July 2020

Staff Senate Election

Voting in the Staff Senate Election will begin July 13, 2020 and end on July 24, 2020 at 5 p.m. Ballots will be distributed to constituents’ email inboxes. Each ballot can be completed only once.

Click here for more details.





July 2020

July Staff Senate Newsletter

The July edition of the Staff Senate newsletter is now available. Check it out!

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.

July 2020

Message from the Chair: July 2020

Lauren Clark Reuscher, Staff Senate. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services

Some people are proud of the fact that they can multitask. I’ve heard others criticize the concept, saying that you can never really focus on something if you are multitasking. Yet here I am, typing this message while my left foot operates my baby’s bouncy seat. We’re all finding creative ways to get our jobs done these days!

I want to take a moment to recognize the recent efforts of your Staff Senators. (I can do this from a somewhat objective place, as I was out on maternity leave from March through early June.) Over the past few months, your Staff Senators held a number of virtual sessions and created opportunities for dialogue between staff and the administration. These virtual sessions usually had around 300 attendees, which shows the important part they have played in keeping staff connected throughout the university.

I’m equally excited to see the nominations submitted for the Staff Senate election, happening this month. This spirit of activism changes our community for the better. Be sure to vote in the Staff Senate election, taking place July 13–24.

This all occurs during a very important time at Mason. We are so pleased to welcome our new president, Dr. Gregory Washington. The Staff Senate had the opportunity to join a virtual meet-and-greet with President Washington last week. We look forward to working with Dr. Washington as he leads us into the next chapter of Mason’s story.

A reminder that we value and appreciate your feedback—be sure to share your questions and comments with us by contacting a senator directly or using our contact form.

Take care and be safe,

Lauren Clark Reuscher
Chair, Staff Senate





July 2020

Child Development Center Q&A

Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University.
Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services/George Mason University.

During the Staff Senate’s recent Human Resources and Finance Panel, a question arose about the Child Development Center. We reached out to Shira Kulok, director of the Child Development Center, for assistance with the answer:

Q: Can you share some context behind recent changes at the Child Development Center (CDC), including tuition rates, reduced operating hours, and discontinued part-time enrollment?

A: Tuition increases result from an analysis of both operational expenses and the neighboring child care market. Our prices have not changed since the 2018–19 school year, yet costs continue to rise. Our new Mason-affiliated tuitions remain close to 20% below the market average, and we make every effort to keep CDC programming affordable. Tuitions this year were raised 5% for the Twos program and 3% for Preschool.

Part-time schedules were eliminated because of enrollment gaps left each year, and a steady loss of revenue. Additional details behind our rationale to raise tuition are listed below:

July 2020

President Gregory Washington’s Virtual Meet-and-Greet with Staff

Greg Washington is George Mason University's 8th president. Photo by Ron Aira/Creative Services
Greg Washington is George Mason University’s 8th president. Photo by Ron Aira/Creative Services

Mason welcomed its new president, Dr. Gregory Washington, on July 1. On his first day as president, Dr. Washington took time to meet with students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

In his discussion with Mason staff, Dr. Washington said, “In the end, what makes the wheels turn, what makes the institution operate, what makes the institution successful—that falls on the staff. Faculty do what they do. Students do what they do. But the entity that binds all of it together and ensures its successes is staff.”

July 2020

Human Resources and Finance Panel: Recording and Follow-up Questions

The Staff Senate hosted a Human Resources and Finance Panel on June 25. Panelists included:

  • Deb Dickenson, vice president for Finance
  • Lester Arnold, vice president for Human Resources and Payroll
  • René Stewart O’Neal, vice president for Strategic Planning and Budgeting

View the recording.

As you can imagine, we received more questions than we had time to cover during the session. We are working to address the additional questions received.

July 2020

Updated Campus Maps Available 

Updated campus maps are available at The most recent versions of the Fairfax, Arlington, and SciTech Campus maps have been posted.

For questions, contact Philip Stamper, University Information, at 

July 2020

June in Review

In addition, each month, the Mason Staff Senate:

  • Presents the Employee of the Month with a gift
  • Attends Human Resources and Payroll’s New Staff Orientations to welcome new employees and introduce them to the work of the Staff Senate
  • Recognizes the service of Mason retirees with a letter of appreciation.
  • The Communications Committee meets monthly to coordinate and publish a monthly newsletter distributed to classified staff and non-student wage employees
July 2020

Guidance from Parking and Transportation

Reminder: Complimentary Permit Option Available Until Aug. 15

For those without parking permits, there is a daily, downloadable and free option available on all three campuses through Aug. 15. For details, visit

Additionally, a reminder to faculty and staff who have payroll deducted permits: Deduction will not start again until Sept. 1. For those faculty, staff, and students who have spring permits, the expiration has been extended through Aug. 15.

If you have any questions, reach out to Parking and Transportation at

Parking permit and fee update for those teleworking during fall 2020:

An official plan has not been finalized, but if employees do not want to be charged for parking or have a payroll deduction permit, they will need to return their permits, in-person or via mail.

If you need to visit campus occasionally, there are daily parking options as low as $3/day at the Field House (Fairfax), $9 for general lots, and hourly parking in the garages. There may be some other options as well for weekly and monthly permits for general lots. If staff have purchased a semester permit, there is a prorated refund schedule if they want to turn in their permit.