In a University of Maine General Student Senate meeting that saw president pro tempore Sen. Mark Brunton temporarily preside over the meeting as stand-in for Vice President Sam Helmke, who was excused for personal reasons, GSS agreed to allocate $35,000 to the Division of Student Entertainment, $6,933 more to several other organizations and discharged three different acts to ratify committee bylaws back to the Committee of Policy and Procedure, citing errors, during the body’s third meeting of the 34th session on Nov. 13 in the Memorial Union’s Bangor Room.
$35,000 moved to Student Entertainment, spring concert
Vice President for Student Entertainment Jon Allen and Assistant VP for Student Entertainment Sarah Goode spoke on behalf of UMSG, Inc.’s Division of Student Entertainment, requesting funds in the amount of $35,000 to be moved from unallocated to their division’s funds in order to cover upcoming costs and provide “a substantial presence of Student Entertainment next semester.”
Although the statement of fact states the money will “be allocated towards programs” and “is not specifically tied to any event,” the $35,000 is expected to go toward the annual spring concert.
Before the resolution was approved, Goode said, “If we don’t get this money, we won’t have a spring concert.”
Names of expected concert acts cannot be released, due to contract and liability issues, prior to booking and official release of dates, but according to Goode, the anticipated performers of this year’s spring concert are in the genre of hip-hop and “are very popular on college campuses.”
According to Allen, poor turnout for this year’s concerts and performances are to blame for Student Entertainment’s request $35,000 for the spring.
“Shows didn’t go as well as planned, and in order to get good shows for the spring, we need to get this money,” Allen said.
International Student Association, Operation H.E.A.R.T.S. receive funding
The International Student Association received $2,700 for their upcoming, annual International Dance Festival on Feb. 16 at the Collins Center for the Arts. According to the resolution the allocated funds will be used for the $2,000 CCA rental cost and costumes
According to Office of International Programs, international student and scholar advisor Sarah Joughin on UMaine.edu, last year’s IDF on Feb. 18 showcased traditional dances from India, Africa, Vietnam, Brazil, Latin America, the Middle East and the United States.
“This event is an amazing opportunity for campus and community members of all ages to experience the sights and sounds of over a dozen countries in one night,” Joughin said. “Where else in Maine is such an opportunity available?”
Other sources of expected funding include $3,500 from the Program Fund, $3,180 from Cultural Affairs, $650 from the Office of International Programs, $550 from ISA participants and $500 from Residents on Campus.
Sen. Caleb Shortt pointed out that there was some unhappiness with ISA last year because of the low number distributed to them by the GSS. Vice President for Financial Affairs Raymond Updyke confirmed, stating the amount was $1,500.
Sen. Aaron Ortiz provided reasoning behind the decision, saying, “Last year, [ISA’s] budget was very unorganized, but that’s not the case this year. Most of their money is going toward the CCA rental when last year it was mostly for costumes and videotaping of the show.”
The GSS Executive Budgetary Committee’s recommendation was unanimously ought to pass before the resolution was successfully funded, in full, by the body.
Operation H.E.A.R.T.S. received $1,800 for their upcoming service trip to Memphis, Tenn. in May. According to the resolution, the allocated funds will be used entirely for airfare.
Fourth-year marine science student Molly Flanagan spoke on behalf of the organization, saying the trip will include 12 members of Operation H.E.A.R.T.S., and they will be working with HIV-positive children.
The group will be working with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Hope House. They are expected to receive a minimum of $6,500 from fundraisers, including a restaurant fundraiser and a letter drive, as well as money from dues — it costs $50 per person to be a part of Operation H.E.A.R.T.S.
EBC’s recommendation was unanimously ought to pass before the resolution was successfully funded, in full, by the GSS.
Student Heritage Alliance Council receives 45 minutes of debate, $500
Student Heritage Alliance Council received $500 — $1,000 less than the initial request of $1,500 — for their upcoming Star Bright, Soul Bright Masquerade Ball on Dec. 1 from 7 to 10 p.m. at UMaine’s Buchanan Alumni House. According to the resolution, the allocated funds will be used for decorations.
The purpose of the event is to raise awareness for multicultural affairs and also raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Lots of speculation surrounded SHAC’s request for three reasons: One, the high cost of decorations; two, requests to other branches of the university that reckoned UMSG Inc.’s contribution as being practically unnecessary; and three, the proposed cover charges for students when donating to charity as well as using UMSG, Inc. funds.
Prior to obtaining funds from UMSG, Inc., SHAC was already expecting $3,350 combined from the Program Fund, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Dr. Robert Dana’s Great Idea Fund, ROC and the group’s own budget.
Dana’s Great Idea Fund was agreed upon to cover catering, which will include appetizers and hors d’oeuvres.
According to the speaking representative from SHAC, “a masquerade must be decorated well” and the group would “allocate money back [to UMSG, Inc.] if need be.”
Expected ticket sales for the event, which expects 150 to 200 people turnout, are $15 per person and $25 per couple.
Upon a growing number of comments from the body on use of UMSG, Inc. funds, if funded, Updyke declared money given to an organization couldn’t be, in turn, given to a non-profit organization. “That would be like us just allocating money to a non-profit,” Updyke said.
It was later ruled that money from ticket charges would be the only possible way to donate to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, bar any extra fundraising from group members themselves.
This opened up a whole new can of worms, exposing many groups, and even accusing GSS senators, such as VPSE Allen and Sen. Kelly Smith, of inadvertently breaking UMSG, Inc.’s constitutional rule of not charging admission at events funded by UMSG, Inc.
“This decision is going to set a precedent,” Allen said. “There’s been a lot of talk about sororities and fraternities putting on events [funded by UMSG, Inc.] and charging for admittance, such as for three-on-three basketball tournaments, etc.”
Talk of changing the word “charge” to “suggest” in SHAC’s resolution began shortly after, provoking a heated discussion. According to those “in favor,” this change would save the group from having to disregard a cover charge altogether — throwing away any chance of donating toward Make-A-Wish Foundation — by allowing them to accept donations only, which is supposed to be the standard for all UMSG, Inc. funded events. According to those “not in favor” of the change, this is changing SHAC’s original resolution, thus nullifying its initial intentions.
Sen. Paige Eggleston moved to amend SHAC’s request amount of $1,500 to $500. The motion was approved by the GSS.
Bylaw ratifications full of typos, discharged back to committee
Three resolutions brought forth in Nov. 13’s meeting were proposed ratifications of three different committees within UMSG, Inc.: Marketing and Public Relations, Membership and Student Services. All three received motions to be discharged back to the Committee of Policy and Procedure, citing mistakes and bylaws.
In one instance, during debate of the first-proposed bylaw ratification resolution, Student Services, third-year biochemistry student Sen. Alicia Buldoc, a member on the Committee of Student Services said some of the present typos and changes, now apparent, didn’t exist at the conclusion of the committee meeting.
Strong Mind – Strong Body, Inc. receives preliminary club recognition
Strong Mind – Strong Body, Inc. at the University of Maine, a group that’s been active for the past three years on campus, received preliminary recognition from the GSS.
Club vice president, fourth-year political science student and UMSG, Inc. parliamentarian, Nicholas Cox, who is also a linebacker on the University of Maine’s football team, spoke on behalf of the club, stating Strong Mind – Strong Body, Inc. is a non-profit organization that fosters physical, mental and spiritual wellness to youth, grades K-12, in the U.S. and abroad through the delivery of various functions.
According to Cox, one of the group’s proudest feats is to “promote UMaine through college aspiration opportunities for youth from the U.S. and Ghana” and “show those from poor areas what it’s like to be at a university.”
The group’s membership process is tougher than most. Prospective members must write a 250-word essay on why they want to join, and only three applicants are chosen every year.
Events that the club has put on in the past include a three-on-three basketball tournament, a wellness and nutritional summer program and a football camp. The wellness and nutritional program teaches youth how to get through school while being healthy.
Strong Mind – Strong Body, Inc. plans on meeting every Monday at 7 p.m. in the Foster Center for Student Innovation.
Fair Election Practices Commission Chair salary raised
A resolution to amend the salary for the Fair Election Practices Commission Chair from $30.74 per election to $60 per election was passed by the GSS.
This will only change the FEPC Chair’s salary for Interfraternity Council, Commuter and Non-Traditional Students, and Wilde Stein Alliance for Sexual Diversity elections.
Other elections, such as the recent UMSG, Inc. elections for president and vice president, are “significantly more,” according to VPFA Updyke.
Updyke, who served as the FEPC Chair last year, was a strong advocate of the amendment.
“For the amount of work put into the elections, the rate is far too low,” Updyke said.
According to the resolution’s statement of fact, the amendment was calculated by taking eight hours of work multiplied by the current state of Maine minimum wage of $7.50 per hour.
Second-year electrical engineering student Shane Dorval is the current FEPC Chair.
Dressage Club, Men’s Lacrosse and Nutrition Club present to GSS
Club treasurer and fourth-year pre-veterinary studies student Stasha Baldwin spoke on behalf of the Dressage Club, presenting results from its concluded season and how the group spent allocated funds.
“For three-quarters of our shows, our total expenses were just under $2,000,” Baldwin said. “Show dues were $140 per team.”
As for fundraising, Baldwin says two separate fundraisers — selling Yankee Candles and wreaths — were a success, raising a combined total of $1,900.
Club president and fifth-year physical education and kinesiology student Ralph Nelson spoke on behalf of Men’s Lacrosse, thanking the GSS for funding a scrimmage played away at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine. The game didn’t go as planned, according to Nelson — the club lost.
Club members from the Nutrition Club also presented, showing a slideshow of their recent trip to the 2012 Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. from Oct. 6 to 9 in Philadelphia. According to the club members, they tried hundreds of different foods and also got to meet famous chef Paula Deen. The club was also named October Club of the Month.
VPFA Updkye said UMSG, Inc. has $25,000 more than last year. Allocations under $1,000 included $100 to Xi Sigma Pi, $133.41 to IFC for Alpha Tau Omega and $500 to the Nordic Ski Club.
New UMaine class rings on the way
During special orders and announcements, Sen. Ortiz, who has been working with the UMaine’s Alumni Association, said they have decided on new class rings.
“The [class] rings are terrible right now, but theses will be much better,” Ortiz said. “Buyers will be able to put club symbols on the outside, the inside will have ‘College of Our Hearts Always’ inscribed and juniors will be able to order before senior year.”