George Mason University

News at Mason

Around Mason: Week of November 19, 2019

November 18, 2019

Faculty/Staff Announcements

Have something to share? Submit an announcement from your unit using the online form.

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

Campus Updates

Effective Nov. 19: Two-Factor Authentication Verification Changes

Effective Tuesday, Nov. 19, users of Mason’s Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) will need to use the Duo Mobile App (Duo Push or Passcodes), a Yubikey, or Bypass Codes as their second factor to verify their identities when prompted. Telephone calls and SMS text messages will no longer be available, as they are no longer considered secure.

Information about this change is available on the 2FA Roadmap page. Information about authentication options is available here.

Contact the ITS Support Center at or 703-993-8870 for assistance.

Thanksgiving Timesheet Due Dates and Guidance

Refer to the Thanksgiving Timesheet Guidance for information about:

  • Holiday hours
  • Requirements to receive holiday pay
  • Rate of holiday pay
  • How the holiday may affect alternative work schedules

Timesheets Due Early for Semimonthly Employees
Timesheets for semimonthly employees need to be submitted and approved early due to Thanksgiving break. For the pay period ending Nov. 24 and pay date on Nov. 29:

  • Submit timesheets by Nov. 19 at 11:59 a.m.
  • Approve timesheets by Nov. 20 at 11:59 a.m.

Record anticipated hours worked or leave used for Nov. 19–24.

The full payroll calendar is available on the Human Resources and Payroll website.

For questions, contact

Mason Prepares for Reaffirmation of Accreditation

Every 10 years, Mason’s accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) must be reaffirmed. We are now gearing up for the next reaffirmation, which will be finalized in 2022.

Reaffirmation includes the development of a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), which is an institution-wide self-study and preparation of a five-year initiative to enhance student learning and/or student success.

So how can you help? We are now accepting topic proposals for Mason’s next QEP, and we would love to hear your ideas. Topic proposal submissions are due Dec. 16.

Go to for details and to submit a proposal.

For questions, contact Matthew Smith, director of accreditation, at

Food Drive: Parking and Transportation

Would you like to help someone in need? Parking Services will collect food donations at the Parking Services Offices at the Arlington, Fairfax, and SciTech Campuses beginning Monday, Nov. 25.

Make a donation of food items or certain toiletries and reduce the cost of your parking ticket by up to $20 (for one ticket) and up to $60 (for a maximum of three citations). Or, if you prefer, use the $20 credit toward a permit upgrade.

Donations benefit the Patriot Pantry.

For important details, including deadlines and the donation/credit framework, visit

Contact or 703-993-2828 with questions.

Holiday Donation Drives Sponsored by Staff Senate

This holiday season, the Staff Senate is sponsoring donation drives to help those in need. Donations will be collected until the date of each campus holiday party.

All non-perishable food items, personal items, and school supplies will benefit the Patriot Pantry. The Fairfax Campus will also collect children's books to benefit INOVA Children's Hospital.

The Arlington and SciTech Campuses are collecting other items to benefit charities local to the campuses. For additional information, visit the Staff Senate website.

Contact with questions.

Reminder: Mason Shuttles and Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving holiday brings some modifications to the Mason Shuttle schedules. Details are posted here.

Visit for more information on shuttle services. Questions? Contact 703-993-2828. 

People Finder Scheduled Maintenance

People Finder, Mason’s online directory, will undergo scheduled maintenance during the week of Dec. 2–6. The directory will remain available at during the maintenance period.

Faculty and staff may continue to submit updates/changes to directory listings using the People Finder update form. Any changes submitted during this time will be posted after the maintenance period.

For questions, contact

ITS Support Center Thanksgiving Hours

In observance of Thanksgiving, the ITS Support Center will close at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 26, and will re-open and resume normal business hours on Monday, Dec. 2 at 8 a.m.

If you have an emergency while the ITS Support Center is closed, call 703-993-8870 and follow the prompts to be connected to a representative. Up-to-date information regarding alerts can be found at

Training and Professional Development

Mental Health First Aid in January

Student Health Services is pleased to offer Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training to members of the university community in January 2020.

MHFA provides participants with basic skills to help someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis. MHFA helps you to learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns. The session covers depression and mood disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma, psychosis, and substance use disorders.

Register for upcoming training dates:

Direct questions to Katie Clare at

Cultural Studies Presents: Amazon Symposium

The Cultural Studies Program will host a one-day symposium on Amazon in the wake of the news that the company is bringing its HQ2 to our area. The symposium is planned for April 10, 2020 in Arlington.

The program will feature a keynote lecture, and presentations will be structured under four intersecting rubrics—each of which will be treated in an interdisciplinary fashion:

  • Amazon: Business in the 21st Century
  • Amazon in the (our) Community
  • The Cultural Meaning of Amazon
  • Amazon Tech

Stay tuned for registration information and additional details.

Contact Paul Smith, Cultural Studies Program, at or 703-993-2851 with questions.

Resources for You

DMV2Go on the Fairfax Campus

Take care of your Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles business at a convenient Mason location. DMV2Go will be on the Fairfax Campus on Monday, Dec. 9, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Merten Hall parking lot.

For available services, visit the DMV2Go website.

Thanksgiving Special: Patriot Pollinator Coalition Honey and Tea

Just in time for Thanksgiving, the Patriot Pollinator Coalition is proud to present honey and tea with Thanksgiving holiday labels, specially designed as a limited release for the holiday season. Don't miss out on these cute gifts to bring delight to your friends and family!

Holiday labels will be available on honey, green tea, and lavender lemonade tea.

Take advantage of a limited time promo code, which applies to honeys and tea only. Use code BEETHANKFUL for 10% off your order. Expires on Nov. 22.

Visit the website to purchase. Contact with questions.

Inclement Weather Resources

Winter weather is here! Use the resources below to prepare.

Teleworkers (if it is their scheduled telework day) and remote workers continue to work, even if:

  • Classes are canceled and administrative offices are closed
  • The university is on a modified schedule

Employees working from home during a university closing are expected to continue working unless it is not possible due to power outages or other conditions that prevent them from working. For more details, visit

Inclement Weather/Emergency Guidance
Review the Inclement Weather/Emergency Closure Policy.

For more resources, visit the announcement section on

Compensatory Leave Reminder

Have you earned compensatory leave? Make sure you are aware of the compensatory leave limits and expirations:

  • Employees are limited to 96 hours of accrued compensatory leave
  • Per Commonwealth Policy 3.10, accrued compensatory leave expires one year from the pay period in which the hours are accrued, regardless of the 96-hour limit
  • Compensatory leave may not be used once hours expire or lapse and cannot be paid out upon an employee's change of status

You can review your leave balance by visiting Patriot Web. For questions, contact

Host an International Student for Thanksgiving Dinner

Many international students stay on campus during the Thanksgiving holiday and would love to have the opportunity to experience this holiday with a local family.

If you would like to host an international student for Thanksgiving dinner, submit your information via this online form.

Additionally, if you know of anyone in the community who might like to participate, feel free to pass along this information!

Contact Cassie Larson, INTO Mason, at 703-993-5435 or with any questions.

Attention, Mason Alumni: The Newest Way to Display Your Achievements is Here

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They’re the ultimate desktop swag. Available in full color, cherry, or silver. Order yours today.

Contact Anthony McLean, Business Services, at 703-993-4503 or with questions.