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Featured on Homepage October 2021

October General Meeting Recording

The October Staff Senate meeting featured guest speakers Ken Walsh and Keith Renshaw, who shared and discussed the work of the Mason Innovation Commission.

If you missed the session, you can watch or listen to the recording

 

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Featured on Homepage October 2021

November General Meeting Announcement

 

The November Staff Senate meeting will feature Jimmy Hazel, Rector of Mason’s Board of Visitors.

Wednesday, November 3
10 a.m. to noon
Guest speaker will present 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (general meeting to follow)
Hosted on Zoom: https://gmu.zoom.us/j/93999749658?pwd=UGRZMXdJbFpXaXpRdmRhdG1wMXMyZz09
Passcode: SS123
Call in: 301-715-8592 or 267-831-0333
Webinar ID: 939 9974 9658/ Passcode: 224754

The senate is collecting your questions for consideration through October 27. Use the form to submit your questions. If you choose to ask your questions live, you must provide your name and Mason e-mail.

The Staff Senate represents all classified and non-student wage employees at George Mason University. Working closely with university administration, we address concerns that have an impact on the quality of work-life for the Mason community. The work of the senate is accomplished through open and continuous communication with its constituents. Find more ways to engage with the Senate before, during, and after our general meetings.

 

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October 2021

Committee Opportunity: 17 Rooms-U Mason

About Mason’s 17 Rooms 

The Institute for a Sustainable Earth (ISE) and the Business for a Better World Center are coordinating Mason’s 17 Rooms-U initiative, a series of deep-dive discussions into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 17 Rooms is a proven catalyst for engaging, inspiring, and shaping an organization’s mission around the goal. Participants with diverse expertise and perspectives are invited to convene in 17 small groups – one group per SDG – and work together to identify actions their organization can take within 12 to 18 months to make progress toward their goal. 

The intent of ISE’s 17 Rooms-U is to obtain a set of coordinated actions across SDGs and catalyze action.

Who is invited? 

Participants in each room include students, staff, faculty and stakeholders, all coming together for a series of discussions guided by the Moderator Team.

We are creating a community of people at Mason who are knowledgeable and excited about advancing the SDGs and identifying a few ideas for advancing each goal and who are ready to spring into action. Bring your passion, ideas, narratives, initiatives! Everyone will share. 

To indicate your interest, fill out this participation form. 

Learn more: ise.gmu.edu/17-rooms

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October 2021

Committee Opportunity: Honor Committee

The Honor Committee is selected to promote academic integrity as a core value for our university community. Members of the committee also serve on hearing panels established to investigate and resolve alleged violations of the code.

Membership on the Honor Committee is limited to Mason faculty, staff, and students. Faculty members, administrative faculty members, and classified staff members who join the committee must have a minimum of a master’s degree from an accredited program. Faculty members cannot participate in resolving cases they have referred. Faculty members, administrative faculty members, and classified staff members who join the committee must successfully complete the training and orientation program.  

Honor Committee panels consist of three Honor Committee members. 

In cases where a graduate student has been referred, at least one member of the Honor Committee must be either a graduate student, a classified staff member, an administrative faculty member, or a faculty member. 

You can find more information and the application process on the Office of Academic Integrity website: https://oai.gmu.edu/honor-committee-recruitment/  

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October 2021

Let’s Help Our Students: A Faculty and Staff Guide for Supporting Student Well-Being and Mental Health

 

At Mason, we are focused on our students’ success and cultivating a culture of well-being. The challenges of 2020 (and 2021), including the COVID-19 pandemic, have been extremely trying for our students. Whether these difficulties involved health concerns, personal losses, isolation, race-based violence, or uncertainty about their future, it is more important than ever that we support our students in need.  

This guide is designed to help faculty and staff recognize students’ concerns and guide them in managing challenges. Please use this guide to support our students’ well-being and mental health.

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September 2021

Support Group for Working Mothers at Mason

The Support Group for Working Mothers at Mason is one way Mason faculty, staff, and students can come together, discuss the issues confronting working mothers, and perhaps motivate changes on campus. The 20th year of group meetings kicked off September 7, and meetings will continue virtually for the fall semester with the next one set for Thursday, September 23 at 2 p.m. We are offering a couple of in-person meetings in October and November as well. If you are interested in sharing stories and being part of an informal organization of working mothers, please visit our website for more information: 

http://wmst.gmu.edu/center/organizations/working-moms 

 Point of contact:  Heather Aleknavage, haleknav@gmu.edu, 993-2295 

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September 2021

Leading to Well-Being Speaker Series

Our Leading to Well-Being Speaker Series features free presentations from innovative speakers who work at the intersection of leadership and well-being. They will share some of the latest well-being research and insights with you. After each presentation, you can use what you’ve learned to fuel your professional and personal success. Plan to join us online with your colleagues and friends! 

Join us on September 14 at noon with an inaugural presentation from Anjali Bindra Patel, J.D., author of the bestselling book Humanity at Work: Diversity, Inclusion, and Well-Being in an Increasingly Distributed Workforce. Anjali is a TEDx speaker, lawyer, and founder of Sweatours.com, an inclusion and well-being consultancy. In this presentation, Anjali will share why it is vital to focus on diversity, equity and inclusion and well-being to optimize workplace success and show you how to create a workplace where everyone can thrive. She will give you a roadmap of practical tips to engage people in your organization and equip them to tap into the strength of their collective power. 

Learn more and register for the September webinar.

Categories
September 2021

Updates from Parking & Transportation

Try Going Car-Free 

It’s always a great idea to have more than one way to get to Mason.  Car-Free Day, on September 22, is an opportunity to try a new way to commute. Take the Car-Free pledge at https://carfreemetrodc.org/ and receive a Nift Gift and be entered into a raffle for some great prizes. If you’re a full-time employee, remember that public transportation costs are subsidized up to the IRS limit of $270/month. Details on the Commuter Choice Program are available at https://transportation.gmu.edu/commuter-choice/ 

Save the Date: Learn to Ride with FABB 

The Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling FABB and Mason Parking and Transportation will host an adult Learn to Ride biking class on Saturday, October 2.  Details coming soon at http://bike.gmu.edu. 

Mason Shuttles: Fall Changes 

The fall schedule for Mason Shuttles has not yet returned to pre-pandemic service levels.  Please be sure to check the schedule for each shuttle as there have been changes. One change that occurred from the summer service to the fall is with the On-Demand Shuttle. For fall, the On-Demand Shuttle only serves Vienna Metro from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Monday-Friday and during all of its service hours on the weekend. For details on all the shuttle schedules, please visit http://shuttle.gmu.edu.  Please remember a mask/face covering is required to ride the shuttles (unless you have an authorized exception). 

Patriot Bike Check Out: The Re-Launch 

The Patriot Bike Check Out Program relaunched on September 7.  You can once again check out a bike with your valid Mason ID from either the Recreation Athletic Complex (RAC) or the Aquatic and Fitness Center (AFC) and return it to either location at no cost. For details, please see https://transportation.gmu.edu/bicycle-programs/check-out/. 

Categories
September 2021

Announcements from Human Resources & Payroll

Happy Heart Walk 
Bring your walking shoesIt is time for our annual Happy Heart Walk on September 29 at noon! This year marks the 13th year of the Happy Heart Walk 

Join your fellow students, faculty, and staff to promote heart health. You can join either in-person or virtually. 

  • Join the walk in-person at one of the meeting locations at noon on September 29  

or  

Whether you’re walking in person or virtually, share your Happy Heart Walk photos on Twitter or Instagram with #HappyHeartWalk and @GMUHRandPayroll may reshare them.  

No registration required. View the flyer for more details. Questions? Please contact Tamira Colbert at tcolber2@gmu.edu. 

  

Virginia Retirement System (VRS) Member Benefit Profile (MBP) 

If you are enrolled in a retirement plan with VRS (Plan 1, Plan 2, or Hybrid), your annual Member Benefit Profile (MBP) is available on your myVRS account. To view it, select the My History menu then select Annual Statements. 

The MBP is an annual benefit statement based on information reported by Mason to VRS as of June 30 each year. The MBP provides information on your: 

  • VRS member account balance 
  • Projected VRS benefit amount 
  • Retirement benefits estimates 
  • Eligibility for other benefits such as group life insurance and the health insurance credit 

Use your MBPs and myVRS retirement planning tools to help you stay on track with your retirement goals. 

Questions? Contact the Benefits team at benefits@gmu.edu. 

  

TIAA Financial Seminars 

Looking to learn more about your finances? 

TIAA is hosting several financial well-being seminars. Check out the flyer to learn more.

  

CommonHealth Wellness Champion Award 

Is there someone who makes your workplace a healthier place to be? Maybe someone who runs your office wellness challenges, organizes a walking group, or makes sure healthy snack options are available? 

Nominate your favorite encouraging colleague for the CommonHealth Wellness Champion Award. Nominations are being accepted for the next few weeks. The committee will choose awardees in mid to late September. 

  

Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) Financial Wellness Events and Resources 

Browse the upcoming DHRM financial wellness resources below: 

  • VRS Financial Wellness Resources. Keep track of your income and expenses with the Budget tool from myVRS Financial Wellness. See how much you really spend and where you can add more to your savings. Log in to your myVRS account and select Financial Wellness to access this tool and build your budget. 
  • Virginia Department of Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Division. Tasked with reuniting citizens with their lost funds, unclaimed property can include dormant bank accounts, uncashed checks, stocks and dividends, insurance proceeds, refunds, and more. One in four Virginians has missing money. Visit our free search site to check your name and start the claim process. www.vaMoneySearch.org. 
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP has legal resources, estate planning products, counseling, employee discounts, health & wellness, etc. You can view more at the Employee Assistance Program. 
Categories
July 2021

Updates from Parking and Transportation: July 2021

Parking Services Building at Fairfax Campus. Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University

Parking

Fall 2021 parking passes go on sale online on Monday, Aug. 2. Hang tags will be returning, but annual permits will not be sold for academic year 2021–22. The longest duration is a semester pass. There are also daily, weekly, and monthly options. Visit parking.gmu.edu and select “Faculty and Staff Parking.” 

Payroll Deduction Permits

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 (Fairfax/SciTech or Arlington).   Questions? Call Parking Services at 703-993-2710 (Fairfax), 703-993-8007 (Arlington), or 703-582-4698 (SciTech).  

Transportation for the New Academic Year

While some staff have been on campus throughout the pandemic, many of you might be planning your transition back to campus in August. Parking and Transportation has put together some information to assist you as you plan your return. 

We hope you will consider commuting using a new mode for some or all of your journey! If you have any questions, reach out to 703-993-2828 or transpo@gmu.edu. 

Car and Vanpool

Are you looking for some insight on how to commute to and from campus during the fall semester? Ridesharing is a great option for those looking to potentially save at least $1000 a year, cut time from their commute, help reduce traffic for their community, and shrink their carbon footprint.

For some background information, visit Is Ridesharing a Commuting Option for You? 

When choosing to vanpool, you can also utilize Mason’s Commuter Choice subsidy that provides up to $270/month for vanpool monthly costs.   

Carpool/Vanpool Q&A Session: July 27

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 session on Tuesday, July 27, from 10–11:30 a.m. 

Drop by to ask questions on commuting and learn about the resources available in the region. No need to register; just join them on July 27 at https://gmu.zoom.us/j/94993575101?pwd=d1RQbTVRTzRFY1kwUkJHbmxDR1N4UT09  

Recruiting Vanpool Riders from the Fredericksburg, VA Area 

Are you a full-time faculty/staff member who lives in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area? Would you like to have your commute costs reimbursed up to $270/month, tax-free, not have to do all the driving, park free at Mason, and reduce carbon emissions? 

If so, consider vanpooling. Parking and Transportation is starting with the Fredericksburg area and has developed a short vanpool match survey. We will be recruiting for other vanpools in the future. 

Biking

Do you live within a few miles of a Mason campus and think biking to work could be good for your well-being?

All faculty and staff are eligible to participate in the Bike Commuter Choice Program. The program now has four tiers of support. The more you ride, the greater the financial incentive. The new, introductory tier requires just five rides per quarter.

For details, visit bike.gmu.edu and scroll to the Faculty/Staff Bike Commuter Choice Program.

Need help planning your route? Visit Community Biking Resources and scroll to the bottom. 

Mason Shuttles

For faculty/staff planning a return to campus in August, a reminder that Mason Shuttles is operating on a summer schedule for most of August. 

There are two routes 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 shuttle.gmu.edu. Schedules for fall will be posted in early August.  Although service will be much 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.   

COVID Response on Mason Shuttles

A reminder that a valid Mason ID is required to ride Mason Shuttles.   

Masks continue to be required to ride Mason Shuttles by all passengers, regardless of vaccination status. Mason and CUE follow the CDC Order regarding buses. 

Due to COVID-19, guests are not permitted to ride on Mason Shuttles until further notice.  

On-Demand Shuttle

Mason Shuttles is offering an on-demand shuttle service on and around the Fairfax Campus. This is a shared ride service with designated pick-up and drop-off locations. Waits time for pick up vary depending upon how many people have requested the service. 

For details, visit shuttle.gmu.edu and select the On-Demand Shuttle. 

Commuter Choice

If you’re a full-time faculty or staff member who uses public transportation to travel to and from work, you can use the Commuter Choice program. This program covers qualified transportation expenses (not parking) up to the IRS limit of $270/month, based upon your actual commuting costs. 

For details, visit Commuter Choice. The deadline to request September benefits (the deadline for August has passed) is Tuesday, Aug. 10.   

SmarTrip Cards and WMATA Improvements

Metro (WMATA) is installing new fare gates at their Metro stops over the next year. The new faregates will not accept older SmarTrip cards (purchased before 2012). If you are a current or future participant in Mason’s Commuter Choice program, visit Commuter Choice and Metro Fare Gates Update for information on how to check your SmarTrip card and replace it if needed.  

ParkMobile at Mason

If you’re coming to campus and looking for a convenient way to park, some areas of the Fairfax and SciTech campuses are linked to the ParkMobile app. For locations and codes, visit Quick Links on transportation.gmu.edu/parking-services. If you have questions, call 703-993-2710 or email parking@gmu.edu.