• The worst week America has had in a really long time

    Editorials April 23, 2013 at 6:31 pm Comments are Disabled

    Albert Camus, the author of The Stranger and The Plague, once wrote, “Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.” I am confident when I say that the hearts around the world have done too much bending this past week. If you’re bothering to read your college’s newspaper, I am doubtful that you need a recap of the week’s events, but here’s one anyways: The Boston Marathon was bombed. A vote that would put into place a stronger background check on guns was shot down. A fertilizer plant in Texas exploded. Letters laced with poison were sent to both the president and congressmen. Earthquakes hit in Iran, and again in China killing over 120. 27 people died at a suicide bombing in Baghdad. A near 24-hour manhunt to find the suspects of the Boston Marathon bombers kept Americans glued to their televisions. An avalanche in Colorado killed five. These are our afflictions, our weaknesses. These are the things that seek to destroy us, to bend our hearts in directions we thought impossible. No one knows as much as they should. No one knows why these things happen when they do, or why they happen to whom they […]


    How to get to Mason from the other side Mason Makes Careers of the world: Part Three

    Editorials, Featured, Lifestyle April 23, 2013 at 6:15 pm Comments are Disabled

    Over the series of three articles, Stepan Gordeev shares his experiences as an international student The previous part had ended right before the beginning of the semester. I was pretty nervous and curious at the same time. I was waiting for my first days of a very different college in a very different country to start, and I didn’t know what to expect. It turned out that there are a few things in US education that I wasn’t prepared for. When the classes started on Aug. 27, 2012, the first thing that surprised me was the incredible freedom — or lack of discipline, whatever you want to call it — in the classroom. Students can come and leave whenever they so desire, eat and drink in the classroom and do all kinds of stuff that would severely affect the student’s grade if he or she did it in a Russian university. It would be a lie to say that an average Russian college is the stronghold of discipline and obedience. It is not, Russian students love being free and independent just as their American colleagues. But the need for some sort of discipline in education is not being questioned or doubted. […]

  • Letter from the Editor-in-Chief

    Editorials April 23, 2013 at 5:48 pm Comments are Disabled

    The world was supposed to end on December 21, 2012. We’re all still here, but in the months leading up to and following the long-fated day, it has often felt like the end of the world may just be a slower process than expected. Since this time last year, 12 people were killed by a manic shooter in Aurora, Hurricane Sandy tore apart the East Coast and 26 lives were cut all too short by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary. Then there was the past week. There is not a lot I can say about what happened, from bombs to poison to an entire city shutting down, that has not already been said. On page 11 managing editor Aaron Locke beautifully comments on how this week has tested us, but not broken us. I hope that the trials the American people have suffered in Boston, Texas, D.C., Aurora, Newtown and the Jersey Shore during the past year are not quickly forgotten. The emotions of grief, panic and rage that flood conversation should inspire some change in the nation. The calls for change in politics are not enough. Yes, it is important for the law to reflect the horrific current events […]

  • A case for community service

    Editorials April 15, 2013 at 5:52 pm Comments are Disabled

    In the eighth grade, my tiny kindergarten through eighth grade school required that all students complete 10 hours of community service in order to attend the class field trip, at the end of the year. At the time, 10 hours seemed like devoting your entire life to a cause. Then in high school, I participated in a program that required me to complete at least 100 hours of community service. Needless to say, I longed to be back in eighth grade. Both of my grade school conundrums represent a current trend in the way our generation views community service. We have institutionalized service to such an extent that it no longer operates the way it should. Rather than being selfless and altruistic, it has become a means to reaching a selfish end. Our provisional assistance to someone or something is meant to serve a more permanent purpose in our own lives rather than someone else’s. This is not to say that examples of selfless community service do not exist, or that everyone who participates in community service is an inherently selfish person. However, this is meant to say that the moment we create a system that makes community service an obligatory responsibility, […]

  • Registration Frustration

    Editorials April 15, 2013 at 5:51 pm Comments are Disabled

    The time has come for class scheduling. For some, picking classes is as easy as picking your favorite ice cream. For others, such as myself, it takes careful planning and coordinating. I’m a communications major, and I still have trouble finding the right classes to take. So, I have no idea how students who are undecided find classes. There are so many options, especially after you have completed all the general education classes. Thank goodness for advisors. Not to brag, but the academic advisors in the Communications department are extremely helpful. While the advisors do what they can to inform us about the classes that we should take, the decision ultimately rests with the students. And that’s were things get tricky. Business majors, Physics majors, English majors, and so on, all have to take the same classes. This can become a problem if a student has a late registration time. Every semester, it feels like every person in my major wants to take all the classes that I want to enroll in. This is why it’s good to have back up classes or multiple versions of your schedule. I ran into similar problems when I was making my schedule for this […]

  • Continue I-Week diversity

    Editorials April 15, 2013 at 5:50 pm Comments are Disabled

    Once I viewed the opening ceremonies of International Week as people passed through North Plaza with flags and different attires, I began to gain an admiration for the week. My personal favorite part of the week was the 81 flags hanging throughout the JC. These flags lit up the room and mesmerized Mason students with their differing patterns, illustrations, and colors. The students began dialogue after gaining a strong interest in all 81 of the represented countries. When they ate, studied, and walked through the JC I’d hear a group of people contemplating the flags country of origins. Conversations like these were the main attribution for my admiration. International Week facilitated exploration for each student to gain some sort of new knowledge. Whether that was learning about traditional Irish attire, the design of Saudi Arabia’s Flag, or a deeper understanding of Hispanic dishes, we all learned something new. But don’t let the closing ceremonies end that exploration. Continue to learn about the wide variety of cultures that are on Mason’s campus. Go to a cultural club on campus like: the Indian Student Association, CRU, Hillel, the Korean Student Association or any other one that interests you. Play the Sporcle flag quiz to gain […]

  • 17-year cicadas expected to invade the coast later this spring

    Editorials April 15, 2013 at 5:48 pm Comments are Disabled

    If you have not heard, the 17-year cicadas are making a very large appearance this spring. For those of you not familiar with the cicada, they are those large bugs that look like an oversized fly. You also may remember them by their sound or mating call. I think their mating call resembles a drill drilling into something, so it is definitely not a sound you hear everyday. They make the loudest sounds out of all insects, so be ready for a noisy spring. If this description still does not ring a bell, then maybe you remember their crunchy shells you found sticking to trees or scattered on the ground when you were in between the ages of 16 and 18. These bugs may seem frightening but in reality they are harmless. First off, they live majority of their life underground which is weird yes but they only come above ground for one reason, and that is to mate. The male cicadas are the ones who make the extra loud noises because they are trying to attract a mate for themselves. Second, if you were to Google what a cicada looks like, their appearance itself might not sit well with you. Their […]

  • Israeli Apartheid: the new South Africa

    Editorials April 15, 2013 at 5:46 pm 6 comments

    Oh, the good days we live today: the times of oppression and institutionalized racism are most definitely behind us. We Americans pride ourselves on the utmost principles of universal human rights declared by the UN: of all persons born free and equal and having the right to life, liberty and security. It’s great that we call ourselves a democratic society while financially assisting in the institutionalization of an ongoing apartheid system in Israel – while funneling over 30 billion of your hard-earned U.S. tax dollars in military aid over the span of a decade to an oppressive Israel to ensure that Palestinians civilians are being denied the universal rights valued intrinsic to all humans. They’re being stripped of these rights only to be maimed, shot, brutalized and ethnically cleansed. Former president of South Africa and veteran of South African apartheid Nelson Mandela has brazenly remarked on the ongoing Israeli apartheid and occupation of Palestinian land. In 1997, at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, he remarked on its atrocious realities, “That injustice and gross human rights violations were being perpetrated in Palestine. But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians” […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]