Fourth Estate/Madalyn Godfrey, President’s Park

What does the Presidents Park community have to say about the recent Solar Eclipse


The solar eclipse appeared in the United States on April 8, 2024. Although Virginia was not in the path of totality, this did not stop students at George Mason University from meeting and watching the partial eclipse together.

With praises to the Department of Physics and Astronomy for supplying eclipse glasses at Merten Hall Lawn for their Mason Eclipse Viewing Event, students experienced 89% coverage of the sun at 3:20 p.m. all over the Fairfax campus, including Presidents Park.

Fourth Estate/Andani Munkaila, Merten Lawn

Standing outside Eisenhower Hall, residential members took turns wearing eclipse glasses and gave their reactions to what they were seeing.

For freshman Chakeal Gibs, seeing the solar eclipse was a surprise and cool experience.

“I think [the solar eclipse] is so cool,” Gibs said. “I’ve been inside all day so I am not going to lie, I didn’t know it was happening… I know people say the world can be dark and gray but it’s quite literally gray today.”

Freshman Vanessa Rodriguez also mentioned how cool it was to see a solar eclipse.

“The solar eclipse is actually really cool,” Rodriguez said. “I wish I was with my family to see this because I know my brother is making a huge deal out of this but it’s also nice to be with everyone out here.”

Although people enjoyed watching this shadowing of the sun, it did not stop conspiracy theories and speculations from being made.

“There are a lot of things people, including a couple of friends, saying this event proves the world is flat and some people are saying it’s the end of the world,” freshman Braxton Altice said. “I don’t know if it’s true but seeing the sun like this is all pretty neat.”

But it wasn’t just students who enjoyed watching. Housekeepers Miriam Argueta and Teresa Acedbed said they were excited because this was their first time ever seeing the solar eclipse.

While many people enjoyed watching the moon cover the sun, some students made comparisons to the 2017 solar eclipse and had their own disappointments.

“It is a nice solar eclipse, although I feel the one a couple of years back was a bit cooler mostly just because I was younger,” freshman Gabriel Pierson said.

Freshman Quilan Powell called the solar eclipse an “L” for not giving him superpowers.

However, along with enjoyment and disappointments, much appreciation went into having the opportunity to experience such a rare occurrence.

“This is an event that is not going to happen again until 2078 so it’s really special to be here and see it, thanks to George Mason,” freshman Seth Whipple said.

Much to Whipple’s sentiment, I have to agree. Experiencing the 2024 solar eclipse was truly spectacular and will be a forever memory; however, it was not so much about the event itself.

As the sun eclipsed, the best sight to behold was not the moon shadowing the sun but rather the sight of what this natural phenomenon brought together: A community of individuals coming together as one, just the same as the moon and the sun.