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Expected graduation for key UMSG positions control most of latest meeting

On Jan. 15, the University of Maine General Student Senate’s first meeting of 2013’s spring semester, held in the Memorial Union’s Bangor Room, heard club presentations from the Catholic and Muslim Student Associations and gave executive reports. The meeting took a mere 44 minutes to complete.

Kim Dao, a third-year biology student, presided over the body for the first time as president. Dao received the highest percentage of votes, 38.7 percent, last October during UMSG, Inc.’s executive elections.

Appointments, resignations included in executive reports

In her executive reports, President Dao appointed third-year business management student Sen. William “Nick” Smith and first-year political science student Sen. Lee Jackson to her cabinet and also hinted at a potential retreat planned for GSS members.

“We need to strengthen [the executive camaraderie from] within,” Dao said. “Spending time outside of meetings in imperative.”

In Vice President Helmke’s reports, the fourth-year political science student announced he would be taking applications for his executive position immediately following the meeting in the hope that a new VP could be appointed before April so the entire month could be used for training. Helmke is expected to graduate this May.

Helmke also revealed the resignation of GSS clerk Theo Koboski, a third-year marine sciences student, who, according to various sources, has been recently named president of Alpha Tau Omega. Applications for the position of GSS clerk are also being accepted.

Vice President for Student Organizations Sarah Porter, a fourth-year psychology student, also announced she would be taking applications for her position so that effective training can be completed before graduation. Like Helmke, Porter is expected to graduate in May.

Porter also stated that former president Chris Protzmann has been asked to stay and assist with the process to fully implement OrgSync, as he played a large role in the introduction of the program. Porter is currently meeting with Legal Services attorney Sean O’Mara to work out the legalities within the OrgSync contract. Porter also stated that the Club of the Month honors for December and January would be combined.

Catholic, Muslim Student Associations present

The Catholic Student Association, which promotes Catholic faith at the university and beyond, presented on its recent trip to the 2013 SEEK Conference in Orlando, Fla. from Jan. 2 to 6. Club president Theresa Therriault spoke on behalf of the group, stating the trip was “absolutely phenomenal.”

“[It was] one of the most unique experiences I’ve ever had,” Therriault said. “We left Maine when it was zero degrees and arrived in Orlando at 82 [degrees].”

Therriault said one speaker, a priest, talked about debating with Stephen Hawking on Larry King Live.

The Muslim Student Association, which is dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of Islam based on the Holy Quran, presented on its recent trip to the Reviving the Islamic Spirit Conference in Toronto from Dec. 21 to 23. Club president Nabel Hashmi said the trip was a success.

“It was an eye-opening event, for all,” Hashmi said. “We were able to experience the easing of cross-cultural barriers.”

A first-year club member also spoke on his thoughts of the conference, illustrating the site he saw upon arrival: “20,000 people from all different races all talking together in one place.”

Minor allocations

Both the men’s and women’s Ultimate Frisbee clubs had $500 allocated for their upcoming trip to the 2013 High Tide Tournament in Brunswick, Ga. during March, $400 was given to the Interfraternity Council for their trip to the Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values conference and $200 was allocated to the Horticulture Club for their office budget.