Fourth Estate News Editor Janelle Germanos

Mason's endowment numbers lower than other comparable universities

As part of the university’s new strategic plan, Mason officials are campaigning to increase endowments. Currently, Mason’s endowment is fairly small compared to other Virginia public universities.

Mason is on track to reach its goal of increasing endowment by 10 percent in the next year, but administrators and officials are looking even further into the future.

“It’s not just about this year, it’s about making sure that you do it year after year after year,” said Jim Laychak, the associate vice president of University Advancement.

Fairfax community works to fight homelessness, hunger

Senior Yara Mowafy first thought of the idea of donating unused meal plans to homeless students while working on a project for a communication class.

Two years later, donating meal plans is out of the question, but Mowafy has managed, along with senior Jordan Bivings, to set up a Meal Plan Assistance Fund for homeless students. The fund is located in the Office of Advancement and Alumni Affairs.

Students in need of emergency meal assis­tance are either referred to the Office of Case Management and Student Support or can self-identify to this office.

Study abroad program features National Geographic explorers

Mason’s school for Conflict Analysis and Resolution recently announced a new study abroad program in collaboration with National Geographic Explorers.

For the first time ever, the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution will include National Geographic Explorers on their yearly trip to Israel and Palestine in Jan. 2014.

CRDC Executive Director Aziz Abu Sarah helped establish this collaboration between National Geographic and Mason.

Undercover ex-gay group accuses Mason of obstructing alternative therapies

Voice of the Voiceless, an organization advocating for the rights of ex-gay individuals, recently went undercover at the Mason LGBTQ resource center to examine how individuals dealing with unwanted sexual attractions are treated at Virginia universities.

Christopher Doyle, president and co-founder of Voice of the Voiceless, believes LGBTQ resource centers at Virginia universities discriminate against both former homosexuals and individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions who do not identify as LGBTQ.

Student senators resolve to promote inclusion, acceptance between campus organizations

At their meeting on Oct. 3, the Mason Student Senate passed a resolution addressing inclusion, acceptance, free speech and expression among Registered Student Organizations at Mason.

The resolution, to “nurture an environment of inclusion and acceptance, as well as the rights to free speech and expression, between registered student organizations,” is authored by Student Senators Aaron Yohai, Iqra Kapadia and Khushboo Bhatia.

Safety systems updated to include neighborhood assistant program

The Office of Housing and Residence life has entered into a new partnership with the Mason Office of Physical Security after ending their contract with Securitas, an external security firm, in July. OHRL has also started a new student neighborhood assistant program that works closely with the Office of Physical Security to ensure safety in the residence halls.