FOURTH ESTATE March 2, 2015 | Volume 2 Issue 17 George Mason University’s official student news outlet gmufourthestate.com | @IVEstate
The Makings of a Hit Green Machine receives state and national recognition | page 4 (AMY ROSE/FOURTH ESTATE)
INSIDE: NEWS / RAINY DAY / 9 • LIFESTYLE / CAMPUS REPS / 11 • OPINION / BIRTHRIGHT / 15
Crime Log Feb. 23 2015-004511 / Fondling Complainant (GMU) reported unwanted touching by an unknown male on Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 at approximately 8: 30 p.m. while exiting the first floor Dance Studio in the Johnson Center. Case referred to Investigations Unit. (33/Daniels) Johnson Center Dance Studio / Inactive / 8:30 p.m.
Feb. 25 2015-004921 / Intimidation / Bias Motivated Complainant (GMU) reported receiving threatening and derogatory messages from an unknown subject. Case referred to Investigations Unit. (24/Lee) Fairfax Campus / Pending / 3:28 p.m.
Feb. 25 2015-004942 / Domestic Dispute / Destruction/Damage / Vandalism of Property Complainant (GMU) reported a verbal altercation between two subjects (GMU) that resulted in property damage. Case referred to Office of Housing and Residential Life. (48/Bennett) Masonvale / Referred to OHRL / 5:25 p.m.
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(JOHANNAH TUBALADO/FOURTH ESTATE)
Adjunct faculty held a teach-in on Adjunct Dignity Day on Feb. 25 in Dewberry Hall.
POPULAR LAST WEEK 1
Student government removes member over tweets SG announced the removal of Storm Paglia, executive undersecretary for university services for dining services, after tweets he posted about undocumented people were deemed offensive.
Mason flexible housing program to be reviewed About 150 students took advantage of the new flexible housing program which allows all genders to live on campus together. This will be reviewed this year to decide whether changes need to be made.
Adjunct faculty hold “teach-in” for better treatment Students and faculty participated in a “teach-in” to spread awareness for better treatment of adjunct faculty members.
Letter from the EIC Last week I said we were approaching midnight on the doomsday clock that is my time as editor of this organization. This issue officially marks the halfway point, so maybe I was a little overzealous.
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I do need to make mention that because of spring break, Fourth Estate will be off for the next two weeks for a much deserved respite for my staff from dealing with me. I will take the two weeks to watch Spring Breakers in honor of the season and contemplate on the cruel existence that is my life after seeing that dress in white and gold first and now only seeing black and blue. To touch on something that made waves this week, let’s talk about tweets. If you haven’t read the story, go on our website and read about Storm Paglia, a Student Government member getting removed for remarks made on social media. Full disclosure: Storm works with me in student media as the general manager of WGMU Radio and has always been a good dude in my interactions with him. That said, the content of what he said was insensitive and not okay in my book. I think Storm’s counter arguments citing free speech and the need for open dialogues about political correctness do bear some merit.
I just do not agree with demeaning a marginalized population like undocumented citizens. Yes, Storm has the right to say whatever he wants on social media but with that freedom comes the consequences of what happens when you offend people. I feel that trying to have an open dialogue with Storm, Student Government and other relevant parties could have been a more productive means of learning the realities of wielding social media in today’s world. Some of the comments on Fourth Estate’s social media page were surprisingly productive given the nature of the topic. A lot of salient points were made in response to Storm’s comments and in defense of Storm. I think discussions like what Fourth Estate tries to foster in covering issues like this is what the school should step up and do. Talk and try to understand where viewpoints are coming from rather than jumping to actions that just try to quell outrage. HAU CHU | EDITOR-INCHIEF GMUFOURTHESTATE@ GMAIL.COM | @HAUCHU
Hau Chu Editor-In-Chief
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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
IV news Green Machine honored by Virginia General Assembly
they were doing it, it was rolling.” “[The recognition] felt well deserved because everyone puts in such an amazing amount of effort and everyone has a true passion for what they do in the band from clarinet to drums,” said freshman bassist Scott Miceli. “Doc Nix is one of the most enthusiastic, passionate people who could lead this band and makes Green Machine what it is. His assistant Jeremy Freer also does an amazing job at keeping things running.” Patrick Holloway, a junior guard on the men’s basketball team, is a big supporter of the group as well. “I think the Green Machine is a vital piece to the GMU atmosphere,” Holloway said. “They really get everyone hype for the game.” The Green Machine’s set list includes songs from artists such as Rage Against the Machine, Tupac, Kanye West, Aerosmith, Muse and many others. While Nickens says he is definitely honored with the recent recognition, he claims that it is not a measure of all things and he does not want to get out of control on how he thinks about it. “I’m very happy about it and it definitely lets me know that we’ve done our job of being a symbol for the university and being a strong advocate for education and a strong advocate for arts,” Nickens said. “We’re advocating by doing it.” Andrew Kerper, a junior saxophonist in the group, says that the ensemble no longer sees one other as bandmates, but more as a family.
(JOHANNAH TUBALADO/FOURTH ESTATE)
MELISSA MOORE | STAFF WRITER
Dr. Michael “Doc Nix” Nickens and the Green Machine have landed at number one on the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s High Five: Best Pep Bands list and were recently commended by the Virginia General Assembly. While playing before the biggest crowd of the season at this year’s homecoming game on Feb. 14, the group was recognized during a break and received a standing ovation from Patriots past and present in a fashion that had Doc Nix tearing up on the sideline. “I could’ve never predicted we could be honored like that,” Nickens said. “It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before.” The animated director connects the award to the bands uniqueness, high-quality shows, dynamite performers and the creative design and writing.
Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) had the group praised in Senate Resolution No. 94 offered on Feb. 11. According to the resolution, it is, “an expression of the Senate of Virginia’s admiration for the band’s work to pep up the athletes and fans of George Mason University and to represent one of the premier universities of the Commonwealth.” Nickens added that Petersen does a lot of work for the university and that the honor was Petersen’s idea. “One of his aides got in touch with me one day and told me they wanted to do it,” Nickens said. “Once they decided that
“We are all responsible for something in the band whether it’s collecting jerseys, taking attendance, and/or just being there for someone when they need help,” Kerper said. “It’s a collective mind that you don’t understand until you sit in our section of the Patriot Center and rock out with us.” Kerper also believes that the recognition goes beyond a title. “It’s not about the title for us, it’s about the fans and the school,” Kerper said. “We are all proud to be in the Green Machine and proud to serve our school.”
Task force combats high rates of human trafficking MADISON ANTUS | STAFF WRITER
According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, Virginia is one of the top five areas in the United States for human trafficking, and the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force has been working to end this trade. While the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task force has existed since 2004, they were not active until 2013 when they received a $1 million grant from the Department of Justice. “We have identified over 160 victims in the past 18 months, victims who otherwise would not have been offered services,” said Detective William Woolf, head of the Fairfax County Police Department Human Trafficking Unit. “It’s hard to give good numbers because we haven’t been tracking them for a long period of time.” In a recent presentation to parents of students in the Fairfax County School system, the success of the task force in its first year was broken down: the task force received 156 leads, offered 108 victims services, identified 261 victims, and identified 76 suspects. The task force has also discovered that 17% of the leads they receive are gang-related. Woolf describes the primary reason for the prevalence of trafficking in the Northern Virginia area - money. Fairfax County is one of the wealthiest counties in the United States, and it is because of this that many people were in disbelief when the underground human trafficking came to the attention of the public. Mason junior Michael Bamarni attended Oakton High School, and said that he was “shocked” when he found out about the problem last year. Although Bamarni graduated from Oakton High School in June 2012, he only just heard about the problem from friends last year. “I think many people believe that problems like this only occur in low socio-economic areas with
undereducated populations, and that is simply not true,” Woolf said.
with the FCPD should any future incidents be reported on campus.”
hour and a half of the area, which may make it easier to export the victims.”
Wolf stated that the second reason human trafficking has grown here has nothing to do with Fairfax County. One thing that human traffickers look for is young adults or children with low self esteem, and it is these potential victims that they approach, whether in person or online, and some victims have even been approached on the Metro.
Woolf said many of the victims that have come forward or are receiving services would not have been discovered had it not been for the “Just Ask” prevention campaign.
Woolf referred to human trafficking as the second largest criminal enterprise in the world, and the Northern Virginia area finds itself on a list with California, Texas, Florida and New York. Virginia is the state with the fifth highest number of reported cases of human trafficking, according the NHTRC. This organization works with the Polaris Project, which reviews the laws in each state that combat human trafficking and work to provide resources to victims and rates them annually.
“These are vulnerabilities that exist across all areas,” Woolf said. In January of 2014, the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force created a website to inform citizens of the Commonwealth about this problem. The “Just Ask” prevention project is a website that features information that defines human trafficking, who is most vulnerable, how to recognize signs of human trafficking and resources for victims. The website states that girls and boys between the ages of 12 and 19 are the targeted demographic, and Woolf added to this saying that the “peak age” of victims is from 16 to 17. Woolf said that they had not seen any specific cases of human trafficking on college campuses in the area. However, he said areas around college campuses are areas that are prone to sex trafficking, because there is a large client base surrounding the campuses. Mason Chief of Police Eric Heath corroborated this, saying that, “We have not seen this particular issue leak into the college environment, specifically here at Mason.” He added, “The Fairfax County Police Department’s task force dedicated to this issue has provided a great deal of education to all of the Northern Virginia area law enforcement agencies should they encounter this issue and Mason Police would work heavily
“Just Ask” defines teen sex trafficking as “the act of manipulating or forcing anyone under the age of 18 to engage in a sexual act in exchange for anything of value (money, drugs, food, shelter, clothes, etc.).” The site states that girls and boys between the ages of 12 and 19 are the targeted demographic, regardless of their race or
“I think many people believe that problems like this only occur in low socio-economic areas with undereducated populations, and that is simply not true,” Woolf said. socio-economic background. Rather, they look for teens that are exhibiting signs of psychological or emotional vulnerability, whether it in person or through social media. Sophomore Amanda Olsen graduated from Woodson High School in June 2013. “I never saw any evidence of human trafficking when I was in high school in Fairfax County, nor did I hear it discussed amongst students or faculty,” Olsen said. “I knew that human trafficking occurred, but I had no idea how prevalent the issue was until late 2014.” Olsen believes that one of the reasons that human trafficking has taken root in this area does have something to do with its geographical location. “I think part of the reason it has become so prevalent is our proximity to D.C.,” Olsen said. “There are two international airports within an
In 2014, Virginia received a grade of “D” from the Protected Innocence Challenge, and they explained why: “Virginia does not have a human trafficking or sex trafficking law. The abduction law is used to prosecute cases of sex trafficking; however, minors are not considered abduction victims unless they are subject to force, intimidation or deception and minor face delinquency charges for prostitution offenses.” According to the report made by the Polaris Project, potential offenders may be deterred by “felony penalties, sex offender registration and asset forfeiture for violations of commercial exploitation of a minor.” However, there are no laws to prevent or punish violators that exploit victims by manipulating them into human trafficking.
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news Students launch campaign to fund the DREAM
who was. For the Mason scholarship, the applicant must also have graduated from a Virginia high school and attend or plan to attend Mason. A description from the Indiegogo page says, “Through this campaign we hope to show the humanity, perseverance, and strength of DREAMers and the importance of supporting them. As an organization, we have created a grassroots movement led by students to create social change in society for the betterment of DREAMers and the communities we are a part of.”
(AMY PODRAZA/FOURTH ESTATE)
HAMNA AHMAD | STAFF WRITER
Mason DREAMers is currently raising money to fund a scholarship to help lessen the burden of high tuition costs for undocumented students. Through their campaign launched on Indiegogo, the Mason organization has raised over $1,000, or about 5% of their $25,000 goal. The process and guidelines for a scholarship specifically geared towards undocumented students does not currently exist at Mason, so the Mason DREAMers, with the aid of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Multicultural Education, searched within the community to find a partner to help support their goal, said Jennifer Crewalk, assistant director of ODIME. That partner turned out to be the Dream Project, a tax-exempt registered 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization in the state of Virginia, that supports, advocates for, and mentors undocumented students in the Commonwealth seeking higher education. Applicants of the Mason DREAMer scholarship will apply directly through the VA Dream Project’s website and
will be interviewed by a panel of Dream Project Board and local community members, but the funds will come from the Mason DREAMers online campaign. “The Dream Project [already] offers scholarships of $1,000 which scholars can reapply to each year. If we reach our goal of $25,000 and 25 George Mason bound students are selected for the Dream Project scholarship, then $1,000 will be awarded each of those 25 students,” said Dayana Torres, president of Mason DREAMers. In the case that the Mason DREAMers do not reach their goal of $25,000, the money raised will still go to the Dream Project who will then award as many scholarships as there are funds. Regardless of the amount, said Torres, all the money raised from the Indiegogo campaign will go to Mason students. Prospective recipients will be evaluated based on their academic achievement, leadership in the community, and perseverance. While the applicant need not be born outside of the United States, he or she must have at least one parent
The Indiegogo campaign offers three “perks” to donors: a thank you card, a feature on the Mason DREAMers website, and a Mason DREAMers t-shirt. Also on the website is a video made with the support of ODIME to illustrate the realities that undocumented students face, such as discovering their undocumented status or realizing that they cannot afford college without private scholarships. “Working with Mason DREAMers has been an amazing wake up call to the struggles our undocumented students face daily,” Crewalk said. “It has also made me aware of the privileges I had often taken for granted as a student and faculty administrator. Many DREAMers work incredibly hard to overcome continuous barriers that impede their studies.” In Virginia, undocumented students who are ineligible for President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Policy have the added obstacle of having to pay out-of-state tuition rates regardless of whether or not they would be granted traditional in-state residency status. This can make this cost of a higher education prohibitive. “Each year, more and more undocumented students are barred from accessing college. Many of my friends who are undocumented, who are brilliant scholars and want to come to college,
are barred because of their immigration status and financial barriers,” said Rodrigo Velasquez, a member of Mason DREAMers and one of the organizers of the scholarship. DREAMers derive their name from the acronym for the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act first introduced to Congress in 2001. Organizations for the advancement of undocumented students exist not only around Virginia, but also across the nation, and they advocate for the passage of legislation such as the DREAM Act and its counterparts on the state level. In Virginia, the focus is on Attorney General Mark Herring’s directive allowing certain undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates. Within the Commonwealth, Mason is unique in that it is the only Virginia university that offers need-based financial aid to undocumented students, treating them like international students. The University of Virginia allows undocumented students to apply to merit based scholarships, while the College of William and Mary only allows undocumented students to use private loans. According to a publication on the UVA website, both those schools and many others in Virginia place blocks on a student’s enrollment after learning of their undocumented status. Crewalk described the dismay many undocumented students feel, after working hard in high school, of not getting response from universities after disclosing their illegal status. Mason, she says, offers hope. “Imagine that someone at Mason does respond. Imagine being given access and connections to other students and administrators who are willing to hear your story and support you in your dream of college,” Crewalk said. “Imagine you are able to apply to several scholarships because someone believed in your ability along with you.”
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New app will allow students to order food from class JACOB RUPE | STAFF WRITER
Door busting lines at the new Panera Bread and Starbucks may be familiar sights, but George Mason University is introducing Tapingo, an app that aims “to create a world with no lines.” Tapingo uses a mobile platform to allow users to place an order from anywhere. A user opens the app on their phone, chooses a restaurant to pick up from or deliver, selects options in an online menu, selects a payment method which includes campus options like Mason-money, and then is notified when his or her food is ready. Tapingo, founded in 2012, is currently used at 25 universities to reduce lines and increase sales. Tapingo’s home website claims to boost sales at universities by 17% and save 8 days waiting in line per student. According to Mark Kraner, executive director of Campus Retail Operations, Tapingo will be available at both Starbucks, all three Einstein’s, Chick-fil-A, Taco-bell, Auntie Anne’s, Subway and the Rathskeller. Manhattan Pizza may also add the delivery option. “We are now shooting for March 1st [and] there will be a marketing push to let the population know about the program,” Kraner said. As with any new technology there may be unforeseen issues. Chico State’s student media outlet, The Orion, says Tapingo is “getting food out faster for students but backing up services inside the dining area, according to students who don’t use the app.” Sabrina Sing, an NYU student quoted in the NYU student media outlet Washington Square News says she won’t use
(AMY PODRAZA/FOURTH ESTATE)
Tapingo because she appreciates the ability to become familiar with restaurant workers The effectiveness of Tapingo could have serious impact on what restaurants find their way on campus in the coming years. Long lines can prevent popular concepts from finding their way into the Johnson Center, but fast-casual restaurants have grown in popularity. Forbes magazine wrote the growth of fast-casual is most popular
among ages 18-34. Fast-casual restaurants are generally acknowledged to be a level above quick service restaurant chains like McDonald’s, but below casual sit down dining restaurants, according to Lea Davis with QSR Magazine. Examples of fast casual restaurants include Panera, Chipotle, Noodle and Company, Five Guys and Sweet Greens. On campus we have Panera, Manhattan, Panda-Express and Einstein’s. “Fast Casual is a little bit slower than fast food. You only have fifteen minutes [between classes] — fifteen minutes every hour to serve you,” said Kraner. The Economist gives the following four reasons for fast-casual success in the market place: the promise of fresh food, a higher ability to customize order, “clever pricing” that increases sales revenue around 40% per transaction, and the distinctive personality of each franchise. Market research firm Mintel, quoted in The Economist, says combined fast-casual sales have outpaced fast food chains at 4.4%. Mason Dining is looking at
fast-casual concepts for campus venues. Kraner said one restaurant being considered is Garbanzo, a Mediterranean concept. Garbanzo’s website menu offers food in the form of wraps, pitas, plates, gyro, kabobs and salads. Their menu is advertised as mostly gluten free. Though long lines may have an effect, the university calendar also effects which restaurants choose to serve on campus. For example, after December there are two weeks when everything is closed and another two weeks of minimal sales. “From May 15 to August 15, we do about forty percent of what we do during the year. When they talk to stock holders and they have a company that’s yo-yoing…They don’t like the non-traditional market,” Kraner said. Kraner said Mason has been talking with Chipotle for five years but they refuse to come on campus because of the university calendar. “If it’s hot on the street 9 times out of ten they won’t come to a nontraditional market until they saturate the market place out on the street,” Kraner said. Many brands that do not want to enter the non-traditional market will place themselves at the border of college campus and rely on the street presence to sustain them during the off portions of the university calendar. Panera at Mason is the first of its chain to operate completely on a college campus. “We are the first one for Panera that’s totally campus based,” Kraner said.
Teach for America struggles to find recruits
(CLAIRE CECIL/FOURTH ESTATE)
NATALIA KOLENKO | STAFF WRITER
The organization Teach For America has been struggling to recruit new teachers for the 2015 corps, and with a strengthening economy the number of Mason applications could soon go down too. “With one recruitment deadline left to go, we have received 36,000 applications for the 2015 corps,” said Dana Cronyn, the director of communications for Teach For America via email. “While this large applicant pool is exciting, it is slightly down from last year. More concerning, this number is not on pace to meet the growing need for diverse teaching talent across our partner communities and regions.” Teach For America’s Facebook page describes the organization as the national corps of top recent college graduates who commit to teach for at least two years in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to expand educational opportunity. Their mission is to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting the nation’s most promising future leaders in the effort. Cronyn also said the reason there has been a decline in applications in the last recruiting year is due to the improving economy. She said many undergraduate and graduate teacher training programs are seeing their enrollments decline and many of TFA’s partners are also seeing applicants go for alternative certification programs or post grad service opportunities. “We know that decline in enrollment in education schools and interest in education in general has the potential to have a serious, negative impact on students,” Cronyn said. “The demand for great teachers is tremendous and there’s still time for GMU students to be part of the solution.” In a recent article, the Washington Post said that interest in Teach for America increased rapidly during the financial crisis and the following recession, as many school districts were laying off staff in large numbers. The article said that TFA, with its two-year commitment, likely was an attractive option to prospective teachers unsure of whether it would be wise to invest their time and money in earning a conventional teaching credential, given the
weak labor market. The articled went on to say that because the economy has been improving and headlines about layoffs in school districts have become less frequent, TFA may increasingly lose this aspect of its appeal.
The Washington Post stated, “The program’s critics say it doesn’t train its recruits adequately. They say that since Teach for America recruits only commits teachers to two years of teaching, it undermines the idea that teaching is a profession and a career.”
Cronyn said that as of right now, TFA has not seen a decline in applications from Mason. She said TFA’s recruitment efforts at Mason are still relatively new and they are excited to continue to grow and expand their efforts on campus.
“TFA does face a lot of criticism in regards to the training teachers receive,” Washington said. “Training for the summer is given for 5 weeks, which isn’t a lot of time [but] throughout the academic year, several workshops are held and resources are constantly being given to new teachers to guide them in their first year of teaching.”
“George Mason students are passionate about their community and understand the impact of educational inequity, making them strong applicants and future teachers. There are more than 45 GMU graduates who are either current corps members or alumni of Teach For America,” Cronyn said. “Several members of the class of 2015 have been admitted to our program [and] we’re excited to see what they accomplish with their students next year.” Cherelle Washington is one of the 45 Mason graduates who currently work for TFA. A graduate of the 2014 class, Washington is a TFA corp member who teaches fourth grade in Halifax, North Carolina. She said that as a teacher and new resident of the area, it is her goal to build a relationship with her student’s families, as well as the communities in which they live. “Working for TFA has not been easy. It has been one of the toughest experiences I’ve ever endured, but I’ve learned so much as I have worked in this rural area,” Washington said. “It is also amazing to see how so many of my peers are invested in their students and their well-being.” Cronyn said TFA seeks professionals and recent graduates from a wide variety of backgrounds and career interests who have a bachelor’s degree, a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA, and have demonstrated a commitment to social justice and the leadership necessary to teach successfully. She went on to say that their current corps members represent more than 800 colleges and universities. Declining application rates is not Teach For America’s only problem. Critics say that TFA does an inadequate job of training and preparing young teachers for the reality that is teaching students in disadvantaged schools.
Cronyn’s response to the critics was that stories of TFA’s students and the results they see in their classrooms affirms their approach, but, she said, she knows TFA must keep getting better to ensure that the students in their classrooms today are the leaders of tomorrow. She goes on to say that a growing body of research says that Teach For America corps members are as effective as, and in some cases more effective, than other teachers. “A 2013 study by the U.S. Department of Education and Mathematica Policy Research found that Teach For America teachers are more effective than novice and veteran teachers from traditional, or what the researchers termed less-selective alternative-certification, programs,” Cronyn said. “On average, students taught by Teach For America teachers showed an additional 2.6 months of learning in math over the course of a year.” Washington points out that TFA is not for everyone. She said applicants must consider their “why” when considering TFA as possible career. She goes on to say that if an applicant’s “why” isn’t something that truly resonates with their character and what TFA stands for, then TFA isn’t for them, especially since teaching at disadvantaged schools is no easy task. “Within your TFA school, you are more inclined to impact not only the children you teach, but the community in which you live. The people of the community are truly counting on you because most of the other teachers have given up on them,” Washington said. “If giving back to the community is your passion, if working with children is something you love, I would recommend you applying to TFA because that is what the organization is all about.”
Rainy day funds lead to sunnier times, Mercatus study concludes from the existing literature. Mitchell and Stansel measured spending using “the average of the percentage increase of decrease in spending by each state each year,” according to their paper. The economics professors had two hypotheses. First, that they would find a positive relationship between fiscal stress and certain national factors such as unemployment, federal aid and the Consumer Price Index.
Their second hypothesis was that the decisions of politicians - i.e. government spending - would have a significant relationship with fiscal stress. “Our alternative hypothesis was, well, maybe it’s more about what the politicians themselves do, so we included a measure of spending growth,” Stansel said. According to Stansel, Mitchell and he reached similar conclusions in an earlier paper.
“[We hypothesized] there would be some sort of relationship here between these external factors and what we call fiscal stress,” Stansel said.
“David Mitchell and I did a paper on this a couple of years ago where we were looking at the 2001 recession, and you get the same idea happening,” Stansel said.
According to Stansel, the majority of the public believes that these and other factors outside of the states’ control are what usually cause recessions. “The discussion revolves around external influences and how the economy is down and how the federal government is cutting aid to states, and that sort of thing,” Stansel said.
In the conclusion of their paper, Stansel and Mitchell wrote that their findings have “relevance for contemporary public policy issues. It supports the idea that wise stewardship of budgetary resources, in the form of a rainy day fund when the economy is expanding, is an important strategy for minimizing fiscal stress when the business cycle turns downward.”
The paper found the relationship between those factors and fiscal stress to be statistically insignificant.
Recovering from the aforementioned budget shortfall, the General Assembly recently allocated money for the state’s rainy day fund.
ELLEN GLICKMAN | PRINT NEWS EDITOR
“We found no significant relationship between those external factors, like say the unemployment rate as a measure of the economy, and federal aid to the states,” Stansel said.
In late January, the Mercatus Center released a research paper that supported a recent financial move made by Mason administration - adding to rainy day funds.
“Personal income, union membership, and Medicaid spending growth are not statistically significant factors in those models. Union membership is not statistically significant in any of our
House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) said in a statement that Virginia’s new budget plan “wisely includes a rainy-day fund pre-payment.” The Washington Post reported this payment to be $129.5 million.
The working paper, called “State Fiscal Crises: States’ Abilities to Withstand Recessions,” was written by Drs. David Mitchell and Dean Stansel of the University of Central Arkansas and Florida Gulf Coast University, respectively.
models,” the study concluded.
(LAURA BAKER/FOURTH ESTATE)
Recently, Virginia faced a budget shortfall of $2.4 billion dollars for fiscal years 2015 and 2016. Institutions of higher education were required to return $100 million for fiscal year 2015, and Mason returned $4.7 million. In addition to the state required cuts, Mason cut an additional $4.7 million to start two rainy day funds, one for the state, and one for the university. Currently, it is fiscal year 2015, and, according to the Washington Post, tax revenue has increased enough during this fiscal year that more cuts will not be necessary during 2016. Originally, the state expected to cut an additional $272 million. The paper by Mitchell and Stansel analyzed the relationship between states’ fiscal stress and the size of their rainy day funds using 18 years of data provided from government resources, like the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Association of State Budget Officers, among others. Mitchell and Stansel found there was a consistent “negative relationship between the size of your rainy day fund and the level of stress, fiscal stress,” Stansel said. They also found a positive relationship between government spending and fiscal stress. “You have smaller problems if you have a big rainy day fund, then similarly you have bigger problems if you have bigger spending increases in the past,” Stansel said. In the context of this study, fiscal stress is the amount the government expects to spend per person minus how much it actually spends, plus tax revenue. Stansel said they borrowed this definition
Stansel said these funds can be useful tools for universities, especially with decreasing contributions from the state.
Stansel said, however, that this is not always the case.
“Other universities at other states have seen a reduction in state aid,” Stansel said. “We’ve seen it here, and it’s kind of a mass nationwide trend.”
“I think most people probably believe that is true and also, really, it’s kind of common sense,” Stansel said.
He said Mason made a good decision with the creation of its two rainy day funds.
“You tend not to have budget shortfalls when the economy is doing well so it’s not to say it [external factors] doesn’t matter,”
“I think the university should be applauded for good fiscal stewardship and conserving resources for crises,” Stansel said.
Stansel said. “But the whole method of economic analysis is that we collect data on all sorts of factors that can affect our dependent variable, in this case the fiscal stress thing, and then we let the statistical analysis decide how important each factor is.” Stansel pointed to the range in size of shortfalls as evidence that other factors have little effect. “Every state was going through a recession, but not every state was California or New York with these huge, multi-billion dollar shortfalls,” Stansel said. Stansel also said the withdraw rules for rainy day funds are important factors in their effectiveness. “In some cases it is very hard to withdraw money from the rainy day fund, which is a good thing, right?” Stansel said. “You only want to use it for emergencies, but in other cases, if it’s real easy, and they can pull from it for just to pay for everyday spending.” Data provided by Dr. Dean Stansel
(ELLEN GLICKMAN/FOURTH ESTATE)
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
#GMU “Mason coughs up another 2d half lead to 7-16 Fordham. Paul Hewitt watches fans, his job slipping out the door. #GMU”
@stateofnova Tom Jackman
“I get to write a paper on something I know literally everything about: Dragons! I love you, GMU Honors College.”
(JOHANNAH TUBALADO/FOURTH ESTATE)
Mason students take advantage of the snow fall.
“#GMU prepared me for porfessional life with cutting-edge training from respoected, award-winnng professors. I brag about them regularly.”
@GeorgeMasonU George Mason Univ
“Happy snowday #Masonnation! In between Building forts and snow friends today, you should sign up for RELAY @relayforlife.org/gmuva”
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George Takei has prospered, but still has lots of living to do
Fourth Estate had the chance to speak with George Takei. In the interview he discussed his family, his work with LGBTQ rights and his thoughts on the “Star Trek” reboots.
Student tweets on Hollywood’s biggest night Love the Oscars or hate them, Mason students share their thoughts over Twitter..
A look at the making of “In the Next Room” Even if you missed “In the Next Room” over the weekend, check out our video and article on how the conflict of the Victorian age continues to be an issue and what it took for women to get dressed.
Representing what you love on campus SAVANNAH NORTON | PRINT LIFESTYLE EDITOR
Some students at Mason have taken a different approach to the traditional part-time job. Instead of taking people’s food orders, restocking shelf items or answering phones at a desk, they are spreading awareness of something they are passionate about. Campus Reps are students who market a company around a university. We have a great amount of them all around the Mason community. Students often complain how they do not have enough time in the day to work full-time and be a full-time student. Campus reps are an easy solution. They work hard to spread awareness of their chosen company, while doing something they love. These rep opportunities have the experience of an internship with less of a commitment. Reps are still required to keep in contact with their employers but only have to take a couple hours out of the week to complete the assigned tasks. It is also a good source for networking. According to USA Today, some of the most popular campus rep jobs on university campus’ right now are Redbull, Rockstar Energy, Apple, Chipotle, Victoria’s Secret PINK and Bobble. VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK
from all of the other schools, share our ideas and even have a Q&A session with PINK’s CEO.” She enjoys the events that she and other PINK reps put on throughout the school year. “You put so much work and effort into planning these events that when they actually happen and you see how excited and pumped these girls get, it’s a great feeling. Their happiness and excitement is such a great bonus to the hard work we do to host these events,” she said. Gray admits the hardest part of being a rep is being a part of a group on campus that isn’t recognized as a student organization. This is because they weren’t founded on campus and are with a big name company. “Booking space and finding places to host our events has been difficult and disappointing when a spot falls through,” Gray said. SERENGETEE Senior and government major Raul Rodrigo Rojas-Viveros and Catriona Gates, a sophomore majoring in Community Health, are campus reps for a company called Serengetee. It is a social business that sells clothing with fabrics from around the world. A percentage of the money you use to buy their clothing goes back to the country where the fabric came from. Rojas-Viveros has been a rep since the start of the spring semester and Gates has been a rep since they were founded in 2012.
Kelsi Gray poses with Haley McComber at the PINK Back to School Bash. Junior and music major, Kelsi Gray, has been a campus rep for Victoria’s Secret PINK for a year now. “I found out about this as a freshman two years ago when girls were trying to get PINK on campus by a vote off in Pink Nation,” Gray said. “Then the reps came on campus and I was volunteering under them last year.” Those reps encouraged her to apply to be a rep for this school year and she earned her position. Gray spreads the word about her brand on campus mostly through social media “We also try and do a lot of face to face awareness by giving out small things like hair-ties and small PINK booklets that have seasonal coupons in them,” she said.
Ashley Fitzgerald “You’re going to spend a lot of time thinking and talking about it,” Gates said. “You aren’t going to represent it well if you aren’t passionate about it yourself.” TAALUMA TOTES
“We participate in contests on Facebook and Instagram and hand out fliers to spread the word about the company,” Gates said. “We also are each responsible for creating a project at the end of the semester. It can be anything we want as long as it supports the organization.”
Sophomore and English major, Jess Buckley has been a campus rep for Taaluma Totes for about a year. Taaluma Totes is a company that makes book bags out of fabrics and sustainable materials from around the world. Once the bags are sold, some of the proceeds are given back to those in need in the originating country.
Being a campus rep also comes along with some freebies.
“Taaluma’s tagline is ‘carry a country’. Think TOMS, but with backpacks,” Buckley said.
“The most fun part is meeting the other reps from around the country and getting free products and discounts from Serengetee,” Rojas- Viveros said. “Every rep gets a rep package that has various products in it as well as we get discounts for ourselves and our friends.”
Jess participated in an event last year called “Tagging.” the Taaluma reps and Buckley left fabric wristbands and Taaluma’s business card with their rep codes (discount codes) around in public campus areas.
Serengetee reps are given a 15% discount that can be given out to people for when they make a purchase.
“It was a cool way to get involved on campus in a visible way,” she said.
Gates says that the hardest part of being a campus rep is that you have to talk to a great amount of people.
She admits that the hardest part about being a campus rep is the organization and time commitment it takes.
“Sometimes they really don’t have the time or want to listen to what you have to say,” Gates said. On the contrary, the most fun part for her is being creative with the different contests they hold. She also loves when she tells people about the product and they are just as excited as she is about the brand.
“A lot of the events/distributing of information involved with being a campus rep quite often has to be approved by certain administration on campus,” Buckley said.
Rojas- Viveros says this job teaches you how important social media plays a part nowadays in marketing products. That is even how he found out about the job, from an advertisement through Facebook.
Her campus rep position has taught her time management skills. “Being a campus rep can be quite a commitment, especially if you’re involved with other things on or off campus,” she said.
Being a campus rep teaches you how to interact with people and the amount of work that goes into marketing a product.
Her favorite event she has done so far as a campus rep attending brand training.
“It is really true that the more you put into something, the more you’ll get out of it,” Gates said.
“It’s in August before school starts and it’s a three day trip to PINK’s headquarters,” Gray said. “We got to meet all of the reps
Her advice for future campus reps out there is to make sure that it is a brand that is really important to you.
The way Buckley’s company pays her back is commission based with her rep code.
Buckley’s advice for future campus reps is, “do your research! Find out what company you would like to do, what your benefits would be and most importantly, have fun with it! A campus rep is someone who believes in the company and wants to spread the word about the company to others, and would be happy to represent that brand on their particular campus,” said Buckley.
Professor uses life expereince to empower youth “But I just never was connected with myself, and I never really understood how to take care of myself or what I needed.” When Hall entered college, he still did not really know how to take care of himself. In the first couple of years, he turned to alcohol and partying because he thought those were the correct things to do based on the actions of students around him. “My depression got so bad and I suffered from suicidal thoughts,” Hall said. “And at one point I didn’t know who I was and I hated my life so much and I was so tired of not being me, that I wanted to take my life.”
KELSEY DAVIDSON & ASHER ACKMAN | STAFF WRITERS
There are few teachers that invest so much of themselves into their student’s well-being. Donovan Hall is a graduate teaching assistant at George Mason University looking for ways to improve kid’s lives from kindergarten to college freshmen. “I am passionate about empowering youth to see the potential in themselves,” Hall said. “I think it is really important to teach students of all age to seek self-approval before seeking approval from others.” Hall currently teaches a Cornerstones LLC class and children’s acting classes for the company Acting for Young People. “I think it has [made] my future more clear, like, I’m more motivated to do what I want to do. I’m more aware of my strengths and my passions,” Jacqueline Reed, cornerstone student and communication major, said. “The classroom setting is very open-ended because there is a lot of people coming from different backgrounds and perspectives on life, so leaving it open ended and leaving the class kind of having an underlying theme of being very optimistic and very motivated to do what they want to do.” Hall uses his theatre practices to try to empower the current freshman students as they transition into college. “I think what the main purpose of this class is for each individual person to be able to grow into themselves,” Tana McDonald, Criminology Major and Cornerstone student, said. “And to hopefully find a piece of who they are in the end of the class.” From a very early age, Hall felt like he needed to be perfect for his mother. He was the one that always got good grades, he was first chair viola and he was the one that would go party with his friends, like a normal student. He also had depression. “I did all of those things that you were supposed to do,” Hall says.
In the future, he said that he would like to do more research into positive psychology and children. However, in the immediate future his “big plan is to be happy” and
“I am passionate about empowering youth to see the potential in themselves,” Hall said. “I think it is really important to teach students of all age to seek self-approval before seeking approval from others.” -Donovan Hall
However, Hall says that he got a wake up call.
(COURTESY OF DONOVAN HALL)
still learn a lot from them.”
“One of my friends committed suicide before I had planned on doing it and I got a really big wake up call and I saw the hurt and the pain and the confusion that my friends were going through without them knowing that I was going through the same thing,” Hall said.
Graduate Teaching Assistant walk his dog and “find love and all those things that I’ve put aside for all these years to make other people happy.”
Hall began reading books on positivity and gratitude. Then he that there was a need to to teach this to others, and thus he decided to fill that gap. “Kids are hurting themselves, they’re hurting other kids. They’re killing themselves at an earlier and earlier age because we’re just bombarded with so much information on what we’re supposed to be and who we’re supposed to be,” Hall said. “And none of that revolves around you finding that out for yourself or you really taking the time to get to know ‘Why does this upset me? Why does this make me happy? What are the things I love in life? What are the things I want to turn away from?’” That’s when he came up with the idea for a children’s book. Along with the books, Hall is designing positivity curriculums for students of all ages. He is currently experimenting with some of the activities for college students. Reed explains that “these activities, though they are so simple and intended for a different audience, he still uses them and we
Donovan Hall and the photographer’s son, who has been his student for two and a half years, posing for a picture.
(WALTER MARTINEZ/FOURTH ESTATE)
Harper Lee sequel draws conflicting opinions
(AMY ROSE/FOURTH ESTATE)
BARBARA BROPHY | STAFF WRITER
George Mason Univeristy faculty and students are conflicted over the upcoming publication of Harper Lee’s unanticipated sequel to “To Kill a Mockingbird”, ”Go Set a Watchman,” to be released by HarperCollins in mid-July. Set 20 years after the events of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Go Set a Watchman” follows an adult Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, the child protagonist of TKAM, as she returns to her hometown, Maycomb County, Ala., the fictional town where the first book is set, to visit her father, Atticus Finch. After living in New York City for several years, Scout is forced to grapple with the heated racial tensions of the American South in the 1950’s and to reflect on her relationship both with her father and Maycomb. Although the events of the novel take place after those of TKAM, “Go Set a Watchman” was written first. “In the mid-1950s, I completed a novel called ‘Go Set a Watchman,’ “ Lee said in a press release earlier this month, “It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman, and I thought it a pretty decent effort. My editor, who was taken by the flashbacks to Scout’s childhood, persuaded me to write a novel (what became ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’) from the point of view of the young Scout. I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told.” Published in 1960, “To Kill a Mockingbird” was an overnight
success, winning the Pulitzer Prize and earning an enduring spot on high school reading lists, while “Go Set A Watchman” remained hidden from public view. Over fifty years later, however, Lee’s attorney, Sonja Carter, discovered the manuscript among the author’s belongings. “I hadn’t realized it [the original book] had survived, so was surprised and delighted when . . . Carter discovered it,” Lee said. “After much thought and hesitation, I shared it with a handful of people I trust and was pleased to hear that they considered it worthy of publication. I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years.” Earlier this month, Mason students were initially thrilled when HarperCollins announced its plans to release the book this summer. “I was super excited to hear about it, especially because ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is the only book she’s [Lee’s] published,” Junior, Emily Hunt said. “It’s also really cool that Lee wrote ‘Go Set a Watchman’ before she wrote ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ even though it’s set after ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ I am excited to read them in the order she wrote them.” “I am personally very excited about Harper Lee’s new book, as ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ . . . has always stood out to me,” Sophomore Amy Glen said. “It will be interesting to learn more about Maycomb and how it has evolved.” However, controversy surrounding Lee’s possible lack of
jurisdiction over the release of her latest novel surfaced soon after HarperCollins revealed its plans for publication. Several residents of Lee’s hometown, Monroeville, Ala., worry that the 88-year-old author, who suffered a stroke in 2007, may no longer possess the necessary cognitive abilities to make informed decisions. Many fear that Lee, who has previously sought to avoid publicity, would not have chosen to release Watchman had she been in a clearer frame of mind. There are also concerns that her attorney, Sonja Carter, may be pressing the book’s publication for her own benefit. “I wonder what is behind this decision,” Roger Lathbury, professor of American Literature at Mason, said. “I hope she [Lee] isn’t being taken advantage of, persuaded to release something better judgment would withhold.” Yet it remains unclear whether Lee has been coerced. In a recent article in The New York Times, Carter, who is Lee’s spokeswoman, complained that Lee has been “extremely hurt and humiliated” by the accusations against her mental capacity. At this point, many Mason students and faculty members believe a deeper examination of the unclear circumstances surrounding “Go Set A Watchman” is needed before the book can hit the shelves this July. “If there is a chance that Lee doesn’t want the novel published, HarperCollins should investigate more thoroughly before publishing,” Emily Hunt said.
The price tag of birthright It’s February and promotion and recruiting for Taglit-Birthright trips to Israel is in full swing on campus. “Birthright” trips, which provide Jewish youth between the ages of 18-26 with an all expense-paid trip to the state of Israel, are advertised as “connecting Jewish students to their Jewish journey and identities, to Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, and, upon return, to their Jewish communities.” The funding for the trip comes from private individuals, the government of Israel and various Jewish organizations worldwide. Fourth Estate recently published an article entitled “What it means for Jews to go on Birthright.” I have to say, I’m disappointed in the completely uncritical approach the article took in profiling such a heavily politicized trip. The trip has been marketed at Mason (both online and on posters in the Johnson Center) as a “free” trip of a lifetime. While on the trip, participants will visit significant cultural/religious sites such as the holy sites in Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, Massada and various other activities such as spending a night on a Kibbutz, with a Bedouin community, and a night in Tel Aviv. Birthright is one of the greatest propaganda trips in existence. The itinerary unassuming North American participants will experience there is equal parts fun, equal parts religious and equal parts nationalist, and when you combine that with the fact that it’s all paid for, it’s little surprise that participants return to the U.S. believing in the dominant narrative surrounding Israel: that it’s a “beacon” of democracy, hope, light and whatever else it’s been described as in American discourse surrounding a state built on ethnic cleansing, settler-colonialism and, frankly, genocide. I’m not going to address the obvious problem with conflating North American Jews with a nation-state only in existence since 1948 since it’s already been done by many American Jews. But I’d like to address what Birthright participants won’t see in their time in Israel. Participants will likely visit the beautiful old city of Jerusalem, which is home to religious and cultural sites sacred to all three major Abrahamic faiths. They’ll visit the Western Wall, holy site to Jews around the world. They’ll likely walk through the Armenian Quarter, have falafel under an ancient arch, and hear church bells and the adhan in tandem. What they won’t see is Israel’s desecration of the Noble Sanctuary this past summer, when the Aqsa Mosque, third most holy site to Muslims, was stormed by soldiers of the Israel Defense
Forces who let loose tear gas canisters and what sound like small explosives. On my trip to the region this summer on Mason’s Israel-Palestine summer internship program, access to the mosque for Friday prayers was restricted only to women and men over 50, week after week during the holiest month on the Islamic calendar, Ramadan. Participants may visit the breathtaking Church of Holy Sepulchre and be told that Israel is the only safe place in the Middle East for Christians, but they won’t be told of the vandalism of churches across the country with graffiti such as “Jesus was the son of a whore” and “we will crucify you” in Hebrew. This extreme religious nationalism is inspired by the politicians of the same government that funds Birthright trips. They won’t be told that the indigenous Palestinian Christians of the region deeply suffer the effects of military occupation and settler-colonialism and were even prevented from seeing Pope Francis on his visit to Jerusalem. Birthright participants might visit the beautiful Golan Heights, Syrian territory occupied and annexed by Israel since 1967, a move condemned by the United Nations and not recognized by the United States. They might catch sight of distant Lebanese villages while in the Golan, and likely won’t be reminded of Israel’s occupation of south Lebanon for over 15 years nor its many multiple military operations in the area. It should go against decent human sensibilities to visit a region and ignore its politics, the bloodshed one’s tax dollars have been responsible for and the ways in which the human suffering continues to this day. It is almost impossible to visit Berlin and not be reminded of the evil that extreme German nationalism was once responsible for. When we think of South Africa, beautiful coastlines come to mind, but so does apartheid. The American cities of Montgomery, Birmingham, Little Rock and Selma all mean something to Americans beyond sleepy oak trees and soul food. Likewise, separating Jerusalem from its politics is a distinctly political act. Engineering and promoting a program which ignores the harsh realities of half of the people living in a region (meaning Palestinians living both within the state of Israel as well as those in the Occupied Territories) and focuses almost entirely on the experiences of the those privileged by law (Israeli Jews both within Israel proper and in the Occupied Territories) is a starkly political act which aims to distort the perceptions of North American visitors to this region. Propaganda is defined as “the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve
a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.” As mentioned earlier, TaglitBirthright’s mission includes the statement that “the experience of a trip to Israel is a building block of Jewish identity...we can strengthen bonds with the land and people of Israel…” This ingenious program is carefully constructed so as to create the idea of Israel as a warm paradise next to the Mediterranean, with neighbors who hate it solely for what it represents, rather than for what it’s been built on or what it continues to do to this day. Participants leave the country having never visited a refugee camp, or seen the elderly and mothers with children attempt to pass through a dehumanizing checkpoint, or without facing any harassment at the airport (that anyone of dark skin is almost guaranteed to face). At its core, what Taglit-Birthright’s mission statement says that the purpose of the program is to indoctrinate non-Israeli Jews with the notion that they possess an inherent and exclusive claim to the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. There are, of course, many students on campus also with a “birthright” claim to their ancestral homeland, meaning the homeland that their grandparents were forcibly expelled from, and a homeland to which they are not welcome by law. These students are not welcome on Birthright trips to Israel, and in fact, Palestinian students at Loyola University Chicago were subject to probation after attempting to register for the trip. One does not need to be Palestinian to see this stark and gross injustice.
it was written, “Mason Hillel director Ross Diamond says that Hillel’s role on campus is ‘to inspire Jewish students to be engaged in learning about Israel.’ Hillel is not exclusive however, and non-Jewish students are more than welcome to attend their programs.” Although there is no doubt that Hillel provides a valuable community for Jewish students, as well as organizing valuable events, sometimes in collaboration with other organizations, its professed emphasis on the importance of the state of Israel is alienating and makes it a distinctly political group on campus advocating for a very clear agenda. Hillel’s rigid politics have prompted some students the American Jewish community to establish the Open Hillel movement, which led a conference last October for the purpose of fostering dialogue within the Jewish diaspora community about the politics of Israel. As a non-Jew and a non-Palestinian, my stake in this issue is that I find it impossible to remain silent while a racist and genocidal state provides free trips to North Americans, while my Palestinian friends - both in the United States and in the Occupied Territories - are barred by law from entering Israel proper. The promotion of Birthright on campus is an almost uncontested facilitation of this injustice, and if nothing else, I hope Mason students find it in themselves to challenge the narrative, for the sake of their Palestinian classmates. SUHAIB KHAN / COLUMNIST
In a recent article published in Fourth Estate
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PHOTO OF THE WEEK
63-76 (L) [8-19]
55-79 (L) [13-15]
MOUNT SAINT MARY’S
78-50 (W) [9-19]
THE WEEK AHEAD HOW TO WATCH
MARCH 4 5 P.M.
MARCH 4 7 P.M.
NEW YORK TECH
George Mason Stadium
All men’s and women’s basketball games have a live audio stream available on wgmuradio.com Mason Cable Network will be streaming all home baseball, men’s volleyball and women’s lacrosse games this season. For more information, visit masoncablenetwork.com
(CLAIRE CECIL/FOURTH ESTATE)
Mason women’s basketball team hosted senior night against Fordham on Feb. 25 to honor the graduating members of the team.
UPCOMING IN SPORTS
Reigniting rivalry The men’s basketball team will close their season series with George Washington on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Patriot Center. In their visit to D.C., the Patriots lost 53-63. This will be a continuation of Mason’s ongoing Revolutionary Rivalry with GW.
Conference tournament On Wednesday, the women’s basketball team will travel to Richmond, Va. for the Atlantic 10 Tournament. The Patriots hold the 12th seed in the tournament and will likely have a play-in game against UMass on Wednesday afternoon at 4:30 p.m.
Mason Invitational Cornell University’s and Iona University’s softball teams will come to Fairfax on March 6 for a weekend tournament at the softball stadium. The Patriots were selected in the pre-season to finish seventh in the A-10 out of 10 teams.