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title: SRCT
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description: "Mason SRCT is a student organization at George Mason University that establishes and maintains systems which provide specific services for Mason's community."
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      <i class="fas fa-gavel fa-fw"></i>&nbsp;<strong>Next Meeting</strong>
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      &nbsp;
      <span id="meetingDate">Please wait while we fetch the upcoming meeting information...</span>
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    <a href="https://srct.slack.com" class="btn btn-outline-primary btn-lg"><i class="fab fa-slack" aria-hidden="true"></i> Join SRCT on Slack</a>  
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  <legend><i class="fas fa-bullhorn fa-fw"></i>&nbsp;<strong><a id="Mission" href="#Mission">Mission</a></strong></legend>
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    <p><strong>S</strong>tudent-<strong>R</strong>un <strong>C</strong>omputing and
    <strong>T</strong>echnology (SRCT, pronounced "<em>circuit</em>") is a student
    organization at <a href="https://www.gmu.edu/">George Mason University</a> which
    enhances student computing at our school by developing and maintaining systems
    that provide specific services for Mason's community.</p>
    <p>We were founded in 2011 to be a place where students could work together,
    share their knowledge, and build really neat projects for the benefit of everyone
    at Mason, as well as run a host of events to help get students involved. </p>
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  <legend><i class="fas fa-child fa-fw"></i>&nbsp;<strong><a id="Initiatives" href="#Initiatives">Initiatives</a></strong></legend>
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  <!-- Projects & Infrastructure Responsive Image -->
  <img src="/assets/img/openhatch.jpg" alt="Renfred and Daniel assist Heather, a student attending our Openhatch workshop in 2014." class="index-image d-md-none d-flex mx-auto">  
  
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    <h4><strong>Projects & Infrastructure</strong></h4>
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      <p>Our primary purpose is improving life at Mason by developing and hosting
         software services. We give students the opportunity to build their computing
         experience outside of the classroom, and for the benefit of the Mason community.
         All of the projects we develop are released under open source licenses so anyone
         can examine our code to learn, to make changes or improvements, or to run on
         their own.</p>
      <p>As one example, in 2011 two of our members wanted to make it easier to see when
         dining locations on campus were still open. Beginning together, but gradually
         bringing in contributions from half a dozen others, SRCT built
         <a href="https://whatsopen.gmu.edu/">whatsopen.gmu.edu</a>, displaying live
         the opening and closing times for all of Mason's dining options. Our
         collaborators then took the skills they learned creating that site with them
         to interviews and to the workforce. Today, it's our most popular project,
         visited by hundreds of students daily, and used at our meetings to teach
         prospective new members.</p>
      <p>There are many aspects required to create a functional, useful service, and more
         still to keep it running. Beyond coding or other technical contributions we need
         designers, organizers, artists, writers, and testers-- students who may never
         have taken a CS or IT course. If you're interested in helping, there are plenty
         of places to devote your talent.</p>
      <p>Not only do we work to continually improve our existing projects--let us know if
         you come across a bug or think of a useful new feature-- but we're always eager
         to hear ideas for new projects. Working together, our members can help bring
         your idea to fruition and deployment.</p>
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  <img src="/assets/img/openhatch.jpg" alt="Renfred and Daniel assist Heather, a student attending our Openhatch workshop in 2014." class="index-image d-none d-lg-block">

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  <img src="/assets/img/bitcamp.jpg" alt="Michel and Ben compete at Bitcamp, a hackathon held at the university of Maryland, in 2014." class="index-image d-md-none d-flex mx-auto">
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    <h4><strong>Events & Workshops</strong></h4>
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      <p>We work to offer opportunities for Mason students to strengthen their skills and
         further their leadership experience through a broad variety of events throughout
         the year.</p>
      <p>Each month or so, we hold large-scale events. These have ranged from all-day
         workshops, with small group breakout sessions, speakers, and panels to week-long
         guided development competitions.</p>
      <p>We organize contingents to represent Mason at hackathons around the country,
         intercollegiate programming competitions for students of all skill levels. We
         also travel to conferences like LibrePlanet or PyCon to deepen our knowledge,
         for inspiration, and to build out connections beyond the Mason community.</p>
      <p>Additionally, and on a smaller scale, we hold weekly meetings with talks or
         workshops led by other students, or occasionally, special guest speakers. These
         cover a broad number of industry-standard topics, and range from introductory
         steps to deep dives. A recurring subset of these workshops aim at preparing
         students for the kinds of questions they might encounter in technical
         interviews.</p>
      <p>These meetings also afford us the opportunity to work on projects in person
         together, and hammer out solutions to challenges or organize timelines for
         continued development. Project managers also occasionally call separate,
         project-specific workshops to help move their project through the next feature
         or to the next release.</p>
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  <img src="/assets/img/bitcamp.jpg" alt="Michel and Ben compete at Bitcamp, a hackathon held at the university of Maryland, in 2014." class="index-image d-none d-lg-block">

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  <img src="/assets/img/org-fair.jpg" alt="Chris, Melissa, and Luca  stand at our table for Student Involvement's Get Connected student org fair in the beginning of fall 2014." class="index-image d-md-none d-flex mx-auto">
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    <h4><strong>Outreach & Community</strong></h4>
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      <p>We believe in returning the skills we've learned together back to our community.
         Our student membership works to provide other students with hands-on learning
         opportunities, regardless of their experience level. Then, should they continue
         with our organization, they can take up the leadership role of teaching
         newcomers what they've learned themselves.</p>
      <p>Our commitment to volunteerism extends beyond development on our open source
         projects. We've led elementary school students through their first steps
         learning how to program. We began the drive for a campus maker space, so
         everyone could have a place to learn and collaborate on technical projects. We
         host software development services for Mason students. We continue to grow a
         collection of freely licensed campus photography.</p>
      <p>Underlying everything is friendship and spirit of fun. Our members work in study
         groups, get the occasional dinner together, or escape from technology for a bit
         and head outdoors. We hold celebratory events at the end of semesters, and stay
         in touch over the summer, or after graduating.</p>
      <p>SRCT was founded in part by three LGBTQ students, and we've long been proud of
         the diversity of our membership. In working to benefit the whole Mason
         community, we need input from as many of our diverse campus' perspectives as
         possible. Women and students from minority groups are welcomed and encouraged to
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         participate and join. And if you're in CS 110, come say hello!</p>
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  <img src="/assets/img/org-fair.jpg" alt="Chris, Melissa, and Luca  stand at our table for Student Involvement's Get Connected student org fair in the beginning of fall 2014." class="index-image d-none d-lg-block">
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  <legend><i class="fas fa-laptop fa-fw"></i>&nbsp;<strong><a id="GettingInvolved" href="#GettingInvolved">Getting Involved</a></strong></legend>
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        <h4 class="card-title text-center"><i class="fas fa-comments fa-fw"></i> Get In Touch</h4>
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      </div>
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      <div class="card-body">
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        <p>
          We communicate and organize primarily on <a href="https://slack.com/is">Slack</a>.
          Slack is a communication app for teams. If you've used
          <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Relay_Chat">IRC</a>, you'll feel
          right at home. Head to <a href="https://srct.slack.com/">srct.slack.com</a>,
          click 'Create an Account', and <a href="https://srct.slack.com/signup">sign up</a>
          with your Mason email address.
        </p>
        <p>
          When you get signed in, you'll will find 'channels' for discussion about all
          of our projects, events, and a number of other community topics. Join as many
          channels as you wish if you're interested their respective subjects. You may
          then want to install <a href="https://slack.com/downloads">Slack's mobile or desktop apps</a>.
        </p>
        <p>
          Then, sign up for our
          <a href="http://lists.srct.gmu.edu/listinfo/srct-general">primary mailing list</a>
          to get emails around once a month with updates on upcoming events, opportunities,
          or project releases.
        </p>
        <p>
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          Finally, like our page on  <a href="https://facebook.com/MasonSRCT">Facebook</a>
          or follow us on <a href="https://twitter.com/MasonSRCT">Twitter</a>!
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        </p>
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        <h4 class="card-title text-center"><i class="fas fa-heart fa-fw"></i> Stop On By</h4>
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      </div>
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      <div class="card-body">
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        <p>
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          There are a couple of opportunities to come and say hello. During the semester,
          we hold weekly meetings, where we run
          <a href="https://wiki.srct.gmu.edu/Category:Workshops">workshops</a>,
          work on projects, plan events, and handle administrative and organizational matters.
          Remember to bring your laptop!
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        </p>
        <p>
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          Development meetups are called to push forward work on projects or help students
          continue to build the skills they need to contribute. They're a little more sporadic,
          but you're always welcome to join in.
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        </p>
        <p>
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          You can also come to any of our major events: all-day workshops, travel to conferences,
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          hosting speakers, and more. Every event goes on our
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          <a href="/calendar/">calendar</a>, on our <a href="https://facebook.com/MasonSRCT">Facebook page</a>,
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          and is announced on our
          <a href="http://lists.srct.gmu.edu/listinfo/srct-general">mailing list</a>.
          You can also join us representing Mason at <a href="https://mlh.io/">hackathons</a>.
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        </p>
        <p>
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          Whenever you come, make sure to pick up a free SRCT sticker. They look lovely on laptops.
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        </p>
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        <h4 class="card-title text-center"><i class="fas fa-copy fa-fw"></i> Additional Resources</h4>
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      </div>
      <div class="panel-body">
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        <br />
        <div class="row d-flex">
          <ul class="nav nav-pills mx-auto">
            <li role="presentation" class="nav-item">
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              <a class="nav-link active" href="#code" aria-controls="code" role="tab" data-toggle="pill"><strong>Code</strong></a>
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            </li>
            <li role="presentation" class="nav-item">
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              <a class="nav-link" href="#design" aria-controls="design" role="tab" data-toggle="pill"><strong>Design</strong></a>
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            </li>
            <li role="presentation" class="nav-item">
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              <a class="nav-link" href="#infra" aria-controls="infra" role="tab" data-toggle="pill"><strong>Infrastructure</strong></a>
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            </li>
          </ul>
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        <br />        
        <div class="tab-content container">
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            <p>
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              Version control lets developers keep an organized history of their changes.
              This means you can fearlessly try out your ideas and allows multiple people
              to easily collaborate simultaneously. We use
              <a href="https://git-scm.com/">Git</a> as our version control system.
              All of our projects are on
              the <a href="https://about.gitlab.com/">git server we run</a> for Mason,
              <a href="https://git.gmu.edu/users/sign_in">git.gmu.edu</a>, and are mirrored
              to <a href="https://github.com/srct">Github</a>, a similar commercial service.
              Get a good handle on using git with
              <a href="https://try.github.io/levels/1/challenges/1">this quick tutorial</a>.
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            </p>
            <p>
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              You can check out
              <a href="https://git.gmu.edu/groups/srct">the source for all of our projects</a>
              and take a look at every issues we're working on. If you find any bugs,
              or think of a feature you believe would be beneficial, you can create an issue
              yourself. Dive right in by following a project's setup docs, or start
              going through a tutorial on the main development frameworks we use,
              <a href="https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/stable/intro/tutorial01/">in Python</a>,
              or <a href="https://www.meteor.com/tutorials/blaze/creating-an-app">in JavaScript</a>.
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            </p>
          </div>
          <div role="tabpanel" class="tab-pane fade" id="design">
            <p>
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              Bring your ideas and perspectives to our promotional material, photography,
              and software interfaces! Start off by taking a look at Mason's
              <a href="http://brand.gmu.edu/">official branding guidelines</a>. They form
              the foundation for our design work, with their
              <a href="http://brand.gmu.edu/visual-identity-and-style/color/">recommended color palettes</a>,
              <a href="http://brand.gmu.edu/visual-identity-and-style/typography/">font faces</a>,
              and overall perspective.
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            </p>
            <p>
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              For contributing to software, see the kinds of elements and paradigms
              you can incorporate with CSS frameworks like
              <a href="http://getbootstrap.com/css/">Bootstrap</a> or
              <a href="http://www.getmdl.io/components/index.html">MDL</a>. Learn
              about creating straightforward user experiences by reading
              <em><a href="http://proquest.safaribooksonline.com.mutex.gmu.edu/book/web-design-and-development/9780133597271">Don't Make Me Think</a></em>,
              free through Mason's online collections.
              Then, walk through our projects, considering these sorts of questions: Are basic
              <a href="https://stayintech.com/info/UX">user functions obvious</a>?
              Do pages load cleanly and quickly on
              <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsive_web_design">both desktops
              and phones</a>? Can you easily understand when
              <a href="https://www.amherst.edu/help/make_accessible">using a screenreader</a>?
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            </p>
          </div>
          <div role="tabpanel" class="tab-pane fade" id="infra">
            <p>
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              Without reliable server infrastructure to host all of our services,
              the code we write wouldn't be much help to Mason's community. Take a look
              at learning to use the Unix command line. In Hollywood, it's the
              <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFUlAQZB9Ng">sign of an elite hacker</a>,
              but doesn't have to be mystifying. Sure, no mouse is a bit different, but soon
              enough, you'll see both how using a terminal gives you far more power, and
              why for a lot of cases, it's easier than clicking, dragging, and dropping.
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            </p>
            <p>
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              The free version of
              <a href="https://www.codecademy.com/learn/learn-the-command-line">this tutorial</a>
              is a great place to begin.
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              If you're already using Linux or macOS,
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              <a href="http://cli.learncodethehardway.org/book/">this tutorial</a>
              is another great resource (ignore the intimidating title) to try things out
              on your own machine. Once you have a little practice under your belt,
              try following our documentation to deploy one of our
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              <a href="/projects/">projects</a>.
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              <a href="https://git.gmu.edu/srct/whats-open">What's Open</a>
              is a good one to start with.
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            </p>
          </div>
        </div>
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      </div>
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    "key":apiKey
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      if(data.items.length == 0) {
      $("#meetingDate").text("No meetings scheduled yet. Check back soon!");
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      } else {
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              $("#meetingDate").text("Join us for our next meeting in "+data.items[0].location+" at "+timeString+" on "+dateString +". Make sure to bring your laptop!")
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      }
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  });
});
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