Around Mason: Week of July 13, 2021


Faculty/Staff Announcements

Have something to share? Review announcement guidelines and submit an announcement from your unit through the online form.

Deadline is close of business Wednesday for inclusion in the following Tuesday's edition.

Campus Updates

Single-Use Plastics and Polystyrene are Banned at Mason

Governor Northam signed Executive Order 77 in March, effectively banning single-use plastics and polystyrene from state agencies, including Mason.

Mason purchasers and vendors should review guidance about acceptable items they can purchase as alternatives after July 21.

As an overall waste reduction strategy, let’s re-frame our thinking to "Buy Less, Buy Better." For example, if you purchase giveaways, support sustainability by purchasing durable, climate-neutral reusables, or contact the task force.

Additional information and guidance:

Staff Senate Election

Voting in the Staff Senate Election is underway through Friday, July 23, at 5 p.m. Ballots are distributed directly to constituents’ email inboxes. Each ballot can be completed only once. Click here for more details.

The ballot also includes the annual Staff Senate survey, which collects information from constituents to guide the senate's work in the coming year.

The Staff Senate represents all classified and non-student wage employees. Contact with questions.

Mason Shuttles During August

Faculty/staff planning a return to campus in August should note that Mason Shuttles will operate on a summer schedule for most of August.

Two routes are operating this summer: Fairfax to SciTech (on a reduced operating schedule) and the On-Demand Shuttle (which serves stops on and around the Fairfax Campus). The CUE bus is operating on its regular schedule with service to Vienna Metro.

For details on the Mason Shuttles summer schedule, visit

Schedules for fall will be posted in early August. Although service will be more robust than last year, it will not be at pre-pandemic levels. Fall service is scheduled to begin on Friday, Aug. 20, or Monday, Aug. 23, depending upon the route.

Contact Parking Services at 703-993-2828 or with questions.

Parking Permits and Payroll Deduction

Are you a full-time faculty/staff member who is planning to return to campus and wants to reinstate your payroll deduction permit? If so, complete a Payroll Deduction form if you work on the Fairfax or SciTech Campuses or Arlington Campus.

Contact Parking Services at 703-993-2710 (Fairfax), 703-993-8007 (Arlington), or 703-582-4698 (SciTech) with questions.

2021–22 Mason Reads Book Announcement

New Student and Family Programs is excited to announce the Mason Reads book for 2021–22, The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio.

So often we only hear stories of DREAMers or DACA recipients who have done extraordinary things. In this book, Villavicencio writes about migrants in a way they’ve never been written about before—in all their complexity, messiness, humanity, and beauty.

Fall 2021 students will receive the book in the mail in early August, prior to the start of the semester. Programs around the book’s theme occur throughout the year, including film screenings, panel discussions, lunch and learns, and small group discussions.

Mason Reads seeks to increase partnerships and opportunities to engage around the book themes. If your unit or department is interested, contact Sam Greenberg at or visit

Welcome2Mason Funding Requests Now Accepted

The Welcome2Mason committee is now accepting funding requests for events held between August 22 and September 27. Hosting an event during Welcome2Mason is a great opportunity to showcase your department and meet new students.

If your department is hosting an event during Welcome2Mason or would like to submit a funding request, complete the online application.

Funding requests must be submitted by Wednesday, July 21, at 5 p.m. Units will be notified the week of August 2, and JVs will be processed in the beginning of October.

More information on requirements and guidelines is available on the Welcome2Mason website.

Resources for You

Preparing for Back to School Webinar with Bright Horizons

As you prepare for the 2022 school year after months of worries and unstructured learning, this Bright Horizons workshop will help you learn how to make the most of learning with your child at home, optimize learning with play and unstructured time, and how to encourage social development.

Webinar: Preparing for Back to School
Tuesday, July 20, at noon

For questions, contact

SmarTrip Cards and WMATA Improvements

Metro (WMATA) is installing new fare gates at their Metro stops over the next year. The new fare gates will not accept older SmarTrip cards (purchased before 2012).

If you are a current or future participant in Mason’s Commuter Choice program, visit for information on how to check your SmarTrip card and replace it if needed.

Contact Parking and Transportation at 703-993-2828 or for assistance.

Carpool/Vanpool Q&A Session

Are you looking for some insight on how you will commute to and from campus during the fall semester?

Ridesharing is a great option for those looking to potentially save at least $1,000 a year, shave time from their commute, reduce traffic for their community, and shrink their carbon footprint. For background information, check out Is Ridesharing a Commuting Option for You?

If you have questions about ridesharing, join Katie Thompson, transit consultant with Commute 66, along with Josh Cantor and Janet Walker of Mason Parking and Transportation for a drop-in Q&A session on Tuesday, July 27, from 10-11:30 a.m. Ask questions on commuting and learn about resources available in the region. No need to register, just join via Zoom on July 27.