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FOURTH ESTATE April 7, 2014 | Volume 1 Issue 21 George Mason University’s official student news outlet


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Letter from the editor-in-chief If I had my druthers and little better foresight and planning, this week’s letter would be written from somewhere in New Orleans where I’d be eating a shrimp po’boy the size of my forearm. It would be the precursor to me watching oiled-up muscle men grapple each other in the squared circle at the ‘Showcase of the Immortals’ for WrestleMania XXX. Alas, it was not meant to be. If you want to know a week’s late result of wrasslin’, come back next week to this thought space and if my dumb head is still down there, you will know that Daniel Bryan -- champion of the people -- has vanquished his enemies and has finally claimed the WWE World Heavyweight Championship over the authority figures that be. If Batista, Randy Orton or Triple H win the main event, then I will have been a very sad manchild and will be done with this cruel world. On to less pressing matters than thoughts on professional wrestling from a guy with actual human responsibilities, on page six of this issue, Fourth Estate Student Government beat reporter, David Magill, talks about the Safe Rides initiative being hatched by Student Government in collaboration with Mason and Fairfax officials. It’s going to be quite the hot take for me to tell you that this is a no-brainer issue to get started as soon as possible. The fact that there is no system currently in place to transport inebriated kids to and fro is kind of baffling. Everyone accepts the reality that a good chunk of college students are going to choose to drink. Authorities and school officials, I’m sure, would rather there not be a rash of underage drinking but it’s just going to happen. Once we’re able to get over that mental barrier, it should be a goal to ensure the safety of these folks by providing safe means of transportation rather than any given party having a mass exodus of drunkards operating motor vehicles. As it stands, by not providing either a safe means of transportation through individuals in the Mason community -- like at JMU -or through the lovingly known ‘drunk bus’ found at many campuses across the country, it seems that some past authority figures were putting blinders on to the realities of the situation. While it seems like many of the officials that Magill talked to are in favor of this system -- and some have been for a time -- the fact that there hasn’t been swifter actions in past years to get this system implemented is concerning. Hopefully, Student Government can successfully work with the administration and officials in Fairfax to get this system up and running sooner rather than later. Now, back to the more pressing matter at hand, everyone go on Wikipedia and just read about recent storylines in the world of professional wrestling and chat me up about the dumb and great things about the WWE. Knowledge of professional wrestling will be useful especially to those who wish to be on staff at Fourth Estate as every new staff member has to challenge me in a steel cage match.


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IV estate

Mason hosts scholarly panel on Syria conflict

(Amy Rose/Fourth Estate)


On April 4, Mason’s Middle East Studies and the Arab Studies Institute presented a panel of seven scholars to students and colleagues of the Mason community to participate in an informative discussion concerning the ongoing Syrian civil war. The widespread effect of the Syrian conflict is immeasurable. Multiple Syrian students at Mason have witnessed a strengthening unity of the community on campus. “I have met so many more Syrians here at Mason since the revolution started,” said student Zana Sahyouni. “I feel like we have become a lot closer to each other.” Sahyouni has seen how the Syrian conflict has not only affected them personally, but the Mason community as well. “The Syrian community really has gotten stronger which makes it stronger here at Mason as well,” Sahyouni said. “We are currently talking about making a Syrian-American club here, which we don’t have.” The seven scholars included the Director of Mason’s Middle East Studies program, Bassam Haddad; Professor of Economics at Hampshire College, Dr. Omar Dahi; Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, Lisa Wedeen; Professor of Sociology at Emerson College, Yasser Muniff; associate professor of Anthropology at Georgetown University, Rochelle Davis;

assistant professor of Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University, Dr. Daniel Neep; and Al-Hayat newspaper journalist, Ibrahim Hamidi. The event was co-sponsored by the Global Interdisciplinary Programs, the Center for Global Islamic Studies, the Center for Global Studies, the Dr. Scholl Foundation and the Department of Public and International Affairs through funding and promotion. Haddad began the event by thanking sponsors and providing a short biography of each panelist before initiating his speech on the economic, political and regional relations of the Syrian tragedy. “Today the players are the same but the prize is no longer the same, some say the prize no longer exists in any recognizable way,” Haddad said. “With more than nine million people displaced internally and externally… and with about one half of the Syrian population in need of urgent aid and nutrition, and after the killing of more than 130,000 people, the concept of victory in Syria has lost its meaning.” Haddad went on to discuss the struggle between a “continuously repressive regime” and an “opposition that has become a Frankenstein of sorts” for not only scaring its enemies but its supporters as well. The rest of Haddad’s speech explained and emphasized two points: why an uprising took place and how could an opposition to a dictatorship become so misled that it appears to many as “more of a nightmare than a savior.”

The third panelist was Wedeen, whose presentation was titled, the “Scenes of Generational Change: Notes from the Syrian Uprising.” Weeden’s presentation shared imagery of the devastation and chaotic uprisings through graphic stories and a music video depicting the violence in Syria. Davis proceeded to share a presentation with visual evidence on “Gender, Danger and Vulnerability: Syrian Men and War.” He displayed statistics of external refugees due to the Syrian conflict and shared not only the vulnerability of women and children refugees, but male refugees as well. The final panelist was Hamidi, who shared a personal experience as a journalist where Syrian uprising and violence threatened his safety as well the safety of his fellow journalists in Syria. After all panelists shared their 10-minute presentations, multiple question-answer sessions were conducted as colleagues and students engaged the panelists. Questions ranged from the involvement of foreign countries such as Russia to questions concerned with the conflict in various areas of Syria. According to Haddad, the information and arguments discussed during the event will be published, which will be announced at a later date. The publication will serve as a way for those who were unable to attend the event to obtain the information as well as to present a medium for the scholars to present any information left out of the discussion due to time constraint.


IV estate


Future provost discusses research collaboration within the university



On March 18, President Cabrera announced that he selected Lehigh University’s Dean of the Engineering School, David Wu, to fill the position of provost. Though Wu has not officially begun his position, he is already thinking about his goals and objectives for his role as provost. Wu was not a stranger to Mason when he was first nominated for the position. He had visited Mason many times over the years to visit colleagues in the Volgenau School of Engineering. “I have always had a positive impression of the place and the quality of people and the programming and the students, and of course, the campus is a very nice setting,” Wu said. An aspect of Mason that drew Wu to the institution was the strategic plan, which he finds to be very “refreshing” and different from other higher education institutions. “I like that it positions itself by putting the student first. It creates value for the student, faculty, community and the world. It’s a very well-connected, very well-articulated view of the place of a university in a broader sense...I think this is very consistent with the way I see the role of higher education,” Wu said. Wu also remarked that his favorite statement in the strategic plan was the Mason was the “best university for the world.” It addressed, to him, the question of how Mason could make an impact, both domestically and globally, on society. One of Wu’s biggest goals as provost is to institute more multidisciplinary programming, which would allow for the intersection of different subjects, such as computer science and business, as a new way to create academic programs and research initiatives. Wu sees the beginnings of this type of programming in the New Century College. “It’s really about how do you collaborate with a large number of people with different perspectives and channel their energy to the greater good of the institution,” Wu said. During his time at Lehigh, Wu instituted 12 multidisciplinary programs, which he believes had a positive


David Wu presenting his plan at his public provost interview address to the Mason community on Feb. 7 impact on student research by creating relationships across disciplines and futhering their research capabilities. “In terms of research and also in education, it is very rewarding to see the impact [of these programs] on the students and how you actually open up new opportunities that were not there before...I think thats the whole reason we are in education in the first place is being able to have an impact on young people’s lives,” Wu said. As Mason hopes to become regarded as a research institution, Wu sees multidisciplinary research initiatives as “unconventional collations” that will help generate research on topics relevant to today’s society, as well as help the university gain more research funding. “In this day and age, research needs to address a societal problem of real impact. When you have a campus that [works] in a multidisciplinary fashion, and they’re taking into account the

bigger issues of our time, [the campus] is very easily aligned with the interests of funding opportunities,” Wu said. Wu also addressed, in terms of funding, that certain financial opportunities are need-based. “You put yourself in a very unique position to compete because you can address that type of an issue that through areas of expertise you are able to put together and over time, anyone can do that but if you do it at a rate that is faster than everyone else, you can be much more dynamic than your competition,” Wu said. However, Wu believes that the biggest obstacle in creating these collaborative research initiatives is people’s time, which he believes is the “most valuable resource” in a university. Wu acknowledged that the teaching faculty has a wide variety of responsibilities and spoke about finding a balance between instructional time

and research. “To strike a proper balance [between research and teaching] is going to be the want a research faculty also engaging with the students and you want teachers also engaging in research,” Wu said. Wu not only wants to integrate collaborative leadership into research and the classroom, but also sees it as his own personal leadership style. He views his position as provost as a way to work collaboratively, generating success for his colleagues. “At the end of the day, when [my colleagues] are successful, I am successful,” Wu said. In terms of student involvement, Wu commented that he would like to have many different kinds of interactions with students at Mason. However, he noted differences between the student population at Mason and Lehigh, in terms of size and types of students.

“I have to find an effective way to interact with large groups of students and hopefully learn their perspective and get their feedback,” Wu said. Wu looks forward to his new position as provost, which will begin on July 1. He is especially excited about being given the opportunity to make an impact on a “larger scale” with this institution. “I think Mason is an amazing place and it has a very diverse population and I am really looking forward to working in that new environment...I think I have something to contribute in this environment and certainly being able to make an impact to a much larger student body,” Wu said.




IV estate

Student Government Initiates Safe Rides Proposal



The Student Government is currently constructing a system for a potential sober ride system, known as the Safe Rides Initiative. Safe Rides is the name the students have given to the system, due to its purpose of providing safe rides for potentially intoxicated students. If enacted, this system will be very similar to other universities such as James Madison University and Virginia Tech, and the route will path along the outskirts of campus, giving a “safe ride” to students who are unable to safely return home. “Safe Rides is something that needs the will of the students and community, but also needs sufficient funds to expand and revolutionize the culture on this campus,” said Raj Panth, who is Student Government’s secretary of public relations and is responsible for managing fund for Safe Rides. Panth said Safe Rides would need support from a variety of organizations on campus, including the Mason Police. “As far as administration goes, I know the Chief of Police is willing to work with us in making this happen,” Panth said. “It’s a vital piece of safety for this university, and it is good for the community and everyone. I think there is a huge chance of this

working out.” Panth recognized the need for community support in this project. “If we can get sufficient funding and a strong working relationship with the police and Fairfax, this program can grow into something incredible, and something truly one of its kind in Northern Virginia,” Panth said. Student government divided the task of establishing Safe Rides into different groups, including logistics, funding and help from student organizations. Student Government Executive Chief of Staff Liam Hennelly discussed the possibility of working with various administrative groups on campus to determine the best way to run the system. “JMU’s system is student run, but due to liability it may be easier for Mason to carry out this system through existing organizations on campus,” Hennelly said. However, despite the hopes of getting Mason administration involved in the project, Hennelly believes a lot of the motivation and work will have to come from students. “A lot of it will be up to students next year, and how much work they put into it,” Hennelly said. Senator Chandler Jenkins is working with the logistics of Safe Rides. She is currently investigating the different options to figure out how the program will work best.

“This includes the radius in which Safe Rides would pick students up (so how far outside of the Fairfax campus would a Safe Ride taxi go), the type of vehicle (bus, taxi, van, etc.), and the exact type of service we would be providing (i.e. a shuttle to and from bars in Fairfax back to campus or one that would cater more towards off-campus parties),” Jenkins said. Despite the number of obstacles Student Government would have to overcome, Jenkins was optimistic about the likelihood of Safe Rides succeeding. “It is very likely that a Safe Rides program will be enacted at Mason in the coming years. The logistics aspect, as well as the funding component, takes time to figure out,” Jenkins said. “However, we have a dedicated group of students behind it in Student Government and the program also has a lot of administrative and student support. It is definitely something we will work passionately for in the coming years.” However, Jenkins acknowledged that there is no specific time frame for enacting Safe Rides. “Once we understand exactly the need we are catering to and how that will be fulfilled, we will have a better understanding of how long the process will take and when exactly the end result will be realized,” Jenkins said.


IV estate




New program allows freshmen to enroll in Mason’s law school in three years SUHAIB KHAN PRINT NEWS EDITOR

Mason is now offering a program that allows students to finish their undergraduate studies in three years and move directly to Mason’s law school. The program, called the “3+3 Accelerated Program,” requires incoming freshman to finish their undergraduate major requirements by the end of their junior year, according to Associate Dean of Mason Law, Alison Price. Students must also maintain certain grades and an LSAT score that meets the average of the incoming class of the year before. “We may be able to get more Mason undergraduate students in the law school by working with them from the get-go,” Price said. “…What we want to do is to try to encourage people to be as prepared as possible for law school and to meet the standards, which are kind of high for Mason law.” According to Amy Takayama-Perez, Dean of Admissions at Mason, the program serves as a

great recruitment tool for undergraduates, due to the law school’s national recognition. “It’s overall going to be a great recruitment school. Because of the national reputation of our law school, families naturally ask us about the law school and getting into the law school,” Takayama-Perez said. Once the student has successfully completed their undergraduate major credits, as well as been accepted to the law school in their junior year, they will be considered a first-year law student. Following the completion of their first year of law school, the credits will be used to fulfill the student’s undergraduate electives, and students will be able to attend the ceremony of their graduating class. “We’re not going to take people who don’t meet out regular qualifications” Price said. “The hope is that by choosing to participate in a program early, students will understand not only that they have to complete all of their major requirements by the end of their junior year, certain grades are expected, and you need to be working towards

achieving an LSAT that has a certain number based on what the year before was. It’s like a pipeline project to guide people in the right course.” Price also said that although the application process for 3+3 participants was almost identical to the regular law school admissions process, there was the added component of having an interview. “We’re actually going to be interviewing the applicants, which most law applicants would appreciate the opportunity to do because they don’t really get the chance to market themselves outside of the papers that we receive and this is a kind of extra edge,” Price said. Mason’s law school has consistently ranked in the top tier of law schools in the US News and World Report. Law school admissions are fairly competitive, with the median undergraduate GPA being 3.55 and the median LSAT score being 161. According to Price, one of the aims of the 3+3 program is to sustain quality. “It’s not really about maintain[ing] numbers, we want to maintain and improve quality,” Price

said. “We’re hoping that by working with people earlier we can make sure that they are of the quality that we have come to expect at Mason law.” 3+3 is not the first five-year combined bachelors to masters program at Mason, according to Takayama-Perez, with the Volgenau School of Engineering offering similar programs. “For students who are coming in and looking at what they want their future plan to be, it gives us an opportunity when they come in as freshman to really work with them if this is something that they’re interested in,” Takayama-Perez said. According to Price, programs such as 3+3 are increasingly being looked at by other law schools for the purpose of reducing the debt burden on students due to the recent increases in law school tuition rates. “I think with law school applications being down overall, law schools are looking at different ways to recruit students, and there are a number of schools that participate in the 3+3 program,” Takayama-Perez said.




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IV estate




Mason alumnus turns tumblr into book

(Photo Courtesy of Paul Laudiero)


Mason alumnus Paul Laudiero returns to Mason’s Fairfax campus to promote his upcoming book “Shit Rough Drafts” as part of the English Department’s New Leaves Conference. Laudiero is a recent graduate from Mason, earning his English degree in May 2013 with a concentration in creative writing. While earning his degree, Laudiero took time for pursuing his other passion: comedy. “I started doing Washington Improv Theater after my freshman year at college,” Laudiero said, which he did at another college in Ohio. “I started doing improv the summer after my freshman year, randomly, just because I wanted to try it.” In the fall 2010, Laudiero started an improvisation group with 2011 Mason alumna Maxie Morales while fulfilling his English major. “The professors that I had in the English program really stressed just writing every day and working hard,” Laudiero said. “There’s no secret to being a great writer, it’s just working every single day and writing.” It was in one of Mason’s English classes that Laudiero got the first inklings of what would soon become the Tumblr famous “Shit Rough Drafts” blog, even though it started at a time when he felt his writing was not getting him anywhere. “I was in a couple of different creative writing workshops, spending hours every day, never happy with my work,” Laudiero said. “And I was sitting in one of my classes, and I started thinking that ‘You know, tons of authors must have horrible, horrible drafts like I do.’’ Fueled by that idea, Laudiero created a blog

that dedicated posts to various authors and their imagined rough drafts. This blog quickly gained a following and soon Laudiero drew publishers’ interest for his upcoming book. Eventually, Laudiero won a contest which got him an option for the book. “I was already in talks with the publishing house before the contest came around, and then I submitted [to the contest] and won which helped move it along,” Laudiero said, “It really just worked out nicely.” His book takes some of his “Shit Rough Drafts” posts from Tumblr in addition to a larger selection of new material that cannot be found on the blog. “This book is just one hundred and fifty jokes, that’s all it is.” Laudiero said, definitively. Success, for Laudiero, came in part from what he made of the opportunities he came across while in college. “My last semester at Mason I was trying to write as much as possible—taking writing workshops, emailing my friend every day with new material—just looking for an outlet, and I saw Broadside was hiring,” Laudiero said. Laudiero got a position writing a comedic column in Broadside in the spring of 2013. “Working on a deadline was the best thing in the world for me, and I got so much stuff down, even though it wasn’t even that great. I needed to turn something in every week which got me into a really good writing schedule, which indirectly helped result in my writing for Sh*t Rough Drafts.” “Shit Rough Drafts” will be available on April 15 for purchase. Laudiero will be at Mason’s New Leaves Conference on April 11 at 1 p.m. in Research Hall, Room 163.









5 places to get

a burger and a beer


It is that time of year again: the dreaded space between midterms and finals. Work is starting to pick up as the realization begins that there are only a few more weeks to have that final paper finished. But, for right now, here are a few places a student can get a burger and an ice-cold beer before diving into the work that lies ahead.

1.Fanfare Eatery 11861 Palace Way, Fairfax

Located at the Fairfax Corner stop on the Gunston Go-Bus, Fanfare Eatery is a family-friendly sports bar. Offering wings and cheesesteaks alongside five different beers on draft, this restaurant is the perfect stop to go before catching a movie at the nearby cinema. If you spend more than $10 there, you can even get movie tickets for $7.50! And if you have time on a Tuesday, drop by for their 50-cent wings. Be sure to try their spiked milkshakes.

2.Hard Times Cafe 4069 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax

Mostly known for their delicious chili, Hard Times Cafe also has amazing specials every day of the week. On Mondays, be sure to take advantage of their burger special, where any burger on their menu is only $6.99. Accessible off any CUE bus or a 30-minute walk from campus, Hard Times is a great place to go after class. Beer aficionados are in luck with dozens of beers and other drinks available. In addition to the burgers, if you visit Hard Times in the early afternoon, be sure to check out the thrift store next door which gives proceeds to help the cats and dogs at the Humane Society.

3.Smashburger 10160 Fairfax Boulevard, Fairfax

With their big, bright sign easily visible from any CUE bus route, Smashburger is home to


to accommodate the one You aLreadY have

delicious freshly made burgers and five bottled beers. It is a great place to sit with friends while happy music plays over the radio. The beef here is never frozen and can be ordered with premium toppings such as a fried egg, guacamole or applewood-smoked bacon. The egg bun the burgers are served on is delicious and brings all the flavors together in perfect harmony.

4.Fuddruckers 3575 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax

Ever get a craving for elk meat? This location off the Green Cue bus route has these cravings covered. In addition to their deliciously grilled beef burgers and chicken sandwiches, they also offer three exotic meat varieties: buffalo, elk and Kobe beef. With four different types of bottled beer available, Fuddruckers is a lively and fun place to hang out with friends and family. For those who are very particular about burger toppings, their topping bar is sure to delight. There are fresh picked vegetables available for you to use at your leisure. Whenever I go to Fuddruckers, I make sure to get one of their delicious hand-dipped milkshakes. If you’re after a deal on their burgers, hurry! Right now, there’s a limited time offer for a ¼ burger for only $3.99!

5.Red Robin Gourmet Burgers 13056 Fairlakes Shopping Center, Fairfax

Yum! Right next door to the Best Buy that the Gunston Go-Bus stops at in Fair Lakes Plaza, this must-visit gourmet burger restaurant is sure to hit any burger cravings. Equipped with a full bar and hospitable staff, drinkers have the choice of ten beers on draft, any of their signature cocktails, and even the greatest combination since peanut butter and jelly, boozy milkshakes. The burgers themselves are wonderful. With endless combinations of toppings to choose from, anyone is sure to find something that hits the spot. Good news for meatless readers, beef patties can be replaced with either a Garden Burger or a Boca patty at no extra charge.

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IV estate

Center for the Arts premiere

Mason’s Center for the Arts and Hylton Performing Arts Center announced their upcoming 2014-2015 theatrical seasons, which dance around each other to create a harmony of fresh and vivid performances. As is customary, CFA and HPAC’s season includes dramatic as well as dance, musical and acrobatic shows—some returning to Mason’s campuses and others making their debut for a fresh audience.

The piano features as a major theme in many of the concerts coming to the CFA including the return of Jeffrey Siegel’s Keyboard Conversations; the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, featuring Jean-Yves Thibaudet playing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2; Christopher O’Riley and Pablo Ziegler in their dual piano performance called “Two to Tango;” and Todd Ellison playing a slew of Broadway romantic love songs accompanied by Broadway performers. A particularly unique addition to this piano crazed season is “Holiday Celebration with The 5 Browns,” where a family of five Julliard trained, piano-playing siblings gathers, each armed with a piano, to simultaneously play a selection of Christmas music including “The Nutcracker Suite” and pieces from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The 2014-2015 season is perforated with New York’s top talents. HPAC brings a night of improvisation and Broadway with New York musical comedy group “Broadway’s Next Hit Musical,” and a Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin inspired performance by Deana Martin called “A Tribute to Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.”

Aquila Theater, a theater company who has associated with Mason for many years, returns to both CFA and HPAC with two plays: “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte, which will feature exclusively at CFA, and Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” which will be at both venues.

(Photo Courtesy of Rahav)

The CFA announced what has come to be known as the “Year of the Piano,” as an homage to the Steinway pianos, of which they are currently fundraising to obtain 23 more, for the Musical Theater Building on Fairfax Campus.

Continuing with the stretch of Broadway-inspired performances, the annual tradition “Arts by George!” continues in this upcoming season. This year, the performer will be none other than Broadway legend, Patti LuPone, who is known not only for her completely one-of-akind singing, but for her soul-wrenching acting talents.

Another returning company, the Virginia Opera, will be presenting multiple pieces over the course of the 2014-2015 season. These shows include “Sweeney Todd,” “Salome,” “H.M.S. Pinafore” and “La Traviata,” all to be performed at CFA. Another character who permeates the performance season next year is rather surprising, not to mention historical, Eva Peron. Peron, who was the character LuPone received her first Tony win for in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s “Evita,” has a story meant for the stage. Dance company Tango Buenos Aires brings “Song of Eva Peron,” to both CFA and HPAC. It follows the rise and fall of Eva Peron from her childhood to her reign alongside her husband over Argentina.

Royalty reigns over other dances brought to these two theater companies: including the returning Russian National Ballet Theatre who will be performing “Cinderella” and “Sleeping Beauty,” the first of which will be performed at both HPAC and CFA while “Sleeping Beauty” will only be performed at CFA. Breaking away from ballet are the returning Mark Morris Dance Group, who will be performing modern dance, as well as Alonzo King LINES Ballet. Alonzo King has been redefining the world of ballet, using and breaking the rules of the art form to create new, vivid art. HPAC breaks away from the large, dramatic pieces with some equally warming pieces featuring talented solo and a capella artists including Arlo Guthrie, Clint Black, Chanticleer, Natalie MacMaster and Dennell Leahy, and Phil Vassar and Lyndsey Highlander.

As all of these pieces may help ease the hearts and minds of Mason students, they will have the chance to watch performances soar far above them with the National Acrobates of the People’s Republic of China in their show “Cirque Peking,” at both HPAC and CFA. The CFA and HPAC’s 2014-2015 season is filled with nostalgia and fantastical themes. It encourages Mason students, as well as its surrounding communities, to look towards the greats, like Frank Sinatra, or peeking into the otherworldly works of acrobats and ballerinas. GENEVIEVE HOELER LIFESTYLE EDITOR

FREE TICKETS FOR MASON STUDENTS! THE VISION SERIES BRANFORD MARSALIS April 12 at 8 p.m. $48, $40, $24 CA Educating for Social Justice and Peace 2 Free Tickets per ID avail. NOW Elavie Ndura, speaker MASON OPERA April 21 at 7 p.m. The Marriage of Figaro FREE CA VIRGINIA OPERA - Carmen April 12 at 8 p.m., April 13 at 4 p.m. April 11 at 8 p.m. $86, $72, $44 MFA THESIS EXHIBITION: April 13 at 2 p.m. $98, $80, $48 CA $20 adu., $15 stu./sen. HT 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. NOW RAHSHIA SAWYER 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. NOW April 21 -25 FREE FG MFA THESIS EXHIBITION: TAO - Phoenix Rising I AM YOU – WORLD PEACE PROJECT April 12 at 8 p.m. April 13 at 4 p.m MAHOGANY MURRAY Ahni Sallaway, painting April 14 – 18 $46, $38, $30 HC April 21 – May 23 FREE MG FREE FG 2 Free Tickets per ID avail. NOW THE VISION SERIES Nanotechnology in Biomedicine Allesandra Luchini, speaker April 7 at 7:30 p.m. FREE HC

TEN-MINUTE PLAY FESTIVAL April 25-26 at 8 p.m., April 26 at 2 p.m. $15 adu., $10 stu./fac. TS 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. Apr. 15 FAIRFAX SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA April 26 at 8 p.m. $60 $45, $25 CA 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. Apr. 15 MASON CHORALE BROADWAY SHOWASE April 26 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. $10 adu., $5 stu. HC 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. Apr. 15

MASON SYMPHONIC BAND CONCERT April 26 at 5 p.m. $10 adu., $5 stu. HC 1 Free Ticket per ID avail. Apr. 15 KEYBOARD CONVERSATIONS® WITH JEFFREY SIEGEL Mistresses and Masterpieces April 27 at 7 p.m. $38, $30, $19 CA 2 Free Tickets per ID avail. Apr. 15


703-993-8888 or

Center for the Arts


7 0 3 - 9 9 3 - 7 7 5 9 o r h y l t o n c e n t e r. o r g / s t u d e n t s

Hylton Performing Arts Center PRINCE WILLIAM

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Another failed effort to create campus community I am old enough to remember when Mason made it to the Final Four. It was during my freshman year. Large screens were set up in front of the book store at the Johnson Center’s food court, where they placed the chairs in church pew rows so that hundreds of students could watch. Amidst the cars honking in celebration all night as they drove around Patriot Circle, the partying until early morning and the joyful raucous, the ideal community at Mason was accomplished. It seems that ever since early 2006 people have sought to recreate that fevered sense of unity and bemoaned the matter when attempts eventually failed. It created a sense of common interest, of common cause and of a common Mason identity. In his lengthy and excellent commentary, Frank Muraca struggled to examine what it was that kept us from being a community. His conclusion was an unpleasant one: it is our fundamental vision of innovation, diversity, entrepreneurship and accessibility that inhibits our ability to create community. “Innovation, diversity, entrepreneurship and accessibility should be resulting traits from an institution that understands itself. But these values do not build community; they reveal it,” Muraca said. “Innovation implies an environment of change and ease of surrendering past customs…for all the greatness of innovation, it doesn’t really define what’s most important in a community: people.” Not long after his work was published, university officials announced the discontinuation of the Class Council system. Begun in 2011, the purpose of these councils was to address the problem of community at Mason. According to its website, the councils were designed to “serve as the overarching link between the students and their designated graduation year, and create tradition for their class.” However, as Assistant Director of Programming for the Office of Student Involvement, Michelle Bennett, explained that the councils were considered unnecessary. “We are closing the program because we have decided that the programs that [class councils] were putting on are [programs] that our different offices could do and we just don’t have enough staffing to be able to oversee that type of thing in our area,” Bennett said. With that, another effort to create better community on campus failed. This most recent failure has to be frustrating for those involved as they were committed to their respective council’s work.

It is a frustration reminiscent of other student entities. One need only look at Student Government, an entity that does much to try and help out the surrounding community and be a representative body for Mason’s students. Yet since I was an undergraduate involved in Student Senate unto this day, only a small percentage of those enrolled even know that we have a student government, let alone vote in their elections or keep track of their activities. As councils disband and another student government election cycle likely results in victors getting hundreds of votes from a 30,000+ strong electorate, the question comes up again. What are we doing wrong? It cannot be a lack of effort on the part of organizers. Student Government tries and the Class Councils has tried. It cannot be a lack of awareness. Fourth Estate reports on these campus activities and mass emails are sent out about student body elections. Maybe it is innovation that drives people away from community, as argued by Muraca. Communities need tradition. They need longstanding precedents that can be handed down. Constantly changing the physical and cultural landscape of campus surely does not help. How can any freshmen this year connect to past freshmen via Student Union Building II, Gunston, Ciao Hall, Every Freakin’ Friday, or Broadside? These and other entities have been removed, renamed or replaced since 2005, or in less than a decade of time. Such a problem has more than one factor feeding into it. Being a predominantly commuter campus does not help. Administrators know this, which is why they have made efforts to combat such a culture. During my undergrad years, they made an effort to put more classes on Friday and extend weekend hours for on-campus restaurants. They built more dorms and have championed themselves as something they still are not. The Class Council system was another effort, another attempt at fixing the lack of community at Mason. The reasons for its demise likely fall into same multiple pillars that prop up our overall anti-community climate. MICHAEL GRYBOSKI COLUMNIST



A pro-choice stance is not anti-feminist There are differing perspectives on abortion within the feminist movement. Although a number of notable feminists were against abortion, such as Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul, the majority of feminists today identify as pro-choice, including our campus’ Feminist Student Organization. According to last week’s opinion piece “Mason feminists are pro-choice at the expense of women” written by former Mason student Michael Gryboski, a pro-choice stance is anti-feminist because an aborted fetus may be of the female sex. Such a perspective ignores the realities of the pro-choice stance, of women who are pro-choice and of women who have had abortions. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the mortality rate of legal abortions in the United States is a mere 0.6 per 100,000 women. In contrast, the mortality rate of unsafe abortions worldwide is 220 per 100,000 women, which is 350 times higher than the United States’ legal abortion rate; The World Health Organization defines an unsafe abortion as one being performed by an individual lacking the necessary skills, or in an environment that does not conform to minimal medical standards, or both. Simply put, when women do not have access to safe, legal abortion, many will turn to unsafe methods and many will die as a result of unsafe abortion. The stance that Gryboski has taken on pro-choice feminism values potential women over the actual women involved in unplanned pregnancies, even though the numbers show that without access to safe and legal abortion, the mortality rates of actual women skyrocket. Gryboski also cites the FSO’s screening of

the documentary “After Tiller,” which chronicles the lives of the four late-term abortion providers in the United States, as against pro-choice feminism. In order to avoid misrepresentation of legal abortion in the United States, it is important to mention that approximately 1 percent of all legal abortions in the U.S. occur past 21 weeks gestation. Late term abortions are performed on a case-by-case basis, from wanted pregnancies that must be terminated to preserve the health of the pregnant woman or due to severe fetal abnormalities. All of this information was provided in the “After Tiller” documentary. Gryboski’s article seems to suggest that the dominant reality of abortion is what is shown in “After Tiller,” but that simply is not the case. It is also important to note that being pro-choice is not equivalent to being pro-abortion. People who are pro-choice believe that women should have their full array of options concerning a pregnancy and decide for themselves whether or not to keep or terminate said pregnancy. We support a woman’s decision, whether that decision is parenting, adoption or abortion. Women are empowered when able to make choices about their reproductive health. To say that the pro-choice position is anti-feminist simply because a fetus may be female is misleading and misrepresentative of the pro-choice movement. Mason feminists are pro-choice not at the expense of women, but for the benefit of women to make informed decisions concerning their bodies and their lives. ELVIRA RAZZANO COLUMNIST

Why FOURTH ESTATE ? Prior to Broadside, the student newspaper was called The Gunston Ledger. It was changed in 1969 to better represent the politically out-spoken student body at the time. A “broadside” was a pamphlet used during the American Revolutionary War to help spread information. While Broadside has become an important part of life at Mason, we believe it no longer represents the overarching goals of student-run news. Though not specifically outlined like the three branches of government, the concept of a fourth estate referred to journalism and the media as an important tenet in upholding justice and liberty through establishing an informed public. These historic roots coincide with the transforming industry of modern journalism.




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COMIC CORNER By: Leilani Romero

let your opinion be

heard Do you have concerns, irritations, or praise regarding events that occur on campus? Want to comment on the way things run at Mason? If you would like to share your thoughts please email us at

Be a Hokie for the Summer!

Virginia Tech Summer Sessions Catch up or get ahead with two six-week sessions. On-campus and online classes. Free time to hit the pool, bike, hike, and shake it up!




Community service gained a larger spotlight recently in the Atlantic 10 with their Student Athlete Advisory Council video competition and press release encouraging all universities to participate in giving back to local communities. Mason SAAC participated in the National Education Association’s Read Across America campaign where athletes volunteered from various sports at Fairfax Villa Elementary to read to the children. “I got involved in Read Across America primarily, because it was a program brought to the student athlete body through SAAC. As a member of SAAC, I was encouraged to participate and decided that I would take the opportunity,” said softball player, Christina Gabriele. The opportunity to give back to the community also brings the Mason athletes together. “I think this pulls the student-athlete community together by allowing us to be active in our community and we can bond over the fact that we just had an opportunity to be positive role models for young children,” said rower, Patricia Kelshaw. Read Across America is an initiative done every year around Dr. Seuss’ birthday to get student athletes actively involved in the community. SAAC frequently sponsors community service efforts for Mason athletes. “It is important for me to do community service, because I enjoy reaching out to the community and people in need.” Kelshaw said. “It always feels good to make a difference.” The athletes are not limited to community service facilitated by SAAC. Every team is encouraged to come up with and execute their own ideas for service. “As a member of the softball team we have participated in numerous canned food drives, babysat at a local shelter, adopted an 8-year-old girl with brain cancer through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, and are now waiting for ‘Go Gold! For Tara,’ a community service event that we hope becomes a signature event for the program,” Gabriele said. This program to raise awareness about childhood cancer is among the examples of events that teams and student-athletes support. “While being a student-athlete, I have participated in the Dulles Day Plane Pull, which is a Special Olympics fundraiser where people raise money to pull an air plane across the ground for 12 feet,” Kelshaw said. “The money gained from that goes toward the Special Olympics program to provide year-round training and athletic competition to more than 11,000 athletes.” Read Across America was a rewarding

experience for the children and the student-athletes alike. “The kids at the elementary school were extremely excited to see us. I was really surprised to see how many questions they had about college, being an athlete, and where I was from originally (Miami, Florida). There was a big emphasis on getting to know us and it definitely brought a smile to my face,” Gabriele said. The positive image of the athletes reading Dr. Seuss books as the children gather around reinforces the desire to learn by showing where school and athletics can lead as Gabriele explained. “The image this creates for the Mason athlete community is one of caring. We really do care about this community, even if we aren’t originally from here,” Gabriele said. “We look for ways

We had an opportunity to be positive role models for young children -Patricia Kelshaw, rower

to give back and when the opportunity presents itself, we do.” Student-athletes have rigorous schedules as they balance schoolwork, practice, and games. The large number of athletic programs at Mason that participated in Read Across America shows that there can always be time made to show appreciation to those that support you. “Read Across America is one of those few instances where you can see basketball, volleyball, softball, lacrosse, and track athletes (just to name a few) all together in the same place, doing the same thing,” Gabriele said.



High intensity interval training

When it comes to cardio I dread it just as much as the next person. Running on a treadmill for miles is not something I want to do to burn fat, but I do enjoy doing high intensity interval training. This method involves switching between very intense bouts with less intense exercise in between. This can also be applied to weight lifting in the gym. Fact: HIIT is a better way of burning fat than running at a steady state cardio for a long period of time. When you run at 80% to 90% of your max heart rate, you burn fat from those stubborn spots for fueling your body throughout the workout. This workout style will increase your metabolism and burn more calories up to 24 hours after your workout. Another benefit of HIIT is that it can help improve your endurance levels. For the workout this week, I will be demonstrating it on a treadmill but this can be done on any cardio machine. Start out at jogging pace for a minute. Then, pick the speed up to a fast run or sprint; whatever fits your fitness level. After 45 seconds to a minute, bring the pace down to a fast walk on an incline of 10 for ninety seconds to a minute. Then, repeat the process for a complete twenty-minute workout. For a challenge, increase the speed of the run and/or increase the incline. Walking at an incline helps target your glutes and thighs.

Finding your maximum heart rate: It’s said that you should exercise for 20 to 30 minutes at your target heart rate for weight loss, but most do not know this magical number. Here’s a quick and simple way to calculate your target heart rate. Let’s Do the Math:

220 beats per minute – your age target heart rate





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START ReAdy foR chAllengeS.



START ReAdy foR leAdeRShip. START climbing higheR.

START ReAdy foR The fuTuRe. START TAking chARge.


There’s strong. Then there’s Army Strong. Enroll in the Army ROTC Leader’s Training Course at George Mason and you will be ready for life after college. Because when you attend this 4-week leadership development course, you will take on new challenges and adventures. You will also be on course for a career as an Army Officer. To get started, visit

IT'S NOT FOR EVERYONE, JUST THE LEADERS OF TOMORROW!!! Visit us at the RAC Call 703-993-2707 for more information ©2008. paid for by the united States Army. All rights reserved.

April 7, 2014  
April 7, 2014