George Mason University


News at Mason

Around Mason: Week of July 28, 2020

July 27, 2020

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

Mail Services to Resume Delivery

Beginning Aug. 10, Mail Services will resume mail delivery service on campus. Departments that are staffed will need to opt in to mail delivery here.

Offices that are not staffed may continue to pick up their mail in the mail room. Normal mail room hours will resume Aug. 10:
Monday–Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday: Noon to 4 p.m.

UPS, FedEx, and other delivery services will no longer drop parcels at the mail room starting Aug. 10. Offices that do not have staff on site to receive parcels ordered through these services should have parcels shipped to homes or sites with staff available to receive them.

Canon has posted a mail FAQ with more information.

Questions or concerns? Contact Buz Grover at or 703-993-5784.

Parking and Transportation Survey

Parking and Transportation has developed a short survey for students, faculty, and staff regarding their transportation plans for fall.

Even if your exact plans are not yet confirmed, tentative feedback will help Parking and Transportation plan accordingly.

The survey is available here through Thursday, July 30.

If you have any questions, email Continue to check for the latest return to campus parking and transportation information.

New Mason Hours of Operation Website

During COVID-19, University Information is facing challenges connecting patrons with offices and resources at Mason. For example, your office might not have a phone monitored regularly and have a virtual contact option instead. Perhaps you have different hours for phone vs. virtual options.

To aid in connecting the Mason community, departments can share their contact information and hours using this form. This information will be used to help:

  1. Switchboard staff guide patrons to your main office
  2. Create a new hours of operation website, listing contact hours for in-building, virtual, and phone availability, starting with the fall 2020 semester

Only one person needs to submit the form for each department.

Please share fall hours of operation by Friday, Aug. 7.

Some items for the “Note” section on the form:

  1. The Switchboard can transfer callers to a non-Mason phone number, if needed. If your office is using a personal phone number you do not want public, but can be used to transfer Switchboard callers without giving callers the number, please indicate it is private.
  2. If your virtual option is appointment only, indicate how someone can make that appointment.

For questions, contact Philip Stamper, University Information, at

Bookstore Requests Students Purchase Textbooks Online

Faculty should include information in their syllabi noting that the George Mason Bookstore will be limiting the number of customers that can come into the store at a given time in order to maintain social distancing protocols.

Please encourage students to order the needed materials immediately after receiving their syllabi to ensure supplies arrive at their home on time. Students can purchase textbooks from the bookstore’s official website. The in-store pickup option will be available just before school starts, and students will be able to acquire their orders inside the bookstore.

For questions, contact Jack Smith, general manager, at

Parking Permits via Payroll Deduction Resume Sept. 1

A reminder to those with parking permits that are paid through payroll deduction: Deductions will begin again on Sept. 1.

If you would like to stop your annual permit deductions and move to a shorter-term parking option, you must mail your physical permit to the Parking Services office by Aug. 10 to avoid any charges when payroll deductions resume on Sept. 1. You can return to an annual permit via payroll deduction whenever you choose.

If you retain your annual permit past Aug. 10, deductions will begin on Sept. 1 for as long as you hold the permit. If you choose to return it after Aug. 10, you will be charged for every pay period in which you physically hold the permit. Payroll deduction will stop after the pay period in which Parking Services receives your permit.

To return your permit, mail it to:

Parking Services
George Mason University
4400 University Drive, MS 1G4
Fairfax, VA 22030

For questions, contact

Training and Professional Development

Stearns Center to Host Webinar on Using Zoom to Enhance Class Strategies

The Stearns Center will host the webinar “Using Zoom in Synchronous Online Teaching: Aligning Teaching Strategies to Enhance Class Engagement” on Thursday, Aug. 6, from 3 to 4:15 p.m.

This webinar will focus on using Zoom to enhance hybrid or online class’ engagement by exploring key features and settings from teaching strategies perspectives—including the use of whiteboards, polls, and breakout rooms. The webinar will cover synchronous collaboration using text, audio, and video. The team will also review how to integrate a doc camera using Zoom. 

Register here.

Faculty should be aware that this webinar does not review creating or setting-up a Zoom account. To create a Zoom account, review the ITS Service Catalog: Zoom page.

This webinar, and other development opportunities, can be found on the Stearns Center’s Training Opportunities page.

Resources for You

Share Your Events on Today@Mason

During this time of virtual events, the university's official calendar, Today@Mason, is a resource for you!

Did you know that entries on Today@Mason are powered by 25Live reservations? Below are a few tips/resources to consider when submitting your 25Live requests:

  • Review University Event's Virtual Event planning page for FAQs and guidelines
  • Submit your events in advance—at least three days before the event (earlier is always best).
  • Include brief, clear, and informative descriptions of your event. Submitters are encouraged to use the Today@Mason Guide Sheet.
  • Follow ITS best practices for protecting your virtual events/meetings

For questions about Today@Mason, contact

MasonVotes Looking to Promote Election-Related Activities

2020 election and/or voting-related events on your mind?

If you happen to be offering any such events this fall, MasonVotes wants to know! We can help share and promote, or at a minimum add them to the calendar at

Contact Alissa Karton at with questions or to share information.