C2M News Editor Ethan Vaughan

Mason professor offers course in civility

“Mediocrity is no longer an option for George Mason students,” says Leslie Morton.

Morton isn’t talking about aptitude or academics; she’s talking about good manners.

“We should never sink to the lowest common denominator,” she adds.

Morton, a professor in the College of Education and Human Development, began teaching a one-credit professionalism and civility course in the fall of 2010.

Merten reflects on university achievements, struggles

President Alan Merten applauds the men's basketball team during their 2006 NCAA Final Four run in Indianapolis. (Student Media file)

Few things about George Mason University have remained unchanged since 1996. Fifteen years ago, there was not an Aquatic and Fitness Center. There was not a nationally known basketball team. There wasn’t even a Starbucks.

But, 15 years ago, as now, Alan Merten was president.

“Being president of an institution for 15 years is a long time,” Merten admitted in an early April interview with Connect2Mason. “Especially when you take into account the fact that the average tenure for a university president is less than 10 years. I stayed because every three or four years I would look around and realize this [university] had become a very different place.”


Earlier this spring, Merten announced he would retire in the summer of 2012. Since Merten’s term began nearly two decades ago, the student population has nearly doubled and extensive construction has transformed the Fairfax, Prince William and Arlington campuses, and a fourth campus was opened in Loudoun County in 2005. 

Mason overtook Virginia Commonwealth University in September 2009 to become the most populous institution of higher learning in Virginia. In 2010 Mason passed another benchmark when the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classified it as a “primarily residential” campus.

Merten credited the school’s extraordinary growth to long-term strategy—and a little bit of luck.

First Mason prom attracts large turnout

On Saturday, Mason students flocked to the Mason Inn to take part in the first Mason Formal. (Jake McLernon)

Numbers don’t lie, and the numbers have it: George Mason University’s first-ever formal was a success.

A total of 125 people attended the event, which was held at the Mason Inn’s Junior Ballroom on April 16.

Mason to hold prom

George Mason University will hold its first formal dance on April 16 and is describing the event as a college prom. The prom will take place at the Mason Inn and will run from 7 – 11 p.m.

Free tickets were available at the Student Government office. An email was sent to students on April 13.

The event’s Facebook page invited students to “relive” their high school proms or “create another night of amazing memories.”

Mason to form task force on ‘interactions and experiences’ with University Police

Student and Mason community member testimony will play a central role in an official university task force formed to seek input on “interactions and experiences” with the University Police Department, the Office of the President announced on April 6.

In an e-mail sent to students and other Mason community members, the office said that the task force had been formed so as to “foster a community where respect for all is the hallmark.”

Protesters take to North Plaza, rally to fly Kurdish flag during International Week

Members of the Kurdistan Students Organization and other supporters protest the new International Week flag display policy on the North Plaza. (Jake McLernon)

Merten to resign in 2012

George Mason University president Alan Merten will resign in June 2012, the university announced on March 23.

“Today the Board of Visitors accepted Dr. Alan Merten's request to retire 
as President of George Mason University, effective June 30, 2012,” Rector Ernst Volgenau said in an e-mail sent to students. “The 
fifteen years of Dr. Merten's presidency have been remarkable and 

Time to add new classes reduced starting in fall

Beginning this fall, George Mason University students will have only one week following the start of the semester to add classes.

An e-mail was sent to students on March 9 notifying them of the decision.

Workers' rights activists return to Plaza to protest Sodexo

A small group of George Mason University students took to the North Plaza on Thursday to protest food service provider Sodexo’s allegedly abusive workplace practices.

Mason was the site of several large-scale student and worker protests last spring and fall.

The protesters, about 10 of whom carried signs and passed out fliers, represented Students for Workers’ Rights (SWR), a group which the university does not officially recognize as a student organization.

Boxwoods chef takes leave of absence following arrest

Boxwoods' Executive Chef Konrad Meir was arrested for allegedly being drunk in public; he has since taken a leave of absence. (Jenna Beaver)

Konrad Meier, executive chef at the Mason Inn’s Boxwoods restaurant, has taken a leave of absence following his Feb. 3 arrest for allegedly being drunk in public.