A Magazine for the George Mason University Community

Mason Cribs: Tea for Four

By Leah Kerkman Fogarty on May 6, 2011

Forget everything you’ve heard about the dorms at Mason. Now considered a “primarily residential” university, Mason has a thriving campus life. Peek into how undergraduates are living large on campus with this take on MTV Cribs—but with a little Mason flavor. From singles to suites, here are some of the best “cribs” around.

Not all college kids live off ramen and Easy Mac. Some offer visitors a specialty blend of black tea and homemade pumpkin beer bread. No, seriously.

These four seniors are not your typical college students. Did we mention that the pumpkin in the aforementioned beer bread was grown in Mason’s organic vegetable garden, of which Amanda Wall (second from left), a biology major, was a founding member? Or that they have three waste receptacles, one each for recycling, compost, and trash?

Besides working in the garden as president of the George Mason University Organic Garden Association, Wall enjoys spending time outside, hiking, and doing outdoors stuff. She just completed her first marathon this past fall.

She picks the redwoods poster shown behind the group as her favorite piece of décor in their dwelling in the Student Apartments. “I am inspired by the outdoors and creation,” she says. “I adore the words and like my room to sort of feel like the outside to me.”

Of course, the other roommates—who share the kitchen, living area, bathroom, and two double rooms—are no slouches, either. All are members of the Honors College. Kelsey Huber (far left) is an economics major. She’s involved with the Econ Society on campus and acts as University Professor of Economics Peter Boettke’s undergraduate assistant. She’s at Mason on an academic scholarship and was awarded the Ronald Reagan Conservative Student Leaders Scholarship.

Cassie Coleman (second from right) and Nicole MacCracken (far right) are both global affairs majors. Coleman, who hopes to someday work abroad, also is involved in the organic garden association, as its vice president. MacCracken, who’s applying for law enforcement positions after graduation, participates in the University Chorale.

They like to hit Starbucks or the Johnson Center to study. On Friday nights when they’re looking to unwind, they like to go contra dancing, a sort of line folk dance, at Glen Echo Park in Maryland.

“Our crib is all about good food, tea, and travel,” says MacCracken.

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Born from a bout of cabin fever following the snowpocalypse last year, the four women decided to decorate the wall of their common area with inspirational quotes written on index cards and hung with clothespins on a line of string. No big surprise, many of the quotes are about tea.

A kitschy chalkboard displays the dinner menu for that night. The ladies take turns cooking meals for each other every night. The lamp is a hand-me-down from MacCracken’s family’s home. “When my parents moved to Qatar a year and a half ago, none of their American electronics would work over there,” she explains. “So I snagged what I liked.”

As avid home cooks, their pantry is stocked with staples and cookbooks. Since MacCracken is a vegetarian, all of the meals in the apartment are meat-free. The famed cookbook The Enchanted Broccoli Forest is well used.


  1. good luck not setting off the fire alarm

    Comment by hi — July 6, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

  2. When I was a student at Mason (1989-1993, I lived in Commonwealth Hall and always kept a fashionable dorm room. My roommate, Dan, and I had an oriental rug, an aquarium, and did interesting furniture arrangements. We also had about the only vacuum on the hall, so we had frequent visitors. That’s what happens when you have two neat freaks rooming together!

    Comment by Jarrod Brown — July 6, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

  3. Looking to give away an stereo console to any frat houses that might want a piece of vintage furniture for their frat house …
    got a truck? come & get it! (W. Sp’fld)
    Mary (7/941-0085 or 571-276-0287)

    Comment by Mary — July 18, 2011 @ 4:39 am

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