Weekends.gmu.edu Helps Students Stay Connected

Posted: December 13, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Catherine Ferraro

It’s Thursday night and you just got home from your last class of the day. The weekend is fast approaching and you’re looking forward to having some fun, but you have no idea what activities are happening on campus or around town.

A new Mason committee dedicated to spreading the word about weekend activities understands students’ need to know and recently created the Weekends at Mason web site.

The web site grew out of meetings that a small group of Mason employees has been holding regularly to discuss campus activities and how to promote them.

The group included Scott Francis, associate director in Housing and Residence Life; Andy Ruge, associate athletic director of marketing and communications in Intercollegiate Athletics; Michael Galvin, marketing and community affairs manager in Dining Services; and Alissa Karton, assistant to the vice president in University Life.

Weekends.gmu.edu logo

As the idea for a web site featuring weekend activities continued to evolve, Karton invited other members of the Mason community to join the group. The committee now includes representatives from Intercollegiate Athletics, Mason Ambassadors, Center for the Arts, Student Government, Housing and Residence Life, University Life, Dining Services, the Freshmen Center and University Relations.

“Creating a web site where students can go and get involved in activities is a necessity. We can’t continue to grow and have more residential students and not address what is happening on the weekends,” says Karton.

“There are so many pockets of students who are interested in events ranging from basketball to shopping. The web site is about making sure there is something for everyone and creating a way to make these events easily accessible to students.”

After several months of meetings and discussing the types of events that should be included, the web site made its official debut on Oct. 12, just in time for Family Weekend. The web site, which continues to evolve, features information about on- and off-campus events and includes links to sports and concerts venues, restaurants, movie theaters, museums, arts and crafts resources, shopping malls and much more. The web site also includes links to regional and Mason transportation information and local hospital and health education information.

Every Thursday, a paper copy listing events for the upcoming weekend is distributed to students and campus locations such as the Johnson Center, Ciao Hall and the residence halls. A PDF of the calendar is also available on the web site.

“As we receive more and more feedback about the web site, we’re seeing that students are recognizing that we are taking the necessary steps to help them find out about weekend activities,” says Karton. “By handing out hard copies of the calendars, we hope students can help us fill in the gaps and create opportunities for other events.”

University Life is currently seeking to fill the position of assistant director of student activities for weekend programming. This person will be responsible for increasing awareness of current activities and developing more activities, events and programming opportunities; developing programs that take advantage of local area offerings; and collaborating with University Life representatives at Mason’s Arlington, Prince William and Loudoun locations.

Suggestions for events and activities to be included on the web site can be sent to Karen Wolf at kwolf@gmu.edu. To add events to the printed copy of the calendar, e-mail them to sa@gmu.edu. For more information about the Weekends at Mason web site, contact Karton at akarton@gmu.edu.

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