• (Courtesy of Blackboard Inc.)

    MyMason to update Blackboard for summer 2013

    Featured, News March 24, 2013 at 11:40 pm Comments are Disabled

    As the Class of 2013 walks across the stage at the Patriot Center on May 18, the information technology department will be busy rolling out new changes to Mason’s online learning management system, Blackboard. “We are going to release it right after the spring semester, so actually during graduation. Summer classes start that Monday and we would like to have it available then,” said Joseph Balducci, manager of online learning resources. These changes will dramatically affect the look of Blackboard, while adding and refining the services it provides. The new Blackboard, which can be viewed in a video available on Mason’s courses support website, moves away from the blocky layout full of unused modules and toward a more streamlined website that encourages interconnectedness and sharing between students and teachers. Balducci estimated that 50 percent of classrooms currently use Blackboard. “Obviously, there are distance learning classes that are only online, so they use it more. Then, your traditional classes, many of them, use Blackboard as well, just not as much,” Balducci said.   Blackboard’s new format is intended to increase classroom involvement through a few key improvements. “Right now, you have to go into each individual course to get information,” Balducci […]

  • Single-Mindedness and Religion in the JC

    Editorials, Featured March 24, 2013 at 11:22 pm 1 comment

    Every week there is at least one time – where I walk thought the JC in the early afternoon on weekdays, and there is at least one kiosk that, in some way or another, talks about SOME kind of Christian denomination (or Christian organization on campus) or another. Whether it’s the ‘Lutheran Campus Ministry,’ the ‘One God, One Message’ group, the ‘Tuesday Night Encounter’ group, or, more recently, the group with the sign that says, “What does the Bible really say?” I respect their right to free speech and the freedom to practice their religion, however there’s one problem in how they got to where they are: they don’t read their religious texts with an open mind. If anything, they’re biased toward the faith they call true. I’m not saying these people are necessarily wrong, but when it comes to promoting religion, it seems like they give don’t give a fair shot to both Christianity and whatever religion they are trying to get people to leave. I’ve spoken with several of these Christian organizations, and I can tell that they don’t give other religions enough open-minded thought or consideration. Pretty much every religious person is guilty of that to some degree […]

  • Photo of the week: Baby, it’s cold outside

    Photo of the week: Baby, it’s cold outside

    Featured, Multimedia March 24, 2013 at 11:16 pm Comments are Disabled

    Broadside is opening up photo of the week for submissions. We are looking for dynamic, engaging, quality photos. Please submit to eic@broadsideonline.com.


    Heavyweight wrestler represents Mason at NCAA

    Featured, Sports March 24, 2013 at 11:12 pm Comments are Disabled

    Two losses ended sophomore heavyweight Jake Kettler’s long trip to the NCAA tournament. In the preliminary round Kettler lost to Indiana University’s Adam Chalfant. This moved him to the consolation bracket, which pitted him against Dan Scherer from Stanford University. “It was tough. I had a plan and stuck to it mostly but I just had some lapses,” said Kettler about his first round loss. “I was wrestling hard. It wasn’t a lack of effort. It just came down to me not knowing some positions and some little mistakes, which ended up having a big impact on the match.” Kettler has come a long way this year, along with the Mason team as a whole. However, he was the only member of the team that qualified for the NCAA. On March 13, while most students were relaxing over their spring break, Kettler was getting anxious about his qualification. “I planned on qualifying from once I started college wrestling, and I was certain I was going to get in because I’ve put in a lot of work. But it was stressful not knowing,” Kettler said. “I have been here for three years as a spectator and now I’ve been seeing a lot […]

  • (Evan Cantwell/Creative Services)

    Dance Gala provides opportunity for Mason dancers

    Featured, Lifestyle March 24, 2013 at 11:01 pm Comments are Disabled

    There’s more to the annual Mason Dance Gala than the audience can see. This year, the show featured five pieces, all choreographed by guest artists from various dance companies. Each piece had a personality and style of its own, leading the dancers to choose their favorite pieces to perform. “The gala has showed me ways of moving that I never thought I could do, especially the Petronio piece,” said Julie DeGregorio, who is the senior vice president of the Mason Dance Company and performed in three of the pieces. “I watched the video before we had the audition, and I was like, there’s no way I can move like that. It was something about the slicing through air and release of the neck and head that I fell in love with.” Though it was the third Gala DeGregorio was performing in, there was no denying how much she gained from the experience. “It’s professional work instead of student choreographed. So it’s an honor to be chosen to do work by companies. I’ve made a lot of connections through these pieces,” DeGregorio said. Celine Berthaud, a junior who appeared in three of the pieces, agreed with DeGregorio on the greatly positive […]

  • Students for Life sponsor non-profit A Best Choice

    Students for Life sponsor non-profit A Best Choice

    Featured, News March 24, 2013 at 10:47 pm Comments are Disabled

    Every other Wednesday, an unmarked camper RV is parked out front of Southside with a sign that advertises pregnancy tests and ultrasounds. Inside are two women, Kirsten Ball and Angela Clarke. Clarke is a Mason alumna and executive director of the mobile ultrasound and resource center, and Ball is registered with the state as a geriatric physician who works in a general practice office and performs the ultrasounds. The two say they are affiliated with no organization or program and are offering the services independently. However, Hannah Krandall, scheduling manager for events management, confirmed that the RV was scheduled and reserved through the student organization, Students for Life. In the brochure Ball and Clarke hand out to young women who use their services, there is a strong emphasis on counseling services they offer. “The most important part of our outreach mission is in having the opportunity to talk with these women and girls who have not heard the truth about abortion and be there to listen to them,” the brochure states. Anna Maher, president of Students for Life, said that this truth is that abortion ends the life of a human being and has negative physical, emotional and mental side […]

  • (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Former Secret Service agent to share stories from White House

    Featured, News March 7, 2013 at 12:53 am Comments are Disabled

    Nick Trotta to share experiences; hopes to inspire leadership in Phi Kappa Sigma and other students    Even presidents want privacy, but when you are the Special Agent in Charge (SAIC) and the president wants to go on a run, allowing him to have privacy is not an option. “Nicky, can you at least give me the illusion that I’m running by myself,” then President George W. Bush said to Nick Trotta, then SAIC. The retired member of the Secret Service remembers the president saying this to him, while he was on a run in Texas during his term. Trotta was a member of the Secret Service for 31 years, but now after his retirement from the service he wants to give back. His son, economics major at Mason Nick Trotta Jr., had an idea of where to start. On March 5 Phi Kappa Sigma will host Trotta at an event in the HUB Ballroom at 6 p.m. Trotta will be speaking about his experiences in the Secret Service as well as the importance of leadership in being successful. “I think it’s very important for me, and I hope others who have had my experience, to give back,” Trotta said. […]

  • (Jenny Krashin/Broadside)

    Breaking down the walls

    Featured, Lifestyle March 6, 2013 at 11:25 pm Comments are Disabled

    Student with Asperger’s shares his college experience through blogging  Sporting a Red Sox hat and a leather jacket, Aaron Gushin, a freshman economics major, may not stand out to you on your walk to class in the mornings. Although his baseball hat may appear conspicuous to some Masons students, the rest of him is fairly ordinary—long brown hair, medium height and medium build. But there is something about Gushin that sets him apart from many: He has Asperger’s syndrome (AS). As defined by the National Institute of Mental Health, Asperger’s syndrome is defined as a neurological condition, one generally considered a form of autism, that causes social impairment, communication difficulties and repetitive and stereotyped behaviors. “Sometimes I feel like I’m a different type of species,” Gushin said. Being a relatively new discovery, AS is a concept many find hard to understand and because of that, difficult to treat or work with. It is this lack of societal understanding, Gushin says, that led him to start a blog to catalogue and document his experiences while at Mason. “I needed to change something for myself, and I just felt putting into words, into writing, all this stuff I’m always thinking, would help […]

  • (Stephen Kline/Broadside)

    Nutrition Department hosts Chocolate Challenge

    Featured, Lifestyle, Multimedia March 6, 2013 at 11:01 pm Comments are Disabled

    Amateur and professional chefs and chocolatiers create edible sculptures    For the twentieth annual Chocolate Lovers Festival, the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies hosted the Chocolate Challenge. The competition pitted amateur and professional chocolatiers against each other in a Food Network style competition. All entries were required to be completely edible, made predominantly of chocolate and no larger than 2’x2’. Awards were given for the best amateur and professional cake entries in both child and adult divisions, best in show for sculpture and artistic creations and an overall people’s choice award. Best judges entries received a blue ribbon and an award certificate. Sandy Dornslife of CakeWalk won best professionally decorated cake for her pirate ship creation. The Nutrition Kitchen, a space used by the nutrition studies program, was transformed from a working classroom-kitchen to an edible art gallery. Chocolate creations ranging from sculptures to cupcakes were judged by both a panel of judges and the general public. Judges included: Thomas Prohaska, Dean of the College of Health and Human Services and his wife Beth; Warren Brown of Cake Love and Love Café who has been featured on Food Network; Sabrina Campbell of Occasionally Cake; and Mayor of the City […]

  • (Stephen Kline/Broadside)

    Track senior holds current world record time

    Featured, Sports March 6, 2013 at 10:44 pm Comments are Disabled

      David Verburg is Mason’s fastest man, and he keeps getting faster. Verburg ran a stunning 45.83 in the 400m, on Feb. 9, at the SPIRE Institute Division I Invitational. Not only was it a personal record indoors, for Verburg but it is the world’s fastest time in the 400m, so far this year. “It feels great. It has never happened to me before. How many people can say that at one point they were ranked number one in the world? It is an honor,” said Verburg, a two-time 400m All-American, outdoors. “I know it will not stay there for long, but it gives me a point where I know I can be at the top. I am just trying to work hard and stay humble and will try to get [the record] back when it disappears.” Verburg, now a senior, started running track during his senior year in high school, finding success and scholarship offers. “I chose Mason because it was a small school and I wanted to make a name for myself. I wanted to build up the program,” Verburg said. “I know a lot of good recruits were coming in with me. I did not want be […]