New Senators and Officer Appointments
Trevor Lessard was sworn in as a Senator this week.
The UMaine branch of Exercise-Is-Medicine, a global health initiative affiliated with the American College of Sports Medicine, was granted preliminary recognition. Their goal is to encourage physicians and other health care providers to include exercise as a standard part of disease treatment in addition to prescription medication.
The Spooky Society, a special interest group interested in the horror genre, Halloween and spooky/scary things in general, was also granted preliminary recognition this week. They plan to have monthly horror film showings, Halloween events and general field trips to spooky locations. Their meetings will be held in the Estabrooke Hall ballroom, a fitting location, considering its significance as an inspiration for Stephen King’s “The Shining.”
The Alpine Ski Club thanked the Senate for their support, having wrapped up their season a few weeks ago with ten races and both teams as the best in their division. They plan to do more outreach, thanks to their now record-high membership.
President Kevin Bois attended the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs listening tour, meeting with 25 student leaders and his monthly meeting with President Hunter. He is now moving forward with planning for the upcoming Maine Day event.
Vice President for Financial Affairs, Robert Begin, reported $120,012.16 in unallocated funds.
Vice President for Student Organizations, Jacob Johnson, was proud to announce that the new student organization database is online. Organization data is currently sparse, but being updated. More to come in the following weeks.
Board of Trustees Representative, Samuel Borer, reported that the upcoming meeting on Monday will have a number of big ticket items; One of the most significant will be the UM-UMM partnership proposal. Borer was positive that it will not see a lot in the way of hesitation or resistance and will have a report on its effects on the student body next week. He noted that the political environment of the UMS is strained, as UMaine Orono’s perception as “the big dog” leaves a sour taste in the mouths of other campuses. The Board will be developing plans to assuage this and hope that the UM-UMM partnership will improve public opinion.
Other items include a new master’s program for Anthropology and Environmental Policy, $1.9 million in renovations to Barrows Hall to accommodate chemistry laboratories upward of 1700 sq. ft. and $3.6 million in renovations to the Bear’s Den to enhance the serving venues, replacing and redesigning equipment, adding security cameras and updating and completing aesthetics.
Finally, the ad hoc committee formed to examine the Board’s policies about freedom of speech and political impartiality last December has prepared a proposal to revise Board Policy 212 regarding the subjects of free speech, free inquiry and academic reform, civility and mutual respect and the enforcement of said subjects. The revision will also be voted on next Monday.
Sean O’Mara of Student Legal Services will attend next week’s Senate meeting.
Reports of Standing Committees
Services Representative Mary Celeste-Floreani reported that the MaineCard-accessible device charging stations have been placed in the Memorial Union.
Reports of Special Committees
The UMS / Student Government Association Conference Planning Committee is now a committee of two, double the size of other committees at the table. The schedule for the conference weekend of April 22 is in its final stages. Its theme: “How to Become an Agent of Change.”
Representative Board Reports
The Interfraternity Council reported that the Greek awards have been released and groups will be able to submit. Kappa Sigma will be holding a dinner fundraiser at Margaritas for the Fisher House Foundation on March 27. Greek Week will be held on April 21.
The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee plans to hold their kickball tournament next month. What the tournament fundraising will be for is undecided. The Committee is also preparing for Mental Health Awareness Month this May.
Community Association Reports
Student Heritage Alliance Council met this Monday to discuss the upcoming Hindi Color festival. The Asian Student Association is planning a bowling night event soon. Next week will be Diversity Week, where different cultural organizations will be present at the Memorial Union each day.
The Student Women’s Association (SWA) is planning an Equal Pay Day on April 4, to raise awareness about the gender pay gap, as well as an upcoming Beautiful Week event, to be concluded with a “Slut Walk.” The group is trying to create new contacts with SWA alumni and historians, to better document the organization’s history. They have also been trying to figure out what can be done to address the fact that there is no location or group on campus to support pregnant students.
The Wilde Stein Alliance for Sexual Diversity has been preparing events for Pride Week from April 10-15, most notably a drag show on April 15 at 8 p.m.
The African Student Association requested $1,600 to cover tickets and hotel costs for 20 members to attend the Harvard African Development Conference, “Africa: Imagining New Frontiers for Collaboration.” Cultural associations gather to discuss governmental policy issues, human rights, the African economy, tourism and more. The motion passed.
Wilde Stein requested $3,585 to cover the Pride Week drag show. They noted that the request was larger than previous years. They reassured the Senate that they were going to get two drag queens for the price of one this year and that while they usually split bill with RHA, they wanted to do more during Pride Week, such as opening the beginning the week with a full-blown carnival. Granted.
In an initially unorthodox-seeming move, the UMaine Crew Club brought two resolutions before the Senate for two fiscal years. The first is for $4,910 for the purchase of a new boat for their crew. Their current boats are too large crew and have been in use since the 1980s. Using the most efficient strokes possible, each stroke slightly warps the boat’s shell, adding up over the decades until the boat cannot compete in the current day.
The second resolution for $6,000 will be set aside until fall of 2017. Considering this, it’s expected that the crew will not request more funds during the fall semester. There has been precedent for this agreement in Senate dealings to get around certain obstructive. A similar deal to cover wrestling mats over a three-year period had difficulties, since a lot of the officers had graduated and new officers were originally freshmen who were unaware of the plan. The crew has displayed excellent attention to detail in their proposals to the Senate, which eases worries. Both resolutions pass.
The MBS Corps requested $4,000 to cover speaker travel costs, speaker fees and meals for their TOP Leadership Conference. They hope to have Travis Roy as a speaker, among others. Motion passed.
Cheerleading requested $4,000 to supplement their fundraising for cover the costs of hotels, flights, choreography and music for College Cheering Nationals in April at Daytona Beach in Florida. They won last year and hope to bring another title back. A motion amended to strike choreography and music from the resolution and passed.
Senator Wang was elected as EBC representative.
Special Orders and Announcements
A brief discussion was held regarding making an official resolution to support the UM-UMM Partnership and try to forge relations with the UMM student government.
President Bois, while not fully educated on subject, wanted to mention that a “campus carry” bill will be addressed by State legislature in April. Bois plans to research the bill and encourages the Senate to do the same, to discuss what position the Senate should take regarding the bill, if at all.