The University of Maine student body elected a new president and vice president to lead University of Maine Student Government, Inc. for the upcoming 2012-13 fiscal year. They also voted down a recommendation to raise the student activity fee from $45 to $50 per semester.
Third-year biology student Sen. Kimberly Dao received 38.7 percent of the vote to take majority in the presidential race, winning a close, three-way battle between fourth-year new media student Chris Protzmann and third-year entrepreneurial and law student Lucas Kronlund, who received 29.9 percent and 26 percent of the vote, respectively. Write-in candidates accounted for 5.2 percent of the vote.
Fourth-year political science student and current vice president Sam Helmke received 93.2 percent of the vote to capture an unopposed race for vice president. The other 6.8 percent of the votes accounted for write-ins.
In addition to the two officer elections, the ballot included a measure that asked students if they were in favor of approving a recommendation to raise the student activity fee. Despite the university’s low rate — which is nearly half the average of many other schools — the referendum was not passed, receiving 66.1 percent in disfavor of the question. Even if the vote had been in approval of accepting the recommendation, one-third of the student body would have needed to participate in the election, which wasn’t the case — only about one-fourth participated.
During Tuesday’s General Student Senate meeting, the Renewable Energy Club received preliminary recognition. A new Sergeant at Arms and Representative to the Graduate Student Senate were elected in the GSS’ 29th and final meeting of the body’s 33rd session in the Memorial Union’s Bangor Room Oct. 23.
In addition, each candidate that was up for election discussed his or her future platform plans one last time before Thursday’s elections.
Renewable Energy Club receives preliminary recognition
The Renewable Energy Club, which “focuses on the positive externalities that renewable energy has to offer by exploring all aspects of the field,” was granted preliminary recognition by the GSS. The club’s plan is as follows: “Instead of focusing on a single particular issue within the renewable energy industry — engineering, physics, policy, etc. — this club will focus on all of the positive externalities that renewable energy can bring to a community.”
The club will focus on seminars, bringing in speakers and attending conventions. The group was mostly created to raise awareness, not create products. Student Organizations Committee’s vote was 3-0-1 ought to pass before the GSS’ approval.
New Representative to the Graduate Senate, Sergeant at Arms elected
In the election for a new Representative to the Graduate Senate, Sen. Norwood won unanimously in an unopposed run after fourth-year wildlife ecology student Josh Stanhope’s name was scratched.
Fellow senators elected third-year business management student Sen. William Smith as the new Sergeant at Arms. Four senators ran for the position: Sen. Smith, second-year finance and economics student Sen. Justin Conant, first-year political science student Sen. Megan Fowler and second-year political science and economics student Sen. Caleb Shortt. Sen. Conant was not present for speeches or voting.
The Cycling Club, National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, Women’s Ultimate Frisbee and Formula SAE all presented to the GSS.
Club president Forest Wentworth spoke on behalf of the Cycling Club, presenting feedback from the organization’s participation in Mount Washington’s Bretton Woods Winter Mountain Bike Championship Series. Individuals within the club took fifth and sixth in the professional series and first in the amateur series.
Club president Heidi Crouse spoke on behalf of NSSLHA, presenting feedback from the organization’s participation in a Picture Exchange Communication System training workshop in Portland. According to Crouse, four group members made the trip and about 40 people took part in the workshop.
“The actual training stepped us through six different phases,” Crouse said. “We plan on going into group homes to provide reminders for workers on how training works.”
Club president Michael St. Pierre, vice president Eric Burbank and treasurer Mitchell Lumber spoke on behalf of Formula SAE, thanking the body for funding a trip from last May to Michigan International Speedway to compete in a Formula SAE competition. According to Burbank, the club placed 84th of 120 overall as a first-year rookie team. They also had the lightest car ever recorded in competition history.
Club president Kacy Thibodeau-Harvey and vice president Kiley Thibodeau-Harvey spoke on behalf of the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Team, thanking the body for funding a trip to compete out of state. According to Thibodeau-Harvey, they took 20 girls for the first time ever. It was the largest turnout in club history.
“We won one game on Saturday and lost on Sunday,” Thibodeau-Harvey said. “It was a great opportunity to experience [Frisbee] at the college level.”
Helmke said he is trying to get more prominent speakers to address the GSS during meetings. The new director of marketing will be coming Tuesday.
Vice President of Financial Affairs Raymond Updyke explained to the GSS that around $3,000 would be used to pay use tax, which is something that’s usually paid for every three years. Also, Updyke stressed for senators to promote the raising of the activity fee. Allocations under $1,000 included $932 to Men’s Lacrosse for their fall tournament in Vermont and $750 to the Tennis Club for tennis court fees.
VPSO Sarah Porter announced that UMSG, Inc.’s website www.umainesg.com has been streamlined, now listing all current clubs on campus along with current officers and brief bios.
Minor hiccups in election voting this year
While election voting on FirstClass has been a problem in past elections, there were minimal issues, according to Fair Elections and Practices Committee Chairman Shane Dorval.
“No formal complaints have been received by the FEPC, however, there were some general complaints about the issue of the FirstClass Voting systems being down for a short period of time at the beginning of the voting period,” Dorval wrote in an email. “The problem was a small issue within the FirstClass Voting application, which was solved within 20 minutes of being discovered. Balloting was extended an extra hour and a half to make up for lost time.”
About 25 percent of the student body voted, which has been the average for the last three years, according to Dorval. And, as always, there were a number of familiar write-in votes.
“Quite a few write-in votes were received for UMaine Bro, Mickey Mouse, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney,” Dorval wrote in an email. “Other interesting write-ins were: ‘Alehandro, Lord of the Flame,’ ‘E=MC Vagina,’ ‘Rapscallion McGee,’ ‘Horace T. Burglecut,’ ‘Debbie the Lunch Lady,’ ‘Fergie’s Unborn Baby’ and ‘Steve Holt!’
The Maine Campus has been notified of other write-ins, including Dave Cloutier and Fred Armisen.