Page 1

IV

THE NEW

“SENIORS”ON CAMPUS

PAGE 11

FOURTH ESTATE February 15, 2016 | Volume 3 Issue 14 George Mason University’s official student news outlet gmufourthestate.com | @IVEstate

(AMY ROSE/FOURTH ESTATE)


Fourth Estate

2 02.15.2016

GMUFOURTHESTATE.COM @IVESTATE

Crime Log

CLASSIFIEDS

IV

Alexa Rogers Editor-In-Chief

Darian Banks Managing Editor

Ellen Glickman

Help Wanted

Child Care

Communications Specialist to work in a higher education setting on website updates, design, and content; writing projects, publications, promotional pieces, and help with student activities. Candidate will possess excellent writing and communication skills, proficiency in PhotoShop and/or other design programs,be highly creative, energetic, and dependable. 15-30 hours per week. Salary negotiable. Contact Cheri at cheri.schipper@acct.edu

SUMMER JOB: Seeking summer time help for my wonderful 9 year old girl. Requires a car. June-July-Pick up after camp at 3:15 pm and watch until 6:15 August 8-6 pm. Pay $10 per hour. Please submit a letter of interest including your experience with kids as well as three references including past employment references. heatherlmaurer108@gmail.c om

Part time nanny needed Tuesday-Friday, 1-6 pm, additional days as needed, please call Mary at (703) 409-8708 salary negotiable.

Skilled proofreader for your papers; $1 per page email: kristin@ theedifyingword.com

Complainant (GMU) reported a subject attempted to gain information from various GMU departments. Case referred to Criminal Investigations Division.

Megan Zendek

Fairfax Campus / Pending / 4:23 PM

Barbara Brophy

Miscellaneous

Feb. 11

A position in Doctor's office as receptionist with good communication skills. Please call 703-666-8844 or Camila.Sahebi@yahoo.com Energetic Person with experience Cooking, Care giving, and light massage. Live In or Out - to work at a very nice home in Fairfax, VA Part Time days/hours negotiable . Nice Family! In home patient care for FEMALE . Need help with multiple tasks including assistance with bed ridden patient. . Personal Care Assistant FEMALE's ONLY PLEASE . Experience Preferred in caring for handicap - Nurse Best! . Must be US Citizen, speak fluent English, Must Drive with own transportation. Call John 703-929-1777

Services

T-MOBILE SIMPLY PREPAID NO CONTRACT, NO ADDED FEES, NO RISK UNLIMITED TALK, TEXT AND WEB PLANS STARTING AT $40 PER MONTH ANDROID PHONES STARTING AT $19. CHOOSE FORM ALCATEL, LG, SAMSUNG, HTC... FREE ACTIVATION WITH STUDENT ID! WE'RE IN ANNANDALE, HERITAGE SHOPPING CENTER (571) 830-6516 VISIT US!

Feb. 07

News Editor

Natalia Kolenko

2016-004484 / Driving Under the

Assistant News Editor

Influence / Hit and Run

Savannah Norton

Subject (non-GMU) was arrested and transported to Fairfax County ADC for driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, hit and run, and causing $10,040 in property damage. Patriot Circle / York River Road/ Cleared by Arrest / 8:54 AM

Feb. 09 2016-004786 / False Pretenses/ Swindle/Confidence Game

Lifestyle Editor

Tatyana White-Jenkins Assistant Lifestyle Editor

Courtney Hoffman Sports Editor

Ben Cowlishaw Assistant Sports Editor

Amy Rose Photography Editor

Katie Morgan Design Editor Visual Editor Copy Chief

2016-005007 / Stalking / Use of Profane Language Over Public Airways Complainant (GMU) reported receiving multiple unwanted text messages from an unknown subject. Fairfax Campus / Closed / 1:15 PM to 2:30 PM

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Much to my design editor’s dismay, I wrote a letter that extended beyond what this page allots...which also means I got really passionate about something. Check it out on pages 13-14.

ON THE COVER Mason students celebrate a win at Saturday’s Homecoming basketball matchup. The Patriots beat Davidson 60-59 in a last-second shot to win.

CORRECTIONS Volume 3, Issue 13 The article “Fairfax proclaims January ‘Human Trafficking Awareness Month’” reversed the statistics of adults and minors identified as human trafficking victims between October 2013 and January 2015. The correct numbers are 243 adult victims and 47 minor victims. “City of Fairfax provides human trafficking info session for community” said the public event took place on Sunday Feb. 7. The correct date of the event was Sunday Jan. 31.

Ryan Adams Distribution Manager

Kathryn Mangus Director

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


IV

GMUFOURTHESTATE.COM @IVESTATE

News

02.15.2016

3

Mason narrows candidates down for two university positions

(AMY ROSE/FOURTH ESTATE)

Candidate Tim Miller gives a public presentation as part of the process for running for Assistant Vice President of University Life. Miller is currently the associate dean of students at George Washington University. MADISON ANTUS | STAFF WRITER

Mason officials are seeking to fill two administrative positions: vice provost for digital innovation and learning and assistant vice president of University Life. Currently, there are two remaining candidates for assistant vice president of University Life: Tim Miller and Kahan Sablo, Ph.D. Miller is currently the associate dean of students at George Washington University and Sablo is the vice president for Student Affairs and deputy Title IX coordinator of the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. The candidate elected for the position will replace the current assistant vice president of University Life, Jana Hurley. Barbara Meehan, Ph.D., who is the executive director for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), is in charge of the search process for the new assistant vice president of University Life. Whomever is chosen will report directly to Rose Pascarell, vice president of University Life, and will provide “strategic leadership and support for the ongoing development and effective management of units” located within the Office of University Life. These units include Housing and Residence Life, Living Learning Community (LLC) Development, Orientation, Family Programs and Services, University Career Services and Off-Campus Student Programs and Services, among many others. Meehan said that currently, there is no set deadline by which a new candidate will be chosen. “Ms. Hurley is working with Vice President Pascarell to determine a timeline for her transition. She [Hurley] remains committed to supporting University Life during the current search process,” Meehan said. Hurley said she is leaving Mason and returning to Michigan, where she is from originally, because of a professional opportunity her husband accepted.

With Hurley leaving, Meehan said that they are looking for a candidate who can fill her shoes. “The position calls for a leader who can manage a large portfolio and we are hopeful we will find someone who can fit the bill. Our goal is to continue to meet growing student needs and create a vibrant campus environment ripe for learning and personal growth and development,” Meehan said. Meehan describes the candidate pool as “diverse.” The process to find a new assistant vice president of University Life started with three possible candidates. All three candidates were from varying areas of the country and all three had different positions at their previous schools. For example, a previous candidate was Farah Muscadin, Esq., who is the associate vice president of Student Affairs and the dean of students at Chicago State University. However, Muscadin is no longer in the running for the position. Another open administrative position is the vice provost of digital innovation and learning. The job description for this position states that Mason’s Office of Distance Learning within the Provost’s Office is seeking “a creative and forward-thinking Vice Provost for Digital Innovation and Learning to lead the university’s next-generation strategic initiatives that support online and blended learning.” For the position of vice provost for digital innovation and learning, there are also two remaining candidates. The first is Menachem Jona, Ph.D., who is currently the research professor and director of the Office of Science, Technology and Math Partnerships for Northwestern University. The other candidate is Jeffrey McClurken, Ph.D., who is currently the professor and special assistant to the Provost for Teaching, Technology and Innovation at the University of Mary Washington. This position was approved by Mason’s Board of Visitors (BOV) last April and a search committee was created soon after, co-chaired by Jannette Muir, associate provost for Undergraduate Education, and vice president of Information Technology, Marilyn Smith.

According to Muir, the search for a candidate was started last year and the university made an offer to someone who decided to accept a position at another university. For this round, Muir said there were originally 16 candidates for the position, five of whom Mason interviewed. Out of those five, Jona and McClurken remained and came to campus this past January. Muir said that the entire process is extremely confidential “due to the fact that other institutions don’t often know [these candidates] are looking [for new positions].” This position was created to “lead Mason’s institutional transformation toward a digitally savvy, comprehensive global research university at the forefront of educational innovation. As this vision is implemented, Mason will grow online enrollment, improve academic quality, create access, and meet market demands,” according to the job description published by the university. The vice provost for digital innovation and learning will report directly to Provost and Executive Vice President David Wu. On Jan. 20 and Jan. 21, each candidate presented their answers to the prompt “From concepts to reality: What could Digital Innovation look like at Mason across all forms of learning?” There were also two public presentations by the candidates for assistant vice president of University Life last week, on Feb. 10 and Feb. 12, that students and other members of the Mason community were encouraged to attend. Each candidate’s presentation lasted about an hour, with 15 minutes at the end for questions. According to Muir, administration members are hoping to have the position filled by July 1. “I think that the provost would like to see this filled ASAP, but anyone who is a top candidate is going to have other jobs at another university that they would need to finish first,” Muir said.


4

IV news Mason task force addresses adjunct faculty concerns GMUFOURTHESTATE.COM @IVESTATE

02.15.2016

Administration-led team finds different priorities than adjunct advocacy group NINA MOTAZEDI | STAFF WRITER

A task force dedicated to addressing issues faced by Mason’s adjunct faculty will soon release the results of a semester-long survey. About a year ago, in February 2015, Provost David Wu created a task force aimed at improving conditions for adjuncts at Mason shortly after a petition was created by the faculty. Since its formation, the task force has made some smaller-scale changes and is in the process of making more. Further actions will be influenced by the survey results and data analysis. According to Wu, beginning this Institutional Review Board (IRB) survey was one of the first things the task force did after its inception. The purpose of the task force was to collect data on the adjunct faculty population at Mason and find out what issues were of primary concern to them. The task force is still in the process of analyzing the data, and once they are through, Wu said the data will be shared with the Mason community. Adjunct professors work part time, often teaching one to three classes per semester -- teaching more than three classes would require the university to provide health benefits. They are hired semester to semester and do not have longterm contracts. Wu said the majority of adjunct faculty are “working professionals” and have full-time jobs in addition to teaching at Mason. “We have access to some amazing talent, human capital, and some of them are holding important positions in government -- various industrial organizations and so on -- so it would be foolish for us not to access that significant talent,” Wu said. Anne McLeer, director of higher education and research for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 500, does not believe that having a full-time job is a valid reason for paying adjunct faculty lower wages. SEIU Local 500 is an education and public service union and has unionized adjunct faculty at nearby universities, including George Washington University and

Georgetown University.

Blackboard present,” Eby said.

“I just don’t think that the fact that you have a job somewhere else is an argument for being exploited in your other job,” McLeer said. “It’s kind of like saying to a women in the 1970s, ‘I can pay you half what I’m paying a man for the same work because your husband has a good job.’ The argument for equal pay for equal work applies here. … If you’re an employer, you’re supposed to pay your employees equitably for the same job.”

She said a popular session focused on engaging students in discussion both in the classroom and online.

A year ago, the Mason Coalition of Academic Labor (MCAL) and SEIU Local 500 created a petition addressing issues affecting adjunct faculty members. This petition was created after three sociology students conducted an IRB survey examining contingent faculty conditions at Mason and asked for four primary issues to be addressed: adequate time for adjunct faculty to prepare for courses, access to a private space for student meetings as guaranteed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a fee for course preparation and reimbursement for money spent on course materials and trainings attended and a 20 percent cancellation fee for courses cancelled less than three weeks prior to the beginning of the semester. According to Wu, the task force found that office space is a main concern among adjunct faculty and is currently working with colleges and schools across campus to address it; however, the task force did not find the other issues in the petition to be of primary concern to the adjunct faculty population. “We are focusing on the issues the task force has put forward, which are not exactly in alignment with what was in the petition,” Wu said. He said the task force’s priorities are more representative of the entire adjunct population at Mason. According to task force member Kimberly Eby, who is both an associate provost for Faculty Development and the director of the Center for Teaching and Faculty Excellence, the task force has already made some improvements for adjuncts. Prior to the task force’s formation, orientation for new adjunct professors was limited to a morning session mainly centered on filling out paperwork and other human resources-related tasks. As a result of funding from administration, orientation has been expanded to an optional afternoon session filled with a variety of workshops, according to Eby. The workshops cover a range of topics from informing faculty about services that Mason offers to students, such as psychological services and disability services, to classroom management and assignment development.

(MEGAN ZENDEK/FOURTH ESTATE)

The above information is from “Indispensible But Invisible: A Report on the Working Climate of Non-Tenure Track Faculty at George Mason University” by doctoral students Marisa Allison, Randy Lynn and Victoria Hoverman.

“Adjunct faculty really felt like they wanted more hands-on experience with Blackboard and some of the digital tools … [so there were] representatives from

According to Wu, parking permit fees was another primary concern among adjuncts. Soon after the creation of the task force, a reduced parking fee for adjuncts was implemented, although it was not an issue the task force took action to change. The team is also working on creating a website for adjunct faculty members, which is expected to be up by the end of the semester, according to Eby. In the meantime, the task force established an email account where adjuncts can send their concerns. David Zeglen, a member of MCAL and graduate teaching assistant in the cultural studies department, said that only minor changes have been made so far. He noted that some departments are working to provide orientations for new adjuncts, but most of the changes that have been made are not significant. “I still think that we need much more strategic gains for how faculty are treated,” Zeglen said. “The pay is the biggest issue, quite honestly.” The base pay for adjuncts has changed little in the past few years. The IRB survey conducted by Mason students recorded a base pay for the 2012-2013 school year of “$2,511 and $3,948 for a three-credit hour lecture-based course, depending on their experience and the level of the course.” The base pay required for the 2015-2016 year ranges from $2562-$4026. The survey noted that data suggests half of contingent faculty at Mason live in households that are well-off, but the other half “must endure financial hardship” and “must keep their contingent faculty position in order to avoid enduring financial hardship.” The majority of faculty in that category are making less than minimum wage without benefits. Although MCAL has been advocating for contingent faculty for some time and is responsible for the petition that resulted in the development of the task force, their input on the issue has not been sought by task force members. Contingent faculty include non-tenure track faculty, including adjuncts, lecturers, term faculty, part-timers, post-docs and teaching assistants, according to the IRB study. “[MCAL has] never reached out to us or contacted us,” Zeglen said. “They should be including us in any kind of discussions that they’re having, in even basic stuff like employee handbooks. … They’re making assumptions.” According to Zeglen, the administration should focus on making structural changes, especially regarding pay, and lobbying state officials for an increase in funds. MCAL has begun lobbying congressional officials and Zeglen explained that most are unaware of the conditions plaguing contingent faculty. McLeer said adjuncts across the country are beginning to stand up to this perceived injustice. “There is clearly a grassroots movement of adjuncts who no longer believe in the [education] system,” McLeer said. She believes adjuncts are beginning to realize their inability to acquire tenure track positions is not an issue of qualifications but a symptom of a corrupt system. Adjuncts are realizing they need to change the system by forming unions and “fighting against the corporate model of education,” McLeer said.


IV

GMUFOURTHESTATE.COM @IVESTATE

news

02.15.2016

5

Mercatus fellow charts new media in data-driven reporting ROBERT WINSHIP | STAFF WRITER

Mason’s Mercatus Center recently launched a website for numbers-driven reporting. Mercatus fellow Brent Skorup created the website, Media Metrics, which went live Jan. 25. The site displays information in a straightforward way, focusing on the clarity of the charts to deliver time-oriented information on communication topics like social media ad spending, satellite radio and the effects of deregulation on the TV market. Each chart is easy to read and Skorup provides the context of his research as well as a brief analysis of the findings. He said many of the results counter a fear-mongering mindset in the new media age. Skorup said Media Metrics will bring “nuance, hopefully, to the ‘sky is falling’ [mindset] that happens when companies do a new business model or merge.” The graph on satellite radio, for instance, reaches back into 2007 when competing companies Sirius Radio and XM were the dominant players. When the two declared they would merge into a larger corporation, Skorup said there was a “firestorm” of opposition to the perception of a monopoly. “The FCC [Federal Communications Commission] ultimately decided to let the merger go through, and I think the company has added 10 million subscribers since then, but I don’t think most consumers today would say this is a radio monopoly,” Skorup said. Though the companies saw an increase in subscribers following the merger, Media Metrics notes an undramatic increase in overall business. For Skorup, the fear of a digital media monopoly was unfounded. In another recent post,“What Internet ‘Speed’ Does $85 per Month Buy?”, Media Metrics charted internet performance by year, per dollar. Skorup wrote that the advocates of internet regulation operate on “a belief that Internet service providers keep consumer prices high and broadband speeds low and invest in their networks only when absolutely necessary.” In the Media Metrics chart, broadband speeds have risen tremendously over time, and the quality adjusted terms, meaning dollars to megabits, are growing. That is the key to what Media Metrics offers, not just raw data or of-the-minute opinion, but long-term studies with quality and inflation adjusted numbers that paint a clear picture to compare then and now. Media Metrics first began in 2008, as a 98-page report written by Skorup’s colleague Adam Thierer along with Grant Eskelsen and published by the Progress & Freedom Foundation. Thierer’s “Media Metrics” was the precursor to Skorup’s site in that it set out to counter a narrative that the media landscape is getting worse. Skorup and Thierer worked together on several academic publications on cronyism in the IT sector and TV regulation, the latter of which is explored on the website. Thierer’s “Media Metrics” focused on deregulation in communication industries. “There’s a lot of dynamic things going on in communications technology and media and it helps to look at the data for these things because people have a snapshot view of what’s going on -they know what’s going on today, and we all have short memories,” Skorup said. After talking with Thierer about his publication, Skorup thought about how much had changed between 2008 and now. For example, Twitter usage was growing as was the overall influence of social media. So, he asked Thierer for permission to use the name and ideas Thierer had developed and built them into a website.

Skorup intends for Media Metrics to capture the attention of the everyday news reader, but he is just as interested in providing accurate information to key members in academia. “I’ve had some media law professors and media professors Tweet about it and say they plan to use it in class, which is nice,” Skorup said. Acquiring data sets can be a difficult process. Most of the numbers come from government agencies, especially the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This has created a few problems for Skorup and his team. For example, according to Skorup, while the BLS does adjust dollars for inflation, the agency does not always adjust for quality. Also, the sheer amount of data required for some charts can pose some problems; Media Metrics went through ten years of data from Comcast in order to build the broadband chart on the website. “People seem to like that chart,” Skorup said. “That one I think had [the] most retweeting because it is dramatic; it is a big swoop.” That chart also addresses another group of people that Skorup is trying to reach: “regulators and policymakers and tech [reporters].” Skorup has a small staff that helps maintain the website and collects data for the charts. Joe Kane is one staff member who analyzes

(MEGAN ZENDEK/FOURTH ESTATE)

the data findings in the context of policy discussions. Kane is also a Mercatus research fellow pursuing his master’s in economics. He said the data on Media Metrics supports the tenants of a free market. “These trends should make one think twice before advocating the imposition of onerous regulations that will negatively affect competition, prices and consumer choice,” Kane said via email. “Long term trends reveal that the industry is a pro-consumer environment that over time provides falling prices with rising quality and choice.” As for the future of Media Metrics, Skorup expects to keep moving toward discovering data sets to chart and analyze. He would like to make the base Excel sheets available to fellow academics and others. “Our biggest constraint is finding good data,” Skorup said. “A lot of it is locked up behind paywalls, and you need expensive subscriptions for a lot of this.” For now, Skorup is just trying to drum up interest. “I hope people will interact with [the website] and give us ideas for what to cover next,” he said.


6

02.15.2016

news

GMUFOURTHESTATE.COM @IVESTATE

IV

Pizza and Perspectives: A healthy discussion about free speech on campus ALEC MOORE | STAFF WRITER

A panel of Mason experts led a discussion over pizza and soda on a much disputed issue in the world of higher education -- how to foster freedom of expression while protecting students from hate speech and other forms of discrimination. On Thursday, Feb. 4, Mason’s Arlington campus hosted the first Pizza and Perspectives academic discussion of the spring semester. The topic was “Protecting Students vs. Protecting Free Speech: How Can We Create Safe Spaces in Higher Education?” The goal of this discussion was to explore the balance between providing protection for students while also protecting free speech. This tension is by no means unfamiliar to the Mason community, which has witnessed numerous provocative instances of free speech, from anti-abortion activists that hand out graphic pictures of aborted fetuses to a violent confrontation between a student and a visiting preacher last fall. Though the Pizza and Perspective topics are usually weighty, the format of the discussions is usually casual. After they were introduced, each panelist took 15 minutes to present their thoughts on the night’s topic. The first panelist to speak was Dr. Peter Stearns, provost emeritus and university professor of history and art history. Stearns began his remarks by pointing out that he had a fundamental problem with the way the topic was framed in the title of the discussion. “I believe that in most cases, not all persuasion is better than compulsion,” Stearns told the forum. “I also believe deeply in academic freedom.”

success in reforming Mason’s speech code with the help of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) to promote greater freedom of speech on campus.

university campuses in the early 1960s. He explained that events like these end up as historical embarrassments, and we should not repeat those mistakes.

Zywicki began his presentation by agreeing with Stearns’s concern about how the issue was framed. He also disagreed with the subtopic presented in the discussion’s title, asking, “How can we create safe spaces in higher education?”

The final panelist to speak was Julian R. Williams, vice president of Compliance, Diversity and Ethics at Mason. Both Williams and his department have been extensively looking at this particular issue.

“The question is not how can we create safe spaces, it is ‘Should we create safe spaces?’, and I believe the answer is unequivocally ‘no,’” he said. Zywicki said there are already examples of limits on freedom of

However, he wants to refocus the argument. “I want to not look at these issues in a vacuum and center it around the current context as it relates to current events colleges are being challenged to confront,” he said. From that position, Williams said he has realized one of the most important factors in this discussion is how the community defines “safe.” “If we define safe as never being challenged or made to feel uncomfortable, then we will never achieve our goal,” he said. “If we define safe as an area in which ideas can be exchanged in a friendly and courteous manner, we may be able to succeed.” Williams explained he does not want safe spaces to be physical places but instead wants to create a widespread mindset of openness. “Proper policies and procedures is how you build your safe space,” he said. “It’s not a room; it’s about training and a focus on ensuring student conversations are courteous and productive.” He closed by saying safe spaces should not shield students from ideas that might make them uncomfortable but instead should encourage discussion about controversial issues to promote more understanding and growth. In this respect, Williams supported the views of academic freedom expressed by Stearns and Zywicki.

Stearns explained that he sees (MEGAN ZENDEK/FOURTH ESTATE) the issue of free speech as a A “Pizza and Perspectives” event was hosted at Mason’s Arlington campus in early February. A panel of experts discussed stumatter of protecting academic “Classrooms need to be a place dents’ rights and free speech -- issues that were also at the heart of the 2007 Supreme Court case, Morse v. Frederick where high freedom and the free exchange school student Joseph Frederick was suspended for bringing a banner to a school event that read “Bong Hits 4 Jesus.” where the free exchange of of ideas. The discussion’s title, ideas is possible,” Williams said. he felt, seemed to pit those speech listed in the first amendment, such as targeted harassment “Otherwise, we are losing sight of the mission.” standing up for academic freedom against those standing up for and libel. Beyond that, he believes that people already know what Once the panelists finished, the discussion was opened up to the minority rights. these hypothetical spaces would look like. audience for questions and thoughts, and the panelists weighed in “Partisans of academic freedom and partisans of minority rights “Let’s be honest, we all know what happens when these type of on each other’s positions. ought to be on the same side,” he explained. “We should both want spaces are created. Leftist views are allowed and conservative views Junior Marion Slack joined the conversation by expressing her to discuss problems openly so we may find solutions.” are rejected as entitled,” Zywicki said. “It’s obvious what this is. It view that it is productive to simply discuss the issue of free speech That being said, Stearns said there should be three basic rules is not about protecting their own ideas, it is about driving out ideas versus safe spaces. guiding these discussions to ensure they are productive and peace- that they don’t like.” ful: interlocutors should distinguish between opinions and insults, Zywicki also commented that he, much like Stearns, is concerned “I just really feel like not talking about things isn’t going to make them go away and definitely isn’t going to solve anything,” Slack remain courteous and genuinely think about others’ positions. about academic freedom and fears that freedom of expression said. “If people can’t talk about issues that make them uncomfortThe second panelist to speak on the topic was Dr. Todd Zywicki, would be limited in any established safe space. able, then they shouldn’t be able to force others not to talk about Mason professor and executive director of the Law and Economics Zywicki supported his argument by recalling past attempts to limit it, too.” Center for Mason’s School of Law. Zywicki is known for his past ideas, such when communists were banned from Hollywood and


IV

GMUFOURTHESTATE.COM @IVESTATE

news

02.15.2016

7

The name of the game: Three Mason offices get new titles MADISON ANTUS | STAFF WRITER

In the past few months, several offices at Mason, including the Center for Global Education and Mason Korea, have changed their names. The Center for Global Education is now known as Mason Study Abroad and Mason Korea has been changed to George Mason University Korea. On May 1, the New Century College (NCC) will also change its name and become the School for Integrative Studies. According to Achim Loch, the internet marketing outreach coordinator for Mason Study Abroad, the name change goes “hand in hand” with its new website, which features a new style of database and a separate webpage for each study abroad program. The name change was part of the Strategic Planning Objectives laid out by President Angel Cabrera in 2014, specifically Objective 12, the Global Learning Platform, whose goal was to create “partnerships and other arrangements to support student and faculty mobility and collaboration.” While the name change may seem small, Setarra Kennedy, who works in the Office of Global Strategy, said that it was only the beginning of accomplishing Objective 12. Loch said that the name change was not only in accordance with the Strategic Planning initiatives, but also a sort of mission statement. According to Loch, there was some confusion as to the purpose of the office when it was the Center for Global Education and the name change aimed to clarify the purpose of the office, which is to assist students who wish to study abroad. Another change for the office was a new website. According to Loch, the Mason Study Abroad website serves two purposes. “First of all, you can see that each program has its own page in the new database, and [second], as a student you can create an application for more than one program,” Loch said. There is also now a $150 flat fee for Mason students applying to any program and a slightly higher fee for non-Mason students. Each program offered through Mason Study Abroad now has its own page within the website as well. According to Loch, Mason Study Abroad’s old website is still operational, but all its links now transfer users to the new website. The updated website also features links to other study abroad pages not offered through Mason Study Abroad, such as programs offered through the school of Conflict and Analysis, Mason’s School of Policy, Government and International Affairs (SPGIA) and Social Action and Integrative Learning (SAIL), located within the New Century College.

(COURTESY OF TIJANI MUSA)

Loch also mentioned the department has a new Twitter handle, @ MasonGoAbroad. Mason Korea’s name change was also driven by a need for clarity. According to Kennedy, “There were some interpretations [that] Mason Korea [sounded] more corporate as opposed to collegiate, so there was some confusion as to what Mason Korea was. The decision was to change the name to George Mason University Korea so you knew that this was a university, not a corporate center.” Kennedy stated that many of the name changes that have been completed are part of making Mason’s name a “brand,” which was also an overarching goal of all 12 Strategic Planning Objectives. Another large-scale name change is occurring in the New Century College. On Dec. 8, 2015, the Board of Visitors voted in favor of changing the college’s name to the School of Integrative Studies, and from there it went before the State Council for Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). Effective May 1, 2016, the New Century College will officially be the School of Integrative Studies (SIS). The announcement was made on the NCC’s website on Feb. 8. The name change was approved by SCHEV in early

February. Beginning in 2014, the NCC began seeking input from faculty, staff, alumni and students as to whether or not the name change would be a good idea. According to the college’s site, many felt that the name change would better reflect the “interdisciplinary, experiential research and study undertaken by its faculty and students.” When the NCC was created in 1994, it was seen as a progressive approach to education and research, with a focus hands-on learning. Those in the department believe that the college’s new name will further emphasize its progressive nature.

Continued on page 8


8

02.15.2016

news

GMUFOURTHESTATE.COM @IVESTATE

IV

In Case You Missed It... (MEGAN ZENDEK/FOURTH ESTATE)

Deborah Boehm-Davis, the dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), said “New Century College has always offered Mason’s students coursework that integrates perspectives from multiple disciplines and the opportunity to apply that learning beyond the university. The new name reflects that the School of Integrative Studies embodies this unique integrative pedagogy, paired with the opportunity to address the needs of society and the world, thereby building effective future leaders.� Kelly Dunne, the interim dean of the NCC, agreed with Boehm-Davis. “Our new name encompasses the full spectrum of what our faculty and students are charged to do: Put their passion to action as they engage with the complex social, global and environmental challenges facing our world,� Dunne said in an interview with the Mason Newsdesk. Although the relative simultaneity of these name changes may make it seem that they all were related to the Strategic Planning Objectives, only the shift to Mason Study Abroad was directly related. Kennedy said that while the name change and integration of Mason Study Abroad with Mason Global was a small part of the 12th goal on the list of the Strategic Planning Objectives, planners are by no means finished with the project. The project, Cabrera’s ten-year plan to better the university, included goals such as creating innovative learning opportunities and accessible pathways to serve the needs of different students, shaping career-ready graduates and elevating research, among others. There were 12 objectives total, each of which included several preliminary goals. The report stated that visible success of the 12th goal would be numerous: “More Mason students will be studying abroad. The number of Fulbright scholars and faculty engaged in international projects will increase. Ties with partner institutions will strengthen. More students, faculty, and staff will embrace the global mindset,� the report said. While all of this may seem like a large endeavor, and simply changing the name of Mason Study Abroad may seem insignificant compared to the larger goal, Kennedy said the project is well on its way. She added that changing the name of Mason Study Abroad was something that the Global Strategy office had hoped to accomplish early in Cabrera’s 10 year project. “This is definitely a priority and this is something that our office takes into consideration as we work. It’s more ongoing, definitely ongoing,� Kennedy said.

(MEGAN ZENDEK/FOURTH ESTATE)

0O'FCSVBSZUI ÉĽF(MPCF )PVTJOH  BOE.BTPO*/50IPTUFEBDFMFCSBUJPOPG UIF-VOBS/FX:FBS ESBXJOHB DSPXEPGBMNPTUEJOFST5SBEJUJPOBM $IJOFTFĂŹBWPSTJODMVEFE$IBS4JVSPBTUFE QPSL FEBNBNFQPUTUJDLFST BOETBVUFFE $IPZ4VN XIJMFBQFSGPSNBODFCZMPDBM %SBHPO%BODFSTNBEFJUBOJHIUUPSF %SBHPO%BODFSTNBEFJUBOJHIUUPSF NFNCFS%POUNJTTPVUPOUIFOFYU .BTPO%JOJOH&MJUF&WFOU8*$,&% 8*/(4BU4PVUITJEF.BSDIUI


IV

Lifestyle

GMUFOURTHESTATE.COM @IVESTATE

02.15.2016

9

Thriftlorde$: More than a store, a school of thought offer name-brand, albeit secondhand, clothing for full price or just under market price. Thriftlorde$ see this as an issue to actively combat. “We’ll see these other resellers selling at full price,” Dixon said, “but we won’t.”

The business is grounded in small-world comfort and inspired by big-world goals. But the loftiness of these goals is a small worry. Success is just another part of being a Thriftlorde.

The strong sense of community the Thriftlorde$ bring to the table extends past the relationship a provider has with its consumer. The group is involved in fundraising for causes local and abroad. They currently are raising funds, holding sales and allocating profits towards the Flint water crisis. The group’s GoFundMe page currently claims over $300 in funding in just over two weeks. These are incredible numbers for a small page.

“We just make sure our profits compensate us for the purchase, packaging, and shipping,” Dixon said. “We see how some people do their business, and that’s cool, but we wanted to go more this route -- to show a more lifestyle aspect of things.”

“We want to do what we can because it really helps people who need it,” Dixon said. “It establishes ourselves as people in the community who could be seen as charitable people. It helps create unity.”

Other than posts promoting clothing, Thriftlorde$ frequently posts condensed think pieces, encouraging conversation and discussion in the comments section. These posts approach topics like race, politics and other divisive issues in ways that inspire open-mindedness and rationality. One post may feature a new clothing item; another post might instead teach the words and commentary of Martin Luther King, Jr. But the key to the group’s continued success is their dedication to authenticity.

Beyond the immediate fundraising for Flint, Thriftlorde$ also holds big plans for the future. The business eventually hopes to open a physical store or pop-up art space, hold regular causes for people in need and even hold a music festival, called Dap Fest.

“I see people going to the Ralph Lauren store to get a basic polo,” Edeki added. “They’ll pay like $60 for it, full price. We’re selling that same polo for $12.”

(COURTESY OF THRIFTLORDE$)

JESSE HARMAN | STAFF WRITER

Every business begins as a seed, and they all have a chance to grow past a simple buyer-seller relationship. With the right innovation and inventiveness, a business can become a school of thought. Thriftlorde$, a local online apparel outfitter and visual art space, takes branding past the material surface and into something more interactive. The group’s founders, Mason senior Brown Dixon III and Northern Virginia Community College student Tobore Edeki, understand a broad, yet focused, scope and vision are essential to the online shop’s success. The business was born into the modern trend of online thrifting, using social media, primarily Instagram, to resell secondhand clothing. This is part of the ever-increasing globalization of retro fashion, with even major retailers emulating these visual trends. Thriftlorde$ has just over 5,000 followers on Instagram, supporters at home and abroad, and an expansive vision. But the self-proclaimed “creative venue” had as simple a beginning as any. “I’d been thrifting for four to five years,” Dixon said. “We [Edeki and I] both started to get into it heavy. We were talking one day, and I said, ‘We should have a store.’ All it took was that first post.” Dixon and Edeki run the business out of a basement. Dozens of plastic bins full of clothing act as arm rests and coffee tables. The duo tracks all purchases through private messaging via Instagram, finalizes all sales through PayPal and personally ships out all items by hand. “We’re out here providing a service,” Dixon said. “This is work.” The page’s followers have come to expect a familiar backdrop: clothing or any other item for sale hanging on purple brick wallpaper, a keepsake from Dixon and Edeki’s day jobs as daycare associates. The faded violet wall and sleek, comfortable display are part of the brand’s unique signature. “We really wanted to find a way to connect with people,” Edeki said, “but we also wanted it to be bigger than that. We know plenty of other pages with even better clothes for sale, and we wanted to do something different. We wanted it to be relatable.” One of Thriftlorde$’ defining characteristics is their attunement to their clientele’s needs and conditions. This constituent awareness is also closely connected to a common criticism of Instagram thrifting sites: product pricing. Many Instagram thrifting pages

“A lot of our followers feel like we’re friends with them, which is wonderful to me,” Dixon said. “We want that kind of rapport with our followers. It’s crazy to me to think that there are so many people we’ve never even met, and we’re just cool with them [because of the page].”

The group has a business model not unlike any other retailer. The key is the application of the model in a modern market that benefits all parties involved, and Instagram sets the perfect stage for it. “You’ve got your opinion leaders and you’ve got their followers,” Dixon said. “The followers feed the leaders. The opinion leaders are who we go for – the hipsters, the thrifting crowd. We want our followers to be leaders.” The model seems simple when generalized to such a point, but necessary networking in order to ensure success is daunting on its own. Thriftlorde$ has received help from outside sources, such established thrifting accounts, Instagram models and photographers, and artists, to legitimize the business beyond a simple social media page. But at the core of Thriftlorde$, beyond the business, is the idea of togetherness and family. Each post gleams with personality, and the page routinely interacts with its followers.

“When you’ve got a big stage you can really sit people down and spread an important message,” Edeki said. “That’s what we hope to be able to do.”


10

lifestyle

02.15.2016

GMUFOURTHESTATE.COM @IVESTATE

IV

Uber and Lyft offer flexible employment, cheap rides for Mason students ISSMAR VENTURA | STAFF WRITER

to be a more qualified Lyft driver while earning money on my own terms.”

Two competing mobile ride hail companies, Uber and Lyft, have become popular sources of income for Mason students. Working for either of the two San Francisco-based companies, which function almost identically by connecting users with drivers via mobile apps, is flexible and pays well, according to these students.

Their customer rating systems have provided a degree of quality control that taxi regulators have not been able to achieve.

Junior Jorge De La Hoz, has been an Uber driver since December 2015. Formerly a user of the service, De La Hoz relied heavily on it to commute to work, and later joined with the intention of making money to pay for his tuition.

“By being an Uber driver, I feel good to know that I am helping other students like myself get around without spending tons of money, especially in the Fairfax area where public transportation can take so long to arrive and their prices can be too expensive,” De La Hoz said.

“What I enjoy the most about being an Uber driver is that I have control of when I want to go out and start working, as I get to make my own schedule,” De La Hoz said. “Also, on a good weekend night, the pay is not bad, and I never have to drive too far.”

Falconi enjoys providing her service for all her clients, especially those who want a speedy ride to and from campus or enjoy going out on weekend nights. She also appreciates Lyft’s down-to-earth business model.

Uber and Lyft driver applicants are required to meet similar requirements. According to the companies’ websites, drivers must be 21 years of age or older and pass a background check. Both companies also have the same requirements for the driver’s vehicle, including having four external door handles and in-state license plates.

“Lyft helps those who’s car broke down, those who want to save car mileage, or even those students who do not wish to drive back home after a fun night of partying, which can prevent students from being pulled over and getting a DUI,” Falconi said. “It can even save lives.”

De La Hoz likes the fact that he can use his own car to transport customers and did not have to go through the difficult process of becoming a certified taxi driver. “By using my own vehicle, I have more control and get to make my own rules without interrupting the comfort of my riders,” De La Hoz said. “I have earned a lot more than I thought I would, especially during peak times of the day and holiday seasons like rush hour and Christmas time.” Carla Falconi, a junior, converted from being a taxi driver to Lyft driver this past spring, said she was happy to make the shift. “Being a Lyft [driver] is so much easier than being a normal taxi cab driver,” Falconi said. “I have received so many good reviews and great tips from my customers who have given me the opportunity

De La Hoz has enjoyed perks like getting to know his area better, being able to play music that both he and his customers enjoy and especially, not looking awkward in a yellow car.

However, being a driver has its challenges. For instance, they have to worry about increased mile accumulation, wear and tear, and cleanliness. Drivers admit that some riders can leave a backseat quite dirty. De La Hoz said his job with Uber has required him to take his car to the mechanic more often, experience longer hours stuck in traffic and more exposure to possible car accidents. Even with the insurance coverage Uber offers its drivers, “[driving] can be dangerous and you have to have the patience to sit in bad traffic at all times,” De La Hoz said. Nevertheless, business is booming and Mason is taking notice. Mason’s Parking and Transportation Services website is advertising two free Uber rides up to $20 each for any first-time student customer who uses the code “MasonIdea.”

(Courtesy of Adriana De La Hoz)


IV

GMUFOURTHESTATE.COM @IVESTATE

lifestyle

02.15.2016

11

Senior Waiver Program allows learning without splurging taken more art history courses than would be required if we were working towards a degree,” Mr. Helitzer said. “We also ‘minored’ in regular history, and we have also taken some other interesting courses.” While most senior citizens would probably rather not spend their time in a classroom again, those enrolled in the program love having the opportunity to pursue their interests. According to the registrar website, individuals interested in enrolling in the waiver program have to complete an application, submit their transcripts from any prior colleges and receive an offer of admission before they can register for classes. Admission into the program is competitive and not guaranteed. There is a Senior Citizen Application Guide on the website to help interested applicants apply for the program. The deadline to apply for the summer term is May 1 and August 24 for the fall semester. Although the Helitzers are students here just like everyone else, they are able to experience a more leisurely side of education.

MIA WISE| STAFF WRITER

Mason’s senior citizen waiver program provides opportunities for senior citizens to get back in the classroom and learn about evolving areas of study and engage with the campus community. Under the terms of the Senior Citizen Higher Education Act of 1974, the program allows Virginia residents over the age of 60 to enroll in up to three audited courses a semester. According to the university registrar’s website, these courses are tuition-free for individuals with a taxable income of no more than $15,000. While those enrolled in the program have the option of receiving academic credit for the classes they take, most choose otherwise. The program does not require individuals to choose a major or minor. There are plenty of benefits to continuing one’s educational pursuits after retirement, according to a recent piece by U.S. News and World Report. These include learning about a subject of interest, keeping one’s mind sharp and staying socially engaged. Senior citizens open “new channels of interaction” through attending classes, benefiting from in-class discussions and time with young people.

“Our favorite part of studying here, besides learning a lot, is interacting with the students and professors,” Mrs. Helitzer said. “One of our (COURTESY OF RACHEL SHUBIN) daughters teaches here and one of our grandThe Helitzers are by no means new to college life. They both studied at Cornell, where they met. Mr. Helitzer graduated two children is currently an undergraduate student at GMU. We enjoy years before Mrs. Helitzer and continued on to Harvard for law having lunch here at Southside. The meals are quite good.” school. The couple married during Mr. Helitzer’s second year at Harvard and moved to New York City after he graduated. Mr. Helitzer worked as a legal advisor for MetLife and Mrs. Helitzer worked as a teacher. When they retired, the couple moved to Virginia to be closer to family. Though the Helitzers both received excellent educations, they decided to continue learning after retirement by studying something new: art history.

“The reward we get from our courses is a greater understanding of art and history,” Mr. Helitzer said. “As auditors, we do not have to pay tuition or fees. Our only expenses are for textbooks, most of which we buy but some of which we rent. We do all the reading, but we don’t have to take any exams or submit any papers. All we have to do is learn something new.”

“Obviously, from our background, we do not need to obtain another degree, since we no longer work or need a career,” Mrs. Helitzer said. “We did not have to pick a major. Since neither of us had to work, we decided to concentrate our studies on a subject we both loved, art history. As it turned out, George Mason has an excellent art history faculty.”

This semester the Helitzers’ are taking “Ancient Pompeii: A Window on Ancient Roman Art and Society,” “Survey of Latin American Art” and “Art of Southeast Asia.”

The Helitzers began to audit classes at Mason about six years ago. “We basically have

Jack and Eugenie Helitzer are a couple who are a part of the senior citizen waiver program and have taken numerous classes together. Currently registered in multiple art history courses, the Helitzers know learning is important -- no matter the age of the student.


12

Lifestyle

02.15.2016

#GMU “The people that bring Chick fil a into a contained space are the rudest kind of people”

GMUFOURTHESTATE.COM @IVESTATE

TO DO THIS WEEK: MONDAY 2/15

On campus:

Off campus:

Evenings Under the Stars

Ice Skating

Research Hall 163- Lobby

Reston Town Center

5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

11a.m.- 7p.m.

@alexaarogers Alexa Rogers

TUESDAY 2/16 Off campus:

On campus:

Washington Capitals vs. Los Angeles Kings

GMU Swing Dance Lessons

“The first song on Pandora was Tearin’ Up My Heart and I’m ready to start belting it out in Fenwick”

Verizon Center

Johnson Center G34- Dance Studio

7:00p.m.

9 p.m. - 11 p.m.

WEDNESDAY 2/17

@ceebenzz Carls

On campus:

Off campus:

Career Fair

“when you run into a Mason Basketball player in SS and immediately feel 2 feet tall”

@price_sammym sammyp

Chocolate & Wine Pairings/Tasting

Johnson Center Cinema

Paradise Springs Winery

11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

11:00a.m.-7:00p.m.

THURSDAY 2/18 Off campus:

On campus: Music Productions Club Open Mic Night The Hub Corner Side Pocket Lounge

“I need to duct tape my mason ID to my forehead.”

Palingensis: Art Exhibition Opening Reception with Live Music Epicure Cafe

7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

@oreo_numero_uno Princess JaKeirra

IV

8:00p.m.

FRIDAY 2/19 On campus: Mindful Meditation Student Union 1 3011- University Life Meeting Room 12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

Off campus: Live Music at Paradise Springs WineryParadise Springs Winery 5:00-9:00p.m.


IV

GMUFOURTHESTATE.COM @IVESTATE

Opinion

02.15.2016

13

I’m A Christian, And I Think The North Plaza Preachers Have It All Wrong In December 2015, I was walking between classes, one earbud in with music blaring. It was clear that I had somewhere to be: finals were coming up, and as a freshman, I had worked them up in my mind to be so disproportionately difficult as to drown out all other things in life. My anxiety had begun to consume me, churning my stomach at even the thought of my Economics final. But the North Plaza preacher called out to me. He said “hey brother, good luck on your finals. I’m praying for you.” As a Christian, the man’s words spoke to me: he had reminded me of the love of Christ and it had helped take my mind off the finals. In that moment, I was thankful he was there. That’s the only moment I have ever felt anything other than resentment for the hate-mongers that patrol North Plaza, taunting George Mason students with their signs. This isn’t an article about the legality of these preachers - the Constitution is clear on that front - nor is it an article with the intent of “selling” Christianity to the people reading it - The Fourth Estate is not a religious organization, and that’s not the point of this newspaper. I want to explain to you why I, as somebody who on paper has the same beliefs as those men in North

Plaza, completely disagree with them when they preach hate. The Bible - the document from which all Christian theology should derive, as Christians believe that it is the direct word of God - is very clear about the purpose of Christianity. In the book of 1 Peter (that’s “first Peter,” lest you make the same mistake Donald Trump did in a recent speech), chapter 4 verse 8 reads, “above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins” (NIV). If these men claim to belong to a religion that values showing love to others “above all,” their methods are completely wrong, as I believe they are.

believed, Jesus was the kind of man who spent his time trying to get to know some real scum-of-the-Earth types: the tax collectors that Jesus would eat dinner with were some of the worst of the worst. However, these were the people that he wanted to minister to, so he brought them close and treated them with grace or forgiveness and told them the truth. He didn’t scream at them from the center of a plaza, but rather welcomed them in. The word “Christian” literally comes from the name of Jesus Christ, and its followers purport to want to be able to live their lives more like Jesus did. Jesus would not stand in North Plaza,

In mis-representing this, the preachers in North Plaza have become no better than the Westboro Baptist “Church,” a group that travels the country protesting military funerals with signs of gay slurs as a way of protesting advances in same-sex policies in the military. Through people like these, Christianity is in danger of becoming a religion and a culture founded upon the hate of everybody that is different than its members instead of being one known for love and acceptance of all.

holding up signs telling people that they “deserve hell.” Jesus would open them with open arms and spread love, just like the preacher did to me that in the one solitary instance where he offered encouragement instead of hate. That is the path that they should be going down: any other one is inauthentic and misrepresents not only Christians but our beliefs. I beg you to not allow the preachers who spew hate to become your mental image of Christians: that’s not us, and I resent them for making others think that it is.

John 1:17 says that “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came from Jesus Christ” (NIV). If the Bible is to be

LUKE WALTERMIRE | CONTRIBUTOR

Owning ‘It’s on Us’ Hi there, me again. I popped back a lot earlier this semester than I did last semester, didn’t I? About a week ago, we received a “timely warning” from our interim Chief of Police, Thomas Longo, regarding two instances of sexual assault that have occurred on campus this semester. For those of you that do not frequent reading sexual assault legislation, all universities are required to comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, which requires universities to provide information about campus crime activity and security policies in an annual report. Part of our compliance includes issuing these timely warnings which, according to Mason PD’s website, exist to inform “campus community members about specific types of criminal activity when an ongoing threat to persons is believed to exist.” The Mason Police issues them on a “case-by-case” basis depending on a number of criteria, including nature of the crime, potential threat to the community and risk of compromising law enforcement efforts. An hour later, a number of profile pictures, mainly people I’m friends with in Student Government and their friends, started changing to a photo of the Mason sign outside of Potomac encapsulated in the phrase, “It’s On Us.” That’s a great looking It’s a good campaign for the university and state initiatives about eradicating sexual assault. But you all just changed you Facebook profile pictures at 10:30pm and called it a night; its textbook social media “slacktivism” and it doesn’t do anything. Sorry student government, but my most valuable understanding of your job is to represent the interests of the student body; good PR for the school shouldn’t be

first priority here. A profile picture without any kind of follow up event or conversation, as one of my good friends has said, is an insult to the seriousness of this cause and what it represents. There have been 34 cases of sexual crimes reported to Mason Police from 2012-2014. I don’t think your profile picture makes them feel any more comfortable. If you haven’t already noticed, I’m very passionate about this topic. Some of you might remember our sexual assault and domestic violence issue last semester that featured my face, distorted with makeup cuts and bruising, on the front cover. Those of you that know me personally will also know that it probably was not the best ethical decision I’ve made in my short career as a journalist. But, I was fortunate to have a supportive co-editor that had a lot of confidence in me and overall, the reception of our content that week was mostly, if not all positive. I wanted it to be a conversation starter. Unfortunately, as great as our stories were, I don’t really think we accomplished that. I mostly just scared the shit out of my friends and wound up being used as a protective surface for the floor from craft paint. I sure give us points for trying though. We made a statement in a really big way and I think we can all learn from that for the future. But I’m not quite sure that we have. To start, we already have a bit of skewed culture surrounding sexual assault reporting as a university. A lot of employees, which include students, are sexual assault reporters. Per their contracts, they have to report any information they receive about a sexual assault, whether the person who told them wants them to or not. Its something called mandatory reporting and quite frankly, I find

it disgusting. I went to Richmond to argue with state lawmakers about it one year ago and I have yet to see its usefulness other than providing the university with accurate sexual crime statistics. While that specific aspect of reporting is important, especially when it concerns the welfare of a student, I do not like that it forces people to make reporting choices for survivors. They are the only ones that should be in control after an assault occurs, in order to protect their physical and mental wellbeing. Then we also have these bystander trainings, which are now mandatory for incoming freshmen and certain organizations on campus. I’ve got a huge problem with the word “bystander” and in my opinion, it’s an obvious one. A bystander by definition is someone that watches an incident occur and does nothing to. So when I hear bystander training, I don’t think it’s something that’s going to teach me how to properly act in a given situation; I think it’s going to tell me how to stand around. I haven’t gone to one of these trainings because, by this nature, I am opposed to them. But based on what I’ve heard from other members of Greek Life, these trainings do not even begin to get at the heart of why people bystand and it’s because of this need for acceptance and social anxiety. There are some people that are mature enough to see beyond that and that will just act the minute they see something wrong with a situation. They’re the people that don’t need a presentation to tell them that interfering there is the right move. But there are also people that are too afraid to disrupt the status quo or think that they really won’t be able to do anything or, at worst, nothing is wrong with what is happening.

Continued on page 14


14

02.15.2016

opinion

A presentation about how to act in hypothetical situations is not going to flip that switch in their brains. It’s got to be something more real and authentic to what people actually encounter to help them understand how to become an active player in a bad situation, not a bystander. Student government also holds these “awareness weeks,” but who actually goes to them? The ones I’ve been to have been full (well not full because they’re usually not) of other people like me that are invested in this topic, people in student government that have to go and their friends. And don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to have conversations with people that are knowledgeable and care about sexual assault. But I already know that by being on SG, you’re an active member of the community. It’s everyone else we need to be worried about. How are we going to make any progress if we’re not looking for ways to involve other people at this university? The answer is that we’re not and we’re investing too much time in changing attitudes in certain smaller

GMUFOURTHESTATE.COM @IVESTATE

IV

groups rather than working to empower everyone to play active role in creating change. I said this last semester and I’ll say it again: we’ve made a start. As a university and student body, we’ve all acknowledged that sexual assault does not have a place at George Mason (although everyone should have walked in here thinking that anyways). But it’s got to be an ever-present topic here on campus, not one that resurfaces when we get timely warnings about the few people that were brave enough to report. Just like instances of racial inequality and violations of free speech, we need to work on being more proactive instead reactive in how we tackle these issues because, when the dust settles, don’t we just start tolerating it again until we’re forced to stop? As for my activism, you might ask? You just read it. I won’t stop voicing my opinion on this or any other topics I’m particularly heated about. That’s how activism stays alive. ALEXA ROGERS | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Trump and Sanders put fallacy of free trade center stage Tuesday night, outsiders-turned-front-runners Donald J. Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders emerged as the winners of the New Hampshire primary, besting their second place finishes in Iowa. While their rhetoric and demeanor could not be more different—Sanders: a humble underdog fighting for the little guy, Trump: an egomaniacal monopoly man--the two have more in common than just primary results.

is--but only if you stop the story there. Markets are dynamic, and the American worker may notice that with the extra money everyone is saving on jeans there is increased demand for related goods and services, perhaps belts and tailors. While this particular American worker may not know much about leather, he discovers that his years sewing and sizing fabric make him well suited to be a tailor and gets a job across town.

Both support universal health care, higher taxes on upper income earners, and serious reform of U.S. trade policy, the latter yielding nearly indistinguishable (and equally problematic) positions.

Following the story further, not only do we see that the American worker has a job, but American consumers still pay less for jeans, a belt maker is in demand, and a Vietnamese worker is employed.

Senator Sanders maintains “unfettered free trade has been a disaster for the American people,” and if elected would “radically transform trade policies.” Echoing Sanders, when discussing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Trump exclaimed, “It’s a disaster…we’re being defrauded by all these countries,” before vowing to impose a 45% tariff on all goods from China.

This example, simplistic as it seems, illustrates an important economic reality, free trade (despite permitting uncomfortable transitions) creates value for society by shifting labor and industry to where they are at a comparative advantage--ensuring the most efficient use of limited time and resources.

Unsurprisingly, both candidates also oppose the new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. At the heart of Sanders and Trump’s views on trade is the belief that the United States is better off when we protect domestic businesses from foreign competition. This “protectionism” manifests in taxes on imports that force U.S. consumers to pay higher prices for foreign goods. The free trade they oppose is simply the policy of treating foreign goods the same as domestic goods. Under free trade, if a Vietnamese worker produces a pair of jeans for $1, then she will replace the American worker who produces a pair for $10. To the protectionist this is viewed as a job lost--and it

Free trade is overwhelmingly supported by economists on both the left and the right. In a 2012 poll of some of the world’s most renowned economists, 85 percent agreed that “on average, citizens of the U.S. have been better off with [NAFTA] than they would have been if the trade rules for the U.S., Canada, and Mexico prior to NAFTA had remained in place.” None disagreed. Clearly Trump and Sanders fail to follow the story further. To paraphrase 19th century economist Frédéric Bastiat, there are always seen and unseen consequences, and it’s those unseen consequences we have to watch out for. JORDAN CAMPBELL | CONTRIBUTOR


IV

GMUFOURTHESTATE.COM @IVESTATE

Sports

02.15.2016

15

Depth builds expectations for strong Mason baseball season BEN COWLISHAW | ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR

As the boys of summer prepare for the first game of spring, Mason baseball head coach Bill Brown has no shortage of optimism about where his team stands. “Since I’ve been here, and it’s not an exaggeration, in 35 years, we probably have the most depth we’ve ever had.” That’s impressive and encouraging, considering just two years ago, Mason’s 16-9 Atlantic 10 record had the team in Houston, battling for a spot in the College World Series against Rice University and Texas A&M. Mason’s NCAA tournament run ended there, but Brown expects his upperclassmen to be ready to be in that same spot again. “The people who were on that team in ’14 who are still here understand that it’s possible to have success at that level,” Brown said. “To be able to have that experience, and pass on what it takes to get there -- how to go through a regular season, how to approach a conference tournament, and ultimately how to go play in the NCAA tournament -- its something they’ve done. It’s part of who they are right now, and hopefully we’ll get enough people on board that we can take a shot at doing that again,” Brown said. Senior shortstop Brandon Gum was a sophomore on the upperclassmen-heavy 2014 team. Now that he’s in a leadership roll, he feels the obligation to share his experience with the new young players. “The experience does play a big part,” Gum said. “This year we’re going to have to win with a lot of freshmen, so we have be the one to show the experience.” Mason could not repeat their 2014 success last season. The injury bug bit the team hard and they closed the year 12-12 in the A-10. “We scuffled a little bit with injuries,” Brown said. “We had some key guys, especially on the pitching side who weren’t healthy enough to perform at the level that they could.” Gum added that Mason was unable to consistently play a full game. “Last year it felt like we never really played a complete game. We either pitched really well and didn’t hit or didn’t play defense, or we’d have great defense and wouldn’t hit, or when we hit, we didn’t pitch or play defense,” Gum said. “I think this year we’ll bring all three together, and we have a chance to be really good if we can do that. We have all the tools to do it.” But last year is behind them. The team is healthy, ready to play with a deep pitching staff. “This year looks right now like we’re going to have more depth in pitching. Especially towards the bullpen. We’d get to midweek games and we really didn’t have much to come out. I think that’s a good strength for us this year,” senior outfielder Kent Blackstone said. Mason is set to deploy one of the largest and deepest freshman crop of players the team has seen. Brown expects this year’s freshman class to not only provide exceptional depth for the team in seasons to come, but also to produce on the field from day one. “There’s a good portion of that class that we expect to contribute, and contribute right away,” Brown said. Having a roster that’s nearly half freshman, no matter how deep, would be a concern for any team. “If we’re going to have success,

our young kids are going to have to be a part of that success. Some of them have already developed some pretty important roles within the program. I expect as we move through the season, that more and more of that group will get on the field, will play and be productive for us,” Brown said. The team’s success will depend not just on the new players’ abilities to perform, but also on the leadership of the upperclassmen and the duty they have in preparing the younger players to fulfill their new roles. “We have certain ways that we do things, and the easiest way for a young kid to figure that out is for an older guy to say ‘Okay, here’s how we do it -- this is the way we practice, this is how we carry ourselves,’ whatever it might be, and they’ve already done a great job getting the young guys acclimated,” Brown said. Blackstone is already actively engaged in helping the new players acclimate. “It’s just about making them feel as comfortable as possible. What we’ve been trying to do is integrate everyone. We have four seniors and a very young class, so we’re trying to show them the right way to do it, and what we think is the best way for us to win,” Blackstone said. Top-to-bottom depth, as well as the ability to comfortably adjust the rotation and lineup based on need, is always a goal of Brown’s. It is a recipe for success and it also allows for players up and down the roster to contribute. “We have the ability to move some people around, we have a lot of versatility, and I think that will lead to a lot of guys being in the mix and getting opportunities to play and getting their chance to produce and help us win baseball games,” Brown said. Senior pitcher Mark Maksimow agrees that in order for Mason to compete at a high standard, the freshmen need to be prepared to quickly fulfill their new roles. “There are a lot of them, there’s a lot of open places for them to play, so I think we are going to need them a lot,” Maksimow said. The clock is ticking toward Mason’s first game of the season and Brown’s goals from now up until that first pitch are three-fold, starting with addressing last year’s biggest hurdle.

right away. Not in the middle of March. I want us to be ready to go as a team both physically and mentally on February the nineteenth; I want us ready to go.” Building the foundation for success does not just come from the practice field or coaching office; it has to stem from the entire athletics program. Brown praised Mason’s current athletic director Brad Edwards, now in his second year, for the philosophy of success he has installed at Mason. “It’s exciting, because [Edwards’s philosophy] builds a climate within the department and within each program of ‘it’s important that we do it the right way. That we work hard, and that we truly become a player on a consistent basis, not just once every four or five years, on a consistent basis in the A-10.’ The attitude is just fantastic,” Edwards said. The philosophy of success, and the success specifically of the baseball team, is huge for the program, and it’s huge for Coach Brown. A huge indication of the program’s success are the several players that have transitioned to professional baseball. Former Mason outfielder Luke Willis and southpaw Jake Kalish were both drafted by the Kansas City Royals in last year’s MLB Draft and pitcher John Williams signed a free-agent contract with the Tampa Bay Rays last fall. “I think it’s great for the program. It shows that our program is going in the right direction,” Blackstone said. Seeing his players transition to the next level means just as much to the program as it does to Brown at a personal level. “From a personal standpoint, it’s exciting to see kids fulfill dreams, and have the opportunity to go on and play at another level,” Brown said. According to Brown, having players drafted and signed by major league teams has future implications as well. “I think recruits understand, ‘[Mason’s] a place where I can achieve my goals and I can achieve my dreams across the board both academically and athletically,’ and that’s a good thing.”

“First thing we want to make sure is that we are healthy enough, that we’ve got everybody on board health-wise. I’m excited where we are from a health standpoint,” Brown said. Brown’s second goal is to make sure the pitching staff is where they need to be after its struggles last season. An intrasquad game earlier this week helped them get there. “That was incredibly helpful for us,” Brown said. Lastly, Brown wants the team on the gas pedal from game one onward. “Third, be prepared,” Brown said. “Understand team-wise what we need to do … I want us to be ready to play

Mens baseball practice hitting in the batting cages

(CLAIRE CECIL-FOURTH ESTATE)


16

sports

02.15.2016

GMUFOURTHESTATE.COM @IVESTATE

IV

Men’s club ice hockey makes Mason history COURTNEY HOFFMAN| SPORTS EDITOR

The men’s club ice hockey team brought home the Blue Ridge Conference trophy this past week for the first time in Mason history. After seven years with the team, head coach Steven Hyjek was proud to finally take home a conference win to cap off his final season with the men. The team is part of Blue Ridge Conference that holds around 20 ice hockey programs. Mason’s team falls under the Colonial region, which has a group of six teams, including Christopher Newport University, whom Mason faced in the championship game. After a tough match, the men put in their third goal with about five minutes left in the third quarter. This was the final goal of the game, ending it with a final score of 3-2. Mason had never beaten CNU before this championship game. Freshman forward Jack Kelly said, “there was a lot of tension going into [the game]” due to the team’s history of losses against CNU. Fans and spectators did not expect this success either. “In the 2015 semester, we were below 500. We were struggling a bit,” Hyjek said. However, after winter break, players came back refreshed and ready to take on their toughest competitors. A new defense brought a new energy to the team that helped carry them through the season. “We made a big tactical change in the fall. We knew we couldn’t play run and gun with some of the teams we were playing with so we decided to run a trap,” Hyjek said. A trap is when the team falls back on defense, drawing its opponents toward the goal box and ultimately “trapping” them, which forces opponents to either dump the puck or turn it over.

PHOTO COURTESY OF STEVEN HYJEK)

Men’s ice hockey celebrate their conference win confidence on the ice and better results on the scoreboard. The team went undefeated in regulation games, losing just one overtime game to Alvernia University in a nail-biter. Senior captain and defender Nick Baker has been on the team since his freshman year. Baker said he usually does not say much to the team before games however, before this final championship, Baker reminded his teammates that it might be the last game for a lot of them. “I said, ‘Look around. This is going to be the last hockey game that a lot of these people play, so let’s really go out with a win,’” Baker said.

Mason’s ability to execute this style of play led to an increased The team is also a part of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), whose rules differ from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). In the ACHA, men are able to play for two additional semesters after completing their undergraduate studies, as long as they maintain six graduate hours per semester.

Captain Nick Baker holds up the trophy in celebration.

likely contributed to their successful season. Assistant coaches have stepped up the recruitment process in recent years and the team has formed a much stronger bond, which Baker attributes to their weekend road trips and the fact that some players live together. “We ended up playing more games. We have doubled our game schedule. When we go on our road trips, we spend three days in a row together. So that definitely helped with the off-ice comradery,” Baker said. These unique attributes of Mason’s program have distinguished it from other club teams and given Hyjek something to be proud of. “We have worked to transition this from being a team to a program. It’s sustainable, it’s respectable, it’s competitive. We want this to be a strong program that recognizes where we came from and where we will go in the future,” said Hyjek. The team ranked 15 in the overall league standings after their big win. The top 10 get to move on to the tournament. This is the second year in a row that the team ranked in the top 15.

The team has three graduate students who will be hanging up their skates this month and three senior undergraduates whose ice hockey futures are still unclear.

While Hyjek is sad to leave the team, he recognizes that it can still improve and shine without him.

However, for some men, this season was just the beginning of their ice hockey experience. Kelly was unsure of what to expect from the Mason team when he joined this year. Now, he’s proud to be a part of such a successful team.

Coach Hyjek began as an assistant coach. The past six years he has been the head coach of the program, he has helped build it up through increasing recruitment and boosting players’ skills. One of his goals has been to “step up the ladder and improve every year.”

“In the history of the program we’ve never beaten CNU. This is our first time ever,” Kelly said.

And step up the ladder he has. The team won its first title and has grown to be a successful program -- not just a team.

While Mason has been seen as the underdog all season, the team has left it all on the ice and beat out their most difficult competition. Kelly reflected that many people did not expect Mason to beat University of North Carolina-Wilmington in the semi-finals, but they pulled out a win in overtime. Mason had never beat UNCW in the history of the program.

Next season, Morgan Munizza, plans to step into the role of head coach. Munizza has been with the program for five years.

The team has also seen great improvements off the ice, which

“Nobody is so essential that the program can’t go on without you. I’ve got a great set of coaches that can go on and carry the program. By virtue of what I’ve put into [the program] and the wear and tear on me, I’ve decided it’s a good time for me to leave,” Hyjek said.

February 15, 2016  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you