Oct. 12, 2012 Volume 89 Issue 6 BroadsideOnline.com
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After winning the national championship last year, Mason’s cricket team is in the process of building with youth PAGE 8
George Mason University’s Student Newspaper
Mason Madness: Basketball is Here PAGE 19
Giving Children College Ambitions The typical Mason Alum carries their Mason pride with them long after graduating. Susan Gregorash, a graduate from Mason for undergraduate studies, is able to display her Mason pride in her first grade classroom at Vega Elementary in McKinney, Texas. Influenced by the No Excuses University, a program built to encourage college readiness at a young age, Gregorash decorates her classroom with Mason gear to teach her young students about the importance of college education. “My kiddos know that I attended and graduated from George Mason University . . . They know that you can choose what you want to be and study different things at Mason,”
Gregorash said, “Most importantly, they know that there are other great schools that can be found all over our country.” Vega Elementary is one of many schools across the country experimenting with such programs. The No Excuses University, founded by Damen Lopez in 2004, attempts to solve the problem of college readiness prevalent throughout the nation, primarily in poorer communities. He found that often kids in poverty do not hear about college until High School, and this often sets them up for failure when it comes to further education. CONTINUED PAGE 7
Cricket Rebuilds After Success
Mason alumnus leads online gaming website that gives students the opportunity to win scholarships for tuition PAGE 5
Stressed Out From Midterms?
Great Falls National Park, located just minutes away, provides a variety of great ways to relax in the great outdoors PAGE 13
Oct. 12, Sept. 10,2012 2012
In the story entitled “Forum Educates Students on Voting” that printed in the Oct. 1 issue, Broadside regretfully misspelled Sarah Cioffi.
Forum on Higher Education to Be Held at Mason The future of college education in America is a popular topic as universities strive to deliver the highest quality education at a cost efficient price. It is this topic that will be discussed next month at the “Forum on the Future of High Education” held at Mason on Friday, Nov. 2 and Saturday, Nov. 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The forum will bring together host educators, university administrators and practitioners from around the country. Panelists will include Mason faculty, as well as speakers from members of the media, higher education and education-related businesses and associations. Anya Kamenetz, author of “DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education;”, Jeffrey Selingo, editor-in-large of the Chronicle of Higher Education; and Alexander McCormick, director of the National Survey of Student Engagement will be among the panelists. “As we consider the future of higher education, the forum will provide an opportunity for practitioners and administrators at all levels to discuss some of the most important issues we are facing in the field,” said Mason Provost Peter Stearns speaking with Mason News Desk. “The forum is intended to open the door for discussion of new ideas on how to prepare for future planning in higher education, but not offer a precise agenda for change.” Sponsors of the forum include the Higher Education Forum including Kaplan, Inc.; Blackboard; and the Learning House,
Security Report Shows Spike in Drug Arrests
President Obama Visits Mason
STEPHEN KLINE /BROADSIDE
As part of his reelection campaign, President Barack Obama held a rally in the Center for the Arts. Students went as far as camping out over night to be first in line to receive one of the limited tickets for the event.
This Mason Madness marks the fourteenth consecutive year that the basketball kick-off event has occurred at Mason
According to the Mason’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, drug-related arrests have increased dramatically within the past year. In 2009, Mason reported a total of 11 drug arrests on property around the main Fairfax campus. In 2010, that number increased to 34. The 2011 report shows that number spiking to 120. University Police Chief Mike Lynch, a majority of these arrests can be attributed to the large concerts and events held at the Patriot Center throughout the year. In an interview with the Fairfax times, Lynch reports that a recent concert by Further ended with 40 drug arrests. Lynch also attributes the increase of drug arrests to the increase in the on-campus student population. Be sure to check out next week’s issue of Broadside where we look more into this spike in drug arrests.
Historical Campus Tours Planned for Mason A whole series of campus historical tours have been planned for Mason starting Oct. 17. Every Wednesday and Friday from Oct. 17 through to Nov. 30, two daily walking tours will be given. The tours are open to Mason faculty, staff, students, alumni, local community members, VIPs, current and potential donors. The tour is roughly 45 to 90 minutes in length and will take attendees around campus to areas that highlight Mason’s history. Registration is required at least three business days in advance of the tour and a requirement of at least six attendees
Oct.10, 12,2012 2012 Sept.
Cabrera Gives Students Advice for Successful Leadership What does it mean to be a good leader? Though the term leadership is often defined as the process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal, its connotations range from a variety of complex concepts and opinions – each of them valid, but shaped through different lenses. Put quite simply, though, we are all leaders. “Every day, we are leading and we are following,” said Dr. Angel Cabrera, speaking at his first Presidential Leadership Dialogues on Oct. 2. “When you decided to follow someone, why do you decide to follow them? Who do you decide to follow?” Cabrera defined leadership in much more manageable terms, suggesting that each time we are in an unfamiliar place, we look to others who seem to know what they are doing – even in minute situations such as finding a restroom.
We subconsciously ask ourselves two questions: Does this person have knowledge? and Does this person have values?
Two Tips for Successful Leadership (1) There are many issues around us. Be aware of them. Ask yourself, “Are you a part of the problem?” (2) Understand your role. Know the techniques of leadership. Have a plan for change. Have a vision. “Every time you follow someone, you are assuming a risk,” Cabrera said. Using “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” a historical piece written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963, Cabrera spoke about the intricacies and the complexities of being a strong leader. While acknowledging that
very few people have ever mastered the art of leadership like King, Cabrera challenged students to find that “one thing that really fires [them] up” and make a difference. To successfully make a difference, Cabrera used King’s example of the “white moderate” to suggest that if we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem. He acknowledged that a non-action is, by definition, an action and claimed that drawing attention to a problem is not leadership; it is the process by which an individual corrects or fuels a reevaluation of those problems that defines a leader. Do not look to others, Cabrera urged students, but take it upon yourself to be the change you see in the world. STORY BY CODY NORMAN
The Presidential Leadership Dialogues will be held: Monday, Nov. 12 4:30 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. Mason Hall, D003 A&B
Monday, March 4 4:30 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. Mason Hall, Meese Room
Tuesday, April 16 4:30 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. Mason Hall, Meese Room
Oct. 14, 2012
Oct. 15, 2012
Oct. 16, 2012
Family Weekend 2012: 5k Run/Walk
Moment of Truth Lecture with Angel Cabrera
Center for the Arts/ Lawn
Prince William Campus, Bull Run Hall, Atrium
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
3 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Oct. 17, 2012
Oct. 18, 2012
Oct. 19, 2012
Patriots: Traditions and Today - a Historical University Tour
Women’s Soccer: Mason vs. Georgia State
Johnson Center, registration required
Johnson Center, North Plaza
11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
The HUB, Ballroom
Oct. 12, Sept. 10,2012 2012
Student, Marine Corps Reserve Returns Home
To hear about and to live a military lifestyle are two very different concepts. In August 2011, Dexter Bowling Jr. was a first year transfer student at Mason. While taking a full course load and adjusting to a new university, Bowling was preparing for the unknown. “You hope for the best,” Bowling said, “but you still prepare for the worst.” As a reserve in the United State Marine Corps, Bowling was saying his final farewells to family and friends before being shipped off to boot camp at Paris Island, S.C. “You don’t know what you signed up for until you actually get there,” Bowling said. “You only know what everyone has told you.” Bowling, whose girlfriend Keina Salazar Schweikart is a student at Mason, spent the three months enduring hell on Earth. He had no access to technology and was allotted just one hour a day to write letters home. After just a few days at Paris Island, Bowling began to contemplate quitting. He heard stories about other Marines who never heard from their families during boot camp, and Bowling missed his family and friends far too much to endure that uncertainty. “When you see someone all the time, you become accustomed to a lot of things,” Bowling said. “You take a lot of things for granted.” With the option of giving up on his mind, Bowling was relieved at the sight of his first letter less than one week in to
the beginning of his new journey. Over a span of three months at Paris Island, Bowles received a total of 86 letters from Schweikart, a feat that he
I want to show everyone how much I appreciated all the love and support through the most challenging year of my life so far. I just want to make sure I make up for as much time as I can. says helped him make it through the grueling training in South Carolina. “More than anything, I could feel the love,” Bowling said. After his graduation from boot camp, Bowling was allowed ten free days before he was due to report to Marine
Combat Training in Camp Lejune, N.C. He spent every possible moment with Schweikart, who was in the midst of studying for midterm exams. “It was the best ten days of my life,” Bowling said. “It went by so quickly and then it was time to leave again.” When May 14 arrived, Bowling was again shipped off to training where he had limited access to his cell phone – just one total hour in the 28 days of training. He was not allowed to send or receive letters, so he purchased a journal where he wrote, but could not send, letters to Schweikert. “I had no clue what was going on back home,” Bowling said. “And nobody knew what was going on here either. But it helped a lot to write stuff down.” After about eight months of being away from Schweikert and his family, Bowling finally returned home on Thursday, Oct. 11. His time away has only strengthened his love and appreciation for Schweikert, as she played a significant role in his recent growth with the U.S. Marine Corps. “I want to show everyone how much I appreciated all the love and support through the most challenging year of my life so far,” Bowling said. “I just want to make sure I make up for as much time as I can.” STORY BY CODY NORMAN
PHOTO COURTESY OF DEXTER BOWLING JR.
Patriot Leader Applications Now Available to Students Students looking to spend their summer at Mason should look no further than the Patriot Leader program. Organized through the Office of Orientation and Family Programs and Services (OFPS), the Patriot Leader Program is a part of the office’s goal to provide a cohesive orientation, supportive system and purposeful experience. “Mason has had Orientation Leaders in some form ever since Mason has had new student orientation, however the position team and Patriot Leader team began to form in 2006,” said Student Program Coordinator at OFPS Matthew Crush. The Patriot Leader team is responsible for welcoming and assisting new members of the Mason community. Primarily, this responsibility is met through orientations held throughout the summer. However, Patriot Leaders also assist with Sibling Weekend, Freshman Move-In, out-reach events and Parents’ Weekend. Students interested in applying should know the following information. First off, Patriot Leaders, “must exhibit leadership qualities both inside and outside of the classroom, be full of Mason spirit, passionate about helping people and possess a desire to develop their own leadership potential,” said Crush.
Those who believe they possess these qualities are encouraged to submit their applications. All applications that are completed with correct information by Nov. 29 at 5 p.m. will be eligible for a group interview held on Jan. 25. “If the applicant does well in the group interview, they will be invited for an individual interview to be held Jan. 28 through Feb. 1. After the individual interviews are completed, decision letters will be available Feb. 4,” said Crush. Of those that apply, a total of 30 will be selected to represent OFPS throughout the following year. Selected students will receive a stipend for their summer employment as well as on-campus housing from mid-May through to the end of July, as well as meals and $150 of Mason meal plan money. However, the Patriot Leader position is not one that is guaranteed for the rest of a student’s collegiate career. If a student would like to do it for more than one year, they must re-apply. “Typically a few second year PL’s are hired but we hire mostly new applicants,” said Crush. But repeating a year as a Patriot Leader is not the only option. For former Patriot Leaders who are looking for more advanced leadership opportunities and to continue their relationship with the office positions as an Office Specialist or Head Team member.
Ultimately, OFPS is not only providing a service to incoming students and families, but also to current students who are looking to give back to their college. “This is a job where you learn so much about yourself, others and have the time of your life. I wish that everyone were able to have such an incredible opportunity,” said Crush. STORY BY AARON LOCKE Students can use the QR code below to go to the online application.
Mason Throughout the Years
Oct.10, 12,2012 2012 Sept.
1949 University of Virginia alumnus Charles Hanson Mann, Jr. developed a committee to explore the potential for higher education in Northern Virginia. After his death, Mann’s personal papers revealed that prejudices from political leaders in Richmond and the UVA Board of Visitors led to controversies in the creation of George Mason University.
1953 Because of changes in regulations, transfer credits from the Northern Virginia University Center to fouryear universities were no longer allowed. This change sparked the initiative to make the center an official two-year college.
1957 Founded as a branch of the University of Virginia, 17 students enrolled as freshmen at University College and classes were held at Bailey’s Crossroads in a renovated elementary school building.
UVA’s Northern Virginia University Center, which held night classes in an Arlington high school, officially opened its doors. Classes were aimed at adults and veterans. The center was a success and offered 20 classes to 478 students during its first semester.
1970 First graduate program at GMC offered.
Mason became an independent university.
1968 After years of attempting to come up with nicknames for the college’s sports teams, including the GM Chargers, The Marauders and The Trojans, the first mention of The Patriots was made in the student newspaper. From then on, sports teams were known as The Patriots or simply as George Mason.
Mason’s School of Law gains full accreditation two years after its purchase from the International School of Law. The program is currently ranked 39th nationally by the US News and World Report.
Fairfax County, Arlington County, and the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church agreed to appropriate $3 million to purchase land adjacent to GMC. This was to provide for a 600acre Fairfax Campus in 1966, with the intention that the institution would expand into a regional university of major proportions, including the granting of graduate degrees.
UVA Board of Visitors officially named the campus George Mason College (GMC) of the University of Virginia.
After years of planning and debating, The Board of Visitors voted on whether to promote the club football team to Division I-AA. The proposal would have cost the university $4.2 million a year. Six board members voted for the change and six members voted against it. Rector Marvin Murray cast the tie-breaking vote in opposition of the program.
In a shocking and historical season, the NCAA men’s basketball team made a Final Four run, bringing national attention to Mason.
Oct. 12, Sept. 10,2012 2012
Ombudsman Serves as a Mediator for Student Issues The very nature of the college environment makes it susceptible to issues both inside and outside the classroom. To combat these issues, Mason provides the Office of the Ombudsman. Located on the third floor of Sub I is the Office of the Ombudsman which serves students as an independent party who assists them as best as they can in matters that both involve academic and non-academic issues. Students may have already been visited by the Ombudsman in classes this semester, as they are launching their Civility Project. The project’s focus will be on promoting the core values of civil interactions in diverse community and to help initiate dialogue across campus on civility. “The role of the Ombudsman at George Mason University has evolved over the last decade,” said Dolores Gomez-Moran, Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner. She has served for Mason’s Ombudsman’s office for 12 years and has seen the expansion of the responsibilities and outreach to the students grow over the years. The office itself was originally established at Mason in 1999, when Dolores was initially the Ombudsman for Student Academic Affairs. As a joint effort of the Office of the Provost and University Life, the responsibilities of the department grew to include academic and non-academic issues in 2007, giving real birth
to the role of the office. Gomez-Moran stresses that no visit to the office is the same and there is no set way to handle any issue. “Each visit to the Office of the Ombudsman is unique and there is no set process duration time,” said Gomez-Moran, “It serves as a neutral, confidential, informal and independent party and is there to advocate for a fair process.” The office was involved in 206 cases last year alone brought forth by both graduate and undergraduate students who expressed concerns. “The process varies depending on the action taken for the issue of concern sometimes a case can take just a visit to the office, but other times cases can last for months,” Gomez-Moran said. The office does make itself as available to students as possible. The office is open during usual business hours Monday through Friday starting at 8:30 until 5:00. They also make special meeting arrangements as well as respond to emails. Students can also call the office at 703-993-3306 to set up an appointment or even request a meeting online through the website. It is important to remember that the office does not make decisions or solve problems directly for the students, but instead acts as
a neutral, confidential, informal and independent resource that advocates for a fair process. Through this, students should be able to explore options and through a fair process situation, find answers and solutions to their issues of concerns. The Office of the Ombudsman works with any Mason students who have either tried
using formal channels at the University and are unsatisfied with their outcome or even just need to vent about the situation and may not want to take further action. STORY BY MARY OAKEY
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Oct.10, 12,2012 2012 Sept.
Alumnus Uses Mason Experience to Inspire College Goals in Students CONTINUED FROM FRONT Schools must apply to be a part of the No Excuses University and participate in a workshop in order to become an official school. However, many schools, including Vega Elementary, have adopted the concept before becoming official. There are currently 148 official schools and hundreds of others in the process of applying. The schools spread over 22 states and include approximately 9,500 students. The program has also created No Excuses Communities that encourage those not in elementary school to attend college, such as high school dropouts and parents who never attended college. Schools participating in the program seek to create environments in which students are educated about the opportunities a college education provides at a very young age. “The moment kids walk in the door, we are going to impact their lives in a profound way,” Lopez said of the No
Excuses University classrooms. When implemented in schools, the No Excuses University program can be shaped to best fit the environment. At Vega Elementary, the entire staff has devoted themselves to making the most of the program. “Our school faculty have dedicated themselves to setting daily goals, showing data, providing more rigorous problem solving techniques and to use every possible minute effectively. We have set higher standards for ourselves and we will meet them,” Gregorash said. Gregorash has experienced many positive results. “Students have reacted very positively to the program. I catch them discussing what school they want to go to every now and then. We have some future Patriots in our classroom,” Gregorash said, “Just the conversation about college alone is a huge benefit.” Across the country, Lopez has encountered similar results. “When you look at our schools, all of
our 44 No Excuses University schools in California have better results than schools across the state in similar communities,” Lopez said. These results have encouraged Lopez to set high-reaching goals for the future. “Our loftiest goal is to create an Any U campus in the next 20 years,” Lopez said. This campus would be a boarding school for foster children. This idea was inspired by the statistics that, while 100% of foster children can receive funding for college, only 3% graduate annually. “We plan to take them in, adopt them, and give them the guaranteed opportunity to succeed,” Lopez said. The No Excuses University schools also welcome college students and alumni to get involved. Schools can be “adopted” by university students and graduates in order to further enhance the students’ knowledge of college education. Anyone interested can contact Lopez at damen@ turnaroundschools.com. STORY BY EVAN PETSCHKE
Top left: Mrs. Gregorash instructing her students in a vocab word activity. Top right: student participates in math activity in front of individual lockers decorated with Mason stickers. Bottom right: One of several decorations in Mrs. Gregorash’s classroom used to reinforce college aspirations.
Oct. 12, Sept. 10,2012 2012
Online Gaming Provides Opportunity for Scholarships
Through online games this fall, Grantoo will give away
Percent of students will win money simply for participating
Average Student Loan Debt for Virginia Students
The increasing cost of a college education has made it more difficult for students to pay their bills, inspiring students to find more innovative ways to come up with the money. A new company by the name of Grantoo has taken inventive steps to create different avenues for students to earn money for their tuition payments. With Grantoo, students can sign up to win money by simply playing games similar to the most well known Smartphone applications. Through fun and friendly tournaments, sponsoring companies like Nike and Citibank work with Grantoo to help make over $100,000 available to winning participants. Oct. 15, the first game will begin, which will essentially be a trivia. The game being held in November will be very similar to Draw with Friends, a modernized version of Pictionary. Even students who are not skilled at online gaming may want to log in. Grantoo’s main
goal is to spread the word on student debt, so 25 percent of the money goes to students who are simply being active with the program by talking about it and referring friends. More people involved means more attention from highmoney sponsors. What is really unique about this scholarship, however, is that absolutely anyone can win. Let’s say, for example, a parent wishes to participate and turns out to be the top winner. She may still win that money, as long as she gives it to notable causes. A small portion of the money won goes to a charity of the winner’s choice, while the rest goes straight to the desired student’s education.
According to H. Puentes, a spokesman for Grantoo that travels from state to state in order to get more people talking about the issue, this scholarship is about much more than winning money through games. “Student debt is more expensive than credit card debt,” Puentes said. He explains how the sum of student debts has recently reached nearly one trillion dollars. He speaks for the company when he says that it is really something that should be addressed, and that is exactly what they are trying to do with this opportunity. Students interested in getting involved can visit Grantoo.org and see three
adorable little penguins and a small box asking for an email. Grantoo will then use this email to provide students with more information before the games start. Puentes encourages students to tell as many people as possible and help spread the word about this cause. STORY BY MELANIE MILES Follow the QR code below to register for Grantoo.
EVAN CANTWELL/CREATIVE SERVICES
University Adds Official December Convocation For Graduates As of this year, students who graduate this December have the choice of attending a formal convocation during the winter to honor their collegiate accomplishments rather than waiting until next May to walk with the rest of the students. The convocation is taking place on Dec. 20 and between 1200 - 1300 students, including doctoral, are expected to attend. Students interested in attending the ceremony will not be from participating in next May’s convocation, but they will still be able to have the traditional commencement where they are identified by their majors. Unlike the formal university commencement, convocations are important to many students because, by attending them, they are individually recognized for their achievements.
“There was a sense that we needed to have some way to really honor the December graduates,” said Dr. Janette Muir, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education. There have been graduate receptions held during winter in the past but last year’s gave way to a new idea. Muir said that the reception held at Mason Inn last December was a product of success because it was so crowded. “Mason Inn was just too small for our needs,” Muir said. The ceremony this December will be held at the Patriot Center, which can accommodate 10,000 people. Each student will receive six tickets and more may be available on the day of the event.
Students are also encouraged to wear regalia, which and will be available at the Mason bookstore. The name “convocation” is derived from the already-existing college convocations that occur in the spring. “Being able to attend the convocation this winter will make me feel like an actual graduate,” said Stefanie Juvinel, Integrative Studies Major with a concentration in Elementary Education. Juvinel will be the first person in her family to acquire a bachelor’s degree and her loved ones are eager to attend this event. STORY BY JUAN CAMPOS
Oct.10, 12,2012 2012 Sept.
Student Government Holds Flash Lectures
Speaker at the Terror Zone Summit, Marcus Wyche, outlines specifics for resumes and interview etiquette. “I try to help people get jobs and get into the workforce,” he said.
National Society of Black Engineers Hosts Seminar As Veldesta Evans says, “Education is the equalizer for any African American. If you get educated, no one can take that away from you.” Evans spoke at the Terror Zone Summit (TZS) hosted by the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) on Sep. 29. The event aimed to empower young African Americans and help them pursue careers in engineering and other fields in the technology world. Evans, along with several other speakers, provided professional tips and guidance to a crowd of dozens of Mason’s young African Americans. “I want to help young people understand what it is they’re up against when they get out into the world. And I just wish that when I was younger, I had somebody to help me along the way to help me get to the next step. Every time I am asked to help someone get there, I do it,” Evans said. Mason’s NSBE chapter, specifically its executive board, in conjunction with the Region II Regional Executive Board of NSBE, especially the Terror Zone Coordinator of NSBE, Will Dalton, organized the event. Mason’s NSBE executive board is comprised of President Christian Adounvo, Vice President Johnetta Saygbe, and Faculty advisor Dr.
Gerald Weatherspoon. Weatherspoon is the Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. “We received very positive feedback,” Saygbe said. An alumni from the NSBE Patuxent River Alumni Extension told Saygbe that the event was one of the best Terror Zone Summits they had been to. There were a variety of workshops, including 21st Century STEM Professional, which aimed to teach strategies for developing a professional name brand, as well as business etiquette. Another workshop, I Only Have 24 Hours: Efficient Time Management, helped teach time-management strategies. Forging a Financial Strategy taught attendees how to “better your financial health by prioritizing your spending, building good credit, and investing planning,” according to the TZS’s agenda. “The diversity of the workshops and speakers, immeasurable hospitality of the George Mason University NSBE chapter, and opportunities for networking between Terror Zone Chapters were effortlessly incomparable with past Summits. This was the first time in history the TZS has been hosted by Mason” Saygbe said. The workshop entitled Passing the
Torch: Keeping the Flame Ablaze, gave students the opportunity to create a dialogue with past and present Mason NSBE presidential leadership “in an effort to stir collaborative brainstorming about successful techniques,” according to event’s agenda. Another speaker and Mason alum, Marcus Wyche, focused on resumes, cover letters and interviews. He also explained proper attire for men in the professional world. “I want to work with more young engineers, so me coming back and helping them, especially since I went to school here, is something that’s fun to do.,” Wyche said. Tanaya Bondon, the President of the NSBE Patuxent River Alumni Extension Chapter, highlighted the impact the organization has made on changing the attitudes of young people towards engineering. “NSBE has taught me how important it is to reach back, and to help the younger kids. I find it important for me to try and teach these younger kids that engineering is fun, math is fun, science is fun. It’s good to like these things. It’s not uncool to be smart in class,” Bondon said. STORY BY ALEXANDRA SUDAK
A recent culture trend has inspired Mason Student Government to put their own spin on the movement known as flash mobs. Instead of gathering people to spontaneously dance in a public place, professors will be performing unprompted lectures on different subject areas. Similarly to flash mobs, the lectures will happen at random times around campus with only a slight warning. Student Government will be announcing the events with slight warning of 20 to 30 minutes through social media. Twitter hashtags and retweets will be used to spread the word, as well as Facebook statuses. The idea of conducting flash lectures began last spring after Provost Peter Stearns suggested the idea. Other nearby universities that were participating in similar event inspired him to bring the lectures to Mason. From that point, Leslie Cook, a former member of Student Government who recently graduated, began this student-lead initiative. She created a major success amongst the Mason campus. Successes that Phil Abburscato, student senator of Student Government, is continuing this fall with a new set of lectures. Based on last years turn out, a few students attend the lectures because of the social media announcements. However, the majority of the crowd is drawn in when they are walking across campus. “It’s an atmosphere I would describe as curious listening—what is this professor talking about in the middle of the quad? Why are other people standing around him/her? I’ll listen in…” describes Student Body President, Alex Williams. As a result of the upcoming Presidential election, the flash lectures for this fall will be election themed. Listeners will be able to absorb information regarding key issues of policy and politics through right on Mason’s campus. “I would also like to schedule one or two “flash debates” of sorts between professors as a means to discuss both the viewpoints and platforms of the major parties in the upcoming elections,” said Abburscato Students, faculty, and other interested parties should look for these events from October, leading up to November sixth. Besides assisting the Mason community in making an informed decision on November sixth, the flash lectures may demonstrate other benefits. “I think it also allows students to appreciate the dedication of many professors here at Mason. They don’t work a 9-5, clock in/clock out shift; many are here at odd hours, passionately working on their research and classes. Flash lectures provide a fitting illustration of this passion,” said Williams. Students will soon be seeing the first flash lecture of the fall semester, while gaining the opportunity to expand their knowledge on current events. “In the end, the purpose of these events will be to excite the student body about the upcoming election and educate them on the issues and platforms of the major party candidates,” said Abburscato. STORY BY JACKIE MOFFITT
Oct. 12, 2012
The Carouser Report:
Coming Back to Reality I feel alive when I go to parties. The grip social media holds on me is lessened with every swig I take. In my pocket I carry the control device, which dominates my daily life. It becomes a useless piece of gigabytes after several drinks. Trying to use the keypad becomes impossible. A simple sentence is turned into random coding that will never be deciphered. I am free. The people that surround me, in our celebration of collegiate camaraderie, are all I have now. Social media is a black hole. The lives we once lived have been sucked deep within. We spend our days wired to a social network from which there is no unplugging. Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are part of our daily routine, and there is no escaping the internet- ego we have created. But come Friday evening, a storm gathers on the horizon. We gather for our ritualistic festivities, and begin losing ourselves in a frenzy of fun. Soon enough we’ll be nothing more than cavemen. We lose the ability to coherently use technology. Lightning cracks and notifications cease. Perhaps in the process of
going to parties and getting a bit sloshed, we’re leaving the daily realm of internet madness, and are entering a humanistic dimension we had forgotten about. Our friends and guests are no longer a profile page we can peruse over. Standing there in the flesh, the crowd of people are the material reflection of a pseudo-reality we have created. And all we needed was some liquid courage, and a bit of ambition. The positive nature of the booze culture has always represented a time when people gathered to interact with each other – in person. However, they also tended to do this daily. We’ve lost this. Getting to know each other nowadays requires nothing more than a 10 minute glance over each other’s online profile. We now judge each other on a whole other level, and the holistic aspect that once existed has now been replaced with the click of your mouse. However, I can say with some confidence, the party scene will never be replaced by social media. There is no substitution for the physical being. No amount of “haha’s” and “Likes” will ever replace the world we have created. The party scene is not just a place
where people rage until they blackout. It is an arena in which you find yourself, friends, snog buddies and sometimes even love. Unforgettable memories are not created within the cyber world, they are created in person. Maybe I am wrong. Perhaps we are spiraling towards social media oblivion. One day, in the not so far off future, we’ll all be wired in. We’ll sit in front of a gigantic screen and video party chat with all of our friends. We’ll pop rum and coke flavored alcohol pills, and be saved from any truly embarrassing moments. To that all I can say is: you can’t buy Facebook a beer, Twitter won’t hold your hair while you puke, and YouTube won’t be there to laugh with you until you pee yourself. Cheers! STORY BY DUSTIN POST
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Oct. 12, 2012
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Escape Post-Midterm Stress at Great Falls National Park As the humidity and heat of the summer fade, cool breezes usher in chilly nights and dew-soaked mornings. With a fantastic, firecracker explosion of color, fall is here! Just look at the red, gold, green, yellow, brown and orange colors of the trees. It’s difficult to fully capture the colorful magic of the season without a trip to Great Falls National Park. Located on the Potomac River in Fairfax County, Great Falls Park is best known for overlooking a canyon of seething, bubbling waterfalls, particularly impressive after a rainfall. The park includes a pleasant, grassy picnic area perfect for tossing a Frisbee around, eating, and lounging about. A visitor’s center contains a colorful and informative museum about the history of the land including the Native American tribes and early English settlers that used to call the area home. Hiking trails span the length of the park, allowing you to choose your own adventure by skirting the length of the Potomac on the River Trail or by losing yourself among the many tall trees that crowd the Ridge Trail. The longest trails are 3
miles long. The park encourages mountain biking and horseback riding. Particularly adventurous sorts can go rock climbing (with equipment) and kayaking, but caveat emptor! People die in the river’s rapids every year, and only experienced kayakers should take this risk. By far, my favorite part about visiting this park is walking along the Old Carriage Road and Ridge Trail, soaking up the crisp fall air and experiencing the shocks of orange, red, and yellow leaves. Both of these trails span the ridges and hills above the river. They are fairly deserted, providing you with an opportunity to lose yourself in the peace and solitude of the woods. Great Falls National Park is open year round from 7am until dark. I recommend packing a lunch, although unsavory snack bar food is available at the visitor’s center. For more information, give the visitor’s center a call at 703-285-2965. Getting There and Away: The only way to reach the park is with your own vehicle: from GMU’s campus, between 30 and 40 minutes. The entrance fee is 5 dollars
per vehicle. The receipt, valid for three days, also includes admission to the Maryland side of Great Falls, known for its steep and exciting Billy Goat’s Trail. If you are feeling particularly bold and adventurous, you can park outside of Great Falls and hike into the park, exempting yourself from the park entrance fee. Don’t worry, this is completely legal. Although it will take you about an hour and a half to hike to the visitor’s center, you will have plenty of company and lots of exercise. As you approach the intersection of Old Dominion and Georgetown Pike while driving on Old Dominion, continue straight to enter the park, or take a right turn onto Georgetown Pike. Several hundred meters along this windy, twisty road, make a right hand turn into an unmarked, gravel parking lot. Here’s where you will park to hike into the park for free. After parking, begin your hike along Difficult Run Trail (right side of the parking lot as you face Georgetown Pike) into Great Falls. STORY BY ROBERTINO BOGART
Oct. 12, 2012
Madness Begin Entertainment
Oct. 12, 2012
Mason Madness kicks off the beginning of basketball season arguably the most exciting time of the year. Make sure to follow Broadside for all the insight and coverage of our Patriots. Menâ€™s Schedule Bowie State Virginia @ Bucknell Boston University @ Rhode Island Maryland UMBC Northern Iowa Richmond @ South Florida
Thurs. Oct. 25 Fri. Nov. 9 Tues. Nov. 13 Sat. Nov. 24 Wed. Nov. 28 Sun. Dec. 2 Tues. Dec. 4 Sat. Dec. 8 Sat. Dec. 22 Sat. Dec. 29
Womenâ€™s Schedule Davis & Elkins @ Oakland Umes Morgan State UAB Akron @ Maryland @ George Washington Georgia Southern
Fri. Nov. 2 Fri. Nov. 9 Tues. Nov. 13 Fri. Nov. 16 Sun. Dec. 2 Wed. Dec. 5 Sat. Dec. 8 Sat. Dec. 22 Sat. Dec. 29
Oct. 12, 2012
One if by Land, Two if by Sea, Three if by Flying Saucer The idea of the end of mankind in the form of an alien invasion has loomed in people’s minds since the 1940s with the beginning of space exploration. Since then, Hollywood has created countless possibilities regarding what our first interaction with extraterrestrial life may be like. Extraterrestrial creatures may be vicious carnivorous beasts like in “Alien,” or have psychic powers and be technologically advanced as depicted in Independence Day. They might even be cute and cuddly like the Ewoks of Star Wars. Perhaps they will be nonsensically violent and weak to the sound of country music as shown in Mars Attacks! Believers and conspiracy theorists alike claim that we have already been visited in places like Roswell, Stonehenge and the Pyramids. Their evidence lies in photographs of debris, strange groups of lights and firsthand accounts from the edge-of-town crazies talking about probes in their heads. Many of these theories and sightings have been
debunked with more realistic explanations or have been revealed to be frauds. “Scientifically speaking, there is no evidence to support this hypothesis,” said professor of physics, astronomy, and computational science Harold Geller. Many people out there want to believe we are not alone in the universe, and Professor Geller is one of them. “I personally believe that there is life elsewhere in the universe. But this doesn’t mean that life is nearby to our own solar system. The universe is unimaginably vast in size, and the space between the stars is rather empty, and not so easily traversed,” said Geller. Before you believers get too downtrodden, remember a quote by Martin Rees made famous by Carl Sagan, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” In layman’s terms, just because we cannot prove aliens exist does not prove that aliens do not exist at all. Perhaps the first aliens we find will not be incredibly
intelligent or advanced. We may not even find extraterrestrial life in the form of complex organisms. Maybe they will be microbes, singlecell organisms or already dead and fossilized. Given the modern state of technology, humans may we find extraterrestrial life before it finds us. Professor Geller disagrees. “There is no collective desire by the human species to search for extraterrestrial intelligences in the galaxy. I see all funding of such research being cut even further than it already has been cut. If we, as a species, don’t try to search for others, we certainly won’t find any,” said Geller. With a lack of evidence supporting the existence of alien life, the odds of an alien invasion bringing an end to the world are slim. Nevertheless, the scientific search for life in the universe continues. What we do if/ once we find these creatures is another whole debate in and of itself. STORY BY BRYAN DOMBROWSKI
Oct. 12, 2012 OPINION
Stuck in a Time Warp
Rocky Horror Picture Show offers a Tantalizing Live and Interactive Performance at University Mall The night air was chilly as a small crowd formed outside of the University Mall Theatre. It was a Saturday night, and I was waiting in line with friends to buy tickets to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show. As I glanced around at my surroundings, I saw a variety of excited Rocky Horror fans dressed in everything from fish net stockings and top hats to sparkly golden underwear and bow ties. We eventually made our way to the front of the line and purchased our tickets for the show. After buying our tickets and being stamped with a pair of lips on the hand, we went inside the theatre only to wait in another line. While waiting, we saw a big group of people ahead of us with giant red Vs on their foreheads. I thought it was just another weird costume for the show. My friends and I started to chat with people in line around us, and we met a Northern Virginia Community College student named Caroline who comes to the show every weekend. As we started talking, we asked questions about what it was like and what goes on during the performance. That was a BIG mistake. Caroline guessed that we had never gone to a show, so she and a few of her friends borrowed a tube of bright red lipstick. They used it to mark the three of us with our own Vs, meaning that we were “virgins” because we had never seen the performance before. We continued talking about the show, and my friends and I happily took pictures having no idea what we were in for next. The clock struck twelve, and the audience started taking their seats. Not knowing what was going happen, the three of us chose seats mid-way back and away from the aisle. Choosing these seats didn’t help us, because after the introduction
and rules were said, the entire audience was asked to stand up. Neil, the host of the show, started a countdown of how many times people had seen the Rocky Horror Show. By the end, it was only the “virgins” left standing and we were all forced to go onstage for a process known as the “virgin sacrifice.” As a person who hates being the center of attention, this was total torture. It was already bad enough being on stage with bright lights shining in my face and an entire audience staring at us, and then Neil told us we had to fake an orgasm before leaving the stage. Whoever won got to be part of the show as the character, Betty. After hearing those words, I felt my entire face flush with embarrassment. I became increasingly worried as it came closer to being my turn. I was completely mortified, and I wondered how people could do that and be okay with it. I was the last person to do it, and then it was time for the audience to vote for the winner. Thankfully I lost, and I was able to return to the comfort of my seat. After a few more “virgin sacrifices” similar to that, everyone returned to their seats and it was finally time for the show to start. The movie began, and the cast came onstage. Although my experience may not sound like much fun, don’t let it stop you from seeing the show. Aside from being embarrassed for a little while, I had a really great time. My favorite part was when the entire audience got up and did the “Time Warp” together. If you’re worried about having to go onstage, just keep quiet about not seeing the show, and you should be fine. I would definitely go see it again. I had a blast, and it was a great experience I’ll never forget. STORY BY AMY ROSE
Home of the Smashburger When campus food gets old and boring, it’s time to start venturing out and exploring the dining options around town. You can always fall back on old favorites like Chipotle and other fast food restaurants, but if you are looking for some service with a great meal, then the place to go is the newly opened Smashburger on Fairfax Blvd. Smashburger is an original experience from the way that the burgers are made to the great value of service. So, let’s start with the burgers. The burgers start out as meatballs that are put down and actually smashed on the grill. It creates two seared outer layers that keep all the juiciness that burgerlovers desire inside. Burgers can be custom-made with imaginative combinations of buns and toppings.
For a restaurant that handles orders like a fast food restaurant, the service is amazing. After ordering your meal, you sit down and relax as servers bring out orders, check on how everything is going and clean off tables. Smashburger is a great place to treat yourself to a little pampering without breaking the bank. It would be a great place for first dates, club gatherings or even somewhere nice to take the family when they come to visit. No worries for anyone who is not a meat-eater or a burger lover. Smashburger has a wide variety of food available. Veggie burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs and salads are also on the menu and available to customize. Whether you are hungry
for traditional french fries, sweet potato fries, chili cheese fries or haystack onions, Smashburger has an option for you. They even have their own signature Smashfries, which feature fries tossed with rosemary, olive oil and garlic. For those with a big sweet tooth, they also have Häagen-Dazs shakes and floats for sale. For anyone looking for great food, an average check of $9 and fast food without the cheap and greasy feel, Smashburger is the place to go. It is even really close to campus, so get a group of hungry friends and head on down to Smashburger for a great experience and a great meal. STORY BY JENN MILLER
Oct. 12, 2012
George Mason University’s Student Newspaper
Cody Norman, Editor-in-Chief
Colleen Wilson, Managing Editor Stephen Kline, Photography and Design Editor Elise Baker, Editorials Editor Aaron Locke, News Editor Alexandra Sudak, Assistant News Editor Emily Bartone, Entertainment Editor Bryan Dombrowski, Sports Editor Jennifer Miller, Assistant Sports Editor Sae Rynn Kwon, Copy Editor Michelle Minnich, Copy Editor Manny Alfaro, Cartoonist Kathryn Mangus, Faculty Advisor Jacques Mouyal, Business Manager David Carroll, Associate Director Broadside is a weekly publication printed each Monday for George Mason University and its surrounding Fairfax community. The editors at Broadside 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 Editorin-Chief should be notified at the information given above. Broadside is a free publication. Limit one copy per person.
The Goods of Social Media We live in an iWorld. If you just take a look around campus, everyone is either on their phone or their laptop typing away with them all somehow interconnected in a parallel universe. Nowadays, social media and technology has become a prominent part of our everyday lives with using Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, the iPod and the iPhone. Social media provides a mean for information, entertainment and persuasion. In the past decade alone, social media has been responsible for the introduction of new ideas and inventions, the start of revolutions against tyrant governments, and the increase of human to human interaction. Social media has become a pathway used to
communicate. It is the way we let others know what’s on our minds, a way to figure out what’s on other people’s minds and ultimately a way to share ideas in an interactive manner. Facebook and Twitter are effortlessly accessible; whether on your laptop or your smart phone, messages can be sent out within seconds. And within a couple of more seconds, replies, favorites, or even “retweets” start flooding in. This creates an interactive dynamic where people can interconnect, link and transfer information between one another. The ease of use of social media has created a fast track to changing the topics
the public discusses in society. People are now more open to and aware of sharing topics and ideas previously considered “taboo”. Social networking sites and blogs can range from topics such as religion, the environment, technology and even entertainment. The openness social media has created allows more for the tolerance of ideas and people. Selfexpression thus becomes easier and more acceptable. In recent news, social media has also been the starting point of what has been coined the “Arab Spring”. Youth all over the Middle East are using Twitter, Facebook and even camera phones to make history and allow democracy
in their countries. Twitter has been used, for example, to notify others of protests and rallies. Those messages then go on to be read by hundreds, maybe thousands of willing citizens. Social media has undoubtedly played a significant role in the jump start of modern revolutions. Whether it’s spreading ideas, opening up minds, or starting revolutions, social media has definitely had a positive effect on our society, in terms of communication. A more connected world enhances opportunities for everyone everywhere. STORY BY RAWAAN ELBABA
Honesty: Always the Best Policy Take a moment to picture a chaotic world. It is easy actually; all it takes is for you to imagine living in a society where honesty is non-existent. We hear it over and over again: “You can’t have a good relationship without trust.” Though it is a cliché, it is inevitable to imagine that without honesty, the last bit of sanity that remains within society would vanish. What would you do if you were being lied to constantly? If honesty and truth were erased from the values of society, how would the human race function? To say the least, it wouldn’t. Honesty is one of the most important policies because without it, humans would be helpless. Asking someone you have never met before for something as simple as directions requires honesty. Taking classes requires honesty from
the professors – if the material being taught is a lie, what is the point of going to school? Then of course, there are relationships. Without honesty, it is impossible to build any sort of relationship – or a successful one at least. Without a speck of honesty, the human race would most likely collapse. Being able to trust others reduces stress tremendously. It makes the world go round. Honesty is at the core of any act. It may seem simple and irrelevant, but without it we are nothing. Dishonesty is a first-class ticket to shame in any circumstance. Be it relationships, businesswise, or in education – if you are dishonest, there should be consequences. The fact of the matter is dishonesty has a wide-range of effects. It could be destructive. For instance,
if honesty was not enforced in education, certain people’s “successes” would be reprehensible. Success should be earned, and there is no question that honesty is vital in this case. There should be no question that honesty is a significant value of society. There is a reason that the importance of honesty is universal. People need to be able to trust one another, in any situation. Almost any action we make requires honesty in some shape or form. Honesty is a moral in almost any religion, and it is enforced in school and business for a simple reason: without it, there is chaos and fraud. STORY BY NAFEESA BRUSHA
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Oct. 12, 2012 OPINION
Repetition is Not Always the Answer This world continues to have the same conflicts with a different name and leader. This has always been something that baffled me because as members of the human race, we cannot learn from our mistakes. Wars, attacks, and persecution have been going on since the beginning of time and will not end until we come together to avoid our past mistakes. Let’s start this look back in 1490 when Ferdinand and Isabella felt the only way to resolve the problems of Spain was to create a land with a single people. This resolution involved the expulsion of the Jewish and Muslim population in the country to create their perfect Spain. A similar situation happened in the United States as expansion across the vast countryside began. This conquest did not just involve inspecting unvisited sites. The conquest that celebrated expansion actually involved killing, raping, and displacing the Native American population. The U.S.’s goal was to expand and create an America that would make this country the best one on earth.
The Native Americans were not a part of this picture similar to the Jews and Muslims in Spain. This ethnic cleansing continued with Adolf Hitler’s systematic killing of 12 million people. This included Jews, homosexuals, Poles, Roma, handicapped, political dissidents, and Soviet Prisoners of War. This killing was to create a population deemed “acceptable” by the regime of Adolf Hitler. Once the Holocaust ended the world promised that this would never happen again. Not surprisingly similar systematic killing continued. In Cambodia, Pol Pot’s Marxist revolution involved a full extermination of educated citizens who did not fit into the new image of the country that represented uneducated farmers. This pattern has not stopped and killing has resumed in Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo, and most recently Darfur. We as humans do not learn from our mistakes and that is why history consistently repeats itself. The solution to this problem is not easy to solve but we have to take a step
back and look at our current state. Let’s look specifically at Syria, Russia, and China and asks if the current leadership promotes openness and moving forward, not exterminating for political advancement. History will always repeat itself until we take that step back and attempt to prevent a recurrence once again. We have taken strides by creating the United Nations; this group promotes cooperation and understanding. However, as many of us know, the UN is not the answer considering the continued killing under its watch. We must come together as citizens of the world and orchestrate a plan that will end this repetition that is halting our evolution. STORY BY NATE FALK
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Oct. 12, 2012 OPINION
Center for the Arts Students Should Take Advantage of Access In the months leading into my Mason career, my mother and father often reminded me to attempt to get all of the perks from my out of state tuition. I found a perfect venue for that at the GMU Center for the Arts. Any holder of a Mason ID is able to get at least one free ticket for most performances featured at the venue. The Center of the arts, apart from featuring Mason’s very own theatrical and musical ensembles, pulls in the likes of the American Symphony Orchestra and even the Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi. Indeed, the College of Visual and Performing Arts has a selection that’s just as diverse as Mason itself. Continuing on that point, the College of Visual and Performing Arts selects the program for the year, and strives to create “an academic environment in which the arts are
explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that enhance and strengthen each other.” Certainly a very admirable goal, I would say. The College of Visual and Performing Arts has aptly named the program of artists who pass through Mason “Great Performances at Mason” and great they are. Mind you, however, this is not like attending an event at the Patriot Center, which recently sat a little under 6,000 at the recent Wale show, with the capacity to fit a lot more. The Concert Hall seats just 1,935. When I discovered that “Great Performances at Mason” was so accessible to students, I got very excited. I’ve always been a fan of classical music, and I was able to be exposed to my first live performance here on campus.
What the Center for the Arts offers is not for everyone, but I recommend that full advantage should be taken to go out and see at least one performance. Information can be found online at www.cfa.gmu.edu. Taking advantage of these free tickets from the Center of the Arts is not only rewarding, but allows you to indulge in one of the many perks George Mason’s tuition has to offer. STORY BY DAVID DORSEY
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Take Back the Night The 25th annual Take Back the Night event honoring all people impacted by sexual and domestic violence was a smashing success as people gathered to challenge rape culture, break the silence, and end the violence. In last week’s “Rant with Storm Paglia”, Storm expressed issues regarding a speaker who discussed healthy relationships, he questioned the purpose of our event, and he attacked student senators for their support of the event. While we fundamentally disagree with Storm’s message, we respect his freedom of speech and thank him for the opportunity to educate the Mason Community on this important issue. As organizers of the event, we intentionally created an inclusive environment for people of all genders, political ideologies, sexual orientations, experience, and all identities. The focus on honoring victims of
Ricky Gervais and Ideological Bias One big shortcoming of Twitter is its limited space to express views. Ultimately, 140 characters will never be enough to truly convey great ideas; after all, items like the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Gettysburg Address, “I Have a Dream” speech, and others sure couldn’t fit in Twitterimposed barriers. Maybe that is why certain statements seem so off. Comedian Ricky Gervais is a good example. As religiously-engendered violence continued in Muslim countries, Gervais remarked “I see Atheists are fighting and killing each other again, over who doesn’t believe in any God the most. Oh, no..wait.. that never happens.” While Gervais’ comment
may require further explanation, it seemed sufficient a statement for many as it got posted on Facebook, receiving over 20,000 likes and over 6,000 shares. Yet his remarks are bizarre in light of history. Gervais was born in 1961, meaning the first 30 years of his life there existed the Soviet Union. This was a regime that had its share of largescale killing to stamp out religion and whose leadership violently punished those who did not adhere to their atheism-based worldview sufficiently enough. In early twentieth century Mexico, here was plenty of secularist-driven violence against the Catholic Church. The extent of violence, especially in the rural areas, by
the revolutionary government was so intense that it sparked a counter-revolt, the Cristero Revolution. Eighteenth-century France saw the Reign of Terror, a perpetual executing of supposed anti-revolutionaries headlined by individuals who believed that superstition and Christianity were enemies of the republic. In other words, people who felt about religion much in the same way that Gervais does. To say nothing of the Afghan Communist government of the late 1970s and 1980s, whose body count nears one million or Cambodia under Pol Pot, which killed as much as a third of that nation’s population. With these and other
examples of atheists or agnostics using brutal force against religious believers over their religious beliefs, one wonders how Gervais could be so oblivious. It cannot be a question of intelligence. The comedian has earned several welldeserved accolades for his witty material and his remarks at the Golden Globe ceremonies were classic. Rather it has to do with basic near universal ideological biases. As an atheist, Gervais is never going to consider the bad apples of his lot to be exemplary of how atheism really is. Gervais does not consider atheist dictators like Joseph Stalin and Benito Mussolini as proof that atheism is a malevolent entity; this even
though had the two tyrants been Christian, Gervais would have likely seen them as proof of religion getting out of hand. Conversely, had Gervais been Christian it’s possible he would see these atheist dictators as proof that atheism is always the violent tyrannical ideology and religious belief never results in similar behavior. Twitter is a problematic venue to express views. A Tweeter is oft confined by an absurdly low count of 140 characters. One wonders how anyone thinks it measures up to Facebook, which allows for far more literary expression both good and bad. The only real benefit in that respect would be using the limited character space to post links
violence was also intentional as no matter how small that community is, they deserve an event to honor them Ben Privot co-hosted the event with the wonderful Veronica Ramos-Coreas and Ben also spoke about the use of consent in healthy relationship to prevent sexual violence. His message was clear that whether you prefer abstinence or talking dirty to your partner, healthy communication of our needs is essential to creating a culture of consent to replace the destructive rape culture. Having these conversations and breaking the silence is the only we can move forward. We wanted to thank student government and all of our other sponsors for their support. Please check out the rest of the events for Turn Off the Violence Week on the GMU Sexual Assault Services website at sas.gmu.edu. Respectfully, Jason Von Kundra on behalf of the Feminist Student Organization
to intellectual remarks far greater in length. Perchance Gervais’ remarks would sound better and make greater sense if given a greater volume of words. Or maybe they would sound just as partisan and oblivious as they did under the 140 character restriction. STORY BY MICHAEL GRYBOSKI
Oct. 12, 2012
This is Madness: This is Mason
It is almost upon us - the Patriot Center, the Green Machine, the T-shirt gun, the cheerleaders and of course, the teams. Mason Nation is more than ready for basketball, but before tip-off on Nov. 9, the glowing embers of Patriot Pride need to roar into a full fire storm. For 14 years, Mason has been partaking in a tradition that ignites our Basketball season spirit Mason Madness. On Oct. 14 at 9:30 p.m., students and local Mason fans will get a good look at the sports programs that have been kept under wraps since March. With featured performances from independent artists and Mason clubs such as
UrbanKnowlogy, the Green Machine and The Masonettes, the event is always a huge hit. Originally held in the RAC gym, Mason Madness was a glorified high school pep rally with pull out bleachers in a tiny gymnasium. “Hard to believe that is where the varsity teams played when you look at the Patriot Center today,” said writer for Creative Services, Buzz McClain. “But it worked, and as you can see, the crowds at the games have grown and the basketball program has developed to what it is now.” Other sports teams have also performed in years past but have since stopped. The crossdressing dancing and singing routines from the wrestling team are some of
the most missed. You can actually see parts of these routines and others in a Mason Madness history video montage. “Over the years the Madness rally got more and more ambitious, but no traditions materialized until the emergence of Doc Nix and his high-energy routines. Everyone looks forward to what the dancers and musicians will come up with next,” McClain said. Mason’s precious mascot was not always the Patriot. Mason was home to several strange and bizarre mascots, including green fuzzy monsters and something resembling an aardvark. It was only in 1995, in a basketball game against
Ohio State University that the Patriot made its premiere. At the tail end of the montage, you will catch a glimpse of Doc Nix and the Green Machine’s rendition of LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem from last year’s event. Each year, the pep band comes out with new songs to play for home games and blows the crowd away every time. Mason Madness is the first chance when freshman get to experience the musical moxie, spirit and swag of the Green Machine. It is a night that should not be missed. Over the years, activities and games have been in place for students to get involved with the festivities aside from
singing the fight song and cheering on the teams. This year, one lucky student will get to take a half-court shot worth $10,000. Then, after all the performances and activities, the heart of the celebration comes out with the introduction of the current men’s and women’s basketball teams. The teams then reveal the fruits of their off-season labors with a green and gold scrimmage game for the fans, students and their families. Mason Madness is always held during Parent’s Weekend. This coordination helps to expand the ranks of the Mason nation and take our Patriot Pride back home, wherever that may be. However, the early date of
Parent’s Weekend tends to leave a bit of a spirit-dry spell for students as they anxiously wait for that first home game. “I am hoping the spirit generated by the Madness mayhem in October will carry over to the first home game in November. That’s a long gap that they may want to consider closing a bit in the future,” McClain said. If you do not think you can make it one more month until that first home game, come out to Mason Madness, get your prescribed dose of Patriot Pride and be part of one the best Mason traditions. STORY BY BRYAN DOMBROWSKI
Oct. 12, 2012
From Mason to the Mountain Tops Waiting for that first snowfall around the beginning of winter is exciting for everyone, but for members of Mason’s Ski and Snowboarding Club it means it is finally time to hit the slopes. Founded in 2010 by student snowboarders and skiers, the club is expanding and growing. Last year, most of the team’s trips took small groups to Liberty in Pennsylvania, but the club is planning to travel to even bigger resorts this season. “We’re planning a big trip to Killington in Vermont over winter break and [another] one over spring break to Mt. Tremblant in Canada,” said president Chris Mullins. Whether you are just starting to practice on the bunny slope or are the next Shaun White, the club has a spot for you. Current members of the club include people who have never been to the slopes people who go often. “This year, we’re really trying to hook up people who are experienced with new snowboarders and skiers, so they can learn faster and
don’t have to pay for lessons.” These winter sports can be expensive, especially with a season starting as early as November and lasting until March. With equipment, a lift ticket and skis or a board, the cost can add up to hundreds of dollars. Beginners can always find used equipment online or in stores for cheaper prices than constantly renting. “I’d usually suggest someone to go buy some used stuff. You can get a setup for about 200 bucks. It is kind of hard for college students but it is realistic. It is possible to get into it with not too much money,” Mullins said. Ken Eng, a special events coordinator and former board member with the D.C. Ski and Snowboard Club, said money and time are the biggest reasons why the older, regional ski clubs lack younger members. “We’re having a hard time recruiting because students don’t have much money, or do, but then don’t have enough time,” said Eng. “This is not a unique problem for
established ski clubs. Every club in the entire country faces the same problem.” Regional ski clubs organize national and international trips up to a year in advance that cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. “I think if the D.C. Ski Club tried to market for younger people, it wouldn’t be that big of a problem. But right now, I think it would be awkward if you took a group of 22-year-olds snowboarding and they got rowdy. Older members would not appreciate it too well,” Mullins said. “But it’s definitely possible if they market trips specifically or a little separately. It would work out really well.” The Mason club does a great job of reducing the costly fees associated with snowboarding or skiing. Going to college nights, teaching new members and giving advice on where to go for equipment are just some of the benefits the club provides. Traveling as a big group or going through company-run trips, like
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D.C. Ski Club, helps to lighten the expenses. Meetings for the club are held on the second Tuesday of every month. Interested skiers and snowboarders can find information about the club on Facebook and by attending meetings. Club trips to Kings Dominion
and the beach allow the group to spend time together off the slopes. Come wintertime, the club will be traveling and hoping mother nature provides them with plenty of snow. STORY BY JAMES ZEMBRISKI
Oct. 12, 2012
Every Stroke for the Team A year ago, the Mason Men’s Crew Club competed in the American Collegiate Rowing Association Championships in Georgia. McKinney, President of the Mason Men’s Crew Club, remembers the start of the race being calm and collected, with no one joking around or talking. He and his team had been training for this. Those next six minutes would determine how their hard work would pay off. After counting down his last 20 strokes and hearing the beep of the team’s finish, McKinney knew that his team had finally medaled. Since McKinney joined during his freshman year, he has been able to see the team grow. The team made petite finals at the Dad Vail Regatta and finished third out of 33 teams at the ACRA Championship. With these accomplishments under its belt, the team hopes to make it back to these competitions and improve on its finishes from last year. A sense of teamwork comes about from any timed sport, but especially from rowing. Every team member relies on everyone else and everyone needs to be doing his best for the team to succeed. Cooperation is needed from every member of the boat from the beginning launch to the last twenty strokes. The boat must maintain grace and power throughout the entire race. There is no giving up in a sport that can be decided by onehundredth of a second or less the one whole stroke. “You can’t blame just one person. It is all about keeping calm and collected as a boat,” McKinney said. McKinney is one of the best examples the type of people the team is looking for.
McKinney never rowed in high school, but after seeing the sport in the Olympics, he decided it would be an interesting sport to try. McKinney has stuck with the team for his four years at Mason. The team is willing to take anyone who is going to be able to dedicate his time to all the practices and competitions. It needs people who will ask themselves in the middle if they can finish the race and say no because of how hard they have been working. With that answer, they will still continue pushing just as hard until the end of the race. Students should also know that contrary to what a lot of people may have heard, physical build plays a part in rowing, but is not everything. “We have a lot of dedicated guys [who] are smaller on the team. Even though they may be a lightweight, someone under 160 pounds, they can pull just as much as the bigger guys on the team,” said McKinney. No experience is needed to make a difference in a boat. All someone needs is dedication. A lot of high schools do not have rowing teams because it is an expensive sport, so even a lot of Olympians started out in college. With a young, but experienced team, Mason Crew Club can only hope to continue improving. With the passage of more time and more bonding out on the Occoquan River, where the practices are held, it will be interesting to see how far the team will go. STORY BY JENNIFER MILLER
COURTESY OF MATT MCKINNEY
An Aquatic Affair
Bonds Made in the Water
This coming weekend, the swim team will compete in its most difficult meet to date against the University of Delaware. In its first meet against American University, the team took first place. In their most recent meet at Loyola University, Mason defeated Loyola 213-87 while falling United States Naval Academy 169-130 in a close race for the win. Stand out swimmers included freshman Kyle Sockwell, who took first place in the 200 backstroke with senior Austin Witherow following close behind. Sockwell and Caleb Williams have been excellent additions to an already firstrate team. “This team is the best we have had in years and we have a great chance at winning the conference title,” Witherow said. The team has been intensely preparing for the
meet this coming weekend with practices twice a day, six times a week. They alternate their workouts by doing lifting, running, and a variety of swimming sets. The team also credits certain innovations within the athletic department, including longer swimming pools. “During practice, we are able to swim a long course of 50 meters, rather than the usual 25. I feel this gives us an edge over the competition, as no one else is able to do this and it helps with our conditioning,” Witherow said. With the meet approaching this weekend, the members are focusing hard on their workouts, but also focusing on the mental aspect of the sport, as it is just as important. “Swimming is different because it is a mental sport,” Witherow said. “Going to practice and doing the sets
can be pretty daunting; you have to do a lot of warm ups and stretching. It is similar to track in that way because you have to bring a lot together in order for it to go well.” The team members are extremely close with their busy practice schedule, so they are easily able to form bonds. They eat together for most meals and meet up on weekends to relax. They even have a ritual of gathering as a team before a meet and having a quick goal meeting before watching movies together, especially inspirational ones. This closeness is important in boosting morale and getting excited for the meet. While each member of the team has to swim individually, each person’s scores count toward the team win. STORY BY JORDAN CONAHAN
Oct. 12, 2012
Former Patriot Finds New Voice With Redskins Die-hard Redskins fans know his name and his voice, but most probably do not know that he attended Mason. Grant Paulsen, beat reporter for the Redskins on 106.7 the Fan, is a graduate of Mason. Paulsen’s time at Mason began during his senior year in high school. His first impressions of Mason were during the exciting time of Mason’s Cinderella run to the Final Four. He came in 2006 to visit friends, and as a result, Mason became his top runner for college. When it came time to finally decide where he would attend college, Paulsen picked Mason because it was a local college and it would help him continue to build rapport with people in the journalism and media fields in the area. Paulsen came to Mason knowing
that he wanted to work in sports journalism one day. With guidance from professors, especially wellknown journalism professor Steve Kline, Paulsen honed in on his journalism skills. “Professors here are really connected and active in their fields at Mason. They create great opportunities to make connections,” said Paulsen. Paulsen believes that for anyone trying to get into sports journalism or any other sports communication job, Mason is a good place to start. There are so many places to start networking, given the school’s proximity to D.C. and the locations of D.C. sports events. For example, the Redskins’ practice fields in Ashburn, Fedex Field, and the Verizon Center are just a short drive or metro ride
away. Professors at Mason are also advantageous because they are more than willing to call on their connections in the field to help a student gain more experience, internships and even jobs. One big disadvantage that Paulsen mentioned is the fact that Mason only has one major sports team, the basketball team. All the other teams at Mason are popular, but not on the level that basketball is. Also, a Division I football team does not exist for anyone looking to go into some part of the communication field in that sport. Paulsen thinks this is a big disadvantage because students cannot gain the experience of covering a variety of sports. “More teams mean more experience and that is one thing that Mason does not provide,” Paulsen
said. Despite these disadvantages, Paulsen made his way to the great career that him came to Mason seeking. Paulsen sees his job as fun, challenging and one that does not feel like a job. He gets paid to watch and follow football, which he sees as a dream job that he is lucky to have. Like other Mason graduates, Paulsen still has bigger and better things that he hopes to achieve one day. He loves his job now and would be perfectly content staying with it for many more years, but hopes to move to larger platforms of sports journalism. Eventually, he wants to be able to cover play-by-play on a national level. He would also love more chances for broadcasting, but for right now, he plans on growing in the field that he is currently in.
For any student who may doubt the phrase, Once a Patriot Always a Patriot, Paulsen proves that statement to hold true. As an alumnus, he still follows Mason basketball, which was what brought him here in the first place. He even attended games last season and plans on coming back to the Patriot Center for years to come. Mason continues to still be a somewhere Paulsen fits in. When asked about whether he would choose Mason if he had to do it all over again, he replied, “Absolutely. No question about it.” STORY BY JENNIFER MILLER
Don’t Rock the Boat: Academics and Athletic Balance Recognized The Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) recently selected senior women’s rowing captains Merrideth Bennett and Madison Beumer as 2012 All-Region Scholar Athletes. This is the second year in a row for both women to be selected for this award. To be nominated for this award, athletes must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 and participate in at least 75 percent of the current spring races or race in a regional event. Selection is then made by the CRCA, which has coaches from nearly every team. The award is a sign of not just academic and athletic success but also personal time management and scheduling balance. “With workouts, two-adays, travel and all the extra time I put in with the team, it [totals] about 30 to 35 hours a week,” Bennett said. Time management is something that nearly all college students pick up on after their freshmen year. This is especially true of athletes. “Not going to lie, it is a little hard and requires a lot of
sacrifice. Some nights, I want to go out but can’t, and other times, I’m on the bus cramming for tests,” Bennett said. In addition to being recognized for her academic and rowing achievement, Bennett was also awarded the title of CRCA Division 1 All-Region Second Team by the CRCA, which is based solely upon athletic performance and success. Beumer, who is also the president of the Student Athlete Council, agreed with her fellow captain on the significance of time management. “Find whatever works for you; some people take naps, others stay up late. I separate things and make schedules,” Beumer said. The girls understand the importance of working hard in both of their fields and how the academic and athletic worlds are alike. “There is a life after rowing, and how you approach your sport shows the way you are going to approach the rest of your life,” Beumer said. “You learn to work in groups, time management, and cooperation skills; its like a test run.”
On and off the water, the coaching staff and the rest of the team are always there to support each other, but some may say Bennett and Beumer have a connection that is a little more special. The two girls are practically twins, and not only in appearance. They are the same year, have the same major, and the same minor. Both are captains, share similar goals, have lived together for two years and have rowed together in the same boat for four years. “We push each other and always support each other. We even sit next to one another for our dry workouts,” Bennett said. While the two girls are close and spend a lot of time together, they are still very involved with the other members of the rowing team. “It’s not just the captains or the stronger rowers that push us though. Even the new rowers work and compete for spots and that pushes us all to work harder,” Beumer said. Both captains are confident in their team this year from the seniors all the way down
to the rookies. After placing fourth last year in the Head of the Charles in Boston, they are sure that the team will medal this year. “Our coaches emphasize striving for perfection. If it is not perfect, it is not right,” Bennett said. The two girls have successfully been able to dedicate their lives to their goals of academic and athletic
dominance. Although they make it seem easy, the work they put in is second to none. “Rowing is not something that is for everyone; you have to be willing to dedicate your life to it it,” Beumer said. “You cannot be half in, you must be all in.” Both Bennett and Beumer are planning to graduate this year and work for some time
before possibly returning for graduate school. Whatever path they choose, the skills they have learned and the hard work they have shown in the classroom and in the boat will surely carry them to success. STORY BY BRYAN DOMBROWSKI
Oct. 12, 2012
National Champions Rebuild Young Team
Many students do not have the faintest clue that a club sport at Mason won a national championship only a year and half ago. A far cry from the fame won by the Final Four basketball team in 2006, the club cricket team has not received much accolation for their success. Hashim Khan, who graduated last spring, founded the team two years ago. “It was hard to recruit members for the team, I remember Hashim telling me, as many Americans have never even heard of the sport,” said Muhammad Awais, current president of the cricket club. “I joined immediately.” This did not hold the team back, as they went on to win the collegiate cricket championship their first
year as a club sport, becoming the 2010-2011 national champions. Mason shockingly beat out Montgomery College, the 2009 national champions, and favored team, 138 runs to 124 runs at the cricket national championship held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “It was an amazing feeling to be a part of such talent,” said Awais. “No one expected us to beat Montgomery, and to exceed people’s expectations was truly an experience.” Cricket, a sport often compared to baseball, has not gotten much coverage in America, being first created in Southern England and played as far back as the sixteenth century. The game is played on a circular grass field. 11 players from each team are on the
field at all times. In the middle of the field lies the pitch, which is a 22-yard, flat and narrow strip in which the main elements of the game take place. There is one wicket at both ends of the pitch. A wicket is made up of three wooden poles, which are hammered into the ground with two wooden crosspieces, called bails, placed perfectly between the tops of the polls. Two batters, called batsmen, stand at opposite sides of the pitch. One batter hits at a time, standing in front of a wicket. The batter’s job is to defend the wicket he is in front of by hitting the ball in an attempt to score runs with his teammate. Runs are scored after the ball is hit, by both batsmen
running along the side of the pitch, past each other and tagging the opposite end, called the crease, with either their body or the bat, which they hold onto at all times. “It’s like running a 22-yard dash, honestly,” Awais said. “The faster the batter is, the more runs he can accumulate before the ball is thrown back to the bowler.” A bowler, like a pitcher in baseball, delivers the ball by “running-up” and throwing the ball in an attempt to knock the bail off of the wicket, which results in an out. If the batter successfully hits the ball, the other team can catch in the ball before hitting the ground, also resulting in an out. “The cool thing about cricket is you can hit the ball
in any direction,” Awais said. “There are no foul balls, so it really gives the batsmen a lot of options as to where the perfect spot to hit the ball would be. “ Different than baseball also and interesting to note, only the wicket keeper, who stands behind the batter, wears gloves during a game. Mason’s Cricket season starts up in the spring, with practices resuming in a month. This year, the team is set to practice at two different locations: The Washington Baseball Club, in Woodbridge, Va. and Mark Twain Middle School, in Alexandria, Va. “I’ve been talking to Bob Spousta about letting us possibly practice behind the RAC right here at Mason, which would make getting
to practice so much easier,” Awais said. “He’s still debating the idea, but I’ve got fingers crossed.” Any person who has an interest in the game can join the club cricket team, with no prior experience being required. The club is trying to expand their presence on campus this year and raise more awareness about this underappreciated team. “Unfortunately, we lost a lot of talent due to people graduating last year,” Awais said. “We may not be en route to go to Fort Lauderdale this year, as only about half of our team now has competitively played the game before. This will be more of a developing year.” STORY BY KERRY BURNS
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