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FOURTH ESTATE October 5, 2015 | Volume 3 Issue 5 George Mason University’s official student news outlet | @IVEstate







Fourth Estate

2 10.05.2015


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Crime Log



Sara Moniuszko & Alexa Rogers Editors-In-Chief

Ellen Glickman News Editor

Natalia Kolenko

Sept. 29 2015-030405 / Trespassing / Fraud Three suspects (non-GMU) were trespassed from GMU property for fraudulently soliciting on campus. (35/Avery) Johnson Center / Information Only / 2:42 p.m.

Assistant News Editor

Savannah Norton Lifestyle Editor

Tatyana White-Jenkins Assistant Lifestyle Editor

Courtney Hoffman Sports Editor

Claire Cecil Photography Editor

Katie Morgan Design Editor

Sept. 30 2015-030527 / Theft from Motor Vehicle Complainant (GMU) reported the theft of a parking pass from a vehicle. Loss estimated $50 for replacement pass. (33/Daniels) Rappahannock Parking Deck/ Inactive / 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Oct. 1 2015-030672 / Hit and Run Complainant (GMU) reported a hit and run of a vehicle. Offender unknown/fled scene. Damage estimated $1,000. (60/Golaszewski) Lot M / Inactive / 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Megan Zendek Visual Editor

Barbara Brophy Copy Chief

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.

Corrections: Volume 3, Issue 2 From Issue 2, “A Career Services overhaul is leading to more jobs for graduates” -- This article originally said the 2014 career outcomes rate of 74 percent “does not necessarily mean that 74 percent of graduates have jobs.” This was incorrect; the career outcomes rate represents graduates who reported employment or another full-time occupation. Corrections: Volume 3, Issue 3 From Issue 3, “Mason professors to be delegates at Paris climate conference” -- This article originally attributed the following quote to Paul Schopf, “Whether it’s food scarcity, water insecurity, extreme weather, or resource wars, these threats are real. They’re happening now, and they’ll only get worse if we don’t act immediately.” The correct attribution is Michael Shank.

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Hazardous materials in Robinson Hall make renovations difficult HAMNA AHMAD | STAFF WRITER

The presence of hazardous materials, such as lead and asbestos, is one of the reasons Mason is requesting funding for the planning, demolition and reconstruction of Robinson Hall. According to Virginia’s Six-Year Capital Outlay Plan, Robinson Hall’s health risks come primarily from the presence of asbestos and potentially lead-containing paint. “The Capital Budget request for the Robinson Hall project cites hazardous materials within the building as one of many reasons for constructing a new building, rather than renovating the existing buildings,” said Paul Didier, director of Environmental Health & Safety at Mason. “Since much of the ACBM (asbestos-containing building materials) and original painted surfaces in the buildings have been enclosed or encapsulated, removal of these materials as part of a renovation project would potentially create more potential exposures than replacing the building.”

Development (HUD), lead poisoning can damage vital organs like the brain and kidneys. Children and adults are at risk of becoming poisoned if they consume contaminated objects or touch contaminated hands to their mouths. The risk of poisoning in homes and buildings constructed before 1978 can be lowered by regularly wiping down flat surfaces, washing hands, discarding loose paint chips and taking precautions of lead dust when renovating. Although traces of lead paint have not been found in Robinson Hall, the university assumes that the material was used during its 1975 construction. Any risk of lead poisoning would be low, however, because according to Didier, many of the walls and doors have been repainted multiple times,

covering the original paint, and are kept in good condition. Several other buildings on campus were built during the 1970s and are presumed to contain similar hazardous materials. However, students, faculty and staff are not at an increased risk when using Robinson Hall and the other buildings. According to Didier, the university maintains the hazardous materials within the applicable guidelines and any identified hazard is taken care of by licensed abatement personnel, who also remove the materials during planned renovations when possible. Former laboratories in Robinson Hall also contained hazardous chemicals, but the labs were cleaned out and decommissioned after closure, said Didier.

The Virginia Six-Year Capital Outlay plan establishes a revised six-year capital outlay plan for projects to be funded entirely or partially from general fund-supported resources, according to Virginia’s Legislative Information System website. Asbestos is a class of naturally occurring fibrous minerals that are used commercially, especially in many building materials, because they are resistant to fire, chemicals and heat, according to the National Cancer Institute. Asbestos is also a human carcinogen, a substance confirmed to cause cancer. Increased exposure to or ingestion of these fibers can increase the risk of lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the membranes that line the chest and abdomen and is most commonly associated with asbestos. “Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated a phase-out of asbestos for most commercial uses in 1981, and most historical uses were abandoned by manufacturers and builders in the 1980s, asbestos is still used in the manufacturing of some industrial products even today,” Didier said. “ACBM remain in many schools, homes and commercial buildings, including in Robinson Hall A and B.” According to Didier, ACBM are not hazardous unless they become friable, meaning that they are fragile enough to be crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder by hand pressure. The ACBM identified in Robinson Hall are not friable. Another potentially hazardous material cited in the Capital Outlay Plan is lead paint, which is a paint that uses the toxic metal as an additive. According to Didier, lead paint was widely used until the 1970s but was later identified as a poisonous toxin. It was banned from residential use in 1978. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and




news Mason Professor appointed Ben Carson’s senior economic advisor



Economics professor Thomas Rustici, Ph.D., has been named senior economic advisor for Ben Carson’s presidential campaign. Rustici’s role as senior economic advisor simply means that he advises Carson on all things economics. “Anything to do with money, taxes, programs — everything under the sun,” Rustici said. “If it comes to the federal budget, it’s something I’m going to be talking about. If it has anything to do with the regulatory agencies, EPA [Environmental Protection Agency], OSHA [Occupational Health and Safety Administration], EEOC [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission], anything, I’m going to have something to say about that.” Carson is one of 15 Republican Party candidates running for president in the 2016 election. A Detroit native, Carson, 64, was the head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University and holds 67 honorary doctorate degrees, according to his website. According to an NBC and Wall Street Journal poll published Sep. 29, Carson ranks second at 20 percent, just one percentage point behind Donald Trump. Rustici accepted the job after Carson’s campaign managers reached out to him about the position and cited his 22 years of teaching experience as part of the reason he was chosen. Rustici has taught classes in 12 different areas of economics, from environmental and international economics to transitional economics, as well as money and banking. “Since I teach public policy, and I’ve taught it for 22 years, I deal with a lot of various issues that are regulations and programs and things like that, so I kind of have that background,” Rustici said. “The campaign kind of likes that — that I can talk about different areas of economics very quickly.” Rustici said what really convinced him to accept the position as Carson’s senior economic advisor was how genuine the candidate seemed. Rustici said when he met Carson, he realized that “he and his wife [were] very decent, good people.” He continued, “I think that’s what stunned me so much, because in politics, there’s this tendency to put on the face, put on the show, and that’s not Ben. Ben is what you see is what you get. He is who he is, in all of his humbleness.”

Rustici also described his personal respect for Carson, saying, “His life story is so tremendous, he was the head of pediatric neurosurgery, he saved thousands of kids’ lives. He started the Carson Foundation to pay for college for kids who couldn’t finish school and couldn’t afford college. You suddenly realize, this guy is at the peak of his life, the prime of his life — he should be fishing and playing golf, and now he’s right in the middle of politics.”


time constraints will change. “I can chew gum and walk at the same time,” Rustici said, “but I try not to do that. I’m not going to sacrifice my students.” However, Rustici made it clear that his students are his first priority. “My obligation to my students trumps even the President of the United States,” he said.

The interview process took a little over a month, and Rustici accepted the position as senior economic advisor the last week of August. Originally, Rustici only met with Carson’s campaign managers, who spoke with Rustici about his personal philosophies and Carson’s beliefs to see if the two were compatible. During the third meeting, Rustici met Carson and his wife and was questioned directly by the presidential candidate. After one more meeting, Carson selected Rustici to be his senior economic advisor, just in time for the first Republican debate. “I taught my morning classes and had my assistant teach the afternoon classes, and my wife and I went down to the debate prep … I was just one of many advisory teams that were prepping him, and I only had one hour for all things economics,” Rustici said. When selecting his team, Rustici was given what he described as “full autonomy” to choose his associates. He said his team is comprised of three professors from other universities who have volunteered to work with him, PhD students from Mason and former students who have received Bachelor’s degrees in economics who are helping with data and other work for the campaign. Rustici teaches four classes during the fall semester on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and he told Carson the other days of the week are his time for the campaign. Rustici said he realizes that if Carson is elected to the presidency, he would be in the position to help craft policy. “I always say, ‘We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.’ I’m going to do what I can right now, and we’ll see where it goes from there,” Rustici said. But first, Carson must be appointed the Republican Party nominee for president, a case in which Rustici acknowledges his Dr. Thomas Rustici teaches an ECON 104 class.


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Construction updates on campus ELLEN GLICKMAN | NEWS EDITOR

The Johnson Center roof Students came back this semester to find that the heavily trafficked Johnson Center was undergoing construction. The workers around the building and metal scaffoldings at every entrance were a result of a roof replacement project. Steve Morehouse, interim director of Student Centers, said the replacement is almost complete. Most of the scaffoldings have been taken down as the crew completes finishing touches to the roof. “The majority of the roof actually is done,” Morehouse said. “We’ll be finishing up all the metal work and all that through the rest of this month.” Once the roof is complete, he said it might take the crew a couple more weeks to take down all the scaffolding and move off-site. Morehouse said he expects that to be finished around the middle of November, although the schedule is weather-permitting. He said everything is scheduled to be completely finished towards the middle of November, again weather permitting. Crew workers recently lost a few days of work due to Hurricane Joaquin. The safety netting on the third floor will also be taken down once roof repairs are finished. Morehouse said the netting was installed to protect Johnson Center occupants from ceiling tiles that might potentially fall during repair work. He said the roof replacement was necessary because the roof had reached the end of its functional lifespan. The old roof was the original Johnson Center roof. The building first opened in 1995, putting the roof at 20 years old. As the roof got older, various problems were occurring as a result of the roof being worn out. Chris Brown, acting associate director of Building Services, said holes were starting to appear, which had caused some damage to the building’s interior. “[The roof] had a lot of holes. It was just kind of worn out,” Brown said. “Roofs typically have about a 20 year lifespan, and we were pushing a few more years than that with this roof. So it was just time for it to be replaced and get rid of those holes that just kind of show up over time.”

Morehouse said that most of the roof-related damages inside the Johnson Center are cosmetic issues, like water-stained walls. He said Student Centers has plans to repair the interior, but that it is a separate project from the roof replacement and will begin at a later time. Once the entire roof replacement is said-and-done, Morehouse said the cost of the project will be nearly $2 million. He said the project has gone smoothly, given the usually packed Johnson Center. “It’s actually gone pretty well concerning how intrusive of a project it could have been,” Morehouse said. Road closures On Sep. 16, the Mason community received an email from Parking and Transportation that provided details of current and upcoming road closures around the north side of campus. The closures are due to the ongoing construction of Academic VII on what was previously Lot H. Academic VII will be a new building for the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS). Construction is scheduled to be completed July 2017, according to the facilities website.

close, as will the Lot I entrance off of Aquia Creek Lane. Cantor said Parking and Transportation will provide the Mason community with details about the later phases closer to each one’s initiation. Information on the first two phases, including maps that illustrate the road closures, can be viewed on the site building.gmu. edu. Plans for Academic VII began about six years ago, according to Cantor, and since then Parking and Transportation has been preparing for the loss of Lot H. For example, Rappahannock parking deck was built to absorb some of the lost parking space, Cantor said. He explained that even with the loss of Lot H, there is still enough parking to meet demand. According to Cantor, recent buildings like Merten Hall and the engineering building were also built on parking lots, since they make attractive building sites. “If all we cared about was parking,” Cantor said. “Half the buildings on campus wouldn’t be here, half the students wouldn’t be here, half the people wouldn’t have jobs.”

Josh Cantor, director of Parking and Transportation, said Patriot Circle is being rebuilt to accommodate the future CHHS building. In order to do so, the road is being rebuilt slightly south of its current location in that area. Then, nearby and attached auxiliary roads will be realigned to fit in with the new Patriot Circle. Cantor said students, faculty and staff can expect road closures and detours around the construction site to last throughout the academic year. Cantor explained, as did the email to the wider community, that the specific closures and detours will change periodically. He said the road construction is divided into five phases. The first two will take place this semester. Currently, road construction is still in Phase One. During this rest of this phase, the portion of Patriot Circle located between George Mason Boulevard and Occoquan River lane will remain closed, as will the section of Aquia Creek Lane that connects Patriot Circle to the area behind Thompson Hall. Phase Two is scheduled to begin in early November and last throughout most of December. In this phase, the aforementioned section of Aquia Creek Lane will reopen, providing a detour of Patriot Circle construction. The part of Occoquan River Lane between Rogers Hall and Subway will Metal scaffolding at an entrance to the Johnson Center will be taken down in upcoming weeks as roof replacement is completed.




lifestyle Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin Eater


Students may not always be aware that their actions constitute an Honor Code violation. Every student at Mason signed the Honor Code before his or her first semester began, though many do not recall doing so. Students agree to adhere to the Honor Code on the admission application, far before even deciding to attend Mason. The complete Honor Code reads as follows: “To promote a stronger sense of mutual responsibility, respect, trust, and fairness among all members of the George Mason University Community and with the desire for greater academic and personal achievement, we, the student members of the university community, have set for this Honor Code: Student Members of the George Mason University community pledge not to cheat, plagiarize, steal, or lie in matters related to academic work.”

Anthony attributed this reduction to the revision of pedagogy in certain departments. “In a couple of departments, collaboration was not allowed in some of their entry level classes, and then, last fall, the department decided, okay you can collaborate, but your homework will be worth nothing; but, if you can’t produce for the test, where everything is weighted, then there you have it,” Anthony said. She said some scenarios in which students may not realize that they are violating the Honor Code include the use of editors or study banks and the lack of citations. One such scenario can occur through the student editing process, where peers assist their classmates with proofreading and basic


work, old tests, with other individuals who may have the class, that they might be violating a policy that either they forgot about or didn’t quite understand was quite the case.” For example, a student might read another student’s essay uploaded onto the study bank, take notes from it without paraphrasing and later incorporate that content into their own essay. That would be considered plagiarism, according to Anthony. Another common situation in which students inadvertently cheat is when they believe information to be common knowledge and then fail to cite any sources. When these students are then referred to the Honor Committee for this violation, the committee clarifies that what is common knowledge within a student’s field of study may not be so for the general public. Dr. David Eil, assistant professor of experimental and behavioral economics, looks at cheating with a behavioral economics approach, explaining that students’ motivation to cheat has to do with the concept of time inconsistent behavior.

Many students define cheating in a similar way. Michael Bailey, a freshman computer science major, defined cheating as “misrepresenting others’ work or work you didn’t do as work you did do.” Aisha Shafi, a freshman government and international politics major, added that she believes that cheating is turning in something that isn’t your own work. However, in certain situations, what counts as cheating may be somewhat ambiguous. Dr. LaShonda Anthony, director of the Office of Academic Integrity, defines cheating as “unauthorized assistance in academic work and unauthorized access to information that gives you an unfair advantage in academic work.”


“Somebody takes a class, thinking at the beginning of the semester they really want to study and do well in it, but they procrastinate. By exam time, they realize they haven’t been following the class as much as they should have, and they’re not really prepared for the exam. Then they decide that they should try to cheat on the exam rather than take it fairly,” Eil explained.


Information provided by the Office for Academic Integrity.

At Mason, the number of Honor Code violation cases has fluctuated over the past six years but has generally remained anywhere from 326 to 444 cases. In the 2013-2014 school year, 594 students were referred to the Honor Committee in 439 cases. In the 20142015 school year there was a decline in which 464 students were referred to the Honor Committee in 341 cases. Not only did the number of students and cases decline in 2014-2015, but the number of repeat students and transfer students also declined, from 72 to 30 and 277 to 180, respectively. There was also an overall decline in Honor Code violations from the Volgeneau School of Engineering. During the 2013-2014 academic year, 419 students were referred to the Honor Committee from the Volgeneau School of Engineering, a number that decreased by over one half during the 2014-2015 academic year, when only 204 engineering students were referred. Although Volgeneau continues to be the department responsible for the most referrals, it is also responsible for the greatest reduction in Honor Code violations between the 2013-2014 school year and the 2014-2015 school year.

grammar. According to Anthony, editors outside of the Writing Center, which offers specially trained student editors to help with assignments, may sometimes step outside the role of proofreading and begin to alter the content of the paper. This is when the Honor Code violation occurs and an editor goes too far. “Reliance on editors has come up as an issue recently for our office with some of our multilingual learners, who are using editors,” Anthony said. “You can use an editor to help you with basic grammar and punctuation and formatting [but] once they start touching content they’re actually writing the paper for you, and once you turn that in you’re now representing that paper as your work and that’s not accurate.” Study banks, where students share information regarding a specific course, although not created maliciously, could lead to Honor Code violations. “A lot of students who create study banks are not creating them with the intention of cheating or getting unauthorized assistance,” Anthony said. “They just don’t understand that by sharing old

Anthony suggests a rule of thumb for those instances when students are unsure of whether or not they are cheating. “If you are ever in doubt, ask your professor.”

Madeline Williams, student chair of the Honor Committee, contributes the temptation to cheat on mounting pressure many college students can feel. “I think pressure could be one thing, especially if you feel pressure to get all As, pressure to juggle extracurricular activities and a job and pay your way through school,” Williams said. “I don’t think a majority of, or even a large number of students just want to cheat for the sake of cheating. I always feel like there’s that factor of feeling like you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.” The temptation to cheat is always there, particularly if an assignment is too difficult, Aisha Shafi, freshman government and international politics major said. However, she ultimately chooses to refrain because it violates her personal values as a student. “It just goes against my beliefs, you know. I believe that a person can succeed on their own terms, and you don’t need to cheat to get someone else’s ideas,” Shafi said, adding that “cheating doesn’t really accomplish anything.”






Alum profile: From online news editor to local news reporter Then each reporter goes out on the scene to shoot his or her story and get interviews. “I work the day shift so I produce my content for the 5 p.m. and the 6 p.m. shows,” said Powell. “You get all of your content done and then you come back, write your script, edit and get it ready for the 5 p.m. show.” He tries to get back to the station at 2 p.m. with all of his footage and interviews to give himself time to write his script. Reporters at WHSV are multimedia journalists, which means they do everything themselves. This includes being in front of the camera, interviewing, setting up cameras and editing. “You pitch, write, film, you do everything. I am a reporter first and a photographer second,” Powell said. “Fourth Estate definitely helped me. To be an editor helped more than being a writer because I had to come up with story ideas and that is one of the hardest parts of my job, pitching story ideas,” said Powell. Powell has covered some fun stories so far in his reporting career. He recently shot a stand up, which is a short shot of a reporter in front of the camera narrating the next part of their story, inside of Luray Caverns. (COURTESY OF AVERY POWELL)

Avery Powell prepares before going live covering reports of a fire at a building in the city of Harrisonburg.


After seniors graduate, they are usually frantically applying to every job in the area and hoping for the best. Former Online News Editor for Fourth Estate and recent Mason graduate, Avery Powell, had a stress-free post-college job search. He accepted his dream job in April before graduating in May 2015 with a degree in global affairs and a minor in journalism. Powell is currently a reporter for WHSV- TV3 located in Harrisonburg, Va. He already knew he had a job locked in while he was walking across the stage at the Patriot Center. “It was a relief,” Powell said. “Especially [a job] in journalism because it’s competitive.” He started as a web producer for the station and quickly became a reporter. “I used this website called,” said Powell. “You have to pay a yearly fee, but it lists every TV job that is available in the United States. I just kind of went through it and looked for openings.” That’s where he stumbled across WHSV, the sister station of Charlottesville Newsplex, the news station where Powell interned while at Mason. “That helped me get ahead, I think,” he said. His reference letter from Charlottesville Newsplex was an extra plus. Powell held several media internships throughout his college experience, including a position at NBC’s “Meet the Press,” NBC News’s political unit and one as a college correspondent for USA TODAY College. “I think my internships helped me stand out throughout college and my work with Fourth Estate. I think it was a mix of a lot of things … and dumb luck.” He talked about his typical day as a reporter. “We start our day at 9:30 a.m. with our morning meetings with the news director, assignment manager, the producers and the reporters,” Powell said. This is when staff members review the day’s story ideas, weather and news for the day. Each reporter has to pitch two viable stories during this morning meeting, Powell explained. They discuss story ideas and then figure out who is going to cover what for the day.

“I did a more fluffy story about this dog that got lost,” said Powell. “It was found by the sheriff ’s deputy. He found him on the side of the road while he was on the phone with his friend. She was on Facebook and was talking about the dog that was missing.” This dog turned out to be the dog that was right in front of the deputy, explained Powell, who enjoyed interviewing the owners to support this entertaining news story. “I got to interview the first lady of Virginia while she was touring Shenandoah Valley. That was pretty cool,” said Powell. He has also had to report more moving stories that have pulled at his and viewers’ heartstrings. He recently covered a story about a couple who stayed together through the husband’s battle with cancer. Powell said his favorite story so far had to be covering a new brewery that opened in Woodstock, Va. “I went in and got to ride a conveyer belt where they take the grain out. I got to mix some stuff, I was able to get active in the process,” he said. He also reflected on which classes at Mason helped him prepare most for his current career. “I took a news writing class and that really helped my writing. Take as many writing classes as you can,” he said. “Video workshop class helped me too, so you know how to run the camera.” Powell is still deciding if he wants to stick with reporting or move into anchoring. “I don’t want to pin it down to something because I’m still learning.”

Although, he says that he does want to move up to bigger cities and knows that this is what he wants to do. “It’s more stressful then I ever thought it would be, but I’m enjoying it,” he said. “I was surprised about how quickly we had to turn a story out. I mean I knew that’s what they did but I mean turning a story out in a day is tough. I don’t think anything in college prepares you for that.” Powell advises students to participate in internships throughout college because experience is the best tool to fully prepare someone in their career path. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a small news station or a large news station. If you want to become a reporter on camera, I know big internships like NBC News, I love them- but those small stations are going to prepare you. They are the ones who are going to put a camera in your hand and say ‘film this.’ That’s what you need.” Powell also commented on the importance of getting involved in a university newspaper in order to have published work. “In journalism, I have said this all four years … if there is a student newspaper, you need to freaking write for it. My news director said to me ‘I’ve read your writing.’ Which is something that they want to look at,” Powell said. “If you are just submitting these class assignments, that’s not anything,” he explained, since this is just a piece that you are turning in for a grade, not something that is actually published. “It doesn’t have to be published to some big company website, it can be published on your school’s website,” he said. Though it was difficult at times, the work Powell did to come this far was invaluable for him. “College feels worth it that I did all this work and now I’m in the industry that I have been studying for,” said Powell






Band reflects on career, gives advice on “living the dream” SARA MONIUSZKO | CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Folk-rock duo Aztec Two-Step took the stage on Sept. 26 at Jammin Java in Vienna, Va. to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their second album, Second Step. Before the concert, the duo, comprised of Rex Fowler and Neal Shulman sat down for an interview about their longstanding career and the advice they have for young musicians looking to achieve the same. On “living the dream” The duo’s past and present success of performing for a living is a feat that many music students dream of accomplishing. Fowler himself describes the duo’s career as “a dream come true.” “Every once in a while you have to pinch yourself and say, ‘Wow, we’ve been able to hang in a do what we want to do -- our own original music,’” Fowler said. Though they have never had a hit song, Fowler explained that he and Shulman have been able to keep their career going thanks to their solid beginnings and continued work. “We had a lot of what they called ‘turn table hits’ in the ‘70s, which was a lot of progressive FM radio [and] college radio, which is where we built the foundation for our career, and that was very important,” Fowler said. “So it’s pretty cool that we’ve been able to do this. And that’s the one thing that probably makes us a little more unique than somebody who had that breakthrough hit. So we’ve always just done the best and tried to build little steps as we’ve gone along.” These little steps have carried them into a career that includes over a dozen albums, performances at both Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center as well as nonstop recording and touring since the early ‘70s.

Their personal dynamic

a good idea not to hit on your band mate’s girlfriend.

Throughout music’s history, countless bands have fallen apart, but not Aztec Two-Step. Even though they met by chance at a coffee shop’s open mic, Fowler and Shulman have been able to beat the odds and stick together for over 40 years.

More Aztec advice

“It’s certainly unusual… Most bands don’t hang in there that long,” Fowler said. “I think being a duo, even though it might sound easier, might be little more difficult. Because you have a dynamic between two people, and you don’t have a third vote to go, ‘Ok, two against one.’” Fowler knew they had created something special when he and Shulman performed for the first time together just a about week after they met. “For me, it went from like playing solo and getting golf applause, to going out on stage as a duo and we blew the freakin’ room away. I mean, we both were flabbergasted… So we knew we had something there.” Like other relationships, communication is key in making sure everyone stays on the same page, according to Fowler. “Whatever our differences are, and of course every two people have them, you really have to work at getting the communication and all that stuff,” Fowler said. “It takes a lot of work to make things go smoothly.” Shulman added that being a “good hang” is another important quality in being a good band mate. “You’ve gotta try to be good company” he said. He also joked that, in order to keep a healthy personal dynamic, it’s

Rex Fowler (left) and Neal Shulman (right) perform at Jammin Java in Vienna, Va.


In addition to making sure conflicts are minimized, the duo noted the importance of young musicians to stay on top of the business side of the industry. “Everyday counts. You have to really focus on doing the creative side, but also doing the stuff that builds the bones of your career, the infrastructure,” Fowler said. “That means, get yourself a Facebook page… Keep up with the technology that allows you to put your music out there.” He explained that students can do a lot in today’s music world to get themselves discovered. “It’s gotten to a place now where you really don’t even need to make a hard record,” Fowler said. “You put your music up on a cloud, you send the link to a radio station, you hope that they’ll listen and download, and if they like it, they’ll download it and play it. It’s just so different than it used to be, but you have to be smart about all of that infrastructure as well as the creative side. Perhaps the simplest, but most powerful bit of advice the duo shared was to not give up. “The most important thing is, if you really believe in yourself, perseverance,” Fowler said. “Because if you don’t persevere, then you’ll be like so many other people who fall to the wayside, and you’ll be left with your dreams but not necessarily your career.”








MONDAY 10/5 On campus:

Off campus:

An Evening Under the Stars

“So who wants to take us in during this hurricane?”

Paint Nite

Mason’s Observatory

Hard Times Cafe

7 p.m.

7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

@GMUSquirrels GMU Squirrels

TUESDAY 10/6 Off campus:

On campus: “I’ve never been so disappointed in a hurricane”

Smart (Farmers) Market

Ballroom Dancing Lessons

Oakton, Va

Johnson Center, Dance Studio

10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

5 p.m. - 7 p.m.

@JennyEda Jenny Eda

WEDNESDAY 10/7 Off campus:

On campus: “At this rate we will be going to class via canoe on Monday #Joaquin”

Paint Nite

Fall Career Fair

The Greene Turtle

Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall

7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

11 a.m. - 4 p.m.


THURSDAY 10/8 Off campus:

On campus: “GMU People: “This hurricane is going to kill us all!” Me: “My brother was literally born in a hurricane it’ll all be okay.”

Yoga in the Park

Yoga for Well-Being

Mosaic District

Johnson Center, Dance Studio

7 p.m.

12 p.m. - 1 p.m.

@luke_wal Spook Hauntermire

FRIDAY 10/9 On campus: Ricky Martin EagleBank Arena 8 p.m.

Off campus: Cox Farms Fall Festival Centerville, Va 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.







All power to the students As the lingering summer heat slowly disappears, and the approaching chill of winter ushers in a new year, it’s hard to shake the thought that many students across the country, indeed the world, are radically different than they were last year. This perpetual transformation is common to the university as an institution, as students in all sorts of contexts fuse the education they receive with their world-views and innovate exciting forms of organizations, social structures, and powerful movements. Indeed, just this last Spring, Chilean students valiantly united and demonstrated against tuition hikes and other policies of disenfranchisement: their power as organized students gave them the courage to brave riot police and live ammunition. University education is widely seen as a transformative experience. Worldviews are transformed and developed, deconstructed and reconstructed. This is only natural, considering the sheer exposure to diversity many have not experienced beforehand, and even those from a diverse background will appreciate the synergy between a diverse campus community and a diverse university education.

transform the world in various ways. It was students that rode the tides of change during the Arab Spring; it was students that faced down tanks in Tiananmen Square; it was the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) that spearheaded the struggle against Jim Crow and garnered momentum for the Civil Rights movement. The list is endless. There are various explanations for this radical tendency in university students, but in the simplest of terms, students integrate their lived consciousness into their education. Social ills and political challenges and failures are digested and then rearticulated in a new and transformative way. Each generation of student activism progresses beyond the preceding generation. Common to student movements is undying commitment to undoing injustice.

As students, we are engaging in a sort of self-actualization: what we learn becomes a part of who we are and who we wish to become. It is difficult to remain unchanged through the course of our education. But just as we continuously change, so too does our potential to reflect this change back on to society.

Unfortunately, students today face injustice from sources of power that seek to minimize student influence. Tuition spikes prevents countless potential students from accessing a university education. This directly diminishes the democratic nature of the student body and the university establishment. However, even for those of us fortunate enough to afford a university education, we find minimal opportunities for engagement in university decision making. It is not a coincidence that no student or faculty were consulted when the administration let the beloved Professor Thomas Stanley go last semester.

The transformative nature of education helps create transformative individuals. Indeed, throughout modern history the university has been the birthplace of various movements that helped

The power that students hold makes us threatening to unjust power across the world. We cannot forget the students that perished when the Syrian regime bombed Aleppo University in 2013 during

The “IDC” generation The “I-Don’t Care” Generation, or “IDC” as some would prefer to use, is up next to lead the world until the 2000s babies are ready to care even less than we do. We (I’m no exception) are hurt by the news of poverty and turmoil around the world, but we don’t care. No way. Caring would be bad – it would mean we cared. We notice the kid eating in the corner by himself, wish that someone would sit by his side, yet walk right past because we don’t care. We can’t afford to. As we transition from the handholding that comes from grade school education, we are thrust into the George Mason community as one of thirty-some thousand students. Our goals are similar: figure out our purpose in life, acquire decent grades and attempt to connect with our peers. Our mindsets are also in line: no matter what we desire, we can’t seem to care. Visibly caring is taboo. Walk to class with a straight face, space out as the professor rambles and let a headphone sit in one ear so just in case they thought you were invested to their lecture, you remind them: no, I’m only half invested. You might ask, “what does this guy expect? That we all skip merrily to each and every one of our courses, tap each lonely-looking classmate on the shoulder for conversation, donate

exams, nor the 40+ Mexican students that were disappeared and then murdered in Ayotzinapa. Only when we realize our true potential can we, as students, exercise our rightful power. We do have the power, and the right, to have a say in how our tuition money is utilized by the administration. In fact, it is our responsibility to ensure that our tuition money is utilized with regards to our needs as students. Many would feel a burdened conscience should they discover their tuition money was used to invest in corporations that violate human rights. This conscience can only be unburdened by wielding our power as students. Our responsibility to show solidarity with those under oppression intersects with our ability to claim power as students. As students, we can organize boycotts of products and services provided by those that violate human rights. We can engage in campaigns for the divestment of Mason funds from companies and corporations complicit in oppression. We can even coordinate a large-scale movement to pressure our government to impose sanctions on states that perpetuate injustice, as was the case with the struggle against South African apartheid only a couple of decades ago. As a member of Student Power and Students Against Israeli Apartheid, I urge my fellow students to realize the immense potential harbored within each of us. We are powerful when we are united, and it is the powerful that change the world we live in. MOHAMMAD ABOU-GHAZALA / CONTRIBUTOR


to UNICEF and generally be more actively involved people?!” And I’d reply, “you said it, not me”. But I agree with your rhetoric question. I think it’s time to reverse the plague of appearing indifferent in a direction where our lives are more interconnected. No one is fully on either side of the spectrum – we all respond to our environment to a certain degree, and we all have a level of apathy that keeps us from responding. All our energy, especially as college students, is treated as currency. It would be a tragedy to devote even a fraction of our time to something voluntary, something that doesn’t directly benefit us, when there are things that we must accomplish. Mandatory activities start replacing the IDC Generation’s ability to explore. Man-made constraints result in us being heavily bound to a mentality that we are following a narrow path, rather than paving a new one as a group. If you read this far down, you’ve already taken the first step toward change – reading something you have no obligation to read. Join me, slightly interested reader, and let’s move forward in unison to create a world where the next generation won’t need to fear our instincts. “IDC” may someday become “I do care”.Mohammad AbouGhazala / additional info here MUSTAFA ALMUSAWI / CONTRIBUTOR

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Mason student reflects on running from sea to shining sea COLLEEN WALSH | CONTRIBUTOR

This past summer, I ran from San Francisco, California to Baltimore, Maryland with a team of 28 college students for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. We covered 15 states and 4,000-plus miles in 49 days. “You’re doing what?” was the only thing I heard over the course of the six months leading up to my trip. Honestly, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting myself into. While scrolling through my Facebook feed one morning, I came across an advertisement for the 4K for Cancer, a running relay that is held by the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, a nonprofit organization that supports young adults with cancer. The Ulman Cancer Fund was founded by Doug Ulman and his parents in 1997. While preparing to begin his sophomore year and Division I soccer season at Brown University, Ulman was diagnosed with chondrosarcoma. Within a year of his first cancer diagnosis, he was diagnosed with malignant melanoma as well. During this time, Ulman faced several struggles specific to his age. He became frustrated with the lack of resources and support provided for the unique needs of young adults battling cancer.

different programs to support and fundraise for young adults facing cancer, including the 4K for Cancer. In order to participate in the run, we were required to raise $4,500. I reached my goal through generous donations from family and friends, hosting restaurant fundraisers and selling t-shirts. Initially, I was intimidated by the large fundraising requirement, but soon I realized that many people have been touched by cancer at some point in their lives and are consequently willing to give back to the community. We began the run on June 14 by dipping our toes in the Pacific Ocean, feeling excited that in 49 days we would be able to dip our toes in the Atlantic Ocean. A typical day would involve waking up at four o’clock in the morning, sometimes five if we were lucky enough to sleep in. We would pack up our bags and perform our daily assigned chores. After making sure that the area was cleaned up, we would meet together for our dedication circle. During this time, we would write the names of loved ones, friends or those we met along the trip who had been affected by or were currently fighting cancer. We would then come together and share these stories as a reminder of why we were running.

We would then split into two vans and hit the road. Runners in the first van would hop out and start running immediately, covering the miles up until the halfway point, where runners in the second van would pick up from there and start running to that night’s end. We would run two- to four- mile intervals in a relay style with an assigned partner. Each day, we would run anywhere from eight to sixteen miles. During our rest days, we would visit local cancer treatment centers and provide chemo care bags for patients. These bags would include things like fuzzy socks, word puzzles and mints. It was so nice to be able to sit down and chat with the patients to help their time to pass more quickly. They were all so appreciative of the work that we were doing for the cancer community. We also had the opportunity to present a scholarship to one of the recipients during our stay in Chicago. The 4K for Cancer was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I am so grateful to have participated in. The countless memories and experiences were worth the endless Advil and ice baths.

Today the foundation is multi-dimensional, consisting of several

Colleen running through Nevada.


Colleen’s team dipping their toes in the Pacific Ocean before beginning their run.







Off the court with point guard, Myles Tate KALEEL WEATHERLY | STAFF WRITER

For many college athletes, balancing classes and fulfilling obligations to their respective teams take a lot of work and devotion. Mason’s Division I basketball players are no exception. For point guard, Myles Tate, playing hard on the court and in the classroom is a way of life. After redshirting last season to comply with NCAA transfer rules, Tate is now preparing to take on the coming season. Athletes will ‘redshirt,’ or remain part of a team but not play in games, when they, like Tate, transfer universities. Tate’s day is usually pretty packed. His schedule includes taking kinesiology classes at the Science and Technology campus, then heading back to Fairfax for strength training and basketball workouts with his teammates. “We do lifting in the morning at 8 a.m., and then I get on the bus like at 9:30 a.m. to head to classes at [Science and Technology campus]. I come back [to Fairfax] to eat lunch, and then we have a basketball workout usually,” Tate explained. “That takes me into the evening time, and you just have to get some work in before you can get some rest.” With the season opener a little over a month away, the team exercises almost every day to stay in shape.

“Right now, we are going six days a week,” Tate said. “We usually have lifting four days a week and have a workout or an open gym every day except Sunday.” Training at this level requires careful eating habits that provide athletes with constant energy. Tate says that he has three meals a day, always after a workout. He says he likes to eat Subway and, like every college student, occasionally indulges in pizza at night. Fulfilling responsibilities in sports is crucial for a college athlete, but that is only half of the equation. Academic work is equally important as players must maintain a minimum grade-point average to stay on the team. “I’m taking five classes. I would say that they are moderately difficult because they usually say that classes are supposed to get harder in your major, but I actually enjoy classes that are in my major,” Tate said. Despite his numerous daily commitements, Tate believes that his hard work and balanced lifestyle will lead to success both on the court and in life. “Just knowing that hard work pays off, and working hard in both the classroom and basketball can develop good habits to be successful in life,” Tate says. “I also do not want to waste the special

opportunity, so I try to take full advantage of it.” He also appreciates the privilege that comes with being a college athlete and recognizes that playing at such a high level is unreachable for many athletes. “My favorite part is being able to play a game that I’ve been playing my whole life at a level many people do not get to experience, while being able to get an education that will help me become successful in life,” Tate said. The key to this success for any aspiring college athtlete is a positive mindset. “You should approach each day in a positive manner,” Tate says. “Do not waste time because life is too short, and you only have a certain amount of time to accomplish these goals.” For anyone wishing to play sports at the college level, Tate shares this piece of valuable advice: “Always stay focused on your goals and make sure you are doing the necessary things to accomplish them each day.” The men’s basketball will open its 2015-2016 season Friday, November 13, with a home game against Colgate.

October 5, 2015  
October 5, 2015