We are now in the third week of the fall 2017 semester, and if things weren’t already getting “real” for you before, they definitely should be now! Catch this. By now you should be settled with your fall class schedule. Know when the classes are held. Know where they are located. Know which (unassigned) seats are “yours”. Know what times the classes start. Know the instructors’ names. Have reviewed the syllabi. And have connected with at least two classmates in each class who are going to hold you down all semester. But, based on the high volume of inquiries, late schedule adjustments, requests for late registration fee waivers, and “I didn’t know I was still registered for that class” and “nobody told me…” statements we’ve received in the CEHD Office of Student and Academic Affairs over the past few days, perhaps some of you are not quite settled just yet. And as Issa Rae from the HBO series Insecure would say, “We Got Y’all!”
We understand navigating a large campus system (read: maze) like Mason can be difficult, especially for our first-time freshmen, new graduate students, and transfer students. If you haven’t noticed, we do things a bit differently (sometimes difficult) around these parts. Therefore, we find it necessary to peep you to game. Here are three things that you may or may not have known about being a student at Mason: 1) Although the last day to add a fall 2017 class was September 5, you can technically still request permission from an instructor to be added to their class or arrange an independent study. But, here’s the catch. The instructor does not have to let you in (like, it is the third week of the semester, right?!), and if they do, you will be assessed a late fee and be required to pre-pay for the class before it can be officially added to your class schedule by the Registrar’s office. 2) Your classes will not be automatically or administratively dropped by your Dean, instructor, advisor, or auntie, just because you haven’t paid your semester bill. If you have no intentions on being a student this semester, but previously registered for fall classes, you must go into Patriot Web and drop your classes before the final drop date with tuition penalty (September 19). Otherwise, your student account will become delinquent, and a hold will be placed on your account to prevent future registrations or make any schedule modifications until you give us our money. We want our coins! 3) Check your email daily. And, I’m not necessarily referring to your email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org accounts. I’m specifically referring to your masonlive.gmu.edu email account, the official communication mechanism for Mason students, faculty, and staff. Notices from financial aid, student accounts, instructors, and other university personnel and offices are sent to your Mason live account. Go check it out! You never know; you may already have some mail in your inbox waiting for a timely response. Okay, I lied. I actually have a fourth piece of advice that you need dropped in your spirit right now. 4) There’s a saying that goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” And, that may be true, but around here, just know that even what you don’t know, you are still responsible for knowing it! Being a student at Mason comes with great expectations and responsibilities. The University catalog is your friend (although it’s not very student friend-ly!). But, just remember, “We Got Y’all!” We’ll help you unpack the catalog and understand how things work around here. As my late grandmother would say, “closed mouths don’t get fed.” I told y’all, “We Got Y’all!”
Okay, That’s all for now. I’ll be back soon with some more advice to help in your transition to and/or through Mason.