Students Lunch with VA Governor McAuliffe
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe welcomed college journalists from across the Commonwealth to a luncheon at the Executive Mansion in Richmond on Wednesday, February 1st.
Junior Fareeha Rehman (President, Society of Professional Journalists) and Senior Lottye Lockhart (PR Coordinator, Student Media) represented Mason alongside peers from other Virginia colleges and universities.
During the three-course lunch that included lamb chops with polenta circles and opera cake, Governor McAuliffe discussed the future of Virginia’s economy and education and his thoughts on the job market for current college students. His goal, he said, is to get a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) book into the hands of every elementary school age Virginian.
Offering some advice on post-graduation jobs for college students and Virginia’s youth, McAuliffe said that he could not imagine doing something he did not love, and that high paying jobs in technology — especially cyber security — are readily available in the Commonwealth.
A portal has been created to provide easier access to tech job openings: cyberjobs.virginia.gov
McAuliffe also spoke with the student journalists about recent political events, specifically the controversial executive order that bans entry to the United States from seven majority-Muslim nations and indefinitely suspends America’s acceptance of refugees from war-torn Syria. Rehman was able to share her own family’s experiences with religious discrimination, including the story of her father being unjustly held at a border checkpoint 10 years ago when anti-Muslim sentiments flared in the wake of 9/11.
The Governor, who recently added Virginia to the list of states challenging President Trump’s executive order in the courts, reiterated his firm belief that the ban is unconstitutional: “We defeated one monarchy 236 years ago, and we sure as heck ain’t going to create another one!”
Happy Birthday, George!
On Friday, December 9th, Student Media hosted Happy Birthday, George! in SUB I’s Patriot’s Lounge and welcomed over 200 faculty, staff, students, and community members to share in the fun. The celebration included birthday cake, music, activities, raffle prizes, a giant birthday card, and special guests Dr. Angel Cabrera, Doc Nix, the Green Machine, G-Men, and George Mason himself!
This fun and educational event was held to honor our university namesake’s legacy and ideas, which include the drafting of the Virginia Declaration of Rights — one of the documents upon which the U.S. Constitution was based. George Mason is known to history as the Father of the Bill of Rights, and his contributions to democracy helped secure the five freedoms guaranteed to all Americans under the First Amendment. The very freedoms that George Mason fought for so passionately are critical to the work of Student Media today, including the freedom of speech and of the press.
For many years we have invited the Mason community to help us celebrate our namesake’s special day, but we realized an important goal this year by making 2016 George’s biggest birthday bash to date!
Special thanks to Nicole Morton, Rebecca Martin, and Lacey Villiva from Gunston Hall for donating some awesome prizes and providing historical actors Don McAndrews (George Mason) and Janis Harless (George’s eldest daughter, Nancy Mason) who added a historical flair to our celebration. Gunston Hall (George Mason’s homestead built in the 1750s) is open for public tours every day of the week except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Click here for more information and plan your own visit to historic Gunston Hall.
Our deep gratitude also extends to Doc Nix and Dr. Angel Cabrera for speaking at the event. Additionally, Dr. Cabrera was generous enough to donate his time so we could raffle off “Lunch with the President” to four lucky students.
Also a big thank you to the Green Machine’s Fife and Drum Corps. director Shane Nickels and Funk Band director Bobby Lacy II.
Sponsors who donated prizes include: Gunston Hall, Room Escape DC, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, WingZone, University Mall Theatres, Mason Recreation, Mason Athletics, Student Involvement, Off-Campus Programs, LEAD Office, University Bookstore, Patriot Computers, and University Life.