Students, faculty reflect on the benefits of campus construction
BY ALLISON SCANLAN, FAUX ESTATE CORRESPONDENT
Editor’s Note: This piece is a work of fiction written for Fourth Estate’s satire issue, Faux Estate.
Prior to COVID-19, many students celebrated Mason for its ability to keep them exercising around the clock. Many students acknowledged that Mason’s construction projects have led them to find new and creative ways to get around campus.
With so many frequently traveled paths blocked off, many students are getting creative.
“You really do never know what to expect,” junior Tory Edinburgh said. “I now carry with me a shovel, two boomerangs, a foldable ladder, a 60-foot rope and lots of securing equipment. I see this as the future of parkour — I just hope I don’t get arrested.”
A new Mason step-counting competition, “My Feet Aren’t Sore Yet,” has recently gone viral. Its goal is to inspire students to have fun getting in shape and logging their steps. The competition’s website has over 15,000 daily users, including both students and faculty. Monthly winners can pick between a water bottle or a GMU friendship bracelet for their prize.
One of the competition’s last victors, Keri Sait, said that she had never walked so much in her life.
“I am in another step competition at my job and I’m often looked at with such a side eye,” Sait said. “My coworkers continuously ask for proof to explain that I’m not cheating. They cannot believe how my numbers get so high.”
There is such great excitement surrounding Mason’s strive for fitness that various faculty are looking at using this as a tactic to pull new students. Alex Honru, a faculty member, said, “Just seeing these students getting their steps in. … It truly puts a smile on my face. We are thinking of putting more fun obstacles around campus to see what these students can come up with.”
Faculty member Tom Hiddlestoni explained that he’s thinking of starting a new campaign called “Get Moving!” He remarked that he was inspired by former first lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to get students exercising, and that he wants Mason to help continue her legacy.
Hiddlestoni argued that the “Get Moving!” campaign will be extremely effective in drawing in new students.
“It really is all about perspective,” he said. “And we have lots of those around here.”
An incoming freshman, Sarah Weiffner, was interviewed on how Mason’s fitness approach influenced her choice when choosing a school.
“You know, I never really considered Mason’s program, but their push for getting students moving really provides an attractive atmosphere to me,” Weiffner said. “I’m excited to see a school that’s willing to walk the walk instead of talk the talk.”
While Mason construction has provided students a lighthearted atmosphere to get moving, it has also accomplished much more. Henry Losyi, a sophomore who tried out for the track team, noted “I don’t feel quite as bad about getting cut from the team anymore. With all the fun construction and the ‘My Feet Aren’t Sore Yet’ campaign, I have made so many friends just simply trying to walk around my school.”
Mason students have found joy through the construction. Many are out of their mind with excitement, and continuously supporting athletic stores by buying new running shoes.
So, while things might be tough with COVID-19 right now, keep in mind all the excitement that awaits the next time you return to Mason: more walking.