George Mason University Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Laura

College town, or "what college town?" Mason is located in Fairfax, VA which is a very large city in Northern Virginia. It is not your average college town because we are so close to everything. There are both good and bad sides to living in Northern Virginia. For example, a great thing is the access to Washington, D.C. which leads us to great internships and job possibilities for the future. The negative thing about being in Fairfax is that we as Mason students don't have the typical college experience of living in a small town, getting away with having parties, etc because George Mason conveniently uses the police service of Fairfax county so they are not as lenient as a smaller town.

Joe

It is a large commuter based school, but also many out of state students. Out of state students are mostly from PA, NJ, New England area.

Kelly

I would change the Greek life here at GMU. I am an active member of Alpha Phi and I can honestly say that President Merten, as well as, all of mason does not recognize greek life because we do not have a greek row or are given the freedom like most other colleges that have greek life. Because the state of Virginia enforces that no more than 6 women in a househould is a brothel, women cannot have greek houses here. Which I believe is insane because thats why most people are attracted to greek life.

Patricia

I love the size of the university and not knowing every single I walk by on campus. It really helps you extend your social network and reach out to people you may not have normally reached out to in a small school. Also, this university actually offers a lot of fun events for its' students at no cost which is really good for those who are running low on cash but still want to do something. Most of the time, when I tell people I go to this university, I don't really get a reaction. A lot of people still don't know about this school. However, I'm still glad I chose this school. For the most part, the professors are helpful and makes themselves really available to its' students. Also, you really do get to meet people from everywhere.

Andy

The best thing about GMU is how they put all the freshman in one area together. I lived in the Park and I had the best time of my life, that was my favorite year by far. You really get to know a lot of people in your class and it helps you to meet people. I would change how much they charge for parking on campus and for how many parking tickets they give out! I would also change where people are allowed to smoke on campus because I always hated walking out of the JC into a huge cloud of smoke, very gross and annoying. The school is getting to be too large for how much space they have. When I tell people I went to GMU, they now know what school I'm talking about since we went to the final four! When I was on campus I spent most of my time in the JC, and other than that, I spent most of my time in the dorms. GMU/fairfax is not a college town at all, that is one major downfall of going here. You don't have as much school spirit coming from the community as you do at other schools. I think GMU's administration is great, I really liked my professors in my Major (Tourism and Events Management). I think there is more school pride now after making the Final Four and then doing pretty well this year. The most frequent student complaints are parking and lack of food choices on campus.

Lauren

The best thing about GMU is the area for sure! I would change the fact that they are completely unprepared for the growth they encouraged. I think the size is great!!! People are almost always impressed when I tell them where I went to school! I think it's great that being a part of the final 4 two years ago really put us on the map:) When I went there, I spent a lot of time in the JC and my dorm. What college town? I think the administration needs some work. Parking and housing are huge complaints and Mason administration really needs to expedite work on these things or they're gonna find their admission numbers dropping.A

Laura

Mason is huge and very diverse. I love the diversity in ethnicities and cultures, but I hate how they dismiss "the majority". White people are sometimes treated like second class in an attempt to overly please minorities. Christians are completely overlooked and often criticized altogether.

Tarek

1. best thing is our location 2. one thing i would change the people hired as gmu police officers 3. gmu is just right 4. most common reaction "the final four school" 5. most of my time is at student activities, the staff is great 6. what college town, but who needs one with DC so close by 7. i don't think gmu's administration listens to the student body enough 8. one of the benches in the quad area was vandalized 9. depends who you ask, i don't have a lot of school pride but i didn't in high school either 10. i have never encountered anything unusual 11. one experience i will always remember is the first shack-a-thon even during greek week 12. most frequent complaints are parking and food

Alex

My best experience was with GMU Intramural Sports. I have learned so much from being a supervisor. I feel that it has prepared me for my future career in law enforecement. I have a tremendous resume and work experience from it. That job would not have been possible at any other university. The people I worked for were very good people.

Harper

GMU has a fabulous English Literature department - and for a bit more than $7000 (in-state) a year, it's a nice bargain. GMU is basically a commuter school - there is very little in the way of a 'school community.'

Ryan

I think the best thing about GMU is it's location to Washington D.C., great campus, and good sports teams. Those were my big three factors when deciding on a college. One thing I would change about GMU is the campus police. For some reason the George Mason is way to over protected. I know you want to feel safe on campus but I've seen the GMU police in under-cover cars giving kids tickets on campus. C'mon now. Also GMU is obessed with giving violations to students that are caught drunk on campus. It's college, lighten up. I spend most of my time on campus in the JC or Presidents Park. The JC reminds me of Penn Station in NY haha. Its also flowing with people going every direction. One of the biggest controversies on campus is parking. Now I know George Mason is working on the parking situation, but I making freshman park in West Campus parking lot, is cruel. It takes no joke, 30 mintues just to get to your car on the shuttle bus. My all time record spent on the shuttle bus, 42 mintues! I love the school pride at Mason. Everyone wears Mason gear and many of my friends that have visited have commented on that. Its great to see on campus.

Chris

Diversity: Must have more diversity-based organizations. Large school: Needs more campus housing. Not everyone knows GMU. In my room. Administration is very customer care based. Not allowing Michael More to come to campus. Yes, Mason Patriots are full of spirit! That we are going to the NCAA once again! My job at OFPS. Parking.

Mona

Usually, when people find out I go to Mason they don't react at all. We talk about how it is a good school in general and I honestly believe that. However, we also talk about how boring it can be. I wouldn't be here if I wasn't getting anything out of it, though. Freshman year was really fun and I slacked off. The kind of people coming into the school are, like I said, more average and sort of all very similar, though, so that sort of excitement definently dwindle as the pool of people became more static. Mason's terrible about financial aide. It's trying to include more people in groups and events which is good. I don't have any great memories tied to the school itself except the location maybe. We would climb on buildings. That's a tie to school I suppose.

Danielle

GMU is an alright school, it's too big for where it is, and it advertises as a comuter school, yet there is NOT enough accessible parking for the comuters. They close the parking lots to do construction, but don't think about the needs of the student body.

Harper

Big campus, well landscaped and well kept, very safe at all hours. You can find work around town pretty easy. You don't need a car, there's a bus that runs through Fairfax and will get you to the DC metro, so you have access to the city and all that comes with it.

Andy

The best thing about GMU is the diversity. Students are from all walks of life, which is an eye-opening experience and beneficial during class discussions. I think the school is a great size. It is nice to be able to walk around campus and see familiar faces, but also have the opportunity to meet new people all the time. For a long time, people would either not know what GMU was or would mention it being such a commuter school. I think the basketball team's Final Four appearance helped us to gain recognition and boosted school spirit.

Derek

Mason is a medium sized campus that is great academically and socially. It's not really a college town, and when people say Mason is a commuter school, they're right because you have to drive everywhere in Fairfax.

Harper

Best thing about GMU is all the stuff ya can do. Tons of frat or sorority parties. The people are cool. Everyone is really relaxed and it isn't stressful.

Madison

30,000 rejects packed into an ugly campus that has nothing worthwhile within walking distance, no parking to speak of for the majority of commuter students, a BOV that refuses to accept the "commuter school" term and tries to package it in something less depressing. A school paper that would make tabloids sick over the poor writing. No creativity to speak of. Laughable attempts by students trying to make the school either a liberal-elitist vegan enclave or a frat-boy paradise of rap-metal and beer pong. A police force that answers to no one and breaks up any attempts at fun that the few students living on campus might try to have. A Taco Bell without chalupas or mexican pizzas. "Smart" classrooms without smart teachers or smart courses. Having said that, the majority of women on campus are absolutely stunning.

Ryan

The best thing about GMU is the size of the university and it feeling like a very secluded campus (unless you commute). Leading to what I would change, traffic/parking is horrible. In addition, the university is VERY bureaucratic. I think overall the size of the university is a plus, but at the same time, that size makes things very problematic. Most people don't know where GMU is, which is a shame. I spend most of my time on campus at the Catholic Campus Ministry Chapel because there are always people hanging out there. GMU administration is horribly inefficient, though they are making things better. They seem to be wanting to meet the needs of the students more recently. The biggest controversy on campus lately? I can't think of much, other than they continually bring in democratic candidates and events and VERY liberal and OFFENSIVE events such as the "Vagina Monologues" or a Sextravaganza. They are all about free speech until it is traditional; they do stuff like make the RA's pass out condoms but they won't let them put up information about abstinence, etc. School pride is lacking. Except for men's basketball, the sporting events aren't very popular. People always wear other college clothing. I will always remember the Final 4 Run in 2006. Most student complain about the lack of diverse food choices, be them healthy or just different. We have had mostly the same food all of my 4 years, and there is no room for a private food place to come on campus because of the agreement with our dining services; it's horrible!

Jennifer

The best thing about GMU was that I met two great roommates there. The school was rather large, and sometimes felt overcrowded. When I tell people I went to GMU, they are usually pleased. I had a great college experience. I would have to say that there was not much school pride at GMU. The only sport to really rally around was basketball. While I was there, GMU did make it to the final 4 and that was really exciting. That was the most school spirit I ever saw.

Lorie

Close to Washington, D.C. School size is fine. Parking is horrendous. I do not spend most of my time on campus. I wish Fairfax was more of a college town. Not a lot of school pride, at all. School of Management is atrocious.

Bob

Lots of students this semester! Everything is torn up. It's all kind of crappy having everything under construction. I won't even be going there to see the results. They could've done the construction in stages or something.

Abby

GMU has a fairly large student population with various activities and events occurring daily. There is always something happening on campus. The best thing about GMU is how close it is to DC and how easily accessible it is. It's a great location.

Ryan

The best thing about GMU is the basketball team. This is because the team brings unity to the campus. One thing I would change about GMU is people's opinion of it. Many think it is too much like a community college. I like the size of the school as it is. It is small enough that everyone is connected but it is big enough that you can blend in if you want to. When I tell people that I go to GMU I usually get a pretty positive response. Prior to the Final Four, I got a lot of, "where is that?" but this has improved tremendously. I spend the most time on campus in my dorm room or in the Johnson Center. Fairfax is not a college town. The school exists because of the town. I have no problem with GMU's adminstration. Everything has ran pretty smoothly since I have been here. At GMU I wish there was more school pride. Things have again improved a bit since the Final Four run in 2006. The one experience I will always remember about GMU, is the feeling on campus when GMU basketball was going through the Final Four. Student complaints I mainly hear about the construction, the lack of parking, and the fact that nothing is open on campus on the weekends.

Emily

I transfered into Mason from Lord Fairfax Community College and I have been there 2 years and will be graduating in May. Here is what I know: First and foremost PARKING SUX. They are in the process of building another parking garage but that will be expensive to park in. (As are the other garages) I am not sure whats up if you live on campus. Your prob. better off although the campus is big and it will prob. be a hike from your dorm. (Depending on which dorm) Second of all, I would like to say Mason is a great college and I have enjoyed getting my education there. I had to live off campus because there was a shortage of dorms. Students were housed in nearby hotels last year if that gives you an idea. They are also building more dorms so that problem may be satisfied. Overall, its a beautiful campus (despite construction) and a diverse community of students who have lots of school pride. Thanks to the final 4 run. I would reccomend it 3 out of 5.

Emma

The best thing about GMU is the laid back people. It isn't a huge party school but there is always something going on if you want to party. Theres a good balance of hard work and fun. If I could change one thing about GMU, it would be the parking! Since so many people live off campus, the parking lots fill up and if you have class anytime after 10:30am, you need to get on campus at LEAST 45 minutes before your class starts to try and find a spot somewhere. The school is the perfect size, because although it is one of the biggest schools in VA, once you make friends and meet people it becomes so much smaller because you see people you know all the time. When I tell people I go to GMU, they are impressed because it is becoming a more known school and not just because of our basketball team -- we are putting ourselves on the academic map. I spend most of my time in the JC when I'm on campus because all the best food is there, the bookstore, as well as a lot of places to study. The administration for the most part is amazing, and I have only had a few professors I thought were sub-par. The biggest recent controversy on campus was either the protesters who come every now and then and hate on almost any type of person you can find on campus (race, religion, sex, etc.) or the suicide that happened about a year ago in the Johnson Center. There is a lot of school pride, and we have a large and active greek life so its hard to meet someone who isn't always wearing either a GMU t-shirt or letters. One thing unusual about GMU is that we have an underwater hockey team. One experience I will always remember is when Barack Obama and Bill Clinton came to speak at the JC. The most complaints from students that I have heard is about parking.

Fran

The size is just right, there's nothing good about the school, the place is boring, the administration's not the best, and what college town?

Leah

Because I'm from California, I constantly get asked, "Why'd you pick MASON?". My short answer is that I like the area, I needed to be in a good music program, and I'm comfortable far away from home. Now that I'm here, I can say that it is definitely my place, and the people make it. I feel that many people come to the state school for financial reasons, which makes it a big commuter school. Because some people do not have many options for college, I feel that Mason students are more humble than those at a school with a much higher tuition. Mason is also extremely diverse - walking between classes it's impossible not to hear another language. It's more real-world, different from the 90% white sheltered suburbs I grew up in. Mason is also home to the Patriot Center and the Center for the Arts, two huge venues for Northern Virginia. Concerts, performances and speakers come through Mason and we often get free tickets. Many people on the west coast have only heard of Mason's basketball team (woohoo!), if that. I was originally reluctant to go to a school that didn't have a big name, but I got over that quickly. Everyone in the area knows Mason and it's a great place to be. Like at many colleges, people sport Mason clothing and paraphanalia all the time. I imagine that since the Final Four, Mason's school pride has skyrocketed. School pride is most obvious in the Patriot Center for men's basketball games. Students go all out with facepaint, signs, and anything else green and gold. It's difficult to say what I would change about Mason because I've accepted it and I love it. I think I would add more practice rooms in the Performing Arts Building and a new rehearsal hall...Oh and I would improve the food. Mason's not known for it's food, but it is improving.

Francis

The best thing about GMU is the student organizations, there are so many. I really like the diversity and the opportunities to meet different types of people. I spend most of my time on campus at the Johnson Center, Aquatic Center, and the Field house. I enjoy playing basketball and working out but I am very disappointed in George Mason's recreational facilities. GMU fails to accommodate it's paying students when they close down the very few basketball courts they have. Maybe it reflects the few students who live on campus, and I am hoping for the construction of more facilities. Mason parking is also very inconvenient, I feel this way and I live on campus. I don't look for parking everyday, but I can see and hear all the complications that come with Mason parking. Most of my needs derive from the fact that I live on campus, and end up comparing Mason to the other universities that house a lot of students.

Jesse

Best thing: our Economics school Change: Abolish the Office of Diversity Programs and Services The school is too small physically for its large student body Reaction: Disappointment Most of my time is spent in the Johnson Center "what college town?" George Mason's administration is stunningly incompetent The biggest recent controversy was over the Muslim Students Association's total control over the Meditation Room which became national news. There is a fair amount of school pride. There is nothing particularly unusual about GMU. The most frequent complaints are about harassment from the MSA and a lack of parking spots.

Kelly

I love my professors at GMU. There are a few that I have had that have actually made me switch majors...some because they have inspired me, some because they have scared me away from majoring in something else. (Ex: no longer majoring in nursing because of the A&P teachers, majoring in English because of some rocking Professors that truly inspire). I think that GMU is just right in size, any bigger and the school would be too big. I wish that there was more school pride. I think that going to the final four a couple years ago really opened the door to GMU and how we are a competitive school, a school that should be taken seriously. I spend most of my time on campus in the classrooms. I don't really stay to hang out or anything, unless I am meeting people for a group project. GMU is not in a college town- it's Northern VA. Enough said. I'll always remember my English professors at GMU. Great group of people- probably don't get the great amount of respect that they deserve. The BIGGEST student complaint at GMU is the language requirement. Who the f*ck wants to take 4 semesters of a foreign language, especially since most of us have taken 3 or 4 years of it already in high school?! It's outdated, unnecessary, and no one really has an interest in it. If they do have an interest, than they major in it. I think that 2 semesters of a language requirement is sufficient. Any more than that, and you want to commit educational suicide (do I really need this degree?).

Jimmy

I think the school is just the right size and does not need to expand. People don't react shocked or surprised. They react mostly unenthusiastic. I spend most of my time in the Johnson Center. I think the administration is managing well. A recent controversy a while ago was that some of the police call boxes were not working but now i think its been fixed. If school pride includes political activity among students then there is a lot. Students engage in organizations that promote good in the world and also political ideology. I don't think there is anything unusual. A frequent complaint is the parking. Friends are always complaining about the availability of parking.

Morgan

What's the best thing about GMU? it's close to home Name one thing you'd change. the parking situation Is your school too large, too small, or just right? the campus is small/ medium How do people react when you tell them you go to GMU? "oh, that's a good school..." Where do you spend most of your time on campus? JC baby College town, or "what college town?" "what college town" What's your opinion of GMU's administration? whatev, depends on who you are dealing with a guess What was the biggest recent controversy on campus? haven't really cared to take notice Is there a lot of school pride? i don't think so, compared to other schools that is. Is there anything unusual about GMU? not that i can think of, besides the fact that a lot of the ppl i meet are from very diverse backgrounds and speak more than one language- interesting What's one experience you'll always remember? "borrowing" trays from the JC in the middle of the night when it snowed and sliding down the hill by david king hall before they put in sideways and rails What are the most frequent student complaints? parking sucks!!

Stephen

I think the best thing I like about GMU is the school of IT&E. It is exactly how I expected it and it is run just the way I like it. It is a reasonable large school but everyone seems to be acommadated equally and reasonably cared for. Many other schools don't seem to recognize GMU as a major university, but I noticed that many of the businesses really recognize the degree and the achievements involved. I spend most of my time at GMU in my dorm room or in the field house when I am not in the academic buildings. I really enjoy the buildings and the surrounding area. It doesn't feel like a town that is dependent on the college to survive. Just very well integrated, a seemless transition.

Patrick

Mason is all about diversity. They practically shove it down your throat. Also, "Mason Nation" is the new rage, after having the basketball team go to the Final-Four. If I could change one thing, it would be the atrocious parking. It is an embarassement to such a good school. It provides so much unneeded stress. In the winter it makes for some of the most depressing trips in between classes. In 2008, Mason's had everything under construction, making parking even more limited. Mason expects its students to park at the Field House across from the main part of campus, and take a shuttle in to then one to class. Students pay upwards of $170 to do this. For the price of tuition, this service should be free. Mason is just right. It'd be cool if they expanded in efficent ways to make for more opportunities. People usually say, "Oh, I hear that's a great school." Sometimes people don't understand how good academically it can be, so they act like it's just "that" local college. Mason isn't much of a college town. Mason's English administration is brilliant. The professors have such a varied amount of experience and character that no matter who you get, you are bound to grow as a person and really learn how to analyze literary works.

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