During their Feb. 19 meeting, the University of Maine General Student Senate passed a resolution to recommend the University of Maine to observe Veterans Day, approved a previously denied funding request for Alpha Omicron Pi’s annual Mr. Fraternity competition and granted $1,410 to the Equestrian Team for upcoming Intercollegiate Horse Show Association competition.
Goode: No spring concert due to financial reasons, deficit covered
Vice President for Student Entertainment Sarah Goode announced that, due to financial reasons, there would be no spring concert this year.
This confirmed assumptions made after the University of Maine Student Government, Inc. division responsible for student entertainment declared a deficit three weeks ago.
The shortfall — originally estimated to be around $13,000, but reevaluated to $10,526 — was covered after a funding request from Student Entertainment was approved by the GSS in the amount of the reevaluated total. According to Vice President for Financial Affairs Ray Updyke, the estimated figure was off, due to a reduced number of bookstore bills and not having paid for an insurance policy for a concert.
“[The Executive Budgetary Committee] debated whether to take it from unallocated now or from next year’s budget,” Updyke said. “Certainly a better choice to take from unallocated now — covering mistakes within the same fiscal year makes it a lot more sense.”
Curious as to whether Student Entertainment was planning to pay back the deficit, Sen. Ryan Hall asked Updyke if this was a “Get Out of Jail Free” card.
“Yes, it is,” Updyke said. “This needs to be paid off so next year’s [budget] isn’t affected. If we didn’t [pay it off now], it wouldn’t look good for auditors.”
Near the end of the meeting, Updyke said the GSS had $22,500 total in unallocated funds for the remainder of the semester. This total is $17,500 less than what the GSS ended last year’s budget with: $40,000.
Goode, who did not fully take over the role of the executive position until after most of last semester’s concerts were planned by former VPSE Jon Allen, attempted to request $20,500 earlier last week but it was unanimously denied by the EBC before reaching the GSS floor. According to Goode, the request was an effort to put on a spring show.
Goode said she would be putting together a bus trip that will travel between UMaine and Colby College in Waterville for the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with Iggy Azalea concert at Wadsworth Gymnasium on April 12. General admission for non-Colby students is currently sold out. According to Goode, the trip’s cost will be taken from her own salary.
Goode has crafted a survey that will be used to plan for this upcoming fall semester’s concert(s). The survey can be found here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CPHH5GH.
Veterans Day recommended by GSS, Dean Dana speaks
An act, sponsored by Sens. William “Nick” Smith and Lee Jackson, to recommend that UMaine officially observe Veterans Day was approved by the GSS.
The recommendation, which must be approved by the university’s Faculty Senate, attempts to garner appreciation for all veterans and their families by cancelling classes each November 11 just like most other nationally recognized holidays.
As the flagship university of the University of Maine System, UMaine is just one of the two campuses out of the eight-campus system that holds classes on Veterans Day.
Dr. Robert Dana, vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students, spoke in advocacy for the recommendation for Veterans Day recognition during the meeting’s general good and welfare.
“Nationally, many people step back on this day,” Dana said. “There’s probably none of you in this room who don’t know someone that has been associated with the military … I encourage broad discussion and I certainly support the engagement of the university with recognizing the holiday.”
If approved by the Faculty Senate — who determines most things having to do with the university’s calendar — there would need to be a further suspension of rules in order to see the recognized day appear in scheduled holidays before the 2016-17 academic year. UMaine’s academic calendar was approved for the next two years during UMS’ Jan. 28 meeting.
“I believe that if we have a coherent discussion and show interest from the students, we can see change,” Dana said. “It’s a reasonable discussion to have and some would argue it’s far too late in 2013 … It’s never too late to start discussion.”
Following Dr. Dana’s statements, Christopher “Chris” Phinney, club president for the Veterans Club, announced his club’s full support for the recommendation and said most students who are veterans end up skipping the day regardless of their class schedules to attend parades, ceremonies, etc.
Smith and Lee spoke jointly before the GSS approved the Veterans Day recommendation, announcing full support from State Sen. Emily Cain, member for Maine’s 30th district and plans to meet with Maine Gov. Paul LePage. Smith and Lee said they also spoke with various members in the Orono and Old Town communities including a former brigadier general.
Equestrian Team, Alpha Omicron Pi receive funding, among others
The Equestrian Team’s funding request for $1,410 was approved by the GSS. This money is expected to go toward their upcoming season within the IHSA. A total of 417 teams participate in IHSA competition, nationwide. Maine competes in Zone 1, Region 2 of the association and is coached by Melissa Spencer.
“They always come back with impressive results,” said Sen. Shortt. “I can’t wait to see what they come back with [this year].”
After initially receiving a denial for their request, UMaine sorority Alpha Omicron Pi received an amended amount of $800 from the GSS to go toward Mr. Fraternity — an event the social organization has put on for the past decade.
During time allotted to approve the consent agenda, Sen. Alicia Bolduc moved to transfer Alpha Omicron Pi’s denied resolution into new business to re-assess the funding request. All eight members of EBC unanimously voted not to pass.
The original request was for $1,600, which would cover rental charges for the Collins Center for the Arts building.
Jessica Rothenheber, an executive on UMaine’s Panhellenic Council board, spoke on behalf of the funding request. Rothenheber stressed to all in attendance that the event was not only for Greeks but the entire university. She also said $3,000 was raised during Mr. Fraternity last year, but this was later corrected by Bolduc as $1,800.
Most of the request’s debate stemmed from the decision to choose the CCA for the event’s venue, especially because of the high cost for renting it. Also, many senators were hesitant to approve something that had been completely voted down during EBC’s meeting.
For campus events, organizers generally have three choices when choosing a venue: Donald P. Corbett 100, which can seat 350 people; Hauck Auditorium, located in the Memorial Union, which can seat 500; and the CCA which caps out at 1,800.
After much discussion, Sen. Brittany Cote amended an amount of $800 to be cut, thus splitting the request in half. This was approved by the GSS.
Six other funding requests, under $1,000, were approved by the GSS for a total of $2,485. Women’s rugby received $778 for their upcoming spring season; Operation H.E.A.R.T.S. received $600 for a May service trip; Horticulture Club received $600 toward their representation at the Bangor Daily News’ 2013 Garden Show & Spring Fling in Bangor from April 5-7; Society of Women Engineers received $200 for their office budget; Student Athlete Advisory Committee received $187 for shirts; and Sophomore Eagles received $120 for a recruitment event.
Three clubs receive prelim recognition
Three clubs received preliminary recognition from the GSS: Amnesty International, The Maine Recreational Lacrosse Club and The University of Maine Surf Club.
Club president and GSS member Sen. Ariel Bothen spoke on behalf Amnesty International, a special interest organization, stating the club would mainly be raising awareness and wouldn’t require much funding because the national organization would help to provide any needed materials.
Amnesty International’s purpose is to raise awareness on campus of human rights issues nationally and abroad, according to its preliminary recognition application. The group works to educate the student community of what they can do to change these injustices by hosting events and working with other groups on campus.
Club president Levi Boudreau spoke on behalf of The Maine Recreational Lacrosse Club stating the club’s goal is to make a second club on campus that doesn’t include the high due fees with a “more chill” environment.
Boudreau says club members would use gear from high school and would play mainly pick-up games, but needs recognition from university as a club to use specific facilities.
There is already a Lacrosse Club on campus that plays competitively in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association. Club dues are among the highest of all organizations on campus.
The club’s purpose is to provide an outlet to practice and learn the sport of lacrosse at a recreational level for those without the time or money to commit to a competitive team with a full schedule.
Many senators debated the idea of acknowledging a club so closely related to another already recognized. The general consensus from all who opposed was for the club to pursue recognition from UMaine’s Campus Recreation, but because of the difference in physical contact between sports generally played inside that department, the GSS decided to honor preliminary recognition instead.
Club president Shane Carey spoke on behalf of the University of Maine Surf Club, a group that started out as a joke on Facebook — then transitioned into members buying shirts — and is now gearing toward actually planning trips. Carey, a second-year marine biology student and former UMaine swimmer, grew up surfing and wants to bring the sport he loves to the university.
The University of Maine Surf Club’s purpose is to actively bring the ideals of surfing, as well as the admiration for the ocean, to the University of Maine community by bringing together those who surf and those who are interested in surfing.
New FEPC Sen. Rep. elected, senator appointed
Sen. Sean Sibley, a third-year nursing and theater student, won a dual-candidate race against first-year political science student Sen. Zachary White to become the new FEPC Senate Representative. The previous Sen. Rep. to the FEPC was Mark Brunton who is now in Washington, D.C., for an internship.
Sibley has been a career assistant for UMaine’s Career Center since 2010 and a student ambassador for the university since March of last year.
Ronald Eastman, a first-year economics and political science student, recited an oath with Vice President Sam Helmke to join the GSS as the body’s newest member. Easton is from Lewiston and a graduate of Lewiston High School.
The GSS passed an amendment to their standing rules, making it mandatory for senate members to participate in outreach activity to help improve UMSG, Inc. promotion. The rule states, “senator[s] must participate in a minimum of one GSS outreach effort a semester. This is equivalent to at least one volunteer hour.”
Graduate student Brandon McLaughlin spoke on behalf of The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs during time allotted for guest speakers.
McLaughlin, a graduate assistant for OMSA, talked about the organization’s help with a national awareness movement called the One Million Bones Project.
According to the project’s website, “[One Million Bones is] a collaborative art installation designed to recognize the millions of victims and survivors who have been killed and displaced by ongoing genocides and humanitarian crises in Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Burma.
“We’re doing this to further awareness for genocide relief around the world,” McLaughlin said. “The bones represent solidarity.”
From June 8-10, nationwide project participants, including OMSA, will travel to Washington, D.C., to spread millions of bones out on the National Mall.