Letter from the Editor


Dear Mason community,

I’m honored to be your new Fourth Estate Opinion section editor. Writing for this paper every week was one of my favorite parts of school, and now I get to help put this section together and work with other writers to grow and develop both their skills and mine. I’m excited for this semester and what we have in store. This section is chock-full of writers who can cover a wide array of topics, and I guarantee there will be something interesting to you from at least one of them every week.

That’s my goal: make a section that’s interesting to you. The Opinion section does not carry the same burdens as other sections. We don’t have our topics dictated by current events like the news section. We don’t have to conduct interviews all the time like the sports section. When you turn to our page, you’re getting what our writers think, not what anyone else thinks.

It is my firm belief that students have opinions worth hearing. This is especially true for issues on campus. Students are paying thousands of dollars in tuition, and that ought to buy them the privilege to have a say in what goes on around here. While faculty and administration are vital parts of the university, and they have experience and expertise students lack, they are not the purpose of the university. The purpose of the university is to turn students into graduates, to make them into well-rounded citizens who have employable skills and above all, a passion for learning.

Being a student is the only thing you can do for 15 years without anyone considering you experienced in it. From kindergarten to college, students accumulate knowledge of what makes a good teacher, a good class and a good learning environment. They also build up a tolerance to education BS and by college are pretty good at calling it out. Mason is home to tens of thousands of experienced students, and this section will amplify their praise when the university does well and their criticism when it does poorly.

Students are also on the cusp of professional life and consequently have opinions on things outside the university. Those opinions also have a home here. We’re so close to Washington, D.C. that you should expect plenty of political opinions in these pages. And we aren’t politically monolithic either: expect takes on both sides of the issues. We’ll also have plenty of articles on economic issues since financial independence is a fast-approaching reality for students.

This isn’t just a section about school and politics though because students are also human beings. That means they also have opinions on the stuff humans do. Expect articles on movies, books, sports, art, and all the other things that separate us from the animals. These articles are some of the most fun to read and write — and edit.

I’m proud to be the editor of such a wide-ranging section, and we will produce quality writing that is interesting to you, the Mason community. At risk of sounding like Russell Crowe’s character in “Gladiator,” I will ask myself whether you are entertained by what we publish. But I will also ask whether you are informed and edified by our content as well. I’ve got a fantastic assistant editor in Jack Harvey and a terrific staff of writers, and I’m confident we will be able to do all three.

The Opinion section is never closed: if you have an opinion on something, I want to know about it. Please email me at dpino@gmu.edu with any article submissions. Twitter is also a great way to get in contact with me: my handle is @DominicJPino. It’s going to be a great semester, and I look forward to sharing it with you.




Dominic Pino