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FOURTH ESTATE Feb. 16, 2015 | Volume 2 Issue 15 George Mason University’s official student news outlet | @IVEstate

Food for Thought Clearing The Air Howfood safe pantry is the Washington, D.C. students Metro? l lpage New serves homeless page69 (AMY ROSE/FOURTH PODRAZA/FOURTH ESTATE) ESTATE)







Crime Log Feb. 10 2015-003518 / Stalking Complainant (GMU) reported being followed by a known subject (GMU) on multiple occasions without their consent. (40/Aguilar) Fairfax Campus / Pending / 5:00 & 8:00 p.m.

Feb. 12 2015-003645 / Abduction / Dating Violence / Stalking The City of Fairfax Police notified Mason Police that a subject (non-GMU) was in custody for abducting an ex-significant other (GMU) from Lot A earlier in the evening. (27/Zamora) Lot A /Cleared by Arrest / 8:23 p.m.

Feb. 5 2015-003652 / Drug /Narcotic Violations / Obstruction of Justice / Liquor Law Violations One subject (GMU) was arrested for possessing illegal drugs with intent to distribute and obstructing justice, another subject (GMU) was arrested for possession of illegal drugs, and three other subjects (GMU) were referred to Office of Housing and Residential Life for possessing illegal drugs. (59/Willis) Rappahanock Parking Deck/ Pending/ 4:50 p.m.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram : @IVEstate Use the hashtag #IVphoto on snapshots of Mason for a chance to see it in a future issue!


Many students gathered in North Plaza on Feb. 13 in memory of the three lives lost in Chapel Hill, N.C.


restaurant will replace La Pat in the JC A new Mexicanstyle eatery will replace La Patisserie in the Johnson Center on Feb. 16. The new restaurant will feature salsas made from scratch on campus.


The Virginia legislature has considered 19 bills about sexual assault The Va. General Assembly has considered 19 bills surrounding sexual assault on college campuses in this session. Check out our graphic to learn more.



Mason works to promote healthy food choices for students Mason’s Office of Sustainability provides advice on best practices for choosing what to eat, including what organic food is and the safety of genetically modified organisms.


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YOUR FACE, YOUR VOICE MASON CABLE NETWORK is Mason’s studentoperated television network that offers informative, analytical, and entertaining programming, including student projects and a wide variety of original content. In addition to regularly scheduled programs, MCN produces live stream coverage of Mason events, sports, and news.

Best of MCN: PRESS BOX Every Wednesday PRESS BOX is Mason Cable Network’s sports talk show. Join a rotating panel for lively discussion, debates, and updates on a range topics in the world of college and pro sports — at Mason and beyond.



Every Friday

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FROM THE CINEMA features Roger Dean as your host as he brings you movie reviews and previews of the films coming to the Johnson Center Cinema.

AND A KITCHEN SINK is hosted by Ashley Whimpey who delivers a fun monolugue of interconnecting facts and trivia each week.

MASON CABLE NEWS LIVE! Every Wednesday @ 5:30 P.M. MASON CABLE NEWS is Mason’s live news program produced by Mason Cable Network. Airing every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., the MCNews team brings you Mason news, events, weather, and interviews that provides the Mason Nation the low-down on their community. Watch us live on campus channel 231 and online at

MASON SPORTS INSIDER Weekly Recap with Host Tyler Byrum

Live Stream Schedule: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 19 @ 7:00 P.M.

Wrestling vs. Grand Canyon FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20 @ 7:00 P.M.

Men’s Volleyball vs. Lees McRae SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21 @ 9:00 A.M.

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Letter from the EIC Hope everyone’s Valentine’s Day weekend was enjoyable, this time last year I wasted perfectly good newspaper ink on explaining an old Roman ritual of young boys chasing chaste women around with pelts so I won’t talk about that again.

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One Xtra-Large Cheese…$8.99 (Online Code XL) 2 (or more) Med pizzas w/2 tops each….$5.99 each (Code 9193) (online code items good for both on & off campus delivery) (Remember some deals are not available online. Pan & Brooklyn crusts additional) Must mention special when ordering. Offer can’t be combined with other offers or specials. Prices do NOT include sales tax. Delivery areas may be limited to ensure safe driving and excellent service. Pan & Brooklyn crusts are additional. Delivery charges may apply. Drivers carry LESS than $20.00 MINIMUM DELIVERY is $9.00

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But thankfully this year, this part of the calendar is notable not just for Valentine’s Day, but also because Yeezy season is in full swing. The latest thrust of Kanye into the mainstream was during the Grammys when he pretended to repeat his acceptance speech interruption of Taylor Swift, except this time with Beck as the awardee. I love Beck so I don’t think at that he was undeserving of his award. Odelay, Midnite Vultures and Sea Change deserve any and all awards at those times or retroactively. But I am also a huge Kanye West fan, in my book he can basically do no wrong at this point. What I find unfortunate is that it seems an alarming amount of people seem to dislike him. Kanye is basically the only mainstream artist whose actions are worth talking about and examining. Yes, many artists advocate for a litany of social issues, many of which are completely correct and admirable, but Kanye is the only mainstream artist that is a reflection of the values we want to find in ourselves. I think something important to understand about Kanye is that at his foundation, he’s just a weird person like a lot of us are. Kanye is probably the only mainstream music artist who can reference Beck songs -- “Get ‘Em High” from The College Dropout -- and sample King Crimson in “POWER”. And also have maybe the best sincere tweet -- since deleted -- about the merits of a beloved Hayao Miyazaki film versus an equally beloved cyberpunk Japanese anime: “No way Spirited Away is better than Akira… NOOO WAAAY...sorry was just looking at a youtube of top 10 anime films.” Undoubtedly, Kanye probably

experienced the same teasing as a teenager and young adult that came being a black kid in Chicago who was into Beck, anime and a bunch of other things outside of what you would project onto him.


Hau Chu Editor-In-Chief

Ellen Glickman Print News Editor

Reem Nadeem Print News Editor

Sara Moniuszko Lifestyle Editor

The way Kanye has answered back to this criticism is what all parents try and teach their kids, don’t let anybody tell you what you can and cannot be.

Savannah Norton

This self-proclaimed bravado of “I’m the number one rock star on the planet,” in a 2013 BBC interview. Or in a 2013 New York Times profile, “I think what Kanye West is going to mean is something similar to what Steve Jobs means. I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of Internet, downtown, fashion, culture. Period. By a long jump.”

Asst. Photography Editor

This is all self-defense from those who have told him he was weird or couldn’t make it in music or any other field he was pursuing. When Kanye speaks about respecting artistry, he’s fighting back against the many institutions that told him and other artists that they can’t be this or that. All the best Kanye songs are his use of these seemingly hyperbolic words to describe himself, but what he’s doing is showing his vulnerability by empowering himself. He’s scared of growing up, living up to his own expectations and goals and dealing with success and failure. Kanye is basically a walking, talking motivational poster for those who have been told no and want to thrive in defiance of that. He is an artist for himself, but he is also an artist of the people.

Print Lifestyle Editor

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David Carroll Associate Director Fourth Estate is printed each Monday for George Mason University and its surrounding Fairfax community. The editors of Fourth Estate have exclusive authority over the content that is published. There are no outside parties that play a role in the newspaper’s content, and should there be a question or complaint regarding this policy, the Editor-inChief 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







Media experts give advice on obtaining a foothold in industry ELLEN GLICKMAN | PRINT NEWS EDITOR

she will likely try to do.

Last week, a panel of media professionals answered questions from students, addressing their concerns about landing internships and jobs in the media industry.

Bukovich said Caifa’s answer initially surprised her, but she came to understand why an aspiring journalist’s Twitter profile may be of significance to a potential employer.

The event - “How to Find Career Success in Media” - was co-sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Department of Communication and Career Services. Junior Bridget Bukovich, the public relations committee chair of SPJ, acted as moderator.

“You should be a personal brand,” Bukovich said. “You should be promoting yourself in the best light possible. That’s kind of how you make connections in this industry, too, through social media. You follow people, they follow you back, and then they might recognize you when you apply for a job, so you never know.”

Bukovich said the event was held to “inspire different student journalists on campus because as the Society of Professional Journalists that’s kind of our goal; it’s kind of like to bridge the gap between all the different facets of journalism.” The panel included: Josh Barnett, director of content at USA Today High School Sports; Karin Caifa, senior producer at CNN; Amy Lust, senior associate of digital training at PBS; and Dr. Brain Colder, founder of NewsPebbles, which provides a platform for anyone to submit news content. The event began with panelists offering tips to get started in the media industry. Caifa advised students to send out as many applications as possible, and emphasized the importance of a strong, sincere cover letter. “If there’s something in [the cover letter], I’m probably going to call you,” Caifa said. She also said an active and professional social media presence is something she likes to see, and said she likes when applicants have their Twitter handles at the top of their resumes. She said that makes it easy for her to find applicants on social media, something

Lust, who graduated from Mason with a master’s degree in 2011, said blogs are a great application addition. She said she likes to see an applicant’s point of view and interests, because that is exemplary of their career trajectory. On social media, Caifa advised students to “[P]ut your best self out there, not matter what platform it is.” Prompted by a question from Communication Professor Beth Jannery, faculty advisor to SPJ, who asked the panelists to comment on the view that journalism is a dying industry, the conversation turned to the changing game of news.

tips to larger organizations. He said NewPebbles encompasses the idea of “crowd-sourced data.” Caifa said students should develop multimedia skills in order to stay competitive in this new job landscape. “Multimedia is having as many tools in your toolbox as possible. That’s what it’s all about,” Caifa said. According to Bukovich, it was especially valuable for students to learn about the merging of news platforms. “I think the most important thing that students could take from this event was no matter what facet of journalism you are interested or what facet of media in general you’re interested in, that’s all going to overlap,” Bukovich said. She said students are likely to find some place where their skills are needed. “Be it social media, be it broadcasting, be it camera work, writing - they’re all useful,” Bukovich said. The panelists also told students that building a career happens over a lifetime.

Caifa emphatically denied that journalism is dead, and said she is always learning something new.

Colder said that everyone faces a “life-long process of building connections.”

“I feel like the game has entirely changed,” Caifa said.

Barnett, who’s also an adjunct faculty member teaching Sports Writing and Reporting this semester, advised students not to get caught up on where they land their first internship or paid position.

Colder said there are “so many opportunities for people to publish now.” NewsPebbles is one such opportunity, since anyone can submit news content and receive payment. Colder and his colleagues sift through the submitted content, and sell quality news

“Your first job isn’t going to be your last job,” Barnett said. “…You build a little and go to the next place, and the next place takes you to the next place.”







New concerns about the safety of riding the Metro safety would be improved as part of the budget plan. The report stated that over a six-year period, a $7 billion investment supported by the Capital Improvement Program would continue to improve the safety and state of good repair investments. The WMATA budget proposal lists that improvements will continue to be made on the software of the train control system, the maintenance of the trains and rails, and the improvement of the tracks and structures. These measures are to ensure the safety of passengers. Many students who obtain jobs or internships in the Washington D.C. area during the semester rely on the Metro to commute to and from the job. Senior Shelley O’Conor relies on the metro to travel to and from work. She currently has an internship in Washington D.C. which requires a thirty-minute metro ride.



The Washington, D.C. Metro system recently experienced two separate incidents where smoke filled a train, one of which claimed a passenger’s life. The first incident occurred on the afternoon of Monday, Jan. 12. The Washington Post reported that a Yellow Line train departed only 800 feet into the tunnel before coming to a stop. The National Transportation Safety Board attributed the incident to an electrical arcing event - or an electrical breakdown of gas - that occurred about 1,000 feet in front of the train. According to The Washington Post, the smoke was not caused by a fire, but by short-circuiting cables that power the third rail. There were more than 80 passengers who suffered from respiratory issues after being trapped in the tunnel for more than forty minutes. Smoke inhalation sent many

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to the hospital and caused the death of a 61-yearold Alexandria woman. A similar and more recent incident occurred Friday, Feb. 6. The Washington Post stated that the DuPont Circle Metro stop was evacuated after brake line problems caused smoke to fill a Red Line train. Services resumed shortly after evacuations were made. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority reported in a July statement that the metro is the second most-used metro rail system in the United States. The system links Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia within about 1,500 square miles. Averaging more than 750,000 metro trips on a weekday, the WMATA is working to improve the services and the safety measures of the system. In the $1.82 billion budget proposal for the 2016 fiscal year, the WMATA announced that

O’Conor was not hesitant to ride the metro after hearing about the incident. She feels that the safety methods currently used by the metro are effective in compensating for potential accidents. “As a passenger, I am aware of the safety features on the metro cars: fire extinguishers, emergency door openers, intercom, etc. I do think these are effective tools for the passengers, and I think the instructions are effective also,” O’Conor said. The safety features mentioned by O’Conor are included in the various safety improvements being made by the WMATA. She feels that the upkeep of these features is important for the safety of passengers in the event of an emergency. “I do not know exactly what kind of emergency training the metro staff undergoes. However, I assume it is up to date, is taken seriously, and is effective. The mission of the metro is to safely transport millions of people into the capital,” O’Conor said. When the mission of the metro is interrupted by an incident that kills a passenger, the safety precautions are revisited.

“To improve the safety of passengers, the metro system can continue to keep the staff up to date on emergency procedures and continue to make sure all equipment is in good working order,” O’Conor said. The Federal Transit Administration released a statement immediately following the first incident saying that they will be conducting a review of the Metro’s safety implementations. This review is set to begin in early March. Senior Ashley Antion had an internship in Washington, D.C. that required her to ride the metro on a regular basis. Like many students, Antion does not have a car on campus therefore she relied on the metro when traveling for her internship. “During the time of my internship I took frequent trips on the Metro. I traveled to the State Department, to DuPont Circle, to The United Nations Association, to Johns Hopkins and to the Institute Of World Politics,” Antion said. Unlike O’Conor, Antion’s concerns about the safety of the metro increased after the first incident. “I do not feel the system is effective in managing accidents because too often trains are backed up on railways because one is occupying the platform. When simple functions are not well managed, I have little confidence in the system’s ability to handle a larger crisis,” Antion said. When crisis management was put to the test twice in the past two months, many argued that there is room for improvement. According to The Washington Post, the metro resumed service shortly after both separate incidents. Passengers continue to ride the metro despite these recent cases. “Considering what happened recently, I still feel safe riding the metro. Accidents happen no matter how we travel. Buses topple over, planes crash, and cars get into accidents. For me, riding the metro is the most effective way to get into the city,” Antion said.






Mason professor researching restless legs syndrome diagnosis MADISON ANTUS | STAFF WRITER

Mason nursing professor, Dr. Kathy Richards, recently submitted a proposal to the National Institute of Health to examine a common treatment for Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) in Alzheimer’s patients. Richards has spent the last fifteen years researching the link between patients who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and RLS. She has spent over a year developing another way to diagnose RLS in Alzheimer’s patients. Richards explained that many Alzheimer’s patients become extremely agitated at night, a symptom referred to as sun downing. “They’re agitated at night, they wander, they yell, they scream, they try to get out of the house and turn on the stove, they try to cook things. They do dangerous things, as well as things that simply keep the person who’s trying to care for them awake,” said Richards.

The new diagnostic method that Richards and her team have come up with is much simpler than this lengthy process. Named the Behavioral Indicators Test-Restless Legs, it has three parts; first information is gathered from various charts and tests, and the patient’s caregiver is asked about their sleeping habits. Then, if the patient is able to answer some questions, they may be asked one simple question - if they have any discomfort in their legs, which only requires a yes or no response. Richards said that if a patient is having trouble answering this question, this portion of the method may be passed over without affecting the diagnosis. The final part of the diagnostic process is observation: the patient is asked to sit down for twenty minutes, and a medical professional observes them for certain behavioral indicators: constant movement, touching their legs, having to get up and stand - all indicators of RLS.

This behavior leads to both the exhaustion of the caregiver and the patient, as well as further agitation and confusion for the Alzheimer’s patient.

After trying different technological and laboratory methods, Richards and her team discovered that neither worked as well as someone simply watching the patient.

“Fifteen years ago, that link was not researched very well,” Richards said, “but today we have pretty good evidence to show that sleep is very important for daytime cognitive function.”

“Sometimes the simple things are the best way to get what you need,” said Richards.

According to the National Institute of Health, “restless legs syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable, and sometimes overwhelming, urge to move them for relief. Individuals affected with the disorder often describe the sensations as throbbing, polling, or creeping.” The usual diagnostic process is lengthy, and involves many questions that Richards said are difficult for Alzheimer’s patients to answer. “Restless legs syndrome is diagnosed with a clinical interview, a rather complex clinical interview,” said Richards. She said this can lead to frustration for Alzheimer’s patients.

About 24 percent of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s who suffer from nighttime agitation have RLS. Richards estimates that if treating these patients for RLS allows them to stay in their homes with their families longer, and preventing just one percent of Alzheimer’s patients from entering nursing homes due to this problem, $1.43 billion dollars could be saved in healthcare costs annually. According the Alzheimer’s Association, a nonprofit that supports patients and is an advocate for research, the average cost in the United States for long term heath care in a nursing home is $78,110 per year, and much of this goes toward nighttime care. Using these figures, roughly 18,307 Alzheimer’s patients would have to stay in their homes to reach this amount of yearly healthcare savings. This number of patients is only 1 percent of people

who are admitted to nursing homes every year. Richards also has a personal connection to her research. Richards had an aunt who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and suffered from nighttime agitation and wanderings. She saw how difficult it was for her uncle to take care of her aunt, especially at night as her nighttime behaviors became more dangerous. Her uncle eventually had to place locks on the doors to stop her from wandering outside at night, but one evening she was able to unlock the doors and drowned in the lake outside the couple’s home. “We presumed that she wanted to go fishing,” Richards said, “Her boat was out there in the middle [of the lake].” Richards has spent the majority of her career at the University of Pennsylvania. She has been at George Mason University for three years, although the team she worked with on this discovery is made up of scientists and physicians from the University of Pennsylvania. Richards has spent the better part of the past year developing the new diagnostic tool for RLS, and her method is the first to diagnose RLS in this specific group of individuals who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Her findings will be in the scientific publication “Sleep” in the March 2015 issue; the online version is already posted. Currently, she is moving on to the next part of her study - a treatment method. The proposal that Richards submitted to the NIH involves administering a drug that has already been approved by the Federal Drug Administration to treat RLS, known as Horizont. “We’re not testing to find out if Horizont works for RLS - that’s been tested over and over again; it’s FDA approved,” Richards said. “What we’re testing is to see if by treating the restless legs, we can fix their agitation at night and improve their sleep.” In regards to the current treatment for Alzheimer’s, Richards said that “the drugs that are used - antipsychotics and sedatives - are very dangerous in older people, and they aren’t very effective.”


METROPOLITAN JAZZ ORCHESTRA An Evening with Doc Severinsen Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. HC Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. CA $50, $43, $30 2 Free Tickets per ID avail. NOW

CHRISTOPHER O’RILEY AND PABLO ZIEGLER Two to Tango Feb. 22 at 4 p.m. $46, $39, $28 CA 2 Free Tickets per ID avail. NOW

SCHOOL OF MUSIC AND POTOMAC ARTS ACADEMY Black History Month Concert Feb. 21 at 11 a.m. CA Feb. 22 at 4 p.m. HC $10 adults, $5 students 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. NOW

IN THE NEXT ROOM OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY By Sarah Ruhl Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. (Preview - pay what you can) Feb. 26, 27, 28 at 8 p.m. Feb. 28 – Mar. 1 at 2 p.m. $15 adults, $10 students TS 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. Feb. 17



703-993- 8 8 8 8 O R C FA . G M U . E D U/ S T U D E N T S



MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. Mar. 1 at 4 p.m. $48, $41, $29 CA 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. Feb. 17

MASON JAZZ ENSEMBLE Big Band Showdown Mar. 4 at 4 p.m. $10 adults, $5 students CA 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. Feb. 24

NATALIE MACMASTER AND DONNELL LEAHY Visions from Cape Breton and Beyond Mar. 1 at 4 p.m. $48, $41, $29 HC 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. Feb. 17

VISUAL VOICES SPEAKER SERIES Jersey Devils Steve Badanes & Linda Beaumont, speakers Mar. 5 at 7:20 p.m. FREE HT




7 0 3 - 9 9 3 - 7 7 5 9 O R H Y LT O N C E N T E R .O R G /S T U D E N T S







Global conflict does not deter students from studying abroad



The recent attacks on Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France and the rise of political strife in Russia and the Ukraine has caused worry among members of the Mason community looking to study abroad in these countries. Just last summer, when fighting between Israel and Hamas broke out in Israel-Palestine, Mason cut a study abroad program short and students were sent home. In Paris on Jan. 7, 2015, the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was attacked by two gunmen, causing the city to go on high-alert until their death on January 9. The attack involved the two gunmen, brothers and several accomplices and spread out across Paris and the surrounding area. A CNN online report says that this attack has caused many French to worry about terrorists residing in their country. Despite the rise in violence, Yehuda Lukacs, the associate provost of International Programs and the director for the Center for Global Education, encourages students to still study abroad. “Terrorism is a contemporary global phenomenon that has had a significant impact on international travel, including study abroad. However, an international experience such as studying

abroad has become a must for anyone wishing to play a meaningful role in our emerging global society. The Center for Global Education (CGE) has an impeccable track record in terms of safeguarding its participating students and accompanying faculty,” Lukacs said via email. Lukacs is not alone in his belief. Junior Kenia Zelaya said she trusted Mason and the CGE to protect her. Zelaya who studied abroad in London, England during the Charlie Hebdo attacks said that her and her fellow students received a safety orientation on their first night. She also believed that Mason and CGE would have been quick to respond if the need arose. “We had a safety orientation on our first evening in London. We may have been pretty jetlagged but they made sure we knew the safety information as soon as possible,” Zelaya said. Lukacs said that students receive a comprehensive briefing on safety and security before studying abroad, and then a more in depth safety briefing in the country that the student travels to. He also said that students are continuously reminded by the faculty of the safety procedures during their visit. “Our faculty receives special training on handling emergencies, ranging from car accidents to terrorism. We are very mindful of potential

dangers worldwide and spend a great deal of our time on safety and security issues,” Lukacs said. Zelaya said she was scared during the Charlie Hebdo attacks because Paris was just a train’s ride away, but she knew she was ultimately safe. “If any sort of chain reaction started, whether attacks or demonstrations, our visits could have been disrupted. But I knew before stepping on U.K. land that it was one of the safest places to travel to,” Zelaya said. “And safety is a concern wherever you go, you just have to be smart and know your surroundings as well as your sources in that area.” The Russia-Ukraine conflict, the most recent major event being the annexation of Crimea to Russia, is another issue that has caused violent conflict in both countries. Sophomore Matt Strickler, who plans to study abroad in Russia, is another student who has not been discouraged to study abroad. He said he knows that there are some concerns for studying in Russia, but feels it is a once-in-a-life-time opportunity that he wouldn’t want to miss. “It will be a concern without a doubt, but I do not realistically see my life being in danger if I travel to Russia,” Strickler said. “The extreme nationalists are concerning, but there are many

ways to avoid their attention. The war in Ukraine is [also] concerning because of possible escalation, but because of how far away I would be from the conflict, it will not stop me.” Strickler said that if the fighting in Russia ever did become a problem, he trusts Mason, CGE and their protocols to know how to keep him safe. Lukacs who also talked about these protocols said that if need be, Mason would cancel the program. “In the event of dangerous situation such as a revolution, large terrorist incident, war, or a natural disaster, the University would cancel the program. As part of their program fee, we sign up our students with an evacuation insurance that handles immediate extrications back to the United States,” Lukacs said. Despite the possible risks of studying abroad in countries like France, Russia, and Israel-Palestine, Lukacs, Zelaya and Strickler said they encourage students to still study abroad. “I would always recommend studying abroad to any country. However, I would also recommend being smart about their trip, especially to a volatile country,” Strickler said. “Know the people, know the political situation, know the controversial issues and know the culture as well as you can before going.”


news Faculty senate extends anti-discrimination policy to protect gender identity



The George Mason University faculty senate passed a resolution on Feb. 4 to add gender identity and expression to the university’s anti-discrimination policies. The resolution would extend protections to transgender and other gender non-conforming people under University Policy 1201, which currently bans discrimination based on race, sex, disability, religion and other categories of identity. The proposal passed in the faculty senate almost unanimously with only one present member voting against it. An earlier version was passed by the student senate on Jan. 28.

orientation but not gender identity. “Gender identity has to do with how you identify, how you express yourself,” Office of LGBTQ Resources Program Coordinator Amena Johnson said. “Gender identity could be someone that’s transgender [or it] could just simply be about gender expression. Your sex is female, but your expression is more masculine or vice versa, so gender identity, I think, is more inclusive than sex.” The distinction between gender and sex is key but has generated some confusion, making education the primary difficulty Payne and others

discrimination in the workplace based on gender identity and sexual orientation along with other factors like race, national origin, religion, age, political affiliation and disability. Later that year, President Obama passed a new executive order amending Executive Orders 11478 and 11246 to include gender identity in the federal government’s equal opportunity practices. In addition, the Department of Education announced in April 2014 a guideline that extended federal civil rights protections under Title IX to transgender students. Passed by Congress in 1972, Title IX is the law that protects people from discrimination based on

“Hopefully, [the resolution will] help the community realize that transgender and gender non-conforming lives matter,” Geoffrey Payne, the executive secretary of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs in the student senate, said. “They are important enough to be included in the anti-discrimination policy.”

The next step is for the student senate to bring the resolution to the Office of Compliance, Diversity and Ethics, which enforces Policy 1201 and the related Title IX, and request a change in the policy’s language. Policy 1201 outlines Mason’s commitment to “providing equal opportunity and an educational environment free from any discrimination” and applies to all university students, faculty and staff. It currently covers both sex and sexual

“People need to be educated,” Johnson said. “There needs to be more classes about the issue, more mandatory training about gender and sexual orientation for faculty and staff, because if we’re going to be progressive, we have to understand that we live in a culture that isn’t necessarily accepting of these things.” Many of the difficulties in addressing gender identity discrimination occur at a systematic level. For instance, the registrar’s office offers no way for transgender students to officially change their names, and many of them experience discrimination in the classroom when faculty members or other individuals address them by the wrong name or pronouns.

“In recognizing that Blackboard and student records do not reflect in some cases the gender of a student, I felt it necessary to be very explicit in the class to not assume pronoun use,” Chesler said. “I think that the more things are explicit, the better it is for a community’s health.” The Office of LGBTQ Resources provides safe zone and classroom training and helps organize events like Pride Week designed to create social and educational opportunities for discussing issues related to gender and sexuality.

The resulting resolution argues that amending Policy 1201 to include gender identity and expression would “help support one of [Mason’s] institutional values of ‘freedom and learning’” and cites the College of William & Mary, the University of Virginia and James Madison University among the Virginia universities and colleges that have recently made similar additions to their anti-discrimination policies.

“The vote of the faculty senate lends support to the student government resolution,” Douglas said in an email.


Giovanna Chesler, who is the director of the Film and Video Studies program and an associate professor in the Communications department, has attempted to address this issue by including a statement at the top of her syllabi asking students to tell her their preferred pronouns. She wrote the statement with advice from TQ Mason members and has recommended that other faculty members take the same approach.

Payne, who is also on the executive board of TQ Mason, the university’s trans/queer support and action organization, helped develop the resolution last semester along with Mason Student Body Vice President Dilan Wickrema. They introduced the idea of adding gender identity to Mason’s anti-discrimination policy at the beginning of the fall 2014 semester and, from there, crafted a proposal demonstrating student interest in and attitudes toward the possible addition to show the university that it was important to the community.

According to Charlene Douglas, the chair of the faculty senate, while the faculty and student senates operate independently and therefore do not always vote on the same issues, they sometimes share resolutions “to make a stronger political statement.”



have faced in getting the resolution through the school’s administrative and legislative processes. “When you start asking the question ‘Why aren’t transgender people protected under sex or sexual orientation?’, that’s when the room starts feeling like a women and gender studies class,” Payne said, adding that the reaction from students and faculty has otherwise been completely positive thus far. The resolution comes after a series of similar actions at the state and federal level aimed at eliminating discrimination based on gender identity. In January 2014, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed Executive Order No. 1, prohibiting

sex in any federally-funded educational program, activity or institution. Though it is often associated with athletics, it has been used to address areas such as pregnant or parenting students, the lack of women in STEM fields and sexual harassment and violence. Calling both the proposed amendment to Policy 1201 and these broader changes a step in the right direction, Johnson said that, because most of them have been mandated by individual people or administrations, they do not necessarily indicate that society as a whole, or even just Mason as a community, has significantly changed. She emphasizes that more work still needs to be done to increase acceptance of transgender and other gender non-conforming people.

Elavie Ndura, the chair of the faculty senate minority and diversity issues committee, has been pushing for the university to create more spaces for inclusive, critical conversations about LGBTQ issues as well as other topics like race and racism. She says that, because students tend to be more active in creating these spaces, greater faculty and staff involvement is crucial to future efforts. “We still need to do more work in order to really, efficiently address socio-cultural issues that may impact learning, teaching and living together as a community,” Ndura said. Mason started flexible or gender-neutral on-campus housing in the fall 2014 semester, and many people, like Payne and Chesler, have been advocating for more gender-neutral bathrooms. Ultimately, the new resolution and other attempts to curb discrimination are about creating an environment where all students, faculty and staff feel accepted and respected so that they can learn or work to the best of their abilities. “I think that it creates an empowering community,” Ndura said. “When we are empowered, we do better…and it would be overall a much happier community.”








“Does your school have an engraved waffle machine ? ‘Cause mine does #masonnation”

@Kowski25 Alexandra

@HannahMichaelaM writes about new @ Uber regulations coming from @VaGenAss and what they mean for #GMU students

@FrankMuraca Frank Muraca Contestants draw in the crowd with a round of applause for a successful Mason Majesty event on Monday, Feb. 9.

#MasonNation vigil for #ChapelHillShooting victims Deah, Yusor, & Razan is TODAY, 2:15pm, @ Mason Statue “ @jnoubiye Rula


Today Mason’s Sexual Assault Task Force members are holding a student-focused open meeting 2:30-3:30pm in SUB I, Room 3B #mason #itsonus

@WAVESatMason WAVES at Mason


Sadly, SurveyMonkey has many limitations and we can’t see any new surveys! We are still taking submissions, but we have a new survey posted online.

2 Mason Majesty: Talent by GIFs

We created GIFs from the Mason Majesty Pageant. Although the winner has already been crowned, these students have some cool talents.


“Dear White People:” The Two Sided Debate “Dear White People,” which received rave reviews from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, was screened at Mason. It was followed by a discussion on experiences with race and discrimination.






get a date with fourth estate Alex and Morgan

Morgan: “ [He was] really easy going and nice to talk to.” Did you have a good time? Alex: “It was awkward at first. I started rambling, but then I calmed down. I was pretty nervous. Once we started talking a bit, the conversation started happening naturally.” Morgan: “Yes I did, it was nice conversation flowing and everything felt comfortable.” What were you expecting out of the date? Alex: “I don’t know what I was expecting really. [To] meet someone new, have some food and have a good time. This was a really good way to meet someone you wouldn’t normally meet.” Morgan: “Honestly I was really worried it was going to be awkward since it was a double blind date. So I’m really happy it wasn’t.” What was the funniest thing that happened? Morgan: “Probably taking our picture [at the end of the date]. It kept coming out blurry!” What was the most surprising thing that happened? Alex: “I found out she was musical. She went to a lot of concerts and music is something I like to talk about. She also liked my car, which made me happy.” (Alex has a red BMW) Morgan: “I think it not being awkward since that’s the biggest thing I was worried about.” How well did you guys click? Alex: “We clicked well, we never really had any awkward silence. The date lasted about 2 hours.” Morgan: “I think we clicked well. There was an easy conversation flow.” How did you break the ice? Morgan Ramero (left) and Alex Hinton (right) pictured on their date. SAVANNAH NORTON | PRINT LIFESTYLE EDITOR

The first students matched together by the Lifestyle team were junior Alex Hinton and senior Morgan Romero. They decided to go to dinner at Coyote Grille located right off of Main Street. They were interviewed separately about their date experience. What is your major?

Alex: “I asked her about her major, because she is a senior I wanted to know what she was going to do with it.” Morgan: “Talking about our school schedules.” What was something you learned about about your date that stuck out to you? Alex: “She commutes all the way in from Nokesville. It’s like a 40 or 50 minute commute.” Morgan- “That he works at the school’s radio station. I’ve always wondered what they did/played so it was nice to get that insight.”

Alex: “Communication.” Morgan: “Criminology.”

Anything else you would like to add? Alex: “I wish I had walked her to her car at the end of the date.”

Who planned the date? Alex: “First I sent her an email to exchange phone numbers and then I texted her to come up with the date plans. It wasn’t super awkward. I didn’t try to drag out conversation at all. I just set up the time and place. The hardest part for me was reaching out to her.”

Why did you sign up for #GetADateWithFourthEstate?

Morgan: “Alex did.”

Morgan: “Just for fun and out of curiosity.”

What was your first impression?


Alex: “She was dressed nicely and taller than I expected.”

Alex: “I thought this would be fun. A god way to meet someone. She ended up being real nice, so that was cool.”






well-being survey gives insight on student opinions A community is able to cultivate a positive and thriving environment for its members by encouraging well-being. George Mason University has partnered with The Gallup Organization in order to do just that. Although Gallup’s programs have been used at the university for the last ten years, the partnership began in 2014. “The formal partnership began last summer, because when the university identified well-being as one of the twelve strategic goals in the new plan, we wanted to measure it,” said Nance Lucas, executive director for the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. “So part of what the Gallup Organization does is measurement activities around well-being.” A result of the partnership was the creation of a well-being survey to be sent to the Mason community. The survey has already been sent out to Mason alumni. Expecting to receive the results later in March, Mason hopes to use the findings in order to learn how to better the university and its members. “We will receive a written report from [Gallup] summarizing the data and analyzing the data along with written recommendations for our institution so that we can continue to enhance our programmatic and service efforts on well-being,” Lucas said. Following spring break, the well-being survey will also be sent to all Mason undergraduate students. The survey looks at the levels of students’ well-being, hope, and engagement. It is highly encouraged for students to take the well-being

survey in order for the university to get a greater grasp on the well-being and satisfaction of their students. “It is important for the students to take the survey because it gives the university a snapshot of how they are feeling. Are they thriving or are they languishing? Are they engaged in the university and their academics and their social life or are they disengaged? Does this university enhance their well-being? So those are the types of things the survey will report on,” Lucas said. Chelsie Kuhn, program coordinator for the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, said, “As a model well-being university, we want to help our faculty, staff, students, and alumni to build a life of vitality, purpose, resilience, and engagement. This includes thriving across a range of domains (physical, career, social, community, psychological and financial) and being satisfied with one’s life while experiencing curiosity, hope, meaning and joy. Our measurements and data around these concepts allow us to see what we are doing well and where we can improve in the future.” In answering these questions, Mason will be able to better serve and help its students in not only their college lives, but also in their future endeavors. COURTESY OF WELL-BEING SURVEY


“We want students to walk away from Mason understanding what it means to live a well life, not just to graduate and find a job to make a lot of money,” Lucas said. “These are the kind of skills, competencies, and knowledge that students can acquire while they are at Mason that they will be able to use beyond graduation and in their personal lives and careers. And hopefully they will soon become the facilitators of others’ well-being in the world.”


Help Wanted

Child Care

Child Care


Great opportunity for special Ed student to nanny a 8 yr old girl who is wheelchair bound, smart and an angel. PT, OT, ST. Part-time with flexible hours. Please email resume to

Steiner Vision Pt/Ft - Office Work . Will Train, Excellent pay, low stress work environment-many George Mason and NOVA students over the years have gained valuable work experience in our 7 Corners, Falls Church, VA office. For more info call Dr. Steiner at Cell 571-276-1534 or ask for Maria at Office- 703-237-1770

I am seeking a full time summer nanny (live in or live out) for my 8 yr old son. Duties will include various activities, such as swimming, short field trips, sports activities, etc. Light cooking will be needed such as breakfast, lunch, snacks, etc. Email: Phone: 301-221-2767

Looking for summer nanny in the Oak Hill/Herndon area. 2 children: 10y boy, 7y girl. Duties: Driving, creative activities, no chores. Must own car, be non-smoker, pet-friendly, and fun. Competitive pay. Contact: Mitch/Michelle (703)657-0168. Send resume and 2-3 references to

$15 car rental for errands Call/Text Abdul (703) 623-8696

House cleaner needed. Be on NPR too? By GMU/Arling. 4-8 hours/wk. Anytime. $12/hr. Unusual soc-entrepreneur experimental house that may get NPR coverage. Also be part of our idea team.

VIRGINIA PARIS SHUTTLE Pick Up & Delivery Service Do you need boxes, small-furniture or other items moved? Call MP @ 703-896-2545 or visit us at Transcription Services Available for academic interviews, Rates start at $1 per audio minute and a turnaround of 48 hours. I do not transcribe focus groups or meetings with more than 2 people. I can be reached at








Office of Student Media




music. going forward. ON AIR 24/7


(Photo courtesy of Mason Athletics)

What to Listen to This Week:


oF THe



(Photo courtesy of Evan Cantwell)

WGMU RADIO is Mason’s one and only radio station and streams online 24/7 at WGMU listeners enjoy the best in sports, talk, news, and college radio programming, in addition to today’s hottest music and live studio sessions with artists and celebrities. WGMU currently broadcasts 50 hours of live and original programming every week and has been on the air since 1981.

Best of WGMU:

Wednesday, February 18 @ 7:00 P.M. WGMU broadcasts all Mason Men’s and Women’s basketball games! Keep it tuned to WGMU for great in-game analysis and pre/post game shows! Go Mason!

Programming Highlights: WEDNESDAYS @ 2:00 P.M.

All the Wrong Notes




Mondays @ 10 P.M.

Tuesdays @ 9 P.M.

Tuesdays @ 7 P.M.

TAKE IT TO THE HILL has been known for years as WGMU’s one and only political talk show. Tune in for high profile guests, political talk, news, sports, laughs, and much more!

Join hosts Jesse Robinson, Bryan Thren, and some very special guests for the 3rd season of this completely improvised comedy show that takes your suggestions and turns them into hilarious scenes and characters!

Follow the host @ JohnTaylorHill

Follow us @Improv4Mason

THE FIRST PICK is WGMU’s featured sports program featuring Ben Simpson (one of the voices of Mason’s basketball broadcasts), and co-host Mike Serone who engage in a lively discussion of sports, current events, and more!


Up to Eleven FRIDAYS @ 3:00 P.M.

WGMU Classical TUESDAYS @ 11:00 P.M.

Greenhouse Effect

Join the Conversation:

Contact Us: Listen LIVE!




RadioFlag Mobile App

q Request


PHONE: (703) 993-WGMU





A return to civilized bipartisanship Last summer a friend of mine told me to come watch a congressional office softball game on the national lawn. There had been a lot of buzz and excitement that day amongst team members because the senator was scheduled to make an appearance and throw out the first pitch! As a softball enthusiast, she was excited about the prospect of playing alongside her Senator. Arriving only a few minutes late, Senator Tom Harkin convinced his staffers to allow him to play a whole inning in the field and take one at bat. On Feb. 5, published an anonymous letter from a congress member outlining nine things Americans do not know about the people representing them. First, congress members are not out of touch with the electorate. Second, money drives Congress too much. Third, gerrymandering. Fourth, Americans have lost the virtues of secret ballots. Fifth, Congress is run like a parliament, but we do not have a Prime Minister. Sixth, committees do not do anything (because they lack power). Seventh, serving in Congress is a good resume builder for a K Street lobbying job. Eighth, good candidates are deterred from running. Finally, “Congress is still necessary to save America, and cynics aren’t helping.” Really, you HAVE to go read the whole thing for yourself to get a full appreciation. However, the basic assertion is that Congress is broken. Congress is more divided than ever before and a major reason for that divide is that our leaders do not spend time in the office together. They are either too busy meeting the demands of constituents who want them home every weekend or they are on the phone raising money for the next election. Congress members who vote consciously or in the name of their districts are given scarlet As. Scarlet As mean you will not have support during the next election cycle. Even though Congress is broken, we still have the tools to repair it. The tools we need, crafted out of the Constitution, are the same ones that have been used to build the

most successful democracy the world has ever seen. Despite Harkin’s stated desire to stay at the game—his staffers eventually won out—giving him back his dress shoes and chauffeuring him to his next event. I cannot remember the name exactly, but it probably went to the tune of the Association of American Associations. Senator Tom Harkin—who served for thirty years in the Senate after serving ten years in the House—is a true class act. Representing the state of Iowa, The former chairman of both the Senate Agriculture Committee and the Health, Education, Labor Pension Committee, Senator Harkin provided bipartisan leadership in Congress for close to half a century. He is also old enough to have served before Congress was infused with money, when committees actually produced meaningful legislation, when K-Street was just the one between L-Street and M-Street, and when Congressmen stuck around until the seventh inning. It is no surprise that Senator Harkin’s departure gave birth to one of the most closely watched elections this year, one that would contribute to Iowa and the Senate turning red. The victor, Joni Ernst, spent $11.9 million to beat Bruce Braley, who spent $10.7 million. In her victory speech, Senator Ernst proclaimed, “We are going to make ‘em squeal!” The “’em” presumably referred to her future colleagues. The problem here is that in doing so, Ernst closed herself to the prospect of working across the aisle and with those who have served in Washington before. A few weeks ago, Senator Ernst then was asked by leadership to deliver the Republican response after President Obama’s liberally-focused State of the Union. The idea that there should be a “Republican Response” to the State of the Union or that that address should be partisan to begin with is a crazy one. Our leaders should instead seek to work together and at the same time, and Americans should allow them the opportunity to do so. TYLER FISHER / COLUMNIST



Does Mason still need to celebrate Black History Month?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Rosa Parks. W.E.B. DuBois. Booker T. Washington. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Selma. Birmingham. Montgomery Bus Boycott. People and places, groups and events, acts of resistance, and past demands for racial equality abound in mention during this month. Across campus, events and observances have been held to commemorate the long struggle to hold America to its own standards of all men being created equal. Some may joke about how Black History Month falls on the shortest month of the year. Still, there was a time when it was even shorter. Back in 1973, the State Board of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia approved the observance of Black History Week for public schools. Regarding the observance, the Board sent out a memo to local superintendents throughout the Commonwealth, dated Jan. 29, 1973. In it, the Board said that once a “year-round multi-racial-cultural curriculum … becomes a reality, the need for a special week of this nature will diminish.”

programs that center on African American Studies, Islamic Studies and various languages. In the history courses I took for my master’s in American history, there is a great emphasis on agency beyond Euro-American culture. During my time studying the South, for example, much attention is given to the actions of rebellious slaves, politically active black churches, predominantly African-American labor unions, voter drives and campaigns to federally outlaw lynching. Present historical scholarship, as taught at Mason, goes beyond the traditional timeline of civil rights post-World War II and into major efforts found between the World Wars and following Reconstruction. As part of Mason’s general education requirements, undergraduate students must complete three credits of “global understanding,” which the Provost’s website identifies as being able to “Demonstrate understanding of the interconnectedness, difference, and diversity of a global society.” Developing a good understanding of the “diversity of a global society” sure fits well with the Board’s call for a “multi-racial-cultural curriculum.”

As Mason again looks towards observing Black History Month, forty-plus years after that memo was sent out, I wonder if we have gotten to the endpoint the Board had in mind.

So with these many points noted, has Mason finally fulfilled the demand that the Board put forth of a “year-round multi-racial-cultural curriculum?”

After all, Mason is not exactly a monolithic student body, much less an academic institute that focuses solely on White history, literature, culture or achievement.

Judging by the many curricular and extra-curricular activities found on campus, the diverse offerings for student life and the various acknowledgements of nonwhite contributions to our nation, the answer appears to be yes.

We have scores of student organizations who specialize in showcasing cultures from Africa to Latin America to Southeast Asia. We have study abroad programs that take students to places found across the inhabited continents and local

So maybe after decades of celebrating Black History Month, Mason can finally let the observance “diminish” having had it fulfill its purpose. However, before moves are taken to eliminate Black History Month

from our academic calendars, certain reasons for keeping it remain. Going back to the global understanding requirement, it only applies to undergrads. Since our campus has a large graduate student population, such is not necessarily mandated for them. Furthermore, at only three credits, the global understanding requirement is short of the “year-round” parameter of the Board. Regarding the various offerings of racial and cultural diversity at Mason, it is well established that the supermajority of enrolled pupils at Mason are commuters. It is also commonly known that many if not most Mason students do not indulge in the aforementioned multicultural climate, opting instead to come to campus, take their classes, and then leave. Taking this to the Commonwealth level, Mason discontinuing its Black History Month observance would set a bad example for the rest of the state, especially those parts that lack a multicultural environment and/or curriculum. When Virginia’s Board of Education called for a Black History Week back in 1973, they did so having just purged social studies textbooks that voiced racist narratives of Virginia history. The Board made efforts in getting history and social studies textbooks that reflected more of the multiracial reality of Virginia and the nation at large. They would be proud of Mason and its progress on the issue of multiracial curriculum and student integration. Nevertheless, as is so often the theme of the modern day Black History Month, more work remains to be done. MICHAEL GRYBOSKI / COLUMNIST









FEB. 8


79-85 (L) [12-12]


FEB. 8


71-92 (L) [7-16]


FEB. 13


2-5 (L)


FEB. 14


86-79 (W) [13-12]


FEB. 14


71-67 (W) [8-16]






FEB. 18 7 P.M.


Patriot Center


FEB. 19 7 P.M.




FEB. 21 4 P.M.


Patriot Center

All men’s and women’s basketball games have a live audio stream available on Mason Cable Network will be streaming all home baseball, men’s volleyball and women’s lacrosse games this season. For more information, visit





Getting out of a rut The men’s basketball team have lost four of their last five games. The Patriots hope to rebound from their lackluster play on the continuation of this homestand against A-10 opponents Fordham and Rhode Island.


Spring forward All Mason spring sports will be active this week as women’s lacrosse begins their season in S.C. The baseball team continues their pre-season tournament play and men’s volleyball will host their first home game of the season on Feb. 20.


Women’s road trip Mason’s women’s basketball team will try to improve on their in-conference record when they travel to Saint Joseph’s and Saint Louis this week. The team is led by junior guard Taylor Brown who leads the A-10 in scoring with 22.5 points per game.

Feb. 16, 2015  

Volume 2, Issue 15

Feb. 16, 2015  

Volume 2, Issue 15