Archives for On Campus

Best Napping Spots

1. Johnson Center, Third Floor
The third floor of the JC is where students generally go to study. It’s far enough away from the noise of the food court for you to concentrate on finishing that paper, but the oversized chairs and study rooms are also ideal for sleeping. If you’re in between classes and want to catch a few Z’s or just plain tired, the third floor of the JC promises comfort. Maybe you overate and don’t want to head back to your dorm just yet, or you simply want to escape reality for a short while. Go on and journey up to the third floor.

2. Patriot’s Lounge
Sure you’re surrounded by a few university offices and you might receive a questionable glance from the information desk person, but who cares?

3. Presidents Park Lawn
It might not be the beach, but the Presidents Park lawn is the perfect place for you to nap uninterrupted.

Campus Revolution: Mason Jumps On the Green Bandwagon

greenefforts-450BY NOW, WE all understand the responsibility we have to do what we can to reduce our impact on the environment. At college campuses across the country, students, faculty and staff are participating in a variety of greening efforts. George Mason University is high on that list of schools on their way to being a sustainable university. From dining facilities to recycling donation programs, Mason provides students with numerous ways to get involved and live the green life.

You’ve probably already heard about Southside, Mason’s sustainable dining facility. Located in the Chesapeake Area, Southside opened on Oct. 6, 2008 and has since become a popular hangout for students, particularly freshmen and sophomores. It features six dining stations and everything from sandwiches and burgers to cupcakes and cookies. Unlike other dining areas on campus, Southside uses a trayless system in order to help students reduce the amount of food they consume and a composting machine called a pulper churns waste into pulp to reduce waste and save energy. As part of sustainability efforts on campus, Mason uses biodegradable plasticware made from corn-based and recycled materials in Gold Rush, the grab-and-go shop on the lower level of Southside. Like with Southside, Mason is being conscious of the impact new building projects will have on the environment. New buildings on campus are being designed and built to meet a minimum of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standard.

The latest sustainable effort to come to Mason is the Farmer’s Market. Sponsored by University Services, the market arrived in May of this year and is scheduled to remain on campus and be held in the Johnson Center North Plaza until October. Every Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., you can visit any of the vendors at the market and purchase a variety of locally grown products ranging from bread and baked goods to fresh milk and eggs. From now until Aug. 19, the market will be held on Wednesdays in Lot K from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will return to the JC North Plaza in time for the start of classes.

The Patriot Green Fund is another new sustainability endeavor by the university that is intended to support environmental initiatives at Mason. The money for the fund will come from a student fee every semester of $5 per full-time student and $2 per part-time student. Potentially, the fund could pay for the installation of solar panels on campus buildings, additional recycling bins, or a campus farm.

Recycling what you use on campus is a really easy and effective way to do your part in the campus greening revolution. You can recycle a number of materials including glass, steel, aluminum, plastics #1 and #2, white paper, mixed paper (receipts, cereal boxes, glossy mail inserts, etc), cardboard and newspaper. Wrappers, plastic grocery bags, and Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs, or CFL’s, can be left at the recycling center in the Northern Neck residence hall. Old cell phones and dead rechargeable batteries can be recycled at the JC and Student Union Building II information desks. Ink cartridges can be recycled at Patriot Computers in the JC.

In an effort to reduce the amount of water cups used, Mason created two greening bottles, one for cold liquid and one for hot beverages. The Mason reusable green bottles are $5 and can be purchased at the convenience stores Patriot Express and One Stop Shop on campus. The bottles can be refilled with water or soda at any drink station on campus.

The Office of Sustainability, University Services and groups like GMU Environmental Awareness are the first names students think of when they hear the words “green” and “Mason,” but several offices on campus are doing their part to contribute. One example is the Office of Housing and Residence Life, which has made sustainability a priority with their involvement in a few green programs on campus. Their Greening Group has helped increase interest in University President Alan Merten’s Climate Commitment initiative, which demonstrates a pursuit of climate neutrality. OHRL also held Mason’s first energy challenge competition between residence halls Amherst and Brunswick. The goal of the competition was to reduce per-person electricity consumption and encourage students to be more environmentally aware.

A popular recycling program provided by the university is Patriot Pack Out. During the last week of each school year, students can donate unwanted clothing, electronics, working appliances and nonperishable food that will then be donated to local nonprofit groups in the area. In Climate Culture’s contest to determine America’s Greenest Campus, Mason is in second place with 1554 members as of Jun. 2. The contest is the first nationwide contest among colleges to reduce the carbon footprints of their students, faculty, alumni and staff. Students can register with their school e-mail address and have their carbon reductions count towards their university. The winning school has a chance to win up to $20,000 to green our campus. To get involved, you can log on to and register.

As a new Mason student, you’ll be expected to carry on the torch and pitch in to help Mason become a greener place. Take little steps to cut down on your carbon footprint. Remember, no matter how small, every action makes a difference when many individuals make the same decision.

Real World Experience: On-Campus Jobs

oncampusjobs-250INSTEAD OF HAUNTING the campus mailroom every day hoping for a sympathy check from some stray relative, consider getting a job on campus. An on-campus job won’t devour all of your social and academic life. Instead, it can give you the cash you need without interfering with your classes and a chance to meet new people.

If you’re looking for an engaging and enjoyable place to work, the Patriot Center may be your best bet. The Patriot Center offers flexible scheduling, a modest starting wage and a promise that no two days will be the same.

“It’s a great place to work–they’re really flexible with schedules. I hand in my [school] schedule every month and they let me know what events are going on,” said sophomore Val Shultz, who has been working at the Patriot Center as an usher for two semesters. “I just have to work at least 30 percent of the events every month, so if I have exams or other plans, I can fit my work schedule around them.”

While being a Patriot Center employee may not be the highest paying job on campus, it provides less tangible rewards such as free admission to concerts and shows. “When there’s a basketball game or concert that I like, I’m getting paid to enjoy myself,” Shultz said.

If you value your eardrums far too much to work at the Patriot Center, Fenwick Library is a great substitute. Even though you won’t get to rock out or cheer on the basketball team (unless you do so while helping them find a book), Fenwick Library offers a relaxed work environment, spending money and the opportunity to learn while you earn.

“I started working there just as a way to earn extra money,” said junior Emily Fink, a four-semester veteran at Fenwick. “The biggest perk is that they’re close and they’re very flexible as far as scheduling and school.”

Fink’s title as student assistant includes shelving, shelf reading and discharging books. Looking around Fenwick, you can see how easygoing and relaxed student employees are. At the checkout desk, you might catch them doing coursework or reading their favorite books, or you might find them bobbing their heads to Taylor Swift blasting through their iPods while shelving books.

While the Patriot Center and Fenwick Library are fine for bringing in a couple of extra dollars, jobs related to your major furnish your résumé and keep you interested. Logan Duvon, a junior majoring in psychology, was pleased to learn she could expand her studies at the Child Development Center on campus.

“I love children, it was close and easy to get to and [the children] were in the perfect age range [I planned on working with],” said Duvon. Through her experience as a teacher assistant, Duvon determined the focus of her studies. Along with helping two-year-olds with their letters, doing math and playing games, Duvon worked with an autistic child.

“Spending time with him really made me realize that I wanted to work with kids who have special needs,” Duvon said.

Senior Pat Money is another Mason student furthering his education through his on-campus job. Referred to his current position with the Office of Admissions as client services trainer by a friend, Money enjoys working closely with the George Mason University administration for the inside knowledge it provides and the competitive pay he receives.

“I work [at the Admissions Office] because of what the office is responsible for, helping students get into college and further[ing] their education,” Money said. ‘It’s something I have a passion for and the office is a great working environment.”

Between the convenience of location and the consideration to course schedules that Mason employers give, most jobs on campus automatically have an advantage over other jobs in the area.

Where you decide to work on campus all comes down to what you want out of a job. With almost all campus jobs, you can expect a schedule that fits your course load, great pay and maybe even a new group of friends in your coworkers. If you’re looking for more than just pocket money, you’ll have to figure out which campus office best suits your career goals. An accounting major might consider looking for a job with the Office of Financial Aid while a communication major might find a good fit with one of the organizations in the Office of Student Media.

Regardless of what you pick, the verdict is the same: working on campus will give you enough dignity to stop begging relatives for money, plus a flexible schedule that won’t hurt your academics or your social life.

Written by Owen Ito, VoxPop Staff Writer
Photo by Grace Kendall

Where's the best places to eat? VoxPop finds out for you!

Students voice off on the best places on and off campus.

Like music? Looking for the best place to take a date? Use VoxPop's expert reviews to find out.