FOURTH ESTATE April 6, 2015 | Volume 2 Issue 20 George Mason University’s official student news outlet gmufourthestate.com | @IVEstate
A Hazy Situation University policy remains ambiguous regarding vaping | page 5 (AMY ROSE/FOURTH ESTATE)
INSIDE: NEWS / FCPD POLICIES / 6-7 • LIFESTYLE / QUIDDITCH / 12 • SPORTS / TRAP AND SKEET / 16
Crime Log April 1 2015-008316 / Arson Complainant (GMU) reported an intentional fire in a 2nd floor men’s restroom. Damage estimated $20. Case referred to Criminal Investigations Unit and GMU Environmental Health and Safety Investigators. (54/King) Robinson B/Pending / 3:57 a.m.
April 2 2015-008477 / Theft from Building Complainant (GMU) reported the theft of an unattended laptop from an unsecured locker. Loss estimated $1,200. (30/Kessler) Skyline Fitness Men’s Locker Room/Pending / 2:58 p.m.
April 3 2015-008542 / Dating Violence / Disorderly Conduct Complainant (GMU) reported an altercation between two subjects (GMU) who are in a romantic relationship. The incident may have involved threats of physical violence. No injuries were reported. Case referred to Office of Student Conduct. (52/Moses) Adams Hall/Referred to OSC/3:54 a.m.
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Students attended a rally protesting student debt and rising costs of higher education organized by GMU Student Power.
POPULAR LAST WEEK 1
Dave Paulsen Welcomed To Mason Mason announced its new basketball coach Dave Paulsen last week. Paulsen will be the 10th head coach in Mason’s history. The news comes after the firing of former basketball coach Paul Hewitt in March.
Mason Police Looking for Robinson Arson Suspect Two fires were started in Robinson Hall B last week, both in a men’s bathroom. Both fires caused minimal damage and there were no reported injuries. The incident is still under investigation.
(PAMELA PHAN/FOURTH ESTATE)
Campus Police Department Reform Race Relations The Univ. of Minn. decided to exclude racial descriptions from its crime reports. Mason and Fairfax police departments say that racial descriptions in crime reports are not always necessary.
Letter from the editor
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The final month of Fourth Estate is upon us, so things are going to get increasingly sentimental around these parts. The remainder of my letters will mostly be me getting nostalgic and probably recommending things I like because I figured that there would be even less of an audience this for my original idea of “a 5,000-word analytical breakdown on why surely this will be the year that the Washington Nationals won’t revert me into a sad little boy and win the World Series.” As petulant as I can sometimes come off as in this letter, I always have to make sure to realize that I love doing this job. It’s stressful, time-consuming and great. The driving force that keeps me from being a miserable mess at this school is being able to do this and work with the people I get to work with. As the fates have decided, this span of the next couple months will be the end of some other things I hold close to my heart. This is about where things get a little vapid, so I swear to you we have some good stories in this issue so go on and read those first if you don’t want to waste the mental energy on my brain scribblings. Last night was the premiere of the last half of the last season to Mad Men, which I consider the best show going on television right now. It might be my favorite show that started during my lifetime going neck-and-neck with other white America favorite, The Wire -- apologies to the golden age of The Simpsons for pre-dating my existence on this earth. Mad Men deserves all the hyperbolic honorifics thrown at television shows. It is a dense literary novel, it’s cinematic beyond belief and beyond all else it’s a pleasure to watch and dissect. Since I’m a big, dumb nerd, if you were to be in proximity to me when someone called me, you would definitely hear the theme song of this show blasting from my phone speaker. I can’t recommend that you watch it enough other than just to say that the show is important to me and offers an incredible
look into a time and place while exploring very dense themes of identity, the American dream and what all of this means. I’m sure this is a gripping elevator pitch. The other thing in my life that’s ending is that following the 15th of last month, I will no longer be sinking part of my paycheck each month to the Washington Capitals. My brother and I have been Caps season ticket holders for five seasons, with many games attended here and there since 2005, and -- cue Barenaked Ladies voice -- it’s been a memorable experience. Hockey is my favorite sport and of course me ending my literal financial commitment to the Caps doesn’t mean I won’t watch nearly every single game on television, but like Mad Men, I have learned a lot about humanity from going to Caps games. I have seen the primal struggle of life when two grown men got into a physical altercation over a t-shirt attached to a parachute. The scourge of consumerism is displayed anytime the Caps are on the verge of scoring five goals to win fans an appetizer portion of chicken wings. And then of course if you know anything about the last five year stretch of Caps history, that organization has taught me the harsh reality of defeat and disappointment. Both of these things ending have put into focus something important for me to take away. Sure, I might not have been into a particular scene or episode of Mad Men or I would’ve liked to see the Caps not blow another playoff series at home, but the memories made from thinking about these things are all I’ll have. Yeah, nostalgia can be the death of living in the moment but experience defines us and it’s important to take away what you can from a lived-in situation. I’ll miss watching Mad Men and going to Caps games, like I’ll miss agonizing over this paper every week because I know this is what I enjoy in my life. HAU CHU | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF GMUFOURTHESTATE@GMAIL. COM | @HAUCHU
Hau Chu Editor-In-Chief
Ellen Glickman Print News Editor
Reem Nadeem Print News Editor
Sara Moniuszko Lifestyle Editor
Savannah Norton Print Lifestyle Editor
Amy Rose Photography Editor
Amy Podraza Asst. Photography Editor
Katie Morgan Design Editor
Walter Martinez Visual Editor
Jill Carter Copy Chief
Laura Baker Illustrator
Ryan Adams Distribution Manager
Kathryn Mangus Director
David Carroll Associate Director Fourth Estate is printed each Monday for George Mason University and its surrounding Fairfax community. The editors of Fourth Estate have exclusive authority over the content that is published. There are no outside parties that play a role in the newspaper’s content, and should there be a question or complaint regarding this policy, the Editor-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
Mason charts a future online strategy JACOB RUPE | STAFF WRITER
After expressing support for the development of an online completion college, Mason has been asked to provide a report by the Virginia General Assembly. According to Michelle Marks, vice provost of academic affairs, the report will provide examples of what other universities have done to help adults and returning students complete their degrees. Online-completion degrees cater to students older than 24 that have already earned some college credit, according to Marks. However, few universities currently meet the needs of these non-traditional students. “Actually, there aren’t many public universities that have figured out how to support Virginia’s degree completers. They tend to desire more flexibility in scheduling, help figuring out how their prior credits will support their degree progression, and a desire for degrees that have a direct link to employability,” Marks said in an email. According to Stephen Nodine, director of distance education, a working group of faculty has been selected to conduct the report and will begin meeting sometime in April in to develop the report and plan for potential future online degree-completion programs at Mason. Currently, there are already three adult degree completion programs online: the cyber security concentration in the M.S. for Applied Information Technology; the health, wellness and social services concentration in the B.A. for Applied Science; and the technology and innovation concentration, also in the B.A. for Applied Science. Mason currently offers 38 completely online programs including graduate certificates, undergraduate minors and masters degrees. These certifications span seven schools and include programs such as a special education graduate certificate, geography undergraduate minor and a masters degree in accounting. There are also 13 hybrid programs. Marks said Mason will add more programs to its portfolio and believes the expansion will come from the hybrid or “blended” courses that meet face to face less often. “Our Provost, Dr. David Wu, is charting a course in which the use of digital technologies and strategies will become a more fully-adopted and broadly-integrated part of our overall learning model. We definitely are looking to online learning as a key part of our future strategy as a university,” Nodine wrote in an email.
Though online education is expanding, Mason has had to overcome challenges while entering the field. According to Marks, Mason is not used to handling student needs and issues in an online platform, and it takes time to figure out how to best serve the needs of an online student. Faculty development poses another challenge. According to Marks, her experience confirms that the initial development of an online course can take considerable effort from professors who are used to teaching lecture style classes. Even if instructors are proficient with technology, understanding user needs when shifting from classroom to web is a challenge because students are receiving content through a new medium. Mason employs instructional designers to help faculty develop their online courses. Despite the difficulties, online programs continue growing. “As of a few years ago, many faculty members at Mason had never taught an online course. My bet is that in 5-10 years, teaching online will be almost as familiar for faculty members as teaching in a physical classroom is today,” Marks said. Evidence of Mason’s growth in the online education sector is the College of Humanities and Social Sciences new, entirely online eighteen credit education program for teaching English as a second language. The first semester of this new program begins fall 2015. TESL will allow students to receive a TESL certificate in under a year. The establishment of an online program allows students who need
(AMY ROSE/FOURTH ESTATE)
a more flexible schedule to receive the credits they need. However, online does not mean easy. Steven Weinberger, director of the linguistics department said, “we are limiting the classes to 18 students, and the courses are just as rigorous as the face-to-face classes, and just as interesting.”
Smoking out the health risks of vaping
(AMY ROSE/FOURTH ESTATE)
NATALIA KOLENKO | STAFF WRITER
The rising popularity of electronic cigarettes and vaporizers have exposed an omission in Mason’s smoking policy that allows people to smoke inside, but students and faculty have started to question whether there should be a rule against smoking e-cigarettes and vaping inside and in class. People’s opinions on vaping, particularly inside and in class, vary widely among students and faculty. Donald Russell, the director of provisions research for the library and the university curator for the School of Art, does not see why students should not be allowed to vape in class once vaping becomes more widely understood and accepted. However, Beth Jannery, a communication professor, said she would never allow a student to vape in class. “I would love to see the [Mason smoking] policy be no smoking, no vaping, just have it be the same policy. I don’t want to breathe in anybody’s second-air anything, whether it’s smoke or scented vape,” Jannery said. E-cigarettes and vaping, while similar, are not quite the same thing. USA Today describes e-cigarettes in their “E-cigarettes and vaping: Everything you need to know” article as battery operated inhalers that consist of a rechargeable battery, a cartridge called a cartomizer and an LED that lights up at the end when a person puffs on the device. They also describe vaping as the act of inhaling water vapor through a personal vaporizer, which are often seen as a “healthier” e-cigarette. They continue that when users draw on the device, the battery heats the liquid, which is then atomized into an inhalable vapor. In 2002, Delaware became the first state to have a comprehensive law banning smoking in restaurants, bars and the workplace, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. Since then, smoking in indoor public places has been almost completely banned all over the U.S., but e-cigarettes and vaping have challenged these bans and universities’ policies on smoking. Other schools in the D.C. metro area follow a different policy than Mason. As of 2013, George Washington University installed
a smoke-free policy that prohibits smoking of all kinds, including vaping and e-cigs, indoors and even in certain outdoor areas. American University has taken it a step further and is a smoke- and tobacco-free campus, including vaping and e-cigs.
have been studies done that prove vaping is harmless before she ever allowed it in her classroom.
Mason’s own smoking policy states, “All residential areas are smoke-free. Smoking is prohibited within all residential buildings including stairways and entrances. Outdoors, smoking is permitted 25 feet or beyond a residential building, unless it is a hazardous area or if otherwise posted. Proper disposal of cigarette butts is required. If you or your guests are found smoking in a prohibited area you will face disciplinary action. The smoking policy does not apply to e-cigarettes.”
“I think vaping and e-cigarettes should be held to the same regulations as regular cigarettes. They’re still pretty new, and we do not yet fully understand all risks involved with vaping,” Alfakir said.
The policy does not elaborate on e-cigarettes or vaping, and there does not appear to be another policy specifically for those items. Until there is a vaping and e-cigarettes policy, and if there ever is one, students and faculty can continue to vape and smoke e-cigarettes inside. One student who vapes is senior Ian Bush, a creative and strategic advertising major. Bush said out of respect for people, he will not vape in class, but otherwise sees no reason as to why vaping is bad. “It produces a slight scent and out of respect for people who don’t feel comfortable around it, I choose not to vape in class, but I’ve had people eat really stinky foods in my classes, and that’s allowed. If someone can give me a valid reason as to why vaping is worse than that I’d listen, but until then I see nothing wrong with it,” Bush said. Freshman and biology major Linda Alfakir said she thinks vaping inside is “completely unnecessary and inappropriate for the classroom environment.” Many of vaping and e-cigarette opponents believe that just like a normal cigarette, the second-hand smoke of an e-cigarette or vaporizer is harmful to those around the smoker, or are just unsure if the second-hand smoke is healthy to breathe in. Jannery said she wants her classroom to be safe, and said, for example, she has a woman who is pregnant in her classroom. She said she would want to know if research has been done or if there
Alfakir agreed with Jannery’s need for more information on the effects of second-hand smoke from vaporizers and e-cigarettes.
Those who do vape, however, argue that vaping is a much healthier alternative to regular cigarettes, and say there is no proof that second-hand smoke from vaping is harmful, but they also understand that there is not enough research yet to fully back up this belief. “I have used a nicotine vaporizer to successfully quit smoking for the past three years,” said Donald Russell, university curator for the School of Art. “While vaporizing is clearly safer than smoking, research studies on the effects of vaping are sparse. As a precaution, I only use organic fluid with 6mg/liter nicotine vaporized at 5 watts or less.” “Vaping has a fraction of the dangers affiliated with smoking. As far as studies are concerned, vaping hasn’t shown any side-effects for those who are exposed to it second-hand,” Bush said. There is just not enough data yet to prove that second-hand vaping smoke is harmful, but Jannery said as more and more data comes out every day, it is just a matter of time before Mason’s and other universities’ policies change with the new data. “For probably most offices and universities, it is just a policy that’s going to be updated in time. If we continue to see more and more vaping and students complain about it, then it’s something [Mason] will have to look at,” Jannery said. “Our university is really proactive and I think [it is] incredible at listening to student’s needs on both sides. I think this issue just hasn’t really come to the forefront, but it might be one of those upcoming news topics that we’re going to need to start talking about.”
news Newly formed commission to review Fairfax County police policies
(AMY ROSE/FOURTH ESTATE)
ANGELA WOOLSEY | STAFF WRITER
An ad hoc police commission including law enforcement, legal experts and citizens was established March 3 by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to review the police department’s and county’s policies and procedures regarding transparency, communication and how to handle officer-involved cases. Proposed by Chairman Sharon Bulova (D), the commission is largely a response to the controversy surrounding the 2013 shooting of John Geer, an unarmed man, by a Fairfax County police officer. The lack of available information, including the name of the involved officer, in the months following the shooting from the police and local and state authorities led to a public outcry. “When I realized that people were feeling that way, I thought, ‘You know, I think they’re actually right,’” Bulova said. “We have waited too long to release some information. It’s not fair to the family, not fair to the public, because they have the right to know.” Officer Adam Torres was identified as the
responsible officer in Jan. 2015 when internal affairs documents related to the Geer case, including interviews with other police officers on the scene, were made available on the Fairfax County website. The county released the information under the order of a Fairfax County judge as part of a civil suit filed by Geer’s family. No decision has been made yet about whether Torres, who remains on paid administrative duty, will be charged, according to a Feb. 6 article in The Washington Post. Torres allegedly shot Geer after responding to a domestic dispute involving Geer’s longtime partner Maura Harrington, according to a crime incident report and press release on the Fairfax County website. According to a Sept. 2014 article by the Washington Post editorial board, Geer was shot once and was unarmed at the time, though he owned guns. Bulova said that Fairfax County policies dictate that information about officer-involved cases is not usually released until the police department completes its internal investigation and turns its findings over to the Office of the Commonwealth Attorney, which then determines whether or not
to charge the officer with a crime. Some local advocacy organizations like the Virginia Citizens’ Coalition for Police Accountability have been pushing for the county to change this policy. “A lot of it is driven by trying to protect the county from civil litigations when police officers conduct themselves irresponsibly,” said VCCPA public affairs director Michelle Evans. According to Evans, who became involved in VCCPA after a domestic violence call ended with her arrest instead of her ex-husband’s, the statute of limitations on bringing civil suits against the county is two years, so the county and police department delay releasing information about cases involving officers to let it run out. Bulova said she realized something had gone wrong when over a year passed since the Geer shooting and Commonwealth Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh, who had been assigned to the case, still had not made a decision about whether to charge the involved officer. According to Bulova, Morrogh expressed frustration at not receiving adequate information from the Fairfax
County police department and, in Dec. 2014, handed the case over to the Department of Justice’s civil rights division, which is conducting an ongoing investigation. Harrington, who has two daughters with Geer, filed a civil lawsuit against the Fairfax County police department in September 2014. According to The Washington Post, Harrington sued the department, Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr. and three unnamed officers for $12 million for gross negligence. Geer’s family, which includes his two daughters, also wanted more information, especially since the officer responsible for shooting Geer had not yet been identified. The lawsuit is still ongoing and has not yet been settled. “When I realized that things had gone badly as far as releasing information in a timely way, I decided that maybe our policies that had served us in other cases were not serving us very well,” Bulova said, emphasizing that the ad hoc commission’s purpose is to conduct a broad review of police department and county policies, not to specifically investigate the Geer case.
As chairman, Bulova has the power to create commissions on her own, but she said she brought her police commission proposal before the full Board of Supervisors because she wanted its endorsement. In her “Board Matter” proposal to the board, Bulova said that the commission’s objective is to recommend changes that “would help Fairfax County to achieve its goal of maintaining a safe community, ensuring a culture of public trust and making sure our policies provide for the fair and timely resolution of police-involved incidents.” The Board of Supervisors, which has 10 members total including the chairman, approved the commission by a 7-3 vote. Bulova appointed Michael Hershman, president and CEO of the Fairfax-based risk management firm Fairfax Group and a citizen member of the Board of Supervisors’ audit committee, as chair of the commission. Hershman says that he became involved in the commission after meeting Bulova in Jan. 2015 and telling her about his concerns regarding the Geer case. “There’s a national debate that’s going on now about the use of force,” Hershman said. “It’s a healthy debate, because it’s something that we should always be able to re-examine and talk about.” Hershman has dealt with questions of transparency and ethics throughout his career, co-founding the non-profit coalition Transparency International in 1993 and serving as a member of Interpol’s International Group of Experts on Corruption. He also has some experience in law enforcement and criminal justice from his time working as a special agent specializing in counter-terrorism for U.S. Military Intelligence and investigating government misconduct and financial fraud for the New York State Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Mayor of New York City.
Supervisors and some who Bulova decided to include after they expressed an interest in participating. Among the commission’s citizen members, which include local residents as well as people affiliated with well-known organizations like the president of the Fairfax branch of the NAACP, is Jeff Stewart, who was best friends with John Geer and present when the shooting took place. According to Bulova, Stewart sent an email to the Board of Supervisors expressing his anger over how the case was being handled. “He wanted to devote his time to make sure that something good came out of that bad thing that had happened,” Bulova said, adding that Stewart also hopes to try to establish an oversight board to deal with issues involving the police. The creation of a third-party, civilian oversight panel is among the main goals of the VCCPA, whose executive director, Nicholas Beltrante, was invited to be a member of the ad hoc commission by Bulova. “When you have a police department the size of Fairfax County that has no oversight, there becomes a mentality over time and a culture that exists where they feel untouchable,” Evans said. “They know nobody’s going to scrutinize their conduct and behavior because it’s never happened in the past. That’s what’s changing with this ad hoc commission.” The commission had its first official meeting March 23. Members introduced themselves and discussed their expectations for the commission.
“Michael Hershman has an impressive resume in the area of transparency, in the area of ethics,” Bulova said. “He has the right temperament, the right background, the right credentials, and I feel very fortunate to have him as chairman.”
Comments ranged from hopeful about the goals of the commission to critical. Mary Kimm, editor of the Alexandria-based Connection Newspapers, said that she hopes the commission will help transform Fairfax County from one of the least transparent places to one of the most, while Sal Culosi, a citizen member whose son was shot and killed by a Fairfax County police officer in 2006, gave a critical assessment of the Fairfax County Police Department. His introduction was greeted by applause.
Including Hershman, the commission has 37 members ranging from police and legal experts to academics, members of the media and citizens. Commission members are a variety of people selected by Bulova, recommended by other members of the Board of
“I felt that it was an extremely positive meeting,” Hershman said. “It was clear that the commissioners want to be involved and that we all want to do this for the right reasons. We’re not here to attack the police…We’re here to make sure that the policies and
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procedures that the police have in place are best practices.” Hershman also announced that the commission will be divided into four sub-committees covering policies on the use of force; communication, transparency and cooperation; police recruitment and vetting; and mental health and Crisis Intervention Team training. The full commission will meet once a month with the next meeting scheduled for April 22. According to Hershman, each sub-committee will conduct its own interviews and research, likely meeting on a weekly basis. All of the commission’s meetings will be open to the public, and Hershman said that one of the meetings will be devoted to citizen input, where people who are not members of the commission can express their views. The commission has an Oct. 1 deadline to finish its work, and its final recommendations, which will be presented in a report to the Board of Supervisors, will also be made public. Noting that the Geer case is tragic but not necessarily representative of the overall relationship between the Fairfax County Police Department and the community, Bulova said that she hopes the ad hoc commission will help the police and county improve their policies when it comes to transparency and communication both with the public and between different governmental departments. “Sometimes, people mess up, and police officers are no exception,” Bulova said. “But for the most part, our police department tries very hard to work positively with the community.” Evans said that, while the commission is a step in the right direction, particularly if a civilian oversight system is established, new legislation on the state level, such as the elimination of an exclusion in the Virginia Freedom of Information Act that allows police departments to withhold information about ongoing investigations, is necessary to produce significant change. She also said that voters need to be actively involved and informed. “I think it’s really going to fall on the younger generation to change the status quo and become participatory voters that know what the issues are,” Evans said. “Make these small changes locally, because that’s going to lead to things that bring greater transparency to our government at a national level as well.” Additional reporting by Hamna Ahmad.
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Community radio revived
(AMY ROSE/FOURTH ESTATE)
MADISON ANTUS | STAFF WRITER
A new low-power FM radio station is going to open in Arlington by December of this year, headed by communication adjunct professor Paul LeValley. LeValley is the Executive Director of Arlington Independent Media, a nonprofit organization that seeks to “promote and facilitate free speech by providing access to established and emerging media.” The organization began in 1982, and provides access to training and facilities that allow members in the Arlington area to create their own video, audio, web and digital content. Recently, they were given permission from the Federal Communications Commission to host a low-power radio station. “We were approached by a small group of Arlington residents who had heard that the FCC was going to be opening up some low-power FM stations to more urban spaces,” LeValley said. Normally, the FCC only allows rural areas to host low-power radio stations, as they are less likely to be serviced by larger commercial radio stations. LeValley said that AIM’s Board of Directors were unsure if they should become involved at first. “One of the requirements for a low-power FM station is that a nonprofit be involved,” LeValley said. “We talked about it for a little while, how the resources would make sense with our mission…the more we talked about it, the more it made sense.” The next step AIM is taking is creating value statements that will define what they want the radio station to be. Then, when people come with ideas, they can evaluate them using these value statements. “On the radio side it’ll be different, because the FCC is involved, and you can’t just play whatever you want,” LeValley said about the difference between AIM’s television resources and their radio programs. The station will feature local content, and its goal will be to serve the local community. LeValley also said that music is going to be “a big part of what we do,” and that he hopes the station will feature local bands and music. Those who are interested in this do not have to be Arlington residents, and after taking classes, they’ll begin to create their own radio programs. “A big part of our mission is to teach people how to do this
stuff for themselves,” LeValley said. There have also been talks of WGMU becoming associated with AIM’s new FM station. Jesse Robinson, program director at WGMU, spoke positively about the project, saying that he believes there is a large demand for smaller, more local radio shows. “You see it with local TV a lot, community, county stations,” Robinson said. “I think the same thing could be said for radio. You have a local, tight-knit community interest, especially at GMU.” As far as any official partnership between WGMU and AIM, Robinson says that it is only speculation at this point, but there have been brief mentions of this occurring in the future. “It would be very exciting, and I could possibly see us doing some shows, getting some airtime. Because you have that connection from GMU, and if you’re looking for content, that connection would be a great place to go. Obviously if they have the open time, and we have the availability, absolutely I could see something working out, as far as content,” Robinson said. WGMU promotions director Ryan Allen also said he’s heard speculation about it and said he believes people will be interested in the new radio station. “I don’t exactly know what they do, but if they are trying to train people to get more involved in media, and we do it as well, I believe there is going to be a market for it…we have students here at Mason, obviously there is Arlington campus, and there’s people who want to get involved over there as well. I think it’d be a win-win for both to have the media coverage as well as just spreading the word of radio,” Allen said. “It is a way to teach people how to use radio in order to communicate, in that way it’s kind of like WGMU, it’s a teaching tool,” LeValley said. Allen said that WGMU also has to follow the same FCC guidelines that LeValley mentioned. “WGMU is a fully accredited radio station, we have requirements — profanities are obviously cut down, and we’re required to say what exact song is being played, with the artist, the album and even the producer,” Allen said. While LeValley said December is the latest the station will be up, he hopes they will be broadcasting by Halloween of this year.
Master’s Degrees That Matter Accelerated Master’s programs for George Mason undergraduates:
• Master of Public Administration • Master of Public Policy • International Commerce and Policy • Political Science • Biodefense
Mason’s School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs also offers Master’s degrees in:
• International Security • Peace Operations • Organization Development and Knowledge Management • Transportation Policy, Operations, and Logistics • Health and Medical Policy
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
#GMU “@georgemasonu students here to watch us cover a #breaking story. #gmu”
@OhMyGOFF Angie Goff
Delighted to announce our commencement speaker: Mason alumna and @CNN anchor @HalaGorani
@CabreraAngel Angel Cabrera
(JOHANNAH TUBALADO/FOURTH ESTATE)
Mary Lambert performed an “emotionally turbulant” show for Mason’s Spring Concert Thursday, April 2nd.
GMU is the #1 trending topic on Facebook! We have some awesome people at our school.
@JenniMaizel Jenni Maizel
GMU telling me to change my password. Change your wifi, then come talk to me.
@bkhavemeyourway Benjamin Button
POPULAR LAST WEEK ON GMUFOURTHESTATE.COM 1
Mary Lambert talks music, Macklemore and LGBTQ
Fourth Estate got an exclusive interview with Mary Lambert, who performed at the Center for the Arts, last Thursday. She is open, honest and fearless.
YouTube Famous You might follow Jenna Marbles, Shane Dawson or Tyler Oakley, but do you subscribe to Mason students Kasi Bumgarner or Chaney Steineke?
Founding Farmers: Fresh food, but stale staff? Popular D.C. restaurant Founding Farmers is now in Tysons Corner. However, this new location may be at odds with the restaurant’s original atmosphere.
Coping with unhappiness on campus The difference between sadness and depression
MACKENZIE BAILEY | STAFF WRITER
Depression, as described by the National Institute of Health, is “feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods.” Clinical depression, however, as also defined by the NIH “is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for weeks or more.” Suicide is often a response to clinical depression. Mason Junior Tara Jalali acknowledges the difference between feeling sad, depressed and the feeling of clinical depression. “I know people used the phrase ‘I’m so depressed’ or ‘that’s so depressing’ a lot, but to me it’s more serious than a temporary state of emotion,” Jalali said. “I might be sad every once in a while, but I’m aware that depression is a long-term condition.” While Jalali herself does not personally struggle with clinical depression, she knows of people that have the disease and that it seems to be a lot more common than a more people realize. The American Association of Suicidology explains that depression “affects how one feels, thinks and behaves and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems”. A student prescribed with clinical depression, who requested to remain anonymous, explains his experiences with depression.
depression in their lifetime will go on to complete suicide according to a mayo study.” The aforementioned anonymous junior explained that the worst part of his depression has been “the overall feeling of wanting to die.” When it comes to recovering and dealing with these issues, everyone has different coping mechanisms. Some people use medicine or therapy, others turn to friends or family to try to feel better. “I take my anti-depressants and try to keep myself busy,” the anonymous junior said. “But that’s what works for me.” Jalali says her close friends that battle with clinical depression “end up doing a combination of therapy and medication. I know some people just end up doing one or the other, rather than both.”
“I know people used the phrase ‘I’m so depressed’ or ‘that’s so depressing’ a lot, but to me it’s more serious than a temporary state of emotion.” “[I] would wake up and dread any part of my day. Any part I could think of I just was terrified of doing,” he said. Suicide is one of the results of the depression. According to AAS, depression is present in at least fifty percent of suicides. “two percent to nine percent of people that have been diagnosed with
Jalali and the anonymous junior together mention that the most helpful sources of recovery depend on the person. “[They may] just want to be alone, or they’ll be really adamant in talking to someone and releasing their emotions,”Jalali said.
The anonymous junior thinks that medicine, although a controversial topic, could be a great help depending on the person and the medicine. “If a person does find the right medicine, it’s extremely helpful. Different people react differently to different medicines,” he said.
(LAURA BAKER/FOURTH ESTATE)
Mason offers several services to help students with this disease to feel their best and more comfortable at school. Counseling And Psychological Services gives students an opportunity to talk to psychiatrists and psychologists, and even get a prescription for their disease. Mason CARES focuses on suicide prevention and mental health awareness. Their ultimate goal is to keep the campus educated, but also allows you to request help for yourself if considering suicide, or a friend you’re concerned about. “My advice to other students trying to cope would be to open up and don’t be afraid to tell your friends how your feeling, because they might be able to be there for you in ways that you didn’t even consider,” said the anonymous junior.
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Mason Quidditch team qualifies for World Cup TATYANA WHITE-JENKINS | STAFF WRITER
Mason’s Quidditch team has qualified for the chance to become crowned World Champions in their first official year as a team. The Quidditch team will be attending the U.S. Quidditch World Cup 8 in Rock Hill, S.C. The event taking place on April 11, will be featuring 80 of the best Quidditch teams in the world,. “I couldn’t be more proud of the players,” said Robby May, coach of Mason’s Quidditch team. “Their hard work has paid off.” In order to make it to World Cup, the team had to compete in the mid-Atlantic regionals and place in the top 10 out of 20 teams. It was a difficult feat, but Mason was able to beat U.Va., securing the seventh bid to World Cup. “Going into Regionals, we really wanted to get a bid,” said senior Jonathan Milan. “We had confidence we could get our bid, but we had some tough teams in front of us that we would need to execute well against to get our spot. We did so and our win that secured our bid is one of my happiest memories.” Although Mason’s bid was not a complete surprise, the team defied expectations. May attributes the team’s success to their ability to work as a team in working toward success. “Everyone thought if GMU was to secure a bid to World Cup, they would do so by earning one of the last two bids (bids 9 or 10 out of 10),” May said. “I think having a team mentality, selflessness and strong work ethic is what has led to their success so far. No one wants to be the super star on the team. Everyone understands that in order to win, especially against experienced teams like U.Va., we have to work together.” After proving themselves during regionals, the team is looking forward to being able to further defy expectations and prove themselves at World Cup. “I want to show that we are a force to be reckoned with,” said sophomore Laurel Mahoney, the newly elected Qudditch president. “We have had some bad tournaments but overall I feel that we are a really good team. I view this as a chance for us to really show off what we can do, especially because nobody expected us to get to
World Cup. No one expected us to do that well but here we are.” An important trait the team thrives off of is their vast amount of teamwork. The team believes they have created a community that they can depend on. “We are really good at communicating and we are very much a family,” Mahoney said. “I have a lot of faith in my teammates.” Beyond creating a communal culture to prepare for the World Cup, the team has continued to better strengthen their in-game skills and abilities. “To prepare for World Cup, the team will continue working on teamwork, strategy and fundamentals,” May said. “Perfecting the little things, like working together and minimizing unforced turnovers, will be important. We’ll also be introducing a couple different defenses and working to improve our scoring opportunities on offense.”
get stronger. We have six hour practices when we feel a need to focus on something,” senior Jonathan Milan said.
Members of the team have also found ways to personally prepare for World Cup.
Competing in the World Cup will serve as a way for the members to gain more experience and develop as team.
“We are going to have to play a lot of games in one day so we have been preparing for that,” Mahoney said. “I personally have been going to the gym as much as I can and I’ve been trying to eat healthier and prepare physically and mentally. I’ve been trying not to focus on the negative and just focus on doing my best.”
“World Cup will be more about going in with no expectations, working hard to see what we can do against teams outside the mid-Atlantic region, and gaining the experience to keep growing and improving for the years to come,” May said. “I’m most looking forward to exposing the team to the top Quidditch programs in the nation. Watching the sport in person is much more exciting and impressive than film, especially at the biggest tournament of the year with some of the best teams in the world.”
Other members have also incorporated extra workout sessions, along with longer practices. “We’re practicing three days a week, rain or shine, working to get better. People make schedules with other members to work out to
(COURTESY OF MASON QUIDDITCH)
(WALTER MARTINEZ/FOURTH ESTATE)
Cinema Hearts light local spark localized scope, both Caroline and Eric are actively involved in a variety of programs and organizations on campus. “[Caroline and I] both work at Events Production at GMU,” Eric Weinroth said. Events Production offers services such as running lighting, audio, and video for various events across campus. “I’m also a music major, concentrating in audio technology, so that helps more with the technical sides of the band.” The group maintains a solid presence on campus, and they intend on using that to help benefit the local scene. “The scene around here isn’t dead,” Caroline Weinroth said. “It’s just not adapting. There’s a bit of a sense of entitlement, and with it comes apathy, or a sense of exclusivity. I feel like everyone thinks they have to ‘make it,’ somehow.” “And really, what does it even mean to ‘make it?’” Adelsberger said. “We’re trying to invoke a different feeling, a sense of community.” The band hopes to combine resources both on campus and off in order to streamline the music experience around Fairfax and to help build awareness of the talent.
(COURTESY OF DONOVAN HALL)
Cinema Hearts prides themselves on their lofty, pillowy songwriting and their strong, female-led presence. The band hopes to increase their presence in the local scene with forthcoming new material. “Everything is happening so quickly,” Caroline said. “But it’s very motivating. I just want us to be known as one of those local bands that people talk about. I want people to know us. Ultimately, I just want to continue to be creative and I want to inspire others.”
(WALTER MARTINEZ/FOURTH ESTATE)
JESSE HARMAN | STAFF WRITER
Any music scene—a mass gathering of like-minded talents—has a propensity for competition. Friendly faces arise, and support often follows; still, new bands often struggle to find their own pocket in the crowded space. Confidence sputters out as momentum stalls. In this music community littered with selfish apathy the Mason-based band, Cinema Hearts, is a breath of fresh air. The band consists of Mason students Caroline Weinroth (vocals/ guitar), her brother Eric Weinroth (bass) and Northern Virginia Community College student, James Adelsberger (drums). The group began as a solo project, with Caroline recording out of her bedroom. The fruit of the project became the Cinema Hearts debut EP, I’ll Always Be Around. The EP’s light tunes float on nebulous vocal harmonies, hearkening to the iconic 1960s Motown sound. “I’ve always had an admiration for that ‘wall-of-sound’ style of recordings,” said Caroline Weinroth, describing the stacks of vocal harmonies. “[Audio engineering pioneer] Phil Spector would layer and layer, and those little imperfections made it more human. I wanted to emulate that. There were simple song structures, but that’s not to say they were simple songs.” With an EP released, the yearning to perform became evident. The project could have continued as a solo act, but local venue, Jammin’ Java invited Cinema Hearts to compete in the 2015 Winter Mid-Atlantic Band Battle, a showcase of local talent. “I accepted the offer only to think to myself, ‘Wait, I don’t even have a band.’” Caroline Weinroth said. “Luckily Eric was able to
step in immediately to help me out. The next thing was to find a drummer.” Utilizing Facebook groups designed to help local musicians network, Adelsberger rose up to assist the fledgling band. Although he initially joined the group solely for the one performance, the chemistry was undeniable and he joined the band permanently. “I didn’t expect for it all to fit right in so well,” Adelsberger said. “But I’m glad to be a part of it.” As for the performance, Cinema Hearts’ set was well-received, and they placed 2nd overall. “I think we brought a lot of energy,” Caroline said. “We brought a lot of people out to the show and we got a lot of people into it. It was a really positive experience.” Since then, the group has played at other local venues, such as the CD Cellar in Arlington. The band’s recent performances are part of their effort to establish themselves as a prominent entity in the local scene in Fairfax and the rest of Northern Virginia. As for a more
“We just need to get the party going,” Adelsberger said. “We need to keep the band moving forward.”
When reality trumps well-intended idealism These days public education is having a rough time. Struggles to balance the budget in Richmond have meant fewer dollars going to our schools. Mason is struggling from the dual blows of lacking alumni donations and the decreased support from the Commonwealth. As a result, Mason has had to tighten its belt also. One casualty of this trimming, as reported by Fourth Estate last week, was ethnomusicologist Dr. Thomas Stanley.
What I have yet to see them propagate is an explanation on what Mason and other campuses are supposed to do for funding should they decide to cease receiving such donations. Like it or not, big business has been throwing large sums of money at higher education in America since colonial times. Prestigious institutions like Yale exist because of generous donations made by well-heeled capitalists. What are Student Power and their allies willing to sacrifice to “un-Koch” colleges? Are they willing to match the donations? Are they willing to accept an increase in their already hefty tuition?
The letter was sent to President Angel Cabrera, Provost David Wu, School of Art Director Peter Winant, and College of Visual and Performing Arts Dean Bill Reeder.
If they are not, then they are failing to give academic institutions across our Republic a viable alternative to widespread corporate philanthropy.
In a heartfelt three-page plea, 16 School of Art faculty members pleaded for Stanley to remain. They appealed to the sensitivities that define Mason’s mission.
So often it seems that people are susceptible to ideas in our public sphere that sound so great yet lack good practical application on the financial level.
They cited diversity, noting that Stanley was the only African-American faculty member in the School of Art. They cited innovation, noting his unique contributions to musical artistry.
Consider President Barack Obama’s call in January for making the first two years of community college free. Sounds appealing, but just think a moment about practical applications.
While good intentions abound in the letter, there was a telling absence in the detailed document: offering something in return.
First, it will not be free. At some point someone, most likely taxpayers, will have to pay for the estimated $60 billion price tag for the next ten years.
At no point in the letter was there a solution offered for the administration’s chief reason for refusing to renew Stanley’s contract.
Second is the availability. Community colleges are not infinite in scope; they have limits on just how many students can be enrolled in a given class.
There was no substitutionary sacrifice, no attempt to help rectify the dire financial matter that led to Stanley being let go. Perchance other correspondence has touched on these matters; more likely it did not occur to the signatories to add a compromise. Idealism, which pays no bills, prevailed. The School of Art is not the only campus entity that holds this idealism regarding Mason’s painful financial situation. GMU Student Power, a recently created activist group at Mason, has as one of its agenda items the removal of corporate donations from college campuses. Student Power does not want entities like the libertarian billionaire Koch Brothers to fund enterprises at Mason, believing in the proverb that the man who pays the piper picks the tune. They gladly express solidarity with like-minded groups at other academic institutes, approving of
Tuition too expensive?
the protests against Koch influence.
In February, most of Dr. Stanley’s colleagues in the School of Art sent a letter of protest, urging the powers that be to renew the professor’s contract next semester.
The letter did not include an expressed willingness to take a salary cut, nor was there a declaration by one of the signees to have their contract expire instead.
If free community college becomes the widespread norm, academic institutes may struggle to have the facilities necessary to effectively service the influx of students. This could lead to increased discontent to those turned away, confused as to how they cannot take advantage of an idealistic concept promised to them. The faculty at the School of Art should be commended for standing up to the university on behalf of a respectable colleague. They should be commended for sticking up for a peer whose talents hold profound value to the campus community and beyond. However, if they will not offer something in return, be it a salary cut or someone stepping forward to take Dr. Stanley’s place, then the move is mere idealism in a world dominated by harsh financial reality. MICHAEL GRYBOSKI / COLUMNIST
Recently, Congresswoman Barbara Comstock voted to make it harder for you to pay for school. Call Rep. Comstock and ask her why she’s against making college more affordable:
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Lock and load: trap and skeet on the rise The video, entitled “GMU shooting club is right on target,” also touches on a growth in female club members in the sport, noting that there has been a tremendous increase in women shooters at tournaments across the nation.
es such as the Washington Post, that catches people’s attention,” Murphy said. “A lot more people are interested because you do not need any experience to join the Mason team. You only have to be willing to put in the time and effort to learn the games and become better over the years.”
“Every year there are more women competing at the ACUI national tournament,” said senior Renee Murphy, who is the trap and skeet club’s president. Murphy was the lone female on the team her freshman year, and now the club is up to three.
The Patriots practice at least twice a week while participating in 10-15 tournaments throughout the school year. On top of practice, many team members take advantage of local shoots in the Fairfax area, according to Lathrop.
“Shooting is no longer looked at as simply a male sport. Instead, more females are joining and even outshooting men each year,” Lathrop said. “It is an amazing sport and the more publicity it gets, the more people want to be a part of it. “I have been shooting from the age of ten and over the years, I have seen a major increase in female shooters,” Lathrop said. “Each year there are more and more females coming out to this great sport. It is no longer seen as strictly a male–dominated sport.”
(AMY ROSE/FOURTH ESTATE)
MELISSA MOORE / STAFF WRITER
While the United States is witnessing an increase in popularity of trap and skeet teams, especially for women, Mason’s team has earned a higher profile through its many competitions and titles. Mason’s team, which has been around since 1977, currently has six members, all of which just competed in the Association of College Unions International Collegiate Clay Target Championships in San Antonio, Texas from March 25-29. “The team placed sixth overall this year, missing fifth place by only two targets,” said sophomore Kendra Lathrop. Mason competed in the third division for schools with fewer than 10 members and went up against 46 other teams. “So sixth place is something that we as a team can be proud of,” Lathrop said. Mason has acquired 11 national championship titles since the birth of the program, with its most recent one being in 2013. Lathrop also said that the team is already looking to get back on top for next year’s tournament. The Washington Post recently published an article with a video featuring Mason’s team. The story explains how gun industries including the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the National Rifle Association are awarding significant amounts of money and organizing competitions for universities and youth programs throughout the country, contributing to the growth of collegiate shooting.
Trap and skeet club coach Gary Olin also sees the rising trend, while pointing out that Mason’s team has always been co-ed. “You can look at the ACUI data going back to 2001 to see the trend in the number of women competitors,” Olin said. The Post reported that overall, the clay target championships “has swelled from a few hundred shooters in 2010 to more than 700 this year.” Murphy attributes the surge in interest to the team’s performance. “I have not seen a rising trend, or a declining trend, but I think that the interest has increased a lot over the past years because of how well the team has been doing and the increase in publicity that it has received since winning the division three national championship in 2013,” Murphy said. “We have had numerous articles posted about us through the school and through sourc-
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“Practicing in local competitions gets us ready for our larger collegiate shoots,” Lathrop said. “When we go to a tournament, we want to be the team to beat. We take each tournament very seriously and come ready to show what we are made of. The team has been very successful, winning numerous high overall and event trophies.” While participating in so many tournaments, Murphy explained that Mason’s team has no true rival or biggest competitor. “I think our biggest competition is within the team, because we all are competing to beat one another with some friendly competition,” Murphy said. Lathrop, however, believes that the hardest competition is not an actual team or specific member. “In addition to competing with our teammates, our biggest competition is ourselves,” Lathrop said. “We are constantly trying to beat our highest score and break the targets even harder. Competing with yourself is much harder than competing with another, but has a greater pay off in the end.”
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Volume 2, Issue 20