Articles by: Sonya Hudson

  • The battle continues: More than 100 Sodexo employees go on strike, management says workers claims are unfounded

    News1 April 19, 2010 at 12:42 pm Comments are Disabled

    By Kevin Loker, C2M Executive Editor With support from the Service Employees International Union, over 70 food service workers, claiming dissatisfaction with wages, working conditions and treatment from management, marched through George Mason University’s North Plaza Thursday, continuing a recent push to unionize. Beginning at 6 a.m., the on-campus Sodexo workers went on strike, as part of a ‘national week of action’ against food giant Sodexo, according to Bianca Agustin, a representative for the SEIU. Throughout the day the strike grew to include over 100 employees. According to Agustin, seven states have filed unfair labor practice charges against Sodexo and their management, who workers claim harass and intimidate them on the job and will not allow them to join a union. “We want to be able to have a future here,” said Angelica Hernandez, who works at Southside. According to Hernandez and 27-year Sodexo employee Ana Urias, the workers decided to go on strike to demand better benefits, salaries and working conditions. “We want to be able to choose to have a union so we can defend our rights,” said Urias, who works at Jazzman’s in the Johnson Center. Around 1 p.m., the workers began marching to campus, where they […]

  • Forensics places fourth: Speech team excels at American Forensic Association National Tournament

    News1 April 12, 2010 at 12:15 pm Comments are Disabled

    By Evan Benton, Staff Writer Last Sunday the George Mason University Forensics team came in fourth place out of over 100 collegiate teams nationwide at the National Forensics Tournament in Eau Claire, W.I., and managed to make a little history along the way. Illinois State University placed third above Mason, with perennial antagonist Western Kentucky University taking second and Bradley University the overall champion. But for the first time in the history of the American Forensics Association Individual Events Tournament, the top four placements in a single event were taken by one school alone. That school? Mason. Four Mason students, two of whom were new members of the vaunted team, took places one through four in the nation in Extemporaneous Speaking. Sophomore Will Bellows, a government and international politics major, was National Champion. Along with Bellows, freshman undeclared major Brennan Morris took second place, and freshman government and international politics majors Billy Strong and Rob Warchol finished the sweep with third and fourth place respectively. “[We as a team] are so proud of the team’s finish,” said co-captain Quincey Smith, junior studying public relations and legal studies. “Especially with the impressive showing by our extemporaneous speakers.” Smith, along with junior […]

  • A Dirty Word No More: Confidence on Display at This Year’s Vagina Monologues

    News1 March 1, 2010 at 1:32 pm Comments are Disabled

    Ramy Zabarah, Staff Writer “Vagina” — the word is taboo, yet when used in the right context, so intriguing. For most people, it’s an evil-sounding word. It’s unsettling, upsetting and inappropriate. Heck, one might even wince at the sound of it. Despite this social bias, the women in last weekend’s performance of The Vagina Monologues at George Mason University broke through that awkward shell and put on a spectacular show. I walked in about 15 minutes prior to the show to a nearly full theater. Immediately realizing I was only one of a few male attendees, I took a seat in the third row, and waited for the monologues to begin. After an emotional introductory video focusing on the struggle of women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the show began as three ladies entered the stage and performed a monologue concerning the general perception of the word “vagina.” The idea that the word “vagina” is such a hard word to say casually because of its negative connotation is introduced in this monologue, and done so with quite some humor. “It sounds like an infection at best, maybe a medical instrument. ‘Hurry, nurse, bring me the vagina.’” After this […]

  • Tuition Expected to Increase Due to State Budget Cuts

    News1 March 1, 2010 at 1:26 pm Comments are Disabled

    Kevin Loker, Connect2Mason Executive Editor Wounded from recent economic troubles, current plans in Virginia’s General Assembly regarding the state’s budget and higher education may leave George Mason University students, faculty and staff stuck with more financial burden. In the proposed budgets, Mason faculty and staff would face a combination of furloughs, stagnant pay and general reductions in research funding — and students would face a projected tuition and fees increase between eight and 10 percent each year for the next three years. During a town hall budget forum for faculty last Wednesday, Provost Peter Stearns and Senior Vice President Morrie Scherrens discussed options for combating the state budget cuts, options that, without attention in the present, would prevent the university from fully functioning in the future. “During the past snowstorm, many of you probably had the same experience as I had. My son asked me after I had shoveled the driveway about four or five times – or six or eight times, rather – he said, ‘Do you really enjoy shoveling snow, being from Michigan, or are you just glad to get it done?’” said Scherrens, creating an analogy to the university’s financial situation. “I had never heard the question […]

  • Smartphones Storm Campus: Students Following National Trend Scoop Up Phones

    News1 February 15, 2010 at 12:55 pm Comments are Disabled

    Lauren Jost, Connect2Mason Reporter Blackberrys, Droids and iPhones, oh my. Smartphones have begun to dominate the cell phone market, as well as the George Mason University campus. Many students can be found walking around campus with their phones in hand, texting and chatting away. Smartphones, such as the iPhone, allow students to check e-mail, play games and listen to music, among other functions. “It will be two years this summer,” says senior Steve Brown of his iPhone anniversary, who says he uses his iPhone for the unique applications. “I was driving to work today [and] I used the Maps application in my iPhone to check the traffic between the two different routes. It saved me a bunch of time, and I reflected back on how often it has saved my butt. I wonder where I’d be without it — probably late.” Apple, creator of the popular iPhone, reported a record sale of 8.7 million iPhones in its first fiscal quarter of the 2010 year. This is a 100 percent unit growth from their earnings in the same quarter last year. Motorola, Inc.,Verizon Wireless and Google launched the smartphone Droid in response to Apple’s iPhone. The Droid, which works in a […]


    News1 February 2, 2010 at 6:56 pm Comments are Disabled

    Emily Sharrer, Editor-in-Chief The Mason students that survived the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti, say that for them, luck and coincidences only went so far in returning their group home safely—and then came God. “We prayed on this trip,” said group leader Mark Cruz, a sophomore conflict analysis and resolution major. “We were just like ‘we want to experience God on this trip’ and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I experienced God firsthand throughout the whole week.” The eight students were three days into a mission trip with McLean Bible Church’s college ministry called The Gathering when the earthquake hit, severely damaging the control tower at the Port-au-Prince airport and leaving the nation in ruin. A McLean Bible Church staff member, a Fairfax resident and Thony Querrette, the Haitian World Hope coordinator, also accompanied the students during their trip. The group had been working with World Hope International, a non-profit organization based in Alexandria, Va., building latrines and running Bible classes for children in the town of Petit-Goave – about 30 miles west of the capital Port-au-Prince and about 15 miles from the epicenter of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake. The Associated Press currently estimates the death […]

  • Pro-Life Supporters Descend on D.C.: Students Participate in Annual March For Life

    News1 February 2, 2010 at 6:49 pm Comments are Disabled

    John Powell, Asst. Sports Editor Masses of people lined the streets at The Mall in Washington, DC, shouting, chanting, singing and praying last Friday to participate in the annual March for Life. On the anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling, which ruled that most laws against abortion violated a constitutional right to privacy, thousands of people found their way to the District of Columbia to support the pro-life movement. The March for Life, which has been held annually since 1974, gives people who support pro-life laws a means to come from all over America to express their feelings and sentiments towards the laws and lawmakers that currently support abortion. According to, more than 300,000 people descended on the Capitol, with some informal estimates ranging from 250,000 to 400,000 people. The event began at noon, as participants gathered for a rally on the Washington Mall until 2 p.m., after which the group marched along Constitution Avenue, to the side of the Capitol building, then along 1st Street NE to the Supreme Court building, where they finally gathered again. Many diverse groups participated – the old and the young, men and women, people from the district itself […]

  • Anthropology 114: Students Win Award for Class Project

    News1 February 2, 2010 at 6:47 pm Comments are Disabled

    Sonya Hudson, Managing Editor Virginia Commonwealth, Old Dominion University
and James Madison University each have 21 less Public Anthropology Award winners than George Mason University, specifically Professor Susan Trencher’s Anthropology 114 class, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. Students from Trencher’s class participated in the Public Anthropology Community Action Website Project, in which students from different universities write professional-style op-ed pieces that are published on the web for other students to peer-review. All are anonymous. Students from participating universities judge the best work. The purpose of the project, according to the Public Anthropology Community Action Website, is to get students actively engaged in discussions with students from other universities with different life-experiences about “ethical issues that lie at the interface of anthropology and the contemporary world.” One of the 21 Mason award winners, Masoud Sultan, found the project to be rewarding. “The Community Action Project was a thoughtful experience that really opened my eyes that there are issues around the world that go unnoticed,” said Sultan, a sophomore majoring in information technology. The project not only enlightened the students on issues beyond their own backyard, but also helped to improve their writing skills. For award winner Sarah DiGiovine, a sophomore majoring in government […]

  • Funding for Facilities: Cost Break Down of Construction on Campus

    News1 December 1, 2009 at 7:13 pm Comments are Disabled

    Amanda Cheek, News Editor With some students attending George Mason University who have never seen the campus without construction, building projects have been causing quite a ruckus on campus the past few semesters. From traffic jams to waking students before their alarm clocks in the morning or simply blocking normal paths students take to class, construction seems to be changing campus significantly. Danica Wysocki, freshman marketing major, was not exactly sure how to respond when asked where she thought the funding for all the building on campus comes from. “Maybe donations? Every building is named after a person so maybe they donated [the funds for the building]…I think funding comes from partially student tuition and donation,” said Wysocki. Tom Calhoun, the vice president of Facilities at Mason explained that money for campus building projects comes from a number of places, and has to go through a complex process from estimate to approval before the funds can be accessed for construction on campus. “We try to keep money coming from the same source for the same project,” said Calhoun. “It’s our responsibility to manage within the budget.” Calhoun explained that funding comes from many places. Among those, the state came in […]

  • Former Peruvian Senator Speaks to Mason: Riots Among Indigenous Amazonians Spark Discussion

    News1 November 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm Comments are Disabled

    Amanda Cheek, News Editor Former Peruvian Senator Javier Diez Canseco traveled to George Mason University to speak to students on the Amazonian struggle, protests and conflict in Peru. The lecture, titled “Rising Up: The Amazonian Struggle in Peru,” was sponsored by Latin American Studies, Global Interdisciplinary Affairs, and the Center for Global Studies at Mason, and was held Nov. 12 in Student Union Building II. Diez Canseco, a current human rights activist who works closely with regional organizations and indigenous movements in Peru, discussed the 2008-2009 confrontations between the Amazonian indigenous peoples and the Peruvian state in his lecture, such as the Bagua confrontation, which occurred during late May and early June of 2009. During this conflict, Peruvian police were sent in to dislodge thousands of indigenous protesters who had taken to the streets in protest of government decreed laws that would give multinational corporations free reign to explore oil in indigenous territories. “In some of the worst violence seen in Peru in 20 years, the Indians this week warned Latin America what could happen if companies are given free access to the Amazonian forests to exploit an estimated 6bn barrels of oil and take as much timber they like. […]