FOURTH ESTATE November 02, 2015 | Volume 3 Issue 8 George Mason University’s official student news outlet gmufourthestate.com | @IVEstate
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(CLAIRE CECIL/FOURTH ESTATE)
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Sara Moniuszko & Alexa Rogers Editors-In-Chief
Ellen Glickman News Editor
Oct. 27 2015-033874 / Destruction/ Damage/Vandalism of Property Subject (GMU) was referred to Office of Student Conduct (OSC) for damaging a wall. Damage estimated $200. West Building/ Referred to OSC / 12:46 AM
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
Megan Zendek Visual Editor Corrections: Volume 3, Issue 7 From Issue 7, “Local screamo band initiates a fresh dialogue”: Incorrect pronouns were used for band member Monique Deleon. This has been corrected in the online version. From Issue 7, “To do this week”: Which Watch 2015 was incorrectly dated for Friday, October 30. The correct date is October 31.
ATTENTION: A CLINICAL RESEARCH STUDY FOR WOMEN
Oct. 27 2015-033926 / Burglary / Destruction/Damage/ Vandalism of Property Complainant (GMU) reported a burglary involving stolen food from the Bistro after hours. Multiple unknown subjects also damaged locks to gain access to the roof of the Johnson Center. Loss and damage estimated $531. Case referred to Criminal Investigations Division. Johnson Center/ Pending / 1:41 AM to 4:00 AM
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Oct. 30 2015-034206 / Liquor Law Violations Six subjects (GMU) were referred to Office of Student Conduct (OSC) for possessing alcohol while under age 21 Student Apartments / Referred to OSC/ 2:52 AM
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What students need to know about Tuesday’s Election NATALIA KOLENKO | ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR
Tuesday, Nov. 3 is Election Day at Mason and around the country. 2015 is a midterm election year, meaning that candidates are running for positions at the state and local levels. During Meet the Candidates Day in September, candidates like George Lamb and students like sophomore Joe Russell, co-president of George Mason Democrats, discussed how voter turnout is expected to be low this Tuesday, because it is a midterm election. Jason Hartsel, assistant director for marketing and communication for the Office of Student Media, and an editor for Mason Votes, Tom Shaw, discussed why students should still vote on Tuesday, even if there are no big-name candidates are up for election. “Being civically engaged is all about the Mason experience,” Shaw said. “At Mason Votes…we want to engage the student body. We really want to activate people, and the best way to activate people is to inform them about who wants to represent them and make them think about ‘do I want to be represented this way?’” Shaw continued that he would like to tell students that making a conscious effort to go out and vote is important. He added that regardless of students’ political ideologies, he and Mason Votes believe it’s important for students to voice their views as citizens. “We want you to think about what you want and what you don’t want,” Shaw said. Hartsel, who helps out with Mason Votes, agreed with Shaw’s comments. “I think the election is important,” Hartsel said. “Especially for young people to turn out [to], because it’s a local and state level election and those are positions that directly impact things that happen in their daily lives because of where they go to school.”
(MEGAN ZENDEK/FOURTH ESTATE)
Presidential candidates address rising higher education costs NINA MOTAZEDI | STAFF WRITER
As the 2016 presidential campaign continues, some candidates have begun highlighting their plans for reforming higher education. Candidates from both parties — including Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie and others — have proposed plans to address the increased cost of higher education. With state funding for higher education steadily decreasing and tuition rising, some presidential candidates have included higher education reforms as part of their platform. While candidates on both sides have addressed the issue, the Democratic candidates have devoted more time to advocating their higher education reform plans with regards to cost. All three presidential candidates on the left – Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley – include higher education reform as an issue to be addressed, according to their campaign sites. Bernie Sanders plans to make tuition free at public colleges and universities. He would lower student loan interest rates to about 2.37 percent and allow students to refinance their student loans to lower interest rates. Sanders would also require public colleges and universities to meet 100 percent of students’ financial needs; permit financial aid to cover room and board, books and living expenses; and triple the federal work-study program. Khalfaoui agreed with Sanders’s plan to make tuition free at public colleges, and added, “Free tuition will make us like some European countries who already have public universities free of charge.” Freshman Sandra Simon, a biology major, was also in support of Sanders’s plan but does not think it’s a realistic goal for his presidency. “I like [Sanders’s] ideal for higher education, but I don’t know if he can accomplish that in 4-8 years, because it’s such a dramatic shift,” said Simon. “I think we have to take baby steps.” Hillary Clinton’s New College Compact plan states that no student will have to borrow to pay for tuition, books and fees to attend a four-year public college in their state. In addition, Clinton proposes that students work 10 hours a week to contribute and families make a realistic contribution too. Federal grants and lower interest rates would be provided to states that commit to the New College Compact and in return for states maintaining their current level of higher education funding. Loans may be refinanced at current interest rates and an incomebased repayment program would be available.
include higher education reform as an issue, according to their campaign sites.
median public institution and 26 percent per FTE to the median public research university.
Marco Rubio wants to increase the transparency of higher education information, including various statistics, and make it available for students and families online. He would also establish an incomebased repayment system as the universal repayment method for federal student loans and allow graduates to consolidate existing loans under the new system. Rubio would allow students to apply for “Student Investment Plans” from approved investors to finance education without the burden of loans.
As the “balance wheel” of state budgets, funding for higher education fluctuates depending on the state of the economy, according to the Lincoln Project. The report said institutions of higher education “possess a perceived capacity to absorb cuts” as they can slow the growth of employee pay, receive revenue through different sources and can alter program elements to reduce spending. Thus, during periods of slowed economic growth, such as the Great Recession, states cut funding for higher education as opposed to K-12 education, Medicaid and Corrections (prison funding), according to the report.
Chris Christie plans on making higher education more accessible for all by refocusing federal student aid to those at the bottom and expanding alternative funding, like income-share agreements, where students pay a percentage of their future income for a defined period of time in exchange for private financing, and programs to pay down student debt in exchange for community service. He also believes that colleges be more transparent about costs, providing cost itemization for tuition so students know exactly what they are paying for. “I like how Republicans [Rubio and Christie] want to make tuition costs transparent,” said Simon. “They don’t have say dollar for dollar where everything goes, but they can say 50 percent goes toward running facilities, etc.” Lower-polling candidate John Kasich plans on keeping college affordable through a 100 percent performance-based funding formula that incentivizes universities to graduate more students, while falling Carly Fiorina would address the issue of higher education by returning the free market to the student loan industry and enable as much choice and competition in higher education. One factor responsible for increasing costs in higher education is states’ cuts in funds over the past decade, with the most drastic cuts after the Great Recession in 2008. According to the Lincoln Project: Excellence and Access in Public Higher Education, between 2008 and 2013 states cut funding by more than 20 percent per full-time equivalent student (FTE) to the
During these times of reduced state funding, public research universities have relied more heavily on federal, state and local grants and contracts; tuition and fees; and private donations. In 2012, these grants and contracts were the highest source of revenue for public research universities. As for the states’ contributions, that has decreased from providing about 31 percent of university budgets in 2001 to about 17 percent in 2012, according to the Lincoln Project. In Virginia, public research universities in 2013 relied more heavily on net tuition rather than education appropriations by the state. Per FTE, Virginia spent around $18,500; of that amount approximately $12,000 was from net tuition and $6,500 was from education appropriations. Andrew Nicholson, an undeclared freshman, was eager to see presidential candidates address the issue of higher education affordability. “They [the education system] sell college as an investment, meaning you won’t get the payoff for a while,” said Nicholson. “As tuition rises, this gets more and more daunting. All of the work we’ve put into making kids want to go to college is being hurt by the sheer cost. People debate more than ever if college is worth it at all. It doesn’t necessarily need to be free because this isn’t that kind of country, but costs are spiraling out of control.”
“No way I’m working 10 hours a week,” Simon said in reaction to Clinton’s plan. “If you’re trying to maintain a really good GPA, it’s really hard to complete your homework, classwork, and study for your exams. You can’t expect me to work 10 hours a week, especially if someone commutes, they’re in a sport, or want to partake in other extracurricular activities.” Martin O’Malley’s plan would allow Americans with student debt to refinance their student loans at lower rates and includes an income-based repayment program. He plans on making tuition at public universities fall in line with state median income and would use matching federal grants to encourage colleges to increase on-time graduation rates, improve education quality and provide direct aid for students in the most need. In the Republican Party, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Carly Fiorina and Mike Huckabee also
(MEGAN ZENDEK/FOURTH ESTATE)
Bernie Sanders talks income inequality, racial justice at town hall ELLEN GLICKMAN | NEWS EDITOR
On Oct. 28, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders visited Mason’s campus. The senator (VT-I) hosted what his campaign called a National Student Town Hall in a gym in the Recreation and Athletic Complex. Sanders covered many major points of his platform, including income inequality, climate change and others, with an emphasis on reforming the penal system and addressing racial justice. He also stressed his view that young people can be a force of change if they participate in the democratic system and exercise their right to vote. Audience members in the packed gym listened to Sanders as well as students across the nation who were able to tune in via live stream. At the podium, Sanders announced that 300 colleges and universities were watching the event, among other locations. Both groups had a chance to ask Sanders questions during the final segment of the event, however, the town hall began with Mason sophomore Ja’Lisha Urquhart introducing Sanders. She called students to action and said they could be the force responsible for making Sanders the next president. “We are the revolution, and we are starting right now,” she said. After getting the crowd to repeatedly chant, “I feel the Bern!” Urquhart made way for Sanders to take the stage. He briefly summarized the issues he would discuss that night, then stepped back to allow three college students — one from Georgetown, George Washington and the University of Maryland — to express their support for Sanders. They addressed the issues of money in politics, climate change and college affordability, respectively. Then, Sanders went back to the podium to spend more time on the issues of his platform.
Sanders devoted much of his time to expressing his ideas for reforming the criminal justice system, an issue he interwove with racial justice. He said the country is spending $80 billion a year “to lock people up” and that this money could serve a better purpose elsewhere. “Instead of investing more and more money in jails and incarceration, we should be investing in jobs and education,” Sanders said,
for which he received the first of many standing ovations. He said the United States has more people in prison than any other country in the world, including China, and that these people are “disproportionately black and Latino.” Sanders also said a black person is four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a white person. One way to fix this problem, he said, is to remove the federal prohibition on the drug and “allow states to go forward as they best choose.” “Oligarchy” was a term Sanders used repeatedly throughout the event. He emphasized his view that the United States government currently oversees an economic system that serves the few, not the many. The United States has “a rigged economy,” Sanders said. “…Heads, corporations win. Tails, working people lose.” He brought up the 2010 Supreme Court decision on the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case as an example of how the government is tending towards oligarchy. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the conservative Citizens United organization and decided that it was unconstitutional to stop them from running ads for their anti-Hillary Clinton documentary. While direct donations to campaigns and political parties from corporations and unions remains illegal, the Supreme Court ruling allowed “independent political expenditures.” The court said these expenditures are used to exercise rights to free speech, and thus it is unconstitutional to prohibit them.
(CLAIRE CECIL/FOURTH ESTATE)
Sanders said this ruling should be overturned and advocated for public funding of elections in order to take the money out of politics.
Another popular point was Sanders’s complaints about the minimum wage. He said the minimum wage — currently $7.25 per hour — needs to be raised to a “living wage” of $15 per hour.
In response to questions from the present and virtual audience, Sanders touched on immigration reform and his stance on war before wrapping up the event.
He used climate change legislation as an example of how money from corporations wrongly influences politicians.
“Wages in America are just too damn low,” Sanders said.
He denounced racism towards undocumented immigrants to loud cheers from the crowd and called for “comprehensive immigration reform” and a “path toward citizenship.”
Sanders said lawmakers have “a moral responsibility” to address
“Instead of investing more and more money in jails and investing in jobs and education.”
climate change, and it is a problem that goes “beyond political opinion.” He said the Republican party is ignoring science and should not be concerned with placating Big Oil campaign donors, a statement which earned him another standing ovation. Hannah Gross, a sophomore majoring in environmental science, said she also thinks campaign money is playing a role in impeding policy action on climate change. “I’m an environmental science major; I’m obviously really passionate about climate change,” Gross said. “…It’s a huge issue [and] I think people think in short-term, and it’s one of those long-term things that will become so much bigger if we don’t address it right now.”
While he was on the topic of wages, Sanders said it is time for equal pay among men and women, which prompted the crowd to again rise to its feet. He then asked the men alone to cheer, in incarceration, we should be order to show their support for this women’s movement.
- Senator Bernie Sanders
Sanders also spoke about his plan for free tuition, although he did not elaborate much on the subject.
In a competitive global economy, Sanders said, “We need to make public colleges and universities tuition free,” in order to have the best educated workforce. The crowd gave Sanders another standing ovation when he expressed his plan to guarantee government-provided healthcare to all. Samara Singer, a sophomore majoring in social work, especially supports this aspect of Sanders’s platform, since she is uninsured. “I actually don’t have health insurance,” Singer said. “I can’t afford it. I can’t get it through my parents…The Affordable Health [sic] Care Act, it does help. Like he said, 50 million more people now have health insurance, but it doesn’t cover everyone.”
Senator Sanders brought Mason senior Remaz Abdelgader on stage after she asked him how he plans to address Islamophobia.
He also reminded the crowd that he voted against the Iraq war and said “war must be the last resort” to yet another standing ovation. Repeating a sentiment he had uttered throughout the town hall, Sanders told the crowd of students that they can be the vehicle of change. “Don’t fall into trap of thinking small,” he cautioned towards the end of his speech. He ended his time at the podium with reiterating his plans on reforming the criminal justice system, citing black citizens who have died in custody such as Sandra Bland and Eric Gardner, among others as examples of institutionalized racism. This statement garnered loud cheers and much applause from the crowd, which continued as Sanders left the stage. Singer hoped audience members found Sanders’s speech empowering and would feel encourage to vote in the upcoming election.
Go to www.gmufourthestate.com to see video footage of Abdelgader on stage
(COURTESY OF TOM SHAW/MASON VOTES)
Renovated Fenwick library to open in January 2016
The new addition to Fenwick will be open for use in January 2016 and is almost twice the size of the current library. YU BAI | STAFF WRITER
The new addition to Fenwick Library is scheduled to open at the start of the 2016 spring semester. With additional space nearly twice the size of the current library, Fenwick will provide additional study space on Mason’s Fairfax Campus campus, according to Senior Project Manager Alex Iszard. Debra Hogan, executive assistant to the dean of libraries and university librarian, said students can expect to be able to use the new addition after returning to Mason on January 19, 2016. “We are very excited about the opening,” stated John Zenelis, dean of libraries and university librarian. “The new Fenwick library is going to offer a study place from quiet [and] interactive, to noisy and energizing for groups of students.” He said the new Fenwick will provide high-end technologies designed specifically for upper-level students and faculty who already possess sufficient research skills. The Gateway Library, in contrast, will focus on providing research assistance to undergraduate students.
commons, they will have access to research librarians who specialize in different fields of study. Students can either walk in for consultation or make an appointment with the library’s reservation system. In addition, the expanded library will include group study rooms on the third and fourth floors. These rooms will vary in capacity, the smallest holding about three to four people, the largest holding up to 10. Students will also have access to two presentation practice rooms, also on the third floor, where they can record presentations and receive immediate feedback from monitors installed in the rooms. The fifth floor will include group study areas designed specifically for graduate students with assignable and lockable study carrels. There will also be a faculty collaborative research center in the library to accommodate teams of professors working together on research projects. Abundant quiet areas, such as the 24-hour study space, will be located on the first floor of the western-most part of the building.
Iszard said there will be about 2,400 seats in Fenwick once the addition is complete. This is four times the current number of seats in the library.
The new and improved Fenwick will also feature a café, Argo Tea. According to Fenwick Focus, an online construction update website, the Argo Tea Company will begin installing the café at the end of October and will be open for business in January. The addition was supposed to feature a 24-hour café, but it is currently unclear whether or not the café study space will be be open all day.
The new Fenwick will also offer a research commons, similar to the space created in Innovation Hall last summer, to support individual and collaborative projects. When students use the research
Xi Chen, a junior from the China 1+2+1 program, is excited to make use of the library’s new additions. “I hope to see a lot more electronic equipment in the library, as long as the the additional
“We are trying to differentiate the new library from the Gateway Library as much as we can,” Zenelis said.
(ALYA NOWILATY/FOURTH ESTATE)
parts are aesthetical,” Xi said. She is looking forward to making use of the addition before she returns to China next year. Construction began in 2012 and has been moving along steadily for almost three years. Iszard said that the project was not void of difficulties. “Early on in the project, we ran across unforeseen conditions with buried utilities,” Iszard said. Though this postponed the project for a while, the project management team was ultimately able to make up for lost time. According to Fenwick Focus, the new addition list is 80 pencent complete. Iszard and his team will be moving books into the addition starting in mid-November and continuing through December. “We are constantly adding to our collection but are not specifically buying books as part of this project,” Iszard said. However, he stated there will be more books in the new library, as they are consolidating books into Fenwick from various other locations. The furniture installation, scheduled to be complete by mid-December, is now ongoing. The IT installation is mostly complete. Senior communications major Kenia Zelaya said that although she does not study at Fenwick Library often, the new addition might change that. “I don’t really go to the Fenwick Library, I mostly use the J.C. library [Gateway] and Innovation computers to do work,” Zelaya said. “But it [Fenwick] looks nice so I definitely want to check it out. I’m thinking and hoping there will be more space for students to study because the most popular spot [the Johnson Center] gets really occupied.”
Ready, Set, Register!
(MEGAN ZENEK/ FOURTH ESTATE)
It’s that time of year again: registration season. Aka, when every Mason student tries to select the right classes and plan for a seamless registration day?
Another helpful resource is DegreeWorks, a feature available through Patriot Web that lets students see where they are in their academic career. Once a student has declared his or her major, DegreeWorks allows them to see all the classes they will need to take, which makes scheduling significantly easier.
But have no fear. Paul Bousel, associate director of the Center for Academic Advising, Retention and Transitions, has plenty of advice for stressed out students .
While on Patriot Web, students should take time to browse through classes to learn what courses meet requirements and which ones can be taken just for fun.
He said students should be sure to meet with their advisors before the registeration process starts. “The best thing you can do to get on track for next semester is to get in touch with your advisor,” said Bousel. Each office has their own method of scheduling an appointment, either online or over the phone.
Patriot Web also offers a tool called Patriot Scheduler, which lets students input the courses they wish to take along specific break times. It then generates a number of possible schedules for students to choose from.
TAYLOR WICHTENDAHL | STAFF WRITER
He also advised students to jot down any questions they have before the appointment in order to make sure the meeting is fruitful “Make sure you look on the course catalog and have an idea of what classes are open to you,” said Bousel, “be flexible, try to have lots of alternatives.” Sophmore Taylor Shubert said meeting with her advisor helped her stay on track with scheduling classes for her social work major. “Meeting with an advisor really clarified and corrected my plan so I could meet all the requirements and graduate on time,” Shubert said. Bousel also suggest students bring a list of courses they are interested in to their advising appointments and that they know when and how to register. “Be aware of what your registration date and time is, which you can check in Patriot Web…Be ready to register at the earliest point,” said Bousel.
Sophomore government major Hailey Frye said using Patriot Scheduler helps her see all of the different scheduling options her classes give her. Keeping an open mind is important, explained Bousel, since students may not be able to create the perfect schedule due to scheduling overlaps. Often, two classes a student wishes to take may be scheduled for the same days and times. “Know what the alternatives are, be aware of what’s being offered. Just have lots of options so you’re not just looking at one specific course at one specific time,” said Bousel. For students who have not declared a major yet, Bousel recommends taking University 220, a course focused on exploring majors and careers. “On our website, advising.gmu.edu, we have a specific section for students and we have lots of really great resources on there,” said
Bousel, “If you look under that section, you can see that there is a place called STEMM [Steps to Exploring Mason Majors] section. This section is full of information about how to discover what is out there for you.” If a student is undeclared but has some majors in mind, he or she can utilize the Four Year Plans for each major available on the Center for Academic Advising, Retention and Transitions’ website. These plans cannot make up for the individualized attention of an academic advisor, but they can be helpful for students who want to get an idea of some of the courses they might need to take. However, if a student has many interests and cannot decide on just one field of study, he or she should consider an integrative studies degree from Mason’s New Century College. “The Integrative Studies major was built with the goal of empowering students to connect information and approaches from disciplines across the university toward their field. We attract students who want to be actively engaged in their education, through class discussion, and experiential opportunities such as internships, study abroad, volunteer opportunities or field courses,” said Misty Krell, director of Student Services for New Century College. Krell explained that integrative studies is a way to help students obtain pre-professional experiences like an internship or study abroad that can help students determine future goals. “Students get to choose classes that excite them, relate to their interests, and have greater opportunities for individualized faculty and advising mentorship,” said Krell. “[The major offers a plan for students who] have clear and unique goals for their career [but who also wish to take] interdisciplinary courses,” said Krell.
Mason Vegetable Garden Flourishes process of growing food,” said Murdock. “The garden serves as a way to educate people where their food comes from, how it grows, and to give back to the community by donating food.” GOGA donates to the Pop-up Pantry, a student organization at Mason that helps students in need. By adding this element of service, members of GOGA can see the impact their hard work has on others. “We donate half our produce to the campus pop-up pantry for homeless students at Mason,” said Kittle. “It’s nice to be able to provide them with fresh, rather than processed, food.” Through community building, service and education, GOGA provides students with positive learning experiences that will benefit them in the long run, while also having fun and relieving stress. . “The work we do is a practical learning opportunity for students who join us, something they can take up and apply later in life, no matter their major,” said Kittle. “It’s fun. Better than that, there’s plenty to be said about the benefits of getting out and working in nature, including that it’s a stress reliever. Sometimes, you even get to take something home with you.” Wyman-Castellano ecnourages students of all majors to check out GOGA, as it addresses all sorts of issues. (ANDY GHOLSON/ FOURTH ESTATE)
TATYANA WHITE-JENKINS | ASSISTANT LIFESTYLE EDITOR
In response to the creation of the Potomac Heights Vegetable Garden in 2009, a group of Mason students formed the Mason Organic Garden Association (GOGA) to further cultivate both the garden and their passions. GOGA is an on-campus student organization dedicated to educating members of the Mason community about sustainable food and gardening practices. “The students at the time were so excited about the start of the garden that they created their own student organization to tend to the garden,” said Danielle Wyman-Castellano, faculty advisor for GOGA.
worked at the Potomac Heights Vegetable Garden with GOGA, and as a result have begun to take steps in their own lives to become more sustainable. Many have started gardens and farms, but most have begun to make more responsible food choices- choosing food that was grown in an environmentally sound manner.” GOGA holds various events throughout the year in order to get the Mason community involved. The group has weekly garden hours Mondays and Thursdays from 3-6 p.m., holds monthly interest meetings and invites guest speakers to present on various subjects. In engaging the Mason community, GOGA hopes to better educate individuals about where their food comes from. “A lot of students, as well as the public, are separated from the
With the help of GOGA, the Potomac Heights Vegetable Garden is flourishing, and so are students. Caroline Kittle, a sophomore environmental science major and treasurer of GOGA, joined due to a class requirement but stayed with the group because of its positive environment. “Being around such passionate, like-minded people was what ultimately convinced me to stick around and take up a leadership position,” said Kittle. “Also, it’s just nice to be able to get outside on campus and not feel like you’re in the middle of a city.” Senior anthropology major and current president of GOGA, Ethan Murdock, excitedly joined after hearing about the club at transfer orientation. “I have always had an interest in plant life and jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the club when I transferred to Mason last year,” Murdock said. One of GOGA’s missions is to educate students on the importance of sustainable food. In learning more about the topic, members of the Mason community can gain a better grasp on the issues and take action. “GOGA’s efforts in educating our campus community on the importance of sustainable farming have been invaluable,” said Wyman-Castellano. “Hundreds of students, staff, and faculty have
GOGA members taste some of the fresh creations in the Green House.
“I will always encourage students to get involved with this group due to the fact that very few of us ever stop to consider where our food comes from or how it was grown,” said Wyman-Castellano. “I know that all students who become involved with GOGA will start to shift this perspective and will start asking questions about the origins of their food.” Members of GOGA are looking for other passionate, environmentally-minded students to join their ranks. “GOGA members will teach students or anyone else how to garden for free,” Wyman-Castellano said. “These students are some of the most warm, welcoming, passionate, and dedicated students I’ve ever met. They jump at any opportunity to share their passion for sustainable gardening with anyone who is willing to learn.”
Not so “on fleek” apps on campus SAVANNAH NORTON | LIFESTYLE EDITOR
Students are constantly on their phones. It is not unusual to see a cellphone sitting beside a student’s notebook in class as an essential item used throughout the day. Along with smart phones come their apps. There are apps for everything, but commonly used apps around Mason’s campus -- or any college campus -- are social or anonymous-based apps like Yik Yak and Snapchat. A new app called Fleek College Stories is rising in popularity at Mason. It is a mixture of Snapchat and Yik Yak all in one. Students can upload photos with a caption and viewers can up-vote or down-vote it. One of the first sentences on the app’s description page is “Your unofficial campus story that won’t get banned by Snapchat.” Students are not the only ones affected by this app -- Parents are starting to take notice as well. Fourth Estate received an email from a concerned parent about their daughter using the app. This is not the first parent to reach out to schools about Fleek College Stories. “I visited my daughter at school and as usual, she was on her phone the whole time,” the concerned parent said in an email. “My daughter showed me [Fleek College Stories] and I’m really disturbed. She’s trying to convince me that the app is all in good fun, but if you look at it for two seconds, you’ll see the problem with the content.” The parent explained that all that was seen on the app was nothing but a three minute story of “inappropriate pictures and videos,” including marijuana, Adderall, binge drinking and nudity. There is even a whole feed dedicated to “x-rated” photos. “I think this promotes cyberbullying and illicit activity on the GMU campus,” the parent said. “I believe the app really warrants a story, and hopefully some attention from the administration, because frankly I do not want to see my daughter or other students on here.” The parent’s email also included a screen shot from the app of a female student standing up in class seemingly unaware that she was being photographed with a caption that read, “look at that a**.”
(CLAIRE CECIL/ FOURTH ESTATE)
“The anonymity of the app allows for a lot more honesty,” Alli Evans, a junior majoring in community health at Mason, said. “People are more comfortable when their name isn’t attached. It’s good and bad, but it definitely has its upside.”
however, I have not seen too much of this in terms of targeting people specifically,” he said. “I have seen explicit content on both, however very few times have I seen something directed at another person, or have seen someone called out by name. I think they have the potential to turn into a method of bullying, but as long as college students use them semi- responsibly, this should not happen.”
Evans never heard of Fleek College Stories before, but she does follow Mason’s unofficial Snapchat called Patriot Snap and is an avid Yik Yak user. Patriot Snap’s name changes often because it gets deleted for some of the material shown in the stories. “It can be funny, it can also be inappropriate. The explicit posts are not super common though,” Evans said.
A new app that has app users nervous is called Peeple, which is estimated to come out in late November. It gives users the ability to rate people similarly to how people can rate restaurants on Yelp. The Washington Post describes it as “basically Yelp, but for humans.” Users will be able to assign a star rating of one to five to everyone they know from co-workers to exes.
Yik Yak also has this anonymity although it is more rare to see a negative comment made about a specific person. “Encouraging a positive, constructive, and supportive community environment on Yik Yak is a top area of focus for us,” Olivia Boger, communications associate for Yik Yak, said in an email interview.
Students like Evans enjoy the anonymity of these social apps. Sophomore Spanish major, Welsey Brown said, “I like the apps like Yik Yak because they are anonymous and I can post pretty much anything without anyone knowing who is posting. I also believe there is some honesty that can be found on these apps, like the fact that they are unknown can give others some strength once the fear of judgement is lessened.”
“People do so much research when they buy a car or make those kinds of decisions,” Julia Cordray, one of the app’s founders, said to Washington Post. “Why not do the same kind of research on other aspects of your life?”
Yik Yak has a filter to make sure anything explicit is not said on the feeds. “On our end, we’ve put a number of safeguards in place and we’re constantly working to enhance these measures,” Boger said. She even commented on one of Mason’s biggest trending topics
Brown has heard of Fleek College Stories, but is unable to use it because he does not own Apple products. He does, however, follow Patriot Snap and sees how the negative aspects of the social apps can come into play. “I think that it is possible for this to happen,
Some students love this no filter, freedom of speech app, but does it have the right idea? One of the reviews on the app’s Apple page by joshbewizzel reads, “I don’t even know where to begin by thanking you! Giving the people what they want, without controlling or filtering our right to freedom of speech. Yeah, we get it the new generation express themselves in a different way. Thank you for giving back us, that [sic] was taken away! #WeThePeople”
on the Yak page: the Crane. Posts like this, which Boger describes as “particularly funny,” show how these anonymous apps can be positive.
Some may question that apps like these are changing what people think is socially acceptable. “[They] allow for people to be anonymous, which can be great,” Evans said. “But when you’re mocking a girl for what she’s wearing on Snapchat or for what someone does on Yik Yak, it’s not okay. Then you’re using anonymity more as a shield than a safety net, and purposely tearing down other people. It’s cowardice.”
TO DO THIS WEEK: MONDAY 11/2 On campus:
An Evening Under the Stars
“@SenSanders can you do something to fix the wifi at our school”
Great County Farms
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
@GMUSquirrels GMU Squirrels
TUESDAY 11/3 Off campus:
On campus: “The energy at Benie Sanders’ Town Hall meeting at George Mason was indescribable”
David Cook Live
600 14th St. NW
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
WEDNESDAY 11/4 “If I haven’t felt the Bern already, I do now. Thank you @BernieSanders for gracing us with your presence at @GeorgeMasonU tonight! ”
Gallery Talk: Pathmakers
1250 New York Avenue, NW
Johnson Center Food Court
10:30a.m. - 2 p.m.
@ateeba17 Ateeb Asim
THURSDAY 11/5 Off campus:
On campus: “Great day for the first amendment :) I’m just happy to see my peers passionate about politics #aliteration #StudentsForBernie #GOPDebate”
Shrek the Musical
Free Beginner Swing Dancer Lesson
2310 Colts Neck Road
Johnson Center, Dance Studio
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
FRIDAY 11/6 On campus: Take a Patriot to Work Day University Career Services 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Off campus: Cake Off- Pride Night 4200 Campbell Ave Arlington, Virginia
A STUDENT MEDIA PARTNERSHIP
A CULTURAL FESTIVAL FOR GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY AND THE DC AREA Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here DC 2016 (AMSSH) is a book arts and cultural festival
An excerpt from The Iraqi Nights
planned for January through March 2016, throughout the Washington DC area. Exhibits, programs, and events will commemorate the 2007 bombing of Baghdad’s historic bookselling street, and celebrate the free exchange of ideas and knowledge, to stand in solidarity with the people of Iraq, who have endured so much; and with people at home and abroad who are unable to make their voices heard.
“In Iraq, after a thousand and one nights, someone will talk to someone else”
after a thousand and one nights, someone will talk to someone else. Markets will open for regular customers. Small feet will tickle the giant feet of the Tigris. For many Iraqis, al-Mutanabbi Street — named after Abu al-Tayyib al-Mutanabbi, a poet from the Abbasid Caliphate time who was regarded a master of the Arabic language — offers a glimpse of hope that Iraq is still home to the Arab intellect.
Featured Partner: McLean Project for the Arts McLean Project for the Arts (MPA) disabled children and adults as mission is to exhibit the work of well as low-moderate income emerging and established artists seniors. Gallery based and from the mid-Atlantic region, to school based art lectures, class promote public awareness and art projects and after-school art understanding of the concepts workshops are provided at no of contemporary art, and to offer cost, reaching more than 2,400 instruction and education in the students a year. visual arts. MPA was incorporated “Books are our entryway into the Nancy Sausser in 1984 to activate plans for a world and are worlds themselves.” MPA Exhibitions Director permanent facility. The result is its current facility: a 2,400 square foot white-box gallery, adjacent atrium and ramp galleries, and a 1,600 square foot art studio located in the McLean Community Center. MPA presents 12 - 18 professionally curated or juried exhibitions by regional artists each year, free and open to the public. Educational programming for exhibitions include a gallery talk, family workshop, and may also include lectures, panel discussions, and docent-led tours. Every March it presents the Youth Art Show featuring area students’ artwork. MPA ArtReach provides free year-round comprehensive art education programs targeting students Dina Scheel, The Cycle of Censorship, 2012, Cotton attending at-risk public schools, developmentally linen fabric display sheet, 7.5 x 3 x 7.5 inches
Gulls will spread their wings and no one will fire at them. Women will walk the streets without looking back in fear. Men will give their real names without putting their lives at risk. Children will go to school and come home again. Chickens in the villages won’t peck at human flesh on the grass. Disputes will take place without any explosives. A cloud will pass over cars heading to work as usual. A hand will wave to someone leaving or returning. The sunrise will be the same for those who wake and those who never will. And every moment something ordinary will happen under the sun. —D UNYA MIKHAIL, translated by Kareem James Abu Zeid, New Directions Publishing Company
Partners include George Mason’s School of Art and Fenwick and Provisions Libraries, Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, Split This Rock, McLean Project for the Arts, Corcoran at George Washington University and Georgetown University, Cultural DC, Smithsonian Libraries, and National Portrait Gallery Library, and Brentwood Arts Exchange. For programming and AMSSHDC partner events visit www.amsshdc2016.org/events
This is part of an ongoing series about the AMSSHDC2016 project.
Hushed Revolt Nahid Navab and Nasrin Navab are two Iranian-American artists based in Fairfax, Virginia. Along with project, “Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here” DC – 2016, they have started a life journey by exchanging their memories of time, space and Nasrin and Nahid Navab social events. Their expressive art is challenging the media’s fabricated image of the Middle East. Following in the tradition of Shahrezad and her sister Shahrnavaz, they tell stories to each other and for others to hear. They make the unspoken to be heard. Their collaborative art is reflected in a series of prints, artistic books and installations, which will be presented in the Atrium Gallery, Jan 14th to March 5th, 2016. Nahid Navab is a painter, printmaker and book artist. Born and raised in Iran, she moved to the United States in her early thirties. She served in the medical profession for several years before she found her passion for art. For Nahid, art has become Collaborative drawing by the her means of communication and a bridge to reach others. Navab sister artists The major influences on her art are Persian calligraphy and miniature painting, global mythological stories and contemporary urban life. Her art reflects her interest in global unity, women’s issues and freedom of expression. Nahid Navab received a BFA, with a major in painting, and a MFA in printmaking from George Mason University. A seasoned world traveler, Navab has participated in national and international workshops and classes in Europe and America. Her works have been presented in local, national and international exhibitions. Nasrin Navab received her master’s degree in architecture in 1981 from the University of Tehran, School of Fine Arts. A curator, painter, teacher, architect and urban research and design consultant, she has lived her fragmented life among artists and scholars. Nasrin has experienced spatial autonomy and design criteria in different scales, from creating conceptual and analytical maps for the city of Tehran to a detailed design of a tile setting in Fairfax. She has designed various public and private buildings. Her life has been interrupted several times by war, imprisonment and immigration. A socialist by heart and a life-time women’s rights activist, Nasrin is looking for the paths of presence that lead us to social-spatial justice and the free praxis of self and communal identity. She joined her family in the US in 2002 and settled in the city of Fairfax.
Hushed Revolt, Nahid Navab, Nasrin Navab MPA – Atrium Gallery – January 14th – March 5th, 2016
“Booked” Workshop at McLean Project for the Arts Family Bookmaking Workshop (For children ages 4 – 9) Saturday, February 27th, 2016 | 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Poet Mohammed al-Ajami
Stifled Verse, Free Verse: An Evening of Poetry and Solidarity Thursday, November 12th, 2015 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Join us for a night of poetry in protest of restrictions on free and artistic expression in the Middle East and North Africa. The evening honors the imprisoned Qatari poet Mohammed al-Ajami, who is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence for the contents of his poetry. Attendees will have an opportunity to sign a petition for his release. Featured poets include Zeine El-Amine, Sarah Browning, Amin Drew Law, Joseph Ross, and Rasha Abdulhadi. This event is co-sponsored by Split This Rock and Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, a non-profit organization that seeks to foster awareness of and support for democracy and human rights in Bahrain and the Middle East.
Busboys & Poets. 5th and K St. 1025 5th St. NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20001
Get Involved! This project is made possible by a dedicated team of volunteers. To volunteer your time, contact: Helen Frederick, firstname.lastname@example.org or Nikki Brugnoli, email@example.com Got a question? firstname.lastname@example.org I am Iraqi / I Read YouTube Video: ow.ly/RtBB0 Join the conversation:
•C ome, Look and Discover the powerful stories of people’s lives from around the world. •C reate your own fantastic “pop-up” book that tells a special story. •W e will be inspired by the fantastic pages of books that will be in view in the exhibition: “Absence and Presence” and Les Fleurs du Livre paintings by Carol Barsha. Sharon Fishel MPA Education Director
1234 Ingleside Avenue, McLean, VA 22101 | www.mpaart.org
@AMSSHDC2016 Visit our website for more information:
www.amsshdc2016.org AMSSH thanks Fourth Estate for its generous and ongoing support Designed by Danielle Coates
Women’s soccer records a loss and a spot in playoffs MITCHELL WESTALL | STAFF WRITER
Following a tough loss Thursday to LaSalle, Mason’s women’s soccer team fell below .500 for the first time since losing to East Carolina in the season opener. In order to clinch a playoff spot, the women’s team needed to beat LaSalle, and the University of Massachusetts (UMass) needed to lose its match against Saint Joseph’s on Thursday evening. Though Mason lost to LaSalle in a final score of 3-0, Saint Joseph did Mason a favor by beating UMass. Mason is currently ranked 8 in the Atlantic 10 standings. LaSalle is ranked 6. Coming into Thursday’s game, LaSalle and Mason seemed evenly matched. Though Mason had faced a tough loss against George Washington Oct. 25 after surrendering a goal in the final two minutes of double overtime, LaSalle had come away that same day with just a 1-1 tie against Saint Louis. Additionally, LaSalle had only a 3-6-1 record in its away games. The game was a matchup of goalies, pairing Mason’s workhorse goalie Kirsten Glad, a redshirted junior, against LaSalle’s keeper, redshirted sophomore Larisa Zambelli. Glad has started all 17 games this season. For Zambelli, however, Thursday’s game was only her fifth match as a starter this season. The game began with fairly sloppy defensive tactics, which led to plenty of offensive opportunities for both teams. However, it was the LaSalle Explorers who exploited a Mason turnover in minute twenty. Junior forward Marykate Bateman stole the ball from Mason’s defense and converted on a wide open chance in a threeon-one situation. This goal was her fifth of the season and her 10th point.
Just a few minutes later, junior forward Sarah Hardison had an opportunity in a two-on-one situation to tie up the game, but the shot missed the net. This was one of very few opportunities Hardison saw in Thursday’s game. A minute later, another case of sloppy defense on Mason’s end led to a penalty kick for LaSalle. Senior forward Jessika Kagan took the shot, giving the Explorers a 2-0 lead over Mason. “They were under so much pressure in the first half that we actually tried to push the ball up field a little bit faster so they wouldn’t be under as much pressure,” Head Coach Todd Bramble said after the game. “That group has been outstanding for us this year, all year long.” The second half was a different story for Mason’s defense, especially due to the stout play of sophomore Kelsey Young and the much-improved play of fellow sophomore Abbey Downey. Downey saw a particularly rough first half of play, turning the ball over in tough situations, but her play in the second half was definitely stronger. In the second half, LaSalle fought to protect its lead. In minute six, Zambelli made an incredible save to keep it a 3-0 game. Mason was shut out for the sixth time this season, and it was Zambelli’s second shut out of the year for LaSalle.
on [the] results as much, but trying to concentrate on our performance and feeling like that we’ve got a good enough group where, if we perform well, we’ll have a chance to win games and let the chips fall where they may and the rest will take care of itself,” Bramble said. Indeed, Bramble appeared to be focusing on the longterm success of his players when he subbed his strongest forward, Sarah Hardison, only 15 minutes into the second half, likely to conserve Hardison’s energy for Sunday’s matchup against Fordham. Hardison did not return to the game after being subbed. In addition, though Mason’s defense let in three goals, Bramble spoke highly of them after the game: “They’re [going to] leave here feeling bad about how things went tonight, but I’m not down on that group at all.” The team has improved significantly this season in comparison to recent years, and this is likely a result of Bramble’s coaching. This is Bramble’s first year as the team’s head coach, but it is clear that he has already grown to admire the team and wants to make it stronger. On Sunday, Nov. 1 Mason took on Fordham in New York. After two overtime periods, the score remained tied 1-1. After this game, the women earned themselves a spot in the Atlantic 10 tournament. This is the first time in four years the women have found themselves in the playoffs.
While the loss was a disappointment for Mason, Bramble says the team is more focused on performance than scores. “We’ve been a team that’s done a pretty good job of not focusing
(ALYA NOWILATY/FOURTH ESTATE)
Mason athletes turn the playground into a workout COURTNEY HOFFMAN | SPORTS EDITOR
It’s every college student’s dream to play on a playground for exercise. For Mason athletes, this dream became a reality with the recent remodel of their weight room. Mason’s weight room now has plenty of space for running around like a kid again while allowing athletes to complete their exercises. It even includes climbing ropes and monkey bars. The playground-style weight room is meant to help athletes focus on using their own body weight to improve strength while staying in control of their bodies. John Delgado, an assistant strength and conditioning coordinator with the women’s lacrosse team for the past four years, was, along with the rest of the staff, excited about the prospects it brought to weight training. “It allows us to be more versatile and it makes [the athlete] flow through the workout. They’re able to do things as a team,” Delgado said. The idea of the playground-style weight room came from Head Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Robert Handerahan. He saw children on playgrounds and wondered why more people were not utilizing this style of workout. He began brainstorming with other people in the office and the new style weight room was born. “Our athletes when they come to us have been playing their sport for so long they lost their basic functional movement like when kids are playing on the monkey bars,” Delgado said. The monkey bars and ropes give athletes a chance to move and feel like kids as they workout. Two of the program’s main goals are to reduce the chance of injury and help athletes understand body awareness and proprioception.
Lacrosse completes a workout in their new playground style weight room “We’re trying to bring out their full athletic capability. We’re not going to make you better at the X’s and O’s of your sport. We’re trying to help you be the best athlete you can be,” Delgado said. Delgado said the lacrosse team has been able to work out as a team more frequently. Players have embraced the whole-body workout and have taken strength training beyond the weight room. The team takes various classes together, such as rowing, boxing, and core strength classes, to help players utilize a variety of muscles.
Sophomore midfielder Kirstin Morgan stayed at Mason over the summer to train in the new facility with her teammate Elena Obregon. Morgan is an advocate for the variety of workouts the team completes and thinks it will give them a leg up against competitors. “I think a lot of the competition we go against is very single-minded and they don’t do the things that were doing. [Coach] Jessy came from a program where they’re intense and she knows what works. We’re going to know mentally that we can do anything,” Morgan said. “We’ve put ourselves in uncomfortable positions across the board and when we’re in an uncomfortable position in a game we are going to overcome the other team.” Last year, players could use stretch bands to help with pull-ups and chin-ups; now they must complete each task without assistance. The team exercises in the weight room three times a week. “It puts you in a different environment and situation. It’s not the same type of difficult. When you have to carry your own body weight for a certain amount of time it’s very difficult,” Morgan said. The women’s lacrosse season does not begin until February, but players are already looking ahead, excited to take on competitors. Morgan believes that the team has made incredible changes over the course of the year, and players are heading into the season with their eyes on the prize: competing in the NCAA tournament, especially against on of their biggest competitors, the University of Massachusetts. Morgan is looking forward to seeing how she and her teammates stack up to these teams. “We’re ready to fight. It’s not going to be easy, but every girl will say . . . we would do anything for each other and we’re ready to make each other and our coaches proud,” Morgan said.
(DAVID SCHRACK/FOURTH ESTATE)