Joe Biden and Alisha Boe Visit Mason to Speak Out Against Sexual Assault on Campus: “It’s On Us”
Mason was honored to welcome former Vice President Joe Biden and Netflix actress Alisha Boe (13 Reasons Why) to the Fairfax campus on Wednesday, April 26th as the keynote speakers of the It’s On Us Rally.The event capped off a string of events at Mason recognizing Sexual Assault Awareness Month and was hosted by It’s On Us, a campaign to combat sexual violence on college campuses.
Student Media was on hand to cover the event with photo, video, and news coverage that included a student-produced live stream and representatives from Fourth Estate, PR & Design Team, Mason Cable Network, and WGMU Radio. Student Media’s video feed was picked up by several national news outlets, including CNN, Fox News, WDCW, Buzzfeed, People Magazine online, and others.
A longtime advocate against sexual violence and discrimination, Biden introduced the Violence Against Women Act in 1990 as a Senator from Delaware and launched the #ItsOnUs campaign with then-President Barack Obama in 2014 to raise awareness of the ongoing threats facing young American women. Estimates vary, but nearly 1 in 5 women is sexually assaulted before leaving college, according to data from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Mason President Angel Cabrera highlighted that statistic by focusing the crowd on compassion for the victims: “I don’t care about the five, the six, or the seven, I care about the one!”
In a fiery and blunt speech to the crowd, Biden called on everyone to take responsibility for this issue and recognize that it is indeed “On Us” to make the necessary cultural, attitudinal, and institutional changes needed to reverse the alarming levels of sexual violence plaguing colleges and universities across America.
Perhaps Biden’s most memorable moment was when the former Vice President spoke with deep conviction and flashes of anger about the necessity of obtaining affirmative consent before engaging in sexual activity: “Guys, a woman who’s dead drunk cannot consent. You are raping her. I really mean this, we’ve got to talk about this. Consent requires affirmative consent.”
George Mason University has made strides in this area in recent years, introducing a 24-hour crisis hotline, forming a task force to examine existing processes and resources, increasing counseling opportunities for victims, and pledging to make the eradication of sexual violence a top institutional priority.
You can take Mason’s pledge to end sexual assault via University Life’s website: ulife.gmu.edu/pledges
Check out MCN’s video coverage above and read WGMU Radio’s Jackie Reed’s article online: wgmuradio.com/2017/04/27/former-vp-joe-biden-leads-its-on-us-campaign-at-mason
Journal Jam 2017
Student Media hosted the 2nd Annual Journal Jam on Thursday, April 6, in the Johnson Center Bistro. Building on the success of last year’s gathering, we welcomed over 75 students, staff, and faculty members to help us celebrate the work of our five outstanding student-run literary journals that showcase the best in creativity and scholarship Mason has to offer.
Attendees enjoyed live music and refreshments and heard brief presentations from writers, researchers, poets, and artists whose work has been selected for publication in 2017.
The night’s entertainment came courtesy of Mason student Padi Nejad’s up-and-coming local band, Electric Heart, who played their first gig at Mason and brought down the house with their soulful music. Click here to read WGMU DJ Jackie Reed’s (host of Jammin’ with Jackie, Mondays and Wednesdays, 12pm) interview with Electric Heart.
Special thanks to vocalist Padi Nejad, guitartist Sean Ghosh, and saxophonist Devin Beard for lending their talents to our event!
Student Media’s literary journals (1: Volition; 2: The George Mason Review; 3: Phoebe; 4: So to Speak, and 5: Hispanic Culture Review) have been publishing continuously since 1971, providing a platform for Mason students to share their original work across a variety of disciplines with the world. Entirely student-run, these literary journals provide a showcase for original scholarly and creative work by students outside the classroom and provide the Mason community with new ideas and perspectives.
Thank you to everyone who helped make Journal Jam 2017 a success!
Local Band Electric Heart to Play Journal Jam 2017
Based in Sterling, VA, Electric Heart pulls at the strings of music lovers everywhere. The duo consists of Padi Goudarzi and Sean Ghosh, two childhood friends who mix soul, folk, alternative, and indie into their own distinct genre.
Almost a capella, Ghosh adds to the soulful vocals by switching it up with some raspy guitar, wispy and acoustic at its finest. Much of their music is rooted in optimism, very much alike the works of local artists Cinema Hearts and Nemes. Sometimes a guitar and a voice or two is all you need, and they show listeners the endless possibilities of music, simplified and amplified. Electric Heart duets with passionate melodies, wagging instrumentals, and a la-dee-da energy that goes beyond the typical Kumbaya vibes.
Electric Heart will be playing their first-ever Mason gig at Student Media’s Journal Jam, on Thursday, April 6th at 7:00pm in the JC Bistro. Saxophonist Devin Beard will be sitting in on the live set.
WGMU’s own Jackie Reed, host of Jammin’ with Jackie (Mondays & Wednesdays at noon), interviewed Electric Heart to learn more about the duo’s origins, musical style, and what excites them most about Journal Jam 2017. Listen to full audio of Jackie’s interview and a few original tracks online at www.wgmuradio.com.