Congratulations to our newly elected senators!
Starting a new semester at George Mason University is an exciting time, but we understand that figuring out parking can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. Whether you’re a returning student or just beginning your GMU journey, we’re here to make the process of securing a parking pass as straightforward and hassle-free as possible.
To purchase your parking permit and learn more about the available options, visit https://transportation.gmu.edu/virtual-permit/. This resource provides step-by-step instructions on how to purchase your permit and put it to use. In addition, the site features a comprehensive FAQ section to answer any questions you may have about the virtual permits.
And there you have it – you’ll be ready to hit the ground running (or parking) with a virtual permit in no time! If you encounter any issues or have questions along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Parking Services office, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, feel free to drop us an email at email@example.com. We wish you a happy parking experience and look forward to seeing you on campus!
February 10th, 2023, By Senator Austin Emery, Secretary of the 43rd Student Senate
Reviewed and revised by Olivia Degraff
We hope you enjoyed your break because George Mason University’s Student Government is ready to get right back to serving the community! This past Thursday, the Student Senate convened at 4:30 pm to initiate its second session. Along with it came a few changes within the organization.
- Upon the resignation of Senator Noor Abuzinadah from student government (and thus also her position as Chair of the University Life Committee), a three-way election took place between Senator Erica Munisar, Senator Matthew Kovacev, and Senator Alexander Williams. After a near hour of debate, the body voted in Williams to fill the position. The vote was 20 for Williams, 8 for Munisar, and 1 for Kovacev.
- Williams took on the position immediately and has resigned from his position as Secretary of the Senate. With his resignation, Austin Emery has subsequently fulfilled the position of Secretary.
- On Saturday, Williams confirmed in a Slack message to the organization that his committee will convene on Mondays at 2 pm. Students who are not part of Student Government are welcome to attend their meetings as they discuss a wide variety of topics, ranging from student involvement to well-being.
There were also some changes within the Executive Branch of the Student Government, who had its first meeting of the new year this past Thursday at 7 pm. In a revamped session led by Vice President Celine Apenteng and Chief of Staff Lauren Battey, the President’s cabinet bid their welcomes to a handful of new faces. Their new appointments and position changes were as such:
- With the resignation of Aloana Hall from her position as Secretary of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs upon her graduation, former Undersecretary of Identity Affairs Zoe Winter ascended to the role after being confirmed by the Senate. As a result of this, Zion Hill took on Winter’s former role.
- A similar situation unfolded for the University Life department, where Valeria Vargas resigned from her position of Secretary of UL, with former Undersecretary of Student Involvement Pierce Landon moving up and taking on her position. Sona Yathavamoorthy was subsequently appointed and took on Landon’s former position.
- Undersecretary for Community Relations and Civic Engagement Chadni Cowpwer also resigned from her position, with Gabriella Gabrovska succeeding her.
- Undersecretary of Academic and Professional Development Jayden Fulford stepped down from his position, allowing Samantha Wheltzer to be appointed in his place.
- Through B. #31, a new position for the Cabinet was created: the Undersecretary for Student Health Services. Around 7:30, the Senate ended its meeting by confirming the first person to fill that position, Jared Anderson.
By the end of the 2/2 session of the Senate, their member count had dropped from 40 to 36 members. We thank Senators Muhammad Ismail, Matt Nguyen, Pranav Shrivastava, Maya Khachab, and former Chair Noor Abuzinadah for their time in the organization. Additionally, President Nguyen’s Cabinet extends its regards to Aloana Hall, Valeria Vargas, Chadni Cowpwer, and Jaden Fulford, and not only thanks them for their time and dedication, but wishes them well in their future endeavors.
Students (undergraduate and graduate) who are interested in joining the Student Senate may fill out this form to go through the appointment process. Students must have the 4:30-7:10 window on Thursdays open to be eligible to join. Students should also allocate some time in weeks to fulfill office hours, volunteering, and outreach requirements. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, and applicants will be asked to attend the upcoming Admin & Finance committee meeting, which occurs on a weekly basis on Monday at 12pm. There, they will be expected to give a candidate statement and respond to questions that members of the committee may pose. Should they be confirmed by the committee, the process will repeat on that same Thursday where all members of the Senate will vote and ask questions to the candidate.
Happy Spring, and go Mason Nation!
Executive Ticket Election Results
|Sophia Nguyen & Celine Apenteng
|Dunni Oni & Zuri Hodnett
|John Jennings & Vivian Hurd
|Abstain from Voting
Senate Election Results
|Ana Belen Garcia Inga
|Ethan Connell *
|Aarush Jambunathan *
|Nishok Chitvel *
|M Sullivan *
|Colin Mcaulay *
|Maya Khachab *
|Jack Fedak *
|Matt Nguyen *
|Austin Emery *
|Julien Bouvery *
|Kiana Portillo *
* Write-in Candidate
Abstain from Voting: 388 votes
Green shading signifies successful election to office.
Results certified at 11:39 AM on April 11, 2022
Reminder: The last day to drop classes with a 100% tuition refund is Monday, February 7th. The last day to drop classes with a 50% tuition refund is Tuesday, February 14th. For more information, and to view other important dates, visit the Office of the Registrar’s Spring ’22 Academic Calendar.
Come meet your student body representatives at the RSO Leadership Conference. Student Government will be hosting an information session and Q&A with RSOs. The event will be held on March 15th @ 2-3PM, March 16th @ 3-4pm, March 17th @ 5-6pm, and March 18th @ 12:30-1:30pm. Come join us!
Senator Peter Roberto, who serves as the Senate Military Liaison, has been working hard on a brand new initiative: the Veteran Career Panel event. The event will take place on Wednesday, November 11 at 1 PM. You can learn more and RSVP by click here.
Here is what Senator Roberto had to say about his role and the initiative:
The Veterans Career Panel initiative involves my role as Military Liaison for Student Senate. I am organizing a career panel for our Veteran Mason students, Mason students who are currently serving (either active duty, with their National Guard, or in the Reserves) or are members of our ROTC program. The event will be held over Zoom at 1pm on November 11th, Veterans Day. We are also planning to have the event streamed on university TVs!
Most of my time working on the event has been focused on getting panelists for it since I wanted our panelists to represent our Military community on campus. Currently we have one former member of our ROTC program, a Mason professor and combat veteran, a Navy Reservist and Graduate program coordinator at Mason, and hopefully we’ll have a recent Mason graduate and veteran as well!
Getting this together has taken a lot of work not only from myself but from our wonderful Student Government Advisors, Student Government Leadership, and our partners in the Office of Military Services, Career Services, the Alumni Association, and Event Services.
On October 8, the Student Senate voted to fund the first phase of the Patriot Protection Program. This program, which is a comprehensive project across several departments, aims to improve safety for George Mason Students. The first phase includes plans to improve lighting on campus.
Here is what Vice Chair Ransom Fox had to say about the initiative:
Hey everyone! As you all know, lack of lighting on campus has been an issue for quite a while now and unfortunately no action has taken place to remedy this concern. However, thankfully, George Mason’s administration, members of Student Government, and I have been working non-stop for the last four months to add more lighting on campus.
The goal of this project is to increase campus safety and alleviate worrisome safety concerns in an appropriate and efficient manner. Last Thursday, our project got a giant leap forward when the Student Senate passed – unanimously – a bill that will buy 160 lights! The lights have been ordered and will be arriving sometime next week. Once they arrive, my colleagues and I will be meeting with the Mason administration to plan a pilot installation of the lights and to create a fully fleshed out game plan for the entire project.
Speaking of installing the light – it’s very easy! All we have to do is stick them into the ground! We will be needing volunteers to help us build the lights and Protect Our Patriots, so if you and your friends are interested in doing some easy, fun community service to brighten up our campus and foster a safer community, stay on the lookout for updates regarding such opportunities. I am so proud of the work we have been doing as a Mason community as a whole. We are showing that by working together we can get the job done and improve our community in a way that could never have even been dreamed of before.
Stay tuned and if you want to keep up to date about what is happening with this project, follow our Instagram @patriotprotectionprogram.
To learn more about the Patriot Protection Program or any other Senate initiative, visit our legislation log.
Congratulations to the brand new student senators elected this week. For full results, please visit our elections page.
In the coming weeks we’ll be talking with the new freshman/transfer senators to learn more about their big plans for the upcoming semester. Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Dominic Pino, Chairman of the Election of Disputes Commission (EDC), to learn more about the commission and its role in Student Government.
- So, Dominic, what is the role of the EDC?
- The EDC is the third branch of Student Government, and we serve a similar function to the judicial branch in the United States government. We rule on cases that are brought to us and settle disputes between the other two branches. Unlike the judicial branch, however, we also hold the elections for the other two branches of Student Government. We write the Election Code and oversee all the relevant forms and procedures for running for office.
- What is your role as the chief commissioner?
- I was elected by the other members of the Commission to be the chair. It’s mostly a “first among equals” situation as I don’t have any extra say in the decisions we make. However, I run our meetings and officially announce any rulings we make.
- What was the turnout for this year’s online interest meetings?
- We’re only halfway through our schedule of candidacy meetings, but so far have had great turnout. There are a ton if interested candidates.
- How did COVID-19 changed the election and campaigning process?
- We’ve moved it all online. Voting is always online anyway, so no changes there, and that’s the most important part. All candidacy forms are online, but again, that’s normal. Our candidacy meetings have all been online, which is a change from normal, but that probably helped accessibility more than it hurt it. Campaigning is the biggest change, since we are having no in-person campaigning. We made that decision out of fairness for the more students than normal who are living off campus, many of whom are living in different states and can’t even get to campus. There’s still plenty of campaigning to be done online, so focusing on social media should still generate excitement for candidates to get out the vote.
- What improvements does the EDC hope to make this year?
- We hope to improve our coordination with the rest of Student Government to advertise elections and get the word out about candidacy meetings. I’ve been happy with our progress so far in that respect, although we could always improve.
- What is the expected voter turnout, and how is that affected by COVID-19?
- It’s really hard to anticipate what the turnout will be since COVID-19 means that so many students are distant from campus. We’re in uncharted territory just like everyone else. (Since this interview, though, the top candidate had received almost 300 votes, which is not bad considering the circumstances.)
- What is the importance of voting in Student Government elections?
- This is how students get a say in how things are done at Mason. Pay attention during campaign season and keep an eye out for candidates who support things you agree with. The fall elections are especially important since the seats are reserved for freshmen and transfer students. Freshman could serve for years in Student Senate if they get elected now, and more time in office means more time to change things.
- Where and when can students find out about the election results?
- Election results will be posted on the GMUSG website on Thursday, October 1st by 12:00 PM. They will also be emailed directly to all candidates. The first Student Senate meeting with the newly elected senators will be at 4:30 PM that same day.