FOURTH ESTATE November 23, 2015 | Volume 3 Issue 11 George Mason University’s official student news outlet gmufourthestate.com | @IVEstate
IN MASON’S BACKYARD
STUDENT BECOMES PUBLISHED
AUTHOR PAGE 12
CROSS COUNTRY TEAM WINS
(CLAIRE CECIL/FOURTH ESTATE)
CLASSIFIEDS Help Wanted
Steiner Vision Pt/Ft - Office Work . Will Train, Excellent pay, low stress work environment-many George Mason and NOVA students over the years have gained valuable work experience in our 7 Corners, Falls Church, VA office. For more info call Dr. Steiner at Cell 571-276-1534 or ask for Maria at Office- 703-237-1770
Reston, Virginia based software company looking for a college student to perform basic marketing duties including company research and trade show preparation. Up to $20 per hour. Please send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for considering us.
High-end Optometry office in Pentagon City and DC has immediate opening for F/T & P/T reception/optical sales positions. Must be energetic, personable, and detail oriented. No experience necessary. Email resume to email@example.com. For more info, please call 703-418-2020 or visit our website at www.avisualaffair.com
PHOTOSHOP/MINECRAFT TUTOR NEEDED -For 2 elementary aged kids -Basic photoshop/Minecraft server design -4 hours/week, possibly more in our home -$15/hour, Vienna, VA -Possibly long term -Call John Callanan at (703) 581-5326
Child Care Afternoon Childcare Provider Needed for 4 year old toddler: M-F, 3:00-8:00 in Centreville, New Gate Area. Start date negotiable. Contact for $ information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week, Mason student organizations collaborated to organize events for national Hunger and Homelessness Action Week. Homelessness affects Mason students and residents of the greater Fairfax County area. Full story on page 4.
Corrections: Volume 3, Issue 10 “COURTESY OF GMU STUDENT POWER”: Photo credit should be changed to “(CLAIRE CECIL/FOURTH ESTATE)”
Alexa Rogers Editors-In-Chief News Editor
Nov. 15 2015-036153 / Drug/ Narcotic Violations / Drug Equipment Violations / Liquor Law Violations / Drunkenness / Possession of Fictitious ID / Reckless Driving. Subject (non-GMU) was arrested and transported to Fairfax County ADC for being drunk in public and possessing a false identification card. A second subject (non-GMU) was issued a releasable summons for reckless driving and also received a verbal warning for possessing illegal drugs and drug equipment Patriot Circle / Shenandoah River Lane / Cleared by Arrest/ 1:20 AM
Natalia Kolenko Assistant News Editor
Savannah Norton Lifestyle Editor
Tatyana White-Jenkins Assistant Lifestyle Editor
Courtney Hoffman Sports Editor
Claire Cecil Photography Editor
Katie Morgan Design Editor
Megan Zendek Visual Editor
Nov. 20 2015-036805 / Liquor Law Violations / Drunkenness / Disorderly Conduct / Spitting in Public / Destruction/ Damage/Vandalism of Property. Subject (GMU) was arrested and transported to Fairfax County ADC for possessing alcohol while under age 21, acting disorderly, spitting in public, and destroying property.
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR It is with both sadness and excitement that I’m writing in this space for the last time as Co-Editor-in-Chief of Fourth Estate. Working for this publication has truly been one of the most rewarding, albeit challenging, experiences I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of thus far in my journalistic career. It is for this reason that my plan to study at the Paris Institute of Political Studies next semester is so bittersweet.
Sara Moniuszko &
Northern Neck / Cleared by Arrest / 3:13AM
ON THE COVER
Before I go, however, I want to make sure I thank a few of the amazing people who have made my time here so special: First, my talented co-editor and wonderful staff for all their hard work, dedication and positive attitudes; Kathryn Mangus, who has supported me since I was in her newspaper workshop freshman year; Hau Chu for believing in Alexa and I and setting a great example for us and finally, the rest of the Student Media family, who I’ve had the pleasure of working with. I’ll miss my time here, but I’ll keep this experience in my heart forever. Merci et au revoir (for now), Sara Moniuszko
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David Carroll Associate Director 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
Graduate students study effects of #BlackLivesMatter MADISON ANTUS | STAFF WRITER
A group of Mason graduate students studying communication recently sent out a survey to discover what motivates Twitter users to adopt the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. Bridget Bush, a first year graduate student in communication, said the group was inspired to do the study because of how popular the hashtag has become. “Hashtags are often very trendy for a short period of time, but #BlackLivesMatter is still a hashtag I personally see on my Twitter feed multiple times a day, even years after the movement began. For something to stand the test of time in that way, it must be very important to members of our society, and our goal in this study is to dig deeper,” Bush said. The group is comprised of Bush and students Tyler Watkins and Sidra Sajid along with faculty advisor Emily Vraga, who teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in the Department of Communication. The hashtag #BlackLivesMatter was created in 2013 after George Zimmerman was acquitted for the murder of Trayvon Martin, according to USA Today. The hashtag’s longevity makes it a target for the study. “We want to find out what motivates Twitter users to adopt this hashtag into their discourse, effectively branding themselves as online activists in the process, at least for the amount of time their tweet continues to circulate,” Bush stated. Social media can be very powerful in transforming politics, explained Vraga, who added that the hashtag has raised awareness of issues the faced by many African Americans and has generated conversations about what needs to be done to address those issues.
“Hashtags are often very trendy for a short period of
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appeal of #BlackLivesMatter as a way to discuss many different issues by packaging them within a “single, memorable statement.” The prominence of the hashtag has also made it a major topic in recent presidential debates and campaigns. “It has entered our political discourse - the presidential candidates for both parties have had to answer questions about #BlackLivesMatter, and I doubt the issue would be receiving so much attention without its prominence on social media,” Vraga said. Sajid said she believes social media, especially Twitter and Facebook, are powerful tools that allow activists to disseminate their messages and influence others.
“I contribute the success of BLM to their utilization and understanding of such tools, and I think they [those who use the hashtag] are garnering in the new age of social activism. The idea that a single hashtag can unify millions of stories and experiences on an audience-centric platform allows more people to participate, even passivetime, but #BlackLivesMatter is ly,” Sajid said.
still a hashtag I personally see on my Twitter feed multiple times a day, even years after the movement began. For something to stand the test of time in that way, it must be very important to members of our society.” - Bridget Bush, graduate student
“Social media may not always allow ‘ordinary people’ to shape politics, but #BlackLivesMatter is an example where a lot of voices coming together for a single purpose is impacting politics in a meaningful way,” Vraga said via email. She described part of the
The survey asks responders if they have ever posted with the hashtag and asks about their attitudes and actions when they encounter the hashtag on social media. It also asks, “How much has your knowledge changed since you saw or used the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter and other related hashtags?”
Sajid said she and her fellow researchers predict diverse responses, believing “some individuals avoid conflict related to political content, whereas others actively seek political content in order to participate in discourse, increase awareness or have their opinions heard.” The survey is open to anyone, although Bush said the majority of the respondents are Mason students. The survey will close this week so that the group can begin analyzing the data before the semester ends. The next step is face-to-face interviews. Bush said she and her team will most likely limit the number of interviews to 10, but students who volunteer will be randomly selected to participate. According to Sajid, the face-to-face interviews will aim to determine why people make the decision to either participate in or avoid these discussions and if they believe that the world of social media is the correct space to discuss these topics. “I believe the best way to begin discourse is to make people uncomfortable. Race has been and always will be a politically charged issue — unless we collectively agree to make ourselves uncomfortable and talk about it honestly, and that’s what I think this movement is doing. I think Americans can no longer avoid the subject of race because of the way these problems have culminated in our society,” Sajid said. Currently the survey is only focused on the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, but at the end of the survey, responders are asked to include any other political hashtags that they see or use alongside #BlackLivesMatter. “We will analyze the data we collect from those responses, and maybe our findings will guide us toward developing future studies of this kind,” Bush said. As of press time, 91 students have participated in the survey.
In addition, the survey asks responders general questions about their age, political affiliations and how often they view news and from what sources.
Mason community and Fairfax County address homelessness homeless population than other universities, the cost of living in this area is higher than most; in 2014, Forbes found that Falls-Church, Loudoun and Fairfax ranked in the top 10 of richest counties in the nation. Students generally become homeless as a result of being kicked out of the home or choosing to leave the home, according to Mowafy. “Students that left the home were escaping violence, drug abuse or just the denial of their identity,” Mowafy said. In cases where the student has left the home, was legally dependent on their parents and their parents made enough money to be ineligible for federal assistance, the student would not be considered legally homeless, according to Mowafy. Students in this situation were deemed socially homeless by Mowafy and her research found that the majority of homeless students at Mason fell into this category. Socially homeless students are not recognized by the federal government and are unable to receive federal assistance.
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Hunger and Homelessness Action Week took place from Nov. 15-20 at Mason and other colleges nationwide. Events included a week-long food drive held in North Plaza. NINA MOTAZEDI | STAFF WRITER
Homelessness is an issue both on campus and in the greater Fairfax County area. In a survey conducted by graduate student Yara Mowafy in the spring of 2015, half of the 300 participants indicated they knew someone who is currently experiencing or has experienced homelessness while attending Mason. Mowafy conducted Institutional Review Board research from July 2014 to May 2015 focusing on homelessness on college campuses. She worked alongside Michael Galvin, director of Mason’s Office of Technology and Integration, as they attempted to “examine and assess the prevalence and nature of homelessness and food insecurity on campus,” Mowafy said. The research concluded in May 2015 and its findings revealed several things. In 2012, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) began asking whether students were homeless and in 2013, 58,158 students indicated that they were homeless. According to Mowafy’s research, there are an average of 20 homeless students per each degree-granting institution in the United States. In the 2012-13 school year, there were 1,036 legally homeless college students in the state of Virginia. Many homeless college students are forced to choose between adequate food and shelter and tuition costs. Although Mowafy does not believe that Mason has a higher
At Mason, there are currently no services directed specifically toward assisting the homeless student population, although a student-run Pop-Up Pantry founded by Mowafy provides food, clothing and school supplies to homeless, food insecure and financially unstable students.
The Pop-Up Pantry is looking to expand its services to include support for homeless students on campus by utilizing financial support from local community members. This expansion may include housing scholarships, employment assistance and budget management assistance. “The pantry has recently gained many supporters in the community that are going to be making great financial contributions to our cause,” Mowafy said.
support, doesn’t mean that we deserve to continue that life when we’re trying to better ourselves,” reads Betty’s quote in Mowafy’s presentation. Craig Willse, assistant professor of cultural studies and author of “The Value of Homelessness: Managing Surplus Life in the United States,” said the university could do more to ensure the success of its homeless students. “[Mason] likes to think of itself as a diverse and inclusive community, but you know you have to do more than just open your doors, you have to make sure that people have the resources they need to succeed,” Willse said. “As a university we want all people to be able to access a college education and that means we have to support all students.” Mowafy also believes that Mason can provide more resources for homeless students. “Other universities have done a lot of different things to support homelessness on their campuses. There are housing scholarships that exist at other universities and are awarded on a need basis, not just in the fall only or the spring only…Some universities rent out their rooms for a month versus having it for the whole semester… Some universities offer locker space for students that are homeless to keep their things safe. ... Other universities have reduced priced dorm rooms,” Mowafy said. She specifically mentioned Michigan State University, Community College of Denver, Kennesaw State University and Western Michigan University as schools who have implemented some combination of the above methods in order to support their homeless students. “Each university tackles this issue in their own way, we’ve seen multiple models that have all been very successful in supporting homeless and food insecure students,” Mowafy added. Nov. 15-20 was Hunger and Homelessness Action Week (HHAW) at Mason and at other colleges around the nation. Oxfam America,
In 2013, 58,158 students indicated they were homeless on FAFSA. There are an average
Mowafy has presented her findings at Sacred of 20 homeless Heart University, Eastern Washington University, a 2012-13 school Clinton Global Initiative conference at Arizona Virginia. State University and the Undergraduate Awards in Dublin, Ireland. Quotes from homeless students are part of her presentation, including a statement from Betty, who goes to Mason.
students per degree-granting institution in the United States. In the year, there were 1,036 legally homeless college students in the state of
“I would like everyone to know that this is real. That this is really happening to good people. I’m not a drug addict; I’m not a drunk. I’m a good student. I used to maintain a 3.5 GPA. I’m not lazy, I’m not a loser. I’m trying really hard to make a better life for myself. And I would like the administration to know that we’re out here and we need help. And we deserve it. Just because we had bad upbringings, or not so good parents and we didn’t have that
Catholic Campus Ministry, ARISE Ministry and other organizations planned events including a week-long food drive, Brown Bag Sunday, a film screening of “The Homeless Home Movie” and a Hunger Banquet, among others. “We are hoping that we can empower students, faculty and staff on campus as well as community members to engage in charitable work. We want everyone to be aware of the circumstances that some of us are facing and how they can support these populations
and ensure that they are successful in their lives,” said Mowafy. Camila Penafiel, a sophomore psychology major and homeless outreach coordinator for Catholic Campus Ministry, helped organize HHAW. “[The event aimed to] raise awareness that there are about 400 Mason students that are homeless or don’t have enough funds to have a meal every day. So what we’re trying to do with Hunger and Homelessness Action Week is to create awareness that there are actually homeless students…and that there are ways to help out on campus,” Penafiel said. She challenged students to go out and experience what it’s like to be homeless for a day. “I think the reason a lot of people don’t go out and help is that they haven’t experienced really what it is to be in a situation like this,” Penafiel said. HHAW mainly focused on the homeless population on campus, although some events during the week also aimed to help people experiencing homelessness in Fairfax County and Washington, D.C. Fairfax County, the fifth richest county in the nation, has the second-highest homeless population in the Washington metropolitan area, according to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Homeless Services Planning and Coordinating Committee. In January 2015, there were 1,204 people who were legally homeless in this region. Washington D.C., a mere 20 miles from Fairfax, reported having 7,298 people who were legally homeless. In 2014, 74,210 people in Fairfax County lived under the federal poverty level, according to Fairfax County’s website, and about 40 percent of families in need of homeless services in Fairfax County are employed at the time they need assistance, according to Thomas Barnett, program manager for the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness (OPEH). Sharon Bulova, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, explained how the county has addressed this issue over the past several years. “In 2007, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted a goal to end homelessness in 10 years. We adopted a community developed Implementation Plan the following year. Since then, a Governing Board and a small county office were established to coordinate efforts among our private partners. To date homelessness has been reduced by 30%. There will always be occasions where individuals experience a crises. Homelessness, however, should be rare, brief and non-recurring. Volunteers are always needed and welcome. Working together I know we will meet our goal for every child, family and individual to have a safe and permanent place to call home,” Bulova wrote via email. Since Fairfax County committed to a 10-year plan to prevent and end homelessness, the homeless population has decreased by 34 percent, from 1,835 people to 1,204. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Fairfax County received $9.2 million in 2014 and $6.7 million in 2015 from HUD.
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Students collect food and money for Mason’s Pop Up Pantry as part Hunger and Homelessness Action Week. one shelter to the next, from one temporary housing program to the next. To actually end homelessness you need to address the heart of the issue being housing. It wasn’t until we started to focus on permanent housing and housing first that the numbers started to actually go down…Shelter is still important but it’s not in and of itself sufficient to end homelessness.”
health, you have income, you have housing, education, employment,” Barnett said.
Fairfax County has adopted a Housing First philosophy, rather than the previous Housing Ready philosophy that prevailed in the past, according to Barnett. The Housing First idea means, simply, providing those who are homeless with permanent housing first, along with other services. Fairfax County has shifted funds from homeless shelters to creating permanent housing, according to the OPEH website. For example, the Emergency Solutions Grant, provided by HUD, has been reallocated to pay for homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing assistance since 2010.
“We can’t just think about, ‘How do we take this person off the street and move them into housing?’ Although we have to do that, we need to think why they’re there in the first place…We need a radical transformation of social and racial inequality, and it’s not something you can do in 10 years,” Willse said.
Another federal resource, Continuum of Care funds, has been used primarily for permanent housing over the past few years. After shifting these funds, OPEH has found that it is less expensive to provide housing than shelters, according to Fairfax County’s website.
According to Willse, 10 year plans similar to Fairfax County’s across the country have been unsuccessful. He believes this is because they are not addressing the underlying factors of homelessness.
OPEH has partnered with a number of non-profits and other government agencies to achieve its goals. “The Office to Prevent and End Homelessness does not provide direct services ourselves. We contract and partner with many local community based non-profit organizations that operate the shelters and do prevention and rehousing services, and they’re essential to accomplishing this goal,” Barnett said. OPEH also uses what Barnett calls “people-first language.”
Willse agrees that affordable housing is necessary but also thinks governments should modify existing affordable housing programs. “The standard for affordable housing is so out of reach for lots of people, and so we can’t just expand the existing affordable housing programs…We need to redefine what we mean by affordable housing,” Willse said. “… All people deserve housing and what we need to do is to figure out how to guarantee that all people have housing.”
Legislators have primarily addressed this issue by increasing the amount of permanent and affordable housing.
Barnett believes that accomplishing the goal to end and prevent homelessness by 2018 will be difficult to reach and hopes that the current number will be reduced by at least half by 2018.
“We saw that what we were effectively doing was just managing the homeless population,” said Barnett. “They were shifting from
“The most difficult thing about homelessness is that there are so many variables coming into play; you have mental and physical
“It’s not the homeless, it’s not homeless people, it’s people who are experiencing homelessness. Just like someone who’s sick, you don’t call them the sick or sick people. You respect them for individuals,” Barnett said. Penafiel, the student who helped organized HHAW, also believes compassion can go a long way and that the stigma surrounding homelessness is one of the biggest barriers to overcome. “We need to remember that although it’s important to help out with food and money if we’re able to, it’s important to just love them because they are our family. … They tell you that what they really want is love, a conversation, a smile, acknowledgement that they’re humans too,” Penafiel said.
Mason awarded for accomplishments in undergraduate research YU BAI | STAFF WRITER
complete research in solid-state physics.
This October, Mason was awarded the 2015 Campus-wide Award for Undergraduate Research Accomplishment sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research.
“Over the past year, I have focused primarily on characterizing the properties of charge transfer crystals, which are two-component organic materials that hold great potential for applications in low-cost flexible electronics, including OLEDs and photovoltaic devices,” Stone said.
The award is given annually to higher-education institutions that provide high quality research opportunities for undergraduate students.
At many universities, students in engineering and science receive significantly more funding than do students in the liberal arts. Mason has a different approach. “We don’t want that [unequal funding] to be true,” Usher explained.
Out of this year’s 50 competitors, Mason was one of three selected to receive the award. Allegheny College and The College of New Jersey were also recipients.
In order to achieve a greater balance in funding, OSCAR evaluates projects from every subject and offers the same amount of funding to each participant. Students receive $1,000 for conducting projects during the academic year and $4,000 for research done over the summer.
Over the past three years, over 2,700 students have engaged in research projects at Mason. “Mason has one of the best undergraduate research programs in the country, and we offer an amazing array of opportunities to students,” said Dr. Bethany Usher, director of Mason’s Students as Scholars initiative. “We are committed to access and diversity.” Every year, Mason students are exposed to research experience through the university’s research and scholarship intensive (RS) courses. There are currently 46 RS courses offered at Mason that cover a wide range of fields including accounting, math, communication and music. Rather than -- and often in addition to -- taking RS courses, many students work on individual projects. The Office of Student
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Ashley Frongello worked with Dr. Doris Davis to replicate a study that involved a Border Collie being trained to identify 1,022 different toys by name. Rahib Zaman is a senior bioengineering major who participated in URSP this year. Zaman worked in Mason’s photoacoustics laboratory this past summer to develop an all-optical ultrasound transducer. Zaman said he designed this project to enable health care professionals to take quick, high-resolution 3D images of locations deep within the body. He came up with the idea for the new transducer with the help of Dr. Parag Chitnis, a professor of bioengineering who came to Mason in 2014. Zaman said this project has been the perfect opportunity to learn more about medical imaging while fully immersing himself in the research experience.
“I believe OSCAR provided me with the resources and funds to do my research and allowed me to be independent and learn the skills and material I wanted to learn,” said Zaman who got $4,000 for the nine weeks he worked. Elizabeth Ambos serves as the executive officer for the Council on Undergraduate Research. Her explanation as to why Mason was selected for this year’s award: its emphasis on and numerous opportunities for research. Amos said that by highlighting research as a core part of Mason’s educational experience and by giving students plenty of opportunities to start projects, Mason has enabled students to incorporate research into their studies. “From pioneering virologists to prize-winning economists, students work alongside researchers at the top of their game,” Ambos said. Now, Usher and her team will continue to increase opportunities for students. Currently they are working on enabling students to take part in research outside of the university.
Ashley Frongello, a senior psychology major, got involved with URSP last winter. “In my psychology honors class, my now-mentor, Dr. Doris Davis, gave a presentation on a study in which a Border Collie was trained to identify 1,022 different toys by name,” Frongello recalled.
Iris Stone worked with Dr. Patrick Vora, an assistant professor in Mason’s physics and astronomy department, in building up a physics lab. Stone would later use this lab to conduct her own research.
That summer, Frongello had the opportunity to work with Davis, who had been looking for a student with whom to replicate the study. Frongello’s research concentrated on the domestication hypothesis, which posits that dogs’ ability to exhibit certain human behaviors, including some features of human language, could be attributed to social communicative exposure to humans.
Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research (OSCAR) offers help to students who have research ideas or interests.
Frongello has been able to use this research for her honors thesis as well.
One of OSCAR’s main responsibilities is to connect students with mentors who can advise them on individual projects. OSCAR also funds undergraduate programs and creative projects through the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URSP) and OSCAR federal work study assistantships.
“OSCAR afforded me the opportunity to actually collect my own data, which I really wanted to do, rather than steal data from someone else’s prior research,” Frongello said.
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“We have students and faculty from every major on campus participating in some ways -- from dance choreography to flockbots [robots that move in flocks], to finding black holes, to writing novels,” Usher said.
Iris Stone, a junior studying physics, has also benefitted from OSCAR. Stone’s journey began when Dr. Patrick Vora, an assistant professor in Mason’s physics and astronomy departments, invited her to assist him in constructing a physics lab in what was then just an empty classroom. After months of work, Stone and Vora finished creating the lab, which Stone eventually used to
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Rahib Zaman is a senior bioengineering major who participated in URSP this year. He worked in Mason’s photoacoustics laboratory this past summer to develop an all-optical ultrasound transducer.
Mason’s Virginia Serious Game Institute has doubled in size and impact “The first part of the program focuses on students and faculty being able to collaborate on applied research with industries and even government,” Martin said.
In order to counter this statistic, Martin and Casey have created a specialized program for startups to help them succeed. The program lasts for a year, during which time resources and services are provided to students and developers to allow them to focus on their products instead of worrying about the business side of things.
Martin explained that this first aspect of the program occurs when government or industry representatives approach VSGI looking for research assistance in specific fields. VSGI helps by providing faculty and students to conduct the research. Martin continued that the contracting division of VSGI not only helps students and faculty gain experience working professionally, but it also provides industry members with the research and information they seek.
“We provide a free office, a full time senior project manager to help with product development, a concierge service, customer support, a legal partnership with Shephard Mullins, and server support from LeaseWeb,” Martin said.
The second division of the institute is focused on community outreach. Through this facet of the program, VSGI has helped spread awareness about everything from video game technology to basic information technology education. As Senior Projects Director James Casey explained, “Outreach is another way for us to get out there and make sure people understand what all these terms in tech mean and how they can use it.”
After their year-long stay, some students may even receive investments from VSGI’s board of directors if they are interested in the startup. This ensures that companies who start through VSGI are given a chance to get on their feet and keep growing once they leave the incubator. Dr. Catherine Swanwick, a Mason graduate and founder of Catlilli Games, initially applied to be a part of VSGI after Martin urged her to do so. As she explained, “VSGI is a tremendous resource for our company. It provides us with business mentorship, office space, resources, and networking opportunities that are already helping our company to thrive.” Kyle Bishop, another Mason graduate and founder of Little Arms Studios, is another example of how VSGI has helped startups beat the odds. Bishop’s company developed a fire simulator which earned the Fairfax County Fire Chief ’s Commendation award. VSGI’s expansion, which occurred with the help of Prince William County and private investors, will help its incubator program grow from hosting just eight companies to hosting twelve Martin said. As the institute continues to flourish, Mason students and faculty will have more opportunities to take advantage of the resources VSGI has to offer.
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ALEC MOORE | STAFF WRITER
The Virginia Serious Game Institute (VSGI) has doubled in size in response to the growing demand for startups in the information technology (IT) industry. Opened in March 2014 on Mason’s Science and Technology campus, VSGI is the “business development, community outreach and applied [research and development] arm of the Computer Game Design Program at Mason,” according to its website. Since then, VSGI has helped create jobs for Mason students and alumni, attracted more than $1 million in corporate support and reached out to more than 1,000 children each year through educational outreach. After assisting with the development of six student-founded companies and helping create more than 70 jobs for Mason students and alumni, VSGI will now be able to not only continue supporting the eight companies currently housed there, but also accept four new companies into its incubator program. Dr. Scott Martin, founder of both VSGI and the Computer Game Design Program at Mason, explained that VSGI is a multifaceted institute. He says the research, outreach and incubator branches within VSGI will all benefit from this proposed expansion.
The outreach program provides teacher-training programs in both public and private schools throughout Prince William County and also funds the Mason Game and Technology Academy program, which teaches kids how to design computer and video games. VSGI is also an incubator, or excellerator, for new startups. The building is currently home to eight companies, six of which were founded by Mason students or alumni. The building’s size, which included 4,000 extra square feet of space, made it possible for VSGI to start incubating. This facet of VSGI was developed to address a specific problem that Martin and Casey both recognized was holding back many companies from reaching their full potential. “Nine out of ten start-ups typically fail before their first year,” Martin said.
Though not all of the startups sponsored by VSGI will end up finding success, Martin believes that the incubation experience will be helpful for young entrepreneurs. “Our goal is to see startups from students, and even if the company does fail, we believe the experience of starting a new company is invaluable,” Martin said.
A new name for New Century College student involved active learning,” Dunne explained. “We could have been the New College, but because it was almost the 21st century, we became New Century College.” Dunne said although NCC operates under the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, prospective students are often confused about what programs it offers, whether tuition rates are the same and whether or not it is even a part of Mason at all. The proposed name change, she hopes, will convert NCC into a more recognizable institution on campus. The confusion around the name, said Dunne, has limited the school’s visibility and did not accurately describe its collaborative and partnership efforts around campus. Although about ninety percent of the services NCC offers, such as minors and alternative spring break programs, are open to the entire Mason community, Dunne still believes the school is “hidden.” The goal of the proposed name change and subsequent rebranding of the school is to clarify to students, faculty and administration all that NCC has to offer. Besides from its interdisciplinary approach to degree programs, NCC has also provided a unique opportunity for incoming freshmen with the Cornerstones program. Twenty years since it was first piloted, NCC is now phasing out Cornerstones from its offerings. “The idea [with Cornerstones] was that students would join us in the first year and they would all have a shared curriculum,” Dunne explained. “As they built up through sophomore, junior and senior year, they had a shared experience, and all the instructors know what they had done.” Although this program worked for many students in the two decades it was in place, Dunne said a common first-year education is harder to accommodate when an increasing number of students enter Mason with Advanced Placement and dual-enrollment credits. (MEGAN ZENDEK/FOURTH ESTATE)
HAMNA AHMAD | STAFF WRITER
New Century College (NCC) may soon be known as the School of Integrative Studies, according to Kelly Dunne, interim associate dean of NCC. The proposed name change comes with alterations to the college’s curriculum, campus presence and community collaboration. The proposed name change will be up for approval by the Board of Visitors on December 8, and if passed, will be sent to Richmond for approval by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). Dunne believes the current name does not clearly communicate the school’s unique and collaborative approach to academics on campus, and caused confusion about whether NCC was a part of Mason or a separate institution.
environmental and sustainability studies. These degree programs are supplemented with a myriad of concentrations and minors chosen from a variety of disciplines, from life sciences and legal studies to social justice and sustainability studies. NCC separates itself from other Mason colleges by emphasizing experiential learning. It is home to the Social Action and Integrative Learning (SAIL) program, which works with different schools to provide students, faculty, administrators and alumni educational opportunities through volunteering, civic engagement, nonprofit work and field research. Some NCC professors also offer courses that take place all around the world, such as in Cambodia to study spirituality or New Hampshire to study the political primary process. Dunne said these integrative aspects of NCC make the name “School of Integrative Studies” a better fit for the college.
“We decided that the School of Integrative Studies best captures the work that we do. Our major degree is integrative studies… We want the students to make connections between their courses, between their personal life, their professional life, and integrate all of that into one experience,” Dunne said.
Faculty and staff from NCC had been in serious talks about a name change since March of this year, Dunne said, although she believes the idea to change the name originally occurred about fifteen years earlier at the start of the new century.
NCC, which was piloted in 1994 and accepted its first freshman class in the fall of 1995, offers just three majors—either a Bachelor of Arts or Science in integrative studies and a degree in
“There’s a tradition of New Colleges in the United States; there’s one in Florida and New York...And it’s kind of a name that represents more experiential, non-traditional type learning, more
“It was a great program, it served its purpose, but students are changing. They want more choices,” Dunne said. “The number of students in the program had been static for the past four years.” Since the demand for the program had not been growing, Dunne said the school is deciding to change the way they approach freshman education by eliminating Cornerstones completely. The school also plans to increase its focus on the “senior year experience.” For Dunne, keeping students involved and engaged the entire time they are on campus will help NCC reach its goals of increasing retention rates, student services and student satisfaction. Looking forward ten years, Dunne said she hopes to see an expansion of cross-university joint degrees and hopes to see the School of Integrative Studies as a facilitator for students to combine courses from diverse disciplines like visual and performing arts, engineering and conflict resolution. Although the name of NCC is changing to the School of Integrative Studies, Dunne said it is hard to forecast any changes in the academic program, as those initiatives are often student led. “Our main goal is to educate and serve the students,” Dunne said. “We want to make sure that whatever we are doing is in line with whatever our students want and need and will be appealing to potential students, too.”
TO DO THIS WEEK:
MONDAY 11/23 On campus:
“Is it sad my email to Mason Dining will be more well written than my SAT essay?”
Academic Survival for Finals
Washington Capitals vs. Edmonton Oilers
Student Union Building I, CAPS Group Room C
10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
@RunFree_Man Bernard Freeman
TUESDAY 11/24 “People at GMU don’t understand the concept of personal space.”
Advance FREE Movie Screening: The Good Dinosaur
Motivation and Goal Setting Student Union Building I, CAPS Group Room C 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Cinemark Egyptian 24, Hanover, Maryland 7p.m.
WEDNESDAY 11/25 “Things I’ve learned at George Mason: how to avoid signing petitions and I’m going to hell.”
7th Annual Pre-Thanksgiving Wine Tasting Extravaganza
Off-Campus Housing Fair Johnson Hall, Dewberry Lobby
The Vineyard, Mc Lean, Virginia
11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
@hmcadoo9632 Hunter Mcadoo
THURSDAY 11/26 “It’s my 3rd year at this school and I can still never find the bathrooms in Robinson.”
On campus: Thanksgiving Day!
@Suzy_Storm Miss Suzanne
FRIDAY 11/27 On campus: Mindfulnss Meditation Student Union Building I, Room 3011 12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Off campus: Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz Tour Echostage 7:30p.m.
IV lifestyle Best places to hit the Transportation for the books on campus holidays: Mason style GMUFOURTHESTATE.COM @IVESTATE
ANABELLA TOURKAMAN | STAFF WRITER
The most “wonderful” time of the year, aka finals week, is nearing. But finals week doesn’t have to be a dreadful affair, especially when you have a variety of study spots to choose from on campus.
Exploratory Hall is located in front of the Hub and directly next to Planetary Hall. Students who want to get away from the larger crowds on campus will benefit from studying at Exploratory. The periodic element tables are a fun addition to this bright building. If you need a break from studying to catch your breath, stop by Peet’s Coffee & Tea for a pastry and latte. To ensure a table, arrive earlier for your study session.
If you really need to concentrate, Fenwick is the place for you. Fenwick offers students a quiet working space complete with large study tables, couches, computers and study rooms. No matter how early or late you begin your studying, Fenwick almost always has spots available. To be on the safe side, groups should schedule study room time in advance.
The Johnson Center – 3rd floor
The Johnson Center is in the center of Mason’s Fairfax campus. Constantly bustling with students and faculty, it has several levels to accommodate busy Patriots. (MEGAN ZENEK/ FOURTH ESTATE)
TAYLOR WICHTENDAHL | STAFF WRITER
Thanksgiving break is upon us and Mason has plenty of options for students to get home easily, including university shuttles, carpooling and Zimride. Shuttles will be offered from Mason to Dulles Airport and numerous cities, which include in-state locations like Norfolk, Charlottesville and Richmond, as well as more distant destinations like Philadelphia, New York City and towns in New Jersey. The full list of locations as well as ticket costs, which range from $10 to $30 each way, depending on location, can be found on Mason Shuttles’ website, shuttle.gmu.edu. Students should visit the website to reserve seats on the shuttles. “[Shuttles] are a good idea and I know people that use them but I hear that they can take a long time because of the amount of stops they make,” junior Andrew Meleta said. Sophomore Cara Stablein says she would consider the shuttles for her first option of getting home. “It seems to be safer than a greyhound bus or Zimride considering it is through the university, with a drop off being about ten minutes from where I live,” Stablein said. Students also appreciate the shuttle program’s low cost and numerous destination options. “The Mason shuttle buses are very convenient for any student who wants a cheaper option than a train and wants less of a hassle than their parents to pick them up,” sophmore Lyndsay Hoffman said. “The multiple destinations of the shuttles opens up the options for a variety of students.” Mason also suggests carpooling through Zimride,
The third floor is complete with private study carrels, large tables and study rooms. Make sure to book room appointments to ensure you have a space to study in.
a website that allows students to plan trips with others from their hometown. Those with cars can post their availability on Zimride as well as rates they will be charging. Students without cars may browse postings and find a carpool. Information can be found on Zimride’s official website, Zimride.com/Mason.
The Johnson Center is almost always packed, so make sure you arrive early to ensure a quiet and comfortable study area.
However, Stablein says students should be careful when using Zimride. “Zimride is my last go-to because it is the least safe option out of the transportation methods,” Stablein said. “I usually try to find some from GMU on the website who is linked with people I already know so they are not a complete stranger.”
On the first level, take a break and play some games at Corner Pocket or get a quick snack from the vending machines.
The Mason community has created a ridesharing Facebook page, “GMU Rideshare.” Students are able to post where they are going, how much they are charging or willing to contribute for gas and when they will be leaving. They can post either as a driver or as someone looking for a ride.
The new Starbucks is also a hit with students. Enjoy a holiday inspired drink while you study hard for those exams.
“The idea of a Facebook carpool is extremely practical, and it provides Mason students with another great way to get connected with their fellow Patriots -- especially those from a similar area,” sophmore Chelsea Loane said. “Carpooling with a friend or even a stranger going to a similar destination as you for Thanksgiving break is a cheap option that can double as a chance to make a new friend.”
Opting for a more laid back study setting, the Hub is the perfect fit. The second level of the Hub offers round tables and couches, perfect for a run through on your study guide.
The Hub is also a great spot for group projects and discussions.
The basement of the Johnson Center, also known as Dewberry, is another great study spot on campus. Round tables are great for solo study time or group work.
If it is not too cold outside, picnic style tables outside of the Johnson Center also offer a fresh and scenic study spot. Be sure to start your studying earlier and away from lunch hours as it gets pretty packed!
Good luck with finals, Patriots!
While, there are many options for Mason students traveling during the holiday season, some students hope to see more available in the future. “Maybe in the future Mason could somehow find a way to get discounts for students who need to take a plane,” Hoffman said.
(COURTESY OF CREATIVE SERVICES)
What to Listen to This Week:
music. going forward. ON AIR 24/7
MUSIC | SPORTS | NEWS | TALK | INTERVIEWS
WGMU GAME OF THE WEEK...
MEN’S BASKETBALL WGMU RADIO is Mason’s one and only radio station and streams online 24/7 at wgmuradio.com. WGMU listeners enjoy the best in sports, talk, news, and college radio programming, in addition to today’s hottest music and live studio sessions with artists and celebrities. WGMU currently broadcasts 50 hours of live and original programming every week and has been on the air since 1981.
4:00-5:00pm Hip-Hop music with DJ Curtis Murray/@KoolinKurt. Provides retrospect of the well-known and less familiar Hip-Hop hits and artists.
Tune in to WGMU this week to catch the Men’s basketball team take on Manhattan in a rematch of last year’s contest where Mason won at the buzzer on a final full-court shot! You won’t want to miss out!
Best of WGMU: REGENERATION Tuesday @
Wednesday, Novermber 25th at 7:00 PM
GREEN AND GOLD SPORTS Thursdays @ 1:30-2:00PM
IMROV 4 MASON Tuesdays @ 9:00-10:00PM
Join Nick Ortiz, WGMU’s Director of Sports Media, on a weekly radio talk show based on George Mason University Athletics. You can also follow the show on twitter @GreenGoldSports!
Join WGMU General Manager Jesse Robinson as he hosts a fully improvised comedy radio show! The show will feature hilarious stories from our guests, which turn into crazy scenes that are made up on the spot!
SUNDAY @ 11:00AM -12:00 PM
Box Score Fantasy Hour with Jason Brightman & Cory Morgan THURSDAY @ 2:00-4:00PM
Local Music With Mo with Mo Bailey THURSDAY @ 9:00-10:00PM
Something Different with Isaiah King & Andrew Terrill
Join the Conversation:
Contact Us: Listen LIVE!
RadioFlag Mobile App
PHONE: (703) 993-WGMU EMAIL: email@example.com
LISTEN LIVE: www.WGMUradio.com
IV lifestyle Students can outsource notes for profit with Luvo GMUFOURTHESTATE.COM @IVESTATE
(CLAIRE CECIL/FOURTH ESTATE
RACHEL SHUBIN | STAFF WRITER
In today’s world, everything from taxes to computer programming is outsourced. Outsourcing can be a great way to get jobs done when there is not enough time to complete everything on one’s to-do list. Lately, college campuses have been taking advantage of outsourcing by using it as a way to help students access class notes. Luvolearn.com is a website where students can sell and buy notes, study guides, flashcards and videos that include live Q&A and help sessions. According to Luvo, the service is there to “empower students with relevant and affordable study tools to overcome knowledge gaps.” On Thursday, Nov. 12, the Mason bookstore sent out an email encouraging students to join Luvo. As Barbara Headley, the general manager of the Mason bookstore, later explained, the announcement came after an agreement between Luvo and Barnes & Noble College. “Barnes & Noble College, which manages the George Mason University Bookstore, has partnered with Luvo, the online peerto-peer learning platform,” Headley said. “Our shared passion for ensuring successful student outcomes is the cornerstone of this partnership and we believe that the campus bookstore can bring emerging learning and course materials platforms directly to our students to meet this goal.” At the first glance, Luvo might seem like a website that could potentially violate the Mason Honor Code. However, Luvo’s specifications of what is allowed to be posted make the site more trustworthy. The website states that a student’s notes are his or her impression of a lecture, which may not be the same as the professor’s interpretation. Students legally own their work and any notes they take in their classes as “intellectual property” that “can be distributed as they [students] see fit,” according to Luvo. Luvo does not allow students to upload any handouts, PowerPoints
or textbook pages created by a professor since these items are professors’ property, and therefore, illegal to distribute without permission. Luvo also explains that “from an educational standpoint,” uploading a professor’s documents would not benefit one’s peers much anyway because the documents would likely be handed out in class. The website encourages students to contribute to a peer-topeer understanding of the classwork. Luvo states that they are always happy to speak with professors to answer questions and provide clarification.
learning stick so that a student can use that new knowledge in another course and/or in the workplace. Students who routinely rely on the notes of someone else will miss out on this valuable learning opportunity.” Regarding whether or not Luvo might break Mason’s Honor Code, Matthews says the bigger issue is copyright infringement. “If students sell their notes from a professor’s lecture, then they are repackaging that intellectual property for a profit without the professor’s permission,” Matthews said. According to Luvo, however, academic integrity is important.
“Since all resources on Luvo are course or campus-specific, students can find content that is most relevant for them,” Headley said. “Luvo can also be an excellent additional resource for students during the GMU Tutoring Center’s off hours, as it is available 24/7.”
“Luvo has a zero tolerance policy for using any exams or homework and is in full compliance with all Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) guidelines,” Headley said. “Plagiarism detection software, TurnItIn, also ensures all study materials uploaded to the Luvo platform adhere to a high standard of originality.”
Some Mason students are wary of the site, however. Ashley Buttaro, a sophomore conflict analysis and resolution major, does not think Luvo is the best solution to getting class notes.
Headley also stated that in addition to TurnItIn, Luvo employs an internal team of reviews who study materials added to the platform for or instances of cheating or copyright violations. Any material believed to violate Luvo’s rules is removed, and the seller is notified immediately.
“The appeal of Luvo is probably for people that don’t like to take notes in class, whether that is because they don’t go to class, missed a class for some reason or can’t focus as well when taking notes,” Buttaro said. Buttaro said she usually gets notes from friends if she misses class, adding that it is more useful to sit down with a friend to find out what she missed than it is to buy notes. Purchasers of Luvo notes run the risk of misunderstanding what someone meant in his or her notes, leaving the user out of luck, Buttaro explained. Jessica Matthews, the director of Mason’s Composition Program, finds Luvo particularly troubling because it offers very little data showing whether students who purchase notes improve academically. “My concern is the student who wants to purchase the notes,” Matthews said. “Note taking is one of the best ways to make
Some wonder, however, whether or not Luvo will benefit Mason’s learning environment. “I don’t think Mason students will benefit because most people have been okay without it [Luvo] so far, and I don’t think Luvo is adding anything new; it more convenient for people,” Buttaro said. Matthews believes taking notes helps students learn and that Luvo is not necessarily contributing to the learning of course material. “One of the benefits of attending class, paying attention, and taking notes is that it helps students learn how to learn,” Matthews said. “Learning how to learn is not only an invaluable academic skill, it is also one of the most important life skills we need in today’s fast-changing, complex work environments.”
Student writes children’s book on being different aware that he was different.
SARA MONIUSZKO | CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Trace Wilson remembers hiding his arm in his pocket when he was younger so that people would not notice he was born with only one hand. Now a senior at Mason, Wilson’s perspective on his disability has changed drastically -- and he’s using his experience to help others by writing a children’s book on self-love and growing up different. “The book is about a little boy with one hand who goes on an adventure to discover why he’s different,” Wilson said, noting that he wrote the book because he knows “[being different] is something that a lot of people struggle with.” Having gone through most of his life feeling different himself, Wilson understands the struggle. “When I was little, I was always very worried about what people would think of me because I have one hand,” he said. “So it took me quite a few years to overcome that, and now I’d like to give back and help little kids overcome it themselves.” Wison’s mother, Nancy Wilson, said that she knew he was always
“Trace was a sensitive child,” she said. “While he had friends, he always held back a little with strangers because they were always inquisitive regarding his having only one hand. He was especially uncomfortable around small children who were always asking why.” Despite the challenges of being different and constantly needing to explain himself to others, Wilson said that he has been able to do most things he has set his mind to, such as tying his shoes, playing video games and driving. His mother agreed that his “one-handedness” has never stopped him, remembering how he once saw her knitting and, within minutes, figured out a way to do it himself. But one of Wilson’s most recent accomplishments is his new book. Wilson explained he began writing the book, which he described as a “spur of the moment” endeavor, when he was bored on a road trip two years ago simply by typing it up on the notes application on his phone. It was not until this past May that he decided to make an online, crowdfunding Kickstarter campaign to sponsor the book. After sharing the campaign on social media, Wilson was able to raise about $5,800 and was even contacted by local publishing company, Mascot Books. Mascot Books’ CEO and publisher, Naren Aryal, said that his company was inspired by Wilson’s campaign, which is what led them to reach out to him. “His story is one that can help a lot of children and also families, particularly those who have children with disabilities,” Aryal said. “It’s something that young readers can relate to and assure them that they aren’t alone. So he’s really a role model I think.” After signing with Mascot Books, Wilson describes the less-than-a-year process of getting his book published as a “whirlwind.” “It’s crazy,” he said. “At first, with the Kickstarter, it was still just an idea and I had no idea how it was going to turn out, so … it was kind of surreal seeing everything come to life when before it was kind of just all in my head.” Despite this being Wilson’s first book, Aryal said going through the publishing process with him was smooth. “He was great to work with,” Aryal said. “He had a clear vision of what he wanted to accomplish, so it was a good fit all the way around.” The book, titled “Uniquely Me,” has strong connections to Wilson, but it is not autobiographical. The main character shares neither Wilson’s name nor his appearance in order to make him more relatable. “The book is about a little boy with one hand, but I didn’t want the book itself to be geared towards only kids with one hand or only kids with this specific disability,” he said. “I want it to be something that any little kid that worries about being different or worries about what they look like or their personality or anything, that they can read the book and kind of understand that they can overcome that fear.”
(COURTESY OF TRACE WILSON)
Overcoming this fear of being different is exactly what Wilson did himself – Although it took almost 18 years
(COURTESY OF TRACE WILSON)
An illustration of the main character of Wilson’s book, who is simply named the “little boy.” to do it. “It held me back from a lot of things, [because] I would think things like, ‘Oh, well I shouldn’t try to do that or talk to that person, because what will people think of me?’” he said. “Then I kind of realized … that if act like that weird kid that stands in the corner and doesn’t have any friends, then that’s how I’m going to be treated. … But if I make an effort to be outgoing … and act like it doesn’t affect me whatsoever, then that’s how people will see me.” Over time, this new mindset is what helped Wilson to feel comfortable with himself, and that’s what he wants to share with others going through the same experience. “If I can help one kid that feels the way that I did for the first decade or two decades of my life, and help them overcome that obstacle early, then my goal is met,” he said. The official release date for “Uniquely Me” is set for January 5, but Wilson is already thinking about his next book, which he plans to gear toward parents of children with disabilities.
lifestyle Black Friday: Deal or No Deal? hosting its annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, according to BlackFriday.com. This year, quite a few companies, including Macy’s, Kmart, Target, Toys R Us, Kohl’s, JCPenney, Sear’s and Old Navy, are jumping on the Thursday evening band wagon by opening for Black Friday sales at 6 p.m. Students who decide to go shopping on Black Friday this year should be prepared to stand in long lines and face large crowds. Bloomberg reported that 140.1 million Americans went shopping during Black Friday weekend in 2014, and, according to the sales-tracking website BlackFriday.com, that number is expected to grow this year. While many Mason students will be hitting the sales, others will be working them. Aurora Pasos, a junior communication major who works for Aerie, the teen lingerie company owned by American Eagle, is one such student. Pasos said her shift will start at 6 p.m. on Thursday night, during prime Thanksgiving dinner time, and that her family will be driving up from Virginia Beach, Va., to Fairfax to squeeze in some time with her.
(CLAIRE CECIL/ FOURTH ESTATE)
“My family and I will have a nice early Thanksgiving dinner, and we will spend some time together, and then they will drop me off at the mall,” Pasos said. She explained that her father wanted her to call out of work this Thanksgiving.
While many Americans are busy planning menus for Thanksgiving dinner, others are frantically completing their Black Friday shopping lists.
Pasos’s father said he is worried about the shopping crowds in popular Fairfax shopping areas. He thinks Pasos “should avoid large crowds because this area is a target and Black Friday is where everyone is vulnerable,” Pasos’ Father said. “[I] would rather her call out of work and just be with family.”
The term Black Friday was first coined in the 1960s, but the Friday after Thanksgiving has represented the start of the holiday shopping bustle for many Americans since 1924, when Macy’s began
However, Pasos says it would be difficult to call out of work, especially with Black Friday approaching. Managers are encouraging that every employee make it a priority to be at work and fully
CATHERINE AMIN | STAFF WRITER
prepared for the crowds this weekend. Some Mason students will be avoiding the stores, however. Alyssa Harris, a senior psychology major, cannot believe how many stores will be opening up on Thanksgiving night this year and wishes more people used that time to be with loved ones. “Thanksgiving should be a time for family and friends and to enjoy the spirit of the Holidays,” Harris said. “Black Friday has turned into a crazy event that causes competition and a negative energy.” Despite the chaos of the experience, many students see Black Friday -- and Thursday -- shopping as a prime chance to escape the family for a bit, shop for the holidays or even stock up on items for themselves. Sophomore Dima Alkharouf said she has gone Black Friday shopping for the past few years and that more than likely she will go again this year. “[I] love going Black Friday shopping,” Alkharouf said. “I go with my friends, and I always have a great time finding good deals.” Finding a good deal and saving money is especially exciting for budget-conscious college students, and major retailers seem to have noticed. This year, Target, Wal-Mart, Old Navy and others will be offering discounts on items that could especially benefit college-age shoppers. According to a Target press release, the company will be selling $3 pillows, $2 towels and $35 eight-piece bedding sets this weekend. This could be an excellent opportunity for college students to save some money while stocking up on dorm essentials. Wal-Mart will be offering low-priced electronics, including a $149 40-inch LED television, as part of its Black Friday sales. For students looking for a great deal on electronics this weekend, Wal-Mart might be the place to go. For those hoping to stock up on thermals, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters and jackets for winter, Old Navy might be a good place to check out. The retailer will be selling all in-store items for half price Thursday and Friday, will offer 40 percent off the entire store on Saturday, and will offer 40 percent off all items sold online this Sunday and Monday.
A Rewarding Experience College students should make an effort to volunteer for a many reasons including feeling a sense of reward, to give ready, and to put on a resume. Volunteer experiences help show one’s personal and job-readiness skills, such as using eye contact, promptness, organizational skills, and how one work with others. It is also a good way to network, to show dedication in a field and one’s passions. Volunteering is not only something that may set one apart from the rest in a job interview, but is also and experience that can be used as a learning opportunity. Finding a volunteer opportunity that appeals to you and your major is strongly encouraged! I enjoy working with animals, so I decided to volunteer my time at a local animal shelter. My experience at the Humane Society of Fairfax was one in which I felt empowered, in control, and one that I loved. I recommend this volunteer opportunity for all the animal and cat lovers. My experience at the Humane Society was filled with excitement, care, and social interactions with the animals. Most of my duties included playing, feeding and cleaning the cats. I enjoyed
volunteering with the Humane Society because I felt it was a way to escape the stress-load of college. The staff and animals were always very welcoming and made me feel at ease. I formed close relationships with the cats and felt like I bonded on a deeper level with the animals. I would recommend volunteering with this facility because it was very rewarding and time well spent. The Humane Society offers many volunteer opportunities for animal lovers. Some programs include working on a farm grooming horses and feeding dogs or at the Fairfax location socializing and playing with cats. There are also advertisement opportunities for students with an art or photography background. The Humane Society offers a safe environment for rescue animals in which they are offered companionship, love, and good nourishment. Rescue animals are typically found in the wild and may include birds, cats, dogs, horses, guinea pigs, rabbits, and horses. Many of these animals have been previously exposed to harsh living environments filled with high competition for food, violent conditions and brutality. The attitudes and behaviors of these
animals may change and be dependent on the environment on which they came from. The Humane Society provides a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for the animals where they focus primarily on the welfare of the animals. At the Humane Society of Fairfax, there are many services offered to the community and avid pet-lovers. Such services include a pet hotline, adoption services, pet boarding and pet behavior training classes. Along with numerous services offered, there are also opportunities to give thanks and give back. At the Humane Society, staff welcomes the community to come and volunteer and help work with rescue animals. I am so grateful to have had such a unique and fulfilling volunteer experience at the Humane Society. I urge everyone to begin their own quest for opportunity; search for areas in the community that may interest you, even in the slight, and begin a new chapter in your book. Get involved! ALLIE ROBBINS / MASON LIFE STUDENT
Relay for Life November 5th, if anyone remembers it was a gorgeous day; the sun was shining, and it was unusually warm for the beginning of the fall season. And there was yet another Panda Express fundraiser taking place. If you went to Panda Express on the 5th you probably don’t remember or care. If you helped hand out flyers, like I did, the only reason you probably remember is because of the sunburn or extreme thirst that standing in the sun caused. The fundraising that took place on November 5th was about more than the food; it was about supporting the fight against cancer. Similar to most campuses Mason’s involvement in the fight against cancer is highlighted in October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In the October 19th issue, the Fourth Estate featured an article that recognized Mason’s involvement in bringing about awareness of breast cancer. The Zeta Tau Alpha chapter at Mason was featured, as their national philanthropy is breast cancer awareness and education. ZTA and many other organization filled October with events to support and educate about breast cancer. Their efforts were made visible by the pink ribbons seen pinned to back packs and bags. Now, in November, many of those ribbons are faded and fallen and over looked. Bringing about awareness does not end for organizations like ZTA, but forever one else the events are over. For the general student body once October ends they go back to their normal routines. The fight against breast cancer, or any cancer for that matter, is out of the new and so off everyone’s minds.
But the fight hasn’t stop, and it won’t stop until a cure for all cancer is found. This is where November 5th’s Panda Express Fundraiser takes the stage. The organization hosting the fundraiser was Relay for Life of George Mason University. Relay for Life, as defined by the American Cancer Society on relayforlife.org, is an “[event comprising] the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Each Relay for Life event is special to its community, but the movement’s true power lies in the combined commitment of thousands of participants, volunteers, and supporters to help the American Cancer Society save lives from cancer.” At Mason, fundraising for the Relay for Life event, held in the spring, goes on all year. Alex Nixon, the Event Chair, Relay for Life of George Mason University and President of Colleges against Cancer, commented that “literally anyone on campus [can] hold a fundraiser and donate it to either themselves or their team” to help Mason’s event fundraise for the American Cancer Society. Relay for Life is for anyone who wants to become more involved in the fight against cancer, beyond the one month of the year awareness fling. Student involvement ranges from those working on the committee to make sure the event in the spring each year is a success, to those who donate or join teams and come to the event to show their support.
Nixon’s goal this year is to expand Relay for Life on Mason. His plan if for the committee to focus on “new fundraising efforts” and truly get creative in how they approach the student body. Getting the entire campus to show it support in the fight against cancer all year takes planning, commitment, and a passion that goes beyond the cause. A passion that derives from our individual loved ones who have suffered the effects of cancer. The Panda Express Fundraiser had an overall good response on campus, raising $285 toward the Relay for Life of George Mason University event, but Relay for Life at Mason is looking to raise $75,000 before the spring event. The only way that this goal will be realized is if more of Mason joins the fight. Everyone knows someone who has had or has cancer. Everyone knows that the fight doesn’t end until a cure is found. Relay for Life of George Mason University isn’t just a team to fundraise it is a community where lost ones are remembered, survivors are celebrated, and the fight against all cancers is continued, 365 days a year. Logon at relayforlife.org/gmuva, join the community, and help finish the fight. AMANDA DOUILLETTE / MASON STUDENT
A STUDENT MEDIA PARTNERSHIP
A CULTURAL FESTIVAL FOR GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY AND THE DC AREA Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here DC 2016 (AMSSH) is a book arts and cultural festival planned for January through March 2016, throughout the Washington DC area. Exhibits, programs, and events will commemorate the 2007 bombing of Baghdad’s historic bookselling street, and celebrate the free exchange of ideas and knowledge, to stand in solidarity with the people of Iraq, who have endured so much; and with people at home and abroad who are unable to make their voices heard.
Featured Partner: Corcoran School of Art The Corcoran School of the Arts and Design soon thereafter I met Beau Beausoleil in San at George Washington University bridges the Francisco. We talked about how poets, artists, university’s academically robust programs in and activists in the Washington DC area might the arts with Corcoran’s creative and inspired organize and get involved. Our first reading was scholarship. Part of the at Civilian Art Projects in George Washington 2010, and since then it has Columbian College of Arts become an annual event. and Sciences, the school The ideas at the core of the functions as an incubator project are as urgent now for artists and practitioners as they were in 2007. Art in arts-related fields, and and poetry have always serves to enrich students been central to human who are taking classes in experience, whenever the other areas of the university. time and wherever the As such, it provides a place. And, likewise, they platform for engagement have always been under that bridges creative threat. Al-Mutanabbi Street expression and practical Starts Here carries that application with the breadth message in its very name. and depth of the larger We need to be vigilant in liberal arts education. defending not only art and Casey Smith, Associate Professor poetry but artists, poets, I first learned about the Corcoran School of the Arts and and cultural producers of Design at George Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts all kinds. Washington University Here project in 2009, and
I CHALLENGE ANYONE TO SAY WHAT HAPPENED, IS HAPPENING NOW, AND WILL HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE. — Mohammed Hayawy Mohammed Hayawy, was killed in the blast in 2007 on al-Mutanabbi Street. Reading this poem is like hearing the voices of the dead, as many whose words in the anthology Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here are among their last things written in this world. Published by PM Press in Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here: Poets and Writers Respond to the March 5th, 2007, Bombing of Baghdad’s Street of the Booksellers Editors: Beau Beausoleil and Deema Shehabi
Partners include George Mason University’s School of Art and Fenwick Library, Split This Rock, Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, McLean Project for the Arts, Corcoran at George Washington University, Georgetown University, Cultural DC, Smithsonian Libraries, National Portrait Gallery Library, Brentwood Arts Exchange, and George Mason University Student Media and Fourth Estate Newspaper. Made possible in part by grants from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art and the National Endowment for the Arts. For programming and AMSSHDC partner events visit www.amsshdc2016.org/events
This is part of an ongoing series about the AMSSHDC2016 project.
Responses to Catch and Release: A Printmaking Experience The Catch and Release screenprinting event in the printmaking studio at George Mason on November 13th was an exciting opportunity to bring together faculty and students to share a collective conversation about image making, poetry, and the exploration of a common visual language to represent Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here DC 2016. By creating large-scale posters and t-shirts production, those who participated together deepened their understanding of a printmaking experience and working collaboratively. Participants felt a greater sense of community, diverse cultural awareness, and aesthetic influences within an active studio setting of makers. Left to right: Leilani Romero, Amani Greene, Tian Luan, There was a wide range of experience, many of and Helen Frederick screen printing a poster. the participants had never made a print, and some (With appreciation to Patrick Sargent) had little to no experience in the visual arts. The end result was an enlightened number of students, enthusiastic faculty, and posters loaded with rich colors enhanced with layered meaning. “Learning how the screens are created was fascinating. It was really cool how everyone was connected and worked together. The way that we played off each other was fun and made the entire process much more creative. I enjoyed holding the screen for others and helping them as they printed the images because it made it into more of a cooperative process.” –OSCAR student, Amani Greene, AVT New Media and History, BA “I really enjoyed making prints in a collective; it took off the pressures I normally feel as an individual and made it an enjoyable experience. I’ve never created art with other people in such a collaborate environment- the process made you feel like you were a part of something bigger than yourself.” — OSCAR student, Meaghan Arnold, Film and Video Studies, BA
Featured Partner: Smithsonian American Art Museum Library The Smithsonian AA/PG Library promotes new ideas through knowledge sharing, and plays a dynamic role in advancing scientific and cultural understanding and in preserving America’s heritage.
and special collections items. In addition the Libraries’ education and outreach includes exhibitions, lecture series, and an online digital library of electronic texts and images.
The Smithsonian American Art/ The expert staff and extensive Portrait Gallery Library was collections are a crucial developed to reflect the missions of resource for research and both the Smithsonian American Art education communities at the Museum and the National Portrait Smithsonian, within the United Gallery with strong holdings in Anne Evenhaugen States, and around the world. American art, as well as American Reference Librarian The Smithsonian Libraries is a history and biography. The AA/ system of 20 branch libraries PG Library’s special collections Smithsonian American Art and within Smithsonian museums also include artists’ books, rare Portrait Gallery Library and research institutes, and books, ephemeral materials, early central support services which include a Book 20th-century scrapbooks on California artists, Conservation Laboratory and an Imaging Center. Columbian Exposition research materials, and Total volumes owned by the Libraries exceed 2 items related to the history of the Patent million, more than 50,000 of which are rare books Office Building.
Escape, Angela Tu Dai, Guangzhou, China, Linocut and Chine Collé, Rives BFK, 6 x12 “
Featured Partner: Mason Student Media and Fourth Estate Newspaper “Creative expression is a fundamental freedom that is often taken for granted in American society. The ability to present and encounter new ideas through art, music, and language — especially the written word — is vital to the human condition. As an artist and someone who works to help student journalists formulate and express their unique point of view, my livelihood depends on the liberties guaranteed in the first amendment. But more than that, my emotional and spiritual well-being is inextricably bound to the art, music, and culture I experience or create. That is why I am so proud to be a part of the AMSSHDC project. Celebrating and defending the free exchange of ideas and knowledge as an act of solidarity with those whose voices are being suppressed around the globe is not only the right thing to do, it is the duty of those who enjoy such freedoms without fear of persecution.” — Jason Hartsel, Assistant Director of Student Media
Get Involved! This project is made possible by a dedicated team of volunteers. To volunteer your time, contact: Helen Frederick, firstname.lastname@example.org or Nikki Brugnoli, email@example.com Got a question? firstname.lastname@example.org I am Iraqi / I Read YouTube Video: ow.ly/RtBB0 Join the conversation:
@AMSSHDC2016 Visit our website for more information:
www.amsshdc2016.org AMSSH thanks Fourth Estate for its generous and ongoing support. Designed by Danielle Coates
Cross country runs up the awards COURTNEY HOFFMAN| SPORTS EDITOR
Mason’s men’s cross country team might be young, but it is certainly mighty. The team finished twelfth in the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships on Nov. 12 in Earlysville, Va. In their first race of the season, the men came in third in the Spider Alumni Open in Mechanicsville, Va., and went on to finish first in the James Madison, Mason and Wake Forest invitationals. The team placed fifth in the Athletic 10 (A-10) Championships before finally coming in twelfth at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships. The team was just shy of placing in the top ten. In the 2014 season, the team finished thirteenth in the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships, just one spot behind this year’s team. This season’s ranking is the team’s highest since the Patriots joined the A-10 Conference in 2013. But it’s not just the team that’s raking in the awards. Many runners have also been individually recognized this season for their achievements. Sophomore Grayson Morgan received the A-10 Rookie of the Year award in the conference championship for finishing first and fastest in the 8K. Though Morgan is academically a sophomore, he redshirted his freshman year, making the 2015 season his first active one. Morgan was not the only redshirted freshman in 2014; every other freshman runner was also held back last season for the sake of preserving their strength. “Coach Gerard saw potential and he kind of wanted to save it for as long as he could. All of the freshmen last year redshirted and he was saving it for a big year, our senior year,” Morgan said. The young team has three freshman and five sophomores on its fourteen-person roster. Senior Steven Flynn agrees that although the team is young, he has seen it grow a lot during his years at Mason. Flynn believes the young players have a desire to win that has motivated them to
“It’s progressed a lot from my sophomore year. When I was a sophomore on the team, I was on a team full of all seniors and fifth year seniors, and now it’s a lot of people gaining experience,” Flynn said. “They’re definitely training harder and more hungry [to win].” Throughout the season, the runners practiced almost every day. Flynn said he ran up to 90 miles per week, while Grayson said he ran up to 80. Flynn earned numerous awards this season, all of which served to push the team forward. He was awarded Performer of the Year and was named to the Southeast All-Region and the Men’s Academic All-Conference teams. Flynn also placed fifteenth in the 10K in the Southeast Region Conference tournament.
conference once or maybe twice,” Grayson said.
Unfortunately, Flynn just missed the mark to earn himself a spot at the NCAA’s national tournament. Flynn placed fifth in overall scoring, but only the top four runners were promoted to Nationals.
The team still has a lot of training to do before it can defeat some of its biggest rivals, like the University of Rhode Island, in the winter season.
While the team worked hard and made significant progress this season, runners are hoping to achieve additional growth in the near future. Grayson hopes the team can keep advancing in competitions.
“At the conference meet [Rhode Island] won indoor conferences, and we won outdoor. They always have an edge on us and beat us with scoring,” Flynn said, ”They score points in areas we don’t.”
“Basically, [I would like to] just keep moving up in the championship season for the cross country years, probably try to win the
(MEGAN ZENDEK/FOURTH ESTATE)
The men’s cross country team is currently looking toward its indoor season, which runners hope to utilize as a time for improving for their outdoor season.
Fourth Estate is looking to fill staff writer positions for spring 2016. We are also willing to provide credit for anyone interested in becoming a member of our staff. We are also always looking for volunteers across all sections -- news, lifestyle, opinion and sports -- as well as on our visual team with opportunities in photography and digital art. For more information, visit our website gmufourthestate.com under the ‘Work at Fourth Estate’ tab.
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