Articles by: Colleen Wilson

  • Mason-Insecure: An investigation into wireless problems at Mason

    News1 February 4, 2013 at 12:52 pm Comments are Disabled

    What’s the problem? In the last few weeks of fall semester and the first few weeks of spring, there was an influx of complaints through the #GMUProblems hashtag and Twitter handle complaining about the wireless internet connection. Students are having difficulty connecting to and staying connected to the WiFi offered in the dorm rooms across campus, which can make completing homework and accessing Blackboard difficult. Slow WiFi in the dorms is caused a tragedy of the commons. Each access point only has so much bandwith to distribute and the more students who are using the service, the slower the internet. There are a few commonly diagnosed reasons for problems with Mason-Secure. What are the causes? Distance from wireless antenna: The closer you are to an access point, the stronger the signal to your device. Increased distance can also lead to possible interference sources. Interference: Radio frequencies from other devices such as a microwave could interrupt your connection. Conflicting Wifi signals: If your device is competing with a personal hot spot, an incorrectly configured computer, a non-Mason supported access point or a wireless printer, it may have trouble connecting. Expired passwords: Reset your PatriotPass on While passwords will still work […]

  • The life and times of Nobel Laureate James Buchanan

    The life and times of Nobel Laureate James Buchanan

    Featured, News1 February 4, 2013 at 12:50 pm Comments are Disabled

    Modest, intelligent and hardworking, are just three adjectives that President Emeritus Alan Merten believes would describe George Mason University’s first Nobel Prize winner, Dr. James (Jim) Buchanan. On Jan. 9, the former professor of economics, Buchanan, passed away at the age of 93 in his home in Blacksburg, Va. Dr. Merten believes that Dr. Buchanan’s accomplishment with his Center for the Study of Public Choice and eventual Nobel Prize in economics helped Mason become the university it is today. “Fourteen years after [the university] was started up it had a Nobel Prize winner,” Dr. Merten said. “Without Jim, George Mason just would not be what it is.” Buchanan’s work is often times attributed with putting the young George Mason University on the map. “The history of George Mason is one of continual progress and continual advancement, always moving forward. There are four things in the life of George Mason that catapulted it up another dimension. The first one is in 1986, when Jim Buchanan won the Nobel Prize in economics,” Merten said. Merten was not the only university president who believed that Buchanan and his team’s accomplishments were instrumental in the success of George Mason University. President Emeritus George W. […]

  • Relationship Status: It’s Complicated

    Editorials January 29, 2013 at 9:10 pm Comments are Disabled

    If I were in a relationship with George Mason University, I’d consider breaking up. Yes, I love Mason and we’ve been together for two and a half years now, but something is lacking. The most important factor in any relationship, whether it is romantic, platonic or professional, is communication and Mason and I just can’t seem to get on the same level. Both as an editor at the newspaper and a student, I often feel as though I’m out of touch with what goes on at the Fairfax campus, not to mention the comings and goings of Prince William and Arlington. I cannot even count the number of times I have heard music blasting from the Johnson Center, only to stumble upon a huge event that I had not heard even a whisper of. If it’s difficult for me, I can’t even begin to think how commuter and off-campus students feel. The worst is when I get an email time-stamped after the start time of an event or past the deadline for an internship. Thanks for the descriptive paragraph that piques my interest for something that no longer exists, Mason. As the new editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, the problems […]

  • Everything the sixth man missed over break

    Sports January 29, 2013 at 8:57 pm Comments are Disabled

    Men’s basketball With the absence of their sixth man behind them, Mason seemed to struggle slightly over the winter break. They went 4-3 during the break with two of the losses being in conference games. With two wins since students have returned against Hofstra and Towson, the Patriots are now 5-2 in conference and 12-7 overall. The team seems to still be settling into a rhythm. Many losses can be attributed to the Patriots’ foul trouble. In the game against the University of South Florida, Mason closed the gap to just a two-point deficit, but gave up four free throws late in the second half. They fell to USF 57‒61. The same scenario was seen when the Patriots made it to 80‒74, then gave up another four free throws in the final seconds of the game. The Patriots seemed to be hit or miss for a while with losses, and then winning games by ten or more points.  They also had their first blow out of the season against Old Dominion ending the game at 71‒46. Many believe that Mason have found their offensive footing with their win against Towson. Bryon Allen replaced Anali Okoloji in the starting lineup and […]

  • Healthy new talent key for women’s tennis

    Sports January 29, 2013 at 8:54 pm Comments are Disabled

    With a new semester comes a new season for Mason athletics. The women’s tennis team kicks off their season with matches against Appalachian State University and James Madison University. While injuries have plagued the team,  they have been working hard over break  focusing on ways to stay healthy. With a packed schedule from February to April and multiple matches every weekend, staying healthy and coming out strong will be key in making it far in their season and show that they are contenders in the competitive CAA conference. With the leadership of Coach Stephen Curtis and Senior Captain Kiersten Pappas, this experienced and talented team looks to beat tough competitors such as The United States Naval Academy, University of Delaware and George Washington University in the season.  Mason has held well against them before but look to further improve, “We have an excellent team with an impressive freshman class,” Pappas said, “In the fall season they overcame their nervousness and stepped up. And I know that we will come out strong against tough teams and show that we are a force to be reckoned with”. Despite the girls’ talent and hard work, the road has not been easy. Pappas only […]

  • Iron Mason

    Sports January 29, 2013 at 8:53 pm Comments are Disabled

    Triathlons are a triumvirate of physical fitness, an ultimate test of endurance. While not everyone can get in the shape necessary to bike, swim and run long distances in one day, Mason Recreation has created an incentive program called the Iron Mason to challenge students to complete a triathlon over a three month period. The face and founder of the competition is Ethan “Mr. C” Carter, the Director of Fitness for Mason Recreation. Carter has created a series of YouTube videos as Mr. C, a celebrity within the fitness community who claims to be the fittest of them all. “We wanted to think of something to encourage physical fitness and get people active. This competition also has longevity and encourages competition,” Carter said. Starting Feb. 9, competitors will record their gym activity on log sheets as they race to finish before the final deadline of May 4. The program comes with several levels of difficulty and may be finished early for additional prizes and recognition. The standard Olympic Mason requires 2.5 miles of swimming, 75 miles of biking and 25 miles of running. For more intense competitors, the Ultimate Mason challenge requires 5 miles of swimming, 150 miles of biking […]

  • Concerns about safety hinder club rugby recruitment efforts

    Sports January 29, 2013 at 8:52 pm Comments are Disabled

    The Men’s Rugby team is the oldest club sport at Mason, dating all the way back to 1965. Over most of those years the Rugby team  has had a very strong program. Currently the team is displaying that success again after a few rough years of redevelopment. “We’re on our way back up,” Club President Zander Shaw said. Two years ago the team did not win a single game, with some improvement last year. This fall season however, they shut out every home game and went undefeated for eight games before losing a tough  away match against Salisbury University. Shaw accredits the team’s successes to the brotherhood the group has formed over the past three years. “We’ve grown from spending all these years together and working hard at practice, but that’s one reason why we need freshmen; new blood to keep us alive,” Shaw said. The team is steadily growing but suffers from commitment issues at practice and tournaments. When  a few players can only make one practice a week and every other game it is difficult to improve and connect to the rest of the group. Understanding the commitment issue is key to long term improvement of club sports, […]

  • JC Cinema Shows Golden Globe Winning Argo

    Editorials, Lifestyle January 29, 2013 at 8:51 pm Comments are Disabled

    The Johnson Center is screening a highly praised film, Argo, from Jan. 26 to Feb. 2. Tickets are free with a Mason ID, $1 for faculty and $3 general admission. Ben Affleck directs and stars in the thriller about the 1980 joint CIA-Canadian secret operation to extract six American diplomatic personnel out of revolutionary Iran (IMDb). The movie times are either 6 p.m. or 9 p.m. Many moviegoers have admired the film, including revered film critic Roger Ebert, who awarded it the Best Picture of the Year. Along with Ebert’s award, it also won the Best Motion Picture-Drama at the Golden Globes and was nominated for Best Picture in the Academy Awards. I saw the film on its first weekend and fell in love with it, along with the rest of America.  It is a great story that delves deep into how the mission is executed and the conflicts that occur for the CIA in orchestrating the mission, as well as the diplomats in Iran who struggle to stay alive. The film has its historical flaws. For example, demonizing the British for turning away the America Personnel. In reality the British actually housed the six Americans but believed that the […]

  • Miss Black GMU Raises Awareness

    Lifestyle January 29, 2013 at 8:50 pm Comments are Disabled

    February is not only a month dedicated to love, but it is a month dedicated to history. And to kick off Black History Month at Mason, there will be events upon events, including the anticipated 2013 Miss Black GMU Pageant. The Miss Black GMU Pageant hasn’t always been just a women’s pageant – students may remember previous years at Mason when there was the Mr. and Miss Black GMU Pageant. However, this year Mason’s trying out something new by having the pageant for women and focusing on the importance of scholarship, community service, philanthropy and academic excellence. “The contestants can benefit from competing in several ways,” explained Canesha Swift, Director of the Miss Black GMU Pageant. “[The contestants] will be raising awareness about issues at Mason during their pageant platform; they can be acknowledged by the community for leadership and academic excellence; this could be a stepping stone for some students to expand their network and become a student leader; and winning this title is a great opportunity to be at the forefront of uniting the black community and Mason at large.” The 2013 Miss Black GMU Pageant will continue to recognize leadership and excellence to further each contestant’s goal […]

  • Returning to Mason Alumna Rita Donahue has a successful dancing career with Mark Morris Dance Group

    Lifestyle January 29, 2013 at 8:49 pm Comments are Disabled

    Rita Donahue first saw the Mark Morris Dance Group, and a glimpse of her future, when she was in high school. The group was performing at the Center for the Arts, and returns often on tours. As an undergrad studying English and dance at Mason, Donahue had the chance to perform a piece with the student dance company and be coached by Morris himself. Almost ten years later, Donahue is returning to Mason as a member of the company herself to perform at the Center for the Arts on Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. “I’m not sure if I would have pursued a career in dance if I hadn’t gone through the dance program at Mason,” Donahue said. “It was great experience that taught me discipline. And it was was a lot of fun. You can certainly find work as a dancer with some hard work.” Another member of the dance group, Billy Smith, is also a Mason alumnus. Donahue remembers coming to Mason to perform with the Mark Morris Dance Group and seeing Smith perform as a student. For half of the year the group is on the road, touring across the country […]