Students protest additives and food labels at the FDA

    News April 15, 2013 at 4:08 pm Comments are Disabled

    Environmental science major Skyler Kopko was one of many at a protest against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in College Park, on April 8. But instead of picket signs, Kopko and the other members of the Environmental Action Group (EAG) had soup. “It’s kind of like a sit in but we ate soup,” Kopko said. “People brought donated vegetables for us.” The EAG is an on-campus club that campaigns for environmental protection through action and education, encouraging students to take action for a plan for the future. The Eat-In protest was organized by Occupy Monsanto, an organization aimed at getting people to take action against Monsanto, an agriculture company who uses Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in the growing of their crops. “[Occupy Monsanto] are working against GMOs and unsustainable farming,” Kopko said. The protest’s demand was to have required labeling on all GMO foods. “The protest was for more transparency on the GMO’s in our food,” Skyler said. “Currently it’s not labeled whether foods contain GMOs. Companies can voluntarily say, ‘Oh we don’t have GMOs’, but right now is not required for a company to disclose whether they have GMOs in their food. The Eat-In protest brought the attention […]

  • Nobel Prize winner speaks at International Week

    Nobel Prize winner speaks at International Week

    News April 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm Comments are Disabled

    Wole Soyinka speaks on the role of Africa in the New World Order   In Dewberry Hall, students sit around tables, watching rapt as a group of dancers sway to the beat of drums. The women swing their skirts in an arc, evocative of scythes slashing through crops. This is Yoruba dancing, a traditional West African dance performed by Professor Jim Lepore’s Afro-Cuban dance class to precede a Q&A session by Nobel Prize-winning writer Akinwande Oluwole “Wole” Soyinka. Soyinka visited Mason on April 12 as a part of the university’s annual International Week program, giving a pair of talks. The first, entitled “From Cleopatra to Mandela: The Role of Africa in the New World Order,” was a panel discussion on Soyinka’s career as well as the state of contemporary Africa. Soyinka talked about a wide variety of topics, from the legacy of late author Chinue Achebe to the place of Africa in the 21st century world and his hopes and fears for the future of Nigeria. Later in the evening, he read from his own work in an event called “Poems of Self- Retrieval, Cultural Security and Recollection”. Born on July 13, 1934 in Abeokuta, Nigeria, Soyinka is a poet, […]

  • Students Against Israeli Apartheid is collecting signatures for a petition to eliminate the sale of Sabra hummus on campus. (Vince Gomes/Broadside)

    Pro-Palestine students protest hummus on campus

    Featured, News April 15, 2013 at 3:57 pm 2 comments

    Students Against Israeli Apartheid boycott Sabra hummus to create discussion   As part of their pro-Palestine campaign, Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) are hosting a boycott against Sabra Hummus on campus. As senior Tareq Radi walks through North Plaza and the Johnson Center with Palestine’s flag in his hands, students often stop him and ask him about what he is carrying. “A lot of times when we’re outside just having the Palestinian flag,” Radi said. “Even coming up here [in the Johnson Center] people see me they’re like, ‘Hey, can I talk to you? I want to join.’” Radi is the vice president of SAIA an organization representing the pro-Palestinian movement to delegitimize Israel. SAIA acts in accordance to the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement which has a three point plan, including: Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194 “It takes a human rights-based approach so the first call is to end the occupation—so you know the occupation […]

  • Getting a minor degree; worth extra time, classes?

    Getting a minor degree; worth extra time, classes?

    News April 15, 2013 at 2:17 pm Comments are Disabled

    Adding a minor to a bachelor’s degree is one way to fulfill elective credit requirements. Whether students want to add to their degree or learn more about a secondary interest, there are more than 100 minors at Mason to choose from, with more added every year. “There’s been a tremendous amount of growth in minors since they started them,” said Paul Bousel associate director, Academic Advising & Transfer Center. Although there are currently more than 100 minors offered at Mason, the minor program has not been around too long. 1990-1991 was the first catalog year to provide minor programs of study. “I was here before there were minors. There was a time when we didn’t have minors,” Bousel said. When students seek help from Mason’s Academic Advising and Transfer Center to decide on a major, minors are not always brought up in conversation. Paul Bousel, associate director of the Academic Advising and Transfer Center focuses more on the transition of students from undeclared majors to actual majors of study. “We don’t insist on anyone doing a minor. It’s an option. You don’t have to pick a minor,” Bousel said. The requirements to obtain a minor include taking 15-21 credits of […]

  • Letter from the Editor-in-Chief

    Editorials, News April 15, 2013 at 2:14 pm Comments are Disabled

    I have to admit, a few weeks ago, I was quite ignorant about the Israeli- Palestine conflict. I had a very basic understanding, from tidbits I’d picked up from the news, classes or pieced together from conversations, but by no means would I consider myself well-versed in the subject. That lack of knowledge has made the past week rather challenging as I’ve navigated the often conflicting, always heated sides of the situation. For the past week, the I have been working with the staff to read, research and consult outside sources. However noble our intentions to educate ourselves on the long lived conflict, I worry that it will never be enough. There is no correct way to please everyone in a situation with such deep emotional, cultural and historical lineage that I doubt that I could ever truly understand. Not everyone will appreciate or agree with the way we covered the issue, but I promise you that we have done our best. In the interest of fair coverage, we reached out to both Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) and the Israel Student Association (ISA) to comment on the campus boycott and the situation in general. In the editorials section, Hala Numan, a […]

  • Inspired by the series “The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy”, Jessica Kane is in a Facebook competition to become the next Towel Day Ambassador. Fans of the series created Towel Day, celebrated on May 25, to honor the legacy of author Douglas Williams after he passed away. (Jenny Krashin/Broadside)

    Free speech zone attracts students with a cause

    Multimedia, News April 11, 2013 at 5:20 pm Comments are Disabled


  • Avoiding registration woes: #GMUProblems: Registration

    News April 11, 2013 at 5:15 pm Comments are Disabled

    Social media provides students a way to share their thoughts, feelings and opinions with the Mason community. The twitter handle and hashtag GMU problems has a pulse on the students and the problem they face on campus each day. Broadside is looking into whether each problem is one specific to Mason and whether any solutions are available. What’s the problem? Between navigating PatriotWeb, understanding complex major requirements and managing account holds, registering for classes can be a stressful experience. In addition, the mad dash to find the perfect harmony of class times and desired professors can quickly become a headache. The most effective way of avoiding registration woes is to think ahead and be prepared. Anderson notes that it is just a matter of taking some time. “If you’re waiting until nine o’clock on Tuesday to search through the schedule and figure out what class you’re going to take, what time of day you’re going to take the course, which instructor you want; if you’re trying to find those kinds of things at the moment your time ticket comes, then you’re going to have difficulties, “ said Dawn Anderson, Associate Registrar of Operations and Registration. “Preparation is key.” Check for […]

  • (Graphic by Stephen Kline/Broadside)

    Mason study shows federal workplace decreasing

    Featured, News April 10, 2013 at 3:46 pm Comments are Disabled

    Characteristics, including number of women in the workplace, also changing As a major employer of residents of the Metropolitan Washington Area, the federal workplace is often seen as a defining characteristic of this area. This federal workplace, however, is changing. Joanna Biernacka- Lievestro, a graduate student research assistant at the Center for Regional Analysis, has found that the federal workplace is decreasing after 12 years of gains. “I think this particular topic is pretty relevant to the current economy in the region,” Biernacka-Lievestro said. “I thought it would be interesting to see how the federal workplace is changing, along with the characteristics of this federal workplace.” Lower government service (GS) grade-level jobs decreased, while higher level managerial positions increased. The federal workplace also faces an age problem. “What we have learned from the area is that one of the research findings is that the workforce is aging,” Biernacka-Lievestro said. “We have the issue of aging in the federal workplace, and what is going to happen when these people retire.” Biernacka-Lievestro has also found other characteristics changing within the federal workforce. Between 1998 to 2011, the total number of salaries paid to the federal workplace increased by 34.1 percent. According to the […]

  • Letter from the Editor-in-Chief

    Editorials, News April 10, 2013 at 3:36 pm Comments are Disabled

    As I look back on the last three years and towards my last two semesters, I’m discouraged. College is a great experience with many benefits, but I have found myself discontent with the structure of education. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I haven’t enjoyed or found benefit in my time at Mason. I have learned a lot and grown substantially in my three years at college, but I don’t believe that I have had a practical education. The problem is the system. The workforce requires anyone wishing to make more than minimum wage to have at least a bachelors degree, four full years of schooling, before anyone considers paying you more than minimum wage. There is a clear distinction between myself and some of my peers, though. As a humanities major, I am not studying a skill set. My classes are largely theory based and I am not sure that I am any better prepared to enter the workforce than I was three years ago. Sure, I am much more well versed in the names of communication theory, have a basic knowledge of astronomy and will soon be able to read classic literature in Latin, but are those skills worth […]

  • (Graphic by Stephen Kline/Broadside)

    Grassroots campaign hopes to ease student debt through revolutionary consumer movement

    News March 27, 2013 at 5:30 pm Comments are Disabled

    JoinStampede creates online petition with over 25,649 signatures to take to private lenders and negotiate discounts, rebates, or modified interest rates   In the beginning of March, the student debt in America finally surpassed the long anticipated $1 trillion mark. To help ease the burden of debt that now cripples 37 million Americans, a new campaign called JoinStampede is looking for the support of 100,000 people with student debt loans to sign their petition. JoinStampede hopes to be able to approach private lenders with the combined support of each signature to negotiate a discount, rebate or modified interest rates for student debts. Mason alumnus Quincey Smith works for JoinStampede and said that the success of the campaign could potentially effect current Mason students with debt. “What JoinStampede does expect to do is create a consumer movement using political style campaigning on the basis that when people band together, their collective voice has the potential to change the dynamics of the marketplace, and that businesses will be forced to adapt or be left behind,” Smith said in an email. “We want to be in the same shoes as our members, this is a long-term interest,” Stephen Dash said, founder of JoinStampede. Students who seek out loans from private lenders must receive approval from the university certifying that they are full-time students. “The private lender forwards the money to the […]