By Moira Snyder, Contributor

Snyder is a local high school senior who is interested in pursuing journalism as a career, and is considering George Mason University as her next step in achieving higher education. Always wanting to write and interested in anything that has to do with literature, Snyder knows that is the general field of which she wishes to pursue once she graduates high school. Having taken four years of newspaper and journalism already, along with a year of creative writing, and four years of Cambridge English (like advanced AP courses), she surrounds herself in words and authors and loves every second of it.

Incoming students are given the opportunity to become involved in the Mason community and to share its renowned spirit during the campus-wide, six-week event known as, “Welcome2Mason” which hosts a series of activities created by student organizations, faculty, and staff with the goal of spreading Patriot pride through August 24 to September 16.

For generations, Mason has welcomed new students in creative and imaginative ways. In the past, students were able to participate in activities that ranged from simple pizza parties to ultimate dodge ball games. Welcome2Mason allows incoming and potential students to experience life as a Patriot with all its pride and spirit, from the pep rallies, dances, and spirit wear to the more social and academic sides of Mason such as student organizations and sports. This six-week period is packed full of activities and events with the objective to spread Patriot pride and spirit while also providing a bit of educational advice in a more interactive way. Through the eyes of a potential freshman, here are some of the events that stood out.

August 25th: Annual Luau & Pig Roast

5:30pm – 9:00pm at the Catholic Campus Ministry Chapel 4515 Roberts Rd, Fairfax, VA 22032

Every year, the Catholic Campus Ministry Chapel has hosted this luau and every year it is a succeeded at providing an abundance of lively entertainment for freshman students. This year the Chapel will be hosting its festivities behind President’s Park where there will be a pig roast, drinks, and games that include a mechanical bull and obstacle course. Students will be able to dance to music and chat with their classmates, providing them an opportunity to form friendships and connections on campus.

August 26th: Bookstore VIP Night

6:00pm – 8:00pm at the Johnson Center Bookstore

Mason’s campus bookstore in the heavy trafficked Johnson Center is hosting a VIP Night that offers a wide range of lively activities such as carnival games, prizes, snacks, and free items. New students are given the opportunity to explore where their resources are for textbooks, spirit wear, etc., while also being able to meet new people.

August 26th – 27th: Mason Mayhem

Saturday the 26th at 8:00pm – Sunday the 27th at 12:00am in The Hub

For people who are lively and fond of making memories, then Mason Mayhem is the perfect event. Mason’s Patriot Activities Council is hosting this chaotic event and has created it with multitudes of activities inside the Hub including a DIY station, Glow Airbrush Tattoos, Glow Mini Golf, a Relax-station, and at 11:00pm the main event:

GLOW PARTY! Like most events, there will be free food, snacks and drinks for everyone attending. PAC expects students to have the best time at this event; PAC’s Vice President of Publicity, Alexis Loar says it is “Almost hard to describe because so much is going on…It’s literally mayhem!”

August 27th: Glance Into Greek

12:00pm – 2:00pm at the North Plaza / East Plaza (Rain Location: Dewberry Hall)

With over 35 Greek letter organizations that house a diverse population of at least 1,700 students, Mason welcomes new students to take a look into Greek life on campus. Mason Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) encourages incoming students to see what it is like to be a part of a charismatic community that is involved in almost everything it has to offer life on campus, from leaders, to athletics, to student government.

August 28th: Recreation Sensation (Rain date: September 4th)

11:00am – 1:30pm at the North Plaza

For students seeking adventure and adrenaline, Recreation Sensation is the place to be to receive more information about Mason Recreation. The event will host a series of challenges and games, along with information about employment opportunities and the services that Mason Recreation provides. Full-time students who are physically motivated, or who simply would like to swim a few laps, a full membership is included. This provides an opportunity to join activities that Mason Recreation offers such as: club and intramural sports, team-building exercises, the Edge, aquatic facilities, personal training, yoga and pilates, self-defense, etc.

August 29th: Pizza and Politics

7:30pm – 9:00pm at JC George’s

The student-led organization, George Mason Democrats, is hosting their third annual free pizza dinner and discussion. The organization will be inviting elected officials and candidates to further students’ knowledge on the 2017 election, followed by trivia questions and games. The organization hopes to encourage new students to become more involved in political events and issues while simultaneously being involved in the community and local campaigns.

August 29th: Sexual Chocolate

8:00pm – 11:30pm at the Johnson Center Cinema (There will be two showings; 8:00pm & 10:00pm)

College is the next chapter in an individual’s life that brings about a new sense of freedom, and with freedom comes adventure and exploration. Sexual chocolate is the interactive method of educating yourself on how to have safe sex and learn more about the campus resources. The event provides a different way to learn with a bonus of devouring multiple forms of chocolate cake, and giveaway prizes that follow the program.

August 30th: Strength’s Day

10:00am – 2:00pm at the North Plaza

Mason’s University Life has partnered with StrengthFinder to meet one of its goals as a higher education university: “to become a model Well-Being University”. StrengthFinder is a free, 20-minute online assessment that questions students, faculty, and staff, to discover their skills and talents. The goal is to take those skills and talents, then understand and enhance them. Once students, faculty, and staff have taken the assessment they are then qualified for prizes.

August 30th: Part-time Job Fair

11:00am – 2:00pm in Dewberry Hall (Bottom Floor of the Johnson Center)

Students in need of a job, or who are looking for a temporary occupation while receiving an education, are being given the option to explore off- and on-campus employment opportunities at the Part-Time Job Fair. Mason’s University Career Services is hosting the event with at least 50 off-campus employers that are looking for new help. Prior to the event, there are Jump Start workshops that will assist in preparing students with making memorable first impressions, and responses, and how to both physically and mentally prepare yourself for potential hiring opportunities.

August 30th: MIX@Fenwick Open House

12:00pm – 4:00pm at the MIX@Fenwick

This is a grand event that lives up to its description: it is 1,400 square-feet of space that made its grand opening in June of 2017 and is focused on teamwork between students. At this event, new students and curious eyes will be able to watch staff and volunteers demonstrate 3D printing, sewing, vinyl cutting, heat press, 3D scanning and Virtual Reality Headsets.

August 30th: Mason Hillel Presents: Tie Dye Palooza

5:00pm – 8:00pm at the North Plaza

Hosted by Hillel, Mason’s Jewish Student Association, students are encouraged to come and join the fourth annual tie dying event. There will be free food, and many interesting people to form connections with in the Jewish community, and the best part – tie dye shirts! All supplies are provided by the organization; therefore you will only need to bring yourself and are advised not to wear nice closes due to this being a messy activity.

August 31st: PRESS PASS: The Student Media Experience

4:00pm – 6:00pm in Student Media at the Hub, in Room 1201

For incoming students who are interested in media production, radio, television, or any form of journalism, this event opens the door for that path. Mason’s Student Media is allowing new students the chance to take an inside look at how Mason’s student-operated newspaper, radio station, television network, literary journals, magazines, and more, are able to capture the voice of the student body and share it campus-wide. There will be a tour of the studios and newsrooms and copies of the latest publications to take with you. Student Media’s Fall Open House is a chance to introduce students to new people, new opportunities to get involved in campus life, and of course, free food!

August 31st: IVth Night

8:00pm – 11:30pm at the North Plaza

The biggest event of the week will have free food, games, gadgets, and more cool stuff! You can take with you the specialty fight shirt, which showcases the lyrics to the famous Mason fight song. It’s a must-have at any and all Patriot basketball games.

Sept. 1st: College Colors Day

11:00am – 2:00pm at the North Plaza / East Plaza

A Mason tradition, College Colors Day is a chance to demonstrate school spirit by wearing green and gold all day! There will be free prizes, t-shirts, food, music, and plenty of amusement. In their “Mason gear” students can pose and take pictures with the Patriot, G-Men, and Cheerleaders where they can also get some more free things. The day is a marvelous and favorable day to kick-stark school spirit and pride.

Sept. 1st: National Society of Collegiate School: Welcome2Mason

3:30pm – 6:30pm at the Hub in VIP Room 2

Like many of Mason’s student organizations and honor societies, NSCS will be welcoming back its members and saying ‘hello!’ to new students as they venture into a brand new year. However, NSCS will be introducing a new program where its members will be mentoring freshman students and assisting them and making sure that they make a successful transition into college.

Sept. 1st: Build-a-Burger

4:30pm – 6:00pm at Hanover Hall & Common’s Courtyard

Mason’s Honors College is hosting its eighth annual signature Build-a-Burger event where students, faculty, and staff are able to eat fresh food, including vegetarian options, from Brion’s Grille. Along with co-sponsors, Housing and Residence Life, the two believe the event is important in developing a sense of belonging in Mason’s living and learning community, and that this is the perfect way to do so.

Sept. 4th: Lavender Orientation

6:30pm – 10:00pm at the Johnson Center Bistro

Mason’s Pride Alliance is hosting its first Lavender Orientation, where its goal is to make it known to students that Mason is “a vibrant, open community” and that it has multiple resources to support LGBTQ+ students. Emily Vaughan, Director of Advocacy, Pride Alliance, says that the main goal for this event is for students to leave and begin their time at Mason knowing that there are “people here…that care about them and want them to succeed.” There will be presentations about LGBTQ+ resources, academic programs, and student organizations, along with a panel for students to answer questions about LGBTQ+ life on campus.

Sept. 5th:

  • Study Abroad Ice Cream Social

o 3:00pm – 4:00pm at the Johnson Center in Meeting Room A

  • Meet the DREAMers

o 4:30pm – 6:30pm at the Hub in Meeting Room 4

Sept. 6th:

  • Get Connected Fair

o 11:00am – 2:00pm at the North Plaza / SUB 1 Quad

o The campus’s largest student organization fair ever! Official Mason student organizations such as club sports, Greek life, and many service departments and community partners attend to recruit new students.

Sept. 7th:

  • CEHD Block Party

o 3:00pm – 5:00pm at Thompson Hall Lawn + Finley Parking Lot

  • Peace Poetry Workshops

o 6:00pm – 7:30pm at Merten Hall in Room 1204

Sept. 8th:

  • Water Balloon Fight with Fruit Kabobs

o 3:00pm – 4:00pm in President’s Park

  • Gradstravaganza – The Graduate Student Welcome

o 3:30pm – 7:30pm at the Johnson Center on the Third Floor, and at the Hub

Sept. 9th:

  • Amazing Relay

o 10:00am – 3:00pm at SUB 1 Quad

  • Come Kick It: Kickball Tournament

o 11:00am – 2:00pm at RAC Field