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FOURTH ESTATE October 31, 2016 | Volume 4 Issue 8 George Mason University’s official student news outlet gmufourthestate.com | @IVEstate

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Meal tax on ballot

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Have a hair-raising Halloween

7 Nats season in review


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MacKenzie Reagan

Letter to the Editor During the third Clinton-Trump presidential debate, Trump stated “She’s taking in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, who probably in many cases — not probably, who are definitely in many cases, ISIS-aligned, and we now have them in our country.” Trump is seen again, referring to refugees as dangerous terrorists. This calls back to his campaign’s earlier comments about refugees as poisonous candy. On Sept. 19 at 6:41 p.m., Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a controversial presidential campaign ad that compared Syrian refugees to Skittles. The image was captioned “If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful?” This analogy is extremely racist, offensive and obnoxious. This tweet made a mockery out of the refugees and dehumanized them. How can one compare people running for their lives to a bowl of candy? The Syrian refugee crisis is no laughing matter, there are civilians being killed on a daily basis. Over 11 million people have either been killed or forced to leave their homes. These people are risking their lives in hopes of finding safety in other countries. Everyone has seen what atrocities are going on in Syria currently. The little boy who was washed ashore dead and the chilling pictures of the bewildered young Omran Daqneesh are clear evidence of the horrors of the Syrian crisis. These are the people Trump is deeming to be “poisonous” for America. One of the main fears some Americans might hold about letting refugees into the US, would be the possible threat to our national security. These people fear that members of ISIS would take advantage of the refugee status and infiltrate into the US to spread more terror. Trump is seen to be relying on the symbolic pathway of policies heavily. His campaign is swaying the public towards his set of views by playing on their fear of terrorism. He is exaggerating their fears. Syrian refugees should not be denied entrance into the US, just because of a few bad apples. According to the CATO Institute, “Of the 859,629 refugees admitted from 2001 onwards, only three have been convicted of planning terrorist attacks on targets outside of the United States, and none was successfully carried out.” The government doesn’t blindly grant people asylum, there are excessive security screenings and background checks of the potential incoming refugees conducted by the FBI and CIA. We should look past this issue and look at the greater picture of giving refugees asylum in our nation. I believe that it is our duty to help others out; this is what makes us human. If we don’t help these people, who will? We claim to be the best nation in the world and pride ourselves at our freedoms. Our declaration of independence states that everyone is endowed with unalienable rights and among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. America itself was founded by people who were fleeing persecution; this is exactly what the refugees are doing. If we truly believe in these ideas, how come we are not following through with them? Other nations like Sweden and Turkey have seemed to embodied our nation’s beliefs more than us and have granted entry to a vast number of refugees. Everyone deserves to be safe and not be in constant fear for their life; after all the refugees have gone through, they deserve a chance at life and happiness.

-Fatima Sajjad

Crime Log Oct. 25

2016-032275 / False Pretenses / Swindle / Confidence Game Complainant (GMU) reported being the victim of a scam involving the solicitation of donations for a scholarship fund in exchange for children’s books. Johnson Center (Food Court) | Pending | 4:15 PM

Editor-In-Chief

Sosan Malik Managing Editor

Jennifer Shaskan Online Editor

Natalia Kolenko Campus Editor

Todd Gonda Copy Chief

David Schrack Sports Editor

Megan Zendek Art Director

Oct. 28

2016-032388 / Dating Violence / Simple Assault / Drug Equipment Violations / Drunkenness / False ID to Law Enforcement Subject (GMU) was arrested and transported to Fairfax County Adult Detention Center for physically assaulting their intimate partner (GMU), possessing illegal drug equipment, being highly intoxicated in public, and providing false identification to law enforcement. Subject was also trespassed from all housing areas and issued a no-contact order. Liberty Square (hallway) | Cleared by Arrest / Referred to Title IX | 12:29 AM

Naomi Folta Photo Editor

Billy Ferguson Graphics Editor

Regine Victoria Social Media Editor

Emmett Smith Distribution Manager

Kathryn Mangus Director

David Carroll Associate Director

Leslie Steiger Fiscal and Operations Assistant Director

Alyssa Swaney

ON THE COVER

Photo courtesy of Mimi Albano. On Oct. 25, the Political and Policy Communication Forum was held in Dewberry Hall in the Johnson Center. For full coverage of the event, see Jacqueline Reed’s article on wgmuradio.com.

Sales Team

Wesley Ward Sales Team 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


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Miscommunication in gunmen scare Students voice frustrations with Mason Alert ROSHAN MIRAJKAR | STAFF WRITER

A routine ROTC training session at Mason Sept. 22 caused panic on campus when an individual reported seeing two armed men on campus. It was later discovered that the two supposed gunmen were actually two members of the ROTC taking part in a military training exercise. The incident left members of the community, like junior Ahmad Mohammed, wondering why the university was unaware of this routine exercise. “Something I do not understand is that how they [the university] did not know that they were having a ROTC practice drill. Doesn’t Mason know that the ROTC has a practice drill on this day at this time?” Mohammed said. “They should know and it is their responsibility to know all events going on campus.” According to a Mason Alert, around 2:30 p.m. an individual contacted Mason Police reporting they had seen two men carrying assault rifle-style weapons near the Field House. Mason Police were immediately dispatched to find and investigate the two individuals. At 2:45 p.m., a Mason Alert was sent stating Mason Police were searching for two males near the Field House. By 3:09 p.m., it was learned that the two males were part of the ROTC training exercise, and a Mason Alert stated there was no known danger to the Mason community. Four days later, a Mason Alert sent Sept. 26 clarified that the two individuals were ROTC cadets who were carrying plastic replicas of weapons and were participating in an ROTC training exercise. As detailed by the University’s Department of Police and Public Safety in the 2016 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, in the presence

of an active shooter people should exit the building, take shelter and call 911. Aside from the initial Mason Alert identifying the gender and location of the two individuals under suspicion, no notice was given concerning these procedures.

open areas. After that I left campus because I was a little worried,” Khan said.

For 39 minutes, members of the Mason community did not know conclusively whether the threat level would escalate or shrink. Many students who were not currently in class decided to leave campus or seek shelter for their own safety concerns.

“Before I checked my phone, the TA who was proctoring the exam told us that there were two people with assault rifles. I did feel a sense of fear temporarily as is normal in a situation as serious as this,” Mohammed said.

Junior Rezwana Khan was prepared to head to her 3 p.m. class, but the initial Mason Alert was enough to deter her from staying on campus. “I got the alert right before class and someone was yelling inside Exploratory Hall telling everyone to get away from

As Mohammed was in an exam at the time he did not see the alerts at first; he was only able to check them after his test had finished, but he recalled being scared initially.

Mohammed added that his actions would have been different had he dealt with the Mason Alert in real time and he would have taken extra precautions by making sure not to leave the building he was in. Despite the incident, he said he generally feels safe on campus. Michael Sandler, the director of the

Office of Strategic Communications, acknowledged that the initial Mason Alert that was sent out to everyone could have been improved to be clearer and that emergency practices are being reviewed to make sure messages are timely and informative. Sandler also stressed the importance of collaboration between ROTC and Mason Police and said, “ROTC leaders must work with university leaders to ensure that their exercises are consistent with university policies.” Mason Army ROTC declined to provide further comments and said they were no longer commenting on the incident. Sandler said that despite the miscommunication, it’s important to recognize what worked well the day of the incident. He said the university

succeeded in communicating the potential threat in real time and then quickly communicated the outcome of the police investigation. Mason Police offers several resources to be better equipped in situations like the ROTC training mishap, including taking an active shooter training class, reading university policy and checking daily crime logs at the Mason Police website. Brian Higgins, Mason Police’s active threat resource officer, also conducts classes on the prevention of and response to active threats that may exist on campuses, such as active shooters. For more information, visit the Mason Police website. To register for Mason Alerts, visit https://ready.gmu.edu/masonalert/.

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Sola Salon at University Mall Chi’s Hair Studio is looking for new clients! All services are now 20% off through November. Set up an appointment today (571) 243-4618. Walk-ins are welcome too! Open 5 days a week. Hope to see you soon 10621-K Braddock Road Fairfax, VA 22032 --

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Meal tax vote Proposed Fairfax meal tax to appear on November ballot KATYA BEISEL | STAFF WRITER

Voters living in Fairfax County will have several choices to make on their ballots when they vote Nov. 8. Aside from voting for candidates in the presidential, state and local elections, voters will also be asked to decide on two proposed amendments to the state constitution and a meals tax referendum. If enacted, the meal tax could bring the total amount of tax on pre-prepared foods to as much as 10 percent, given that a 6 percent state tax is already levied on pre-prepared foods. The tax would apply to food sold at restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, movie theaters, food trucks and other establishments. Critics of the proposed meals tax argue that such a measure unfairly targets the food service industry, would make Fairfax County less competitive

in attracting businesses and could adversely impact middle and low-income consumers who more frequently purchase such goods. According to the Fairfax County Press Desk and online copies of the ballot, 70 percent of revenue from the meals tax would go to Fairfax County Public Schools, and the remaining 30 percent would be used for public services and to alleviate property taxes. “While many of us have benefited from public education and recognize the importance of funding our local school system, we cannot support a tax that will disproportionately impact those in our community who depend the most on dining options that would be affected by this tax,” Speaker of the Student Senate Caleb Kitchen said. The 37 Student Senators passed a resolution Sept. 8 encouraging all members

of the Fairfax community to vote against the measure. Mason’s Student Government is not alone in its opposition to the proposed tax; numerous local eateries and businesses have spoken out against the measure. Despite a potential gain of $96 million in tax revenue, the Dulles Regional, Greater Reston, Northern Virginia, Greater Springfield and Virginia Hispanic Chambers of Commerce have all opposed the proposed meal tax. “Let’s be clear, it is not a meals tax, it is a food tax. The tax is much more far-reaching than adding a tax to the next meal at your favorite restaurant,” Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jim Corcoran said in a letter to the Washington Post. “It taxes your morning cup of coffee, your last-minute prepared-food item after soccer practice and your pizza delivery order after a long day at work. There

is a strong possibility that something on your dinner table tonight would be taxed if Fairfax County voters don’t reject the new tax.” Despite the strong criticism the proposed tax has received, it has some supporters outside of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Numerous Parent-Teacher Associations (PTA) have voiced support for the measure, including Langston Hughes Middle School, Haycock Elementary and the Fairfax County Council of PTAs. Businesses and other food vendors in Clifton, Vienna and Herndon would be exempt from implementing the new tax because those communities already have a meals tax. Pamphlets that were mailed to voters in September to inform of the proposed tax added several more exceptions, such as school and hospital cafeterias, religious and non-profit institutions that serve meals as part of

services, and grocery stores. However, the tax would still apply to ready-to-eat groceries such as delicatessen products. The proposal itself states that the purpose of the meals tax is to decrease dependency on property and real estate taxes for revenue. An estimated 65 percent of the funds for the county’s general budget come from real estate taxes. As noted in the explanation, state taxation laws limit how municipal and county administrations can raise revenue. “Almost 90 percent of Fairfax County non-property tax revenues are capped, limited or controlled by the state,” according to the Board of Supervisors’ explanation, which is available on Fairfax County’s voter information page. “A meals tax would give the County a new source of revenue, which would help diversify the County’s revenue base.”

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report released Mason Safety report highlights sexual assault prevention FAREEHA REHMAN | STAFF WRITER

Mason’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report was released to the community Sept. 30, and this year’s report contained several points on dealing with sexual assault on campus. Each September or October, Mason releases the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, a combined report that includes, but is not limited to, campus safety and security policy disclosures, statistics for Clery Act crimes and fire statistics for on-campus student housing facilities, according to the Mason Police website. The report is based on requirements from the Jeanne Clery Act, a consumer protection law passed in 1990. According to Eric Fowler, Mason’s Clery Compliance Coordinator, Jeanne Clery was a student at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania who was assaulted by another student in 1986, a time when doors and windows were often unlocked.

Clery’s parents believed the students’ lack of concern for safety was due to the lack of transparency in universities reporting campus crime. They campaigned to pass the law nationwide. With the passing of this law, Mason and other universities are now required to report campus crime and describe how they prevent crimes. For example, Mason’s report shows a statistical comparison of the types of Clery crimes reported in 2013, 2014 and 2015. In 2014, stalking at Mason was reported 34 times, and in 2015, 45 times. Fondling was reported seven times in 2014, and 12 times in 2015. Although it may seem like a cause for concern to see the crime statistics reported higher, Fowler said he has a different perspective. Fowler said that the rise in statistics is because the university has done a better job at raising awareness about reporting sexual assault through

campaigns and programs, such as Bystander Awareness Training. “Schools all over the country are reporting higher numbers, and it’s not that there’s a sudden uptick in offenders running around, it’s that more people are feeling comfortable to report,” Fowler said. According to Fowler, one in five students is a victim of campus sexual assault, but the number of reported sexual assaults at Mason is only a sliver of that statistic. Media attention on campus sexual assault triggers more people to report, Fowler added. “The university is saying we want you to come out of the shadows, we want you to report and get help… I think the employees are also becoming more aware of their obligations to report not only to the police but also to the Title IX coordinator,” Fowler said. According to the Clery Center’s website, the Clery Act requires all colleges and

universities who receive federal funding to report crime on campus and inform students of their efforts to improve campus safety. It also requires these institutions to provide support and options for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. Lastly, universities are required to outline their specific policies and procedures relating to the reporting process, post timely warnings and make emergency notifications and options available to survivors. Aside from the increase of reported crime in certain categories, other changes were seen in Mason’s 2016 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. For one, the section titled “Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures” was renamed to “Sexual Harassment Misconduct Policy.” Two other sections were also changed slightly: one for students and one for employees,

titled “Procedures for Institutional Disciplinary Action in Cases of Alleged Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, Stalking or Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Committed by Students” and “Procedures for Institutional Disciplinary Action in Cases of Alleged Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, Stalking or Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Committed by Employees,” had previously said “Involving Students/ Employees” rather than “Committed by.” Although the Clery Act requires immediate emergency notifications to be sent out, it does not require universities to report on cases such as bomb threats and kidnappings, Fowler said. However, there is a daily crime log, which can be found on the Mason Police website or Facebook.com/GMUPolice, that reports day to day crime on campus. The 2016 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report can be viewed on police.gmu.edu.


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Native American Heritage Month

The Native American Indigenous Alliance hosts 14th annual Powwow HAMNA AHMAD | STAFF WRITER

The Native American and Indigenous Alliance (NAIA) will host its 14th annual Veterans Day Powwow Friday, Nov. 11. The event, which will take place on the SUB I quad, features Native American culture while also commemorating the sacrifices of veterans from across the country. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s website, a powwow is a social gathering of Native Americans that usually includes food and dancing. As for NAIA’s powwow, “It is a Veterans Day powwow, so we celebrate veterans, both Native and non-Native veterans here in the community. It’s also a way for us to celebrate Native American heritage here on campus and in the Northern Virginia community at large,” Janie Stallings, president of NAIA and a history major with a minor in Native American and indigenous studies, said. The first Veterans Day Powwow was hosted in 2002 by NAIA’s precursor, the Native American and Alaskan Student Association (the organization’s name changed in 2010 to what it is currently to be more inclusive.) Stalling said that the first powwow was a much smaller

event, but the events have grown exponentially in both size and scope in the past 14 years. “Powwows are pretty common in native communities,” Stalling said. “It’s a very big way to celebrate culture and heritage, and so having one on campus was pretty important as a way for Native students to have something that celebrates the culture and history.” Current NAIA students work closely with alumni members to organize the event, from preparing the gifts for the participants to contacting Native leaders in the community. Stalling said planning for the powwow starts at least a year in advance, and the club starts reaching out to vendors and head staff at least three months prior. The powwow has both social dances, in which audience members can participate, and exhibition dances that showcase individual cultures and talent. Head staff includes the head man and head woman, who lead the dancers in, as well as the emcee, who narrates and will discuss the significance of the event. This year’s powwow will also feature a talk about the Dakota Access Pipeline, a crude oil pipeline developed by the Energy Transfer Partners of Dallas that will transport oil from North Dakota to Illinois but

will, according to critics, disrupt Standing Rock Sioux land and drinking water. For NAIA Vice President Zintkala Eiring, the powwow is a way to connect to her roots in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. “My mother took me to powwows as a baby and got me a dancing jingle dress as soon as I could walk,” Eiring said. “Being native is knowing where you came from, what your people have been through, [what they] still endure and have some kind of goal to give back may it be through storytelling [or] gardening.” NAIA kicked off Native American Heritage Month prior to the powwow with a sage bundling workshop Oct. 26 and a powwow etiquette meeting Nov. 9, which is also “Rock your Mocs” day, for which students will be wearing their moccasins to honor indigenous people worldwide. Nov. 16, the club will be hosting a “Day of Mourning” talk and lecture about the history of Thanksgiving and a movie screening Nov. 30 to round out the month. “The best thing NAIA does on campus that no other club can do is bring in indigenous presence on campus,” Eiring said. “We welcome all students of all backgrounds to join our group and be involved in our discussions and events.”

(BILLY FERGUSON/ FOURTH ESTATE)

Student Government update Key legislation, discussion and debates RYAN COONEY | STUDENT GOVERNMENT BEAT WRITER

On Oct. 20, Mason’s Student Senate met for its weekly meeting in Merten Hall Room 1201. Key legislation of the day included the support and funding of Lunch with a Dean, the approval of giving the President line item veto power and the election of a new clerk. Following a lengthy debate, the Senate stood in support of Lunch with a Dean, citing that it was an important way for students to better understand how their respective schools operated. This lunch will allow for students to ask questions about their schools, meet with administrators and overall create a better connection with their University. The Senate also approved an expenditure of $150 for the Lunch with a Dean

program during the Fall 2016 semester. Should this amount prove to be less than needed, the Senate said it will discuss increasing the funding for the lunch, which will be held at the Rathskeller on Nov. 2 at 12 p.m. in SUB 1. The Senate was divided on the idea of approving a line item veto for the President. A line item veto is the power to reject only parts of legislation instead of rejecting a bill outright as is the case with a regular veto. However, after lengthy debate the Senate did approve the line item veto, citing that if the President chose to use the line item veto, other parts of legislation could still pass. The Senate also noted that a two-thirds majority could overturn a line item veto. At the meeting, Senator Brendan Sullivan was elected Senate clerk following the resignation of Senator Ryan

Powers. Senator Powers resigned after he received an internship that would not allow him to continue in his role as clerk. When asked on how it felt to be elected clerk, Sullivan said, “It’s a great honor, and I look forward to upholding the great work of the previous clerk.” The Senate also discussed changes to the Johnson Center in which six retail locations will be closed this upcoming spring semester due to renovations. During this time, six food trucks will be made available outside the Johnson Center which will accept food plans students currently use. The student government is also looking to start a bike rental program on campus in conjunction with Mason Recreation. The bikes will be available for use both on campus and around Fairfax.

The Senate talked briefly about future changes to the Mason campus, including the renovation of Robinson Hall, located directly across from the Johnson Center. In what will be a two-stage process, work will first commence on water lines that run under the building. Once this work has been completed, actual work to the building will commence, which Mason hopes to begin in Fall 2019. Another key issue that the Senate looked at was the results of the What Do You Want Wednesday Campaign, where Student Government leaders interact with students to hear concerns and facilitate conversation on how to better Mason. Popular concerns consisted of dining services in which students are looking for more options, such as more varieties of milk. Other concerns involved the availability of 24-hour

study spaces for students and better lighting on major walkways. What Do You Want Wednesday is held every month in North Plaza at 12 p.m. The Senate looked at increasing its connection with the military as well. Already, Mason has a U.S. Army ROTC program that in October of 2000 separated from Georgetown University. Two years later, the Patriot Battalion became its own standalone battalion. Now, however, there is talk about bringing a U.S. Air Force ROTC program to Mason as well. The program is just shy of the number of participants needed, but should the number be reached, it would still be a few years before the program would be up and running on campus. The Senate is hopeful though and is currently in talks with the U.S. Air Force at the time of writing this article.


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Culture

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How to throw a killer Halloween party Tips for a super-spooky soiree SYDNEY CANO | STAFF WRITER

Fall is the greatest season of them all, full of pumpkins, cider and changing leaves. But the best part? Throwing a Halloween party even Michael Myers would kill to attend. Here’s how: Decorations: Okay, first hit up the $5 aisle at Target.

You know, the section at the front that sucks you in and makes you spend $100 more than you intended to. There, you can find cheap yet cute decorations for your party. Make some spider webs for the wall using black yarn or string. You can buy fake cauldrons to serve the candy in or even to serve cheese dip in. Buy or use old hand towels and make them look bloody with red paint and handprints.

Food: Sick of pumpkin-spiced everything? Make a batch of Rice Krispie Treats and dye them orange with food coloring. Then mold them into circles and top them off with Tootsie Rolls to form stems for pumpkin-free pumpkins. Another spooky treat you can easily do is to take Nutter Butters and dip them into melted white chocolate. Let them

dry and then take a black food marker and draw ghost faces. Want a foolproof treat that even Martha Stewart would approve of ? Take Miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and stick pretzel sticks in them to make witches’ brooms. Activities: No Halloween party is complete without games. Try a seasonally-appropriate version of bowling: Take toilet

paper rolls and cut out black pieces of paper to give them faces. Arrange them to resemble bowling pins and use a small pumpkin as the bowling ball. Follow all these tips and you’ll be certain to have the party in town everyone would be thrilled to attend. And if all else fails? Consult Pinterest.

Fright night

Local lore: get spooked

Four scary movies to watch this Halloween

Three haunted spots in the area

TAYLOR WICHTENDAHL | STAFF WRITER

Happy Halloween, Patriots! To get in the Halloween spirit, tune in to these movies on Halloween Day. (Just don’t watch them alone.) “The Goonies” (Monday at 7 a.m. on Freeform, channel 56.9 on campus) The Goonies is a year-round classic that can add some spooky to your Halloween season. A group of young friends are in danger of losing their neighborhood to a golf course development being built on their land. They discover a treasure map to One-Eyed Willy’s hidden treasure that leads them on a journey to uncover the fortune and save their homes. However, when they find that the treasure is hidden under the restaurant of an evil woman, Mama Fratelli, their plan may be derailed. “Halloween” 1 and 2 (Monday 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. on AMC, channel 51.7) The “Halloween” franchise is a classic set of films that is sure to give you a scare. Released in 1978 and 1981 respectively, “Halloween” 1 and 2 are both considered “slasher films.” The first movie centers on Michael Myers, who murdered his older sister in 1963 at

age 6. At age 21, he escapes from prison and returns to Haddonfield, Illinois, to search for more victims. “Halloween 2” focuses on Myers’ journey to kill a surviving victim of his first rampage as she lays in a hospital recovering from his attack on her life. “Hocus Pocus” (Monday at 9 p.m. and 12 p.m. on Freeform) This 1993 classic has been shown on TV an endless amount of times this Halloween season. Spend your Halloween night watching Bette Midler and her coven of witches on their quest to become immortal. Three teenagers must try their best to stop the coven from reaching their goal. “Ghostbusters” 1 and 2 (Monday at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on VH1, channel 72.2) The “Ghostbusters” franchise has received a big boost lately due to the recent 2016 remake. You can use your Halloween to catch up on the classic versions of Ghostbusters. The first movie follows a group of scientists on a quest to save the world after an increase in paranormal activity in New York City. “Ghostbusters 2” follows the gang after their battle in the first flick, picking up with the disbanding of the Ghostbusters team just as ghosts begin to target New York once more.

MACKENZIE REAGAN | EDITORIN-CHIEF

Feeling brave? Here are three spots in Northern Virginia that are (allegedly) haunted. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Bunnyman Bridge, Clifton Depending on which version of the story you believe, in 1904 (or the early ‘70s), a train carrying prisoners (or patients) from a local penitentiary (or mental hospital) crashed. One inmate escaped. In the coming weeks, people found half-eaten rabbit carcasses lying around near the bridge. Locals reported sightings of an axe (or hatchet)-wielding man in a bunny costume. In some versions, the Bunnyman hacks (or hacked) humans to death, too, rearing his long-eared head on Halloween night to strike fear into the hearts of the brave souls who visit his lair. In other versions, it’s his ghost that lurks in the tunnel. The real danger from visiting the bridge? It’s still in use as an overpass for VRE-Alexandria and Amtrak trains. Free, give or take a few nights of lost sleep Old Towne Inn, Manassas Rooms 50–54 are allegedly haunted by a ghost named Miss Lucy. The ghost likes to mess with weary travelers, tormenting them as they try to sleep

by tugging on their mattresses and making various noises. If she’s feeling really creepy, Miss Lucy’s been known to make customers levitate. She’s said to be a Civil War-era ghost, which makes sense—Manassas is the site of a famous battleground. Not much is known about her motives, but who hasn’t wanted to bother a pesky tourist? Rates vary Lee-Fendall House, Alexandria Dozens of members of Revolutionary War Officer Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee III’s family lived in this house until 1903. During the Civil War, it was turned into hospital. While many soldiers were healed at the hospital, those who didn’t survive were put into the morgue in the back of the property. But that’s not the creepy part: a female ghost is said to inhabit the house. Be sure to pick up when you hear the old-timey telephone ringing. Group tours: $5 | Wednesday–Saturday 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Sunday 1--4 p.m.


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Sports

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Washington Nationals season in review BEN CRISWELL AND MITCHELL WESTALL | STAFF WRITERS

More than a week after losing the final game of the National League Division Series, the Washington Nationals find themselves in a familiar position—a position that does not include a baseball diamond. The Nats won 95 games this season, which is good enough for the second-best record in baseball and a berth in the NLDS. But a combination of injuries, untimely hitting and a clutch Los Angeles Dodgers ball club cut that season short once again. Staff writers Ben Criswell and Mitchell Westall list some ESPY-style awards for the season.

Team MVP: Daniel Murphy and Trea Turner

Ben: Daniel Murphy It’s hard to argue this one, and a little harder to imagine where the Nats would have been this year without him. Coming off a historic World Series run for the New York Mets in 2015, Murphy was brought in to continue his streak of Major League Baseball’s best pitching, and he did just that. Murphy finished the year second in the league in batting with an average of .347. He led the Nationals in runs, hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs and total bases—and a lot of it wasn’t close. By far the most consistent player, Murphy almost single-handedly led the Nats to the franchise’s third playoff berth.

Mitchell: Trea Turner The easy answer here is Daniel Murphy; however, I don’t believe the Nats would have made the playoffs if they had not called up Trea Turner. In a ball club that was struggling for hits as the Mets were getting hot, Turner provided an injection of life into the Nats’ offense. Turner, who played both second base and center field for the Nats, had a short season, and it came at the perfect time. Wilson Ramos batted around .330 all season long, but had a tough second half, finishing at .307 before tearing his ACL with a few days left in the regular

season. While Murphy’s season deserves some serious National League MVP consideration, I believe Turner prevented the Nats from a second straight season where they crumbled after the trade deadline.

Best Pitcher: Max Scherzer Ben: Max Scherzer This one was tough. The Nats boasted one of the best pitching staffs in the league with a team ERA of 3.51, second behind the Cubs. Two Nats pitchers finished the year with an ERA under 3 (Tanner Roark and Scherzer), and Stephen Strasburg was 15-4 before he went down with an elbow injury in September. Thus, I’m giving the nod to Scherzer. While his ERA went up slightly from 2015, Scherzer won six more games, finishing the season with a record of 20-7. As the Nats ace, he went up against the best pitchers in the game on a weekly basis, which makes the record even more impressive when half the games he pitched in were 1-0 or 2-1 finals.

Mitchell: Max Scherzer Before injuries derailed his season, Stephen Strasburg easily took this award. However, once Strasburg went down, it seemed like Max Scherzer began to figure it out. He wasn’t having a bad season before, but he was plagued by the home run ball. Scherzer’s second half, combined with his 20-strikeout gem, put him at the front of the Cy Young conversation along with the late Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins, the Chicago Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester, and even Los Angeles closer Kenley Jansen. Scherzer has five more years on a seven-year contract that he signed two off-seasons ago, and the Nats appear to have a solid 1-2-3 punch with him, Strasburg and Tanner Roark for at least the next few years.

Unsung Hero: Anthony Rendon and Blake Treinen Ben: Anthony Rendon Before Bryce Harper took home the

MVP, there was another young talent who burst his way into the MVP discussion. Just two years ago in 2014, Rendon finished fifth in the National League MVP voting, becoming the first Nats player to finish that high in an MVP race. While an injury-riddled 2015 campaign stymied production, Rendon returned to form in 2016, hitting .270 with 85 RBI and 20 home runs. The often-overlooked Rendon is in just his fourth year in the big leagues, and, barring injury, he will be a good player for a long time.

Mitchell: Blake Treinen Ever since the departure of Tyler Clippard, the Nats have been searching for a setup man to pitch the eighth inning. This season, Blake Treinen appeared to nail down that role for the years to come. His 2.28 regular season ERA was very exceptional in what proved to be a breakout year for the young right-hander. His postseason was less than stellar: he gave up two runs on three hits in 2.2 innings. Look for Treinen to continue to improve over the next couple of seasons, and if the Nats can resign Mark Melancon, they could have their best late-inning bullpen in recent history, with a healthy Aaron Barrett, Shawn Kelley and Sammy Solis for the seventh, Treinen for the eighth and Melancon for the ninth.

Mitchell: Wilson Ramos This season, the Nats enjoyed breakout seasons from several players. Trea Turner burst onto the scene in his second season of major league action, Blake Treinen shored up the back end of the bullpen and Tanner Roark came back to the rotation strong after a shaky 2015 campaign. But my pick for breakout player of the year is Wilson Ramos. Over his injury-plagued career, Ramos has usually hovered around the .270 mark, and his home run total depended on how many games he played. For the second consecutive season, Ramos was able to play a full season, until right at the end when he tore his ACL. This season, he and Daniel Murphy seemed to be the top two contenders for the batting title, but a cold second half dropped his average down to .307. Unfortunately, this injury came at the worst possible time for him entering free agency. Ramos has said he might have to make a move to the American League as a designated hitter since a knee injury will limit his ability to catch. This is unfortunate, because he has become one of the fan favorites on this team.

Biggest Disappointment: Injuries and Bryce Harper

Ben: Injuries

Breakout Player: Trea Turner and Wilson Ramos

Ben: Trea Turner One of the highest-rated prospects in baseball, Turner came on strong for the Natls towards the middle of the year. A shortstop by trade, Turner filled the void left by injured Ben Revere in center field. In 73 games, Turner hit .342 and stole a team high 33 bases. Turner also got his first taste of the postseason this season, hitting .318 in 22 at-bats against the Dodgers in the NLDS. Turner will be a key player in the foreseeable future for the Nats. Look for Turner to make the move to shortstop this offseason, barring a healthy Ben Revere, to replace Danny Espinosa.

Rather than single out just one player (Bryce Harper), I’ll lump all the disappointments into one category. The three main injuries for the Nats this year were Wilson Ramos, Stephen Strasburg and Ben Revere. Both Ramos and Strasburg were having career years before they went down towards the end of the year and missed the postseason. Ben Revere battled injury the entire season and was left off the postseason roster. Bryce Harper, although not injured, certainly played like he was, batting almost one hundred points lower than he did in 2015. Combined, these three injuries and a lackluster year from Harper played a major role in the ending of the Nationals’ year.

Mitchell: Bryce Harper In a historic MVP-winning 2015, Bryce

Harper looked like he was going to keep it going this season after a hot April. But after a four-game set against the future National League champion Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, Harper’s season went downhill fast. Harper was walked 13 times as the Cubs swept the Nats. Harper finished the season with a .244 average, with 108 walks and 24 home runs. His swing was off-balance all season long, and a few injuries here and there didn’t help his cause. Nats fans are hoping Harper can put 2016 behind him and return to his MVP-level play for 2017 and beyond.

Fan Favorite:

Wilson Ramos and Jayson Werth

Ben: Wilson Ramos If you have ever been to a Nats home game, you know that there’s nothing quite like a Wilson Ramos at-bat. Ramos takes his heroic walk to the batter’s box with chants of his name echoing through the stadium to the tune of “Wilson” by Phish. Nicknamed “the Buffalo,” Ramos hit .307 on his way to his first All-Star appearance while playing 131 games behind the plate. “The Buffalo” also has one of the most gut-wrenching stories of any player in the league. In late 2011, Ramos was kidnapped and held hostage for two days in the mountains of Venezuela, but he was rescued after a gun battle and back on the field for spring training.

Fan Favorite: Jayson Werth For the past few years, it seems like Jayson Werth has been the fan favorite of all the Nats players. Followed closely by Ramos, Turner and even Scherzer, Werth’s popularity in D.C. is about as big as his beard. Even though he has had a pair of disappointing seasons back to back, Werth is still loved by his fans. A fan-run account on twitter dedicated to his beard (@JWerthsBeard) has over 20,000 followers. Even as his career comes to an end, Werth seems to always be there for a clutch hit or a long at-bat and a fantastic post-game quote.


8

Sports

10.31.2016

GMUFOURTHESTATE.COM @IVESTATE

IV

Club sport of the week: Women’s Ultimate Frisbee JAMES STEMPLE | STAFF WRITER

Ultimate Frisbee has long been a game of leisure since its birth in a New Jersey high school in the late ‘60s. Today, though, it is viewed in a much more competitive manner. George Mason’s women’s Ultimate Frisbee team — named “Throwasaurus” — thrives on the competitive nature of Ultimate Frisbee. Even though the team was formed officially in 2011, they have already participated in multiple tournaments across the eastern United States. “We’ve travelled to Ohio, both North and South Carolinas, down to Florida and really wherever there’s tournaments and colleges hosting it,” Laurel Robinson, a member of the team, said. This past weekend the team traveled to North Carolina State University for a tournament. All the games the team participates in are tournament-based, meaning

that no regular-season games are played.

case of any disputes between players.

The team’s tournament schedule is set by the USA Ultimate organization, which is responsible for holding different tournaments across the nation through the college, club and pro-level leagues.

For such a new team, the women’s team has been able to secure more and more funding every year. Like every club sport, each year they present their needed budget to the Mason Club Sports faculty to determine their budget.

One of the biggest differences between the lower-level tournaments and the pro level is the self-refereed aspect of Ultimate Frisbee, also known as “spirit of the game” to the players. The spirit of the game is a code of honor which relies on sportsmanship and respect between players, in which players call their own mistakes and don’t have any referees watching them play. “The spirit of the game is one of the most important parts that makes ultimate what it is. It’s self-refereed at all levels except at the pro level. They have observers, and even then it’s still self-governed,” Robinson said. The observers at the pro level are not referees, but more of a watchful eye in

“We do a presentation to club sports every year to show how much money we need for the year and why we need it,” Robinson said. “We’ve gotten increased amounts of money each year because we keep getting more and more competitive each year.” Even with an increasing budget, the team is always looking for more funds, so they resort to fundraisers and home tournaments at Mason to increase the team’s revenue. The revenue from these fundraisers in turn helps fund the team’s out-of-state ventures. When playing at the college level, the women’s team only plays Virginia teams in the area, so traveling across state lines is a good way to “play a wider variety of

teams,” Robinson said. “We are wanting to travel to further away tournaments.” Before the women’s team was formed, they were joined by the men’s team under one club: Mason Ultimate. The women’s team didn’t practice with the men’s, however. They split the field in half until the women’s team was developed enough to have their own team. The men’s team helped out in establishing the team, including Mason alumnus and current coach of the women’s team, Bryan Dombrowski. Last year was the first year the women’s team had a coach; before that, the captains were in control. The season for Ultimate doesn’t start until spring, so right now the women’s team is focused on preparing for the upcoming season. Currently, the team has 24 athletes in its roster, many of whom come from different athletic backgrounds. Many of the teammates used to play other sports, including soccer, baseball, basketball or running. No one really has any experience with ultimate on

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a club level because “nobody really played before because the youth leagues are just starting to get developed,” Robinson said. Even with all the different athletic backgrounds, the women’s team can find success with anyone. Some of the team members could not even throw Frisbees when they first started playing, and now they compete in out-of-state competitions. When asked how someone new to Ultimate could join the team, Robinson said one could “just come to practice. We are so accessible. We have a Facebook, a website, a Twitter, et cetera. Just contact anyone on the team. We are always looking for new athletes.” “I think it’s a really great opportunity for people who have played other sports before but are looking for something new in college or still want that competitive atmosphere,” Robinson said. “No matter what, we can find a place for you on the team.”

10.31.2016- Fourth Estate  
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