Page 1

June 17, 2013


Volume 90 | Issue 1

George Mason University’s Official Student Newspaper

2013 Orientation guide An inside guide to campus living, tips for new students, introductions to important faces around Mason and more, from the editors of Broadside



Get Ahead - Stay On Track - Lighten Credit Load For Next Semester 703-993-2300

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Orientation Guide


How to decorate your new room to feel like home


23 Explore the city Take advantage of our proximity to the nation’s capital


Meet the Chief

New Police Chief Eric Heath introduces himself

8 Fend of the freshman 15

Keep fit in your dorm with these easy workouts

I attended Westfield High School, the largest high school in Virginia, with a long list of impressive accomplishments in athletics and academics. Though we were newer than many of our rivals, it was often a clean sweep when we competed in any way. During my freshmen year, our football team went all the way to the state championship, and as our boys scored touchdowns and brought home the state title, I looked around the bleachers and saw disinterested students barely even paying attention, and certainly not acting like the fans of a winning team. Across the field, the losing team’s fans, who outnumbered us despite coming from a smaller high school, were going wild. They were painted head to toe in school colors, waving banners and pom poms and shouting until they lost their voices in support of the school they loved so dearly. Students at my high school just weren’t interested. We had no deep love or sense of pride for our school, and because of that, had no spirit. Attending school was just about getting through classes. My senior year, that all changed. A group of students, mostly upperclassmen, decided that they were

fed up with the apathetic attitudes everyone had, and brainstormed how to make things change. They started showing up to football games decked out in school colors, banging trash cans to the tune of their off-key songs and chants in support of the team. During spirit days they made a concerted effort to participate and make the events more lively and engaging. People quickly caught on, and now the students overflow from their section of the bleachers, few are left out during dress-up spirit days and the entire energy of the school has become more like a close-knit family than a random assortment of kids. Mason needs a group of students to make that change. You’re going to hear a lot of advice as a new student, perhaps most repeated is to get involved and engage in the Mason community. I cannot stress how important this is. Mason is a campus, community and university unlike one I’ve ever visited and heard of. I often say that Mason’s greatest strength, and biggest challenge, is our diversity. Much like my high school, Mason students are often blase towards the great accomplishments and opportunities this university offers.

Doc Nix, spirit guide

The man famous for bringing pep to Mason

Attending Mason is the experience you make it to be. It’s easy to beeline straight back to your car or dorm room after classes, but taking the initiative to join a club, pursue a cause and explore your options as a Patriot will enrich both your education and your life. To the class of 2017 and all transfer students, I challenge you to become the class that has the legacy of shifting Mason away from it’s long reputation of a commuter school with no student life. We may not have the deep-instilled traditions of many other state universities, simply because of our youth, but it’s time to show that what we lack in experience we make up for in enthusiasm. Welcome home, Patriots!



George Mason University’s Student Newspaper

Colleen Wilson Editor-in-Chief



Letter from the Editor-in-Chief

In this issue Dorm design tips

June 17, 2013

Andrew Stevenson Managing Editor Niki Papadogiannakis News Editor Janelle Germanos News Editor Nathan Ammons Lifestyle Editor Mary Oakey Asst. Lifestyle Editor Hau Chu Sports Editor Daniel Gregory Asst. Sports Editor Jenny Krashin Photo Editor Kathryn Mangus Faculty Advisor David Carroll Associate Director

Broadside is printed each Monday for George Mason University and its surrounding Fairfax Community. The editors of 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 Editor-in-Chief should be notified at the email listed above. Broadside is a free publication, limit one copy per person. Additional copies are 25 cents payable to the Office of Student Media.


Center for the Arts and the Hylton Performing Arts Center

CES N A M R FO R E P 150

welcome you to Mason with free tickets to more than 150 performances this year.

Full-time Mason students are eligible to get free tickets for music, dance, opera, theater, and more! Details at


Hylton Performing Arts Center, Prince William Campus


Meet your editors

Friendly advice from the Broadside staff What do you wish someone had told you your first year?

“Become a member of Amazon Prime and wait to buy all of your textbooks until your professor confirms that you need them. They’ll be delivered quickly and cheaply.”

5 Welcome, from Student Gov

Orientation Guide


“Find a club to join. It is by far the easiest way to meet cool homies.”

“Make the effort to get involved, but don’t spread yourself too thin.”

- Andrew Stevenson, Managing Editor

- Frank Muraca, Executive Editor, Connect2Mason

- Colleen Wilson, Editorin-Chief

“Explore new things, but don’t forget about who you are and the things that are truly important to you.”

“Find the place that’s best for your study habits. Don’t default to the Johnson Center, it gets very loud, very quickly.”

“Don’t stay locked up in your dorm all day. The best way to meet people is by going out and doing things.”

-Jenny Krashin, Photo Editor

- Niki Papadogiannakis, News Editor

- Janelle Germanos, News Editor

JORDAN FOSTER, SAMANTHA wettasinghe STUDENT GOVERNMENT PRESIDENT, VICE PRESIDENT Congratulations and welcome to Mason! The next 4 years of your life will be the most exciting yet. While at Mason you will be confronted with the opportunity to make the most revolutionary decisions. Look at yourself as having a clean slate, and use this as an opportunity to create a new person if you feel, or remain the same while picking up new skills and valuable knowledge. The best advice that we can give a new student is to get involved on campus! No matter where you are from, we can assure you that Mason offers you experiences that you have never had, and will never have another opportunity to have. Join a club, sports team, Greek Life, etc. There is no limit as to how much knowledge you can get, and from as many avenues as you like. Another good piece of advice is to get to know the Northern Virginia area. You have the amazing opportunity to learn in one of the wealthiest areas in the country, and that title comes with great experiences and opportunities. The close proximity to D.C. offers so much in terms of culture. Every nationality will feel comfortable in this area, and there are

- Nathan Ammons, Lifestyle Editor

““Don’t be afraid to go visit your professors during office hours. Regardless of whether you need help or not.”

“Go to class. They’re expensive“

- Daniel Gregory, Assistant Sports Editor

- Hau Chu, Sports Editor (JENNY KRASHIN/BROADSIDE)


chances for anyone to expand their horizons. A difficult piece of advice for new students to understand is to keep academics first. We are all at Mason to receive a top-notch education, so lets not waste our time or money by not putting our best foot forward. In a competitive time like today, Mason prepares students to become intelligent and independent leaders in our communities. In the midst of all of this, remember to have fun. Take chances, try new things, really get your hands dirty with all Mason has to offer. You all have students in Student Government who are cheering you on and always available if you have questions. Again, congratulations, and we look forward to meeting you all.

THE HISTORY MAJOR AT MASON Learn practical skills and prepare for a career while studying what you love! • • • •

“Show the teachers that you’re really trying, sometimes that can earn you credit too.”

June 17, 2013

Wide variety of classes Committed teachers Simple requirements, lots of choices Abundant internships

Contact the History undergraduate office:

(703) 993-1249

or go to our website:


Orientation Guide

June 17, 2013


Getting a minor degree; worth extra time, classes? SAFFIE KAMARA STAFF WRITER Adding a minor to a bachelor’s degree is one way to fulfill elective credit requirements. Whether students want to add to their degree or learn more about a secondary interest, there are more than 100 minors at Mason to choose from, with more added every year. “We suggest that students don’t assume they can’t do anything with their degree. If someone is looking for [a minor], the IT minor might make you a little more marketable. You might have skill settings in information technology that you wouldn’t get otherwise,” said Paul Bousel associate director, Academic Advising & Transfer Center. Although there are currently more than 100 minors offered at Mason, the minor program has not been around too long. 1990-1991 was the first catalog year to provide minor programs of study. “I was here before there were minors. There was a time when we didn’t have minors,” Bousel said. When students seek help from Mason’s Academic Advising and Transfer Center to decide on a major, minors are not always brought up in conversation.

We suggest that students don’t assume they can’t do anything with their degree. If someone is looking for [a minor], the IT minor might make you a little more marketable. Paul Bousel associate director, Academic Advising & Transfer Bousel focuses more on the transition of students from undeclared majors to actual majors of study. “We don’t insist on anyone doing a minor. It’s an option. You don’t have to pick a minor,” Bousel said. The requirements to obtain a minor include taking 15-21 credits of courses in the field of study. Some minors involve more credits than others. A foreign language minor requires

intermediate courses prior to choosing the language as a minor. According to the Academic Advising and Transfer Center, if you are a student who has not been exposed to a language such as Chinese, you would have to take 12 credits of Chinese coursework before taking courses for the Chinese minor. In completing the Chinese minor, students would have 27 credits of Chinese language courses, 18 of them will come out of your elective credits. “Somebody who is a senior with six elective credits left wouldn’t be able to do the Chinese language minor unless they plan to stay here longer,” Bousel said. Transfer students and students who switch majors may not have enough room within their elective credit courses to pursue a minor. However, majors such as communication


and economics in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences allow room for students to pursue a minor because there are a lot of electives available. Resources such as Career Services and the Academic Advising and Transfer Center provide information on career paths for the various programs of study that Mason offers. For students who wish to supplement their degree to make themselves more specified for the job market, minors can have a positive effect. Even if students change their mind about the minor they chose to pursue, credits will still be counted as electives. “You don’t have to have one to graduate. Some students do the coursework and declare the minor later on. You’re not locked into anything,” Bousel said.

The total number of minors currently available at Mason. Check out for a complete list of programs offered.

Undeclared? You have a home!

The Academic Advising & Transfer Center welcomes all new freshmen!

SUB I, suite 3500, 703-993-2470 to schedule an appointment

Orientation Guide


June 17, 2013

A major decision


JANELLE GERMANOS NEWS EDITOR Choosing a major is a defining part of the college process. Mason offers 75 majors, allowing students to pick from many diverse courses of study. Picking classes for freshman year at “If somebody is truly undecided, we tell them not to worry,” said Paul Bousel, associate director of the Academic Advising and Transfer center. “There are many general education requirements that they can start with before they decide a major.” Many students find themselves undeclared when first entering college, but that doesn’t mean they are on the wrong track. “Freshman should understand, just because someone has a major, doesn’t mean they won’t change. At Mason, about a fourth of the students come in undeclared,” Bousel said. Looking at the advising website and planning ahead can smooth the process. Bousel advises students to take advantage of the resources found at and the career services website. “It’s a process that takes time. Don’t rush into a major. You can always change your mind.” Below, a few students and their chosen major are highlighted to give a better glimpse of programs of study at Mason. (JENNY KRASHIN/BROADSIDE)

Anthropology Anthropology students at Mason learn about different aspects of humanity, including culture, language, biology, and history. This study of different cultures is what drew senior Katy Dalenberg to choose anthropology as her major. “I used to be a global affairs major,” said Dalenberg. “The fields are pretty related, but I was really drawn by the cultures and people we were discussing in class. I found myself more interested in understanding the difference between how people define themselves and how others define them. I decided to make the switch and I couldn’t be happier.” Students interested in choosing Anthropology as their major should be open-minded and willing to leave their comfort zones. “I have always prided myself on being open minded, but the issues that we discuss in class are often the core values that people build their lives around,” said Dalenberg. “Issues like religion, family ties, gender issues, and social structure as a whole are often passionate topics and the more you learn about different people, the more you realize that people are going to do things that you disagree with and it’s not that you can’t do anything about it but that you really have no place to either.”

Biology Biology is a common major at Mason, but students have chosen to pursue this course of study for a variety of reasons. Senior Francis Aguisanda doesn’t see why anyone would study anything else. “Besides being the greatest major in existence, biology is incredibly interesting and is a rapidly evolving field of study. When people ask me “why biology”, my reasoning is very simple. Biology comes from the Greek word for life, bios. You (a human being) are a form of life; thus, you are biology. Really, why would anyone study anything else? I spent hours and hours learning about myself,” Aguisanda said. Biology students are given opportunities to pursue undergraduate research and internships in the surrounding area. “My favorite part of being a biology major at Mason is that we have plenty of opportunities to take what we have learned and apply them outside of the classroom,” said Aguisanda. “Mason itself is conducting cutting edge research, and we also have relationships with neighboring companies and institutions that have great internships.” Balancing undergraduate classes with internship and research opportunities can often be challenging for many students. “I’m involved in undergraduate

research here at Mason, so balancing my research with my coursework can be very challenging,” said Aguisanda. “The courses we take, especially the upper level classes, are very intellectually challenging as well.”

Film and Video Studies Film and Video Studies belongs to the College of Visual and Performing Arts and allows students to study documentary production and theory. Students have access to several top-notch facilities at Mason to work on video editing software, including the STAR Lab in the Johnson Center. Film and Video Studies (FAVS) student Paul O’Halloran believes these facilities and access to film equipment is one of the best parts of pursuing this major at Mason. “Besides the equipment and editing facilities at the Starlab, FAVS majors can also use the gear we have at the FAVS office, which is a fantastic way to get hands-on experience,” he said. Students with a passion for making films should consider becoming a FAVS major. “I chose Film and Video Studies as my major because I have always been obsessed with films and film making. This major has allowed me to network with other students who share my interests, and learn from professors who have extensive experience in the industry,” he said.

5 tips for choosing your major 1.

Don’t rush into it. Declaring as soon as you get to school has advantages, but don’t feel pressured to pick a degree if you’re not certain. Take the time to explore a few gen ed classes and get your toes wet before you make any big decisions.


Don’t wait too long. While it is important to take enough time to reaffirm your decision, waiting too long can make graduating on time difficult. Most upper-level classes require prerequisite, and without careful planning it is easy to get off track.


Be inquisitive. Taking classes to learn what subjects ignite your interest is a great start, but asking questions about career options, the structure of the degree and other details can ensure that you are headed down the right path.


Don’t feel trapped. Many students declare a major early on in their academic career, only to change it two, three or four times down the road. Choosing a major doesn’t lock you in, but remember that the more often you switch the more likely you are to add time on to completing your degree.


Think about the job market. No, you don’t have to choose a major you are not interested in just to get a job down the road, but be realistic about your prospects. According to an article in the New York Times, companies are looking for what they call transferable skills — skills like teamwork, communication, problem solving and critical thinking. No matter what your major, think about how you can use your time at school and your coursework to develop these skills.


June 17, 2013

Orientation Guide

Avoiding the freshmen 15



climb the mountain

Gaining weight is an elective, not a requirement DANIEL GREGORY ASST. NEWS EDITOR Everyone hears about it. Everyone has seen someone afflicted by it. Everyone says it will never happen to them. It is the freshman 15, and it affects new college students every year. If everyone knows about, and everyone claims they will never let it happen, then why is the freshman 15 a constant issue? “A lot of our students are active in high school, some of them playing many sports,” said Lois Durant, the registered dietitian for the university. “When they come here they don’t play sports. So they become very active in becoming a couch potato.” Durant, who has served as campus dietitian of 9 years, understands the transition in schedule students experience entering college, “You go to class. You come home, and you study on the couch, in the bed and food always has a role in that.” Students have to stay active if they want to keep the pounds off during their first year at school. Fortunately, Mason has offers students plenty of resources to stay fit and active. From three full service fitness centers to intramural sports leagues. Students should

have no problem finding activities to stay fit. While Mason Recreation offers a number of free group exercise classes and inexpensive personal training, students should remember staying active is not limited to being in a gym. Little things like walking to class instead of taking the bus, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator help. Activities like throwing the Frisbee or hiking are great ways to stay active and take advantage of new freedoms college gives students. Snowden, a junior majoring in Kinesiology who works as a personal trainer on campus, recognizes that students have busy schedules, but he wants to encourage freshman to take any chance they can to exercise. “Any activity can fit in a schedule,” Snowden said. “Doing a 15-minute workout is better than sitting on the couch and watching fifteen minutes of Seinfeld.” While staying active helps students avoid the freshman 15, freshman still need to eat healthy. Students should avoid unhealthy eating habits like eating one large meal a day and eating meals late at night. Durant recommends students avoid frequenting fast food options on campus like Taco Bell and

Burger King. Instead, it is better to frequent Southside because of the wide variety of healthy options the dining hall provides. While Southside provides the healthiest eating options, the dining hall also allows students to overeat. Durant explained the negative consequences of eating too much in a sitting, “Our body is set for us to have frequent meals not all at once. It puts an overload on the system.” Staying healthy requires freshman to eat healthy, smaller meals while remaining physically active through exercise and other physical activity. If students need help, they can find Lois Durant through the Mason Dining website under nutrition. For fitness resources, students should refer to Mason Recreation website under the fitness header. Making new friends is an important part of the college experience. Both Snowden and Durant also recognize social activity as an important part of staying healthy. Exercising with friends is fun and a great way to meet new people. Durant encourages students to get involved in something. Whether it be a club or sports team, she gives this advice, “Don’t let food become your best friend because that can happen. Some of us are slower at making friends so it’s about finding something to do.”


Start in the sit up position and raise your chest toward the ceiling until your shoulders leave the ground. Flex your abs throughout this motion. To get an even better workout try doing crunches with your legs in the air.

LEGS lunges


diamond push ups


Start in a push up position, but instead of having your hands outside your shoulders, place them together with your thumbs and index fingers touching. Lower your chest to your hands as far as you can. Push up with your hands to return to the starting position. This exercise focuses more on your triceps than than a traditional push up would.


Starting with your feet together take a step forward leaving one foot in place. Lower your back leg to the floor making a 90 degree angle with your front leg. Make sure your front knee is even or behind your ankle. Push up with your front leg to the starting position. Repeat alternating legs.


Orientation Guide

9 A case for becoming a sports fanatic June 17, 2013




The man behind the gold suit HAU CHU SPORTS EDITOR If you attend any Mason men’s basketball game in your time at Mason, you are sure to notice the Green Machine athletic band leading fans in the Patriot Center in rallying songs. Whether it is the old standby Green Machine covers of Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” or a Rage Against the Machine medley of “Bulls on Parade” and “Killing in the Name,” to a newer staple, a cover of Kanye West’s “Power.” At the forefront of these rousing renditions is the Green Machine’s director Dr. Michael Nickens, more affectionately known as Doc Nix. It would be hard to miss Nix at any game primarily because of his attire at games. Nix is always clad in a signature long coat, primarily in green or gold among other color varieties. Nix’s other signature piece of his outfit is a cane upon which a large green jewel perches atop. The other thing you will notice about Nix is his dynamic personality as the director of the Green Machine. Nix is the most animated member of the Green Machine leading them in dance and fist pumps throughout a game. While Nix is noticeable on the sidelines, out of the context of a Mason basketball game, he might blend in

with the rest of the Mason faculty. It is Nix, the professor, who stands out on the basis of his academic career as a valuable instructor for the Mason School of Music. Nix holds an undergraduate degree from the Manhattan School of Music, a masters degree from Yale University and a doctorate from the University of Michigan. Nix, in his role as assistant professor for Mason’s School of Music, teaches many courses such as sight-singing and ear training as well being a frequent collaborator with the School of Dance. His experience in various marching bands throughout his musical career allows him to impart his wealth of experience in his work as a clinician with various Fairfax County high school marching bands. Nix came to Mason in 2006 just after the men’s basketball team’s historic run to the Final Four. Prior to his role as conductor, the Green Machine was a student-run operation. Upon Nix’s arrival, he continued the precedent of creating new arrangements for covers of songs to play at basketball games along with the help of assistant director and former Green Machine member Jeremy Freer. It is under their guidance that the Green Machine continues to maintain with the times with its musical arrangements and using the spotlight on the men’s

basketball team to its own gain. The Green Machine’s Rage Against the Machine medley alone has garnered over 1.8 million views on YouTube. Nix and the Green Machine have been profiled on local media outlets such as NBC Washington and the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog to major media outlets such as Yahoo! Sports and The Wall Street Journal. In one of the more memorable moments of the Green Machine’s legacy, Mason’s men’s basketball team traveled to the Charleston Classic in November 2010, as a guest of the team, actor and Charleston resident Bill Murray cheered on Mason from the sidelines. This led to an encounter with Murray, Nix and the Green Machine, where Murray was convinced by Nix to briefly lead the band in a rendition of Dick Dale’s cover of “Misirlou,” a song popularized by the film Pulp Fiction. Nix is always looking for new members to join the Green Machine as they accept all who wish to participate. Nix does not hold any auditions and desire all instruments typically found in a pep band, the only thing he requires is a good attitude. More information on how to a be a part of the Green Machine can be found on their website georgemasongreenmachine. com.

I consider myself to be a fairly plain sports fan. I have no incredible knowledge of the Redskin’s history or stats, nor could I tell you what Mason basketball’s season record was off the top of my head. That being said, I was on a sports-talk radio show for a semester. So, I think it’s fair to say that I can hold a worthwhile conversation about sports. The only true way to express your love for a team is to go to their games and scream your head off, sending nothing but the most creative vulgarities you can come up with to the opponents while providing constant praise for your own team. In a home game environment this is incredibly easy, to the point that you really no longer matter. You are part of the mass. Unless you can come up with something especially vulgar, or happen to be able to scream especially loud, you will blend into the rest of the screaming mass you’re seated around. There’s nothing wrong with this. You are still doing your part by adding to the general ruckus, but it’s tough to convince yourself that you’re making an actual impact on the game. In fact, I believe it’s every fan’s dream to somehow affect the game, and this is why we develop stupid superstitions like sitting in the same spot for every game. This is also why we scream. We assume that by creating as much noise as possible, we will somehow distract the other team and cause them to make a mistake. I want to step back and break this down for a second: sure we can be super loud and cause the opposing team to have

some kind of communication error in the noise, but is it not just as likely that our own team will suffer a similar problem? Just sayin’. There is, however, one way you can take a step closer to affecting the game as a fan: go to an away game. Be that one fan who screams while the home-team player is shooting his free throws. I’ve done it, and it’s stupid how much fun it is. If the basketball court is small enough, as it typically was in the CAA, you’re easily going to be heard, and therefore, your verbose ways of degrading the opposition is most effective. Plus, it’s super easy to get under all of the home team fans’ skin, which is incredibly fun. As long as you stay smart about it, I’m all for being that guy. I love it when people do it at Mason games because then I get to give them merciless amounts of trouble. That being said, I’ve been to the Philadelphia Eagle’s stadium for a couple skins games and there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that I’m going to rub a win in people’s faces there. I value my life, and I suggest you do the same. I really believe that every Mason student should be required to attend at least one Mason basketball game. It’s really the only time you see unbridled school spirit. Going to an away game is extra effort reserved for fanatics like myself. That being said, don’t hold back when you make your way to a Mason game. Scream a little. Look stupid. Even if you have no idea what’s going on, it’s still fun. Hail to the Redskins.

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Orientation Guide

June 17, 2013


A day in the


Many students are drawn to the historic Washington, D.C. in search of something fun, educational and more than often, delicious. Though wandering the streets of D.C. will inevitably yield a new discovery every time you visit, the following places are a good start for newcomers to get their feet wet.

Church Key

9 a.m.

If you’re going to be a Washingtonian, you must be well-versed in the art of brunch. A man is only as interesting as the place he chooses to take his friends to for the traditional pre-lunch chow. If you really want to impress your friends, take them to Church Key in Logan’s Circle. Church Key is a swanky restaurant and bar designed to serve

students and young professionals alike in a cool, trendy environment. While it is known for its wide selection of beer (whoa there, kids!) its food has been lauded as some of the best in D.C. Pro tip: on Sundays, tell the waiter you would like to order “the Luther”. It’s not on the menu, but they’ll know what you mean. Trust us, it’s good.

Baked and Wired Let’s be honest, cupcakes are good at any time of day, but Baked and Wired’s cool, laid back atmosphere is perfect for starting your morning off right. Baked and Wired is located between 30th and 31st street, right next to the Georgetown canal. Now, we know what you’re thinking: if I’m looking for cupcakes in Georgetown, shouldn’t I be going to Georgetown Cupcake? Sure, just remember

to bring along a chair, something to read and your Christmas money from grandma because those cupcakes do not come cheap. However, if you want delicious cupcakes and coffee without breaking the bank, head down to Baked and Wired. For breakfast, we recommend the Flapjack, a maple brown butter cupcake with caramel butter cream and candied bacon on top.

10 a.m.

Orientation Guide


June 17, 2013

11 a.m. United States Botanic Garden


E Street Cinema

D.C. has a lot to offer in the ways of historical knowledge, but our favorite is the United States Botanic Garden. Currently, there are almost 10,000 living species housed in the Botanic Garden, with some of them clocking in at over 165 years of age. Stepping into the large greenhouse is like venturing into a lush, bountiful rainforest. The walls and floors are festooned with sprawling greenery and trees reach high to the ceiling as if trying to force their way out. Exhibits are held year round with a mission to entertain and educate people on how to nurture and coexist with the plants that grow around the globe.

Try going out on a limb with E Street Cinema, a luxury eight-screen movie theater specializing in first-run independent and foreign films. Introduce a little culture into your diet with an informative documentary, or a classical Shakespearean revival. Before the movie starts, up the class-factor by visiting E Street Cinema’s Espresso bar, stocked with gourmet chocolate and locally-baked pastries. Movie buffs: If you’re a fan of “The Exorcist”, you’ll recognize the stairs between 36th Street NW and M Street NW in Georgetown. These steps were used to film the death of Damien Karras at the end of the movie. Locals use the steps for exercise purposes, but late at night the spot takes on the ominous persona. It’s a great destination for creepy film enthusiasts and cardio lovers alike!

12 p.m.

6 p.m. Café Milano Looking for a nice place in the city to take Mom and Dad for dinner? Consider making a reservation at Café Milano. Since its opening day, Café Milano has been the premiere dining destination for all the who’s who in Washington D.C. Diplomats, politicians, journalists, lobbyists and famous actors and actresses cite this

classic Italian restaurant for its delicious food and attentive service. The walls, adorned with designer scarves and colorful murals paying homage to Italian culture, add to the warm feeling of a traditional family kitchen. Café Milano can be a little pricey, but it’s worth it for the top-notch atmosphere and food.

Busboys and Poets Now that Mom and Dad have gone home, it’s time for you and your friends to go out and do what crazy college kids are supposed to do: poetry slams! Busboys and Poets is a triple threat-a bar, a café and a bookstore. While you’re noshing on some of Busboy’s organic, fair-trade menu items, you can browse their selection of books, admire their art (provided by local artists), participate in one of their daily events which engage Washington D.C.’s vibrant community of artists and writers, or simply sit in one of their big, comfy couches and peruse the web on your laptop. Busboys’ mission is to create an environment that fosters creative and intellectual stimulation in the hopes that having such a space will generate conversations that could potentially alter the social and political framework of the Washington D.C. area.

9 p.m.


Orientation Guide

June 17, 2013



COLLEEN WILSON EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Transitioning to college can be an overwhelming and confusing time, but making your dorm room feel more like home can make a huge difference in how you settle in during your freshman year. Depending on which residence hall you live in, rooms can range from cramped cinder block walls to spacy six-person suites. Either way, the blank white walls can feel cold, sterile and impersonal when you first move in.


Luckily, this can be fixed with a few easy decorations and personal touches. Keep in touch with your roommate over the summer so that you can discuss whether you want to have a color theme in the room and if you plan on splitting big ticket items like televisions, mini fridges and rugs. There are plenty of great decor inspiration ideas online, but make sure to be realistic about the limitations of living in a dorm. Take a look at the rules from housing to make sure you’re not breaking any rules in your hurry to recreate your childhood bedroom at school.



2 Standard overhead lighting can be harsh, create some ambiance by bringing in your own light sources. Desk lamps can be useful when your roommate is sleeping and you still have to stay up late to study. String lights are great for creating a relaxed atmosphere. Recycle some old Christmas lights for the same effect.

Bed linens are usually the pivotal point when decorating your dorm. Talk to your roommate to make sure that you won’t clash, but don’t feel like you have to match perfectly. Reversible comforters are a great way to change up the style of the room mid-semester if you’re easily bored with your settings.



An area rug can cover bland carpet and transform your room into a different space. Coordinate with your roommate to match with comforter colors to pull the room together.


Personalize your space with wall decor. Posters, tapestries and wall decals all bring color and personality to your walls and make the space a fun and comfortable place to study and hang out in. Pictures of you with your friends and family help to make your new room feel more like home and to keep those homesick nights at bay

Create some extra space with shoe organizers in your closets and small free standing shelves. Storage ottomans offer extra seating for guests and a place to keep clutter hidden. Collapsible storage bins are another way to add color and store away anything from clothes to school supplies.


Orientation Guide COLLEEN WILSON EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Keeping your calendar straight can be a challenge during your first year of college. For the first time in your life, school won’t be organized neatly into seven hour blocks five days a week. Some days classes may start at 8 a.m., other days you may not start until 7 p.m. Add in club meetings, social events and appointments and keeping your schedule organized can easily become a headache. This do-it-yourself calendar is a cheap and easy way to make sure that you have a handle on your schedule from week to week. This project cost less than $6 to make and is a great pop of color for your room. You can color coordinate the calendar to match your dorm decoration or to color code out your schedule.

Supplies needed: -cheap picture frame with glass front (available for $2-$5) -paint chips (available for free in the paint department) -scissors -glue stick -dry erase marker (PHOTOS BY JENNY KRASHIN/BROADSIDE)

June 17, 2013


Housing Hazards COLLEEN WILSON EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Pay attention to these tips from the Office of Housing and Residence Life to make sure that your dorm decorations are safe and won’t leave with a hefty fine at the end of the year.

DON’T create a fire hazard. According to fire code, only 50 percent of the walls are allowed to be covered. All decorations must be 18 inches below the silver sprinklers so that the water is able to reach all flammable material in case of fire. Make sure to check your room; some dorms have sprinklers in the ceiling while others are hung high on the wall. DON’T try to loft your bed. Even though it may save you some space, lofting kits are not allowed on campus for safety reasons. Bed risers, available in the campus bookstore are a good option for increasing the height of your bed for more storage and space in your room.

Remove the glass front from the picture frame and flip the stock photo over to the blank white side.

Cut the paint chips into color blocks and arrange in neat rows in a pattern. Glue the rows down, making sure to keep the rows straight and even.

DON’T use duct tape. Your best option to hang photos and posters is blue painter’s tape, available wherever you can find duct tape. Scotch tape doesn’t have enough stick and duct tape could rip the paint off your walls, leaving you with a hefty end of the year damage fine. DON’T bring a medusa lamp. Additional lighting, like string lights or desk lamps are perfectly fine, but medusa style lamps with bendable extended arms are banned by the university for fire safety reasons.

Label the calendar with any permanent notations, like days of the week, or your class schedule.

DON’T put holes in the wall. To hang heavier items, such as string lights or clothes, your best bet is removable wall hooks. 3M hooks, available at the campus bookstore, even make models that are finished Replace the glass front on the picture frame. You can now use the dry with silver for a classier look, or clear erase marker to note your calendar each week with appointments, meet- to blend right in. ings and events to remember.


June 17, 2013 Housing & Residence Life

Orientation Guide








Orientation Guide

June 17, 2013



June 17, 2013

Orientation Guide

Dorm dining on a dime: Ramen noodle upgrade Spice up the your cheap college-staple dinner with some unexpected flavors


COLLEEN WILSON EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Staying on budget in college can be a big challenge, whether you mismanage your weekly meal plans and run out before Thursday or have trouble scraping together your change for an $8 tray of sushi in the JC. On those desperate nights, students often turn to the epitome of all college food: Ramen noodles. The prepackaged meals are filling and flavorful and often retail for around 10 cents a package, a third of the price of a cup of water on campus. But as your college career drags on and money stretches even tighter, the basic flavors of Ramen noodles can quickly turn bland and boring. To solve those noodles woes, revolutionize

the standard meal with a few extra ingredients for different flavors. I transformed my Oriental flavored noodle package into my version of a homemade peanut pad thai. The add-ins I used this week cost only a few dollars each, and most can be saved and used again and again. The sriracha chili sauce added a spicy kick that the basic noodle packages don’t deliver. I’m not a big fan of spice, so I appreciated how the chunky peanut butter bit through the heat and provided some relief. The soy sauce added a hint of tang, but next time I’ll cut down on the amount of the prepackaged flavoring I use to keep the sodium levels a little lower. Finally, the scallions and red onion added a nice, fresh flavor and aroma to the meal and served as a beautiful garnish.

Pad-Thai Ramen Noodles Ingredients: 1 package Ramen noodles 1 pack noodle flavoring 1 tablespoon soy sauce 2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter 2 teaspoons Sriracha chili sauce ½ scallion, thinly sliced (optional) Chopped red onion (optional) Boil noodles with the flavor pack and drain off the majority of the liquid. Toss with soy sauce, peanut butter and Sriracha. Garnish with scallions and onions. (COLLEEN WILSON/BROADSIDE)

A guide to parking on-campus STEPHEN KLINE ALUMNI

I’m what you might call an expert at parking on campus. Three years of offcampus living has taught me all of the tricks needed to get myself out of my car and on my way to class/lunch/the library (hah). Here’s my super-secret strategy. Step one: Get here early. Step two: Drive to any parking lot, marvel at the copious amount of spots, and proceed about your day. “But Stephen, I don’t have classes early in the morning! I don’t want to wake up!” Kudos to you for taking advantage of the college lifestyle. You, however, are lazy. Take a morning class. Get used to waking up early. It’s actually not all that bad, and you’ll realize that you can actually be a productive member of society

with all this spare time on your hands. Don’t fret; I’m willing to share with you another strategy. If you have working eyes, you might notice a theme when you enter a full parking lot, and it should be especially noticeable between classes. You’ll notice a stream of people walking into the lot to leave, and a row of people waiting in their cars nearby getting ready to follow them and take their spot. For example, I’m cheap and have a general lot pass. I like the idea of parking in a parking garage, so I park on the second floor of Rappahannock. That line of people waiting in their cars? This is what they are doing. No, these are not stalkers; so don’t give them some weird look when they ask if you’re leaving. They are, however, engaging in the parking lot strategy that I have deemed the “creep”. The first time you try it you will feel like a creep, but it is honestly the best way to ensure you get a parking spot within 15 minutes of arriving on campus.

There is a secondary form of this strategy which I have deemed the “creepycreep”. The “creepy-creep” is very similar to the “creep”, except instead of following the person to their car, you offer them a ride. This, my friends, is creepy. No, I do not want to get into your mom’s dirty old Honda. I’m just fine with walking. So now that you know my parking secret, I have an important message for you. If you either A. Decide that you want to cut the line or B. try to steal a parking spot from someone who is creeping, you consist of the lowest form of matter, below the sewage that collects in port-opotty’s or the weird blue gunk growing in the back of my fridge. A thousand curses upon you. Lastly, when leaving school, and someone is creeping on you, don’t be mean. Don’t cut through rows of parked cars, you know my car can’t do that. I won’t be able to keep up, and now I’ve lost your spot. I can understand if you forget where you parked, just next time don’t be dim-witted.

Orientation Guide


Ombudsman office offers students venue to address concerns

How to avoid homesickness MANAGING EDITOR


Neutral, independent, informal and confidential. These are the four keywords that drive the ombudsman office's purpose. But for some, ombudsman is merely a word that is difficult to pronounce and has no meaning. For the university, Dolores GómezMorán, a petit woman from Spain who speaks with a thick Spanish accent and a comforting tone, is the face behind this ambiguous word. "The office of an ombudsman," Gómez-Morán said. "is a neutral, independent, informal and confidential resource for students to raise concerns at the university." "[It is] a tool for conflict resolution that compliments but doesn't substitute [formal processes]. The university has to have processes in place to address concerns but in addition to that they have this office." Primarily, it's purpose it to prevent concerns from escalating into issues without them being addressed in the proper way. Gómez-Morán simplifies it as, if the formal office is the primary doctor, the ombudsman office is who you go to for a second opinion; she cannot give a treatment, but she can confirm if the treatment from the other doctor is correct or suggest another option. "People come to this office if I they

have used the formal channels and the outcome is not satisfactory to them," Gómez-Morán said. "So they want to see or meet with somebody who is able to review the situation." The ombudsman can be used in any issue that has any implications within the university. She has access to official documentation, information and people who can be referred to to create a solution but she does not have authority to make decisions. Because of the informality and anonymity of the ombudsman office, Gómez-Morán prefers to meet in person. Gómez-Morán can also meet via Skype or phone. To schedule an appointment, her contact information is listed at "The office is an informal space to raise concerns and then the office tries to address those concerns in an informal matter," Gómez-Morán said. "This means that this office does not create records. If you want to create a record of an incident you have to go to a formal office." For some instances, the ombudsman can give advice to people who are not sure by what method they should use to address their concern, what the appropriate process to follow are, or which office to communicate with. They are given their options or explained their circumstance in regards to university policy. The ombudsman office, however, is neutral in that it does not take sides with



Neutral mediator works to informally solve disputes and disagreements within the university NIKI PAPADOGIANNAKIS NEWS EDITOR

June 17, 2013

an issue. "[The ombudsman's] job is to make sure that all the processes and all the policies are well implemented. Ombudsman are defined as a quality assurance for organizations and institutions because sometimes systems have flaws and to avoid dissatisfaction and to avoid litigation you have an ombudsman office. It's a safety net for the institution and an informal ear to the leadership of the organization. Students, faculty, staff or anyone involved with the university can go to the ombudsman to express any kind of grievance or concern in an informal way and not have to go through a formal office. These concerns are voiced to the administration through the annual ombudsman report, the only record for the ombudsman office. This record anonymously cites, number of cases and demographics of those who addressed concerns as well as an analysis of what topics were discussed the most. These trends are then analyzed and brought to the attention of administration. "An ombudsman office is a very healthy mechanism in any organization to keep their community happy, to retain people, to make them feel like they've been heard, to assess quality assurance in terms of policies that we have at Mason," Gómez-Morán said. It talks about how much Mason cares about their students."

With the beginning of the school year just around the corner, many of you are getting ready load up mom’s minivan and move into your new digs. Whether you’re coming from just down the road or across the country, it is not uncommon to experience a bit of homesickness. Living at school is different than going to summer camp or Grandma’s house for a couple of weeks. Not only is it a longer period of time to be away, but everything is unfamiliar. New classes, roommates and responsibilities can really throw you for a loop. Some of the regular support systems that were available at home are now absent. But have no fear; I’m about to drop some serious knowledge about how to deal with homesickness while here at Mason.

Get out of your dorm and meet people. There are approximately twenty thousand (rounding up to the nearest thousand) clubs and organizations to join on campus, ranging from club ultimate frisbee to LARPing. The less time you spend alone in your dorm playing GameCube and pretending to like Dave Matthews Band, the better.

Don’t try to ignore your feelings. Being homesick sucks but ignoring it likely won’t make it go away. Sometimes we all just need a good cry. Grab your iPod, head to the shower, and crank some sad jams. Give yourself a half of an Iron and Wine album and you’ll have run out of tears to shed. After that, pick your chin up and go do something active like hit the gym (or in my case the dessert buffet in Southside). Utilize on-campus resources. Mason has various people that you can talk to about pretty much any issue you may be having, including homesickness. Visit to learn more about the services that are offered. Additionally, don’t be afraid to talk to your RA or RD about it. I know they may seem like big scary monsters when you try to sneak a 24 pack of brews into your dorm, but they have tons of experience with homesickness and will likely have some great advice. Stick with it. There are many new students who have gone through what you’re going through right now. 99.9% of them were able to get through it and you can do the same if you follow the above advice.


June 17, 2013

Orientation Guide

Meet the Chief


133 East Maple Ave. Suite 206 Vienna, VA 22180

Police Chief Eric Heath, who joined the campus force on June 16, shares some of his thoughts about campus safety and the role of Mason police officers



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What do you think are the most important issues facing campus police?

As far as within George Mason itself, I think the most important issue facing the police department is the challenge of balancing the safety and security for the institution while also understanding our role and mission as a campus law enforcement agency. I believe that the role of campus law enforcement is somewhat different than our municipal and county counterparts in that university law enforcement should have the ability to be an educative force for its community. Moving the police department into an educative style of law enforcement will be important factor as this agency progresses. As a law enforcement entity, it is my expectation that the GMU police department is an agency that provides the most professional and courteous services to our community and that we do so for everyone be it faculty, staff, student, and/or visitor.


What would you like to the students to know about you? A3. I think the most important thing to know about me is that I love what I do. I truly enjoy law enforcement and I love working on a college campus and to do those things in one setting is dream come true for me. I have worked in both traditional and non-traditional environments, both urban and rural, and one constant remains the same; the energy and vibrancy of a college campus is what keeps me doing what I do.

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What do you think students should know about their rights both as students in the Mason Community and with the campus police? As far as the overall student rights in the Mason Community, I think the most important thing is that students have a right to have a safe and secure environment where they can enrich their minds and lives through academics and through the pursuit of knowledge. As a police department, we have a responsibility to ensure that that environment exists. As far as student rights with the police department, I personally believe that everyone in the Mason community, students included, have a right to professional and courteous law enforcement services; law enforcement services that are delivered with integrity and empathy. I expect for the law enforcement services of the GMU Police Department to meet the highest levels of the expectations of the Mason community. In my opinion a dedicated and service oriented police department is a right and should not be seen as just a privilege.

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Orientation Guide

June 17, 2013


e f i L y t i s r e v i Un

Academic Integrity

International Programs and Services

Student Involvement

Assessment, Research, and Retention

Leadership Education and Development

Student Health Services

Career Services

Learning Services

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Off-Campus Student Services

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Orientation and Family Programs and Services

English Language Institute

Peer Empowerment Program

Wellness, Alcohol, and Violence Education

Graduate Student Life

Student Centers

Women and Gender Studies Center

Housing and Residence Life

Student Conduct


University Life at Arlington Campus

Orientation Guide


June 17, 2013

Behind the scenes


with the President, Provost and the Rector of the Board of Visitors An introduction to the players responsible for many of the decisions that shape the university








It’s an explanatory title. Really, I’m the executive vice president for academic affairs. Under the president I oversee the academic side of the operation. Deans report to me, and I’m responsible for evaluating faculty, with lots of input, but I have a top responsibility subject to president. I oversee several key areas: deans’ operations, global office, library, admissions and university life.

The most important thing that the board does is hire the president of the university. The president works for the board, which serves as a governing board as opposed to an advising board. The governor appoints the visitors and the Rector is the primary contact between the governor, and Dr. Cabrera. [The Rector of the Board is an honorary leadership role elected internally by the Board]

My job is to support others so that we serve the students better. That is our number one mission. I need to understand what students are up to, what things are going well and what is going less well.

Things that take up most of my time are making sure the deans are on track and having a general knowledge of what each academic unit is doing, oversee academic side of budget and to oversee academic house in budget decisions and allocations.

The biggest issue we deal with is budget, which is now close to a billion dollars of public money, taxpayer dollars. That’s a number one priority. We’re very concerned about value to students, concerned about affordability as a public university, have to be very mindful of what it’s costing people to attend.

Engage, dive in. Take at least one class in something you didn’t think you liked or were interested in. Reach out to people, especially people who are different than you. Obviously find people who share your interests, but you might be surprised. You could find people who might be soul mates.

I guess the first thing I'd say is students should know that most faculty and administrators really want them to succeed. We have to evaluate students through grades but we sure want them to succeed, they should be willing to figure out what office or individual they can talk to to get some help. We can't solve everything, I’m not trying to claim that, but we want to be supportive.

Stay involved with the school going forward. If you are spending thousands on your degree, the way you enhance the value is to have the university grow in prestige. The only way that happens is if the university has money. My advice is to support university after they get out of school, to ensure the continued growth.

A big part of being a Patriot is to be curious to know about people. You could’ve chosen to go to a place where everyone is just like you. There’s some value to that and there’s comfort. And then there’s Mason. One of the things that is amazing about this place is that we can all call this home and fit in and that enriches our lives.

I hope that it means getting some sense of identity with the university. That doesn't mean you have to be blindingly uncritical, just have some sense to participate in creating a better university community and, where relevant, a willingness to explain us to others, like high school friends who might come here.

I think it is a really exciting time for the university now, and I think kids coming in now should be really happy to be here as part of this transition. If you see everything that Dr. Cabrera has done in the last year, the first year of his leadership has been stunning. I call him a rock star.

WHY is your job important?

I see my role as serving students, helping students grow and helping students reach their potential. That’s our role. For us to do that, we need to understand what students are up to. There’s a big danger in a leadership in being distant from people you serve. People who report to you tell you what you want to hear. If I don't know what students are doing and what they want I cannot do my job.

WHAT advice would you give?



WHAT does it mean to be a Patriot?

WHJO are you?



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June 17, 2013

Orientation Guide

Broadside S T U D Y. . .

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…and other exciting fields


Marriott International National Institutes of Health National Park Service Smithsonian Institution Washington Redskins

…and other awesome sites

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Talk to an advisor today! Call 703.993.2060 or email

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2013 Orientation Guide  
2013 Orientation Guide  

Orientation guide for the incoming freshmen and transfer students