FOURTH ESTATE April 18, 2016 | Volume 3 Issue 20 George Mason Universityâ€™s official student news outlet gmufourthestate.com | @IVEstate
NITTANY LIONS GET
(AMY ROSE/FOURTH ESTATE)
CLASSIFIEDS For Sale
50cc Scooters Sold and Serviced. Great for getting around on and off campus. No license/insurance req. www.metroscootersva.com; 571-418-2025.
Steiner Vision Pt/Ft - Office Work . Will Train, Excellent pay, low stress work environment-many George Mason and NOVA students over the years have gained valuable work experience in our 7 Corners, Falls Church, VA office. For more info call Dr. Steiner at Cell 571-276-1534 or ask for Maria at Office- 703-237-1770
Help Wanted SEEKING ASPIRING, Models for U.S. Competition Must be at least 5'7 in heels. Winner receives an all expense paid travel to Calabria, Italy To compete in the final competition Sept 7-12. Photos required email at: Lucki4mc@gmail.com or Text Chris- 703-832-1670 HIRING Summer Camp Counselors to teach and lead Summer Camps at Curiosity Zone in Ashburn. Part-time and Full-time shifts available. Must be able to work at-least 20 hours a week. Email resume to: employment@ curiosityzoneashburn.com or apply online www.czoneashburn.com
Seeking Part-Time Teacher to teach Science & Robotics Classes to Kids ages 5-10 at Curiosity Zone in Ashburn. You will be using a defined curriculum with laid out lesson plans. 10-20 hours a week on a fixed schedule. Great learning opportunity for an Education major. Email resume to: employment@ curiosityzoneashburn.com
Crime Log Apr. 09
The photo credit for the issue cover photo on Mason’s International Week was attributed to Amy Rose. The correct photo credit is Alya Nowilaty.
Opposite hitter Paco Velez sets up for a serve during the men’s volleyball game against Penn State this past Saturday. The Patriots beat the Nittany Lions 3-1 for the first time in eight years. Full story on page 14-15.
Darian Banks Managing Editor News Editor
Natalia Kolenko Assistant News Editor
Equipment Violations / Liquor Law Violations
Subject (Non-GMU) was issued a releasable summons for possessing illegal drugs with intent to distribute. A second subject (Non-GMU) was issued a releasable summons for possessing illegal drugs. A third subject (GMU) was referred to Office of Student Conduct (OSC) for possessing illegal drugs and alcohol while under age 21. Piedmont Hall / Cleared by Summons / Referred to OSC / 3:07 AM
Apr. 09 2016-012227 / Stalking / Computer Trespass
Tatyana White-Jenkins Assistant Lifestyle Editor
Courtney Hoffman Sports Editor
Ben Cowlishaw Assistant Sports Editor
Amy Rose Photography Editor
Katie Morgan Design Editor
Complainant (GMU) reported being stalked through electronic means by a former intimate partner (Non-GMU).
Northern Neck & Sandbridge / Inactive / 3:04 PM
Visual Editor Copy Chief
Apr. 10 2016-012328 / Simple Assault Complainant (GMU) reported a verbal and physical dispute with a known subject (GMU). Southside Kitchen / Closed / 2:07 PM
Vandalism of Property Complainant (GMU) reported damage to a parking boot. Discovery Parking Lot (Science & Tech Campus) / Pending / 3:24 PM
Apr. 12 2016-012628 / Ring to Annoy
ON THE COVER
2016-012137 / Drug / Narcotic Violations / Drug
2016-012601 / Destruction / Damage/
Volume 3, Issue 19
Multiple complainants (GMU) reported receiving unwanted phone calls from spoofed phone numbers. Case referred to Criminal Investigations Divisions. Fairfax Campus / Information Only / 10:38 PM
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-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
First-ever MasonWHO Conference brings students together to discuss refugee health
(PHOTO CREDIT: DONNA IMADI/FOURTH ESTATE)
LUKE WALTERMIRE | STAFF WRITER
Over 100 students from Mason and neighboring universities were invited to Mason last weekend to participate in the university’s first-ever Model World Health Organization Conference to analyze and contribute ideas on how to improve medical care for displaced refugees. Sophomore Sameen Yusuf was the executive director of MasonWHO 2016, as well as the cofounder and president of MedX, the student-run global health society at Mason that helped coordinate the event. Yusuf said that she and Zeinab Safi, the delegate resource coordinator for MasonWHO, got the idea for the conference after discovering the American Mock World Health Organization Conference, a similar event that took place in 2015 in North Carolina. After stumbling across this event, Yusuf said she realized she and her team at MedX could put together something similar for universities in the D.C. area. With the genesis of a conference in her mind, Yusuf said she and her team “really started working on seeing how students at Mason are interested in being involved with global health policies and international development.” They found that “though there are clearly very intelligent and engaged people here on campus … we don’t always meet [to discuss these issues].”
“Everyone told me that having a group of eight people would be really difficult and there would always be one person lagging behind, but I’ve never been so proud of a group of people in my life,” Yusuf said of the team that organized the conference. In fact, Yusuf said she found more support for her idea than she anticipated she would. “Initially, when I started this project, I thought of it as being a bi-annual event. … But it seems like there’s a lot of interest in this being a yearly thing. The Global Health Department’s chair was super elated, and he wanted to basically make it a Global Health Department-sponsored event,” Yusuf said. However, while she is thrilled to see so much support for the event she helped create, Yusuf said that she would prefer the event to take place every two years. She said she believes that giving the event more time to develop will allow students to make it the best it can be. In choosing a theme for this year’s conference, Yusuf said there were many possibilities, but she and her team eventually settled on “refugee health.” “The reason [we] chose refugee health is that I saw a lot of activism on campus for refugees, but we never talk about their health care,” Yusuf said.
“Seven organizations, three different departments, and four different grants [went into] this one [conference],” marking an unprecedented level of support for such a new concept.
Yusuf said she believed that by choosing refugee health as the topic for the conference, she could encourage students to think about recent refugee crises, such as the one in Syria, in a different light. While people often talk about “necessities like food, water and shelter, health care is such an integral part of [the refugee crisis],” Yusuf said.
However, for as hard as the process of lobbying support for the event was, Yusuf said that finding other people who shared her passion for global health was one of the most rewarding parts of putting the conference together.
In addition, Yusuf believes that refugee health is a topic that lends itself well to a multidisciplinary approach, which is one of the core tenets of Mason WHO. Yusuf said in a letter to delegates that “MasonWHO is the product of a campus-wide demand for
That was when Yusuf started garnering support from various organizations and departments at Mason.
initiatives that allow us to analyze and contribute our ideas on current global issues and conflicts.” Yusuf was not the only one satisfied with the multidisciplinary approach of the conference. Asha Athman, a theme director for the event as well as the chair for its mock Health Technologies Humanitarian Emergencies community, said “to see majors from bioengineers to global affairs collaborating to try to find solutions to a common goal is one of the most positive aspects of the WHO Conference.” Alex Hanon, an economics and government major who attended the conference, also came away from the event seeing the multidisciplinary approach as a plus. “I really like going to these simulations because [they] give you a kind of cool insight into how real world institutions work,” Hanon said. “From the first day of the conference, I see that not everyone has the same way in which they approach the conference, whether it be through speaking style or goals of the conference, so it’s just a really nice learning experience to learn other people’s viewpoints in how to do a simulation and how to see how global institutions work.” In encouraging students across disciplines to bring unique ideas to the table, Hanon believed the conference became more than the sum of its parts. However, Hanon also said that the event has room to grow, such as by improving its structure and giving delegates a better idea prior to the conference of what their roles would entail. Above all else, Yusuf hopes that MasonWHO shows students that they have the ability to enact positive change. “I really hope that people see that if they just take that one stop to voice their opinion, that they can see how powerful that is. And I hope that people also see that nothing can be done on their own. We all really have to work together to see any kind of change.”
Patience and paintball: Mason cadets undergo leadership training at Fort AP Hill in the field for 13 days. “My personal goal was to be both a leader and a follower and understand the differences there. That way you can support other schools when they’re in the leadership positions,” explained MS3 Cadet Amanda Ambrogi. JLDX not only tests cadets on their knowledge of the responsibilities of each leadership position or tactical maneuvers; there’s a huge emphasis on ensuring that cadets are able to think critically and adapt. “For juniors, it’s how they make decisions. Especially under pressure and when things don’t go the way they think they do,” Cottrell said. During exercises, it was clear that cadets sometimes struggled to bring the tactical knowledge into the field. Ambrogi noted the time cadets spend in the field is a new challenge that cannot be matched by classroom instruction.
A cadet participates in a simulated military force-on-force exercise in the woods of Fort AP Hill. MACKENZIE EARL | STAFF WRITER
There was a startled yelp to the left. A Mason cadet had fallen face-first into the marsh. With the help of his paintball gun, he struggled to his feet and kept moving. Clad in head-to-toe camo, this platoon of Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets faced a difficult task — using a maze of logs and rocks to cross the marsh and cross it quickly, ideally without falling in like their unfortunate comrade. The muck had caught them by surprise. The platoon expected a marsh, but its breadth and depth were impossible to anticipate. The acting sergeant of this platoon, a cadet from Georgetown University, urged his troops to keep a fast pace. Earlier that day, he told his men the key to success is swiftness in execution.
(PHOTOS BY AMY ROSE/FOURTH ESTATE)
temperatures forced everyone to sleep in barracks. Cadets have unique roles during each year of ROTC. A first-year cadet is called an MS1, a second-year is an MS2, a third-year is an MS3 and students in their fourth and final year are MS4s. Each year involves increasing leadership opportunities and expectations for growth. The ROTC program aims not only to create future officers, but also to mold exceptional leaders. With each year in the program, cadets’ leadership responsibilities increase. This is especially true during JLDX. MS4 cadets plan and execute JLDX. The universities participating in the exercise have been working to coordinate the transportation and education of nearly 300 cadets since November 2015.
Sgt. 1st Class Diogenes Navarro disagreed. He compared the noise of the platoon to that of a troop of orcs running through the woods.
Felix Camacho, Mason’s Patriot Battalion commander, emphasized how valuable this planning experience is for MS4 cadets.
“This is basically what they’re doing right now. And that’s not a good thing,” he said.
“If you have a foundational tool, which is our planning process, then nine times out of ten you’ll be in a more advantageous position to succeed in any operation that we go in and do,” Camacho said. MS4s who have completed the ROTC program graduate as second lieutenant Army officers.
They had sacrificed stealth, which could have proved disastrous in an actual combat situation. Fortunately, this marsh-crossing was just part of the annual Joint Leadership Development Exercise (JLDX), where ROTC cadets from Mason and other universities spend four days and three nights in the field at Fort AP Hill, near Bowling Green, Va., and run simulations of real-world scenarios.
Testing leadership From April 7-10, Mason’s Patriot Battalion joined with cadets from Howard University and the Hoya Battalion, which consists of American University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, the Catholic University of America and the Institute for World Politics. These cadets were placed together and tested on their leadership skills, physical training and military and strategic knowledge. Cadets were graded on exercises in land navigation, military skills and force-on-force operations. Though they normally spend all day and all night in the field throughout the exercise, this year cold
Although JLDX is only simulated force-on-force, the implications of each exercise are felt by the cadets. Especially through the use of paintball guns, it is easy to see the impacts the leaders’ decisions have on their cadets. In combat simulations, cadets are armed with paintball guns and “go down” when they are hit. At the end of each mission, MS3s in leadership positions are able to see the paint splatters on their comrades’ uniforms. Though these stains are nothing compared to the impacts of real combat, the simulation forces cadets to understand the importance of effective leadership in the field. Cadet Jeremy Neff, an MS3, was excited for the opportunity to take part in leadership exercises. “A lot of my decisions will decide how many people in my unit get hit or how many survive,” Neff said. Upon arrival at JLDX, cadets are assigned leadership positions and expected to take on those responsibilities completely. These leadership positions are all within a company, a platoon or a squad. All cadets at JLDX were organized into a dingle company and this company was divided into three platoons. Leadership positions
“It’s a great opportunity to access the cadets’ leadership skills and also give them a great experience,” Maj. Lucas Cottrell said. Mason Cadet Rachel Sellers, an MS3, said the beauty of JLDX is that none of the MS3s are given their leadership assignments ahead of time. “They want us to be able to think on our feet and step into those leadership positions and plan everything out and take the operation and perform it,” Sellers said. She also said JLDX is designed to prepare MS3s for the Cadet Leadership Course, a month-long training Cadets work on land navigation as part of their training during this year’s program in the summer, which includes staying JLDX. MS3 cadets were given the task of leading their platoons to certain points in the woods.
were assigned to the company as a whole, each platoon and each squad.
identified as friendly were in fact the enemy forces and they were now very much aware of Bravo 2’s presence.
“As an MS3, you can be the squad leader for one rotation, and then all of a sudden you’re leading the entire platoon,” Neff said.
Some cadets took cover behind scruffy bushes while braver souls ran in zig-zags between the trees. Those hit in the hips, legs or arms kept moving, but those who took paintballs to the head or chest were forced to lie down and play dead. After a few minutes, it was all over.
This is to ensure that cadets are prepared to step into any position in the field. “If someone gets hit, you have to be able to take over their posi-
Mason was responsible for organizing force-on-force actions like these to provide cadets with hands-on tactic experience. In the first iteration on Saturday morning, cadets navigated their way to the initial starting locations, hiking through wood areas with surprisingly rough terrain. Pillows of leaves pooled in the steep ravines, making it difficult to keep footing on the steep hills. Initial neat blocks of cadets traveling six-by-six eventually broke up as people stepped over fallen trees and leaped over creek beds. When in the field, each cadet must adjust to an alien enviA cadet, armed with a paintball gun, keeps a look out for “enemy” forces. ronment. JLDX is an opportunity for cadets to get used to this acclimation process. At 6:53 in the morning, when most tion,” Ambrogi explained. Mason students were fast asleep, the Patriot Battalion was estabAlthough the exercise focuses on providing leadership roles to MS3 lishing security at their new camp at Fort AP Hill. cadets, JLDX also allows MS1 and MS2 cadets to hone the skills Establishing security, as Captain Amanda Feindt explained, they have developed through their ROTC classes. involved setting up guards 360 degrees around the camp’s location Cadet Michael Menkaus, an MS1, was excited to attend his first to ensure there were no enemies waiting in the surrounding landJLDX. scape. After security is established, these guards remain in place “I think that with experience like this, the best parts are the until they receive orders from their commanding officers. moments that, at the time, hurt the most,” Menkhaus said. Commanding officers are MS3 participants who have been assigned
First contact At one point on its first mission, the Bravo 2 platoon stopped movement and the leading officers assembled to discuss new strategies. In the middle of this discussion, there was a stifled “Shit, there’s people on that trail!” from one of the cadets. In an organized scramble, Bravo 2 got down, found cover and strained their eyes in search of movement between the trees. Another platoon dissolved out of the landscape, seemingly unaware of Bravo 2 hiding only a few hundred meters away. The other platoon was clad in black long-sleeved shirts, identifying them as enemy forces. Success in the field depends on each platoon’s ability to act as a team. Everyone held fire and awaited instruction from their commander. After four tense minutes, the distant figures were identified as friendly. The cadets rose from behind logs and under piles of leaves to resume their normal watch positions. Only a few minutes later, paintballs were flying. The troops
During this exercise, specific MS3 leaders were assigned in each platoon and given the opportunity to delegate tasks. Cadet Sheila Pierre, an MS4 cadet from Howard, said many of the groups were unable to find all of their given locations. Pierre emphasized that although not everyone was successful, all benefited from practicing land navigation in unfamiliar terrain.
Room to learn Field training
Above all, cadets of every year were excited to carry out tactical simulations, their fingers itching to grip a paintball gun.
leadership positions. Company Commander, MS3 cadet Shepket Tohti, briefed the MS3 cadets on the mission. “The purpose of this operation is to free people from oppressive government and their forces as well as keep them from gaining territorial advantage,” Tohti explained. The commander briefs cadets on terrain, mission goals, communication and other vital information. Platoon leaders then communicate to their respective platoons and coordinate specific tactics to put in place. To train for this trip, cadets took part in weekly lab sessions to cover training for land navigation and tactical strategies. This practical learning extends JLDX over the entire school year to ensure cadets get the most value out of their time at Fort AP Hill. The labs were organized into crawl, walk and run phases. Initial training took place in the RAC cage gym, then cadets transitioned into working on the intramural fields. These exercises prepared cadets for JLDX’s “running” phase. One of the skill tests cadets must pass during JLDX is the Land Navigation Skills test. Cadets are armed with a map, a compass and a protractor and given specific geographical points to find. They must convert grid coordinates found on their maps and convert them to degrees in order to find their way using a compass. Howard University organized and facilitated this portion of training.
Several cadre members and MS4 cadets tagged along with each platoon. MS4 cadet Courtney Gaines explained that MS3 leaders would be “evaluated by an MS4 who has been observing them and judging their performance.” After each mission, an After Action Review takes place, where platoons discuss what was supposed to happen versus what did happen and receive feedback from the MS4 cadets and cadre members who watched. According to a cadre member of the Georgetown Battalion, one of the most valuable elements of JLDX is the room it gives cadets to make mistakes. “Our intent was that subordinate leaders fail and understand that it is hard to command,” he said. “These failures help ensure that cadets fail less often when they are introduced to combat situations, and help leaders develop through adversity.”
Mentorship in ROTC In addition to the formal roles of leadership in ROTC, there are many others of mentorship and camaraderie. Cadre Jasmine Tucker and MS4 Cadet Caitlin Carrington have known each other since Carrington’s first ROTC class her freshman year. On the long drive into the base, the two swapped stories, many of which involved shared experiences. They talked about long sweaty drills Tucker had put Carrington through and the excitement surrounding the upcoming military ball. It was clear that all traces of unfamiliarity between the two had melted away long ago. When Carrington mentioned several of her friends, Tucker nodded, implying she had met them all before, and Tucker shared stories of her children and husband without restraint. A conversation that began with Tucker ragging on Carrington for freshman year mishaps turned into Tucker recognizing Carrington as “one of the great success stories we talk about.” Other cadets also recognize their roles in mentoring other younger cadets through ROTC. “It’s more than tactical proficiency. It’s, you know, helping the people around you get through college because we’re all students,” Ambrogi explained. Hannel emphasized that mentorship is tied closely with leadership. According to him, every cadet is able to take their own experiences and failures and share them with their peers. “I think mentorship is the best kind of formal and informal constructive criticism, and kind of leadership in general,” he said. Cadet Gaines from Howard reflected that peer-to-peer interaction can make the biggest impact. “It’s one thing when your commanding officers tell you to do something, but when your higher cadets say not to do something, it really makes it stick,” Gaines said. Mikael Adisse, MS3 cadet, reflected on his own experiences with mentorship in the ROTC program. Adisse explained that Camacho’s previous experiences, both in-combat and in everyday life, play a big role in how he leads the cadets. “I felt blessed to have a mentor like him,” Adisse said.
Food in the field: A look at Army rations from JLDX
(ELLEN GLICKMAN/FOURTH ESTATE)
The contents of this Meal Ready to Eat (MRE) include “vegetarian crumbles with pasta in taco style sauce,” chocolate chip cookies and pears, among other snacks. The package also contains a plastic spoon and a raspberry flavor “bevarage base.” MACKENZIE EARL | STAFF WRITER
Though “Army food” is a mystery to most civilians, the Patriot Battalion became very familiar with military rations during their annual Joint Leadership Development exercise (JLDX) program at Fort AP Hill from April 7-10. The Patriot Battalion spent the entirety of the exercise in the field training, along with cadets from other universities, to enhance leadership skills, critical thinking and tactical strategies. The only foods available were whatever snacks cadets had squeezed into their packs before the trip as well as Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), which are military food rations. When they were in the barracks for the night, cadets sat on the edges of their respective bunks and began investigating the contents of their MREs. A cadre member walked past drinking hot cocoa from the contents of a plastic bag. Another cadet squeezed something labeled “cheese spread” onto a cracker. Skeptical looks and hesitant questions passed through the barracks as the cadets settled in for dinner. JLDX is a joint program between Mason’s Patriot Battalion, Howard University and the Hoya Battalion, which consists of cadets from American University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, the Catholic University of America and the Institute for World Politics. While nearly 300 cadets are completing their training in the field, the Reserved Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC) is responsible for making sure everyone is fed and fueled for operations. The cadets are provided with prepared MREs.
MREs are stored in vacuum-sealed bags that contain high-calorie, high-nutrition meals. There is a general apprehension toward MREs, but also a general acceptance of their necessity. “If that’s all you have in the field, that’s all you’re gonna get, and you’re gonna like it,” Cadet Mikael Adisse said. According to goarmy.com, MREs have been the army’s primary source of rations since 1980. An MRE consists of a main course, a side dish, crackers or bread with some sort of spread, dessert, candy, beverages and the necessary utensils to eat each meal. Each MRE contains an average of 1,250 calories. Mason MS4 and Cadet Battalion Executive Officer Mark Hanna explained that JLDX is a great opportunity for cadets to experience MREs. “It’s not a gourmet meal, but some of them are better than others,” Hanna said. He described the pork sausage gravy as “the one no one wants to eat” but admitted that other meals are quite tasty. According to Hanna, two favorite entrees are chili with beans and spaghetti.
Many cadets trade snacks they brought from home. Cadets often get creative with the materials traded from other MRE packages. Cadet Sheila Pierre, a JLDX veteran from Howard, boasted her ability to combine elements from different MREs to make unique meals. Her favorite was spreading a tortilla with peanut butter and adding dried fruit. Other combinations included a makeshift peanut butter and jelly sandwich, mocha coffee and mashed potatoes spread on crackers. MREs can be stored for months even in high temperatures, making them the most efficient fuel for soldiers overseas or out in the field, Hanna explained. MREs also often include Flameless Ration Heaters. These heaters contain chemicals that react to the addition of water by creating heat. By pouring water into a sleeve containing the chemical heater and adding a sealed entrée, the hot water cooks the meal inside the still-sealed MRE. These heaters allow cadets to eat hot meals in the field very quickly. These convenient packages also completely eliminate preparation materials.
He continued to explain that while the contents of each MRE generally taste like what the label says they will, they may look quite different. Rice tastes like rice, but it is congealed into a block of rice rather than served as individual grains.
Cadets were careful to pour water on unused heaters before disposing of them. If unused heaters are thrown in the trash, any liquids also in the trash can spill on the heater, initiating a chemical reaction that can generate enough heat to start a fire.
At JLDX, cadets are distributed MREs at random. After cadets dissect and assess each package, extensive trading takes place.
Luckily, such an accident did not occur at this year’s JLDX. Cadets consumed their MREs safely, if not enthusiastically.
MASON DINING Find the link to the survey in your GMU email inbox between 4/15 - 4/30 and take the survey for a chance to win an iPad!
Swipe into safety TATYANA WHITE-JENKINS | ASSISTANT LIFESTYLE EDITOR
With technology advancing left and right, the trend has followed into the realm of dating. Over the past few year, online dating websites, apps and services have been created in order to make finding a significant other as simple as swiping your finger. Dating apps like Tinder, Bumble and Grindr have a growing presence on college campuses, Mason included. But should there be more concerns when dating online rather than in person? On March 21, Mason Police received information that a female student was raped in her student resident hall on the Fairfax campus by a non-Mason student with whom the victim met through an online dating application. A survey by Pew Research Center found that 27 percent of Americans ages 18 to 24 use a form of online dating, which is up from 10 percent in 2013. Aaron Smith, a researcher at Pew, stated that the rise in percentage is due to the appeal of online dating apps to our generation and the growing acceptance of online dating. “They speak to the way young people are engaging in content,” Smith said. “They are location-focused, they are real-time, they include social networking and game play, so it’s a natural fit for them.” This growing trend of online dating use was also noticed by Mason student Rachel Eddowes. As part of a group undergraduate communications research project, she is measuring user satisfaction on Tinder when meeting a date in person following virtual communication. “Our group is looking to understand Tinder satisfaction by measuring the uses of Tinder, the gratifications of Tinder, and the expectancy violations of Tinder,” Eddowes said. “We are also looking at reasons people stop using Tinder, and why people do not use Tinder at all. We are surveying current Tinder users as well as individuals who used to use Tinder, and individuals who have never used Tinder.” With online dating becoming a “norm” for many college students and the recent reports of sexual assault on campus involving online dating apps, various Mason students and organizations are encouraging students to be safe and smart when online dating. On March 31, the LGBTQ Resources held an event called “Swipe Left, Swipe Right” as part of Pride Week. The event was geared towards students who wanted to learn how to navigate through the world of online dating safely and successfully. “The purpose of this event was to talk about some of the major dos and don’ts of online dating and creating profiles online,” Jordan Bayless, graduate assistant in LGBTQ Resources, said. Bayless has noticed the growing trend of online dating apps for college students and credits it to
the busy schedules that students tend to have. “From what I hear people use dating apps because they are looking for someone to hook up with or feel that it is harder to meet someone in school, work, etc,” Bayless said. At the “Swipe Left, Swipe Right” event, do’s and don’ts students should follow when dating online were discussed. Students are encouraged to be open-minded but careful when using online dating apps. Speakers at the event recommended using Skype, Facetime, or Snapchat before meeting up with someone for the first time. By doing so, students can be sure that the person they are talking to are actually who they claim to be. Making sure that someone knows your whereabouts is also recommended. It is suggested that students choose to meet up in a public space like a coffee shop if safety is a concern. “Be honest and let someone know where you are going and who you are meeting,” Bayless said. Bayless encourages students to stay positive during their online dating experience, rather than being overly anxious. “Don’t worry about the potentially negative things that could happen,” Bayless said. Trusting your gut is also an important aspect of online dating, especially if the student is feeling uneasy. Bayless encourages students to trust their intuition and be honest with themselves and others, while holding on to their privacy. “Don’t keep going on with things if you become uncomfortable,” Bayless said. “Don’t share too much personal information too soon like your address, phone number or family details.” Madison McCoy, a junior, believes that when it comes to the do’s and don’ts of online dating, there is not much difference than if you had met the individual in person. “The general rule is respect and to actually have an interest in the other person as a human being,” McCoy said. “And honesty is important- don’t just embellish who you are, just be your wonderful self. I think the rules of online dating are very similar to meeting someone in person and then going on a date with them.” McCoy does not dirctly link the recent reports of sexual assaults on Mason’s campus to the online dating app use. She encourages students to recognize a larger issue that the reports may highlight. “The reports make me more concerned and aware of the rape culture that we continue to perpetuate as a society,” McCoy said. “I hear people discuss the email alerts and they say things like ‘well, they probably were hanging out in a private place and the girl should have made sure it was in public so that didn’t happen’ or ‘I would never hang out with a guy from online in my bedroom the first night- that gives him the wrong idea.’ And that’s blaming the victim rather than recognizing that something in our society is off and needs to be healed.”
New app ‘BringMe’ grants wishes MATTHEW ODOM | STAFF WRITER
“The future.” That’s how Mo Belhaj, co-founder of the new app BringMe, describes the fledgling start-up he and Moustafa Baiou founded in 2014. The app, which launched on April 11 and is available for both iPhone and Android, offers users the option of having almost anything delivered to them at any time, whether that be in an hour or a week. It also allows those who qualify to make a few bucks by delivering said items. Users create “wishes,” or orders from an establishment of their choosing and add a “BringFee,” a tip that the “bringer,” or delivery person, will receive upon successfully completing an order. Users then receive their wish, whether that be a burrito from Chipotle or groceries from Safeway, as long as the delivery location is within five miles of Mason’s Fairfax Campus. Baiou and Belhaj, both Mason alumni, thought of the idea while sitting in the Johnson Center. “[We] were studying for this finance exam, it was finals week, and we were just really hungry and we wanted Chipotle,” Belhaj said. The two did not want to take the time to walk to their cars, drive to Chipotle, order and wait for their burritos, drive back to campus, fight for a parking spot and then find a place to resume studying. “What if we had somebody like our friend deliver us Chipotle?” Belhaj said. It was these inconveniences that inspired Belhaj and Baiou to create BringMe.
(COURTESY OF BRINGME)
”Parking spots are very limited, the food is not as good as you want it to be [on campus]; things like that kind of gave us ideas to help out students and help out ourselves and create a nice business that everyone can benefit from,” Belhaj said. When a “Bringo,” or a user, makes a wish, the app will suggest a BringFee. It is up to the Bringo to decide the tip. “I think the bigger the tip is, the quicker [the product] will get delivered,” Belhaj said. Once a Bringer accepts a wish, they can communicate with the Bringo anonymously via texting and calling through the app. After their wish is fulfilled, the Bringo is automatically charged using a credit or debit card linked to the app. Bringers are responsible for paying for customers’ orders and are later reimbursed by BringMe. “I think it’s [BringMe] a good idea because it offers a convenient service to people who aren’t looking for a very expensive service like Uber or Tapingo,” Stephen Guion, a junior at Mason said. “I feel like there’s going to have to be a lot of explanation when it first comes out because people might find it a little strange. People are very guarded about monetary transactions.” Baiou explains that everything is done through the app. Bringers can be anyone, but the co-founders think it is a position that will likely appeal to students looking to make some extra money. They have about 25 to 30 certified bringers. Bringers are allowed to complete up to three orders at a time and receive the BringFees they collect either via direct deposit or PayPal. If a Bringo wants a burger from McDonalds and a Bringer looking to make some cash is nearby, they can choose to accept that wish. But what if a Bringer isn’t nearby? What if you have to go to class in an hour and your wish still hasn’t been fulfilled? This is where Certified Bringers step in to finish the job. Certified Bringers are independent contractors hired by BringMe whom the app’s team push to complete unfulfilled orders. “Let’s say that [a user] puts an order up and nobody accepts it … we have this Certified Bringer that goes and delivers the item for so [the user] uses the app again,” Belhaj said. Certified Bringers make more than regular Bringers (the standard tip plus 50 percent) and have to apply for the job.
Belhaj and Baiou emphasized how easy and advantageous being a Bringer was. While similar apps, such as Uber, take time to vet their drivers, BringMe usually confirms applicants the day they apply. “It’s probably the easiest way to make money right now,” Belhaj said. “You can literally start making money the same day you download the app.” Several other apps already offer delivery services, such as Postmates, GrubHub and UberEATS. However, the BringMe founders aren’t intimidated. “We kind of welcome the competition,” Baiou said. “I feel like we’re coming at it from such a different angle than all these other apps.” They describe BringMe not as a service, but as a platform for others to provide services. “We don’t have a pure competitor so far,” Belhaj said. “It’s such a new concept and such a new idea that nobody has actually done it before.” While other apps are more restrictive in what they deliver, BringMe users have a wide variety of choices. Bringers can deliver almost everything except controlled and illegal substances, objects that are too large to fit in an average automobile and anything over $350. BringMe has been assisted by both the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Enterprise Center, two small business incubators operated by the university. “Mason has been a big part of the BringMe inception,” Belhaj said. Both facilities offer amenities and services that small startups like BringMe need to grow, including free one-on-one business consultation, furnished office space and monthly Lunch N’ Learn seminars. BringMe has big plans for the future and hopes to expand rapidly in the coming months. “Our goal is to take BringMe across the DMV (the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area) by the end of this year and start moving to other cities by next year,” Baiou said. They also plan to evolve from a simple mobile app to something more dynamic. “We have a lot of features we plan to release next year,” Belhaj said. “It’s going to be very exciting.”
11 lifestyle Filmmaker Khalik Allah shares his voice with Mason
BASMA HUMADI | STAFF WRITER
Making its debut with an unforgettable title, “Field Niggas,” is a documentary that is not as controversial as its name implies. Filmmaker Khalik Allah delves into one street corner in Harlem, New York -- 125th and Lexington Ave -- and documents the enchanting and intimate voice of a number of homeless and marginalized people living there. Mason held a film screening for Allah’s documentary on Tuesday, April 5, in the Johnson Center Cinema. A Q&A session followed with Allah as well as The Washington Post’s chief film critic, Ann Hornaday. Allah grew up in New York and developed a passion for photography when he began photographing members of the Wu-Tang Clan, a popular hip-hop group that originated in Staten Island. Filmmaking also grew to be his creative outlet, as both mediums seemed to overlap for him. This is very apparent in Allah’s film, which he describes as a “photographer-style documentary.” In Allah’s documentary, the audience is often staring into the eyes of the people on screen. There is audio of their conversations with Allah, but the onscreen image of their faces stands still and moves slowly, giving the film a mesmerizing and grounded tone. “I never told them I was shooting a video,” Allah said. “When I was shooting, I was shooting with my still camera, so they couldn’t differentiate between the cameras. They were holding their pose for so long waiting for me to press the shutter, but I was shooting video.”
The title of Allah’s film is inspired by a Malcolm X speech, “Message to the Grassroots.” Yet, a lot of responsibility came with a title like “Field Niggas” to make sure the film gave positive attention to Harlem and accentuated its beauty rather than its darkness. “I felt that, when you have a film with the title ‘Field Niggas,’ you’re walking a fine line of ‘Is this genuine or is this exploitation?’” Allah said. To strike this balance, Allah decided to include himself in the film by showing his face and leaving in his voice when he’s having conversations with the people on 125th and Lex. “I felt like my inclusion in the film made me just another character,” Allah said. “I was just another field nigga in the film. Breaking that third wall: there was no wall, there was no separation. The movie is egoless.” The documentary is not explicitly political and has no intention of being that way. Rather, it is intended to be a documentary with a humanity that captures the reality of the environment that members of the community live in. “What I really took from this movie is that it’s almost more of a spiritual experience than a political experience,” Hornaday said. “Just in the sense that they’re bearing witness and in the sense that it’s deeply listening to other people. He opens up this very deep space for, and countering, humanity. He conveyed humanity in a way, that I thought was really powerful and really beautiful. It’s political in all the right ways.”
The technical style of the film forces its audience to connect and engage with the stories being told on screen.
Rather than interviewing politicians from the local area, Allah allows community members to express themselves. In that sense, the film is told from the inside out and gives a portrait of people’s lives. Allah’s film is told with smart politics that makes its audience bear witness.
“I think [the film is] visually beautiful,” Hornaday said. “Something just about the composition of the shots, his pacing, and the way he allowed the audience to settle in and spend time with these people -- that really captivated me.”
“I wouldn’t describe this film as a polemic,” Hornaday said. “But I think the film is deeply political because, I think what he’s getting at just allows the viewers to spend time with people, that probably on any normal given day they would not be spending time with.”
Allah did not intend for the film to impact the community on 125th and Lex, but the film’s positive reception has garnered more awareness to the problems within the area. “That was never one of my intentions but I think it [made an impact],” Allah said. “It’s grown more attention to that area since the film has been released. The New York Times did a big piece about [the film], and four months after that they did a piece specifically about K2. 125th and Lex was the center -- the nucleus -- of K2 in the city.” K2 is known as a type of synthetic marijuana. Many homeless people in New York use the drug because it is cheaper than marijuana and does not show up in a person’s blood stream. However, using K2 is still considered a minor offense and it’s now used as a tool to gentrify the area on 125th and Lex. The film definitely made an impact on the audience members at the Mason screening. One audience member, Tammy Chorbaji, admitted during the Q&A session that initially she judged the film, but eventually came to an understanding of the film and the people in it. “I want to admit, I judged you in the beginning,” Chorbaji said. “I hated [the movie] in the beginning, I couldn’t see past it. I don’t know when or at what point I stopped judging and started to listen -- and most of all see. The beautiful faces that you depicted in this documentary was wonderful. It was real. Honestly, I’ve never met anyone like any one of those people in the film.” The egoless tone of the film enabled Chorbaji to step outside of her own perceptions and see the film for what it is. “It wasn’t about me, and that’s where my mistake was. I was putting myself in that situation. So I thank you, and I applaud you because this is teaching other people. You’re showing them, the people in the film, that they’re better than they think are in that moment. There’s so much to them. And for me to watch them, and at first judge them, then turn around and say I see you-- thank you.” Her comment was followed by applause from the audience as well as Allah.
MONDAY 4/18 On campus:
Off campus: Paint Nite
The Hub Ballroom
Baladna Restaurant & Lounge
6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
TUESDAY 4/19 Off campus:
Spirit of Washington Cherry Blossom Cruises
Pilates Barre Fusion
“Some guy just walked out of his class and farted SO loud...Gah damn Thompson hall is for winners”
TO DO THIS WEEK:
I am First stories
“George Mason is so high school musical lmao”
Spirit Cruises Pier 4
Johnson Center G34, Dance Studio
12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
WEDNESDAY 4/20 On campus:
Open Improv Jam
Johnson Center Georges
6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
“If you get hit by a Mason shuttle, do you get free tuition and a 4.0 or just one of those? ....asking for a friend”
THURSDAY 4/21 Off campus:
William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged)
Yoga for Well-Being Johnson Center G34, Dance Studio
Folger Shakespeare Library
12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
“Im not over it”
FRIDAY 4/22 @TheNatalieWolf Natty Light
On campus: The Pretty Nasty Party Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall 9 p.m. - 1 a.m.
Off campus: Snoop Dogg Live EchoStage 7 p.m.
Letter to the editor In light of Mason’s recent decision to increase student involvement on task forces and hire special investigators in Title IX Issues I have written the Open Letter below to Julian Williams, Vice President of Compliance, Diversity, and Ethics here at GMU. I realize that my position may be taken by some as hostile to those who are trying to solve what is a legitimate and serious university issue, but I assure you that is not the case. I write instead because there is legitimate concern that the University’s decision may cause more harm than the good will that is intended. Dear Vice President Williams, With all due respect, as a current student at George Mason University and the president of a student organization dedicated to protecting the individual rights and liberties of all students at this university, your recent announcement frankly bothers me more than it encourages me. Many of us witnessed in the news recently the severe mishandling of a situation involving seemingly consensual behavior between a student and nonstudent that was initially rejected on the grounds that the evidence was too thin. However, individuals within the conduct tribunals personally remanded and convicted the accused in a way that directly violated the due process of the student involved quite explicitly. The school’s subsequent lawsuit involving said incident resulted in severe damages, damages that incurred large costs, both financially and socially to all students and their families, however these costs are nothing compared to the damage done in time, money, and reputation towards the individual who
was wrongly expelled. Furthermore, the administrator at fault for the incident still holds the same powerful position in charge of the department of student conduct, despite demonstrating an inability to handle those powers invested in him responsibly. As someone who greatly values the rights of the accused, the announcement of ‘special investigators’ and a task force involving students who may not necessarily have the training or experience to handle this issues at hand, seems more harmful than helpful, and I must question whether this decision, with the best of intentions, could lead to the same sort of overly zealous and legally questionable treatment of the accused that this university has been involved with in the past. I wish to ask for the reassurance of both me and many other students a few important questions. Which student and administrative organizations are involved in the task force ? How many, if any, of these individuals represent interest in the rights of the accused as well as the accuser? Are there any measures being taken on the part of the school to ensure that the same mistakes that occurred during the 2013 tribunal, which permanently and irrevocably damaged the lives, educational and employment opportunities, and social reputations of students do not happen again? Sincerely, Aaron Gushin President, Mason Liberty AARON GUSHIN | CONTRIBUTOR
Velez reflects on Mason volleyball career COURTNEY HOFFMAN| SPORTS EDITOR
After five years with Mason’s men’s volleyball team, Paco Velez has seen a lot. He’s been through coaching changes, experienced new play books and seen players come and go. As his last season as a Mason Patriot draws to an end, Velez shared some insights with Fourth Estate about his experience at Mason and about how the volleyball program has blossomed this year. FE: What do you want to see out of the team in these last few games? PV: “I’ve seen in these last few games we’ve played [that] the team is finally clicking together. We’ve been playing really good volleyball. I’m proud of the boys and keep using this momentum.” FE: Do you think you’ll make it to the NCAA tournament? PV: “Definitely. We have a great team this year. The guys have a lot of energy and heart when we play, and I definitely feel like we can win the EIVAs and make it to the Final Four.” EIVA, the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association, includes eight teams up and down the coast. The team recently beat fellow EIVA member Princeton University (3-0) despite a rough start to the match. “We hit the storm, and we were able to weather it and finish them and come out with a victory,” Velez said of the game.
COURTESY OF MASON ATHLETICS
FE: How have you seen the program change over the five years you’ve been here?
is more aggressive now and more international play with all the things he’s been taking to the gym.”
PV: “The most change I think I’ve seen is Coach Jay. He’s been doing a lot of great things for the program in terms of the plays and following the international theme, so I feel our playing style
Coach Jay Hosack joined the men’s volleyball program this season, only the fifth head coach in program’s 41-year history. His style of play is likely the result of his 10 years’ experience playing for USA National teams and working as the men’s national assistant coach. Hosack was on the sideline as the assistant coach when the men’s national team took home gold in the 2008 Olympics. FE: What do you mean by international play? PV: “Just like the aggressiveness and getting high and leaping, not going for tips or rolls whenever there is an out of system ball. Just staying aggressive and going high and deep. And, the defense game we have, they used at Penn State, and we use it here and everybody’s can catching up to it. It’s working really well.” FE: What’s your favorite thing about home games? PV: “The energy, the parents, the fans -- they all come out and are always supporting us. It’s a great energy.” The men’s regular season officially ended this past Saturday, with a win against Penn State for the first time in eight years. They finished the season with a 16-11, 10-4 EIVA record. FE: Why did you decide to play volleyball? PV: “I’ve always been playing a sport. When I moved from Texas to Puerto Rico, I started playing every sport there and started liking volleyball a lot. I just kept falling in love with it.” FE: Does your team have any pregame rituals?
COURTESY OF MASON ATHLETICS
PV: “We usually get in the locker room and get hyped up. Nothing crazy. There’s a lot of yelling, screaming, pushing, and a lot of
eating at the same place, but I’d say Panera.”
Freddie’s; they have some frozen custard.”
FE: What’s your favorite thing about Mason?
FE: Where’s your favorite place to study?
FE: What’s your favorite movie?
PV: “The team is like a family. A lot of us don’t have anyone here. Our parents come on weekends for games and stuff, but all we have is each other here and I think that brotherhood that we have here is my favorite thing.”
PV: “I usually study in my room, but with my roommates there it’s hard to concentrate, so I usually go to the library. I like it now because of the remodel. It looks awesome. It’s a good place to hang out and study.”
PV: “That’s hard. I don’t have a favorite movie. I just like going to the movies and watching.”
Off the court, Velez sees his teammates as brothers. Since his family is still stationed in Puerto Rico because of his dad’s position with the U.S. Air Force, Velez only occasionally sees his family in the stands. Consequently, Velez says, his teammates are basically his family.
Velez can be found studying for his criminology classes or one of his two minors, intelligence analysis and forensic science. He hopes these courses will help prepare him to enter the Air Force like his father. In the long run, Velez hopes to become a part of an intelligence agency.
“Sometimes we get mad at each other. There is a lot of fighting, but at the end of the day, we love each other and we have that brotherhood.”
If Velez is not studying, you’ll likely find him hunting down his next milkshake or buying tickets to the latest movie.
PV: “I think the thing that surprises people is that my actual name is Fransisco. We were talking, and all the teammates didn’t know that, because I always go by Paco. When we had to fill out the roster, they asked you for your nickname, so I said Paco. That’s my nickname. So ever since then all the emails back and forth with the department have been Paco, but a lot of people don’t actually know that’s not my real name.”
FE: What pastimes do you and your teammates enjoy together? FE: Where’s your favorite spot to eat on campus? PV: “That’s hard. I would say Panera this year. You get tired of
PV: “I like going to the movies and getting milkshakes. They make fun of me because I like a lot of sweets and stuff. We go to
FE: Tell me a fun fact about you.
Even though the team’s regular season is officially over, the EIVA tournament begins this Thursday, April 21. Be ready to cheer on the men’s team as they try to make their way to the championships in the EIVA and NCAA tournaments.
Photo of the Week
Women’s softball fell to dayton April 10 at home.
(DAVID SCHRACK/FOURTH ESTATE)