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 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 

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 

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  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 

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  


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 


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 


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. 
  • 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. 
July 2021

Updates from Parking and Transportation: July 2021

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


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 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 

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  

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. 


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 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 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 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 If you have questions, call 703-993-2710 or email 


Profile of a Senator July 2020

Meet Shams Bahabib, Office Manager and Staff Senator

Role: I work in the Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science as the Office Manager. The center is part of the Economics Department, which falls under the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. In my role, I provide administrative support to the faculty and graduate research assistants, coordinate events, manage the center’s budget, and maintain activities related to sponsored research. In the Staff Senate, I serve on the Communications Committee.

Mason Journey: I started at Mason as an undergraduate student, earning my B.S. in Management. Within the first week of school, I started working as a student worker in the Volgenau School of Engineering. After graduation, I was hired to continue as staff. While working at Mason, I went back to school part-time and slowly but surely earned my master’s in Public Administration. I was then hired in my current position where I now work on the Arlington Campus.

COVID-19 Transition: I was nervous about the transition to remote work. However, everyone I work with stepped up to make it work. The transition was done quickly and thankfully almost seamlessly. While plans are still in the works for the fall, I am optimistic that everyone at the university will make it work.

Best thing about working at Mason: Without a doubt the best part about working at Mason is the people. I have worked with so many great people and cherish every relationship. I am also so proud of all the students that I’ve met who have gone on to graduate and do great things.

Why serve on Staff Senate: Staff Senate is a great way to meet and learn about staff at Mason. It is also a great way to learn about what is going on at the university. Even if you don’t serve on Staff Senate, it is beneficial to attend meetings.

At the end of the day: I am a proud Patriot as Mason has been a large part of my life. I have many memories as a student and as staff, and I am now making memories as a Staff Senator. I look forward to the future memories from other roles and opportunities at Mason.

September 2019

9/11 Day of Service and Service Fair

Volunteers in the President’s Park Hydroponic Greenhouse help with seed sowing on 9/11 Service Day. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University

Students, alumni, staff, and faculty are invited to participate in the 9/11 Day of Service and Service Fair! There are two ways to get involved:

9/11 Day of Service
The 7th Annual Day of Service will take place on Wednesday, September 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The service events will provide an opportunity to give back to the local George Mason community. To volunteer for one of the many service projects on campus, visit

The Social Action and Integrative Learning (SAIL) Service Fair
The Social Action and Integrative Learning (SAIL) Service Fair will take place on Thursday, September 12, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the SUB I Quad. This is a great way to connect with more than 30 different community partners and leaders, and discover opportunities to use your School Assistance and Volunteer Leave!

General information about the 9/11 Day of Service and Service Fair can be found at

Up to two hours of volunteer service can be considered work time with your supervisor’s permission. If you would like to volunteer more than two hours, eligible faculty and staff may use school assistance and volunteer hours.