Student threatens South Park over Islam

by   Posted on April 26th, 2010 in Uncategorized

By Rachael Dickson, Four Years After Final Four Editor

A former George Mason University Student posted a warning online to the creators of South Park that has been perceived as a threat by many, including Comedy Central.

The message, posted on April 15 after a recent South Park episode in which the prophet Muhammad was shown in a bear costume, said, “We have to warn [Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of South Park] that what they are doing is stupid, and they will probably wind up like Theo van Gogh for airing this show. This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them.”

Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was killed in 2004 after he produced a film criticizing the treatment of women in Islamic societies.

Because of the message, the latest episode of South Park aired with the Muhammad character censored.

The author of the note, Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee, was born Zachary Adam Chesser, he confirmed in an e-mail correspondence. He attended Mason as a freshman for one semester in 2008.

“I did not think [my comments] would garner quite this large of a reaction, but they were intended to turn this into a story so that the Muslims would not just let this event go unnoticed,” Al-Amrikee said via e-mail. He said Revolution Muslim, a group based in New York City, would attempt to turn the issue into a broader story and that the group might not post anything new online “until the dialogue broadens.”

A article that Al-Amrikee characterized as “more or less correct, but far from a full story,” described him as a former football player and crew team member from Oakton High School in Fairfax County, Va. He said one thing the article did get wrong was timing — he was in fact a heavy metal fan in middle school, and not high school, as it claimed.

The article went on to say that Al-Amrikee dropped out of Mason in the spring semester of his freshman year in 2008.

He eloped and married a Muslim woman he met in college who recently gave birth to a son. He lives with his mother, brother, wife and son in Centreville, Va.

“I do what I can with the time that I have, but I do not necessarily tell people I am affiliated with Revolution Muslim unless it serves some purpose,” Al-Amrikee said. “We do not encourage Muslims to remain in the West and we do not plan on doing it either. If immigration laws were not such a pain, then I would not be here right now.”

Al-Amrikee maintains an active YouTube account at AlQuranWaAlAhadeeth and, until Thursday, an active Twitter account, On April 15, he posted on Twitter, “May Allah kill Matt Stone and Trey Parker and burn them in Hell for all eternity. They insult our prophets Muhammad, Jesus and Moses…”

Al-Amrikee also said reports online that claimed he was planning to set up a Revolution Muslim branch in Northern Virginia were false and that he is planning on immigrating out of the United States as soon as he can.

A follow-up statement clarifying the South Park response was posted on RevolutionMuslim. and

Al-Amrikee took responsibility for the statement along with Younes Abdullah Muhammad. The statement, which is eight pages long in PDF form, includes sections on Islamic belief, the events of 9/11, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and free speech.

“This stance [advocating death for those who insult Muhammad in keeping with several Islamic rulings throughout history] is virtually obligatory,” the statement says in part.

“But it does not mean that our taking this stance is in some way an absolute call toward the requirement that the creators of South Park must be killed, nor a deliberate attempt at incitement; it is only to declare the truth regardless of consequence and to offer an awareness in the mind of Westerners when they consider doing the same thing.”

The statement also says, “All one has to do to see the impact Matt Stone and Trey Parker have had in spreading Islamophobia already is to go on any right-wing [sic] extremist website like the Jawa Report and count the number of times the words ‘Derka Derka Muhammad Jihad’ are written.”

This statement references the 2004 film Team America: World Police, a profanity-laden political satire produced by Stone and Parker.

In response to statements by the Council on American-Islamic Relations implying that Revolution Islam was too outrageous to be real and could be a setup to smear Islam, Al-Amrikee said, “CAIR is an organization which frequently abandons Islamic principles in favor of pleasing American politicians. This is how many if not most Muslims view them. We e-mailed them our press release so that they could respond, but they have yet to do this. They do not return to the religious proofs for what they say, but they issue statements from emotions.”

“CAIR should worry more about the millions of Muslims whose blood has been shed by America over the past 20 years than appeasing a society that only cares about its own citizens,” Al-Amrikee said.

Student Assaults Police Officer

by   Posted on April 26th, 2010 in Uncategorized

By Alyse Knorr, Broadside Correspondent

Five Mason students were arrested on charges of being drunk in public last Thursday, one of whom also was charged with resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.

Biology major Phillip Sullivan, 21, was arrested in Parking Lot A on charges of being drunk in public, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer, according to police records.

He posted a $10,000 bond early Friday morning, according to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

“Our officers were on patrol and they approached him because he appeared to be intoxicated,” said Assistant Chief of University Police George Ginovsky.

“When they went to arrest him for being intoxicated in public, he resisted the arrest and in the process of the arrest he assaulted one of the officers,” said Ginovsky.

Ginovsky said the department had extra patrols out campus-wide because of Mason Day, including a special team called the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) team that consists of officers in plain clothes.

Ginovsky said that for special events such as Mason Day, Homecoming and certain concerts at the Patriot Center, the police team is split into several different teams that work together.

These include a patrol team that maintains law enforcement and response throughout campus, a venue team composed of officers assigned specifically to the event venue and an ABC team that concentrates on enforcement of drug and alcohol laws across campus.

In addition to the five drunk in public arrests on Thursday, one student was arrested for underage possession of alcohol; one for possession of marijuana; and one for possession of LSD, possession of marijuana and underage possession of alcohol.

“Since we have more officers looking for violations, we’re going to have more arrests,” Ginovsky said. “I don’t think that means we have more or less underage drinking or drinking too much on those particular days.”

Ginovsky emphasized the department’s focus on drunk in public cases, which he said can become a public health and safety issue when an individual is so drunk, he or she might cause a problem or be unable to take care of him or herself.

“Underage drinking is one problem we experience, but the problem that’s a public safety [and] public health issue for us is not so much underage drinking — although that’s a factor — but people who are of age and drinking too much,” Ginovsky said.

“This is not enforcement for its own sake. It’s not a matter of making statistics or making arrests or issuing citations. The primary reason we’re doing this, the overriding reason we’re doing this, is for public safety — public health,” said Ginovsky.

Ginovsky said that characteristics such as staggering, slurred speech, incoherent speech and disorientation are all common to people who are drunk in public.

“When you say, ‘What’s your name?’ and they say, ‘Lawnmower,’ you know the guy’s probably drunk,” Ginovsky said.

Class helps poor of Fairfax: Mason aids with service and donations

by   Posted on April 19th, 2010 in Uncategorized  and tagged

By Genevieve Timpone, Broadside Correspondent

Although Forbes Magazine lists Fairfax among the most affluent of America’s counties, there are still many individuals in the area who are homeless. The Lamb Center strives to be a safe haven for those in need.

The Lamb Center is a Christian-based homeless shelter in Fairfax, Va. The organization allows the area’s homeless to get out of the elements, and provides a number of services, including meals, laundry, showers, phone access, a prayer area and mental outreach programs.

The shelter also provides work-related help to its guests, such as resume drafting and the use of its address as a place of contact.

George Mason University’s COMM 330: Principles of Public Relations class is working with the Lamb Center by collecting donations.

According to junior communication major Nicole Carnemella, a student in the class, the class has not had much luck in receiving donations. Many stores they went to were either unwilling or legally unable to provide donations.

“Other than a few donations from friends and family, we don’t have that much,” said Carnemella, noting that the group had only collected about two boxes of supplies.

The COMM 330 class is not the only place on campus where students are trying to help the Lamb Center.

Members of Mason’s Catholic Campus Ministry (CCM) volunteer at the shelter every Thursday. Nick Basinger, a freshman psychology major, explains that the goal of CCM’s volunteer work is to listen to the guests and act as a support group. Basinger says the shelter sees anywhere from 100 to 150 people per day.

“For many people, this is the only place they can go, so we see a lot of the same faces each day,” said Basinger. “You get really close to the people that go there and really get to know them.”

Liz Kallman, a junior nursing major and a student leader for CCM, said, “Sometimes we help out with other duties if they are understaffed, such as helping with cleaning, or washing dishes; but our main purpose is to talk, as many of these people have no one to listen to them. We may not be able to help them monetarily, but we can show them by coming in week after week that they are not alone and that there are people out there who care about them.”

The Lamb Center relies on donations. Items accepted for donations include basics, such as toothbrushes, laundry detergent and clothing, as well as gift cards and monetary donations. The full list of accepted items is located on the organization’s website.

The class will be collecting donations between now and April 25. You may contact Carnemella at to drop off donations or to receive more information about you can help.

There are many opportunities to volunteer at the Lamb Center. In order to volunteer, please contact Dave Larrabee or visit the Lamb Center’s website at The Lamb Center depends on the selflessness of Fairfax’s residents and any help is greatly appreciated.

Students seesaw against slavery: Work to raise awareness on human trafficking

by   Posted on April 19th, 2010 in Uncategorized  and tagged

By Pras Gustanto, Staff Writer

A playground activity like seesawing can be more than just a fun way to pass the time — it can also act as a tool to raise awareness. That is what Seesaw Against Slavery did to educate the George Mason University student body about human trafficking.

The event, which took place last Monday, gave people the opportunity to ride a seesaw while helping to raise awareness of human trafficking by donating money, which went to aid awareness on the issue. The act of riding on the seesaw symbolizes what childhood could have been like for trafficked infants.

“We seesaw because they can’t,” said Margalit de Gosztonyi, a junior biology major.

The event brought together Christian organizations such as The Gathering and Campus Crusades for Christ in sponsoring the event to raise funds to help end human trafficking.

The U.N. defines human trafficking as “The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion . . . for the purpose of exploitation.”

Sex trafficking in both its personal and commercial variations is a common form of trafficking. “[It] is simply the global form of prostitution,” author Kathleen Barry wrote.

One of the event’s leaflets shows a letter that Mary — a rescued sex worker — wrote to her mother from the Agape Restoration Center, a facility where rescued Cambodian sex-exploited children are sheltered, educated and rehabilitated to live a normal life.

“They teach me English, computer, music, Khmer,” Mary wrote. “I will study hard to look after you when I grow up.”

Mary’s Cambodian experience is not rare. reports that Cambodia is a popular destination for sex trafficking. Another website, Voice of America News, reported in 2009 that the rate of trafficking is soaring and that the business continues to thrive despite the efforts of authorities.

The fundraiser takes place over the course of a full 24-hour day. The first few hours have volunteers from the sponsor groups taking turns doing hourly shifts riding on the seesaws. Each sponsor volunteer puts in $25 an hour to ride the seesaws.

“We would have about 15 to 20 initial volunteers taking turns for the first 10 hours or so,” said Sarah Witze, a junior tourism and events management major who is also the community team leader for The Gathering.

This sets the general template of behavior for people who pass by who wish to donate or learn more about human trafficking. Anyone who donated money for the cause had the opportunity to ride on the seesaw.

The fundraiser’s goal was not necessarily to raise a lot of money.

“It would be enough for us to raise plenty of awareness and [get]positive feedback to consider a day a successful day,” Witze said. “We did, however, raise over $2,000 in last year’s fundraising day.”

Despite the overwhelming odds against them, the fundraisers were passionately committed to the fight against human trafficking.

“We are a Christian organization,” Witze said. “Christ is leading us to do this, besides the fact that it is morally wrong to take something that is sacred and taking it for recreation against someone’s will. I feel like this is a small thing we can do for people who have been deprived of a childhood.”

Medical symposium comes to campus: Alpha Epsilon Delta hosts event

by   Posted on April 19th, 2010 in Uncategorized  and tagged

By Yuri Svjagintsev, Broadside Correspondent

Being an undergraduate student is a very eye-opening and difficult time. Why is it difficult? Possibly because, for many students, it means deciding what they want to pursue for the rest of their lives.

Some students are clueless to what their future professions will be. This is why organizations like Alpha Epsilon Delta exist on the George Mason University campus. The objective of this professional organization is to prepare students for a career as a physician and how to be successful in the challenging task of applying and completing medical school.

According to Dara Kabban, Alpha Epsilon’s events coordinator and a senior biology major, the organization is also an “honor society that does service.”

One of the programs offered is a shadow program, in which students shadow a medical professional. Since Alpha Epsilon Delta is an honor society, it requires participants to uphold a certain GPA.

On Tuesday, the fraternity invited participants in VCU’s medical school to come and speak at the Johnson Center.

The participants in this organization were all at different stages of their medical careers. They ranged from Asad Qassim, a fourth-year medical student at VCU, to Dr. Bashian, a retired pediatrician.

Students were given the opportunity to ask the panel different questions regarding a life in the medical career. Questions ranged from the short-term “how do I get into medical school?” to the more revealing “what experience affected you the most in your job?”

The answers to this question showed the nature of being a doctor in a brutally honest light. Discussions about the inevitable mortality of some patients and how, even in death, a new life can be saved were featured. In one story featured, one of the participants had an 18-year-old boy die on her watch, only to have his healthy organs donated to some future patient in need.

It is these sorts of experiences, according to Kabban, that help students decide if this is the career path they want to go down.

“We have guest speakers like this in every meeting,” said Benefsha Mohammad, a senior biology major. “Their experiences gave me a strengthened desire to go to med school.”

What was equally amazing were the motivations of the Mason students who wanted to go down this route. Mohammad had a patriotic reason of her own. “I was born in Mazari-I-Sharif in Afghanistan, and most of the people there live in desperate conditions. I would like to return to Afghanistan out of an obligation to my people.”

When asked if medical schools were only looking for science majors, both Bashian and Mohammad countered that this was not necessarily the case.
“In fact, some of the most popular majors of incoming med students are English and anthropology,” said Bashian. “However, it is important that you have a scientific understanding before applying to medical school and taking the MCAT.”

Brian Colchao, a junior majoring in biology said, “Biology is the best major in gaining that understanding before you go to med school.”

Mason Ecosphere

by   Posted on April 19th, 2010 in Uncategorized  and tagged ,

By EAG Member Nya Jackson

As Shavon Jordan, a sophomore psychology major, thumbed through her $222 Information Technology 103 book, she felt sick to her stomach knowing it would be thrown away at the end of the semester. “I’m mad I won’t get any money back, but it’s also wasteful because the book is going to end up in the garbage since I have no use for the book after I’m done with the course.”

Jordan is not the only one thinking about George Mason University’s wasteful behavior. The Office of Sustainability (OS) has been considering how to reduce wasteful consumption and increase sustainability on campus. The OS is implementing a multi-level Climate Action Plan that will ideally lead Mason to climate neutrality.

Recently, the OS held two town hall sessions to engage the Mason community. According to Lenna Storm, Mason’s sustainability coordinator, “With 15 participants — staff, graduates, undergraduates and faculty — and input from all aspects of university operations, the seminar resulted in a list of over 300 projects aimed at reducing emissions.”

While all of these projects were not included in the Climate Action Plan after their costs and benefits were determined, many are ready for immediate implementation, or at least for further research and the possibility of future implementation. The projects for the Climate Action Plan are organized into four categories: Siemens, Large-Scale Strategies, Small-Scale Strategies and Education and Behavior Campaign.

According to Storm, who is the chief compiler and author of the Climate Action Plan, the Siemens category includes projects that can be accomplished through investment in energy-efficiency strategies through Mason’s contract with Siemens, an international energy management company.

Large-scale strategies include solar panel installation to generate heat and electricity, and other projects that will require large-scale resource mobilization. Small-scale strategies include adjusting the default setting on printers in the Johnson Center to double-sided to reduce the amount of paper used on campus.

According to the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, when Rutgers University made double-sided printing the default option for its lab printers, they were able to save 7,391,065 sheets of paper in the first semester alone, or roughly 1,280 trees for the academic year.

Danielle Wyman, a research assistant in the OS, believes small-scale sustainability projects, such as making double-sided printing the default option, can have a large impact on the university’s carbon emissions.

“These projects are easy to implement and can help in reducing Mason’s emissions levels, so it’s important to pursue small-scale projects in addition to larger-scale projects such as solar energy,” said Wyman.

The OS has outlined other small-scale projects including a phased replacement of all standard washers with front-loaders, which have been proven to be more energy-efficient. This makes cold washes the default option on washers to reduce energy consumption, and reduce cogeneration.

The education and behavior campaign identifies several personal adjustments a person can make to reduce emissions, which cannot be achieved through technological fixes.

Colin Bennett, the outreach coordinator for the OS, believes, “Through peer-to-peer education, seminars, social media networks and service learning, the education and behavior campaign will create a university-wide, cultural shift towards more sustainable behavior.”

The OS is not the only one excited about Mason’s commitment to climate neutrality and the Climate Action Plan. The OS has received enthusiastic support from various Mason departments, offices and groups including Mason Transportation, Mason Dining, the Environmental Science and Public Policy Department, the Grounds Shop and the Organic Garden Association.

Mason’s Climate Action Plan was published in January of this year. While all of the projects have not been implemented yet, many of them are already being undertaken in addition to new projects not included in the plan. While the OS compiled and wrote the Climate Action Plan, they have engaged the university throughout the process to create an understanding of the ecological goals of the university.

Mason celebrates 40th anniversary of Earth Day: University goes green

by   Posted on April 19th, 2010 in Uncategorized  and tagged

By Pras Gustanto, Staff Writer

Earth Day this year will mark a special occasion for both the world and for George Mason University.

It will mark the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day, a day that is designed to inspire knowledge and recognition about the Earth’s environment.

Sunday, April 25 will also be Mason’s first official Earth Day trip to the National Mall. This will be the climax of a series of Earth Week events at Mason that started on April 6 and will end on May 1.

As it says on Mason’s Office of Sustainability (OS) website, “Earth Week in 2010 features many opportunities to learn about environmental sustainability as well as Mason’s commitment to leadership in environmental research and action.”

This past week had several events covering a variety of environment-related topics. On April 17, for instance, there was Mason Beautification Day, when Mason students were invited to make Mason more beautiful. Among other things, the event involved planting and painting around campus.

Upcoming events will feature Earth Day celebrations for just about everyday of this week.

On Tuesday, April 20, Dr. Geoffrey Birchard of Mason’s Environmental Science and Policy Department, will speak on the subject of dinosaur reproduction.

Thursday, April 22 will feature several events taking place throughout the day. E-Waste Recycling Day, for example, is when broken and used electronic equipment will be recycled.

Colin Bennett, sustainability assistant at OS, emphasizes the importance of recycling electronics.

“Properly recycling electronic waste is extremely important as electronics often contain heavy metals and other toxic materials that can contaminate our environment when the electronics are not disposed of properly,” Bennett said.

The Earth Week Green Team will also be spending much of Thursday’s Mason Day promoting Earth Week. They will be distributing various promotional material for environmental awareness. The team consists of volunteers and exists to help with any sustainability-related events when they are called for.

On Friday, April 23, a Coke Recycling Trailer will be in front of Southside Plaza to collect disposable containers such as soda bottles and cans.

Bennett, however, emphasized how the act of recycling itself should be a low priority in day-to-day environmental awareness.

“We strongly encourage people not to purchase products in disposable containers . . . although recycling is obviously extremely important, it’s actually near the end on the list of R’s, which goes in this order: refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, recycle,” Bennett said.

Sunday’s Earth Day will coincide with an Earth Day Network-sponsored national climate rally. According to the event’s Facebook page, the rally is going to be held to demand that Congress support and enact a climate and clean energy legislation bill.

The march will feature speeches from celebrities such as director James Cameron and will have performances from artists like Sting, John Legend and The Roots.

Over a thousand guests have signed up for the march’s Facebook page.

“With hope, this event, along with other events all over the country, will show our elected officials that addressing the climate crisis needs to be a priority and can’t wait until after the elections in November,” Bennett said.

Earth Week-related events will continue beyond this week. For more information, visit the Mason Sustainability calendar of events at

Communication class helps orphans: Students raise funds for peers

by   Posted on April 19th, 2010 in Uncategorized  and tagged

By Reuben Jones, Staff Writer

Buying textbooks, purchasing school supplies and decorating a school dorm room can all be expensive challenges for cash-strapped college students.

But for students without parents, and those who do not have family resources to count on, the challenge can be even harder.

This is a problem one class at George Mason University hopes to put a dent in.

COMM 389: Public Relations for Associations and Nonprofits has 26 students dedicated to the assignment of raising money and supporting the Orphan Foundation of America (OFA).

LaKesha Anderson has taught the class for the past four semesters. She explains that, in the class, students learn to “write persuasively for nonprofits and develop a grant proposal.”

Every semester she has split the class into groups to focus their efforts on different nonprofit organizations. This year, however, she decided to have the entire class focus on one organization.

This has been a welcomed change.

“Everyone is really into it, and the class is very involved,” said Anderson.

The Orphan Foundation of America began in 1986 and, since then, has awarded millions of dollars in scholarships and grants to more than 3,500 students.

The communication class is organized into four groups to help target their efforts. The students are either part of the fundraising, donations, event or media groups.

Junior Nikki Frias is a communication major and a member of the donations group. Frias explains that they have received donations from Office Depot and Red Bull and are still planning on making care packages.

The class’ efforts are centered around their major fundraising event on April 29. The event, from 3 – 5 p.m., will be a chance for anyone to come and get free food, enter for raffle tickets and donate as many items as possible.

Donations may include toothbrushes, notebooks and anything a student might use in college.

The event will be held in SUB II and Frias says, “The more you bring, the better [chance] you have of winning prizes from the raffle.”

The class is also holding an event at Chili’s in Fairfax on April 21 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Anyone who goes there to eat must tell the waiter they are supporting the OFA and then 20 percent of the bill will go to the organization.

Anderson says the class decided to think small-scale instead of large-scale because they realized they could make the most impact on a smaller level.

“[They are] taking what they’re learning in class and applying it,” said Anderson.

Anderson has been pleased with the students’ efforts and the students have also enjoyed the experience.

“I really like the class — it’s hands on and [we] all have worked together for the greater good,” said Frias.

Students go from YouTube to Mason: Video applications now part of admissions

by   Posted on April 19th, 2010 in Uncategorized  and tagged

By Rashad Mulla, Staff Writer

Prospective George Mason University freshmen had a new way to impress admissions officials during this year’s application cycle: one-minute video essays.

About 150 potential students took advantage of the option to include a supplemental video essay as part of their applications for fall 2010. The video gave high school students another opportunity to stand out from a record applicant class of more than 17,000. Mason accepts less than 50 percent of applicants, said Andrew Flagel, dean of admissions.

The concept is novel — Mason is one of at least four schools that encourage video applications — but it will not make a huge impact on admission decisions, Flagel said.

“It’s fully incorporated into the application, but it’s not meant to replace the written essay,” Flagel said. “The dominant issue, by far, is a full review of the student’s academic record.”

Despite its perceived minimal impact, student demand was one of the reasons the admissions office decided to implement the video essay option.

Until fall 2000, Mason conducted interviews with many applicants. During the fall 2000 admissions cycle, Mason interviewed about 5,000 of the 7,400 applicants, according to Flagel. The process was tedious, but allowed for more personal interaction with each applicant, Flagel said.

“It made a big difference in terms of students’ commitment to joining the school,” he said. “But it was such a massive undertaking that it really wasn’t sustainable.”

But some potential applicants wanted the personal touch that these interviews provided, Flagel said. As a trial run, Mason decided to give applicants for the summer 2009 Mason Ambassadors program the option of submitting a video essay. Deeming this a success, the admissions office opened the option to all new applicants.

Hannah Kabli, a senior information technology major, said video essays will help strengthen the admissions process.

“There are a lot of people who would be valuable assets to the Mason community but are not able to portray that through their writing,” she said.

“Having a video alongside their essay will help give a lot of students a second chance. The fact remains that a lot of people cannot make their writing interesting and a video would help them find a way to stand out.”

Amy Mai, a freshman nursing major, said the video applications are neither an easy fix nor a disadvantage for potential freshmen.

“Anything you are willing to say in a video can also be written,” she said. “With a video, [students] would probably put in a good amount of time preparing for it, just as I prepared for my essay.”

The tradition continues: Musical guests, games planned for Mason Week celebration

by   Posted on April 19th, 2010 in Uncategorized  and tagged

By Sandra Evans, Broadside Correspondent

It is more than likely that you have seen the fliers all over campus — George Mason University’s annual Mason Week is here!

Mason Week will be held this week, with the always-popular and highly anticipated Mason Day to be celebrated Thursday, April 22. The day will feature a live performance from the dance-rock band Cobra Starship.

“Mason Week took a lot of time, planning, research and preparation,” said Mallory Wuhrer, the special events chair for GMU’s Program Board. “The whole Program Board pitches in to make this week a success.”

Wuhrer noted that the biggest struggle was obtaining the carnival rides, but Program Board was able to successfully secure five. Wuhrer said she is “personally excited to see Mason Day come together . . . [and] to see the sky darkening, carnival lights turning on, hearing Cobra Starship outside and seeing students having fun.”

The fun-filled week will kick off today at noon at North Plaza with Ice Cream for Mason Week, which will feature free ice cream and other giveaways. There will also be a station for tie-dying shirts.

Then, on Tuesday, Rock The Plaza will take place from noon to 2 p.m. at North Plaza. There will be local bands and more giveaways. The 14th Annual Victims’ Rights Run & Walk will also be taking place at noon at the Center for the Arts building. Registration forms can be obtained through

On Wednesday, the Day of Silence will take place from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. to promote support of the LGBTQ community.

Also on Wednesday, a free comedy show featuring stand-up comic Tig Notaro will start at 8 p.m. in the Johnson Center’s Bistro. Tig Notaro is known for her role as Officer Tig on Comedy Central’s The Sarah Silverman Program.

Mason Day will be held on Thursday from 2 to 10 p.m. in Lot L, and students can find an array of free activities and events to enjoy.

Cobra Starship will be performing on the main stage at 8:45 p.m., after opening act Hot Chelle Rae at 7:45 p.m. Beforehand, a battle of the bands will take place on the main stage, with the winner being announced shortly before 7 p.m. Free food, carnival rides and free shirts will be featured in abundance.

Many students are excited about Mason Day, and about seeing Cobra Starship in particular, but there are still differing opinions on this year’s choice of recording artist. Jenna Cerrone, a junior exercise science major, says that she would “rather they have a different performer.”

Expectations are high for students who have attended Mason Week in the past, but as a transfer student who is new to Mason and campus traditions, junior history major Alex Landivar says, “I’m new, so it’s my first year. I don’t really know what to expect.”

On Friday, Program Board’s Every Freakin’ Friday will feature Inferno Fire Dancers from 9 to 11 p.m. at the North Plaza. The J.C. Atrium will be the fallback location in case of rain.

Mason Week will end on Saturday with The Aftershock: Mason Takes Over Six Flags, a Mason community trip to Six Flags in Bowie, Md. The culminating event will run from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tickets and further information can be found at

More information on Mason Week 2010 or GMU’s Program Board can be found at