December 2015

December Staff Senate Newsletter

The December 2015 Staff Senate Newsletter is now available!

The Clock is seen with autumn leaves at the Fairfax Campus. Photo by Alexis Glenn/Creative Services/George Mason University
Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University









December 2015

From Our Friends in Human Resources and Payroll

ELW_2014-v2Celebrate Employee Learning Week! December 7–11
Employee Learning Week (ELW) is an awareness campaign that highlights the important connection between learning and achieving organizational results. To participate in ELW, create an account at and choose an online training video that applies to your job. View the video and submit your answers to the questions below to by 5 p.m. on Friday, December 11. Your submission will be entered into a drawing for fabulous prizes. For more information on ELW, visit

1. What was the name of the online class and the trainer?
2. What was one new thing you learned?
3. How will you apply what you learned to your job?

Family Matters at Mason: An Invitation for Feedback
A Mason working group composed of faculty, staff, and administrators has been formed to explore faculty and staff needs and ideas in the area of family support. We are currently seeking feedback on two specific initiatives related to the child care needs of our faculty and staff living near or working on the Fairfax Campus:

  • Spring Break Camp for school-aged children (12 and under)
  • Extended Hours Care (before 7 a.m. or after 6 p.m.) for children 2-12 years old

We also invite faculty and staff at all Mason locations to share their specific family care challenges, including child care, eldercare, special needs support, and other family care matters.

As you know, the university recently implemented a new Parental Leave Policy for Instructional 9-Month Faculty. Through the survey below, we hope to gather further feedback on family-related challenges and potential university supports. Depending upon your responses, there is a maximum of 12 questions, and we anticipate the survey will take less than seven minutes to complete.

The Family Matters Survey is available for the next couple of weeks. Feel free to email if you have any questions.

Nominations for Employee of the Month
Recognizing Mason superstars is an important job, and everyone can participate. If you work with an incredible Mason Admin/Prof faculty member, classified staff member, or wage employee who goes the extra mile, collaborates successfully, and supports our students and colleagues, nominate them for Mason’s Employee of the Month award. Additional information can be found at

Contact Reward and Recognition at 703-993-2739 or with any questions.

Reminder: Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign
The 2015 Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC) is underway. Contact Helga Yunker at for pledge cards or additional information. Online giving is available for both payroll deduction as well as one-time credit card donations at A list of charities can be viewed at

Help the Child Development Center Help Others
Mason’s Child Development Center (CDC) is taking the concepts of sharing and caring beyond the classroom and into the community by supporting a philanthropic cause for this year’s season of thanks. Ellie’s Hats is a program that collects new winter hats (bought or handmade) through December 16 for local children battling childhood cancer. A flyer is available to post in your office. Your generous donation can be dropped off at the CDC or Human Resources and Payroll (Merten Hall, Suite 4100).

Financial Well-Being Seminar Series: December Classes
Financial education classes are just a click away. Upcoming on-site classes are listed below. Both sessions will be video conferenced to the Arlington and SciTech Campuses. Visit to register.

  • December 3, 12 p.m.: Raising Money Smart Teens with Tom Katovsich of the Virginia Credit Union
  • December 10, 12 p.m.: Halfway There – A Retirement Check Up with Lisa Fulco of TIAA-CREF

Contact or 703-993-2600 with questions.

Registration Now Open: Leading to Well-Being Conference 2016
Registration is now open for the 2016 Leading to Well-Being: Cultivating Resilience Conference, co-sponsored by MasonLeads and the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. This year’s keynote speakers are Dr. Dan Siegel, Dr. David Cooperrider, and Dr. Annie McKee. Optional Thursday Pre-Conference Intensives include:

  • The HeartMath Institute
  • David L. Cooperrider/Appreciative Inquiry
  • The Strozzi Institute
  • The Chopra Center

A limited number of discounted tickets are available for Mason employees. Space for optional Thursday Intensives is limited. Mason employees who register by December 4 receive an extra $25 off the Friday conference ticket.

For more information and to register, click here. Contact Brandice Valentino at 703-993-5049 or with questions.

December 2015

Fall for Vogel Collection Fundraising Campaign

Polyptik in Yellow, Blue, Red, Green
Polyptik in Yellow, Blue, Red, Green, Vogel Art Collection

The Hilde Vogel-Michalik Collection consists of over 2,200 paintings donated to Mason and housed at the SciTech campus. Many pieces are displayed throughout the university via the Internal Loan and the Adopt-a-Painting Programs.

Help support the collection by purchasing Vogel greeting cards. Each set has six cards depicting a different Vogel painting on the front; cards are blank inside for a personal message. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the cards ($10 plus tax) are used for the care and maintenance of the Vogel Collection.

Inquire about a card sales liaison for your campus/building, and order a set today. For questions, contact Donna Tressler at or 703-993-8355.

December 2015

Holiday Schedule for the Remainder of 2015 and All of 2016

The holiday schedule for the remainder of 2015 and all of 2016 is available on the Holiday Schedule page.

2015 Winter Holiday Closing
Monday, December 21 through Friday, January 1, 2016

For questions, contact the Human Resources and Payroll Benefits Team at 703-993-2600.

December 2015

Message from the Chair

Nicole Roth, Staff Senate. Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University
Nicole Roth, Staff Senate. Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University

As the fall semester comes rapidly to a close, the days are flying by. Soon enough the university will shift into exam schedules and then we will be off for the break. It is important to remember that not all of our classified staff and non-student wage colleagues will have the same amount of time away from the university. Operations must go on and paychecks must be cut. To those of the Mason community who will need to be here at any time over the break, I and the rest of the Staff Senate thank you for your dedication and service to the university.

November has been a busy month. The Staff Senate has engaged an outreach program to meet you in your space. Following the survey we released for the President’s Contract Review, two of our Senators went out and connected with staff to hear their voice. We’ll be trying this out for a bit, so if you’d like to see them come to your building, send us a message!

I had the opportunity to lobby on behalf of staff during a visit from a group of state legislators.  I discussed with them the need for increased pay, as well as facility concerns regarding Robinson Hall and the infrastructure to the university that is in need of an overdue upgrade. Events like these are only strengthening our voice at Mason and if there are issues you’d like me to raise with the state, please let me know. 

I hope that you all enjoy the next few weeks as the semester winds down.  I look forward to seeing you in the New Year!

Have happy and safe holidays!

Nicole Roth
Chair, Staff Senate

December 2015

You Ask, We Answer

Staff Senate Ask Me Button WRThis feature investigates and answers questions from Mason staff, related to anything at Mason. Submit your questions online.

Mason Basketball Ticket Discount

Q: Are there discounts available to staff for Mason Basketball tickets?

A: For men’s basketball, Mason offers discounted season tickets for faculty and staff. The tickets are prorated, and prices vary depending on the priority section. Discounted, prorated season tickets start at $182. There is also a Top of the Nation season ticket for $126. Top of the Nation is a regular season ticket that is located on either side of the Green Machine (sections 107 and 110), which doesn’t require any donation to the Patriot Club. Currently, there is no single game discount, but mini-plans that include fewer games can be purchased at a discounted rate.

For all other sports games/events, Mason faculty and staff can receive two tickets per Mason ID for $4 each.

To purchase discounted tickets or inquire about more information, contact Alyssa Williams, Ticket Sales Representative, at 703-993-3491 or

December 2015

Fenwick Library on the Move

Side of Fenwick Library at the Fairfax Campus. Photo by Alexis Glenn/Creative Services/George Mason University
Side of Fenwick Library at the Fairfax Campus. Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University

University Libraries is packing and moving more than one million books and journals, special collections, archives, various equipment, and nearly 100 library staff into the new Fenwick Library. This enormous project affects all floors of the existing Fenwick Library.

Once print books are moved into the new space, they will not be directly available to users until the new facility opens in January 2016. Library staff will retrieve needed print items during the move. Submit requests at

Details about the Fenwick Library move are available at

For questions, contact Susan Stockwell at or 703-993-2225.

December 2015

Parking Services Food and Toy Drive

Parking Services Toys and Food Drive 2015Parking Services is collecting toy and food donations at the Fairfax, Arlington, and SciTech Parking Services offices.

If you owe a fine for a parking ticket, you may donate new, unwrapped toys or nonperishable food items at the Parking Services office, and your account will be credited based on the following:

  • 1 toy = $10 credit
  • 2 toys = $20 credit
  • 5 cans/boxes of food = $10 credit
  • 10 cans/boxes of food = $20 credit

A $20 credit is allowed per citation, with credit for up to three citations ($60), or receive up to a $20 credit toward an upgrade to a parking deck spring permit.

The deadline to submit donations for credit is 12 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Arlington: December 14
  • SciTech: December 15
  • Fairfax: December 16

Food donations will be given to Mason’s Pop Up Pantry. Suggested items include:

  • Small cereal cups
  • Pasta/rice
  • Snacks (chips, crackers, protein bars)
  • Non-refrigerated drinks (Gatorade, water, energy)
  • Toilet paper
  • Sauces/dressings
  • Paper towels
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Canned meats (tuna, chicken, beef)

For questions, contact Parking Services at 703-993-2828.

December 2015

University Holiday Party: Fairfax

HolidayParty2015Join your Mason family for a celebration as we conclude another successful year.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015
2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Fairfax Campus, Johnson Center, 
Dewberry Hall

Drop off Toys for Tots donations in the Cinema lobby during the event.

Happy Holidays!

December 2015

Office 365 ProPlus Available for Faculty and Staff

Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus is available to all active George Mason University employees at no cost. Mason provides each active employee with the latest version of Microsoft Office, which includes software such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc., to use on personally-owned (non-Mason) computers or mobile devices. Each employee may install Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus on up to five (non-Mason) computers and five mobile devices (personal or Mason-owned) by using their email address.

For additional information and installation instructions, visit

Contact the ITS Support Center at or 703-993-8870 with questions.