The University of Maine General Student Senate appointed two returning senators, granted preliminary club recognition to the Maine Christianity Association and passed a ratification of its own Policy and Procedure Committee’s bylaws in a meeting that took a mere 90 minutes to end, mainly because of a short agenda during their second meeting of the 34th session on Nov. 6 inside the Memorial Union’s Bangor Room.
Alex Price and Megan Fowler, fourth- and first-year political science students, respectively, were sworn-in for the spring term of 2013 by Vice President Sam Helmke. Price and Fowler have already seen time on the GSS: Fowler served last term during her first semester at UMaine and Price served from the first semester of his first-year to first-semester of his third-year before participating in UMaine’s political science department’s Peter Madigan ’81 Congressional Internship Program.
Club president and animal science student Matthew Hodgkin spoke on behalf of the Maine Christianity Association, whose purpose is “to encourage and develop Christian life and growth activities within the total university community and to enlist the assistance and cooperation of supporting denominations in a common ministry.”
According to Hodgkin, Maine Christianity Association will be working with local churches to initiate food drives during the holiday season. Also, the club has already pledged to help in relief efforts for the area in New York City affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Maine Christianity Association meets to talk and have dinner Thursdays at 6 p.m. in the Wilson Center, located on College Avenue.
The only resolution within new business was an act to ratify the bylaws for the Committee of Policy and Procedure. Despite nine typos located in the re-written bylaws — which were edited via amendment by fourth-year English student Sen. Paige Eggleston, in collaboration with the body — the resolution was passed.
According to the act, the bylaws were changed to “adhere to our most current models of the standing rules and constitution [and] clearly define the purpose and structure of the committee.” The committee itself initially recommended the act unanimously.
Members from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Equestrian Team and Field Hockey Club each presented to the GSS on behalf of their club’s most recent competitions and upcoming events.
Fourth-year chemical engineering students Lucas Mathers and Marc Beauchemin, club president and vice president, respectively, spoke on behalf of AIChE, citing the club’s attendance at a three-day annual conference meeting at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pa., Oct. 28 to Nov. 2.
According to Mathers and Beauchemin, the club placed third in a regional competition last spring. Mathers said the conference was a great way to network with different clubs, and despite a low-funded program, they still held their own.
“Most other schools have more funding,” Mathers said. “Schools pay more than $2,000 to build cars and we build ours for around $100.”
Club member Megan Story spoke on behalf of the Equestrian Team, citing the club went to several meets over the past couple months. According to Story, no club member has met regional qualifications yet, but time remains in favor with more meets in the spring. In order to make the regional meet, a club member needs to acquire 36 points overall. Story says the freshman class has been good this year, competing well in flat and fencing.
President-elect and third-year biology student Kim Dao spoke on behalf of the Field Hockey Club, citing the club’s recently played games, which included a loss to Brown University and a win against the University of Southern New Hampshire. A planned trip to Hanover, N.H. to play Dartmouth College was cancelled because of unknown circumstances. Dao says more games have already been planned for this spring.
President Chris Protzmann said he and Vice President of Student Organizations Sarah Porter met with director of UMaine’s Student Wellness Resource Center Lauri Sidelko to discuss OrgSync. Protzmann plans to meet with the Executive Budgetary Committee this week to discuss figures on how much OrgSync will cost. Through negotiation from the executive board, OrgSync has agreed to only charge the university half of its regular price.
Protzmann, who was later joined by Vice President Sam Helmke, informed the body that UMSG, Inc. tech manager Lydia Chang, a third-year mathematics and information technology student, had stepped down because of a time constraint. According to Helmke, UMSG, Inc. is not looking for a new tech manager as OrgSync approaches and the website is now on hold.
In Helmke’s report, the fourth-year political science student also mentioned he had rewritten drafts of all committee bylaws except for the Committee of Student Organizations, making sure everything was copacetic. Also, Helmke mentioned that Sen. Ariel Bothen came to him suggesting the GSS discuss any issues pertaining to the university that are currently being debated inside the Maine Legislature. Moving forward, Helmke plans to work with Maine House of Representatives Minority Leader Emily Cain, D-Orono, Maine State Senator-elect of District 30, who could provide, if anything, a rough legislative calendar.
Vice President of Financial Affairs Raymond Updyke declared the one and only dispersal of funds for the week to be $180 for Gamer’s Guild. Also, there was a total of $149,225 dollars in rollover from 2011-12.
VPSO Porter said there are currently 244 clubs on suspension right now, mainly because of not filling out club update forms. The fourth-year psychology student also mentioned the decision of the executive board to cut the Assistant Vice President of Student Organizations position.
Protzmann elaborated on the verdict, saying, “The goal of this is to add continuity to the executive board by having [Senate Administrative Aide] Susan D’Angelo as the aide to all sectors of the board.”
Porter also said she and the executive board have decided to eliminate SOC as a recognized Student Government board.
“We want to keep them underneath our insurance policy, but they’re mainly funded by auxiliary services and the student fee on-campus students pay,” Porter said.
Vice President of Student Entertainment Jon Allen said the general public have officially surpassed the 50 percent mark and are now buying tickets that are initially reserved for students for the Brantley Gilbert and Aaron Lewis concert, planned for Dec. 11 at Alfond Arena.
Periodic, Standing Committee Reports
Before the Services Committee report during Standing Committee Reports, Helmke announced that he had appointed third-year anthropology and pre-med student Corey Morton as new chair of the committee, replacing president-elect Dao.
Sen. Mark Brunton asked Sen. Morton if there was any inclination from the Information Technologies Dept. to fix the problem of WiFi “dead zones” around campus on the tempest network. Morton said IT is working on a stronger system.
In Representative to the Board of Trustees Sen. Colin Buttarazzi’s report, the first-year business student explained that the university is in the black for the first time in 10 years.
“We are not losing money, mainly due to cost cutting . . . and enrollment is currently doing well,” Buttarazzi said. “Numbers look low, but it’s because we graduated the largest class in school history last year.
Buttarazzi said the university is looking into becoming the first institution in the world to build a floating wind turbine-testing center. He also noted that the board is looking into a plan to implement a more cohesive transfer system throughout the University of Maine System and eventually the community college system within the state.