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UNIVERSITY CAREER SERVICES ALLOWS VECTOR MARKETING AT SPRING CAREER FAIR

Wed, 20/03/2024 - 11:36pm

Fourth Estate/Andani Munkaila

Students who attend career fair almost join Vector Marketing, citing concerns with company’s presence

BY ERICA MUNISAR, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

During the recent Spring Career Fair, Vector Marketing, which has been sued several times in the past, was present at the event to recruit students seeking jobs. The career fair was hosted by University Career Services on Feb. 22 in Dewberry Hall where students shared that they almost joined the company after attending.

Vector Marketing has been present at Mason career fairs in the past and tabled at the Johnson Center in 2023. They also have an official presence on Handshake. According to posts on Reddit, Vector Marketing has been seen leaving various business cards around campus.

According to Saskia Campbell, Executive Director of University Career Services, “Measures are in place to verify that an employer is a bonafide business before they are approved to participate in career fairs or other events hosted by University Career Services,” Campbell said.

University Career Services allows Vector Marketing at career fairs, saying that they are a legal business. “Vector Marketing is a legal business classified as a direct selling company (not a pyramid scheme or multi-level marketing company),” Campbell said.

“The purpose of career fairs is to provide Mason students with broad exposure to a variety of employers, career options and job opportunities. Career fairs are a great place to compare and contrast different employment options. Vector Marketing was just one of over 200 employers on campus for the Spring Career Fair,” Campbell said.

According to Vector Marketing, 85% of their “sales reps” are made up of college students. Students at Mason reported almost signing up to work at Vector Marketing after receiving interviews and fliers before soon withdrawing their application upon further research of the company.

Students offered anonymous interviews to Fourth Estate under the use of pseudonyms.

Student Jane Doe shared that she found Vector Marketing on Handshake and the recent career fair. “I had briefly seen [Vector Marketing] on the Handshake site. So when I went to their booth, they had mentioned how their schedules were really flexible and the pay was good. That’s what initially interested me,” Doe said. 

“The guy who we spoke with then gave me a paper to fill out and gave me a day and time to have an interview. Initially I didn’t realize how this was a very rushed process and he hadn’t even asked for resumes. It wasn’t until after I left the fair with my friend that [they] pointed out how they didn’t mention what they did as a company. We were both in doubt… and realized Vector was an multi-level marketing company,” Doe said.

Vector Marketing officially denies that they are a multi-level marketing company. Fourth Estate does not endorse the claim that Vector Marketing is a multi-marketing company. However, sources such as Dictionary.com refer to Vector Marketing as a multi-marketing level company, alleging several flaws of Vector Marketing.

Another student, Emma Brown, shared that she almost joined Vector Marketing when they were at another career fair in 2023. “It was fall of 2023 when I came across them at a career fair. The guy there, I won’t mention his name, somehow convinced me that [they were] an amazing marketing company and I would be a great fit without really explaining what exactly they do,” Brown said.

Unlike Doe, Brown stayed up until the company’s training session. “I got interviewed and was offered a job right away. I went [to] my first training session when I realized they are literally just abusing the young kids into thinking they are doing great, but it’s just a multi-level marketing scheme where they are being forced to call hundreds of people to land a potential client,” Brown said.

“It’s such a painful process just to sell knives for their company and nothing else. They show it’s such a great growing opportunity, but for me personally it hinders your growth. Maybe for some people it’s a great way to earn sales experience, [but] for me personally it was a torture. Plus, I felt like the way they hid [information] about their actual company at [the] career fair, they were hiding many other lies. I was smart enough to realize at that training session something [was] very fishy so I left,” Brown said.

Both Brown and Doe shared wishes to students to research companies before they join them, citing grievances with the career fair.

“I honestly dont think they should be present [at the career fair] because they are not honest about their company and values,” Brown said. “Know what [Vector Marketing] does very thoroughly before even thinking to drop your resume. Think it through deeply, and please dont trust a word that comes out of their mouths. Do your research yourself if you want that job so badly.”

“It makes me lose trust in the other companies that were there. I didn’t know George Mason just let any company in the career fair. It makes me question if they actually care for our futures and success,” Doe said. “Please make sure to look into any companies that you plan to pursue for any job positions or internships. It’s best to avoid Vector if they continue to be at the fairs.”

University Career Services encourages students to research companies at the career fairs before joining them. “Not every opportunity is for every student,” Campbell said. “University Career Services encourages students to conduct research on employers in advance of an interview and definitely before accepting a job offer.”

PENDING CONSTRUCTION OF CRICKET AND BASEBALL STADIUM CAUSES STIR IN THE COMMUNITY

Wed, 20/03/2024 - 6:09pm

Fourth Estate/ Viviana Smith

Mason’s pending construction on West campus raises concerns of congestion within the community

BY GABRIEL KING, SPORTS EDITOR AND VIVIANA SMITH, MANAGING EDITOR

Mason announced its plans to build a new multi-purpose stadium on West Campus near Braddock Road. The stadium is expected to be the new home of Mason baseball, while also hosting cricket matches and other events. The construction has been paused as of Mar. 1. 

The stadium was proposed by Washington Freedom Cricket team owner Sanjay Govil, and was approved by the Board of Visitors

According to an Executive Committee meeting with the BOV on Nov. 30, 2023, they addressed a public contract about the potential stadium in a closed session within the meeting. 

Following the meeting, George Mason University held a virtual townhall on Jan. 29 to allow the community to provide feedback and ask questions about the project.   

Mason administrative and athletic staff informed the surrounding community on major development plans, the partnership of Washington Freedom and Mason, and the benefits of the stadium’s addition to West Campus. 

“The West Campus development allows us to make great progress,” Jackie Ferree, senior vice president of operations and business services, said. “It will allow us to improve student engagement, grow our research… expand our partnerships… as well as community outreach.”

During the question and answer portion of the meeting, Senior Associate Athletics Director Andrew Lieber directs questions regarding an estimate of spectators towards Govil. 

“We have about 7,000 to 10,000 spectators who are going to be coming to see these matches,” Govil said. “In line with what we have at EagleBank Arena, so we are not making it… out of whack”

The community has voiced a lot of pushback against the project, resulting in a petition started on Feb. 5 by “Concerned Resident.” The purpose of the petition is to “halt the Construction of a Cricket Stadium.”

“This large sports complex would fundamentally alter the character of our area, bringing with it increased noise, trash, parking congestion, and traffic,” the petition said.

On Feb. 5, a public Facebook group called Concerned Neighbors of Washington Freedom Stadium project @GMU West Campus was created to track project updates and express their concerns.

According to a statement on the page, “We, the community around GMU’s West Campus, have repeatedly asked to be included in these development discussions to express our concerns and get clarity on the plans…We are the taxpayers who will be burdened with the infrastructure, traffic and community costs….”

Additionally, students have joined the conversation, claiming the decision to construct the stadium is not in the interest of the Mason community.

According to an Instagram post by Student B4 Stadiums GMU, “students were never asked about the project or were able to give ideas [about] what the land could be used for… students demand a say.”

On Feb. 14, Mason’s Office of the President shared President Washington’s open letter addressing the community’s concerns of the pending construction.

“We continue to consider the impact development of the West Campus will have on surrounding traffic, environment, and quality of life, including the many substantial benefits it would bring,” Washington said. 

Washington claims that the current fields are due for renovation and the new stadium could help fix some of the existing issues.

Spuhler Field was built in 1986 and it does not have a video scoreboard or stadium lights, which prohibits the team from playing home games at night. “Our baseball field is not up to standard for intercollegiate play. Our students and their fans deserve better,” Washington said.

“George Mason University exists to serve the Northern Virginia community,” Washington said. Our hope with this project is to improve the community along with our university” 

On Mar. 1, Washington and Govil released an update on the construction of the stadium stating that construction will be paused until the university has further discussions with the surrounding community. 

“We hear and respect your questions and concerns about the timing of the project and whether neighbors will have the opportunity to be heard up front. We assure you that you will,” Washington and Govil said. 

The project is currently in the planning stage. Mason provides updates regarding West Campus developments on their construction website

SPRING CAREER FAIR BRINGS NEW JOB HORIZONS FOR STUDENTS

Wed, 20/03/2024 - 11:03am

Fourth Estate/Valentina Fala

Mason students and alumni meet employers in-person at the 2024 Spring Career Fair

BY VALENTINA FALA, STAFF WRITER

Students and attendees came prepared in their best business attire with their resume in hand to score themselves potential job opportunities at Mason’s 2024 Spring Career Fair. 

On Feb. 21 and 22, Mason students and alumni seeking career opportunities attended the university’s 2024 Spring Career Fair at Dewberry Hall in the Johnson Center. 

The two-day event featured more than 200 employers from a variety of industries. Attendees were able to ask career-related questions, establish professional relationships and discuss potential employment opportunities. Those who came from any background and with a vast range of interests, majors, minors and extracurriculars were invited to check out the fair.

Mary Claire Kraft, Senior Manager at the University Career Services, has been involved in organizing the career fair for six years, this year having one of the largest participation rates, according to Kraft. “The spring career fair…is the place to be. Thousands of students stream in employers from all across the country. It’s really very exciting.”

Saskia Campbell, Executive Director of University Career Services, explained that the career fair offers students the opportunity for internships and full-time or part-time jobs. “We are encouraging students to get six to 12 months of relevant experience before they graduate. So finding an internship or a part time job to build the resume and to build skills is really critical,” Campbell said. 

Each year, alumni that have been hired by the companies at previous career fairs return to Mason to provide guidance on pursuing professional connections. “One of the benefits of the fairs is that we have a lot of Mason alumni returning and so they’re designated with an alumni ribbon,” Campbell said.   

Jesse Pulliam, Camp Director at Calleva, attended the fair to recruit students to work at their organization. “We’ve been to George Mason in the past and have worked with a lot of students from Mason. They’ve been excellent and that has brought us back to hire.”

Students like Senior Maaz Abbasi were prepared to impress employers. “It was a great experience because it was good to be reassured by employers that you might not have the necessary degree, but you could still have the necessary skill set. So I highly recommend everyone to come to the career fair.”

Virtual career fairs were held for students who were unable to attend the in-person career fair. This allowed students to meet with employers and seek career opportunities over Zoom. 

The next big event for University Career Services was the Education Recruitment Day on Mar. 13. Employers will be reviewing resumes and selecting candidates to interview them on site. “Students could walk away at the end of the day with a job offer,” Campbell said.

THE 2024 ANIME AWARDS: A DESERVED SWEEP?

Tue, 19/03/2024 - 9:54pm

Fourth Estate/Viviana Smith

All wins were deserved… except one

BY VIVIANA SMITH, MANAGING EDITOR

There were some big wins at the 2024 Anime Awards on Mar. 2 in Tokyo, Japan. 

At the event, there was a spectacular lineup of talent, including Japanese singer/songwriter LiSA, American filmmaker duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and American rapper Megan Thee Stallion, who donned a Bruno Bucciarti-inspired outfit. 

The 2024 Anime Awards were held to award the best animes of 2023. With animes such as “Spy x Family”, “One Piece” and “Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead” in the list of nominees, fans were anxious to see which animes would receive the number one spot in the various categories, especially Anime of The Year. 

“Jujutsu Kaisen” swept the competition and went home with nine wins, including Anime of the Year and wins in both arcs of season 2, “Hidden Inventory/Premature Death” and “Shibuya Incident.” 

It came with little surprise that “Jujutsu Kaisen” won Anime of the Year, as few of the nominees had given this season a run for its money. In my opinion, the closest competitors in this category were “Vinland Saga season 2” and “Chainsaw Man.” 

“Jujutsu Kaisen” is a phenomenal anime with interesting characters, nail-biting arcs and spectacular voice acting in subbed and dubbed audio. Additionally, the anime has a large fanbase that appreciates the good and bad of the series. 

However… It did not deserve Best Opening Sequence. 

The first opening for season two of “Jujutsu Kaisen’”, “Where Our Blue Is” by Tatsuya Kitani, is a pretty good song; I even have this in my playlist! The visuals in the opening sequence are amazing and playful, reminding us of Suguru Geto and Satoru Gojo’s goofy friendship at the start of each episode. However it does not deserve this win. 

This win was taken from “KICK BACK,” the season one opening sequence for “Chainsaw Man.” 

“KICK BACK” by Kenshi Yonezu is an upbeat song that plays during the first opening sequence in “Chainsaw Man.” This song perfectly illustrates the raw craziness that is this show. Additionally, the visuals align with the intense J-rock song, with psychedelic visuals and lots of action. 

One of the best aspects of this opening are the references to other films. The characters are seen recreating scenes from various films, such as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “Pulp Fiction” and “The Big Lebowski.” 

This opening took the internet by storm after its release, with TikToks posted by various users, such as recreating the opening and remixing the song.

With all the attention “KICK BACK” garnered, I was disappointed that this song was not the winner in the category of Best Opening Sequence. I was sure “KICK BACK” would have won due to its outreach outside of the anime’s fanbase. 

“Jujutsu Kaisen” proved to be an amazing anime by winning in nine different categories but its opening is a bit generic compared to the opening for “Chainsaw Man.”

I hope that this doesn’t happen again at the 2025 Anime Awards. Unless another banger drops this year, I anticipate that the “Mashle: Magic and Muscles” season two opening will most likely win Best Opening in the 2025 Anime Awards. 

TOP 5 CANDIDATES FOR POTENTIAL A-10 EXPANSION

Tue, 19/03/2024 - 9:18pm

Fourth Estate/Madalyn Godfrey

The conference may look to expand following the departure of UMass

BY GABRIEL KING, SPORTS EDITOR

The University of Massachusetts will leave the Atlantic 10 for the Mid-American Conference, or MAC, starting in the 2025-26 academic year, the school announced Thursday. UMass will join the MAC in all sports except men’s lacrosse, but the move was made to improve the status of the football program.

“This news does not alter the mission of the A-10 as a nationally relevant successful basketball-centric conference with a robust Olympic sports platform also built for success,” Atlantic 10 commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade said in a statement

With conference realignment becoming a focal point in college athletics, the A-10 may be forced to expand in order to avoid losing more members. The conference added Loyola Chicago prior to the 2022-23 academic year. With the loss of UMass, the A-10 is down to 14 full members.

While I do not advocate for it, the A-10 could consider expanding to 15 or 16 members, in order to keep up. Here are my top five candidates for expansion:

  1. College of Charleston

Charleston is currently a member of the Coastal Athletic Association, the same conference that Mason and VCU were in prior to joining the A-10. Adding Charleston would expand the A-10’s geographical footprint further south and give the conference another school with established basketball success. The Cougars do not sponsor football, which could help avoid another situation similar to what happened with UMass.

  1. Drake University

Located in Des Moines, Iowa, Drake is the second-longest tenured member of the Missouri Valley Conference. Drake is another school with a history of success in men’s and women’s basketball. The Bulldogs have made six appearances in the men’s NCAA tournament and 14 in the women’s. 

Drake would also help continue the conference’s westward expansion as they would be a natural rival for Saint Louis, Loyola Chicago and Dayton. The school does sponsor football but this would not be an issue as they play in the Pioneer League, a football-only conference, so there would be no conflict with the A-10.

  1. Monmouth University

Monmouth is another member of the CAA that could seek an upgrade. The Hawks are one of the newest members of the CAA, but they have the facilities and success to make another quick move. While Monmouth has not made a men’s NCAA tournament since 2006, they have been consistently competitive. 

The Hawks played Mason tough earlier this season, so it is clear they can adjust at the A-10 level. Adding Monmouth would also continue the A-10’s Mid-Atlantic expansion.

  1. Temple University 

These last two are tied together, in that they are largely unrealistic. Temple was a long-time member of the A-10 before leaving for the American Athletic Conference. The move has not worked for the Owls, as they have no geographical rivals and their performance has faltered. They are unlikely to leave the AAC because of football but a return to the A-10 would be mutually beneficial.

  1. DePaul University

This is even more outlandish but would be loads of fun for the conference. DePaul will not leave the Big East nor will the Big East let go of the Chicago market. However, the Blue Demons have struggled mightily since becoming a high-major and could benefit from a step down. Plus, they would have a crosstown rivalry with Loyola Chicago if they joined the A-10.

IT’S OK TO SAY ‘NO’

Tue, 19/03/2024 - 9:10pm

Fourth Estate/Madalyn Godfrey

Three ways to help grow confidence in saying ‘no’

BY MADALYN GODFREY, OPINION EDITOR

We have all been there. It doesn’t matter who we are or what type of person we are; we have all been in a situation where we want to say “no” so badly but have difficulty saying it.

Why is that?

Maybe it’s from the struggle of wanting to fit in, wanting to avoid confrontation or we don’t want to be seen as disrespectful. We live in a society that favors people-pleasing, and a “no” can lead to us losing romantic, platonic and professional relationships. 

Whatever that reason may be, here are three recommended ways to help you grow confidence in saying this underused word:

1. Practice, Practice, Practice

The easiest way to get better at doing something, or saying something for this matter, is by practicing. Luckily, you can easily practice alone in your home or dorm room. There are two exercises that I highly suggest that are a surefire way to increase your confidence.

The first exercise is what I like to call “Mirror Talk.”

It’s simple! All you do is stand in front of the mirror and repeat the word “no.” The more times you say it, the more you are comfortable using it. Comfortability is vital to feeling confident.

The second exercise is called “Jot it Down, Talk it Out.”

On paper, write out simple scenarios that would cause you to say “no.” After writing out each scenario, try reading them out loud and respond with a “no.” Similar to the first exercise, continue to practice until you feel comfortable.

2. Talk with a Trusted Friend

You are rarely alone in your desire to say “no.” You may often find that your friends have the same desires and difficulties. 

Talking with a trusted friend who understands can help you build confidence in saying “no” beyond the safety net of your home or dorm. In addition, you will have a partner that holds you accountable and supports you.

3. Understanding Your Right

The last and key way of building confidence in saying “no” is understanding your right to say it. It is not rude or mean to say “no.” You should not have to avoid saying  “no” because it makes other people feel bad. It is reasonable to put yourself first. Once you realize this, you can confidently say “no” whenever needed.

Using these three simple ways to grow confidence, you will see the difference in your life when you start saying “no.” This difference could make you much happier and freer than you can ever believe.

MASON WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SELECTED FOR INAUGURAL WBIT

Mon, 18/03/2024 - 11:39pm

Fourth Estate/Mitchell Richtmyre

The Patriots will travel to play Penn State in the opening round

BY GABRIEL KING, SPORTS EDITOR

Mason women’s basketball earned a bid to the 2024 Women’s Basketball Invitation Tournament (WBIT), the NCAA announced Sunday. The Patriots (23-7, 14-4 Atlantic 10) will travel to State College, Pa. to play top-seeded Penn State (19-12, 9-9 Big Ten) on Thursday, Mar. 21. 

The inaugural WBIT features a 32-team field, with the higher seeds hosting the first three rounds of the tournament. The semifinals and championship game will be held in Indianapolis at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Apr. 1 and 3. 

As the first four teams left out of the NCAA Tournament, Miami, Washington State, Villanova and Penn State earned the top seeds and home-court advantage until the semifinals. Miami declined the WBIT invitation, allowing James Madison to take their spot as the fourth top seed.

Along with Mason, Saint Joseph’s and VCU will represent the A-10 in the WBIT. With Richmond earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament, the top four teams in the A-10 each earned bids to postseason tournaments. 

This is Mason’s first postseason appearance since the 2018 Women’s National Invitation Tournament, when they defeated Stephen F. Austin before falling to eventual runner-up Virginia Tech in the second round. Penn State is also making their first postseason appearance since the 2018 WNIT.

After tying the program record for regular season wins, the Patriots will be looking for their second postseason win in program history. 

Mason and Penn State will match up for the first time since November 2019. Both teams were eliminated in the quarterfinals of their conference tournaments, with the Patriots falling to Duquesne in the A-10 and the Lady Lions losing to No. 2 Iowa in the Big Ten. 

The Lady Lions rank 27th in the NET rankings, the highest of any team left out of the NCAA Tournament. They are led by former Maryland and Virginia Tech guard Ashley Owusu. Owusu averaged 17.7 points per game during the regular season and earned a spot on the All-Big Ten second-team.

The Patriots come in at 63rd in the NET rankings. In January, Mason reached 48th in the rankings, their highest in program history. Two Patriots earned individual accolades after the regular season, with sophomore Zahirah Walton earning A-10 Rookie of the Year and senior Sonia Smith winning A-10 Most Improved Player. Freshman Kennedy Harris also earned a spot on the A-10 All-Rookie team. 

Tip-off between Mason and Penn State is set for 6 p.m. on Thursday. The winner will advance to play either Belmont or fourth-seeded Ball State in the second round. Every WBIT game will be available on the ESPN platforms, with all first round games streaming exclusively on ESPN+. The second round will begin on Sunday, Mar. 24. 

MASON WEEKLY CRIME LOG

Mon, 18/03/2024 - 12:46pm

The Fourth Estate

BY ALI ALI, NEWS EDITOR

Sunday, Feb. 25

Case 24-002201 / Hit and Run / Damage/Destruction/Vandalism of Property: Complainant (GMU) reported a hit and run of a vehicle. (Location: Field House Parking)

Case 24-002192 / Larceny: Complainant (GMU) reported the theft of a scooter. (Location: Outside of Manhattan Pizza)

Case 24-002179 / Drunkenness / Medical Assist. Complainant (GMU) reported a highly intoxicated Subject (Non-GMU) in public. (Location: Piedmont Hall Front Desk)

Monday, Feb. 26

Case 24-002225 / Use of profane, threatening, or indecent language over public airways or by other methods / Ring to Annoy: Complainant (GMU) reported unknown Subject repeatedly called department phone number. (Location: Aquatic Fitness Center)

Case 24-002224 / Stalking: Complainant (GMU) reported being followed by a known Subject (GMU) on multiple occasions. (Location: Fairfax Campus)

Case 24-002207 / Drug Law Violations / Liquor Law Violations: Subject (GMU) was referred to Office of Student Conduct (OSC) for possessing marijuana while under age 21. (Location: Washington Hall)

Tuesday, Feb. 27 

Case 24-002274 / Larceny: Complainant (GMU) reported the theft of a secured bicycle from a bike rack. (Location: Outside of Harrison Hall)

Wednesday, Feb. 28

Case 24-002335 / Larceny: Complainant (GMU) reported the theft of unattended property from an unsecured location. (Location: Rappahannock Parking Deck)

Case 24-002333 / Damage / Destruction / Vandalism of Property: Subject (GMU) was issued a releasable summons for destruction of property. (Location: Fairfax Campus)

Case 24-002329 / Theft From Building / Credit Card Fraud: Complainant (GMU) reported unauthorized charges on stolen credit cards. (Location: Buchanan Hall)

Case 24-002320 / Theft From Building / Credit Card Fraud: Complainant (GMU) reported unauthorized charges on stolen credit cards. (Location: College Hall)

Case 24-002300 / Damage / Destruction / Vandalism of Property: Complainant (GMU) reported vandalism to a restroom. (Location: Planetary Hall)

Thursday, Feb. 29

Case 24-002363 / Theft From Building: Complainant (GMU) reported the theft of property from an unsecured location. (Location: Johnson Center)

Case 24-002361 / Disorderly Conduct / Simple Assault: Complainant (GMU) reported a disorderly subject (GMU). (Location: Johnson Center)

Case 24-002355 / Weapons Law Violation / Intimidation: Complainant (GMU) reported being threatened by a known Subject (GMU). (Location: Ox Road)

Case 24-002553 / Stalking: Complainant (GMU) reported receiving unwanted contacts from a known Subject (GMU) on multiple occasions. (Location: Fairfax Campus)

Friday, Mar. 1

Case 24-002404 / Damage / Destruction / Vandalism of Property: Complainant (GMU) reported vandalism in a restroom. (Location: Van Metre Hall (Mason Square))

Case 24-002393 / Larceny: Complainant (GMU) reported the theft of a secured bicycle from a bike rack. (Location: Outside of Potomac Heights)

Case 24-002383 / Disorderly Conduct: Complainant (GMU) reported a disorderly subject (Non- GMU). (Location: Peterson Health Building)

Saturday, Mar. 2

Case 24-002459 / Sexual Assault / Rape / Fondling / Dating Violence: Complainant (GMU) reported being sexually assaulted by an intimate partner (GMU). (Location: Liberty Square)

Sunday, Mar. 3

Case 24-002476 / Theft From Building / Credit Card Fraud: Complainant (GMU) reported unauthorized charges on stolen credit cards. (Location: Aquatic and Fitness Center (Men’s Locker Room))

Monday, Mar. 4

Case 24-002514 / Use of profane, threatening, or indecent language over public airways or by other methods / Ring to Annoy: Complainant (GMU) reported unknown Subject repeatedly called department phone number. (Location: Aquatic Fitness Center)

Tuesday, Mar. 5

Case 24-002542 / Credit Card Fraud: Complainant (GMU) reported potential fraud. (Location: Fairfax Campus/Online)

Wednesday, Mar. 6

Case 24-002596 / Trespassing: Subject (Non-GMU) was arrested and transported to Fairfax County Adult Detention Center for trespassing. (Location: Merten Hall)

Case 24-002589 / Damage / Destruction / Vandalism of Property: Complainant (GMU) reported destruction of property. (Location: Horizon Hall)

Thursday, Mar. 7

Case 24-002635 / Damage / Destruction / Vandalism of Property / Littering: Complainant (GMU) reported vandalism and littering (stickers). (Location: Art and Design Building)

Case CSA Report #030724-2 / Stalking: Mandatory reporter notified GMUPD that a Complainant (GMU) disclosed receiving unwanted contacts from a known Subject (GMU) on multiple occasions. Due to confidentiality of reporting, limited information is available regarding this incident. (Location: Fairfax Campus/Student Housing Facility)

Case CSA Report #030724 / ​​Stalking: Mandatory reporter notified GMUPD that a Complainant (GMU) disclosed receiving unwanted contacts from a known Subject (GMU) on multiple occasions. Due to confidentiality of reporting, limited information is available regarding this incident. (Location: Fairfax Campus)

Friday, Mar. 8

Case 24-002678 / Theft From Building: Complainant (GMU) reported the theft of property from an unsecured location. (Location: Northern Neck Hall)

Case 24-002658 / Damage/Destruction/Vandalism of Property: Complainant (GMU) reported vandalism (graffiti). (Location: Patriot Circle)

Case 24-002653 / ​​Damage/Destruction/Vandalism of Property / Littering: Complainant (GMU) reported vandalism and littering (stickers). (Location: Art and Design Building)

Saturday, Mar. 9

Case 24-002713 / Theft From Building: Complainant (GMU) reported the theft of property from an unsecured location. (Location: Johnson Center)

This information was retrieved from the George Mason University Department of Police and Public Safety Daily Crime and Fire Log.

MASON FALLS BEHIND EARLY, LOSES TO SAINT JOSEPH’S

Thu, 14/03/2024 - 4:32pm

Fourth Estate/Mitchell Richtmyre

The Patriots’ late comeback fell short at the A-10 Tournament

BY GABRIEL KING, SPORTS EDITOR

Mason men’s basketball lost to Saint Joseph’s 64-57 in the second round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Wednesday. The Hawks (20-12, 9-9 Atlantic 10) began the game on an 11-2 run which proved too much for the Patriots (20-12, 9-9 Atlantic 10) to overcome.

Ninth-seeded Saint Joseph’s extended their lead to 18 in the second half. Mason closed the gap to three with 1:25 remaining, but a costly turnover halted the comeback. The Patriots were led by a career-high 22 points from freshman Baraka Okojie, who earned a spot on the A-10 All-Rookie Team.

“They got going pretty early, and we got down pretty early,” Head Coach Tony Skinn said. “Total team effort by [Saint Joseph’s]. I give them credit.” Four Hawks scored in double figures, including a team-high 16 points from Cameron Brown.

Mason shot 1-13 from 3-point range, while Saint Joseph’s shot 10-27 from deep. “It’s hard to win a basketball game when the other team is making shots and you’re not,” Skinn said. The Patriots ended their season with 218 3-pointers made, ranking 13th in the A-10.

Senior Darius Maddox, Mason’s leading 3-point shooter, went 1-2 on 3-pointers in the game. His two attempts tied a season-low in attempts for Maddox. “I thought the defense, for 40 minutes, [and] the intentionality on Maddox was as good as we’ve done on an individually-scouted player all season long,” Saint Joseph’s Head Coach Billy Lange said.

Sophomore Keyshawn Hall was limited to four minutes in his return from an ankle injury. Hall last played on Feb. 27 against Fordham. “Tonight, when he was in, he didn’t do anything wrong, but just from a rhythm standpoint, it just wasn’t there,” Skinn said.

Despite the offensive struggles, Okojie’s performance kept the Patriots in the game. Okojie scored 16 points and shot 7-10 from the field in the second half, including eight consecutive points to cut Mason’s deficit to three. “I told myself I was going to give it all for the last 20 [minutes],” Okojie said. 

With the loss, Mason failed to qualify for the A-10 semifinals for the 11th consecutive season. 

In their first year under Skinn, the Patriots recorded 20 regular season wins for the first time since the 2011-12 campaign. “Overall, I’m proud of these guys and I just look forward to what we have to do to just get better as a team and as a program,” Skinn said.

Saint Joseph’s advanced to play top-seeded Richmond in the quarterfinals on Thursday, Mar. 14. 

MASON BESTED BY DUQUESNE IN A-10 QUARTERFINALS

Wed, 13/03/2024 - 1:28pm

Fourth Estate/Mitchell Richtmyre

The Patriots fell in controversial fashion at the A-10 Tournament

BY GABRIEL KING, SPORTS EDITOR

Mason women’s basketball fell to Duquesne 63-62 in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament on Friday. The Patriots (23-7, 14-4 Atlantic 10) had a chance to tie the game on their final possession, but the fifth-seeded Dukes (20-12, 13-5) made a late defensive stand.

Mason trailed by 14 points in the first half, but came back to take the lead in the third quarter. There were six lead changes in the fourth quarter before Precious Johnson made the game-winning layup for Duquesne with 44 seconds remaining. 

Senior Sonia Smith led the Patriots with 24 points. The game was Smith’s eighth of the season with at least 20 points. Junior Paula Suárez was the only other Patriot to score in double figures, as she scored a season-high of 17 points on 7-14 shooting.

“It was a very good game, a game we couldn’t wait to play tonight after a really good season by these young women. It just didn’t end the way we felt it should,” Head Coach Vanessa Blair-Lewis said. Sophomore Zahirah Walton was awarded two free throws with less than one second remaining, but the call was overturned, leading to the Patriots’ loss.

The late call sparked controversy throughout the Atlantic 10. “The decision made by the crew to reverse a call made at .5 seconds remaining in the game was not permitted within the rules,” the Atlantic 10 said in a statement Saturday. “The league office and coordinator of officials has addressed the issue, took appropriate action and pledges to do better in the future.”

With the loss, Mason is a longshot to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. “We hope that the committees making the call for postseason play will consider our overall body of work and will not … end their careers on an incorrect call,” Blair-Lewis said in a statement. 

Despite a quarterfinal exit, the Patriots had one of the best regular seasons in program history. “We still got in the top 50 [of the] NET this season. We just made [the] top four in the conference, we haven’t done that in a long time. I’m just really proud of this team,” Smith said.

 If the Patriots are not selected for the NCAA Tournament, they could still earn a bid to the inaugural Women’s Basketball Invitation Tournament.

Duquesne went on to lose to Richmond 80-66 in the semifinals on Saturday. Richmond then defeated Rhode Island 65-51 in the championship game on Sunday to earn the A-10’s automatic bid.

Mason will find out their postseason selection on Mar. 17. The NCAA Tournament Selection Show is set for 8 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN. 

MASON MEN’S BASKETBALL EYEING A RUN IN THE UPCOMING A-10 TOURNAMENT

Tue, 12/03/2024 - 4:33pm

Fourth Estate/Mitchell Richtmyre

Mason will tip off against St. Joseph’s to begin tournament play on Wednesday

BY TRISTEN SCHAEFER, STAFF WRITER

Mason men’s basketball is firing on all cylinders this season under first-year head coach, Tony Skinn. Skinn has led the Patriots to their best season in over a decade. 

The name Tony Skinn might sound familiar. As a former player for the Patriots, Skinn suited up for 91 games from 2003 to 2006 and was an integral part of George Mason’s Cinderella run to the Final Four in 2006. Named the team’s 12th head coach in April 2023, Skinn expressed that he wants to lead the Patriots in a way that mirrors the success of his senior season under Jim Larrañaga

Mason is eyeing a potential run in the fast-approaching Atlantic 10 Tournament

“Winning is not easy, but the formula to winning is clear,” Skinn said before the season. It appeared that he did indeed have the winning formula in 2023, as he led the team to wins in 11 of their first 13 games. The team looked like they had the potential to play into March. 

The level of success the team experienced during the first half of the season was hardly sustainable, but the Patriots began to falter during the latter half. Halfway through February they sat in seventh place in the A-10 with a 17-8 record.

The A-10 is competitive this year and six of Mason’s losses were in bouts with conference foes. 

Mason’s biggest challenge of the season came against Dayton on Feb. 15. Dayton was sitting atop the A-10 with a 21-4 record and slotting in as the No. 16 team in the country at the time

The Patriots kept up with the competition, as they trailed by six at halftime. However, it was nothing compared to their second half performance. Freshman guard Baraka Okojie scored 19 points in the second half and Mason climbed back to beat Dayton by a score of 71-67. 

The Patriots’ comeback victory over Dayton offered a look at Mason’s potential in the Atlantic 10, as they improved to a stellar 13-2 home record on the season with their win over Dayton.

With the A-10 Tournament quickly approaching, the win over Dayton seemed like it was exactly what the Patriot’s needed to gain momentum down the home-stretch of the season. While the team faltered a bit to start the final five-game stretch of the season, they silenced doubters with double-digit victories over Rhode Island and the 23-win Richmond Spiders to cap off the season.

Coach Skinn led the team to a 20-11 regular season record and a .645 winning percentage; the team’s best win percentage since the 2011-12 season.

The Atlantic 10 Tournament is set to kick off on Mar. 12, which will reward the winner an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. While Mason’s path to that bid seems uphill as an eight-seed, the team proved they’re capable of challenging any team in the Atlantic 10 with their victories over two of the conference’s top seeds: Dayton and Richmond.

To begin the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament, eighth-seeded Mason will face off against the ninth-seeded St. Joseph’s Hawks. Both schools will travel to the Barclays Center on Mar. 13 for the matchup. Mason will be looking to atone for the teams’ previous meeting back in January, when St. Joseph’s was able to edge past Mason, 75-73.

MASON FACULTY ATIF QARNI RUNS FOR CONGRESS

Mon, 11/03/2024 - 6:32pm

Fourth Estate/Andani Munkaila

Mason Adjunct Faculty runs for Congress with a focus on education reform

BY ANDANI MUNKAILA, SOCIAL MEDIA AND GRAPHICS EDITOR

Mason Adjunct Faculty and former high school teacher Atif Qarni is a Pakistani-American politician and war veteran. Gaining recognition for his work in education and public service, he served as the Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

According to his campaign, Qarni is now running for Congress in Virginia’s 10th district with a focus on education reform and improved access to quality education for all students. Qarni additionally shares plans to make advances in topics such as women’s rights, gun safety legislation and educational funding. 

Editor’s Note: This interview was edited for length and clarity.

What is your political party?

There’s no party registration in Virginia, but I’m a Democrat.

When I was deciding to get involved politically, I looked at my values to see which party aligned closely. Most of the alignment was with the Democratic Party. [I] feel that it was a bigger tent that made at least somewhat of an attempt to embrace marginalized groups. I didn’t feel that that was the case with the Republican Party.

What was it like teaching eighth graders?

Fun. There’s no boring day. There’s always good and challenging drama. It was the most meaningful because you’re becoming a teenager.

I really enjoyed my eighth grade year specifically. There was something really excited in me when I did my student teaching. I tried high school as well, but for some reason, eighth grade really resonated with me. 

How did your time in the military affect your teaching?

The military has a lot of discipline and structure, which can be good for the classroom. Sometimes too much structure can also be suffocating, so you have to kind of let go and be nimble and agile as you work with human beings in any kind of setting. 

The military really focuses on integrity and building relationships. I’m a combat veteran, and I was in Iraq. What folks don’t realize is that nine out of 10 times, a lot of issues get resolved and temperatures come down [when] we have conversations with people.

I don’t speak Arabic, but because of my background as a Muslim, I understood the cultural norms of Iraqis so many times [that] I was able to defuse situations.

So… same thing in teaching eighth grade. Children are human beings. Just like adults, they have feelings. There’s a lot going on in their lives. It’s not just about figuring out a two step equation.

When there’s tension between two students, I say, “Okay, let’s take a deep breath…Let’s try to understand what’s going on.”

Can you tell me more about when you won Teacher of The Year during your time teaching high school?

It’s an award that students and teachers have to nominate you for. After I won, I got a binder. And it was dozens of students who wrote letters.

I read them and they emphasized that, “He’s very good at building relationships [and] really caring for students or teachers.”

It’s funny because when you think of academics, you think of hey, content, right? They didn’t talk about the facts that they learned in history class. They talked about those relationships, that they felt welcome, had a lot of fun and enjoyed learning.

What is the IDEA act?

IDEA stands for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. There are a lot of vulnerable students that are neglected in our systems. Activists passed [it] several decades ago, but it’s never been fully funded. I really want to fund education. You know, we’ve spent a lot of taxpayer dollars funding war machines… and there’s too much global chaos which is not even keeping America safe. Only 10% of our federal budget is made up of education, while other countries are spending much more per capita. So it’s a significant issue and IDEA funding is one example of that, but there’s a lack of funding.

Why do you care about people?

It’s life experiences. You know, coming here as an immigrant, I faced a lot of challenges learning a new language [and] learning about a new culture… it’s an experience that a lot of us go through and then it changes you or gives you perspective. 

What are your main goals if elected into Congress?

I really want to economically uplift families. I want to focus on the “Child Care Stabilization Act” [and] I want to focus on IDEA. We have the inflation reduction… and then with healthcare, making sure that we’re regulating the prices of prescription drugs and making use of the very expanding Medicare [and] Medicaid reimbursement rates. 

There are other things that I want to do with gun safety legislation, pass a Women’s Health Protection Act which will protect women’s reproductive rights and [to] expand the Supreme Court. 

Not only do we have to get a Democrat elected as president, but we have to get the House back. When you have a political trifecta, that’s when you can really advance those things.

Can you tell us more about the Women’s Health Protection Act?

The Women’s Health Protection Act has been pending in Congress for a while. That’s really, really robust. It codifies that women’s reproductive care is safely available everywhere in the United States.

What are your thoughts on the Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court is very antiquated. They’re not representative of the American people. The diversity is still lacking [and] the perspectives are still lacking. I think they’re really out of touch [and] I think term limits would be good. I think they need to just go through a better accountability test. I know that they go to congressional hearings and so forth, but the current representation is definitely not representative of the majority of Americans right now.

The way it’s functioning right now is not an elected representative body and has way too much intervention in our lives. We need to rein that in and bring a big balance. I think one of the ways to do that is to expand the Supreme Court to 13 justices. Nobody should be able to serve on the Supreme Court for more than 20 years. That’s my policy position.

What are your thoughts on gun safety legislation?

What I believe is that military grade weapons do not belong in homes [or] schools. I’m talking about assault rifles [and] high capacity magazines. The vast majority of Americans want comprehensive gun safety legislation reform.

Because of special interest groups like the NRA, they keep locking it [and] they keep spreading misinformation.

I think also part of that [gun violence] is mental health. One, we have too easy of an access to assault rifles in America. Second, we still feel we have a stigma with mental health. We’re not doing a good job in addressing mental health. The “Mental Health Act” is one act that I also want to fully fund because we’re lacking social services [for] PTSD. 

What is the biggest issue facing our country?

There’s a lot, but I think polarization. Politicians like Donald Trump are exploiting the minds of human beings and they’re taking advantage of them. People care about the same things. They care about their children… they care about the children’s future. But, politicians are exploiting people’s economic fragility and saying, “You are struggling because of this distant person that you don’t know.”

There’s a divide and conquer approach between racial groups [and] between classes based on different identities and that’s the biggest problem: Political exploitation by politicians. We need more integrity in our politics.

Why should people vote for you?

I think they should vote for someone that cares for them [and] about their values, which I represent. I think they should vote for someone who’s going to go bat for them [and] is going to have their back, always. 

I think they should vote for someone that they can be proud of. My track record is that I’ve really led from the front. I want to make people proud of being Virginian and to be a voter of this district.

GAMEMASON 2024 VALORANT FINALS

Sat, 02/03/2024 - 5:06pm

Fourth Estate/Christian Segovia

A hometown rivalry matchup in Fairfax, Virginia at GAMEmason 2024

BY CHRISTIAN SEGOVIA, STAFF WRITER

George Mason University’s Valorant Esports (GMU) team faced Northern Virginia Community College’s Valorant team (NOVA) in the Valorant Finals at GAMEmason 2024 on Saturday, Feb. 24.

The competitive tournament format is a best-of-three series. Out of the seven playable maps in rotation, the players competed on maps Sunset, Bind and Ascent while maps Split, Breeze, Lotus and Icebox were banned.  

A commentator by the username “SHK” said on GMU Esports’ Twitch stream, “Sunset for sure is going to be interesting because GMU doesn’t play [Sunset] often. Bind, on the other hand, has been a strong map for both of these teams.” Ascent has been in the rotation since the game came out, that teams are usually running the same set of agents against each other.

Fourth Estate/Christian Segovia

GMU started with the attack on Sunset going up 4-0. GMU used its characters’ abilities to get into the site and plant the Spike, which is the main objective for the attacking team. NOVA had agent abilities like Sova’s recon bolt to scan enemies. They didn’t put it to use to get information from where opposing players would attack, giving GMU the upper hand.

GMU player with the gamertag “Blaze” capitalized on his teammates’ abilities and created space as character Raze to help them get into the site. GMU player, who goes by the gamertag “Ktran,” played Breach and stunned the enemy team with a blinding technique while his teammates took fights.

When NOVA switched to the attacking side, they played the slow game way into Sunset’s B site, throwing GMU off with timing not being prepared for their attacks. NOVA attempted GMU’s 11-6 lead, but GMU changed their plan and came out with the win on Sunset, 13-6. 

Fourth Estate/Christian Segovia

On the map Bind, GMU got off to a hot start on defense, winning 3-0. In round four, NOVA won in a 2 vs. 5 by isolating their fights and getting information about where the GMU players were.

NOVA won the half 7-5 as GMU switched to attack. GMU’s attacks were timed off which gave NOVA the advantage 10-5.  GMU took a timeout to fix their mistakes and caught up 12-10. 

Ktran was put into a 1 vs. 2 situation with no more ability charges and won the round for GMU. The home crowd cheered excitedly for their team’s comeback. Despite the return, GMU lost 13-11 in the following round. 

Fourth Estate/Christian Segovia

The final map was Ascent, and GMU got off to a great start on defense going up 3-0. GMU player, who goes by the gamertag “Jluy,” had Cypher’s spycam to see where the opponents were coming onto the site. GMU was putting their agents’ abilities to work as NOVA struggled to find any information on where the GMU players were located on site. To end the half, Blaze and Ktran each got two kills to put their team up 9-3.

GMU struggled to win some rounds after switching to the attacking side. After a timeout, it all changed. GMU player with the gamertag “Coco” got two kills on the B site while another GMU player, who goes by the “tony gawa”, got an additional kill. GMU pushed into the A site and put their lead up to 12-6.

GMU’s Blaze, tony gawa and Ktran pulled off a 3 vs. 4 in the final round and won the Finals 13-6. GMU was motivated by their home crowd. “The energy made us play even better… Yesterday when we played against some of the other teams, we didn’t do well without a crowd, but once we got a crowd behind us, we started winning,” Ktran said.

MASON ROLLS DAYTON, SECURES DOUBLE BYE IN A-10 TOURNAMENT

Sat, 02/03/2024 - 1:41pm

Fourth Estate/Mitchell Richtmyre

The Patriots dominated behind a career performance from Kennedy Harris

BY GABRIEL KING, SPORTS EDITOR

Mason women’s basketball defeated Dayton 78-53 on Wednesday at EagleBank Arena in their final home game of the season. With the win, the Patriots (23-5, 14-3 Atlantic 10) clinched a top-four seed and double bye in next week’s Atlantic 10 Tournament.

“This was really a good game to just finish our home season. I really was proud of the ladies. They went out there and took care of business,” Head Coach Vanessa Blair-Lewis said. Despite a slow start, the Patriots never trailed in the game and held the Flyers (11-17, 5-12) to 32.8% shooting.

Mason was led by Kennedy Harris, who scored a career-high 27 points. The Patriots had a 10-6 lead after the first quarter before Harris erupted for 15 points in the second quarter, giving Mason a 17-point halftime lead. “The game just flowed. My teammates would call me when I was open and I just knocked down the shots,” Harris said. 

The Patriots dominated the third quarter as well, outscoring the Flyers 25-17. Mason ended the third quarter on an 8-0 run to extend their lead to 25. The victory is Mason’s 11th by 20 or more points this season, including two against Dayton.

“It took us a little while to get started, but everybody got the chance to be a part of this,” Blair-Lewis said. Nine Patriots scored in the game, including three in double figures. Harris’ 27 points led the way along with 11 from Ta’Viyanna Habib and 10 from Zahirah Walton

Graduate student Jazmyn Doster and Seniors Taylor Jameson and Sonia Smith played their final games at EagleBank Arena. The trio will look to end their careers at Mason with the program’s first NCAA Tournament berth.

“To know how my teammates feel about me…is just very inspirational to go even harder for this last stretch of games that we have through March,” Smith said. 

The Patriots will likely have to win the A-10 Tournament to secure an NCAA bid, but still have a chance at receiving an at-large bid.

Mason will play at VCU in its regular season finale on Saturday, Mar. 2. Even with a double bye secured, Mason will look to end the regular season strong against an in-state rival. “It’s been the same mindset [since] the season. We’re just the next game up. We put our hard hats on, we put our head down… and we’ll prepare for VCU,” Blair-Lewis said.

Depending on other results in the A-10, the Patriots can finish anywhere between first and fourth in the conference. Mason will begin the A-10 Tournament on Mar. 8 in the quarterfinals. The full bracket and schedule will be finalized following Saturday’s games.

2/8 – STUDENT SENATE REFLECTS ON STUDENT TOWN HALL

Thu, 29/02/2024 - 4:48pm

Fourth Estate/Erica Munisar

Student Senate reflects on Feb. 8 Town Hall

On Feb. 8, Student Senate passed multiple pieces of legislation, a new election code with ranked-choice voting and held a 40-minute discussion about the Student Town Hall on Wednesday. A major portion of the session addressed issues of respect and gossip between members of Mason Student Government, or SG.

President Paul Wyche delivered an 18-minute executive report, expanding on emails between former Secretary Gabriel Curtis and Vice President of University Life Rose Pascarell, a focus from the Feb. 1 session. Wyche also addressed claims from the Feb. 1 session that former Speaker Colin McAuley sent an email to Pascarell in fall 2023. The email reflected that McAuley declined to have SG host a town hall. 

“It was an email from former speaker McAuley, which everyone on the current lead team, except for Jack, was cc’ed on… For that written note [email]… I had no foot in the game, I had no… say in whether student government would do it or not in terms of this written note, so do I agree in the method of the process that came to be in terms of how this was… organized or decided, no, not necessarily,” said Wyche.

McAuley, who now works as a Student Assistant to the Vice-President of University Life, shared a full statement to the Fourth Estate regarding the email between him and Pascarell. The statement can be viewed below. 

“On Nov. 9 there was a general body meeting for the Student Senate that Vice-President Rose Pascarell requested to attend… where many Student Senators voiced that they do not believe SG should host a town hall and rather the President’s office should hold this town hall,” McAuley said. “Where the confusion occurs is that it is being said that I made a unilateral decision to forgo the right to host this town hall…that decision was based on a lengthy discussion.”

In the full statement, Fourth Estate released a recording of the Nov. 9 Senate session and verified that two senators publicly objected to an SG hosted town hall.

In the last portion of Student Senate, the gallery was invited to sit at the senate roundtable for discussion of the Student Town Hall where 13 senators and nine gallery members made comments, each limited to one minute and 30 seconds per comment.

“I think the student outreach was not great… I had to ask PR to do outreach to RSOs… We should have had a moderator because it got really intense, really fast. I wasn’t there in person… but I watched it live and it was rough,” Speaker Pro Tempore Bas Rawat said.

“Having limited question times, like we’re having in this debate right now, would really help in limiting those triple questions that were asked,” Speaker Scott Tatum said.

“It would be better if we made the next town hall a panel, so like President Washington, Vice-President Pascarell, maybe a student [representative] and then another person if applicable… another idea is to bring in Trishana Bowden to discuss foundation investments because that was a big thing, and a lot of people were dumbfounded that President Washington doesn’t control that,” Wyche said.

Wyche noted to the chamber to refrain from labeling themselves as SG members when asking questions at future student events. He also added that town halls should happen once a year or ideally once a semester. 

“I know President Washington’s reactions or disrespectfulness might’ve taken some people aback a certain way. I am not defending him, but I think that there is somewhat of a cultural and racial background to why he might act a certain way,” Wyche said.

“It would be great to set future town halls to two hours or 90 minutes,” Sen. Gibran Adnan said.

The Senate also passed four resolutions and a new Election Judicial Board and the Disputes Board, or EDC code with ranked-choice voting for the upcoming presidential election.

The Senate also passed the following four resolutions: R. #42 A Resolution to Support an Earth Month Environmental Fair, R. #43 A Resolution to Adopt a Mentorship Program, R. #44 A Resolution to Host a Campus Housing Beach Volleyball Tournament to Foster Community at Mason and R. #45 A Resolution to Support the February 24th Tailgate.

STATEMENT FROM FORMER FALL 2023 SPEAKER COLIN MCAULEY

BY COLIN, MCAULEY, CONTRIBUTOR

Editor’s Note: Relating to a Student Town Hall on Feb. 7, claims emerged in two Student Senate sessions on Feb. 1 and Feb. 8 that former Speaker Colin McAuley sent an email in fall 2023 to Vice President Rose Pascarell. The email reflected that McAuley declined to have SG host a town hall. McAuley, who resigned over winter break and now works for Pascarell as Student Assistant to the Vice-President of University Life, was invited to provide context for the email.

The minutes for Pascarell’s presentation to Student Senate on Nov. 9 were not available in the Mason Student Government Legislation Log. However, Fourth Estate received access to and uploaded a recording of the presentation.

Fourth Estate determined that a total of 20 questions and concerns were directed at Pascarell during her presentation. However, the number of senators who spoke is unknown due to the nature of the recording. While there was no formal discussion on who should host the Town Hall, two then senators, former Sen. Jack Fedak and Speaker Pro Tempore Bas Rawat, directly voiced objections to Pascarell about an SG-hosted town hall. The remaining senators provided comments without a stance.

There is currently a lot of talk in the Student Senate about what happened with Student Government’s decision not to host the Student Town Hall with President [Gregory] Washington. I want to share my recollection of the events leading to that decision as I am currently being blamed for making this decision on behalf of the Student Senate. 

On Nov. 9 there was a general body meeting for the Student Senate that Vice-President Rose Pascarell requested to attend. She wanted to speak with us about the letters that Washington was sending to the student body. At this meeting, there was a 55-minute discussion between the Student Senate and Pascarell where many Student Senators voiced that they do not believe SG should host a town hall and rather the President’s office should hold this town hall. 

While I would provide the minutes for this discussion, they aren’t available as they weren’t recorded for this discussion. 

At the end of the meeting, Pascarell requested that the Student Government hosts a town hall. At this point, I spoke for the first time in this discussion, and said to Pascarell that from the discussion that was had, it is clear that the Student Senate would prefer for the President’s office to host this town hall. 

After the meeting I spoke with the Student Senators leading SG’s response to the war in Palestine. We strategized what we would like to see from the town hall. From there, I worked with Pascarell to ensure that a town hall was held as it was the request of my organization. 

I publicized every update and conferred with Senate Leadership on all decisions. At no point was I told that we should change course. The option to host it ourselves was available, but nobody would support it. Where the confusion occurs is that it is being said that I made a unilateral decision to forgo the right to host this town hall. While the words came out of my mouth, that decision was based on a lengthy discussion in which I facilitated the discussion and did not share my opinion.

If I were to make a decision, I would’ve had the Student Senate host a town hall last semester, and then continue them on a monthly basis to create an avenue for students to speak with their President. However, as Speaker of the Student Senate, I am beholden to what the members of my organization ask for. 

Instead of taking initiative and requesting to host all future town halls, the Student Senate is choosing to blame a former member for their problems. If the Student Senate wants to hold town halls with the President of the University, they have the power to do so. This is why I’m confused that I’m being blamed for anything. All I did was ensure that upset students had an opportunity to speak with the Chief Executive of the University, regardless of who hosted it or not. 

I hope this clears up the confusion on my role in this business, and I hope the Student Senate takes advantage of the power they hold to make things happen, rather than continuing the consistent internal conflict that has plagued the organization for years.

2/22 — STUDENT SENATE ADDS NEW CHAIR AND SENATORS, PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR RESIGNS

Thu, 29/02/2024 - 4:30pm

Student Senate passes seven pieces of legislation amidst membership changes during session

BY ERICA MUNISAR, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

On Feb. 22, a Student Senate session was held where new senators were appointed. This followed former Presidential Advisor Zayd Hamid’s resignation, all while the Senate moved to pass seven pieces of legislation. The legislation included approval for giveaway items and Mason Student Government, or SG, hosted events such as a Kickback and a GIVE BLACK Summit.

President Paul Wyche, who serves as a non-voting Student Representative on the Board of Visitors, thanked members for attending the BOV meeting earlier in the day. Wyche also shared that a Tuition Town Hall was confirmed for March 21 at 10 a.m in the Hub Ballroom.

Former Student Presidential Advisor Zayd Hamid announced his resignation from Student Government after being in the organization since fall 2021. The full speech can be viewed below.

Hamid spoke to the environment of the chamber. “We cannot as a bipartisan organization… be a cohesive partner to the university if we are not cohesive partners to each other… We are here to serve 40,000 students to our fullest extent across organizational and institutional capacities.”

“I worked tirelessly to rebuild student governance [sic] organizational presence and reputation with student groups, administrators and other campus stakeholders… It has been a great honor to do so for the last two and a half years. And with that, I formally submit my resignation from the Student Government at George Mason University…“ Hamid said.

Sen. Gabriel Curtis was elected as Chair of the Administrative and Financial Affairs Committee uncontested and won with 22 votes in affirmation and three abstentions. Curtis shared that he has plans to contribute to a Town Hall, increase transparency on the fee committee and monitor tuition increases.

Additionally, two new senators, Sophomore Ryan Afshar and Sophomore Jack Gibson were appointed by the chamber.

“I would like to be a part of the Student Government here at George Mason because I’d like to work on a few initiatives. Some of those initiatives I am interested in doing are academic support programs, student wellness activities [and] student advocacy campaigns.” Sen. Afshar said.

“I liked the town hall [and] I would like to have more means to be involved… I want to boost your engagement and [have] an opportunity to get more people to join Student Government.” Sen. Gibson said.

The Senate moved to pass seven pieces of legislation.

B. #46 A Resolution to Support the April 11 Farmer’s Market was passed with 25 votes in the affirmation and one abstention. 

B. #30 A Bill to Amend the Code of Student Government (Fee Committee) was sent back to the Administrative and Financial Affairs Committee after 30 minutes of discussion and debate. The Bill originally intended to “To select a Student Representative on the University Fee Committee from among the members of the Administrative and Financial Affairs Committee.”

In the midst of the legislation period, nine senators left the chamber, leaving 21 senators to vote on legislation.

B. #31 A Bill To Amend The Code of Student Government (Code Bills) was passed with 20 votes in the affirmation and one abstention. “At the beginning of the academic year, the Speaker of the Senate shall identify six (6) General Body meetings as Amendment Meetings… The Speaker may change the time of an Amendment Meeting if this change occurs one month prior to the previously selected time.” The new code said.

B. #32 A Bill to Amend the Code of Student Governance (Undersecretary of Government and Community Relations) was passed with 19 votes in the affirmation and two abstentions. The code shared a job description. “The Undersecretary of Government and Community Relations for Business Relations shall be responsible for representing concerns and interests of the student body to private sector officials in the local Fairfax community, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the Washington, D.C area…”

B. #33 A Bill to Amend The Rules of the Student Senate (Volunteer Requirement) was passed with 20 votes in the affirmation and one abstention. The Bill would require all organization members to volunteer one hour a month.

B. #34 A Bill to Allocate Funds for the Presidential Discretionary Fund (GIVE BLACK Summit) was passed with 19 votes in the affirmation and one abstention. The Bill allocated funds for giveaway items such as candy, face masks, moisturizer, hair spray, hair scrunchies, PURE AROMA essential oils, sleeping bonnets and one durag among more.

R. #48 A Resolution to Support the Kickback Spring 2024 was passed with 19 votes in the affirmation and one abstention. “This event allows students to learn about the departments within Student Government and their achievements.”

B. #35 A Bill to Allocate Funds for The Kickback Spring 2024 was passed with 18 votes in the affirmation and one abstention. The Bill includes funding for items such as stickers, Dunkin Donuts, s’mores, and Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film Value Packs. 

After legislation, Wyche gave a presentation about his GIVE BLACK initiative.: “The ‘GIVE BLACK’ initiative is a collaborative effort between GMU Student Government and various student organizations representing Black, African-Heritage, and Caribbean communities. Together, we are dedicated to uplifting individuals within these communities and fostering a collective commitment to teach others the importance of giving back, both locally and globally.” The mission statement said.

The session lasted for a total of two hours and 33 minutes, beginning at 4:43 p.m and ending at 7:16 p.m. Of the 30 senators who were present during the session, 19 senators remained and continued to vote on legislation until Wyche’s presentation. Four senators were absent for the session.

RESIGNATION SPEECH: FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR ZAYD HAMID

The full speech of former Presidential Advisor Zayd Hamid’s resignation from Mason Student Government on Feb. 22

BY ZAYD HAMID, CONTRIBUTOR

Members of the Student Senate,

I recall with great frustration that qualms were raised when the last member of LEAD resigned without giving a public statement. Allow me to ensure that no such qualms are raised today as I deliver this final speech as a servant leader and member of the organization’s leadership team.

For the past two and a half years, it has been my great honor to serve within George Mason University’s Student Government. It has been a formative experience for me, a story of great triumph and, yes, great shortcomings and loss. Allow me to, at this time, share with you elements of my journey so that my hard-earned wisdom may be learned from by this organization’s proven leaders and those emerging into leadership roles now. 

Shortly after joining this organization in fall of 2021 as an elected freshman senator, I became this organization’s first-ever outreach liaison. And I carried that distinction with honor, working tirelessly to rebuild student government’s organizational presence and reputation with student groups and administrators. Many of you, particularly our younger senators, are too new to this university to remember the campus environment during the height of the pandemic. To rebuild relationships and, more importantly, build trust is an essential part of your work as senators. To represent students, you must reach them where they are; visiting student groups, yes, but also engaging in gestures as simple as having coffee with a stranger and hearing them out. 

Too often in our work, particularly as it relates to administrator relations and the sheer amount of procedure we find ourselves engrossed in, senators may become vulnerable to losing sight of the average student experience outside of this organization. A hard but necessary line is to walk between student and government; I’ve always said we, as members of student government, should be students to each other and our peers and government to administrators.

We must be agents in shared governance, yes, but we cannot forget that we are students too. We have coursework to finish, classes to attend, jobs and internships to experience and pay our bills through, and, ultimately, a degree to achieve in a timely manner. All these considerations necessitate upon us an organizational norm of grace, empathy, and camaraderie that burgeons to be cultivated. And, yes, that type of culture requires a commitment to being socialized accordingly and developing behaviors that support the perpetuation of those norms. ​

Student Government being students to each other covered, I move to the matter of shared governance. Speaking administratively, we cannot as a bipartisan organization construed with present dynamics effectively be a cohesive partner to the university if we are not cohesive partners with each other. That extends to the relationship between senators internally, yes, but it also manifests as a matter of senatorial relations to the Executive Cabinet both institutionally and interpersonally. And I can speak from experience there, having served as a leader of both branches. 

And I could choose to continue this speech by enumerating the accomplishments of that leadership; co-planning Mason Lobbies for three years, facilitating passage of over two dozen courses and two curricular framework changes as student representative on the organizing two tuition town halls, creating a formal mentorship program, etc. But I will not spend any more time on that. Instead, I will use the remainder of my time to impart the wisdom I have learned in these two and a half years of servant leadership. 

Accomplishment is derived from merit. To be in the meeting rooms you want to be in requires the continual, steadfast accumulation of merit in the eyes of changemakers. It is not enough to simply demand representation; you must strive to make the benefits of student representation so self-evident that it cannot be denied. And that is done through the skillful art of strategic diplomacy; know when you must be the carrot and know when you must be the stick. Know when you must work with administration and with the system and know when you must work with students and without the system. And, most of all, know this: you can learn from everyone, but you must be selective and cautious with whom you choose to be guided by. Keep your head clear and your resolve strong and the rest will come. 

We are here to serve 40,000 students to our fullest extent across organizational and institutional capacities. It has been an honor to do so for the last two-and-a-half years. And, with that, I formally submit my resignation from the Student Government of George Mason University effective at the end of today’s Cabinet.

MASON NOTCHES SENIOR DAY VICTORY AGAINST RICHMOND

Tue, 27/02/2024 - 1:07am

Fourth Estate/Jordan Giles

Seniors led the way for the Patriots in a big win

BY GABRIEL KING, SPORTS EDITOR

Mason women’s basketball defeated Richmond 82-76 in overtime on Saturday at EagleBank Arena. In a matchup of the two of the A-10’s top teams, the Patriots (22-5, 13-3 Atlantic 10) prevailed to keep their title hopes alive. 

“This was a really good game for us to bounce back from the last two weeks. We’ve been inundated with injuries and sickness, it was just really good to be full-steam ahead today,” Head Coach Vanessa Blair-Lewis said. The Patriots were led by 23 points from Senior Sonia Smith and a season-high 19 from Senior Taylor Jameson.

“I feel like in this situation, we’ve been waiting for Richmond. We were prepared and we were ready to take the opportunity,” Jameson said. The Patriots are now one game back of the Spiders (24-5, 14-2) in the Atlantic 10 standings.

Mason led for over 34 minutes, but Richmond rallied to take a two-point lead with 1:10 remaining. Smith then hit two free throws to tie the game, and the Spiders failed to win the game on their final possession of regulation. The Patriots outscored the Spiders 14-8 in overtime behind back-to-back 3-pointers from Ta’Viyanna Habib.

“You want to have these gut-out wins at the end of the season like this,” Blair-Lewis said. The Patriots have now won three consecutive games, all coming by single digits. In all three games, Mason rallied from fourth quarter deficits to win. 

Jameson cemented herself in the Mason record books with her performance. The senior guard scored her 1,000th career point for the Patriots and moved up to 10th in program history for 3-point field goals. “It’s definitely a full-circle moment,” Jameson said. “Just being part of a legacy, being part of the history of this program. It means the world.”

Richmond was led by 20 points from Maggie Doogan and 16 from Grace Townsend. The Spiders committed 18 turnovers, including three in overtime, which proved costly.

The win moved the Patriots into a three-way tie for third place in A-10 with Duquesne and VCU. Mason holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over both teams. Richmond fell back into a tie with Saint Joseph’s for the conference lead. All five teams are separated by just one game with one week remaining in the regular season.

Mason will play its final home game against Dayton on Wednesday. The Patriots will then travel to VCU on Mar. 2 to close out the regular season. Mason can secure a double bye in the A-10 Tournament with two wins.

“I feel like we have a very great chance of getting two byes. I think we will get two byes if we keep playing how we should. So it’s very motivational to win at the end of the day,” Smith said. “That’s our motivation to keep pushing through teams [and] keep beating them.”

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS INITIATIVE PROMOTES CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Tue, 27/02/2024 - 12:58am

Fourth Estate/Viviana Smith

The Know Your Rights initiative was introduced by Griffin Crouch, the Chair of the Academics Committee in the Student Senate, in hopes to foster a more informed and engaged campus community

BY ALI ALI 

In his first semester at Mason, Freshman Griffin Crouch joined Mason Student Government in an effort to make a difference for the student body. He served as Secretary between October 2023 and January 2024, where he aided Clerk Austin Emery. On Jan. 25, Crouch was elected as Chair of the Academics Committee. “I am still getting used to the role but excited for the months and initiatives ahead,” said Crouch.

In fall 2023, Crouch initiated the “Know Your Rights” campaign, inspired by observing various protests taking place on campus. Crouch shared that an uneven playing field, characterized by a lack of awareness of rights, rules and resources could lead to heightened tensions on campus. 

The initiative, which was passed on Nov. 30, 2023, aims to provide students with a comprehensive guide to their rights, Mason’s rules, and other protest related. The guide itself has been published on the Student Government website. It simplifies university policies on public demonstrations and free speech, outlines the limits of rules concerning First Amendment rights and directs students to appropriate channels if they feel unjustly treated. It also educates students on the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel.

The Guide starts off with a note on Mason’s Notes, which states: “This campaign intends to ensure a level playing field for everyone at Mason, by spreading awareness about rules protest and rallies for students, members of the general public and faculty.” The flier shows protesters the limitations they must adhere to, which include Sound , Space, Poster and General Public Policies.

While the promotional phase is set to conclude in February, Crouch sees improvements to address concerns on campus. Plans include emphasizing all First Amendment rights, incorporating specifics regarding new University policies and responding to student feedback to enhance the guide.

The guide mentions resources available to students which includes forms and contacts provided to them by the university. First, an Incident Reporting Form can be filled out by a protester in an event of a violation of constitutionally-protected speech. Once the protester either completes the form or a Bias Incident Reporting Form, which itself can be reported after an act of “intolerance, hate, harassment, or exclusion” is found, then they are contacted by campus resources for further assistance.

Crouch shared his thoughts on the recent policy change requiring students to present identification if covering their faces, particularly in protest situations. “I think it’s a good sign that all the Mason policy requires is that someone with a face covering needs to show identification only to an authorized Mason employee,” Crouch said. “That means their identities won’t be found out by anyone trying to dox them, as has happened elsewhere.” 

The Know Your Rights initiative is an effort to ensure that Mason students are well-informed and able to safely participate in civic engagement on campus. “Don’t be afraid to exercise your First Amendment free speech, always try to be civil and respectful, and Know Your Rights,” Crouch said. “Hopefully, constant improvement of the guide will outlast me and become a permanent part of how Student Government helps the Mason community.”

MASON SHOCKS NO. 16 DAYTON FOR HISTORIC WIN

Fri, 23/02/2024 - 4:53pm

Fourth Estate/Mitchell Richtmyre

The Patriots picked up a signature win in thrilling fashion

BY GABRIEL KING, SPORTS EDITOR

Mason men’s basketball upset No. 16 Dayton 71-67 on Wednesday night for its third straight victory. The Patriots (18-8, 7-6 Atlantic 10) used a 19-0 second half run to stun the Flyers (21-5, 11-3). 

The victory is Mason’s highest-ranked win since the Patriots defeated No. 2 Connecticut in the 2006 Elite Eight. “That’s a big-time win for George Mason basketball. I’m proud of these guys,” Head Coach Tony Skinn said. After shooting 33.3% in the first half, the Patriots shot 70.6% and outscored the Flyers 44-34 in the second half.

Freshman guard Baraka Okojie led the Patriots with 19 points, all in the second half, shooting 9-9 from the free-throw line. Okojie sealed the victory with two free throws after Dayton cut Mason’s lead to two with 18 seconds remaining. “To be able to go down and just knock down 9-9 at the free-throw line … That’s ballgame right there,” Skinn said.

Fourth Estate/Mitchell Richtmyre

Despite the return of Darius Maddox, Okojie started his third consecutive game for the Patriots. The freshman erupted in the second half after a quiet first half, which propelled Mason to a monumental win. “I came out in the second half and just decided to attack their defense,” Okojie said.

The Patriots outrebounded the Flyers 33-27, led by six rebounds from Keyshawn Hall. “We just had to make sure we had our technique right for our defense. Closing out the right way and boxing out,” Hall said. Hall also scored 17 points and shot 9-10 from the free-throw line. 

Mason fed off the energy from a raucous crowd throughout the game. “It was amazing. I feel like this is the best game of the year for us. I love the fans,” Hall said. The victory is the Patriots’ first home win against a nationally-ranked opponent in program history.

Fourth Estate/Mitchell Richtmyre

Dayton was led by 26 points from All-American candidate DaRon Holmes II. Holmes shot 8-15 from the field and 2-4 on 3-pointers, but was the only Flyer to score in double figures.

With the win, the Patriots now sit in sixth place in the Atlantic 10. Mason is two games back of VCU for fourth place in the conference. Dayton fell out of first place with the loss, as the Flyers now sit in third behind Richmond and Loyola Chicago.

Following their historic victory, the Patriots will look to carry the momentum into the final five regular season games. “This is what the standard needs to be… The belief is there. And now we’ve just got to be able to flip the page and keep that rolling,” Skinn said.

Mason will begin a two-game road stretch against Loyola Chicago on Saturday. The Patriots lost to the Ramblers in Fairfax on Feb. 7. Mason will then travel to the Bronx to play Fordham on Feb. 27.

MASON WEEKLY CRIME LOG

Sun, 18/02/2024 - 11:17pm

The Fourth Estate

BY ALI ALI, NEWS EDITOR

Sunday, Feb. 4

No incident(s) to report.

Monday, Feb. 5. – Lot K, The HUB Mail Room

Case 24-001378/Theft of Vehicle: Complainant (GMU) reported the theft of property from an unsecured vehicle. (Location: Lot K)

Case 24-001373/Theft from Building: Complainant (GMU) reported the theft of unattended property from an unsecure area. (Location: The HUB Mail Room)

Tuesday, Feb. 6 – Lot A, Arlington Campus

Case 24-001429/Simple Assault/Intimidation:. Complainant (GMU) reported involving multiple Subjects. (Location: Lot A)

Case 24-001400/Credit Card Fraud/Theft from Building: Complainant (GMU) reported unauthorized charges on stolen credit card. (Location: Arlington Campus)

Wednesday, Feb. 7

Case 24-001451/Stalking/Use of profane, threatening, or indecent language over public airways or by other methods: Complainant (GMU) reported receiving unwanted contact from an unknown Subject. (Location: Hylton Performing Arts Center, Sci-Tech Campus)

Thursday, Feb. 8

Case 24-001518/Trespassing/Warrant Service: Subject (GMU) was issued a releasable summons for violating a previously issued criminal trespass notice. (Location: Van Metre Hall, Mason Square)

Case 24-001515/Hit and Run/Damage/Destruction/Vandalism of Property: Complainant (GMU) reported a hit and run of a vehicle. (Location: Rappahannock Parking Deck)

Case 24-001515/Hit and Run/Damage/Destruction/Vandalism of Property: Complainant (GMU) reported a hit and run of a vehicle. (Location: Shenandoah Park Deck)

Case #24-001489/Drunkenness: Subject (Non-GMU) was arrested and transported to Fairfax County Adult Detention Center for being highly intoxicated in public. (Location: George Mason Boulevard)

Friday, Feb 9

Case 24-001561/Drunkenness/Disorderly Conduct: Subject (Non-GMU) was arrested and transported to Fairfax County Adult Detention Center for being highly intoxicated in public. (Location: CUE Bus Stop)

Saturday, Feb. 10th

Case 24-001604/Theft From Building: Complainant (GMU) reported the theft of property from an unsecured location. (Location: DeLaski Performing Arts)

Case 24-001598/Use of profane, threatening, or indecent language over public airways or by other methods: Complainant (GMU) reported receiving unwanted contact from an unknown Subject. (Location: Johnson Center Bookstore)

Case 24-001595/Theft From Building: Complainant (GMU) reported the theft of property from an unsecured location. (Location: Johnson Center)

Case 24-001579/Liquor Law Violations: Subject (GMU) was referred to Office of Student Conduct (OSC) for possessing alcohol while under age 21. (Location: Patriot Circle/Shenandoah River Lane)

Case 24-001574/Liquor Law Violations/Medical Assist: Subject (GMU) was referred to Office of Student Conduct (OSC) for possessing alcohol while under age 21. (Location: Potomac Heights)

This information was retrieved from the George Mason University Department of Police and Public Safety Daily Crime and Fire Log.