George Mason University

For Media

George Mason University is the largest public research university in Virginia, serving more than 35,000 students. We are an open campus, and we welcome news media to visit and learn more about the exciting work that takes place here.

For Journalists

Strategic Communications, a unit operating within the Office of Communications and Marketing, works to tell the Mason story through our people and programs. As part of our mission, we connect members of the media with Mason students, faculty and staff.

Members of the Strategic Communications team are assigned beats, which can be of great help to journalists on deadline who are trying to navigate our community or find a faculty expert on a particular topic in the news.

We appreciate interest in Mason and do our best accommodate all requests from media. At the same time, we have a responsibility to ensure that our students can achieve their education without unnecessary distractions. Mason follows federal and state guidelines when safeguarding the privacy and confidentiality of students.

General Media Guidelines

We recommend media representatives contact Strategic Communications in advance if they wish to interview students, faculty or staff on campus. It's best to reach out to us as soon as possible so we can help you meet your deadline. In most cases, we can find an expert without much notice. However, more complex stories require greater notice.

We do our best to accommodate requests to film or photograph on our campus. However, permission must be granted to take pictures or video inside our buildings. A member of the Office of Strategic Communications staff or designee must accompany media representatives, including reporters, video crews and photographers, while on campus. This is to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of students, faculty and staff.

We generally prohibit filming in residence halls to safeguard the privacy of our students.

Members of the media are required to park in designated areas. Strategic Communications can assist you with parking passes, with sufficient lead time. For more information, please contact a member of our team.

Student and Alumni Verification

Student privacy is a priority at George Mason University. We abide by Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and state guidelines. The university does not verify to outside parties if a student is attending, has attended, or has graduated unless we have received written permission from the student. Names, and even birth dates, can be similar. We do not want to misidentify a student or alumni.

Our practice is to direct outside parties to the National Student Clearinghouse to verify if someone attended the university. This is intended to ensure that our alumni and students are accurately identified and to protect their privacy.

Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests

As an agency of the Commonwealth, George Mason University is subject to the requirements of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). All officers and employees of the University will fully comply with the law, recognizing that exclusions from disclosure under FOIA are to be narrowly construed.

To make a FOIA request, please contact Mason’s Compliance Officer:
Elizabeth Woodley
ewoodley@gmu.edu
703-993-5115

Find out more about FOIA.