George Mason Turns 292

Photos by Michelle Gardner and Jessica Smith

On Friday, December 8th, Student Media hosted Happy Birthday, George! in Patriot’s Lounge (SUB I) and welcomed over 200 faculty, staff, students, and community members to celebrate #292YearsofGeorge. The party included birthday cake, music, activities, some amazing raffle prizes, a giant birthday card, and special guests the Green Machine, the G-Men, the Mason Patriot, and George Mason himself!

This annual event provides a chance for the Mason community to honor our university namesake’s legacy and ideas, including 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.

Of George Mason’s vital contributions to democracy, fellow Virginian and founding father Thomas Jefferson had this to say: “The fact is unquestionable, that the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution of Virginia, were drawn originally by George Mason, one of our greatest men, and of the first order of greatness.” (1825)

This year’s celebration was a great success, and Student Media would like to thank everyone who attended and supported our event. A big thank you to Student Media students and staff, Don McAndrews, Janis Harless, Bobby Lacy, the G-Men, the Mason Patriot, Willy Frasier, and Aaron Grossman.

Sponsors who donated prizes include: Buffalo Wild Wings, Tyson’s Biergarten, Room Escape Fairfax, Muse Paintbar, CorePower Yoga, Yard House, Shear Madness, Gunston Hall, Wing Zone, Parking Services, Mason Recreation, University Mall Theatres, Dave & Buster’s, Alexandria Waterfront, Housing & Residence Life, and University Life.


INOVA Fairfax Children’s Hospital Toy Drive

Join Student Media and the Society of Professional Journalists help local children in need by donating toys, books, gift cards, electronics, and personal care items from November 15th to December 5th.

Donation boxes are located in Student Media (The Hub 1201), Patriot’s Lounge (SUB I), and the Johnson Center Atrium.

Please note that all items MUST be brand new. Please refrain from gift wrapping donations.

Click here for a list of things that are currently needed at the hospital. These items provide comfort, security and happiness to patients during their stay.

Email with questions.

Thank you for your generosity during this holiday season!

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews Headlines 2017 Insight Forum

Photo by Kaitlyn Koegler

Chris Matthews, former presidential speechwriter, congressional chief of staff, and longtime host of MSNBC’s Hardball, delivered the keynote address at the 2017 Insight Forum on Tuesday, October 24th in The Hub Ballroom. Matthews spoke about the need for an educated public that can tell the difference between “fake news” and serious journalism, offering advice and insights from his own career to the student audience.

Sponsored by the Department of Communication Insight Committee, the annual forum’s focus this year was “#RealNews2017: gathering, dispensing, and presenting news in today’s social-mediated world.”

After a brief welcome and introduction from Provost David Wu and Interim Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), Robert Matz, Matthews kicked off the event with a quote from Thomas Jefferson:

“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them (1787).”

The important part, he stressed, is the second idea — that citizens must be “capable” of understanding the news in order to maintain a thriving democracy. Jefferson indicates that the role of a free press (and the people’s access to it) is potentially more important than government itself, but unless the public is able to tell fact from fiction it is meaningless.

So what to do in the age of “fake news”? Stay informed. Read newspapers. Do your own research utilizing reputable sources. Be skeptical, but know that facts are not open to dispute. Learn the difference between propaganda (that is designed to deceive) and news (that is designed to inform). Take in diverse points of view from serious journalists with a reputation for accuracy. Challenge yourself to seek out objective information outside the partisan echo chambers of social media — even if you disagree with it.

But most importantly, don’t become complacent. For you, as a news consumer and American citizen, have the right to demand excellence from the fourth estate and should settle for nothing less than the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.


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