she believed that the Mason Alert system did a great job of keeping the community informed as the threat unfolded.
When asked for her thoughts on the supposed threat, Hooda said, “I figured it was either a fake or that someone was trying to get out of their midterm.” Mason wasn’t the only school to experience a bomb scare recently. WBDJ7, a local news station, reported that Virginia Tech was evacuated after receiving a bomb threat on Monday, October 10. Tuscarora High School, in nearby Loudoun County, was also evacuated earlier Thursday morning, according to Fox 5. Both schools were declared all clear. Rowan stated that authorities have no reason yet to believe any of these events are connected. Rowan added that Mason Police want people to know that the safety of the Mason community is their first priority. Check the Fourth Estate’s website for updates on breaking news.
(PHOTO COURTSEY OF ANUSHA KHAN)
Sexual assault investigation
Student files complaint claiming Mason mishandled her sexual assault case SARMAT CHOWDHURY | STAFF WRITER
Students received an email Sept. 16 alerting the community to the launch of an investigation surrounding a sexual assault case filed by a female student on campus. The investigation, led by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, started with a complaint that “alleges that the university failed to respond promptly and equitably to her [the female student’s] report of sexual assault, and as a result, she was subjected to a sexually hostile environment,” the Office of Compliance, Diversity and Ethics’ Vice President Julian R. Williams said. The complaint was lodged to the Office of Compliance, Diversity and Ethics, according to Williams in an email to the Mason community. Williams said he and others take such matters seriously, which he explained
was the intent behind the initial email that was sent out to students. “Some schools do it differently. What we try to do here at Mason is to be as transparent as we can around these issues. Because it is all public information, so what we would rather not do is [keep it quiet and] have somebody in the community find out about a situation like this where we have received a complaint from the Office for Civil Rights,” Williams said. Williams added that he and the university would rather not have the first time students hear about an issue like this come from an email that somebody forwarded to them. “We’d rather let the community know that ‘hey, this is what’s out there,’ this is what we are doing in response as well as this is how we are going to move forward around these issues as well. So, it’s trying to be as transparent as possible and be as forthright as possible,” Williams said.
Since 2011, there have been a total of 336 “investigation of colleges for possibly mishandling reports of sexual violence” according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. As of October 2016, only 55 cases have been resolved. Regarding Mason and its particular case, Williams said he was willing to explain the procedures for the filing of an investigation. “It’s a back and forth process. We would have to provide certain information to the Office of Civil Rights. They want to know a lot of information, but specifically how have we [Mason] responded to complaints of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking for the last three academic years,” Williams said. “They also want to see our training materials, who is in some of these roles to respond to these issues.” He added that the next step in this case is piecing all the information together, reaching out to the investigator about the case, getting some clarification and then
compiling that information to send and submit to the Office for Civil Rights. Though this is an ongoing investigation, Williams was confident in stating that Mason would not be going to the court due to the nature of the complaint. “Usually, these sorts of complaints, they are handled within the Office for Civil Rights resolution processes,” Williams said. Williams added that what happens with a situation like this case is that Mason has to comply with Title IX, because the school receives federal funding in the form of financial aid. Title IX refers to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which is designed to protect individuals from discrimination in educational activities or programs that receive Federal financial assistance. “Their job [the Department of Education and the Office for Civil Rights] is when they receive and accept a complaint, they would come
in and investigate to make sure/double check just in case. So their enforcement power isn’t listed. They wouldn’t be able to sue the university. The biggest sort of power that they would wield would be one of the egregious cases where they could limit a university’s ability to accept financial aid funding,” Williams said. As Williams pointed out, the government has never had to limit a university’s ability to accept financial aid funding for investigations. He also mentioned the proactive moves that Mason has made prior to the Title IX complaint, with the hire of a full-time Title IX committee. While the investigation continues, Mason will have resources both on and off-campus for students who either wish to report a case of sexual assault or utilize the counselors and various other outlets that are available to victims of sexual violence.
George Mason and Slavery A look into historical figure George Mason and his ties to slavery GRACE ZIPPERER | STAFF WRITER
On Sept. 21, Honors College Black Ambition, a student-run organization that is “intent on creating a diverse presence within Mason’s Honors College,” according to their GetConnected page, held the event “Caja. Millie. Tom. Liberty: The Forgotten Narrative” to discuss historical figure George Mason and his ties to slavery. Mason is considered by some as one of the most outspoken founding fathers in pronouncing slavery as evil, but he also owned the second largest number of slaves in Northern Virginia, according to Gunston Hall’s website. In addition, HCBA’s event is named after four of the slaves Mason owned. HCBA Vice President and Founder Desmond L. Moffitt said the inspiration behind “The Forgotten Narrative” stems from the organization’s mission to provide more opportunities for African Americans and other minorities to have an influential voice in the Honors College and the
Mason community at large. Director of Gunston Hall Scott Stroh believes that understanding what role slavery played during the birth of our nation and what can we take from the controversy surrounding Mason is integral to discerning the systemic effect these events have on our society and university today. As Moffitt said, “Distancing oneself from history is a precursor to the ignorance that follows.” Looking back at this history, Mason was integral in creating the Virginia Declaration of Rights in 1776, which became the inspiration behind the Bill of Rights, or the first 10 amendments to our Constitution, according to the Bill of Rights Institute’s website. “An active learner all of his life,” Stroh said, “(Mason’s) main commitment was to genuine public service.” Stroh added that while Mason represented Fairfax County in Virginia’s House of Delegates and served in the Federal Convention representing Virginia, he
S TAY MASON
actively turned down opportunities in politics. He added that Mason believed the celebrity of political positions often overshadowed the service itself. “He was not afraid to be the dissenting voice, especially in his commitment to the Bill of Rights,” Moffitt said. Although Mason was an active participant in creating the Constitution, he was one of the members of the convention who did not sign the final draft, according to Gunston Hall’s list of Mason’s objections to the Constitution. One of his main criticisms was that, without a separate clause for a declaration of rights, citizens would not be equally protected under their various states’ declarations. “He really cared about human rights,” Maya Hairston, a member of HCBA, said after attending the event. “I also toured Gunston Hall and afterwards I kept thinking that, despite him owning slaves, this is the kind of politician I want to see today.” Yet in order to have an influence over
politics in Mason’s time, wealth was a necessity, Robinson Professor of U.S. History and panelist at the event Spencer Crew said. Crew clarified that Mason’s affluence came in part from owning slaves. “[Your] social and political standing both revolved around your wealth. You didn’t get to participate in Congress if you weren’t wealthy,” Crew said. Another reason why Mason refused to sign the constitution concerned his criticism of the Constitutional Convention for postponing the end of the slave trade by another 20 years, as written in his list of objections. Mason’s position on slavery stemmed from his lack of need for slaves, according to Stroh. “We have to still keep in mind,” Stroh said, that “the slave trade didn’t directly affect him because he had enough slaves.” Crew also added Mason’s position was related to him being a Virginian. Virginia as a whole wasn’t in need of any more slaves and “by selling slaves to states
STUDENT SUPPORT FUND
like Georgia and South Carolina, Virginia slaves could actually increase in value,” Crew said. In that sense Crew said that from a Virginian perspective, ending the slave trade was a major economic incentive. Despite a desire to stop the slave trade, there was an undoubtable economic push for Mason and the other founding fathers to keep their slaves, Crew said. “It would be like giving up everything that makes you important,” Crew said, “because it involves the separation of your intellectual self and your [perceived need for] self-preservation.” Stroh said that while Mason vehemently stated the evils of slavery in his writings, he does not bear a moral obligation to stop the practice on the slaves’ behalf. “In actuality,” Stroh said, “he was more concerned with the negative consequences on white people of society.” (Continued on Page 5)
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.
In the collection entitled “The Papers of George Mason,” Mason wrote, “[Slavery is a] slow Poison, which is daily contaminating the Minds & Morals of our People. Every Gentleman here is born a petty Tyrant… And in such an infernal School are to be educated our future Legislators & Rulers.” Within this passage, Stroh commented that we can understand that Mason believed slavery was a toxic force in the nation because of the people in power’s reliance upon the practice. Despite Mason’s belief, Stroh said that we cannot ignore that Mason’s concern was not with the slaves themselves because “he viewed blacks to be inferior to others.” There is not much knowledge concerning Mason’s treatment of his slaves. What Stroh said he does know, however, is that whenever a slave tried to escape, Mason was “very diligent in getting them back.” Mason also named 36 slaves in his will, yet did not free any upon his death, while other founding fathers, such as George Washington, did. Participants of “The Forgotten Narrative” said students at Mason might want to consider these ideas when thinking of the nation’s history and today’s modern issues. Stroh said it’s important to understand Mason and the historical context associated with his story as it helps when discussing race, power and government today.
Campus News Crew added that Mason was a man who still lived within many oppressive societal rules. This has prompted Crew to ask the questions, “What benefits do people get from having things stay the way they are? Are there aspects of that you are willing to give up for more equality or do we allow the poison to continue to fester? None of us are perfect, but we can strive to do better.” While Jalah Townsend, another member of HCBA, disliked Mason’s hypocrisy concerning slaves, she said, “He was very strong in who he was. [As a university] in the future we need to be stronger in who we are.” Mason made it into the top 50 for the most ethnically diverse schools in the country by the U.S. News and World Report’s Campus Ethnic Diversity list for 2016. However, many like Townsend have come to comment that while diversity is strong at Mason, the university has not reached the ultimate goal of inclusion. One of Moffitt’s main reasons for establishing HCBA alongside co-founder Nakia Ridgeway was to create a more inviting space for students of minority backgrounds who felt their voices were neglected. The university’s namesake’s battle with equal rights was not seen to the fullest during his lifetime. This has led Moffitt to to encourage his peers to ask the critical question, “Do equal rights actually apply to everyone at Mason?”
“In my opinion, our purpose is not to justify or apologize for these realities, but to understand and facilitate discussions about the meaning of this history and its continuing relevance today,” Stroh said. “Equally important, we must understand Mason in the context of his time and place. While his enslavement of Africans is abhorrent, his opposition to slavery, his writing of the Virginia Declaration of Rights and his advocacy of the Bill of Rights was very important to all that has occurred since as our country has tried to live up to the promise that all are equal and free.” (NAOMI FOLTA/ FOURTH ESTATE)
Police Chief search update The search for the new Chief of Police turns up inconclusive NATALIA KOLENKO | CAMPUS NEWS EDITOR
This past Tuesday, Oct. 18, Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance Jennifer W. Davis released an email to the community announcing that the interview section of the search for the Mason Chief of Police had concluded. Davis stated in the email that the search for the new Chief was inconclusive based on feedback received across campus. “After collecting your feedback and the feedback
of many other parties across campus, consensus was not reached on who will serve as our next Chief,” Davis said. “As you know, this is a critically important position - leading the Mason Police Department in keeping our campuses and communities safe.” She added that she plans on taking time to consider the next step needed to find a new Chief. In the meantime, “Chief Carl Rowan has agreed to continue to serve as Interim Chief of Police until we can determine the best longterm course of action for the Mason community,” Davis said.
Mason treasure hunter Professor collects treasures of African American history for New Museum FAREEHA REHMAN | STAFF WRITER
What’s the story you want to tell? For Robinson Professor Spencer Crew, it was the story of African-American communities that were able to thrive despite the challenges they faced after slavery. Crew was able to help tell this story by taking part in curating “Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom: Era of Segregation 1876-1968,” one of the history exhibitions in the new National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened Sept. 24 of this year. According to the museum’s website, the exhibition spans 92 years of intense pressure on African Americans to take
away their rights as citizens and is split into four sections, all detailed on the website as followed. The exhibit begins with “Creating a Segregated Society (1876-1900),” which features the development of black colleges and universities after the end of the Civil War and a campaign against lynching led by Ida B. Wells.
considers to be the most powerful piece of the exhibit. The lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till was the “stimulus for the modern Civil Rights Movement as people see what happened to him and become, I think, unhappy and determined to make things different,” Crew said.
be constantly inquisitive in case people might have something unexpected,” Crew said.
History and Culture, Lonnie Bunch, requesting him in 2010 to guest curate this exhibit.
Marcus Garvey’s hat was one of those unexpected treasures Crew said he was able to find.
The museum is not only a culmination of many years of hard work by the staff, “it’s been over a hundred years’ worth of people sort of pushing for some sort of representation of African American history of some stature in the nation’s capital,” Crew said.
The rise of new protest actions and black organizations is featured in the exhibits “Institution Building (19001917)” and “The New Negro Steps Forward (1917-1945).”
Crew said these pieces are some among other artifacts collected from across the country. They come as donations from universities and other museums, as well as from individuals who want to share their treasured item.
Garvey, who advocated for his fellow African Americans between 1910 and 1940, was an “exuberant kind of individual and there’s a certain hat that he wore. The fact that we were able to get his hat was really unusual and special because you don’t see that around very much at all,” Crew said.
Finally, “‘Freedom Now!’ The Modern Civil Rights Movement (1945-1968),” features a dress sewn by Rosa Parks and the casket of Emmett Till, which Crew
“That’s what makes it exciting. You never know where something good might be located so you have to have an open mind and ask good questions and
Crew added that his 20 years of work at the Smithsonian prior to teaching at Mason led to the Director of the National Museum of African American
For those who wish to visit the museum, a timed pass must first obtained, available daily online and at the museum’s physical location, according to the museum’s website; however, advanced passes are not available by phone or online through March 2017.
Foodies Unite ‘HUNGRY’ app serves up fresh dishes straight to your door RIDA KAYANI | STAFF WRITER
A new food inspired app, HUNGRY, has been brought to the area to serve up authentic chef-curated meals to the Mason community. Th “serial entrepreneurs,” as siblings Shayan and Eman Pahlevani call themselves on the HUNGRY website, said they decided to create an app where they could introduce an open platform between foodies and local chefs, something they believed was missing in the modern food industry. The app offers up a number of meals prepared by real chefs all at the touch of a button. “Research proved that chefs and caterers were already selling their meals, but a marketplace that connected the foodies with the chefs was the missing piece,” Shayan Pahlevani said. The HUNGRY app is currently only available on iOS, but according to Pahlevani, the services will eventually extend to Android devices. It will also allow anyone with internet access to place orders online through the HUNGRY website. Within the app, users will find several tabs to browse through, such as meal
options, top chefs, personal orders and an account tab to upload an address and payment method. In addition, the chefs and meals are catered to an individual’s location, taste and even the time of day or date, Shayan said. Shayan Pahlevani said, “Our app is an order-ahead model, so you can pick a date and order your meal ahead of time.” He added that each trending chef has their own profile with a brief description of their experience and specialties. “Our ‘top chefs’ tab serves as a trending page for our chefs so you can always see the best chefs in your area,” Shayan Pahlevani said.
Shayan Pahlevani also said “delivery is always free for orders over one meal.”
the code ‘GMU’ upon checkout within the app.
On the other end of the screen are chef ’s that coordinate with incoming orders and their own expertise.
The goal of HUNGRY, as Shayan Pahlevani claimed, is to “revolutionize
a new way of ordering food where you know the person cooking your food, and you have direct access to your favorite local chef.”
“Chefs create the menus that they want to sell, and cook on their own time,” Shayan Pahlevani said. Since the launch of the app, Shayan Pahlevani said that over 500 chefs applied to serve the DMV area, and currently 70 are approved to sell and cook for the app. In addition, he said “lunch has been so successful, with all our chefs selling out daily, that we are opening up dinner hours.”
As far as menu options go, the app offers a variety of diverse options, including the best-selling “Pineapple Habanero Burger,” “Indian Kathi Roll” and “Chicken Wing Adobo,” to name a few, Shayan Pahlevani said.
The two siblings have also worked on a safety app called LiveSafe with a similar motivation, which has now reached the number one slot for safety apps on campuses nationwide, Shayan Pahlevani said.
People can use the filter option to select “specific cuisine, dietary preference and allergies,” Shayan Pahlevani said, as well as choosing the type of food they would like, such as desserts or salads. The prices range anywhere between $10 to $14 (for lunch), depending on the meal of choice, plus a delivery fee, but
As of right now, HUNGRY does not deliver on the weekends, but that is something the founders are working towards establishing as the app gains traction, Shayan Pahlevani said. He added as a special promotion, HUNGRY is offering an exclusive 50 percent discount for all Mason students and faculty by using (PHOTO COURTESY OR SHAYAN PAHLEVANI)
Avett Brothers get psyched
The North Carolina folk-rockers play Jerry Garcia tribute at EagleBank Arena MACKENZIE REAGAN | EDITORIN-CHIEF
Casting directors for biopics have a difficult choice to make: do they cast Actor A, who looks just like the subject, or Actor B, who might never be mistaken for the subject but embodies their “essence?” Neither choice is necessarily right or wrong; both actors can help tell the story. In terms of casting for a Jerry Garcia tribute, the Avett Brothers are decidedly Actor B. The Avetts are a folk-rock band from Mount Pleasant, North Carolina. They’re known for what Pitchfork called “chummy earnestness.” They’re cleancut Southern boys with families. But with the help of Warren Haynes, the longtime guitarist of the Allman Brothers Band who’s toured with surviving members of the Grateful Dead since the ‘90s, the Avett Brothers became a perfect stand-in for one of psych-rock’s biggest icons Oct. 15. The night started strong with “Think,” a track the Jerry Garcia Band covered live which later appeared on 1997’s “How Sweet It Is.” It’s hard to cover a song by one artist that was a cover of another artist without sounding like an American Idol hopeful
singing for votes. But the Avetts’ twang felt entirely genuine on Van Morrison’s “And It Stoned Me.” They were in their soulful, introspective element. Although Bob Dylan, noted Nobel Prize winner, was the one to introduce the Beatles to weed, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” isn’t exactly psych-rock.
of his music. Their rejection of kitsch gave their performance a sense of authenticity and, well, “earnestness.” Haynes gave the night authenticity in his own way, playing the songs he’s been playing for years. He kept the Avett
Brothers on track, ensuring they maintained the folkier elements of Garcia’s repertoire while never veering into all-out Americana.
mix of tie-dye-clad Boomers and college kids who like the Avett Brothers—on a fuzzy, feedback-y trip to a time much chiller than 2016.
Over the course of three hours plus an encore, the band guided the crowd—a
Until the Avetts played it. Over the course of 10 minutes, the band jammed to the 1973 classic, and not a chord felt out of place. The tribute show, entitled “Dear Jerry: This is 30!” was intended to be a replication of an unspecified October 1986 --according to meticulously-curated fansites, it might be Oct. 5 -- Jerry Garcia Band concert. But it never felt like merely a Garcia pageant. It felt like a group of musicians hanging out on a Saturday and playing some songs they loved. The Avett Brothers weren’t doing an impression of Garcia; rather, they were doing their interpretation (PHOTO COURTESY BLACKBIRD PRESENTS)
Concert time Jazz in Washington D.C. KELLY FOSTER | STAFF WRITER
For recent events across the Washington D.C. area and around the Mason community, The Carmel Institute of Russian Culture and History offered a chance for students to hear musicians Igor Butman and Wynton Marsalis play live with the Moscow Jazz Orchestra. Every year, The Carmel Institute of Russian Culture and History sponsors a night of jazz and cultural understanding to students and interested listeners. This
event, which focuses on music and culture, usually takes place at the scenic Lincoln Theatre in Washington D.C. where Wynton Marsalis plays and saxophonist Igor Butman performs with his band.
Butman Music. He has also been highly recognized by many celebrities, including Bill Clinton, who praised him at a state dinner in Moscow as possibly “the greatest living jazz saxophone player.”
Igor Butman is Russia’s beloved jazz saxophonist, and his work is highly regarded throughout most of the world. He has performed in various high-class scenes like jazz concerts, festivals and the Olympic games, as well as being a club owner and television host. He has produced several albums and even launched his own record label called
The other talented musical guest who appeared was Wynton Marsalis, a trumpeter, composer, teacher and artistic director of jazz at the Lincoln Center in New York City. His main instruments are trumpet, cornet and flugelhorn. For his work, he’s had the honor of receiving nine Grammys, and one of his compositions was the first jazz piece to
win the Pulitzer Prize in Music. In 1986, he also performed the national anthem for Super Bowl XX. Today, he aspires to assist young audiences in appreciating the musical arts, specifically jazz and classical music. For the fifth anniversary celebration of the Carmel Institute, a concert was held Friday, Oct. 21, and the institute offered music as a unique way to share Russian culture while also uniting people under the swaying notes of smooth jazz. The Carmel Institute of Russian Culture and History seeks to promote a greater
global understanding of Russia as well as a deeper love for jazz. To students, the company offered a reception after the concert where they could mingle and discuss the night in greater detail. Most students at the reception understood the importance music has for various cultures around the globe; indeed, the night proved music has no borders and jazz unites listeners of any language or culture. The concert was a unique opportunity for students interested in becoming musicians or who simply wanted to enjoy jazz while learning about Russian culture.
Women’s tennis wraps up fall season at Navy Blue and Gold Invitational MICHAEL ABLER | STAFF WRITER
As far as the women’s tennis team and their Head Coach, Stephen Curtis, are concerned, the future looks bright as their fall season comes to an end. Their season concluded Oct. 9 with the completion of the Navy Blue and Gold Invitational, where they competed against 10 other programs.
matches -- again split into flights of A through F -- which were a bit more successful, with Mason winning six matches. “The teams we had to face in this tournament are tough to beat and we didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for them,” Coach Curtis said. “This tournament had a lot of powerful teams so it was a good way of seeing how we stack up against stiff competition.”
In three segments of doubles matches, which were split into flights of A, B and C, the Patriots struggled but won one of the eight matches in which they participated.
Over the course of this season, which included the Mason Invitational Mock Dual, the UMW Fall Kickoff Classic and the Loyola Invitational, Curtis believes he has seen the team make some marked improvements.
The winners of the doubles for Mason were Morgan Yang and Nicole Haigwood, who won the single-set match 6-1.
“We’re a young team,” he said, “but we’re also advancing very quickly, and I’m very pleased with that.”
There were also five segments of single
The Patriots defeated Howard University
8-2 and Christopher Newport 5-4 during the Mason Invitational, and then won 11 out of 18 singles matches, as well as going undefeated in doubles at the UMW Fall Kickoff Classic. Curtis also said that they have “room for improvement, but also a lot of potential.” Their potential will be boosted by the veterans on the active roster, as well as Curtis’ plan to recruit in the upcoming offseason. “One of my star players will [also] be back in the spring from studying abroad,” Curtis said. Sydney Green corroborated Curtis’ observation of improvement within her, saying, “I think I’m getting past those growing pains and I’m learning more and more about how I can eliminate these mistakes that hurt us in [the Navy Blue and Gold Invitational].”
But Green also said that their most potent weapon, and key for capitalizing on their improvement, is the team’s passion for the game. “We work hard every day during practice and the games,” she said. “We may be young, but we’re very driven to improve and win games.”
Swimming and diving players surface with A10 honors DAVE SCHRACK | SPORTS EDITOR
Their “bonding as a family unit as a team and pushing each other harder,” Haigwood said, has helped them become “more dangerous.”
Three members of the swimming and diving team were given Atlantic-10 honors Oct. 18.
The Patriots hosted a Campus Showdown event Oct. 22 and 23, and will also host an Alumni event Oct. 29, neither of which are a part of their main season.
Sydney Fisher earned the Women’s Performer of the Week, Paul Helfgott earned the Men’s Performer of the Week and Attila Kiss earned Men’s Rookie of the Week.
Their spring tournament schedule is yet to be released.
The awards came after Mason defeated the Delaware Blue Hens during the first home swim meet of the season, in which the men’s team won 184-114 and the women’s team won 167-127.