Page 1




Feb. 3, 2014 | Volume 1 Issue 15 George Mason University’s official student news outlet

Where have you gone,

ROBINSON FUNDING? Proposed state budget does not allocate money for demolition and renovation / page 8


News Letter from the Editor-in-Chief 2

Feb. 3, 2014

The cover story of this week’s issue will hopefully shed a little light about what is tentatively planned for Virginia’s budget this fiscal year and how it affects Mason. The tightening of the budget in Richmond does not do wonders for Mason’s desire to keep growing and expanding. Where I have some questions with budget planning is in the university’s power of foresight. I will preface this by saying that I have a cursory understanding of budgetary plans, and I would love to know more, so I’m sure I’ll be getting some lecturing in my inbox very soon. Robinson Hall demolition and renovation should have been priority number one for years now. It was built in 1975, and since then, it has seen no major improvements or renovations. I don’t know if a semester has gone by where I didn’t have a class - be it government, biology or philosophy - in Robinson Hall. It contains about 30 percent of all Mason classrooms, with almost every college on campus represented with a classroom within Robinson’s confines. I’m sure many of the students who have classes in Robinson Hall could speak on the inadequacies of the classrooms and facilities therein. Any university aiming to move into the 21st century would have addressed the problems long ago. Instead, the school acts on a flawed investment, and soon to be, defunct upscale hotel on campus with the Mason Inn. Rough estimates of the cost of building Mason Inn are in the ballpark of $53 million. This is without accounting for the fact that, since its opening in fall 2010, the hotel has also served as a money sink. Losing roughly $11 million dollars in the short three years it has been open. For argument’s sake, let’s juxtapose the cost of building Mason Inn with what Mason wanted from the state budget for the demolition and renovation of Robinson Hall, about

$98 million. If funds were shifted and prioritized to cater to students, more than half of Robinson Hall could have been funded through private investments. Again, I understand that construction projects in a public, state university are typically funded through the state. From my surely oversimplified point of view, past and present Mason administrators prioritized chasing and luring students and business opportunities and partnerships the school didn’t have or couldn’t reach before. Rather than trying to improve the quality of experience for students they already had enrolled. At the very least, give the community more insight into your budgetary process. Sure, the school thought that an upscale hotel would be a no-brainer revenue producing facility, and then they could use that revenue to give back to students in the form of facility upgrades. It’s just surprising, from an outsider’s perspective, that someone could survey the area and see the need for the Mason Inn. My suggestion now for the administration is try to get private investments to help offset some of the costs of demolitions and renovations and earn back some goodwill with the Mason community. If that can’t happen, generate revenue by following the growing trend in the corporate world of branding the hell out of everything. That’s what we’ve done. I’ll be writing to you next week from the “Doritos #Jacked Taste Explosion Topped Domino’s $6.99 Medium Two-Topping Pizza Letter from the Pizza Tracker-in-Chief”

HAU CHU EDITOR-IN-CHIEF gmufourthestate

Why FOURTH ESTATE ? Prior to Broadside, the student newspaper was called The Gunston Ledger. It was changed in 1969 to better represent the politically out-spoken student body at the time. A “broadside” was a pamphlet used during the American Revolutionary War to help spread information. While Broadside has become an important part of life at Mason, we believe it no longer represents the overarching goals of student-run news. Though not specifically outlined like the three branches of government, the concept of a fourth estate referred to journalism and the media as an important tenet in upholding justice and liberty through establishing an informed public. These historic roots coincide with the transforming industry of modern journalism.

Fourth estate

DOMINO’S GMU STUDENT DEALS Spec #1 One Large 1 Topping Pizza for $7.99 plus tax & delivery Spec #2 One Medium 2 Topping Pizza for $6.99 plus tax & delivery Spec #3 Two Medium w/ 2 toppings each for $11.98 plus tax & delivery (Additional toppings $1 each / Deep Dish $1 more)


$10.99 plus tax & delivery

(Additional toppings $1 each / Deep Dish $1 more)

(703) 352-0990

Closest Pizza Delivery to GMU! Across the Street at University Mall - Now Hiring Drivers -

Fourth estate


Feb. 3, 2014


Photo of the Week: Return volley

Men’s volleyball’s regular season home opener on Jan. 30, defeating University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras


What’s your opinion on the new coed housing option? “I think it could be a good thing. It’s going to need to be regulated properly but it’s going to be touchy. There’s going to be a lot of controversy over it.” -Chase Altizer, freshman, environmental science communications

“I feel like if it’s a relationship or something they want to do, they should go ahead.” –Shivam Vachhani, freshman, computer science

“I think that’s exciting. We’re grown up now so it’s okay to mingle with the opposite sex.” –Eran Nimtz, junior, biology

“I think it’s a great idea for those that consent to it and those that have people they feel really comfortable enough with to live with them and with the other sex.” –Kristen Dalton, freshman, communications


Feb. 3, 2014


Fourth estate

Office of Student Involvement awaiting ABC license Housing Selection The process by which current on-campus residents select housing for the 20142015 academic year.


Who Can Participate?

VERNON MILES ONLINE NEWS EDITOR Students at the Mason men’s basketball game on Feb. 15th may be acting a bit differently than they did at the last home game. If a recently submitted application for a Virginia ABC license is approved, students who are 21 or older will be able to drink at the homecoming game’s tailgating and block party. The block party is scheduled for 3:00 to 5:30 at Lot K in between the women’s basketball game against St. Joseph’s at 1:00 and the men’s game against St. Bonaventure. For the past 15 years, the Office of Student Involvement (OSI) has hosted the pre-homecoming block party and tailgating. Alcohol has always been allowed at these events, but this year OSI wanted to start allowing it at other pre-game parties. However, the plan fell through after OSI realized it could not handle the requirements of hosting an ABC licensed event. A banquet license application was previously filed by Mason for the men’s basketball game against George Washington University, but according to Dennis Hicks, the Associate Director for Programming, Mason was not equipped to handle the stipulations that come along with a banquet license. The banquet license would have allowed the organization to host an event where alcohol would be sold or permitted for consumption. “The ABC license wasn’t turned away,” said Hicks, “but we weren’t prepared to work with what that would entail. We were going to have to do wrist-banding and ID checks, we just weren’t ready for that.”

Whether Mason can secure a license for the block party and tailgating events is still up in the air. “[The license] has not been denied,” said Carol Mawyer, a spokeswoman for ABC. “Officials at George Mason filed an initial application [for the block party] and withdrew that application. They have since filed a second application.” However, OSI is prepared to handle the responsibilities of the upcoming block party if the license goes through. “The thing that’s different is that we have more time to plan that strategy,” said Hicks. “With the other block party, we didn’t have enough time and we didn’t have enough staff.” The event is strictly “BYOB” (bring your own beer) as alcohol will not be served by Mason. Beer and wine will be the only alcoholic beverages students can bring to the block party. No hard liquor will be permitted. Additional ABC restrictions also mean that students cannot consume alcohol outside of the designated block party and tailgating area. Hicks specified that, unlike in previous years, ID checks will be in full force during the party. ABC regulations also stipulate that, “no person whom you know or have reason to believe is intoxicated may loiter upon the licensed area.” Intoxicated is defined by the ABC as, “a person… apparent from observation that he/she has drunk enough alcoholic beverages to affect his/her manner, disposition, speech, muscular movements, general appearance or behavior.” Alcohol will also be prohibited in the section of the tailgating area reserved as the “Mason Family Zone”.

Current on-campus residents who will have lived on-campus for six or fewer semesters as of the end of the 20132014 academic year (generally current freshmen, sophomores, and juniors).

Information Sessions Attend an information session January 27-February 5 to learn all of the details.

Application Application will be available February 3-7 to learn all of the details.

Housing Deposit The $300 non-refundable housing deposit will be due shortly after you select your room. Credit cards are the preferred method of payment.

Fourth estate


Feb. 3, 2014



Housing introduces coed living options for upperclassmen EVAN PETSCHKE BEAT WRITER


eginning in Fall 2014, returning students applying for on-campus housing will have the new option of “flexible housing” which allows students to live with the opposite gender. “This is intended to provide more options to students as far as where they can live,” said Tera Monroe, Director of Residence Life. According to Monroe, this idea is neither new nor recent. “At least 150 universities across the country already offer this option, and many have for quite some time.” The option is only available in upperclassmen dorms, where the floors are already coed. It will not change the living dynamic on the individual floors. Students interested in this option must complete a unique application separate from the regular application. The application for flexible housing will take place in person, whereas regular housing selection is all done online. “There is an additional form you have to fill out to indicate you are interested in flexible housing, and you must also sit down with a [residence life] staff member to make sure you understand what it means, therefore all parties are agreeing to this decision,” Monroe said. This option would only affect those who have mutually agreed to live in such a space. No student that applies for regular housing will be placed in a coed space. This gender-neutral option is geared towards a variety of students -- siblings that wish to live together, those who feel more comfortable around the opposite sex, transgender students, etc.

“The goal of introducing Flexible Housing to Mason students is to provide more housing options to our very diverse and ever changing residential population,” said Melissa Thierry, Assistant Director for Housing Services. “We in housing are extremely committed to providing comfortable living options to promote the success of our students.” This option takes away the gender variable when it comes to housing, and allows students to live with whomever they are most comfortable. “The intention is to provide a safe space for students that wish to live with the opposite sex,” said Monroe. “This makes Mason’s housing facilities very marketable as it increases the options for students when it comes to their living space . . . Students are already living in such environments off campus, so flexible housing makes on-campus living more appealing to students with those interests.” Housing has created a special process to deal with these spaces if and/or when one of the consenting roommates decides to leave the room. “Should somebody move out, there is a timeline of 5 business days in which the students in the space will have to fill that spot,” said Monroe. “If they cannot find someone, and don’t want a consenting person whom we have found that would like to take the space, we would potentially have to break it up and turn it into a regular housing arrangement. Other schools that have implemented such an option have not seen a huge interest from students. However, in the past Mason has had students inquire about this type of living arrangement, which has resulted in opening up the option to those interested. Resident Advisors have already been

informed and trained on this new option, in order to be able to help students interested in exploring this option and aid in the implementation for the fall. “We build a comprehensive staff training program that will help all of our residence hall staff serve the students living in the halls,” said Monroe. “As an RD and RA you work with your hall communities to get to know your residents and to be a resource for them.”

If a conflict arises specific to a flexible housing arrangement, it will be treated on an individual basis. “Being the first year introducing a new option, I do have concerns with the implementation; simply wanting the application process to be smooth for all involved,” said Thierry. “Housing Services will conduct assessment throughout the next year to identify ways we can improve our process.”



Feb. 3, 2014

Fourth estate

Bill could allow students to have legal representation in conduct hearings FRANK MURACA EXECUTIVE EDITOR



ccording to Mason’s current student code of conduct, students are not allowed to have a lawyer represent them during hearings with representatives from the Office of Student Conduct. “Students may be accompanied in a disciplinary proceeding by an advisor of his or her own choosing and at his or her own expense,” reads the current code. “Advisors may only consult with the respondent and are not permitted to speak on the respondent’s behalf or address the hearing board or officer.” According to university officials, Mason’s disciplinary process is designed to be more of an educational process than a legal proceeding. “Our goal is to meet with students and to figure out what an educational response is to a poor decision,” said Brent Ericson, director of Mason’s Office of Student Conduct. A proposed bill in the Virginia General Assembly could change that system to make certain student conduct hearings look more like court proceedings. According to the bill’s text, the legislation “grants any student enrolled at a public institution of higher education who is accused of a violation of the institution’s rules and regulations for the conduct of students that is punishable by a suspension of more than 10 days or expulsion the right to hire counsel.” “This bill is to give students a voice in expulsion and suspension hearings and a right to due process which every parent should be concerned about,” said the bill’s patron, Delegate Rick Morris. While the bill only applies to incidences where students could be suspended or expelled, Ericson believes the change would have an adverse effect on the relationship between students and the university. “We work in an educational model and we want to get to know our students,” Ericson said. “Would that ever happen with someone speaking for you? It takes it from an educational

process into a procedural criminal one.” Proponents of the bill say that is exactly what should happen when there are serious allegations brought against students who do not have a right to legally represent themselves. “The real genesis of it is that students are being kicked out of school for alleged crimes. It’s going on their transcripts so future places that they want to apply to are seeing that,” said Joe Cohn, policy director for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a non-profit group based in Philadelphia. “It’s destroying careers. The imbalance is so stark. If you have a lawyer it levels the playing field.” Supporters argue that students who are being charged with assault or other serious offense should be given a chance in due process, since they are likely to carry the charges throughout their career. “The punitive effects from these University hearings can adversely affect the student for the rest of their life,” Morris said. “Providing students with equal rights and essential qualities of individual liberty and dignity, which should be a priority of our Commonwealth.” Ericson is also concerned that allowing students to hire lawyers would discourage students from reporting incidences if they were not under the privacy of a conduct hearing. “A lot of times students will opt to go through our process rather than a criminal one,” Ericson said.

Likewise, Ericson believes students would be at a disadvantage if they brought charges against another student who could afford a lawyer. “If a student comes from means, doesn’t that inherently place a student at a financial disadvantage,” Ericson said. “I have a problem with that ethically and professionally.” According to Ericson, there have already been 13 cases this semester that would qualify for students to have a lawyer present. Mason’s General Council are not involved in the hearing process with students, but play an advising role to the Office of Student Conduct. “The larger question is here is how can we make it more fair when you enter into that process,” Cohn said. “In order to make it fair, you can’t prevent a student from having a lawyer.” The bill is scheduled for the Virginia House Higher Education Subcommittee on Tuesday, February 4.

The College of Visual and Performing Arts Alumni Chapter and University Career Services present


Are you seeking an internship or career in the arts and entertainment industry? Stop by with your resume and meet with recruiters from 20 of the top arts, entertainment and media employers in DC, MD and VA including AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, Arena Stage, Wolf Trap and many more. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2014 4:00-7:00 pm • Mason Hall Atrium Gallery

Admission is free! Register today at

Complimentary appetizers and beverages will be served Resumes and professional attire encouraged

Fourth estate


Feb. 3, 2014

New communication pilot course redesigns public speaking classes KELSEY BYERLY STAFF WRITER


use. Instead, they can pick out pieces of the assigned readings that are most useful to them.” Each section of the pilot course teaches the exact same material but in different ways. The courses are using different textbooks, aiming to pinpoint the ways in which students learn more efficiently. At the end of the pilot course, students will have the opportunity to participate in a survey providing their overall thoughts of the class. Broeckelman-Post is certain that regardless of the results of this pilot course, the survey will provide valuable information about Mason students. “I am responsible for the larger picture,” Broeckelman-Post said. “It is my job to make sure that these students are getting the best education possible. This type of study hasn’t been conducted anywhere else, so we are the first ones to try it out. Regardless of the results, it will give us very valuable information on Mason students and how they learn.” Once the pilot course for COMM 100 has been completed, a similar course will be applied to COMM 101. After the results of the course and students’ reviews are analyzed, this first mass study of this kind could be bringing major innovative changes to the way students study communication at Mason.


he communication department at Mason could be looking at major changes in the upcoming years due to a new pilot course in COMM 100 implemented by Dr. Melissa Broeckelman-Post, basic course director for the Department of Communication. As a general education requirement, every student at Mason is required to take a communication course regardless of their major Broeckelman-Post views COMM 100 and 101 as “the front porch of the communications department.” She believes that these general education courses are the first introduction many students have to the field of communication that can either turn students away from the subject or interest them in potentially majoring in communication. Due to the significance of these early communication courses, Broeckelman-Post and the Department of Communication decided to implement the pilot course in COMM 100. She also cited the massive change in the student body as being a reason for this experiment. “The campus has changed greatly in the past few years, going from a commuter campus to more of a residential campus,” Broeckelman-Post said. “And with that students have changed. Students at Mason are diverse and more prepared than in the past and are ready to be challenged more.” The current curriculum for COMM 100 and 101 was designed by Dr. Don Boileau, who will be retiring at the end of this semester. While this curriculum has been very successful in the past, Broeckelman-Post believed that it should be tested to ensure the students are getting the best education possible. “Our communications students today are generally more prepared than students have been in the past,” Broeckelman-Post said. “There is more attendance in classes and students are more willing to do group work.” Broeckelman-Post also points out that communication is essential to how people interact in society. Strong communication skills can be the deciding factor in whether or not you land an internship or job, and it vastly affects how people conduct themselves, not only their professional lives, but in their everyday lives.

For the purpose of exploring different methods of teaching, the COMM 100 pilot course has eight sections being taught by four different instructors, using four different texts and four different assessments for speeches. One method involves implementing a structure in which preparation for online assignments, including quizzes that check for reading and comprehension, is done before class. The goal of this is to free up teaching time in the classroom, enable professors to not have to “regurgitate the text book” and promote a more engaged classroom-learning experience. Another method being tested has students present their speeches in small groups where they can receive more peer feedback. One section of the pilot course involves experimenting with writing epiphany papers. Undeclared freshman, Jake Lahah, who is enrolled in the pilot course, describes these papers as a “better learning tool.” “It gives students a chance to write about a couple of topics that are in best interest to them and that they can apply to everyday life or the professional field,” he said. “I feel that these epiphany papers are a better learning tool because it isn’t forcing students to learn something that they are not going to



Feb. 3, 2014


Fourth estate

University administrators present governor’s PROPOSED BIENNIAL BUDGET S

enior university administrators held a forum on Jan. 28th on the current budget situation at Mason as well as the implications as to what the governor’s proposed budget would be. According to Senior Vice President of Administration and Finance, J.J. Davis, there are many internal and external factors placing pressure on the way forward for the university, ranging from the presence (or lack thereof ) of state support to the national conversation around student debt and affordability of higher education. “We are in a very challenging but exciting time in terms of how we lead and how we navigate successfully,” Davis said. “We are excited that we are continuing to grow as an institution, which sets us apart from many other institutions in the nation, but how we grow strategically and cost-effectively will be a continual challenge.” In the governor’s recommended budget for Mason, Davis and Stearns noted that the university would be provided with additional resources for financial aid, as well as future enrollment growth funding. “The state has made a commitment to those institutions that are potentially going to grow,” Davis said. “And in this category, not all institutions in the state of VA are looking to add students.” While the state has increased its funding for the operating side of the budget, Davis and Stearns said that the university would see large increases in the area of health insurance and pension costs, resulting in increases in cost to the employer and potential cost increases to the employee. In addition, the governor’s budget meant complications for some proposed projects that were relying on significant state funding, such as the Robinson Hall renovations. “Our number one priority is Robinson, and we did not receive the planning money in the governor’s recommended budget, so we will ask for all those funds in the budget amendment process and we have made that communication very clear,” Davis said. “From now in the next several months you will see us making sure we maintain the operating money that we’ve been slated to receive, and also to see if we can get some additional funds.” Stearns also said that while the governor’s budget had been slight with some areas of funding, the university was able to make the case in the amendment process that they had decently utilized all previous funds from the state. “We are partly playing defense because we

did relatively well with the governor’s proposals; second best of all the higher education institutions in the state,” Stearns said. “The governor’s budget’s emphasis on enrollment growth and results oriented funding is very favorable to us even though the new dollars are not massive.” The operating budget will amount to around $5 million which, according to Stearns, does not grow the operating budget significantly. The governor’s proposed budget provided funds for retirement and health care employer contributions, degree incentive funding, and enrollment growth funding. The university requested additional funds in the legislative amendment process for research, for online degree completion, the Oasis Program, Nurse Accelerated Program and the Veterans’ Cyber Security Program. While the operating budget proved to be satisfactory to the administration, the funding provided for the capital budget didn’t meet the expectations of the university. On the capital side, the university asked for funds for both the Robinson construction and funds to update the overall utility and structure across the Fairfax campus to accommodate the growing university population. “If there’s an area that we’re very concerned about, it’s that the governor’s budget basically stated that they were concerned about their overall AAA bond rating, so they did not provide new funding for capital construction,” Davis said. “It is particularly important for us because we’re in a growth mode.” Stearns and Davis then presented the overall plan for 2014-2016, which includes the opening of Mason’s campus in Songdo, Korea, the INTO university partnership, the transformation and renovation of Mason Inn and the Tuition pricing model, which involves the university calculating its pricing and competitive nature in the marketplace both in and out-of-state. “What we’re juggling now for next year’s budget involves finding out what the state actually does by way of watching the governor’s budget, how they respond to our requests, what the additional costs turn out to be, all of that is still in flux,” Stearns said. “We are juggling the issue of what kind of tuition we will actually charge and we anticipate modest but discernible additional revenue from an increased number of international out-of-state students next year.” According to Stearns, the full shape of next year’s budget can only be finalized when the university receives more information from the state. He says that while the budget climate is not desperate or a reduction situation, the governor’s proposed budget does not provide a lot of growth for the 2014-2016 period.

Fiscal Year 2014 Revenue Sources



Fiscal Year 2014 Expense Budget (All data provided by Office of Budget and Planning)

Fourth estate


Feb. 3, 2014


MASON COMMUNITY lobbies for greater support from state legislators FRANK MURACA EXECUTIVE EDITOR


“According to studies that we have, it’s only about five to ten percent of undocumented students who are going to avail themselves to higher education,” said Delegate Alfonso Lopez, one of the key supporters of the Dream Act. “What does it say when we’re on the hook to pay for these kids’ education…that we put up a stop sign after they graduate from high school.” Legislators who met with students offered their general support for the university. “You learn so much from the diversity and different cultures of Mason,” said Delegate Glenn Davis, who represents Central Virginia Beach.

Senator Chap Peterson, whose district includes Mason, offered words of support for President Ángel Cabrera. “He’s done a great job. I’m a huge supporter of Mason,” Peterson said. Peterson helped secure funding for Campus Drive, a multi-million dollar road project that will connect Mason’s main Fairfax campus with West Campus by the end of the year. After meeting with legislators, attendees met on the steps of the Capitol to take a picture with Governor Terry McAuliffe. Visit our website for more coverage of Mason Lobbies.


n an effort to push state officials for more funding, members of the Mason community traveled to Richmond on Jan. 30 to discuss the importance of higher education with members of the General Assembly. “Mason Nation is strong. And I’m so impressed by the fact that you have these wonderful people up and here and ready to go,” Anne Holton, Virginia’s Secretary of Education, said to the delegation. “It is a part of our democratic process. I know that the legislators will really want to hear from you.” Students, faculty, administrators and alumni were grouped by their representative in the General Assembly and visited legislators in their offices. Mason representatives were lobbying for a number of issues, including more financial aid, funding for research and higher faculty salaries and support for more enrollment. Over 57 percent of Mason students rely on some sort of financial aid, with 25 percent of first-year students receiving Pell grants. In the state’s proposed budget, Mason is expected to receive $6.3 million in financial aid over the next two years. Among state public university, Mason has the second lowest proportion of financial need met among undergraduates. “This additional funding is critically important for these students from working families in Virginia to succeed in their academic and professional goals,” read a policy brief distributed to attendees of the event. “While there is a net increase offered for the next fiscal year, it is not sufficient to handle the decrease in state funding over the last five years especially considering dramatically increasing enrollment at Mason.” As a public university, Mason relies in part on funding from Virginia to pay for educational costs, including faculty salaries, classroom space and other expenses. Since 2003, the percentage of state-supported spending on instruction and other educational costs at Mason dropped from 53 percent to 26 percent in ten years. “I think newer universities, like George Mason, until more recently didn’t have the relationships with state budget makers that are instrumental in helping to get projects & funding,” said Delegate David Bulova in an interview last year, whose district partly encompasses Mason’s Fairfax campus and who sits on the higher education subcommittee in the Virginia House of Delegates.

According to some university officials, state funding has not kept up with the rapid increase in enrollment, shifting more costs onto students. “When enrollment goes up, we spread money to the academic units and, where possible, non-academic units to compensate for the increased activity,” Provost Stearns said in an interview last year. “If the enrollment growth is substantial, it’ll make up most of the change.” Attendees of Mason Lobbies also supported the Virginia Dream Act, a bill that would provide in-state tuition to undocumented students who meet certain criteria.


Feb. 3, 2014


Fourth estate

Mason student group advocates against anti-marijuana bill




n Jan. 20, the newly formed chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, along with The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) traveled to Richmond, Va. to lobby against House Bill 684. The bill was considered before the Virginia House of Delegates, but ultimately failed that same day. The bill sought changes to Virginia law that would make medicinal marijuana illegal under virtually every circumstance. It specifically made illegal prescriptions and possession of marijuana for treatment of cancer or glaucoma, and eliminated Section 18.2-251.1 of the Code of Virginia, which says that marijuana may be distributed or possessed for medicinal purposes. SSDP President David Gibrael spoke at the bill’s hearing, advocating his group’s position. “Prohibition [of medicinal marijuana] does not prevent your children from partaking,” Gibrael said. “However, it does prevent law-abiding citizens who actually need it, but don’t want to break the law, from attaining it.” SSDP strives for full legalization of marijuana. “The criminalization of cannabis is an attack on individual liberty,” Gibrael said. “I don’t understand how you can justify imprisoning and using violent force on an individual who has caused harm to no one but himself, if even.” The bill was introduced by Delegate Bob Marshall, who cited in an interview that marijuana’s adverse effect of dulling cognition is one reason for the bill’s necessity. He said that if marijuana becomes too widely used, America will become “a country of citizens who are stupefied.” At the House of Delegates hearing, Gibrael argued that marijuana also has positive effects. He said his experience as a combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps gave him a firsthand look at the medical benefits of the drug. “After returning from Afghanistan, my fellow veterans and I have experienced illnesses that only cannabis can cure,” Gibrael said. “Those range from PTSD [Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder] to anxiety to insomnia.” Marshall recognized that the plant contains healing characteristics, but said the medium of smoking eliminates those effects. “There are components of the marijuana plant [that are medically beneficial],” Marshall said. “But you [can’t] rely on the delivery system that crushes them.” According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the federal government approves two types of marijuana-based medicines: a pill that contains synthetic Delta-9tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and a mouth

spray with naturally-derived THC. Still present in smoking apparatuses, THC is the ingredient responsible for the “high” achieved in recreational use. The Wellness, Alcohol, and Violence Education and Services office warns students against abusing the drug for that sensation. “One of the key things is that marijuana impacts memory, concentration and motivation,” said Elaine Viccora, associate director of WAVES. “Those things at this stage of life to most college students are really important to succeed. “There is a consistent misperception that marijuana is not addictive, and that is not true,” Viccora said. “Is it addictive for everyone? Absolutely not…Most people are not going to get addicted, but for people that go into treatment programs for substance abuse, 18% say marijuana is their primary drug of abuse. There’s something kind of insidious about that notion…I can’t tell you the number of students I’ve talked to that have had family relationships on the line, scholarships on the line [because of addiction].” Gibrael said marijuana can create a psychological addiction, but the scientific literature

he has read does not suggest it creates a physical one. “It’s completely, scientifically proven that marijuana does not cause a physical addiction,” Gibrael said. “It’s what they call psychologically addictive. If we’re going to make things illegal for being psychologically addictive then we’re going to have to ban TV, movies, cheeseburgers, candy, pretty much anything.” According to Viccora, physical side effects to a marijuana addiction are definitely in the realm of possibility. “Our body does develop tolerance to the drug,” Viccora said. “Not everyone feels the with-drawl symptoms, but the with-drawl symptoms of marijuana are very well documented…There’s definitely a physical component, but at the end of the day if you ask someone who’s dependent, who needs treatment and is crashing because of their dependence…does it really matter?” Marshall said this dependence on the “high” can be detrimental to society. “If pleasure is the sole goal of your life, you are in trouble as a citizen,” Marshall said. “NOMRL is pushing for medical marijuana

as a wedge to get recreational marijuana [legalized].” Gibrael said Marshall emphasized this danger of legalization in a phone conversation they had prior to the bill’s reading in committee. “I asked him straight up if he thought the government should be enforcing morality, specifically his personal moral views,” Gibrael said. “He…said that he’s trying to prevent medical marijuana so that we don’t eventually legalize recreational use because it encourages the ‘hedonistic’ practice of smoking marijuana for pleasure.” In Richmond, Gibrael said, “This has become a moral issue for him, and I don’t think that should be enforced by the state.” Dylan Ryan, vice president of SSDP, said the national trend toward legalization and the failure of Marshall’s bill are significant for the future of the group. “It means we’re active and effective in lobbying and trying to make the rules more fair for everyone in Virginia,” Ryan said. “It means people should come and join and be a part of history. We’re on the right side of history.”



Feb. 3, 2014


Mason shares rare aspect of black history through “Africans in India” art exhibit ARRIELLE BROOKS ONLINE LIFESTYLE EDITOR



ason will share a rare aspect of black history through “Africans in India” art exhibit during the month of February, which yields both Valentine’s Day and Black History Month. This year, the Office of Global & International Strategies and the India Advisory Committee is sponsoring an “Africans in India” art exhibit in the Mason Hall Atrium from Dec. 2-Feb. 4. Originally housed in the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library, the exhibit examines centuries of various East Africans throughout South and Southeast Asian history. The exhibit focuses on the positions of influence that men and women attained in a country very different from their own. It also focuses on the ways they blended into a new cultural identity. This history is brought to life through various maps, photos and art borrowed primarily from Kenneth Robbins’ collection of South and Southeast Asian artwork. As a researcher of Indian history and art, Robbins was determined to share the exhibit with Mason students and professors from multiple departments. He worked with Dr. Marion Deshmukh and Dr. Robert DeCaroli, both history and art history professors at Mason, to bring the exhibit to campus. “He thought it would be wonderful if we could have it here at Mason, especially considering his friendship and affiliation here,” said Susan Graziano, the Global & International

Strategies Global Grants coordinator. “We hope to open up [visitors’] eyes to a part of world history most of us don’t know about.” The exhibit assuredly emphasizes its focus on information through illustration. Framed poster boards line the gallery walls, each featuring cropped images of photographed architecture and landscapes, official documents and paintings of influential Indians of East African descent. Each work is accompanied by a historical summary to further explain their meaning. Many of the historical figures shown started out either as slaves or as free soldiers before they crossed the Indian Ocean to various lands, and they quickly climbed the ranks of the military, religion and politics. These foreigners often ruled over large Hindu, Muslim and Jewish populations as kings or prime ministers. Some led armies as generals, commanders and admirals. Individuals outside of military and politics instead became architects or city planners that designed famous cities, mosques and palaces. Others contributed their talents to medicine, education, writing, art, trade and music. Most notable is the careful way some Indian artists depicted their newfound African brethren, such as painting subjects in distinctive clothing that signified their place of origin since skin tone alone was not enough. In many pictures, there is no distinction, testifying to the seamless way Africans molded themselves into Indian culture. This greatly differs from history of Africans in European and American countries. All

throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, East Africans were seen rising beyond slave status, asserting their identities and spreading their own culture throughout various parts of India. According to one of the exhibit’s infographics, “The success [of distinguishing themselves] was theirs but it is also a strong testimony to the open-mindedness of a society in which they were a small religious and ethnic minority, originally of low status.” The information is broad and rich from both a historical and an artistic standpoint,

something that the exhibit’s sponsors hoped to share with visitors. “We have so much to learn from this exhibit,” Graziano said. In addition to the exhibit, Dr. Jane Hooper, a History and Art History professor at Mason, gave a lecture in Mason Hall’s Meese focusing on the themes and history this exhibit works so hard to bring forward. For more information about Dr. Hooper’s lecture, check out the lifestyle section of

Translating Research into Solutions for our World

Volunteer in a malaria research study. Compensation is provided. We seek healthy adults 18 to 50 years of age to be immunized by mosquito bites in order to accelerate malaria vaccine development.

301-295-4298 301-233-9640

NMRC Clinical Trials Center Located at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Campus 8901 Wisconsin Ave., Bldg 17, Suite 2B, Bethesda, MD 20889

Version 1.0 01 October 2013




Feb. 3, 2014

Fourth estate

Cooks and Crafts: Horsing around with Origami


warn you all ahead of time that I am, generally, fairly terrible with crafts. When I was in kindergarten, I remember getting a barely satisfactory mark on my report card in the art of scissor usage. Since then, I have basically refused to do any crafts involving scissors either willingly or voluntarily. Since most crafts involving cutting out a shape, making straight lines or having confidence in your slicing skills, I typically avoid crafts of all kinds except to cater to the occasional amusement of my friends or to help out an arts and crafts day at one of my jobs. However, with this semester’s Fourth Estate taking on a new weekly recipe and craft portion, I am slowly trying to conquer my aversion toward crafts. So, I am starting out with something that, while complicated in its own right, only requires one material: paper. Since the Chinese New Year rang in on Jan. 31, I thought it would be pretty fun to find an origami craft to help celebrate. This year is the Year of the Horse. Origami is a really tricky art form. People who can create origami pieces really well astound me. I feel like your fingers have to do nearly as much acrobatics as the paper does in order to get the piece together. However, if you relax and take it slowly, origami can be very fun with very minimal mess. Through the help of the internet, I have discovered a way to create an origami horse that actually makes a pretty believable equine creature. It is a little complicated, so I recommend using the step-by-step video guide on our website at www.


Materials: A square sheet of paper Instructions: 1. Start with square sheet of paper with the colored side face down. 2. Make a fold from one diagonal to another then unfold. 3. Take the right and left corners and fold them towards the center. Your paper should now resemble a kite. 4. Fold the corners created by step three into the center line. You should now have a smaller diamond. 5. Now you do what is called a “squash fold” to both sides. Basically, you put your index finger into one of the pockets of your folds that step four created, and reverse the small fold so that it goes the opposite way. When it’s finished it will look like a smaller diamond

is sitting on top of a larger diamond. 6. Fold your piece in half vertically so that the little flaps you’ve created in step five are visible. 7. Now, your piece looks like a triangle. On the half of the triangle that does not have a flap, crease it upwards. Once it is creased, bring it back to the triangle. 8. Next, do what is called an “inside reverse fold.” Along the crease you created, you are going to open to the diamond again on the half of the triangle you just worked on. Fold this portion up until you reach the crease you just created, and then seal the fold once that half is perpendicular to the rest of the paper. Folding the vertical part again more towards

the top creates the head of the horse. 9. Remember that smaller diamond that the other half of the triangle had? There should be one on each side of the now slightly demented triangle. Take one of the small diamonds and fold it outwards. This will make a triangle again, with the head of the horse peeking up over it. Do the same to the other side. 10. We’re going to do an “outside reverse fold” to create the legs. Crease the triangle end that hasn’t yet been used. Unfold it again, invert the crease you created and fold it again. The legs should look like two sideways triangles that overlap the back of the horse’s body. 11. Working on the front legs of the horse, create a narrow and vertical outward fold.

Perform this step on both legs individually. 12. The neck of the horse is looking a little wide. Create a narrow and vertical inward fold along a small, invisible line on the horse’s neck and tuck both halves inside of the neck of the horse. 13. Going back to the legs, invert the back legs so that the bottom of it is flat. You can draw little hooves if you want. 14. Draw eyes, a mane and maybe even a saddle. Then, you’ve got your horse!


Arts in the real world brings opportunity to Mason GENEVIEVE HOELER LIFESTYLE EDITOR


tudents and alumni interested in pursuing a career in the performing arts have the chance to meet with and talk to active members of the DMV area’s theater community at the upcoming annual Arts in the Real World Internship and Career Fair. On Feb. 11, the Mason CVPA Alumni Chapter and University Career Services will be overseeing an internship and career fair that provides opportunities for both students and alumni to show their resumes and portfolios to theaters and other businesses that thrive off of the work of students and college graduates.

Whether your expertise is performance, technical or management based, this fair aims to give students the chance to speak with employers about pursuing work in this competitive and artistic field. Theater majors and non-theater majors are welcome to partake in the internship fair. Baron Pugh, a recent graduate of Mason’s theater program, partook in the Arts in the Real World Internship and Career fair last year as an alumni. After going to the internship fair, he managed to secure an internship with Ford’s Theater in lighting design. Pugh said, “I treated it like any other career fair that I went to at Mason. I took a bunch of resumes with me. This one’s actually tailored for people in the arts.” Last year, the representatives who attended the event

were very rarely looking for anything outside of the technical or managerial realm in terms of entry-level positions or internships. This year, however, the organizers of the event attempted to get more opportunities for performers and directors. However, an artist’s luck all depends on how they interact with the representatives at the fair. Pugh said, “A lot of the theaters that were there were not offering actor fellowships, so [some of the attendees] just sort of stopped talking to them. But everyone knows someone, and they might put you in the right direction.” “The more people you know the better chances you have of breaking in somewhere,” Pugh said. The arts world is mostly about networking. Networking oc-


Fourth estate

Feb. 3, 2014


Burns supper: an evening of poetry and sheep’s stomach

Jordan Pugh, a beneficiary of the fair last year (COURTESY OF GOBEL FOTOGRAFIE)


VERNON MILES ONLINE NEWS EDITOR curs both creatively between artists and designers, but artists should also network with people that can help fund whatever artistic venture they are hoping to spearhead. One of the two workshops coming up should be helpful in the realm of earning money for an artistic project. Two workshops are incorporated into this event to help on the financial end of the artist’s career. A workshop focused on crowd funding for the visual and performing arts will be led by Jennifer Storm, a Mason student and Crowd Funding Consultant for 180 Degrees Consulting. The second workshop, led by Mason School of Art alumnus Brandt Heatherington and Marketing Director at Accelera Solutions, will explain other fields that artists can explore, besides the arts, where their degree can be best put to use. Approximately 25 employers will be represented at the fair, including Arena Stage, Workhouse Arts Center, Shakespeare Theater Company, CityDance Ensemble, WETA, Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, AFI Silver Theater and Cultural Center and others. Two visual arts representatives also seeking artists for fellowship projects include Hamiltonian Artists and Arlington Arts Center. “We wanted to have [the event] as an opportunity for students and alumni to network,” CVPA’s Assistant Director of Development, Ryan Lawrence, said. “They may not be seeking a job directly, but it’s a chance to network with employers and to learn how to set themselves up for a position in the arts.” For those interested in attending, the event takes place on Feb. 11 in the Mason Hall Atrium from 4-7 p.m. To register, please visit


air fa’ your honest, sonsie face,” begins “Address to a Haggis,” a famous work by Scottish poet Robert Burns. “Great Chieftain o’ the pudding-race!” The curious dish forms the centerpiece for the acclaimed “Burns supper,” a meal celebrated on the poet’s birthday, Jan. 25th. Burns suppers are hosted wherever enough Scots, those of Scottish decent, or just curious participants-woefully unprepared for the taste of sheep organs-- may be found. Recently, this semi-famous holiday found a home at the Hylton Performing Arts Center on the Prince William campus. The event celebrated the 255th anniversary of the poet’s birth and the second year Mason hosted the event. Last year’s presentation was hosted with Joy Fraser, a professor of folklore, currently working in Edinburgh on a book addressing Scottish culture. This year, the Hylton’s Burns supper event included music by fiddlers Elke Baker and Ken Kolodner. An entry ticket cost $97 and included the meal. Dinner consisted of a variety of traditional dishes, from Forfar birdies to cloutie dumpling parfait.

According to Rick Davis, executive director of the Hylton Center and associate dean for the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the celebrations were started by those who knew Burns personally and spread from there. “They started not too long after Burns died, so in the early 19th century, there’s record of them being celebrated in the early years of the 1800’s as a commemoration,” Davis said. “There are lots of Scottish social clubs wherever there are Scots and their descendants.” The meal is an intricate and formal ceremony with a wide degree of variation from place to place and a prevailing sense of irony and humor. It begins with the host offering a welcoming speech and leads into a series of poetry recitals before the meal. Afterwards, there is a series of toasts, and the evening ends with the gathered guests singing an adaptation of the famed Burns poem, “Auld Lang Syne.” The song has, nearly as much as the haggis, become one of the enduring symbols of the event and has developed cross-holiday reputation as the anthem of New Year’s Eve. “It evolved into an elaborate pattern, there’s a structure of a true Burns supper. Personally and professionally, we favor the artistic side of the Burns supper,”

Davis said. “There are several elements common to Burns suppers that are artistic in spirit. The ‘Address to a Haggis’ is one of them. It’s a famous multi-stanza poem written in a Scot’s dialect. It’s a hilarious mock ode talking to the haggis as though it’s a real thing.” The poem is ideally delivered by a “true Scotsman” from memory. Both of the years the supper has been hosted at Mason, the Hylton Center has had native Scots that have memorized “Address to a Haggis.” It is then performed with gestures, including cutting open the haggis. “There’s a spirit to the Burns supper. It’s all about community,” said Davis, whose family is Welsh, but says there’s a cross-cultural appeal to a ceremony like the Burns supper. “There’s lots of toasts and a great Scottish sense of humor, it’s kind of out there with a deep sense of irony. There’s a lot of teasing and joking around in a semi-serious way. It’s part of the essence of why Scotland remains a very attractive culture. It’s a small place, a dot on the map, but it has had incredible influence around the world, and I think a lot of that is the sense of humor that comes out in Burns’ poetry and in this dinner,” Davis said.



Feb. 3, 2014

toy rockets By: Rosemary Thoburn You just have to see the world ...

Fourth estate

Here’s a first look at Volition, Mason’s art & literary magazine. Volition is published every semester and features student work from poetry, prose, art, photography, etc. Pick up a free copy of Volition Vol. 16 in the Office of Student Media in the HUB. If you’d like to submit your work, send it to by Mar. 31st and like them on Facebook to know about events with free pizza like Open Mic Night, on Thursday, Feb. 20 in the Corner Pocket from 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

That spinning blue orb, miles away, And realize There is a God.

And you watch On your small speck of the moon With your toy rockets and planes And that whole world That goes on without you, That you can’t control.

But they look up to you here You can’t even breathe. It’s all you can do


To keep from flying away

by Dominic Fiedtkou-Leonard

As you plant your flag and say:

Female Nude

“I’ve won.”

by Rebecca Plourde

FREE TICKETS FOR MASON STUDENTS! FACULTY ARTIST SERIES Kathryn Hearden, soprano February 3 at 12:30 p.m. FREE HT THE VISION SERIES Footnotes: Creating Contemporary Dances Susan Shields, speaker February 3 at 7 p.m. FREE CA VISUAL VOICES SPEAKER SERIES Improvising a Living Beyond the Studio Dale Culleton, speaker February 6 at 7:30 p.m. FREE HT

WALNUT STREET THEATRE Driving Miss Daisy February 7 at 8 p.m. $44, $36, $22 CA 2 Free Tickets per ID avail. Jan. 28



VISUAL VOICES SPEAKER SERIES Activist Arabia: Revolt as Medium, Street as Canvas Adel Iskandar, speaker February 13 at 7:30 p.m. FREE HT

Simply Swingin’ with Sinatra and Friends

Steve Lippia, vocalist February 8 at 8 p.m. $48, $40, $24 CA 2 Free Tickets per ID avail. Jan. 28

THE KING’S SINGERS The Great American Songbook February 9 at 4 p.m. $48, $40, $24 CA 2 Free Tickets per ID avail. Jan. 28

703-993-8888 or

Center for the Arts


VIRGINIA OPERA Ariadne auf Naxos February 14 at 8 p.m. $86, $72, $44 February 16 at 2 p.m. $98, $80, $48 CA 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. Feb. 4

PETER NERO Music of the Heart February 15 at 8 p.m. $60, $52, $30 CA 2 Free Tickets per ID avail. Feb. 4


7 0 3 - 9 9 3 - 7 7 5 9 o r h y l t o n c e n t e r. o r g / s t u d e n t s

Hylton Performing Arts Center PRINCE WILLIAM

Fourth estate


Feb. 3, 2014





Feb. 3, 2014

Hau Chu Editor-In-Chief

Daniel Gregory Managing Editor

Alexa Rogers News Editor

Suhaib Khan Print News Editor

Genevieve Hoeler Lifestyle Editor

Sara Moniuszko Print Lifestyle Editor

Stephen Czarda Sports Editor

Darian Banks Print Sports Editor

John Irwin Photography Editor

Amy Rose Asst. Photography Editor

Aysha Abdallah Design Editor

Walter Martinez Visual Editor

Rawan Elbaba



Time to revisit the student code of conduct

ecently, the Office of Student Conduct reached out to Fourth Estate to comment on a new bill before the Virginia State Assembly that would allow students the right to legal counsel during a student conduct hearing. Upon hearing about the bill, and seeing the administration’s interest in giving their position, I decided to review the Mason Student Code of Conduct. First, every student should take 15 minutes and read through this handbook. This extensive document details what qualifies as a conduct violation to the rights students have during a proceeding. It is time for the Office of Student Conduct to change the burden of proof in cases of prolonged suspension or expulsion to beyond a reasonable doubt. Currently, all hearings are decided by the preponderance of evidence which means the side with the most convincing evidence will decide the hearing. Criminal cases require a higher burden of proof when the punishments carry more serious consequences. Considering any suspension or expulsion will show on a student’s transcript, so these cases should also require a higher burden of proof considering they could permanently affect a student’s academic career moving forward. In a story opposing the new bill mentioned earlier, Brent Ericson, director of Mason’s Office of

Student Conduct, discussed how Student Conduct hearings should be educational experiences not criminal proceedings. In cases with less serious consequences, this certainly serves as a viable opportunity, but with higher stakes for the student in a suspension or expulsion case, the hearing becomes much more than an opportunity for a learning experience. Reading through the code, Mason stacks the deck in their favor. The code covers a wide breadth of issues giving the Office of Student Conduct tremendous authority throughout any and all proceedings. I’m no fool, nor am I anti-establishment. Of course Mason has the right to establish rules then impose sanctions when the Office of Student Conduct finds improprieties. Regardless, with higher stakes in cases of suspension and expulsion, the current code presents an opportunity where administration could take advantage of a student. Listed under the Responsibilities of Hearing Body and Officers of the conduct code, the section states the goal of the conduct hearings as, “the fair, objective, and humane resolution to all incidents of misbehavior.” However, later in the section the first thing members of the hearing should also consider, “protecting the order and integrity of the institution.” Perhaps this is the cynic in me, but this sentence struck me in particular. In the cases where

suspension and expulsion are potential punishments for respondents, the complaint would likely be serious enough that when the hearing body considers “protecting the order and integrity of the institution,” they could be highly motivated to ensure a student does not continue at Mason. Isn’t an instance like this exactly when a student would need more protection to ensure his/her rights are honored when the stakes are highest? The Office of Student Conduct offers an appeals process that offers students a means to challenge the hearing’s official ruling. Still, more must be put in place especially when Mason and Mason selected officials are the judge jury and executioner in many cases. If the Code of Conduct raised the burden of proof to beyond a reasonable doubt for cases of prolonged suspension and expulsion, the system would offer a singular check and balance to the power the administration holds over Student Conduct proceedings. This is a necessary change that would protect students from being taken advantage of when their academic careers are on the line. DANIEL GREGORY MANAGING EDITOR

Copy Chief

Katryna Henderson Illustrator

Kathryn Mangus

Comic Corner by Leilani Romero


David Carroll Associate Director Fourth Estate operates as a publication of Broadside. 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

We are looking for volunteers!

Fourth Estate is looking for opinion writers and reporters for all sections. Email for information



Feb. 3, 2014


Men’s volleyball: conference outlook STEPHEN CZARDA SPORTS EDITOR


hile other teams at Mason have and are continuing to transition over to the ultra competitive Atlantic 10, men’s volleyball remains in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) in 2014. Mason was selected to finish fourth overall in the eight team conference by the coaches. Some readers out there had not even taken their first steps the last time someone other than Penn State took home EIVA champion honors. Here is Fourth Estate’s EIVA preview in order of predicted finish: Originally published on Jan. 27 on Read the online article for more analysis.





The current no. 12 team in the nation has as good of a starting lineup as any in the entire country.

The Red Flash are led by a core trio of EIVA first teamer Logan Patterson, Colin Sherwin and Mark Kochan.

While Penn State has the clear edge on Princeton in terms of high name talent, the Tigers biggest advantage over the Nittany Lions is experience.

While NJIT won only 25 percent of their games last season, there is reasonable optimism in terms of improvement as the team returns second-team All-EIVA libero Brady Smith among others.

After taking down Mason in the EIVA semifinal before falling to Penn State in the championship game last season, Harvard continues their upwards climb in the rankings

The Pioneers were 2-0 vs. RutgersNewark and 0-12 against the other six teams in the EIVA in 2013.


Freshmen Radoslav Popov and Jack Wilson will be part of a major roster overhaul that is replacing a senior-laden squad that featured five first-team all-conference members including EIVA Co-Player of the Year Mark Jones.

Hoping to get their first conference win since Apr.11, 2012.

Freshman tennis player’s unusual adjustments STEPHEN CZARDA SPORTS EDITOR


he transition for any student-athlete attending college for the first time is filled with a myriad of challenges ranging from life spent away from family to night classes. For Mason women’s tennis player Sofia Santa Maria, putting on a uniform has been second nature for nearly her entire life. It is the adjustments in the classroom after attending virtual high school that has been the most difficult part in her first six months of college. Born in Colombia, Santa Maria picked up her first racket from a young age at a local country club. “When I was two years old, my parents were members of a country club back in Colombia and my dad has been playing tennis since he was about 12 years old, so as members he would take me there and he would always sit me in the corner with my little racket,” Santa Maria said. “Most kids would just play with their toys, but I would kind of start swinging with the racket sometimes and my parents saw that I had a desire.” “So they said ‘Do you want to try tennis

out?’ and I’m like ‘Sure.’ So ever since I was three I’ve been hitting balls and never changed sports.” “We moved to Puerto Rico because of my dad’s job, but tennis was in the limbo,” Santa Maria said. “I didn’t have my coach anymore, but where we started living there was tennis courts and there was also an academy, so I started taking private lessons with a coach and I started to get a hang of it. I started group lessons, private lessons and by the age of seven I started playing my first tournaments. I liked it and I had a really big passion for it.” It was at the academy where Santa Maria began to excel, and at age, she began competing in tournaments in the United States. While she had been a top player in her age bracket in Puerto Rico, Santa Maria was exposed to the level of talent outside of the country. “I got invited to my first traveling tournament in Texas and I found like, ‘Wow, I’m actually traveling for tennis’ and there’s where I knew I wanted to take it to a more competitive level,” Santa Maria said. “But it was horrible. I don’t even think I won a single match. I went with a group of six girls and six boys and we did horrible.” Santa Maria rebounded from her stateside

debut and continued to play in International Tennis Federation tournaments with top talent across the globe. Along the way, she received advice from her peers about a unique method of advancing her career: online schooling. “In eighth grade, I started pushing my parents for it and I was like ‘I really want to get the best of both worlds,’” Santa Maria said. “They weren’t convinced about it yet because they said I was too young and not mature enough, so I did eighth and ninth grades and then 10th grade back home and then they said ‘Okay, your level is improving a lot in tennis and you’ve gained the responsibility now. You can do online school.’” She suggested the idea to her parents, who initially rejected the idea of virtual education. But after showing how she could tackle tasks both on the tennis court and in the classroom in an effective manner, her parents changed their minds. After moving to Florida, Santa Maria continued her online education and tennis career. “I no longer had teachers and I no longer had the set schedule with classes. I was pretty much traveling two weeks of the month for tennis tournaments and I was playing ITFs

and you couldn’t really do it in the US,” said Santa Maria. “I was mostly traveling Central and South America and the Caribbean, so it was a great balance and I could take school with me everywhere I was going.” Fast-forward to August 2013, her first week attending a class with chairs and whiteboards in nearly three years. Santa Maria admitted that it was a struggle calibrating her mind to hard due dates and recalled a conversation with her father about the transition. “I called my dad the first week of school here and was like ‘I don’t know what I got myself into. I have my test today and I think I crammed everything. I’m not used to not being able to look at my notes’ and he said ‘I think you’ll be fine,’” Santa Maria said. “Honestly, online school was the best decision for me.” Now in Fairfax, Santa Maria’s goals for the spring semester are simple: continue to excel in the classroom and be a key contributor on a squad comprised mostly of freshmen and sophomores. “Right now I’m really focused on my academics and my goal is to stay in the solid three spots of the team.”



Feb. 3, 2014

Fourth estate

Workout of the week Kudos to Northwestern During the coldest months of winter, the weather can keep one from making it to the gym. Or maybe you’re even looking for a new exercise routine to do outside of the gym. So, this week’s workout is one that can be performed in the warmth of your home or dorm room without using too much space.

The wall sit.

This targets the quadriceps and glutes. You will need to find a bare wall to do this. (A) Start out with your back against the wall and your feet shoulder width apart. Make sure your feet are about two feet from the wall so that your knees are aligned with your ankles. (B) From this position, slowly slide your back down the wall until your quads are parallel to the ground. (For beginners aim for a 45 degree angle) Hold this position for 20-60 seconds and repeat after a 30 second rest for four sets total. Tip: Keep your hands out in front of you or by your sides, not under your butt.


The lunge.

Try this next exercise between rests, which also works the same muscle groups. To do a standing lunge, (A) stand tall with your feet together and your shoulders back. (B) Take a big step forward with your left leg, making sure your knee is aligned with your ankle. At the same time your right leg should be bent and lower to the ground. Tip: For balance, place your hands on your hips. Keep shoulders back, with your core and butt tight. Use those butt muscles and return to your starting position. Switch sides and step out with your right leg and bend your left knee. Repeat this for a total of 12 times. Then go back to a 20-60 second wall sit. These exercises could be easily performed during the commercial breaks of your favorite television show.


hink you have it bad at your unpaid internship fetching coffee for your inattentive boss only to be told that your first trip to the maker provided nothing more than a dissatisfactory cup of joe? Imagine every Saturday morning when some of your classmates are just waking up from their Friday night shindigs to be clobbered by hulking linebackers or made to look ridiculous repetitively by higher-skilled athletes. And guess what? Your time is voluntary despite the fact you are making your school millions upon millions of dollars. Oh, and do not grab that Sharpie near your jersey, too. The big bad NCAA will come knocking on your door soon if you do. Northwestern football players filed a petition this week with the National Labor Relations Board to form a union. Their asking price is simple: better medical coverage, increased work conditions and a voice. Now, more than ever, the time is right to reform an NCAA system that is corrupt to the core. The courts have been approached by this topic time and time again and have stood firm to their ruling that student-athletes are just that: students who happen to be members of a sports team at the collegiate level. They are not employees. But they are and they deserve a seat at the

table with the suits in conversations about alteration. Detractor belief on the contemporary student-athlete is that they are entailed privileges far beyond your typical college student. Many have at least some form scholarship and the money making sports of football and basketball are comprised mostly of full scholarship players. Maybe they are for that four- to five-year span, but they are nothing but a cog in the four-letter money making machine. You may recall the overarching reform emphasis at every level of football right now is safety. But that, of course, only comes after the NCAA can milk every single penny out of you. If the refusal to pay athletes is set in stone, then do the next right thing and allow your players to voice an opinion. Go ahead and say that unionization displaces the crux of the college experience -- education. Just remember that your system stunts their growth and when you come back begging for money in the future it was you who prevented them due process. STEPHEN CZARDA SPORTS EDITOR

Join the 2014

Tryouts For the Co-ed Stunt & all Female Dance Team.* Saturday, March 8th

Want a Leg up on the Competition? Join the current Cheerleaders and coaches for clinics. Saturday, Feb. 8th & Tuesday, Feb. 18th *must be 18 years or older by April 1st

Check for subsequent video of these workout exercises. ANDREA FRINFROCK COLUMNIST


Fourth estate


Feb. 3, 2014



Head Coach Peter Ward and senior Joey Kelly discuss preparation for the Atlantic 10 championship on Feb. 19-22 in Geneva, Ohio.

Swimming prepares for first A-10 championship DARIAN BANKS PRINT SPORTS EDITOR On Feb. 1, Mason men’s and women’s swimming and diving met against conference rival, George Washington University, at the Aquatic and Fitness Center. The competition held more significance than normal dual-meets as it marked the final time 12 seniors would take the pool as student-athletes. It was also the final meet before the Atlantic 10 championships in Geneva, Ohio starting February 19th. This is also the first year since the program’s inception that the championships will not be held at home. Traveling for the championship means more preparation for the team and head coach Peter Ward, now in his 15th season at the helm. “I went up to Ohio last weekend to see the facility and make sure everything was in order,” Ward said after taking a phone call to confirm the team’s travel meal plan. “Traveling instead of being at home will change the dynamic, but I think it’ll be pretty exciting. The facility up there is fantastic.” Only 50 men and women will compete in the championship out of the team’s 56 total members. “We had some of our swimmers who were competing for roster spots for the A-10

championship,” Ward said. “It’s never been bad for the 15 years that we’ve had a program, because you don’t technically leave people home since you’re all still here.” Ward chose the 25 men and 25 women that will compete in the A-10 championship at the conclusion of Saturday’s meet. “It’s based on how they can impact our conference championship and if they score points for us,” Ward said. “Swimming is an interesting sport, because we’re evaluated on what we do at the end of the year at our championship. As much as we want to win dual meets, they’re not significant to your ability to perform at the end.” Individual performance was a focal point for the team as they only had one more chance to prove their abilities. “This meet was important for a lot of freshmen and people that didn’t make it last year or who are border line,” said senior Matt Fitzenreiter who Ward has chosen to compete in the championship. “I struggled in a couple dual-meets, but I just tried to swim as fast as possible,” said senior Joey Kelly. “I don’t want to sound overconfident, but I’ve competed in the championships for the past three years.” Ward expressed sentiment as six of the 12 seniors have been with him since their

freshman year. “[The other coaches and I] were looking at it the other day and talking about some of the holes that will be left when they leave. Not just in the water, but for their leadership and what they bring to the program,” Ward said. Ward looks to the seniors to provide leadership, especially during travel. “There isn’t a particular instance with one defining moment when the seniors have stepped up, but when we travel, their leadership is definitely where they have taken control,” Ward said. The seniors helped lead the team to victory Saturday with the men winning, 188 to 95 points, and the women winning, 162.5 to 123.5 points. “Even when the result of the meet was already decided, everyone kept working and competing like it was zero to zero,” Fitzenreiter said. “Saturday was a very significant weekend. We swim against George Washington every year even before we were in the Atlantic 10,” Ward said. “The meet has many times come down to the last race and been determined by a tenth of a second, both on the men’s and women’s sides. It’s always been a good competition, but it’s even more significant now that they’re an Atlantic 10 opponent.”

“There are a lot of really good teams in the A-10,” Ward said. “For the men, St. Bonaventure are the defending champions and University of Massachusetts won consecutive championships before and the most competition for the women is the University of Richmond.” “Even though we haven’t seen St. Bonaventure or University of Massachusetts, I like to think that we can throw a curve ball at them,” Kelly said. Others were tasked with the difficult responsibility of filling the void left open by injuries. “Megan DeJong has been out all season with a bulged disk in her back and Matt Tynan has been dealing with health issues,” Ward said. “They both had big impacts on points in the championship last year.” Freshman Steff Mauer has stepped up to compensate for DeJong. Freshmen Brandon Nester and Jesse Burnley have split the responsibility on the men’s side to make up for Tynan. “You don’t necessarily fill those roles, but you have someone stepping up to score those points somewhere else,” Ward said.


Feb. 3, 2014


Fourth estate

The Official Pizza of Mason Athletics!

Profile for Student Media George Mason University

Feb. 3, 2014  

Vol. 1, Issue 15

Feb. 3, 2014  

Vol. 1, Issue 15

Profile for osmgmu