Articles by: news

  • Where is God?: Interfaith conference hosts dialogue over suffering

    News1 April 12, 2010 at 12:18 pm Comments are Disabled

    By Reuben Jones, Broadside Correspondent On Jan. 12 of this year, close to 200,000 people lost their lives in an earthquake in Haiti. Another 400 people died in February in an earthquake in Chile. And early last week, four people were gunned down in southern Washington, D.C. These examples of human suffering this year provided a backdrop for an on-campus discussion about the existence of a devine being. Over 100 people showed up last Wednesday to attend the Interfaith Conference called “If God exists, then why is there suffering?” The conference was sponsored by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Student Association (AMSA). Five speakers spoke on behalf of their religions and then took questions from the audience. The religions represented in the panel were Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Atheism. The topic of religion can sometimes lead to heated debates and even violence. This conference, however, was a chance for each religion to express their viewpoints while having a lively discussion between panelists and audience members. Each speaker was given 15 minutes to speak about their religion and to respond to the question of God’s existence in spite of human suffering. “I think in terms of what makes sense and what doesn’t […]

  • How not to buy a car: Communication class teams up with local non-profit to create seminar

    News1 April 12, 2010 at 12:16 pm Comments are Disabled

    By Genevieve Timpone, Broadside Correspondent As a part of their course assignment for the semester, a group of students from COMM 330: Principles of Public Relations has been working with Legal Services of Northern Virginia. LSNV is a nonprofit organization that provides free, high quality, civil legal services to the indigent, elderly and disabled; the organization also provides free educational lectures to students. Working with LSNV, the group of students has organized an event for George Mason University students, faculty and staff, titled “How Not to Buy a Car.” The event will be presented by Q. Russell Hatchl, Esq., attorney for LSNV. The lecture will give audience members a different perspective on how to finance a car. Hatchl will discuss what to be cautious of when taking out a car loan in order to avoid bad credit. Communication major Susanna Joseph, a member of the COMM 330 group said, “The most important issue is how to prepare ourselves to deal with the car salesman, his or her arsenal of salesmanship, what their real interest is and how to promote our interest to get a decent deal. Just like in any other situation in life, it is mandatory to know our […]

  • Somalian cultural night a success: Student association hosted an evening of food, fun and fashion

    News1 April 12, 2010 at 12:11 pm Comments are Disabled

    By Yasmin Tadjdeh, News Editor Students participating in last week’s International Week were treated to culture that not many students know: The Culture of the Horn. On Wednesday, the Eritrean and Somali Student Association hosted their cultural night in the Johnson Center’s Bistro. The night, which featured poetry, traditional foods, student presentations, song performances and a fashion show, was created to showcase the unique culture of the Horn of Africa. “[We hosted the event] to allow everyone to experience the diverse cultures of the Horn of Africa,” said Abdifatah Sh-Ibrahim, the vice president of the Somali Student Association. “Our goal is to . . . highlight each other’s cultures . . . and to show that unity is possible.” “Among the Mason community we want to break the stereotype that the Horn is simply a conflict ridden part of the world,” said Sh-Ibrahim. “ Ultimately, we wanted to celebrate and showcase our cultures.” One of the highlights of the evening was the fashion show. Yasmin Mahmoud-Mirreh, a sophomore global affairs major and participator in the fashion show, said “The girls wear the traditional dress, [which consists of] three parts: a scarf, a dress and a skirt . . . [The […]

  • ‘Culture on the Lawn’: Groups participate in celebration in Presidents Park

    News1 April 12, 2010 at 12:09 pm Comments are Disabled

    By Yuri Svjagintsev, Broadside Correspondent Braving unusually chilly temperatures and wind last Friday, students participating in International Week celebrated Culture on the Lawn in Presidents Park to enjoy an evening of international food, dance and festivities. Multiple clubs took part in the event, including the Somali Student Organization, the French Students Organization and the Kurdistan Student Organization, among others. According to organizer Allie Dailey, a junior global affairs major, “The purpose of this event was for students to come out and share their culture.” Culture on the Lawn was also celebrated during last year’s International week, but “there was the addition of swing dancing as well as an Ultimate Frisbee match,” Dailey said. Micah Pasquarell, a senior majoring in conflict analysis and resolution, said that there would also be a performance by the Capoeira dance troupe. Capoeira is a Brazilian dance that incorporates African rhythm and martial arts moves into a fusion style of dance. The event, which resembled a tailgate, featured free food brought by other event-goers. Students were even treated to kabobs by the KSO. “It was a lot of fun,” said Behar Godani, a graduate student in political science. “The dance competition was definitely the most competitive.” […]

  • Cultural Fusion moves to Prince William: Field day festival switches campuses

    News1 April 5, 2010 at 12:45 pm Comments are Disabled

    By Alyse Knorr, Broadside Correspondent On Tuesday, April 6, George Mason University’s Cultural Fusion Field Day will move to the Prince William campus for the first time in its two-year history. The Field Day takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the volleyball court near the athletic center. “It’s a celebration of cultures through music, through food, through games,” said Charvis Campbell, assistant dean of university life at Prince William. “It’s really a good way to celebrate and appreciate the different cultures that our students, faculty and staff come from.” Activities at the event will include pick-up games of soccer, Kabadi (a team contact sport from India), volleyball and ping pong. The event will also feature a Math Across the Cultures tent, a tent dedicated to Irish history and culture, a giant chess board and free food. For those interested in Hinduism and arithmetic, a Vedic math demo and workshop, in which participants can make an abacus, will take place at 11:30 a.m. Also, a steel pan music performance and workshop will begin at 12:15 p.m. Professional university photographers will be on hand in the Global Corner Photobooth to take pictures of participants wearing different styles of cultural […]

  • International Week commences: Groups showcase their cultures

    News1 April 5, 2010 at 12:42 pm Comments are Disabled

    By Yuri Svjagintsev, Broadside Correspondent George Mason University’s Office of International Affairs will be hosting its annual International Week this week to celebrate the university’s laudable diversity and the attraction it holds for students from every corner of the globe. According to the Office of International Affairs’ website, International Week is intended “to celebrate the presence of the university’s international and multicultural student population. For immigrant students, International Week at Mason provides an opportunity to share their cultural heritages.” During the week, more than 20 campus associations that are tied to a particular culture will be involved in the celebration, such as the Persian Student Association and the Hispanic Student Association. Marina Casciano, a graduate student in public administration and former president of the International Association said, “International Week is a very important event for raising awareness among the student body. Unfortunately, in the past it was not marketed enough.” This year may be different, as the Johnson Center will be decked out in flags from across the world and participating student organizations will offer various activities. “The Russian Club will showcase poetry readings and cultural artifacts celebrating Russia’s rich literary and artistic culture,” said Tatyana Gontscharow, the president of […]

  • Students celebrate Islam Awareness Week: Muslim Student Association hosts events to counter misconceptions about the religion

    News1 April 5, 2010 at 12:40 pm Comments are Disabled

    By Sarah Albani & Risham Tariq, Broadside Correspondents Last week, the walls of the Johnson Center Gallery 123 were adorned with Arabic calligraphy, Islamic architecture and embroidered verses from the Qur’an to mark the start of Islam Awareness Week (IAW). As the largest event held by the Muslim Student Association nationally, IAW aims to “introduce Islam on a unified platform to all university and college campuses,” according to the MSA National website. “People have a lot of misunderstandings but are interested in learning more about Islam,” said Muhammad Elsayed, a senior administration of justice major. It was with the chief aim of enlightening the non-Muslim community that last week’s events took place. However, despite the non-Muslim target audience, IAW works to educate Muslims as well. “The best way to learn is to teach,” said Hamna Riaz, junior chemistry major and active MSA member. “One of the ways I’ve learned more about my faith and developed . . . spiritually, has been through telling people about my faith.” The MSA commenced the week of events on Monday, March 29 with a screening of the documentary Islam: An American Faith. This was followed by a question-and-answer panel session, during which time three […]

  • Mason hosts Health and Fitness Expo: Students challenged to get fit and stay healthy

    News1 April 5, 2010 at 12:37 pm Comments are Disabled

    By Matthew Harrison, Broadside Correspondent Just in time for spring and summer, University Life hosted its 14th annual Health and Fitness Expo in Dewberry Hall on Thursday, April 1. The expo provided a large amount of information pertaining to nutrition, exercise, stress management and more. The event also featured demonstrations, healthy exercise activities, student health challenges and screenings for things such as bone density and blood pressure for students, staff and faculty. “There are so many indications that we are trying to be healthy,” said Carol Filak, an administrative director at Student Health Services. The event involved more departments than any other campus event this year, and students were happy to help. “We have about 70 vendors, and 50 student volunteers [who] helped organize this event,” said Filak. “We are trying to give as much information about healthy life styles [as we can].” With spring in full swing, and summer just around the bend, getting in shape for the beach and pool is a top priority for some students. “Mason has three fitness facilities that help create a healthier campus,” said Masooma Munir, a junior health, fitness and recreation resources major and volunteer at the expo. Students these days are […]

  • Patriot Web revamped: System undergoes major overhaul

    News1 April 5, 2010 at 12:32 pm Comments are Disabled

    By Rashad Mulla, Broadside Correspondent Patriot Web is undergoing a massive database and software upgrade that will keep the system down until Wednesday, April 7. Thomas Shifflett, director of ITU database application services, said the upgrade, which began Friday, April 2, is aimed at improving system performance and providing thorough maintenance. Notices will be sent on Wednesday afternoon when the system is available for use, according to Shifflett. During the outage, Patriot Web will be unavailable, and a host of other related systems, such as Blackboard, will have accessibility restrictions. Blackboard itself will be available for student and faculty use, Shifflett said, but course and enrollment data was frozen on Friday afternoon. The upgrades are expected to be completed a week before class registration begins. Graduate students, the first group eligible for class registration, may begin signing up on April 13. Summer class registration, which began on March 15, will be frozen during the upgrade. Beginning at 8 a.m. today, a copy of the new PatriotWeb will be up for viewing only, allowing students to look at the class schedule, but no account actions within the system, such as registering for or dropping classes, will be saved. Any information entered […]

  • Circus protesters claim GMU police injustice: Participants inhibited by barricades and police tape

    News1 April 5, 2010 at 12:23 pm Comments are Disabled

    By Yasmin Tadjdeh, News Editor Over the last two weeks, protesters have gathered around the Patriot Center to rally against the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for alleged animal cruelty of their circus animals. However, according to some protesters, George Mason University police have been unfairly targeting them and inhibiting their protests. Through police barricades and caution tape, protesters claim that the Mason police force has been infringing on their right to protest by keeping them away from the public. “This year when we arrived on campus, there were metal barricades put in place at the top of the steps that lead down from the corner of Roanoke Road and Po River Lane,” said Lisa Qualls, a protester at the event and a volunteer with the local Washington, D.C. based animal’s rights group, Compassion 4 Animals. “Last year, that had been our main protest spot.” “We were told that the barricades were placed there because, in the past, children were looking over [their] shoulders at us and could have fallen down the steps,” said Qualls. “The next time we came back, we were told we had to stay outside of the barricades,” said Qualls.“This made it very difficult […]