George Mason University

News at Mason

Around Mason: Week of December 10, 2019

December 9, 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

University Faculty and Staff Holiday Party: Wednesday, Dec. 18

You are invited to the annual George Mason University Faculty and Staff Holiday Party:

Wednesday, Dec. 18
1:30 to 4 p.m.
Fairfax Campus, Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall

The Staff Senate will collect new and unwrapped book donations for INOVA Children's Hospital and non-perishable food, personal items, and school supplies for the Patriot Pantry in the Johnson Center Cinema lobby during the event. Click here for donation details and needed items.

Arlington Campus Holiday Reception: Monday, Dec. 16

Celebrate the season at the annual Arlington Campus Holiday Reception. Join us for food, fun, and raffle prizes!

Monday, Dec. 16
1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Arlington Campus, Van Metre Hall, Multipurpose Room
No RSVP required

We will be collecting non-perishable food items for Mason’s own Patriot Pantry.

Contact with questions.

SciTech Campus Holiday Reception: Tuesday, Dec. 17

Come and cozy up to the fire at the SciTech Campus "Ski Lodge" Holiday Party.

Tuesday, Dec. 17, at noon
SciTech Campus, Beacon Hall Conference Center
RSVP required to (please include your name/email/department).

Questions? Call the SciTech Campus Executive Office at 703-993-8585.

Ski lodge wear is encouraged but not required! 

We will be collecting non-perishable food items for Northern Virginia Family Service, which helps nearly 600 Prince William Families every month through its Hunger Resource Center.

University Winter Break Lockdown and Building Access

The university will be closed for winter break from Dec. 23 through Jan. 3. All academic and administrative buildings (with some exceptions) will be on "lockdown" during this period.

Buildings equipped with electronic access will be programmed to lock by the Card Access Security Office (CASO) in Business Services (formerly Auxiliary Enterprises). Buildings with mechanical entry only will be locked by Mason Police.

We recognize that many staff members and some students may require entry to locked buildings during winter break:

  • Individuals needing access to buildings with electronic access should contact CASO no later than Tuesday, Dec. 17.
  • Individuals needing access to buildings with mechanical locks only should submit a Winter Break Building Access Form to Mason Police by Thursday, Dec. 19. View the Winter Break Lockdown Memo for additional information.

Contact Beverley Jackson at 703-993-4466 or with questions.

Commonwealth Commuter Choice Increase in 2020

Beginning January 2020, the maximum Commonwealth Commuter Choice benefit will increase by $5 to $270 per month.

Currently, an Executive Order gives full-time state employees in Northern Virginia up to $265 per month to commute by public transit or vanpool. This is a tax-free benefit paid by Mason.

To take advantage of this increase beginning in January, be sure to submit your Commuter Choice Monthly Benefit Request Form by Tuesday, Dec. 10.

To learn more or to enroll in the program, visit the Mason Transportation website. For questions, contact or 703-993-2828.

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.

Retail and Dining Hours of Operation: Finals and Winter Break

As we head into finals week and winter break, be sure to check the operating hours of your favorite locations like Mason Dining, UPS, and the Mason Bookstore. Their hours may change, or they may even be closed until January.

Hours are posted at

Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign

It’s that time again! The Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC) is the annual charity drive for Commonwealth employees.

CVC participation is easy. Simply use the online form to make a pledge for the charity of your choice through payroll deductions or a one-time credit card donation.

Check out the CVC website to start a fundraiser and for helpful tools and tips.

If you have any questions, contact Kimberly Shaw-Mack at

ITS Support Center Winter Break Hours

In observance of Winter Break, the ITS Support Center will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 20, and will re-open and resume normal business hours on Monday, Jan. 6, 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

Mason Shuttles and Winter Break

Winter break brings some major changes to the Mason Shuttle schedules. Details are posted here.

Contact Parking and Transportation at 703-993-2828 or with questions.

Training and Professional Development

Discount on Professional Development Courses

Make career advancement a top priority in 2020 by participating in professional development programs offered through Executive and Professional Education. Programs include:

  • Project Management
  • Facility Management
  • Information Technology
  • Human Resource Management
  • And more!

Full-time Mason employees are eligible for a 50% discount. 

Welcoming Winter Promotion now through Jan. 12 includes:

  • 20% off for part-time Mason employees
  • 20% off for spouses and children of full-time and part-time employees

Visit to learn more and register. Contact or 703-993-2109 with questions.

Resources for You

Faculty/Staff Appreciation Week at the Bookstore/Patriot Tech

Faculty and Staff Appreciation Week is happening at the Mason Bookstore and Patriot Tech from Dec. 9–14! Save 20% off any personal in-store purchase when you show your Mason ID.

Exclusions: Gift cards, textbooks, graduation regalia, special orders, hardware, and convenience items. Cannot be combined with other promotions.

Contact 703-993-2666 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

Winter Break Regional Transportation

Transportation will be available from Mason to New York City, Richmond, Philadelphia, Virginia Beach, and other cities for Winter Break.

For details on destinations, departures, pricing, and to book a seat, visit the Mason Transportation website.

Contact with questions.

12 Days of Holiday Giveaways

Every day is a new chance to win. From December 1–12, shopMason is giving away an assortment of prizes through social media.  

Follow @shopMason or @WeAreMason on Instagram for your chance to win!