A look at what defines the Mason Nation
By Ahmed Farid, Staff Writer
Many colleges in Virginia have a culture that defines them. With Virginia Tech, for example, football comes to mind. With University of Virginia, the basketball team is the No. 1 seed in the nation. However, Mason has a lot more to offer than sports.
Established as an independent institution in 1979, Mason is a relatively young university and is constantly changing. Whenever you walk around campus, you will find new buildings being built. This is one of the hallmarks of Mason. The idea of constantly redefining and bettering yourself exists not only in Mason’s buildings and hallways, but also in the people who attend it.
This is something that Ahmed Kamel, a senior, felt defined Mason. “Professors are always trying to push you to learn new things and be the best version of yourself,” he said.
As an engineering student, he found that there are many opportunities offered for every major, and students are always encouraged to study abroad, apply for internships or join a research project. To Kamel, being a Mason Patriot means striving to achieve your full potential.
Another thing that many people feel sets Mason apart is its diversity. This is no surprise given that Mason has been ranked the most diverse college in Virginia, with students from more than 130 countries and all cultural and religious backgrounds.
This fact has not been lost on Mason students. “Mason’s culture is so diverse that I can run into different people, with different ethnicities every day,” says Hassan Swaraldahab, a sophomore. “It is so fascinating how all of us are attending one school!”
Rustem Boura, a junior, has also said that Mason’s diversity is one of the important things that define it. To him, being a part of a diverse school is important because he never feels alone. Having a diverse student body has made people accept each other’s’ different identities. For example, Rustem says that whenever he chooses to wear anything that people aren’t used to seeing, no one interferes.
Connor Claytor, the Mason student behind Mason Spirit Squad, says Mason has a distinct vibe, culture and programs to get involved in. “It’s just a matter of connecting more students with them. Students often say that there’s not enough to do on this campus, but working for student involvement and Mason athletics has revealed to me that this just isn’t the case.”
He continues on to say that Mason Spirit Squad hopes to advocate on behalf of the Student Involvement Office and the University at large in order to bridge the gap between students and Mason programs and events. To join the Mason Spirit Squad team, application is here: tinyurl.com/spiritsquadapp
Photo by Allie Thompson