October 2018

Virginia Governmental Employees Association (VGEA) Information Session

The Staff Senate will host an information session with the Virginia Governmental Employees Association (VGEA) on Wednesday, October 31. Click here for details.

October 2018

Massage and Spa Discounts Available

October is National Massage Therapy Awareness Month, and the Staff Senate is working to provide options for massage and spa discounts in the local area. Check out an article about the history of Massage.

Some discounts available to Mason staff (just show your Mason ID):

  • Elements Massage (Vienna location):$30 off first one-hour session. During the week of October 15-22, they will offer a $50, one-hour massage for Spa Week.
  • Serendipity Wellness Studio (Burke): $15 off any 90-minute or two-hour service.
  • Mystic Flow Wellness Center (Gainesville): 15% off any service. Tuesday/Thursday: Float, Infrared Sauna, and Hydro Massages are 50% off. If you have a doctor’s note describing chronic illness and pain, all Floatation and Sauna packages are 50% off. Mention Mason discount at time of scheduling.

Follow Staff Senate on Facebook and Twitter as more options are added. We are still working on additional deals with other businesses, which are closer to all of our distributed campuses.

Also check out the Salon and Spa discounts at HR’s Website. We are hopeful that our new discounts will be added to this site soon, too!

October 2018

Message from the Chair

Christopher Maier, Staff Senate. Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University

Thank you, Dr. Cabrera and to all of his administration, for providing a thoughtful and exciting bonus package for staff this fall. For a lot of people this was much unexpected in its magnitude. Staff look forward to our continued efforts to advance George Mason University’s Strategic Plan and ultimate goals.

Please read carefully through the topics in this Month’s Staff Senate Newsletter, as there is a related item on taking a one-time retirement deferral and thus banking your full bonus, with much less tax liability. This is courtesy of our Human Resources and Payroll Team.

Patricia Coray, HRIS and benefits director, Human Resources and Payroll, came to present at our October 3 General Meeting regarding benefits programs for Mason staff. Her discussion included the new Parental Leave Policy, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Short Term Disability, Worker’s Compensation, and more. Please check out her Benefits PowerPoint and video link to the presentation.

On October 29, the Staff Senate will be representing Mason Staff at the ADVANCE Launch Celebration at the Center for the Arts, Fairfax Campus. ADVANCE is a partnership between George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College. Governor Ralph Northam will be in attendance.

This month is National Massage Therapy Awareness Month, and the Staff Senate is working to provide additional options for massage and spa discounts in the local area. Check out an article about the History of Massage and discounts to local venues. Please come back regularly, as we are still working on additional deals with other businesses, which are closer to all of our distributed campuses. Also check out the Salon and Spa discounts at HR’s Website. We are hopeful that our new discounts will be added to this site soon, too!

Thank you!

Very Respectfully,

Christopher J. Maier
Chair, Staff Senate, George Mason University

October 2018

Mason Administrative Professionals (MAP)

The next Mason Administrative Professionals (MAP) meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 13, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Johnson Center, Room E. 

The meeting will feature a presentation about Handshake, the new student hiring platform from University Career Services. Then, Abrams BBQ will give a short presentation and provide samples of their creations. 

MAP welcomes anyone working at George Mason who considers themselves to be in an administrative professional role.  

For questions and to RSVP, contact 

October 2018

Dealing with Difficult People Seminar

Details: October 16, Fairfax, Merten Hall 1202, 12 to 1 p.m. 

As part of the Anthem Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Human Resources and Payroll is offering a Well-Being Series focusing on mental health topics. 

October’s topic is Dealing with Difficult People. This seminar will address how to effectively deal with difficult people in certain scenarios.  

All employees are welcome to attend. To register, visit 


October 2018

Winter Wellness Flu Shot Clinic

The Winter Wellness Flu Shot Clinics will be held at Mason on the following dates: 

  • SciTech (Colgan Hall, 110E): October 16, 2018 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • Arlington (Founders Hall, 313): October 18, 2018 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. 
  • Fairfax (Dewberry Hall): October 30, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 


  • $25 shots offered only at Fairfax event with a Mason ID (FREE with UnitedHealthcare StudentResources Insurance Plan) 
  • Click here for information about additional flu shot options. 


  • FREE with COVA (all clinics) and Kaiser (Fairfax only) insurance card. Employees not insured through one of Mason’s health insurance plans may bring their insurance card to inquire about coverage. 


  • $30 for faculty and staff through Student Health Services at the Fairfax event 

For questions, email 

October 2018

Chapter Next: Ending Sexual Violence

The Women and Gender Studies Center, the LEAD Office, and the Student Support and Advocacy Center are gearing up for Chapter Next: Ending Sexual Violence. We are committed to not only purposefully educating our campus and community about sexual violence, but we are also asking for a Call to Action to encourage ongoing discussions, trainings, education, programming, and outreach to help end sexual violence on our campus.

Join us on Thursday, October 18, from 4 to 6 p.m. as we come together as a Mason community to educate and challenge ourselves as we answer the CALL TO ACTION to END sexual violence in order to begin the real freedom and learning at George Mason University.

For more information and to RSVP, visit 

October 2018

Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) Roundtable

November 7
10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Merten Hall, Room 1202

The OSP Roundtable is an information session for departmental administrators working with sponsored projects. Topics will include updates on policies and procedures, as well as anything new related to sponsored projects.

Attendees are advised to prepare any topics or questions to discuss during this session.

Register online to reserve your seat (Mason login required).

For questions, contact Pat Sperry at or 703-993-8929.

October 2018

Parking and Transportation Updates

Bicycle Commuting 101

Bicycling to campus can be fun and great for your well-being. Research indicates that those who bike to work are the happiest with their commute.

Join Rick Holt from Human Resources/Payroll and League of American Bicyclists certified instructor for Bicycle Commuting 101. During this session at noon on Wednesday, October 17, Rick will share information to help you feel more confident about getting to campus on two wheels. The session will cover basic bicycling information and Mason Transportation will share information about bike resources during the session.

Sponsored by Mason Transportation and Human Resources/Payroll, the training is open to faculty, staff and students. Register at

Learn to Ride Cycling Class

Want to experience the joys of biking but haven’t gotten around to learning? Now is your chance!

Join Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling (FABB) instructors as they teach the basics of bicycling on Saturday, October 20, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Faculty, staff, and students (ages 18 and up) may attend at no cost. Bikes and helmets will be provided.

For registration information, view the flyer.

Contact Janet Walker at 703-993-9530 or with questions.

Patriot Bike Check Out Pilot at the RAC

Parking and Transportation has teamed up with the Office of Sustainability and Mason Recreation on the Patriot Bike Check Out Program: free bikes available for the day at the RAC with your Mason ID. For more information on this program, visit

I-66 Ongoing Construction for Hot Lanes

Changes are underway on I-66. Projects both inside and outside the Beltway can impact your daily commute, whether you use I-66 to get to work/school or not. For details on the entire project, visit You may want to allow extra time to commute whether you are coming by car, van, or Mason Shuttle.

Because of the ongoing construction, this might be a great time to explore getting to work/school in a new way. For resources on what is available to you at Mason—including car pools, van pools, Commonwealth Commuter Choice, and more—visit

For regional incentives to carpool and vanpool, as well as some discounted transit options, visit

October 2018

Free Online Self-Help Resource Available

TAO lotus graphicHave you heard about Therapist Assisted Online (TAO)? The Mason community has access to this free, interactive, web-based support program through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). TAO is confidential, online self-help. No appointment needed!

TAO provides access to help for anxiety, depression, relationship concerns, communication skills, mindfulness, and self-care resources for well-being.

You can access TAO on your schedule and at your own pace.

If you are not sure which resources would be helpful to you, TAO has a screening tool to direct you to recommendations tailored to your needs. Modules are empirically supported.

Anyone with a Mason email can visit the website and create a free TAO account today.

For questions, contact or 703-993-2380.