FOURTH ESTATE Mar. 24, 2014 | Volume 1 Issue 19 George Mason Universityâ€™s official student news outlet
ENTER THE PROVOST CHAMBER David Wu selected as new provost | page 4
(AMY PODRAZA/FOURTH ESTATE)
letter from the EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Fourth Estate is back to cram news around campus in your face. The two weeks away without seeing my words and face splayed on the front ﬂap of the issue were, I’m sure, as big a thrill to you as they were to me. Hopefully everyone had a fun, relaxing spring break that didn’t involve encountering any rapper named Alien who has lots of things to show to you in addition to being adept at playing Britney Spears’ “Everytime” on a grand piano. I promised you in the first couple of these letters -read: cries for help -- that this semester you would see some changes across the organization in terms of visual aesthetics. Keen observers and readers of the weekly have noticed some of the more subtle changes to the font and overall design layout. What I’m using part of this space to shill for though is to go and check out gmufourthestate.com right as soon as you put down this paper. It’s really a marked improvement on our old website, and is more in line with the present and future vision for Fourth Estate. All credit for the rehaul must be given to executive editor Frank Muraca, as it was his baby and passion project since he assumed his position last semester. Another project of Frank’s that went up online and has been republished in this issue on page 13, for posterity’s sake, talked about the identity crisis that Mason faces as a university. Frank’s thinkpiece generated a lot of discourse about what the role of a university means in the modern era and had its large share of supporters with a fair share of detractors to Frank’s central thesis. As one of the commuters -- for all three years I’ve attended Mason -- who populates 75 percent of the school’s student body, I thought I would say my piece
on the topic here. Frank hit on the main points of ennui that students feel at this school. I can speak from experience that in my first two years at Mason, I was just biding my time to transfer to another school. Whether it was the lack of any ‘traditional’ college experience, or just the general malaise I felt from being so close to home, I thought Mason lacked something. I convinced myself of the fact that Mason was not the right school for me. I still believe that in some regards. That implies, though, that everyone has a ‘right’ school. The idea of a vision statement for a university as an institution, or as Frank would argue should serve as a vision for the community, plays into the role of every student at every university. Not to get too stupidly philosophical, but the desire for students to come into a university and find a great sense of community waiting for them plays into our greater desire of belonging. We want so desperately to find the ‘right’ school, job, house, etc. that we’re always searching for the next step, rather than finding a niche within the community that’s already in place. I did this after my two years at Mason. I took more of an interest in reading Broadside and I reached out to become a staff writer and stumbled my way to the top by some horrible accident. Running and creating a weekly newspaper has become what is ‘right’ for me. This sounds horribly defeatist, because it is. I commend Frank for bringing this discourse about so there can be less apathetic people like me when it comes to reinventing a campus community. College
Hau Chu Editor-In-Chief
itself is such a transient experience. Of course, we want the few years we’re here to be enjoyable and even memorable, but like other processes in life, it sometimes isn’t. College is becoming more and more transactional to get to the next thing that people want to do. Mason has done this exact process. By creating a vision for the university, it found a niche in trying to become not only an innovative research university in Virginia, but for the world. Trying to build a community at Mason is -- in theory -- a great idea and should be the goal of every university. In practice, Mason is already damn near centuries behind the culture and community found in competitive state universities. Some schools unfortunately are the ‘haves’ when it comes to unity and community, and some are the ‘have nots’ who haven’t found an identity that is popular among students. To be even more blunt than the rest has already been, college is just another four years that we’re all a part of. Take your experience at Mason however you view it. When it’s all done, decide if you want to stick with the community and build it. For now, four years and then on to the next step.
Daniel Gregory Managing Editor
Alexa Rogers News Editor
Suhaib Khan Print News Editor
Genevieve Hoeler Lifestyle Editor
Sara Moniuszko Print Lifestyle Editor
Stephen Czarda Sports Editor
Darian Banks Print Sports Editor
John Irwin Photography Editor
Amy Rose Asst. Photography Editor
Aysha Abdallah Design Editor
Walter Martinez Visual Editor HAU CHU EDITOR-IN-CHIEF GMUFOURTHESTATE@ GMAIL.COM @HAUCHU
Rawan Elbaba Copy Chief
Katryna Henderson Illustrator
Kathryn Mangus Director
David Carroll Associate Director
Why FOURTH ESTATE ? Prior to Broadside, the student newspaper was called The Gunston Ledger. It was changed in 1969 to better represent the politically out-spoken student body at the time. A “broadside” was a pamphlet used during the American Revolutionary War to help spread information. While Broadside has become an important part of life at Mason, we believe it no longer represents the overarching goals of student-run news. Though not speciﬁcally outlined like the three branches of government, the concept of a fourth estate referred to journalism and the media as an important tenet in upholding justice and liberty through establishing an informed public. These historic roots coincide with the transforming industry of modern journalism.
Fourth Estate operates as a publication of Broadside. Fourth Estate is printed each Monday for George Mason University and its surrounding Fairfax Community. The editors of Fourth Estate have exclusive authority over the content that is published. There are no outside parties that play a role in the newspaper’s content, and should there be a question or complaint regarding this policy, the Editor-in-Chief should be notiﬁed at the email provided. Fourth Estate is a free publication, limit one copy per person. Additional copies are 25 cents payable to the Oﬃce of Student Media. Mail Fourth Estate George Mason University Mail stop 2C5 4400 University Drive Fairfax, Va. 22030 Phone 703-993-2950
(AMY ROSE/FOURTH ESTATE)
Photo of the Week: Can you handle it? On March 19, WAVES and the Women and Gender Studies school hosted the “Can You Handle It?” event which promoted an open discussion about modern sexuality.
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(AMY PODRAZA/FOURTH ESTATE)
David Wu named Mason’s new provost ALEXA ROGERS NEWS EDITOR
On March 18, President Cabrera announced that he selected Lehigh University’s David Wu to fill the position of provost beginning July 1. Wu is currently the dean of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Lehigh. He has had a 27-year career at Lehigh and has been the dean of the college since 2004. In his 10 years as dean, according to Mason’s press release, Wu has acquired $100 million annually in financial resources by participating in the fundraising and completion of integrated science, technology, environment and policy building. Wu helped create alliances for Lehigh with the Mayo Clinic in a healthcare initiative and with major technology firms to help shape the college’s academic goals to create career-ready graduates. Wu received his doctorate from Pennsylvania State University in operations analysis and specialized in optimization, game theory and statistical analysis. He has also served as a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Cabrera commented in a press release on Wu’s qualities that uniquely qualify him for the provost position. “Dr. Wu is a leader who understands what it takes to build a great university in today’s competitive marketplace,” Cabrera said.
“His values and background are a perfect fit for an innovative and inclusive university like Mason with a strategic commitment to growing our research portfolio, facilitating access to a diverse student body and providing a transformational learning experience to our students.” In his candidate presentation at Mason in February, Wu discussed the aspects of the Mason community that drew him to apply for the position. “What really impressed me was the enthusiasm of the faculty and staff,” Wu said as he introduced himself to the crowd of Mason administration and faculty. “When I started my research, the first thing I read was your strategic plan. It’s one of the best I’ve ever read. I particularly liked the phrase ‘best university for the world’. It’s a good fit for the way I see things.” Wu also spoke about his vision for the position, specifically in terms of advancing the strategic plan. “I really think that the role of provost is a bridge… Think about different colleges and departments within a university. They can seem like different countries, but the job of the provost is to find that common ground,” Wu said. “The strategic plan isn’t a plan, it’s a communication tool. We say ‘this is what we want to be when we grow up’ and that helps us say ‘this is where we’re going.’ A bridge can help us get there.” In addition, Lehigh president Alice P. Gast, spoke in the press release about Wu’s accomplishments at the university that make
him a good fit for the position. “David Wu has been a dedicated and innovative leader throughout his career at Lehigh,” Gast said. “He is a champion for interdisciplinary and collaborative work and has grown Lehigh’s interdisciplinary offerings and enrollments through novel collaborations with business and arts and sciences. His leadership and his vision make him a great choice as provost for George Mason.” Wu will succeed current provost, Peter Stearns, who has held the position for 14 years. Stearns helped guide the university through increases in academic standards and growth in research and enrollment. He also played an active role in helping create Mason’s 10-year strategic plan. Stearns will continue to teach history at Mason after stepping down from his position. In the press release, Wu expressed his excitement to be a part of the Mason community. “I am thrilled to join the George Mason community and excited about the opportunity to work with President Cabrera and his team,” Wu said. “I admire the great accomplishments by Peter Stearns and am humbled by the big shoes I must now fill.”
5 news MASON REQUESTS NECESSARY FUNDS FROM STATE LEGISLATURE TO BEGIN ROBINSON CONSTRUCTION
SUHAIB KHAN PRINT NEWS EDITOR
Mason is awaiting the decision of the Virginia state legislature on its request for additional funding in the 2014-2016 biennial budget for the planned Robinson Hall demolition and reconstruction. In the governor’s proposed biennial budget, released this past December, Mason had not received the adequate funding it had asked for from the state to begin the demolition and reconstruction of Robinson Hall. According to senior Vice President of Administration and Finance, Jennifer Wagner Davis, Mason fared no better or worse than any other higher education institution, as the state was concerned with its overall debt limit. “We actually put [funding for Robinson] in our budget request to the state,” Davis said. “We’ve again asked during the budget markup period that this be moved forward. The budget is unresolved in Richmond…and we’re going back in a discussion session next week.” Mason’s request for funding for the Robinson construction asked the state to fund the entire project. While some projects do require cost-sharing, in which the university would be required to provide part of the funds necessary in addition to the state’s funds, academic building projects such as Robinson are typically funded in their entirety by the state. “In terms of the overall budget process, we make requests, the governor comes out with his recommended budget and then there’s a period of time where the legislature looks at the governor’s recommended budget and asks if there are any other amendments,” Davis said. “We submitted another request saying, ‘we like the governor’s recommended budget, with the exception that we think Robinson needs to be added.’” According to Davis, the deficiencies of Robinson Hall, which include poor lighting, lack of technology and over-crowdedness, are inconsistent with many of the other state-of-the-art facilities that Mason offers. In addition, she says that the reconstruction of Robinson Hall is crucial to match Mason’s enrollment growth trends. “We want to be able to have state-of-the-art classrooms in Robinson for our growing student body,” Davis said. “A third of all of our classrooms are in that building. On average students
graduate between 4-6 years, so chances are, you’re going to have at least one class in Robinson if not multiple.” In addition, Assistant Dean of the Doctoral Division and Research Development, Kathy Richards, says that the costs of deferring necessary maintenance on these buildings may increase if the state fails to provide adequate funding. “The reality of this is that when you look and see the $45 million differed maintenance mean, that doesn’t go away,” Richards said. “We’re going to have to spend that money and it ends up getting more and more expensive if we’re not able to take it down and redo a new building. “ While securing funding for Robinson Hall is crucial to beginning the demolitions, the university will first need to begin construction on Academic Seven, which is another academic building project that will be home to the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and will hold classes that are normally held in Robinson during its construction. “Academic Seven is ahead in the planning process,” Davis said. “So we would sequence them so we’d finish planning and start construction on Academic Seven and then we’d start the planning and design for Robinson.” While the requested funding for the Robinson construction will come entirely from the state, Mason is required to produce a fraction of the funding for Academic Seven itself. The funding for Academic Seven was included in the governor’s proposed budget. “We made a special request to the state that the majority of the funding come from the state…we’ll know as soon as the budget is resolved,” Davis said. “There’s a small piece which is research and we have to fund that ourselves.” If the request for funding for Robinson does not get approved by the Virginia state legislature in the upcoming weeks, the effort to secure funding would not be over, according to Davis. “We will redouble our efforts to be very clear to our constituencies, whether it be local legislators, state legislators, governors about the importance of this building…and more importantly explain the consequences of not getting the funding.” Davis said. However, Davis said that the lack of funding for Robinson was indicative of the state’s debt limit and the recent Medicaid expansion. However, she believes that the university has strong case for
receiving the funding. “We’re growing, which is not consistent with a lot of other institutions in Virginia right now, and we have a lack of space,” Davis said. “So we have a very compelling case to make to the state in terms of why they should invest in us.”
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Student senate passes bill to promote local, healthy food
(KATRYNA HENDERSON/FOURTH ESTATE)
DAVID MAGILL BEAT REPORTER
On March 6, Mason’s student senate passed the Real Food resolution, a bill that attempts to change the current food source for all of Mason’s dining. If passed through the administration, this bill will transition the majority of Mason Dining’s food consumption from outside state sources to local cities. According to Senate Speaker, Phil Abruscatto, Real Food would be working with Mason’s current food provider, Sodexo. Real Food is an organization that attempts “to create a healthy, fair, and green food system,” according to their website. In addition, the website also states that the organization aims “to shift $1 billion of existing university food budgets away from industrial farms…towards local/community-based… food sources.” The organization was created 20 years ago out of the non-profit organization, The Food Project Inc., located in Boston, Massachusetts. They visit various colleges across the nation attempting to
change the food sources for the universities. Raquel Friedmann, student government’s Undersecretary of Sustainability, defined the bill as an attempt to create equality within farm production. “[The bill] will pass organic foods that don’t hurt the environment,” Friedmann said. She also stated that local foods are better for students since they lack preservatives. Friedmann believes that the likelihood of the bill passing through the administration is high. “The bill will pass if it can be shown to benefit students,” Friedmann said. Representatives from Real Food came to a student senate meeting in February to present their overall mission and goal for the university. After their visit, the senators began to discuss the possibility of allowing the Real Food resolution to pass through the senate. However, there was disagreement in the student senate concerning the effectiveness of the bill. Although the majority of the senate voted for the passing of the bill, there were some who voiced concerns. “I believe the Real Food Initiative neglects a lot
of financial information that our school needs in order to make a decision,” said Thomas Raddatz, senator on the government and academic affairs committee for Mason. He believes that as an educational institution, we should not be supporting such issues as Real Food. “The Real Food initiative is also too politically broad for George Mason to be supporting,” Raddatz said. The Mason administration does not intend to raise the current prices of Mason dining through the passing of Real Food, however Radditz believes using the new food source will cost the university more money. “In my logical opinion, I believe buying from family owned farms is going to be fairly more expensive than buying from the corporate owned farms that we currently buy from,” Raddatz said. “No one has presented any data or has knowledge of data supporting that it will be cheaper.” Speaker pro-tempore Evan Del Duke also voted against the bill, but refused to comment on his decision. Stacy Flemming, student government’s senator for University Services, Diversity and
Multicultural Affairs, supports Real Food’s vision for universities across the country. “It’s very important to allow young adults to build healthy lifestyles from an early age,” Flemming said. She also mentioned that when fruit is shipped across the country, the preservatives could hurt the nutritional value. On the first Wednesday of every month, student government holds an event called, “What do you want Wednesday,” where students voice their desires for change on Mason campus. According to Flemming, one of the biggest complaints from students has to do with the lack of healthy food options. “With the Real Food Challenge, George Mason could potentially have 20% local food by 2020,” Flemming said. “All of the administrators I’ve spoken with on the issue are also fully on board and Dining is already beginning to implement this change.”
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Voting Period begins @ getconnected. gmu.edu
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Mason freshman helps organize D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Festival
(KATRYNA HENDERSON/FOURTH ESTATE)
SAVANNAH NORTON STAFF WRITER
While living in Japan, the culture made a big impact on Grice’s life and her choice of applying to be a part of the Goodwill Ambassadors.
With spring comes the blooming of Washington D.C.’s cherry blossoms, celebrated by the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, which have been around since 1935.
“The people, the place, everything about it. I want to spread what I know to other people and show them that there are other ways of doing things than just our American culture,” Grice said. “I want to show them what I have seen through my eyes.”
The trees, a 1912 gift from the mayor of Tokyo, line The National Mall and represent the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan. The Goodwill Ambassador Program provides another tradition of the Cherry Blossom Festival, which includes picking college-aged students to participate in the festival. The Goodwill Ambassador Program started as a way to engage local students to promote cross-cultural exchange. This program allows them to have an important role throughout the festival and to give back to the community. The students who are chosen are dedicated and mindful of international relations and community involvement. One of the students chosen to join the program is Mason freshman, Chanel Grice. “We are a part of this big long running tradition in which we celebrate the relationship between Japanese and American friendship. We are a liaison for that,” Grice said. The Goodwill Ambassadors help prepare and attend events, and are essential resources throughout the festival who help keep the tradition of the Cherry Blossom Festival alive. “We teach people about the history of the festival, and we teach people that anybody can be a part of it,” Grice said. The Goodwill Ambassadors are split into groups of two and plan events for children at the festival. One group is going to be visiting elementary schools and lecturing. On March 15, there was a family day, where some of the ambassadors helped make bracelets for the kids who attended. On March 22, they built kites with the children during the Kite Festival. Grice’s event is the Southwest Water Front Festival held on April 5. She and her partner will be making Japanese flags for the local children. “I found out about this through my Japanese teacher at George Mason. It was just through email and I thought ‘Wow, this is such a great opportunity,’ because I lived in Japan,” Grice said. Grice is majoring in Global Affairs with a concentration in global economy and management. She is also hoping to minor in Japanese and business.
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Ironically enough, Grice has never been to the Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C. before, but has been to the ones in Japan. Grice’s father is in the U.S. Army, which has brought her many opportunities to learn about Japanese culture. She attended high school in Japan and jumped at the opportunity of working so closely with the Cherry Blossom Festival.
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Documentary erases the line between light and dark (KATRYNA HENDERSON/FOURTH ESTATE)
MEGHAN PATTERSON STAFF WRITER
Many students are unaware of the continuous struggles within Black communities. For once, however, it is not about the fight for equality. Colorism, the subconscious act of discriminating against African Americans by skin tone in their own community, is the focus of director Bill Duke’s documentary “Dark Girls.” Through personal narratives, “Dark Girls” examines the classism, racism and colorism faced by women of color, a topic still considered by countless black Americans. “There is content in “Dark Girls” that explicitly discusses what it means to be a black woman, dealing with colorism, dealing with intra and inter community conflict and navigation,” said Latashia Harris, the program coordinator for the Women and Gender Studies Center. “Therefore, the Women and Gender Studies department thought it was a great idea to screen the film at Mason for those who have not seen it in the past.” In the documentary, many of the women discussed their setbacks and struggles with being dark-skinned, especially when it comes to finding a suitable partner. According to statistics, light-skinned African American women are 15 percent more likely to get married than darkskinned African-American women. The men in the film had strong opinions about their ideas of what beauty is, and unfortunately, not all their comments held darker skinned women in a positive light. While the film spotlights the problems with light skinned and dark skinned individuals within African American communities, these
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issues extend beyond the United States. Globally, women from places like Korea, Taiwan, Sierra Leone, Cuba and Panama have all experienced discrimination because of the color of their skin. Students had strong reactions to the documentary. Many were curious about the impact the issue might have on future generations. Others focused on the significance of finding ways to heal, but many were concerned with how the media portrays black women of different skin tones. Many of the main arguments centered on recent Oscar winner, Lupita Nyong’o, movie roles and social media. Recently, with the use of the hashtags #TeamLightSkin and #TeamDarkSkin, Twitter has become the site for individuals to announce which skin tone side they favor. Most students said that in order to shed more light on this issue, men and women need to come together and stop judging each other on superficial characteristics like skin tone. “This is a chance for students to view how women of color deal with everyday life. It is a great opportunity to let voices be heard instead of silence and for people to understand further what their peers go through every day,” Harris said. “Last but not least, it allows students to learn something about themselves and those who embody identities that they themselves do not pose so that maybe they understand their own actions and words before assumptions are made or acceptance of particular behavioral adjustments are further internalized.” At the end of the day, this is a documentary meant to educate people of all skin tones.
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Joffrey Ballet moves audience with elegance and chemistry On March 7, Chicago-based ballet company, the Joffrey Ballet, mesmerized audience members in the Mason Center for the Arts Concert Hall in a program titled “American Legends.” Under artistic direction of Ashley Wheater, the program contained four balletic pieces that entertained spectators due to the dancers’ artistic ability and continuous energy. One of the most captivating pieces was a pas de deux titled “After the Rain.” In this duet, dancers April Daly and Fabrice Calmels stunned the audience in a passionate display of emotions and partnering movements. This piece was a balanced pairing of strength and vulnerability that featured the dancers’ athletic and artistic prowess. Audience members were not only astounded by the amazing lifts the dancers effortlessly achieved, but also by the beauty of their movements and the storyline of the choreography.
with partners who had humorous elements to their choreography. Removing sections that were less strong, however, might have improved the overall performance by highlighting only the best partners and keeping the audience from getting bored from the length of the piece. In all, the night’s performances were not only enjoyable, but stunning. The dancers’ undeniable ability and energy paired with the interesting and varied choreography led to an evening of artistic wonder.
SARA MONIUSZKO PRINT LIFESTYLE EDITOR
Overall, the piece was entertaining, especially during sections
(COURTESY OF HERBERT MIGDOLL)
The music, lighting and costuming led to the performance having a dated, sleepy feel even though there was continuous movement and energy onstage.
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Minimal costuming added to the intimacy of the piece as though the characters had nothing to hide from each other due to their long history. The chemistry displayed between the dancers also helped the relationship-focused choreography come to life. The night ended with a turn from typical ballet into a ballroom styled piece titled “Nine Sinatra Songs” by choreographer Twyla Tharp. With the addition of a disco ball, formalwear and Frank Sinatra, this nine-section performance was an interesting style twist for the finale of the show.
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“Flexible Housing” a Bad Idea for Students The staff at the online publication, LiveScience, referred to the findings as “no surprise.” In a study published in the Journal of American College Health in 2009, a survey of 500 college students from five campuses across the United States found that those living in co-ed dormitories were more prone to risqué behavior. Among the findings, students surveyed were 2.5 times more likely to binge drink and had more sexual partners than those in same-sex dorms. With such information available, the presumption would be that upper level academic institutions like Mason may rethink their position on co-ed housing. However, the opposite is true. Come the fall semester, Mason Housing and Residence Life will provide “flexible housing” for students. What do they mean by “flexible?” According to Housing’s website, this means “housing in which the assignment process is not determined by gender.” While inter-gender housing has existed at Mason before, this new expansion may see it become ever more the norm. There are those who celebrate such a move on the part of Mason. A James Madison University student referred to our “flexible housing” plan as potentially “groundbreaking,” arguing there is “no downside to this proposal” and denouncing the prohibition of such as “a caveman concept
at best.” This argument is leveled by someone who attends an academic institution that has both a substantial amount of co-ed housing and a reputation for being a cesspool of sexually transmitted diseases. Apparently the JMU student did not bother to read the 2009 Journal of American College Health study or the words of John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America. In 2011, Garvey announced that Catholic University would gradually return to a fully single-sex dorm system after experiencing the many negative aforementioned side effects. Predictably, Garvey was bashed by many for his decision. Yet Susan Walsh, of the website “Hooking Up Smart,” took to his defense. “Critics have suggested these differences are largely a reflection of self-selection. Students who want to drink and carouse choose co-ed dorms. That is undoubtedly true, but I think it only strengthens Garvey’s argument,” Walsh said. “If students cannot stop themselves from making poor decisions when given the opportunity to do so, perhaps we should limit those opportunities.” Then there is the issue of sexual violence on campus. It is a disturbing topic that all too often
gets pushed away from public eyes. According to numbers compiled by the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), 80 to 90 percent of victims of on-campus sexual assault know their assailant. Known as acquaintance rape, it can happen on a campus with or without co-ed housing. Yet having men and women in the same dorms eliminates the safe space that an entire separate building or at the least a hallway adorned with locked doors creates. The absence of a barrier between the genders became a subject of debate last year for the University of North Alabama. After a group of male students raped a female, local media reported that many on-campus considered ending co-ed housing at the campus. Further, when interviewed by local media UNA police chief Bob Pastula said that co-ed housing “definitely makes my job harder.” In its rush to create “flexible housing,” Mason’s powers that are making campus less safe, bowing to a popular trend that has harmed many. By pointing to benign examples like siblings who may want to bunk together, campus official have for their own reasons ignored the problems for students regarding co-ed living conditions. Getting rid of “flexible housing” will not singlehandedly eliminate the problems of binge
drinking, sexual violence or hookup culture, but at least it will help. Contributing to a solution with the knowledge that it will not resolve the problem is a reasoning that exists at Mason in other matters. No one believes making the freshman dorms at Presidents’ Park a “dry” part of campus eliminates underage drinking. No one believes that banning smoking within the Johnson Center will eliminate drug use. Yet these actions at least offer official deterrence. They are something, which remains more than nothing. Administrations do not just set up standards because they believe they will eliminate wrongdoing; they set up standards because it is the right thing to do and sends a positive moral message to cite as authoritative. Mason already has policies restricting drinking, smoking, and other vices. The novel “Flexible Housing” shows their hesitation to put such decent restrictions into practice elsewhere and that is a pity. MICHAEL GRYBOSKI COLUMNIST
Letter to the editor: thanks to the community The purpose of this editorial is to acknowledge and thank all of those at George Mason University and in the Fairfax community that contributed to the major success of the fourth annual “No Fear in Love” 6-mile Race on Sunday, Feb. 23. To all of those who utilized their time, resources and energy, this poem is dedicated to you. No Man Is An Island No man is an island, Entire of itself, Every man is a piece of the continent, A part of the main . . . - John Donne This simple, yet profound truth by Donne communicates the power of achievement being made possible with the help of others. Indeed, “no man is an island.” My personal experience has taught me that greatness is never achieved solo. For every grand achievement in life, there are small and large generous acts of hospitality from others that make possible your dreams. This has
been my experience with directing the “No Fear in Love” 6-mile race for the past four years. Everyday heroes, now friends, have opened their hearts by contributing in some aspect to making this incredible vision a reality. The 2014 “No Fear in Love” race committee would like to thank those persons at GMU and the Fairfax community that made the event so successful! Because of your kind contribution, we are closer to our goal of awarding a 16-24 year old dating violence survivor a 1-year scholarship to attend Mason! Thank You! We would like to especially thank Lisa Cunningham Sevilla, Anne Nicotera and the whole Communication Department for sponsoring and advertising the race: Josh Cantor in Transportation Services for donating shuttle services; Marilyn Clark for marketing the event; Krystin Kauzor, Trina Chisholm, Cameron Miner and Rasheeda Mitchell for pre-race activities and volunteering race day; Jeanmerie Lagos for marketing and running; Brenden Baker for the purple and multi-colored bags; Chris and Kelly for the songs; Olivia Gardner of
Alpha Phi Omega for the volunteers, Lori Yi for the Mason marquee; the GMU ITU Dept., along with WGMU Radio, Student Centers and all the amazing teachers, faculty and departments at GMU; and the 16-24 year old supporters and volunteers that marketed the race tirelessly. We also would like to thank Kate Yanchulis of The Fairfax Times for her amazing article; Veronica Santos with Comcast Newsmakers for the interview; and the following Fairfax businesses for their generous support: Wegmans, Safeway, Shoppers, Reston T-shirts and Graphics, The Greene Turtle, Bollywood Bistro, Giant Grocery Stores in both Oakton and University Mall, Pacers, Einstein Bagels, Auld Shebeen, Paisano’s Pizza, Zoe’s Kitchen, Golfsmith, Freddy’s Steakburgers, Piero’s Corner, Joy Unlimited and the Fairfax Ice Arena.
KAREN BONTRAGER DIRECTOR OF THE FOURTH ANNUAL NO FEAR IN LOVE RACE
Launch your international career Find out more about Peace Corps! Get one-on-one application help Monday, March 24 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Student Union Building, Room 3400
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MASON’S IDENTITY CRISIS
As a student journalist, it’s my job to learn about George Mason University and communicate that knowledge to students, faculty and community members in a way that is understandable and connects them with the university. I’ve written about a lot of topics over the past year – everything from presidential candidates visiting campus to mold growing in our dormitories. But after a full year of storytelling, I was most excited by President Ángel Cabrera’s efforts to draft a new vision for the university. At any university, a change in leadership often brings up important reflective questions. Cabrera wanted to begin a dialogue with Mason about who we are and where we were going – and I was excited for both the discussion and to share it with our community. I must admit, however, that I was disappointed with the outcome. After a series of town halls to gather university-wide input, Cabrera released a vision that defined us as an institution, rather than a community. We were presented with a vision that highlighted Innovation, Diversity, Entrepreneurship and Accessibility – all noble values that truly speak to our creed. But, I felt there was still something lacking in the Mason “IDEA.” A vision serves dual purposes; it provides a roadmap for our future and frames that map within our values and identity. And that’s exactly what the new vision attempts to do. Innovation, diversity, entrepreneurship and accessibility should be resulting traits from an institution that understands itself. But these values do not build community; they reveal it. So while I am grateful that President Cabrera made the effort to begin a dialogue on the future of Mason, I think we need to first have a broader discussion about who we are as a community. As a junior, I’ve been struggling for two years to be able to express my frustrations with Mason as a community – more than a university, more than an institution, more than a group of buildings – a community. A community that has soul and an atmosphere that you can feel when you walk onto our campus. A community that incoming freshmen feel they can grasp on to and call home. After two years of searching, I still haven’t been able to find many signs of it. I used to blame our lack of community on the fact that we were still shedding our identity as a commuter school. While we boast nearly 6,000 on-campus students, a majority still travel to school, take classes, and leave. Surely this must be the reason, I thought. How can you form a community when most students don’t even live there? Isn’t part of a college community defined by the interactions that happen outside of the classroom? Absolutely it does. But a community is something that is deeper than our interactions both in and outside the classroom. And while only a fraction of the total undergraduate population lives on campus, 5,900 residents isn’t a shy number. Perhaps even more significantly, 72 percent of freshmen live on campus this year. Others would argue that a community requires a rallying point like a football team, and that starting program would instill the kind of camaraderie that’s more visible in other universities. Historically, this has been true with our basketball team. Mason alumni often associate the 2006 NCAA tournament, when Mason’s basketball team advanced to the Final Four, with some of the most energetic weeks on campus. But are whole communities really defined by the performance of their sports programs? Virginia Tech has an extremely powerful culture surrounding football, but that same culture would still exist without a successful sports team. While football may be a large part of Tech’s campus culture, it doesn’t define what it means to be a Hokie. As a university, we look to the future because we don’t have much of a history to look back on. There are no hollowed grounds
where George Mason used to sit and write on campus. Some would think that our adolescence limits our ability to create any kind of identity at all. I disagree. We don’t have to be defined by centuries of history. But while community has an interesting way of popping up in unexpected places, it has to have foundation. For many colleges, that foundation is its history. But for Mason, it will have to be something else. In the same way, we don’t have to be defined by proximity to Washington D.C, a reason why so many students come to Mason in the first place. Some universities, like Virginia Tech or James Madison University, are forced to create rich communities on their own because there simply isn’t anything else around them. In many ways, our university should understand this more than most. Mason was created under the identity of another institution, the University of Virginia. I was born and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia, a city that is perhaps most well known as a community that houses Jefferson’s university, a higher education institution that is venerated for its founding father. The values and ideals of this Virginian are heavily engrained into the intellectual culture of the university and the surrounding community. Needless to say, you can feel the sense of community that exists in Charlottesville. It has an identity, whether you are attracted to it or not, that is deeply defined. This isn’t to say that George Mason University should try to replicate what Charlottesville has taken almost 200 years to create. On the contrary, we’ve already worked to further separate ourselves from Charlottesville after we became an independent institution in 1972. Though George Mason was not our university’s founding father, we have certainly worked to be associated with him. His statue is one of the most memorable points on campus, and we’ve adopted his commitment to freedom and education. In many ways, we’ve built an image on his history without becoming dependent on it. And while that is commendable for a university as young as ours, it hasn’t been enough. Today, we’ve resorted to priding ourselves on an institution that isn’t bogged down by long histories marked by ivy-covered columns. Instead, we’ve built ourselves around the idea that anything is possible if we use “innovation” to blaze our own trails. And yet, I think establishing “innovation” as our tradition is exactly what’s blocking us from creating an identity for ourselves. Innovation implies an environment of change and ease of surrendering past customs. In most cases, innovation is applied to technology, in tweaking technology to become more productive or to serve another purpose. And innovation is certainly a great thing! It’s what’s moved us from the Model T to the Lexus, or the record player to the iPod. But for all the greatness of innovation, it doesn’t really define what’s most important in a community: people. I’m certainly not the first person to talk about this issue in the Mason community. Over the past year, I’ve heard hints of this discussion through the articles I’ve written about Mason. Most recently, a student who was protesting upcoming renovations to the on-campus late-night diner, Ike’s, said: “I think that in order to build a deeper sense of school spirit and tradition it is paramount that the university takes actions to maintain memorable parts of the George Mason experience for all students, past and present, to identify with.” This is also an issue that has been discussed from the very beginning of Mason’s founding. A 1964 Mason graduate who was editor of the paper during her time here said: “It just seemed to me that if each of us, in our own way, made an effort that there would be a bridge between what we had done there and what we were going to become. It’s not that they had to remember us – it’s that we wanted to reach out and touch them. It seemed like we should make a
difference. I think we all wanted this time to be remembered and to be important and to be a foundation of something. But I don’t think any of use really knew if that would happen.” Part of what makes a community is the feeling that when you come here, you can leave something that will have a lasting impact – something that might even last for hundreds of years. But it’s hard to create that feeling at a university that is so willing to cast away what it has built in the name of innovation. We want to make a difference at Mason, at our home. But the university is so temporary in nature that it’s hard to know that anything will last. The simple fact is that there is no way for us to even know what Mason will be like in five years, both physically and culturally. We’ve never been encouraged to go out and build something that would stand as a lasting pillar for decades to come. It seems as if many students feel unattached to Mason because they aren’t sure what to attach themselves to. Some readers may think that this essay is hypocritical. In the summer of 2013, I was part of a decision to merge the two largest student news outlets under a single name. The merger included Connect2Mason, a website that was first created in 2005 as an aggregator for other student media outlets, but has since far outgrown that purpose and Broadside, the student-run newspaper. Broadside was not always the name of the student newspaper. Mason’s first student-run newspaper was started in 1963 as The Gunston Ledger. The name was changed in 1969 by a group of students who wanted to use it portray the more politically outspoken era of the 1960s. A broadside was a political pamphlet primarily used in the American Revolutionary War to distribute information. This was actually an example of why we changed the name. We believed it no longer represented the goals of student journalism at Mason. While Broadside was created to advance a more outspoken political agenda, Fourth Estate was created to foster a more informed Mason community. Our values changed and so did the tradition. We believed that the merger was largely justified by where the two organizations stood at the time and by the changing needs of student media for the Mason community. The decision was, you could say, an innovation that came at the cost of one of our oldest traditions. But at the end of the day, I would still defend the decision as a move in the right direction. Knowing that, it is still important for students to express what is important to them as members of the Mason community, whether that’s sticking to old traditions or changing ourselves to better reflect our values. I don’t have the answer for how to create a community at Mason. Our identity is deeper than our sports teams or the number of students living on campus. It’s something that binds us together to an institution that teaches us how to grow as individuals. Innovation is a commendable value to attach our identity to and keeps us flexible in a changing world. But, perhaps our flexibility is what makes it hard for students to feel nostalgic about Mason. It’s difficult for us to attach ourselves to an institution that is in a consistent state of flux. While I do not know how to solve the problem, I know that Mason’s students and faculty crave a stronger community. In fact, our sense of community is stronger now than it ever has been in the past. But there is still work to be done and we can start by acknowledging the problem. FRANK MURACA EXECUTIVE EDITOR
shoulder exercises The workout for this week is going to focus on the shoulders. This exercise is a two-in-one, combining upright row and shoulder press.
For this exercise, I recommend using a barbell, but you can also perform this exercise with dumbbells. I am going to demonstrate it with a barbell.
Upright Row to Shoulder Press:
First stand with your feet apart, barbell in hands, in front of your thighs.
Raise the barbell to your chest, keeping the weight close to your body. Make sure your elbows line up with your shoulders.
From here, keep your elbows lower than your hands as you rotate your palms to face outward.
your arms overhead, keeping a slight bend in the elbows.
Shoulder Press to Upright Row:
Starting with your arms in overhead position, lower the barbell to your shoulders.
Flip your hands beneath your elbows with your elbows facing towards your body. Position the weight at chest level.
Lower your hands to your legs as you return to the starting position.
ANDREA FINFROCK COLUMNIST
Women’s lacrosse ‘lights the night’
(DARIAN BANKS/FOURTH ESTATE)
Junior attacker Kirstin Russell enters the circle for a faceoff with Campbell University sophomore attacker Loren Day.
DARIAN BANKS PRINT SPORTS EDITOR
The Mason women’s lacrosse game on Friday night was about more than extending a six game winning streak. The night was dedicated to raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by not charging to attend the game and instead accepting donations. The players wore red ribbons in their hair while the spectators were asked to wear red in support. “We always play better when we’re playing for someone else,” said junior attacker Caitlin McGinn. Before every game, the team chooses members to do a pre-game pump up. “Tonight, everyone said something that related to fighting, because we were fighting for the game while people are fighting for their lives,” McGinn said. The cause is near to the team’s heart after finding out that one of the players was closely affected by lymphoma. “My dad was diagnosed during the fall season with lymphoma and the leadership committee came together while I was away to come up with ideas to support my family,” said senior midfielder Rachel Obregon. After returning to practice, the team presented their ideas to Obregon and gave her time to think. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society host a “Light the Night” Walk annually each fall, and the team decided to raise money to participate. The name was also used for Friday’s game. The lacrosse team has formed the “Rays of Hope” team for the
walk on Oct. 17, 2014 at Reston Town Center. Through social media and word of mouth, the team has already surpassed their initial goal of $2,000 as of March 21. “We made the announcement one last time at practice -[March 20] -- to remind everyone about posting the link and sharing it on Facebook,” McGinn said following Friday’s game. “We raised around $1,200 more in that short amount of time.” The lacrosse team has plans to continue working with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to raise even more money. The “Rays of Hope” fundraising team has an ultimate goal of $5,000. The stadium was illuminated with glowing red balloons with attached information about the walk in October and the team’s fundraising link. The Student Athlete Advisory Council helped assemble the lights inside the balloons and encouraged their teammates to support the event. Athletes from the baseball, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams were among those in attendance at the game. “Student athletes make up a small percentage of the Mason community, but we know what it’s like to be on a team,” said SAAC member and junior women’s volleyball player Stephi Matsushiama. “The upperclassmen all decided to support the lacrosse team.” Members of the baseball team gave their support to the lacrosse team as well in an act of unity. “It’s good for the whole athletic program for us to support one another,” said senior baseball player Mick Foley. The added pressure to win the game did not affect the Mason
team as they held on to defeat Campbell University through their defensive play. With 2:59 left in the game, Campbell tied the score at 13 forcing Mason to set up quickly to try and score the go-ahead goal and avoid overtime. After a timeout to plan the final surge down the field, McGinn caught a long assist from Obregon across the field. She sprinted into the offensive with Campbell women surrounding the goal, but that did not stop McGinn from taking her best shot and burying it in the back of the net to give Mason the lead with not much time left on the clock. “I get really competitive when it’s close so we knew needed possession off the draw and once it’s in our third of the field, we’re confident,” said Obregon. The Campbell team had possession after the winning goal with the chance to retie the game, but cracked under the time pressure looking like an entirely different team in the last 20 seconds dropping the ball and getting trapped by Mason. Obregon and McGinn were the top two scorers of the game with seven of the 14 goals combined. The two were assisting each other throughout the night to make sure they came out on top. The final win by Mason holds more meaning than any normal lacrosse game as they never stopped fighting just as Obregon’s father has done. “My dad was here tonight,” Obregon said. “He never misses a game.”
START ReAdy foR chAllengeS.
START TAKING ON CHALLENGES.
START STAnding ApART pART. pART ART.
START ReAdy foR leAdeRShip. START climbing higheR.
START ReAdy foR The fuTuRe. START TAking chARge.
START STRong. SM
There’s strong. Then there’s Army Strong. Enroll in the Army ROTC Leader’s Training Course at George Mason and you will be ready for life after college. Because when you attend this 4-week leadership development course, you will take on new challenges and adventures. You will also be on course for a career as an Army Officer. To get started, visit goarmy.com/rotc/leadership
IT'S NOT FOR EVERYONE, JUST THE LEADERS OF TOMORROW!!! Visit us at the RAC Call 703-993-2707 for more information ©2008. paid for by the united States Army. All rights reserved.