George Mason University Launches Virtual Parking Permit Program

George Mason University Parking and Transportation is excited to announce the launch of its new Virtual Parking Permit program, set to take effect this fall. This innovative and sustainable program will revolutionize the way parking permits are issued and utilized on campus, with the goal of streamlining the parking process for students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

With Virtual Parking Permits, the permit holder’s license plate will serve as their permit, eliminating the need for physical hang tags. This means that every parking permit holder will be required to update their automobile and license plate information in their parking portal to avoid receiving a ticket.

“We are thrilled to launch this new program that will benefit our entire community,” said Josh Cantor, Director of Parking and Transportation. “It’s a simple and convenient way to manage parking on campus, and we’re excited to see the positive impact it will have.”

Switching to a virtual parking permit program will greatly reduce waste and contribute to the university’s ongoing commitment to sustainability.

“This new program is an exciting development for our university,” said Patrick McCavitt, Interim Vice President of Operations and Business Services. “It will greatly improve the parking experience for our students, faculty, and staff while also reducing our environmental impact and cutting costs.”

The Virtual Parking Permit program is just one of the many ways that George Mason University is working to enhance sustainability and innovation on campus. By embracing cutting-edge technology and streamlined processes, the university is poised to continue to lead the way in higher education. Additionally, Parking Services will be using hybrid/electric vehicles for enforcement, leading the way toward the University’s commitment to sustainability through electrification of its fleet.

“The new virtual parking permit program at George Mason University is a true testament to the power of innovation, making the entire process of parking on campus incredibly easy and sustainable,” said student, Moses Hunsaker. “We are excited for a seamless digital solution that’s kinder to the environment.”

For more information on the Virtual Parking Permit program and some initial FAQs, please visit Check back later this summer for more detailed information on the program.


Mason Spring 2023 Dining Updates

This spring semester brings a lot of exciting changes and updates to Mason’s dining program. Mason Dining is excited to announce the official opening of The Halal Guys and FLIP Kitchen, both in the Johnson Center, enhanced dining experiences at Starbucks locations and Einstein Bros. Bagels, along with the introduction of Kosher menu items at Southside dining hall.

The Halal Guys journey started in 1990 in New York City, where the orginal founders started selling “American Halal Food” to Muslim taxi drivers via a hot dog cart. Today, the company operates in 17 states and at five international locations. The Halal Guys menu includes various platters; such as beef gyro, chicken, and falafel, as well as sandwiches and desserts.

FLIP Kitchen is Freshëns latest fast-casual restaurant, that offers a dynamic menu that consistently “flips” into multiple pop-up food platforms such as; noodle bowls, pasta bakes, “crunchadillas”, and artisan melts. These “flip” menu items are offered in addition to the standard menu that consists of; global rice bowls, flatbreads, salads, smoothies, and acai bowls.


The Starbucks location in Northern Neck will offer Nitro Cold Brew, and both Starbucks locations (Northern Neck and Johnson Center) will integrate the Starbucks Connect App to include mobile ordering and redeeming Starbucks rewards, both of which were not previously available.

Einstein Bros. Bagel, in the lower level of Merten Hall, has also undergone a renovation during the break. Einstein’s will re-open this semester with a fresh look, new furniture, an enhanced self-serve coffee station, and newly installed digital menu screens for easier visibility.

A collaborative partnership between the Chabad at George Mason University, Mason Hillel, Char Bar restaurant, Sodexo, and Operations & Business Services (OBS), will lead to introduction of Kosher food at the Southside dining hall at the start of the spring semester. The “Mason Mensch” Kosher food cart will offer a rotating menu of Kosher meals to students from 6 pm-8 pm, Sunday – Thursday, all under the strict supervision of a Mashgiach – an expert Kosher supervisor.

“We are excited to begin the semester with these new and improved dining options,” said Pascal Petter, Executive Director of Auxiliary Services – OBS. “We know these updates and enhancements to our program will help create a better and more inclusive dining experience for the Mason community.”

The Halal Guys, FLIP Kitchen, Einstein’s, Starbucks, and the “Mason Mensch” will all be ready to serve students, faculty and staff at the start of the spring semester.



Mason Dining Launches Kosher Program at Southside Dining Hall

Mason Dining has worked closely with Mason Hillel and the Chabad at GMU to provide students and faculty/staff with an eclectic mix of Kosher cuisine that will be served at Southside, enabling Jewish students to easily follow Kosher dietary rules. Rabbi Daniel Novick from Mason Hillel said his team is so grateful to their colleagues at Mason and Chabad at GMU for years of partnership to get us to this point.

“We are not only excited about what this means for our Jewish community now, but how this will help our efforts to make George Mason University an attractive destination for Jewish students for years to come.”

Pictured (l. to r.) are Rabbi Ezra and Bracha (Meisel) Wiemer and Michael Chelst.

The station, known as Mason Mensch, will launch on Monday, January 23, as students return for the spring semester and serve Kosher dinners from 6 pm – 8 pm, Sunday-Thursday on a first-come, first-served basis. The station will be located in between desserts and Simple Servings.

Rabbi Ezra Wiemer, Co-director of Chabad at GMU

“We are thankful to the Mason administration for their true commitment to inclusion,” said Rabbi Ezra Wiemer, co-director of Chabad at GMU. “There’s a Jewish expression, ‘may we go from strength to strength!’ This is a huge milestone for the Jewish community, and we know that together with Mason Hillel, our community will continue to grow and strengthen.”

Char Bar, a well-known Kosher establishment in downtown D.C., will be providing a selection of brisket tacos, hot honey chicken, burgers, kabobs, sandwiches, and more. Production and service will be overseen by a Mashgiach – an expert Kosher supervisor – to ensure the highest standards of Kosher are followed. Char Bar’s owner, Michael Chelst, said he’s honored to be part of the inaugural Kosher food program at George Mason. “The university’s commitment to inclusion for everyone is a blessing for the Jewish community,” Chelst said.

“Kosher food is part of our tradition and how we live our lives,” said senior Emma Sameth, a Global Affairs major. “It’s a commandment from the Torah, it makes us feel proud to be Jewish, and more connected to who we are,” Sameth stated.

This addition to the dining program has been in the works for years and aligns with the University’s overall mission of inclusion. Mason Dining is thrilled to be able to bring the Mason community food that are both delicious and respectful of Kosher rules. “We are very excited to bring this innovative and inclusive concept to fruition at Mason,” shared Pascal Petter, Executive Director of Auxiliary Services. “With such a diverse campus and requests for foods that fit into a Kosher lifestyle, we know that Char Bar’s Kosher selections will be a great addition to Mason’s dining line-up.”

Joel Hirsch, Sodexo’s Executive Chef at Southside also noted that he is excited to be able to offer Kosher meals for Mason’s students with dietary requirements. “I look forward to rapid growth of the Kosher program,” Hirsch said, “to be able to offer [this program] not only to Mason students, but also the Fairfax community as a whole in the future.”


Mason Fall 2022 Dining Revamp

Operations and Business Services (OBS) is excited to announce several innovative changes to dining options for the fall. Working with Mason Dining to complete a series of renovations to dining and student life facilities this summer, the changes include three new dining concepts, expanding grab-and-go options, electric food carts, and more. Renovations are slated to be completed by the beginning of the 2022 fall semester.

Halal Guys has recently signed on to be the newest dining option in the Johnson Center (JC), taking over the space previously occupied by Garbanzo. Also in the JC, Freshens will be moving to the old Apple Federal Credit Union space and will reopen this fall as their new concept, “FLIP Kitchen,” offering a rotating menu of healthy wraps, salads, bowls, smoothies, and so much more.

Express in the JC is also getting a makeover that will expand to take over the previous smoothie counter operated by Freshens to include more shelving for convenience store items, prepared foods, sushi, grab-and-go items, drinks, and a coffee station. Enhancements to the space will lead to better overall shopping experience for students.

One of the most exciting new additions to campus will be two electric vehicle “Godegas” that will sell quick-service meals, snacks, grab-and-go items, and drinks at different locations around campus. OBS has worked closely with Mason Dining to bring these new, innovative vehicles to campus and is excited to share them with the Mason community. These vehicles will move around the campus on different days and times. Look for one near your location on campus!

Spice Kitchen is another new concept that will replace Wing Zone in The HUB. Spice Kitchen promises Indian fusion dishes, Halal options, and eclectic flavors of chicken wings, fries and other traditional late-night fare.

And lastly – you’ve been waiting for it! – Argo Tea will reopen this fall for the first time since closing during the pandemic, offering an expansive new menu featuring classic teas, seasonal drinks, “teappuccinos” and bubble teas.

“These changes and renovations are aimed to create a better dining experience for students and the Mason community,” said Pascal Petter, Executive Director of Auxiliary Services. “We are especially excited about the electric vehicles which will support our mission of developing innovative dining solutions, while at the same time focusing on sustainability.”

These enhancements to Mason’s dining programs will foster a community that supports learning and growth in all areas of student life. Stop by all the new concepts and try out the food options!