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UMSG allocates funds to 10 organizations, elect three positions

During their Feb. 5 meeting, the University of Maine General Student Senate announced UMaine Rotaract as Club of the Month; funded allocation requests for over $1,000 to Men’s and Women’s Ultimate Frisbee, Wilde Stein, Women’s Lacrosse and Muslim Student Association; and elected a new faculty senate representative, president pro tempore and legal services liaison.

The Maine Steiners, UMaine’s premier all-male a cappella group, performed for the GSS at the beginning of the meeting for around 10 minutes. The group sang a mashup “One Last Drink,” by Enter the Haggis, and “The Remedy,” by Jason Mraz.

 

UMaine Rotaract wins Club of the Month for December, January

In her executive reports, Vice President for Student Organizations Sarah Porter announced UMaine Rotaract as winner of Club of the Month for the months of December and January. As previously stated in prior meetings this year, realizing winter recess retracted from a true, full month of performance and evaluation for both months, VPSO Porter and the Committee for Student Organizations decided to combine Club of the Month awards for December and January.

According to the club’s Facebook page, UMaine Rotaract was founded in 2005 and was officially recognized by UMSG, Inc. in 2006. It is a non-profit community service club that strives for community, leadership, friendship and respect, and is under sponsorship of the Old Town Rotary.

This isn’t the first time UMaine Rotaract has received Club of the Month honors — it was previously recognized in March last year. UMaine Rotaract was also named Most Outstanding Student Organization in 2011 and is a two-time Bodwell Center Active Citizenship Award winner.

Porter said the club has logged over 300 hours of community service so far this year, both on and off campus.

Club president Lydia Bolduc, a fourth-year zoology student, spoke on behalf of the group, noting a recent, successful carnation fundraiser that sold over 300 flowers, in preparation for the organization’s spring break trip to Camp Sunshine in Casco, Maine.

UMaine Rotaract plans to use the funds awarded by UMSG, Inc. toward costs for its monthly cooking service at the Ronald McDonald House of Bangor.

 

Winners: Faculty Sen. Rep., Pro Tempore, Legal Services Liaison

Three positions were filled by an election during the Feb. 5 meeting: faculty senate representative, president pro tempore and legal services liaison.

Sen. Alicia Bolduc, a fourth-year biochemistry and mathematics student, won a three-way race for the position of faculty senate representative after being nominated by a fellow senator minutes before the election began. Bolduc’s competitors included Sens. Sydney Trask and Jake Dumas.

Sen. Aaron Ortiz, a second-year student, also won a three-way race for the position of president pro tempore. Ortiz’s competitors included Sens. Lee Jackson and Patrick Church.

Sen. Caleb Shortt won another three-way race for the position of legal services liaison, edging out Sens. Logan Nee and Caroline Harvey.

Elections for fair election practices committee senate representative and graduate student senate representative will be held at the next GSS meeting, Feb. 12. Nominees include Sen. Sean Sibley for FEPC senate representative and Sen. Shortt for graduate student senate representative.

 

Ten groups receive funding, total of $8,845

Representatives from Men’s and Women’s Ultimate Frisbee, The Wilde Stein Alliance for Sexual Diversity, Women’s Lacrosse and Muslim Student Association all spoke to the GSS before receiving approval for allocated funding requests.

Men’s Ultimate Frisbee was awarded $1,950 to cover vehicle-renting costs for its upcoming trip to the High Tide Ultimate Tournament in Brunswick, Ga., hosted by Disc-iple Sports, during spring break.

According to the event’s Facebook page, last year’s tournament hosted 188 teams from across the country and included the world’s largest hat tournament with 860 players. Both the club president and treasurer of Men’s Ultimate Frisbee spoke on behalf of the group, saying the organization is expecting to use three vans to get to Georgia. Last year, the club only won one game against Yale University. According to the speaking representatives, they hope to do much better in this year’s tournament.

Club Treasurer and first-year student Eileen Murphy spoke on behalf of Women’s Ultimate Frisbee,  who was also successfully awarded funds toward vehicle-renting costs in the amount of $1,300. The difference between the men’s and women’s funding needs had to do with number of vans: the women only need two, compared to the men’s three.

Wilde Stein was awarded $1,700 for their upcoming guest speaker event with Columbia University wrestling coach and LGBT activist Hudson Taylor. Former Wilde Stein President Chris Dubois spoke on behalf of the organization, noting 175 people had confirmed they were going as of Feb. 5, including coaches, staff and student-athletes from the hockey, football and basketball teams. Dubois says an event like this, in terms of LGBT, has “never been done on this campus in a big way.”

Taylor will speak on Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in DPC 100.

Women’s Lacrosse was awarded $1,245 for transportation during their upcoming 2013 season. Other sources of funding include club dues, which are $350 each, and $248 in fundraising.

The club president of Women’s Lacrosse spoke on behalf of the group, noting the club, which consists of 19 members, expects to play eight games — some away games will be played at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass. and the University of Massachusetts Amherst in Amherst, Mass, among others.

Muslim Student Association was awarded $1,000 for speaker honorariums during their upcoming Islamic workshop and Islamic Awareness Weekend events. Other expected funding includes $1,400 from Student Affairs, $800 from Residents on Campus and $460 from within MSA.

Organization President Nabeel Hashmi, a third-year biochemistry and molecular and cellular biology student, and Vice President Abdulraheem Sbayi, a third-year biochemistry student, spoke on behalf of MSA, noting the logistics of the anticipated events.

 

According to Hasmi and Sbayi, MSA’s Islamic Awareness Weekend is typically planned for one event, but this year, the two expected speakers weren’t able to speak at the same time, forcing the organization to split the event into two separate events.

On Feb. 23, Yasmin Mogahed, a Huffington Post contributor, will speak at the Islamic Center of Maine in Orono followed by a Q-and-A session. From March 22-23, another speaker will present for the MSA.

“The point of [these events] is to bring something provocative to [the student body’s] minds so [they] get involved,” Sbayi said. “This is a step toward more dialogue, the spread of multiculturalism.”

According to Hasmi, MSA was able to meet with meet with UMaine Honors College Interim Dean David Gross, who expressed he would encourage preceptors to make it mandatory for students to attend the event.

“This is the sixth or seventh time we’ve held this event,” Sbayi said. “Historically, the difference between this year and past years is we’ve never tried this hard to get other students to come.”

In allocations under $1,000, Green Team and All Maine Women each received $200 for their office budgets; the Sustainable Agriculture Program received $450 to aid in their attendance at Breaking Ground 2013 from Feb. 15-18 in Baltimore, Md.; and Panhellenic Council received $200 to aid in their attendance at the 2013 Northeast Greek Leadership Association Annual Conference from Feb. 21-24 in Hartford, Conn. and $600 for Alpha Phi’s hypnotist show.

 

International Affairs Association, Women’s Rugby present

International Affairs Association and Women’s Rugby presented to the GSS during time allotted for club presentations.

IAA Club President Justin Lynch, a fourth-year economics and political science student, spoke on behalf the club, reporting on the organization’s recent trip to Montreal for McGill University’s Model United Nations conference from Jan. 24-27. The group received GSS funding for the trip last September.

According to Lynch, over 95 schools from five continents attended the conference.

The club president for Women’s Rugby spoke on behalf of the group, thanking the GSS for its funding that helped cover insurance costs and one of the travel date’s lodging during its 2012 season. Fundraising, dues and out-of-pocket money reportedly covered all other costs.

The team representative said the club lost two games last fall and is “really excited” to compete at the “legitimate” Division II level next year.

 

New senator sworn-in, other news

Jennifer Karod, a first-year food science and human nutrition student, was officially sworn-in to the GSS. Karod says her motive behind joining the UMSG, Inc. was “to get more involved on campus, and what better way to start than with Student Government.”

In executive reports, Vice President Sam Helmke said he and President Kim Dao had recently discussed many things with UMaine President Paul Ferguson, including student health care costs and the speculated “Sorority Village.” Ferguson is reportedly working to lower the cost of student health care and has “given his blessing” on plans for the new, on-campus sorority housing. Ferguson was also very interested with ongoing occurrences at The Grove Orono, especially rumors of some buildings shifting down by four inches.

In new business, the GSS passed a resolution to eliminate Student Entertainment from UMSG, Inc.’s section of Financial Policies.

“Several of the financial policies seriously need to be audited,” said Vice President for Financial Affairs Ray Updyke. “These sort of things come up.”

According to the resolution’s statement of fact, the section has become outdated and is no longer adhered to by Student Government, therefore ensuring a need for elimination.

Student Entertainment is expected to create its own document, in modules, detailing rules for budgeting and forecasting. This is not expected to affect day-to-day operations.

Sen. Paige Eggleston added a comment before the resolution passed, targeting younger senators in the GSS.

“In the future, make sure you hold each other accountable,” Eggleson said. “I won’t get into specifics, but that’s why we’re here.”

The GSS also passed a resolution to authorize Executive Administrative Aide Susan D’Angelo to work 40 hours over the two-week long spring break.

Updyke explained that because UMSG, Inc. did not hire an Assistant Vice President for Student Entertainment, there were leftover funds, which will now be used to compensate D’Angelos work over spring break. Because D’Angelo does not have this period of work stated in her contract, a resolution must pass in order to authorize work.