New senator appointments and resignations
The General Student Senate meeting on Feb. 19 began with Vice President Bentley Simpson’s announcement that Sens. Christopher Chase and Tia’liyah Pollard had both resigned their office.
The Muslim Student Association’s activation was postponed until the next meeting, due to the absence of a club representatives.
The spokesman for the Disk Golf Club, Lars Johnson, requested preliminary recognition for his club. He told the assembly that although the club had been inactive for the last seven years, UMaine’s disk golf course had been maintained during this period and was still in perfect shape. The disk golf course, Johnson said, is the only free course of its kind in the Orono area and is quite popular among local residents. Sens. Cameron Bowie and Shane Blodget both voiced their approval of the club’s preliminary recognition, which was granted by a clear majority.
Sen. Cameron Bowie, the spokesman for the Dungeons and Dragons Club, asked his fellow senators to grant the club its final recognition. In his presentation, Bowie told the Senate that the club started with 15 members and had grown to include more than 80 active members and 120 signatories. The club, which Bowie said is entirely self funded and does not request member dues, asked the Senate for nearly $1,400 to help purchase food and various game materials. During the Senate’s debate period, Sen. Harrison Ransley praised the club’s activity and expressed his admiration for its organization. Sen. Owen Vadala concurred, and commended Bowie’s enthusiasm. The club’s final recognition and funding passed by a majority.
A speaker for Renaissance, UMaine’s only all-female acapella group, thanked the Senate for funding her club’s trip to the International Collegiate Acapella Competition in Boston over the previous weekend. Her group, she said, reached the competition’s quarter finals and performed a 12-minute set before a crowd of nearly 1,200 people. She concluded by emphasizing the importance of continued funding for her club and the other musical clubs on campus.
President Logan Aromando told the Senate that he had finalized his interviews with the candidates for vice president of financial affairs. The presidential and vice presidential elections, he said, are now underway, and he added that senators with any questions should contact him.
Vice President Bentley Simpson announced to the assembly that the semester’s Spring Senate Training would be held on Saturday, Feb. 23 in the Memorial Union. He mentioned that both Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Robert Dana and a photographer are expected to attend the GSS meeting on Feb. 27, and he encouraged all senators to be present. He concluded by offering to answer any senator’s questions about the upcoming system wide conference in Presque Isle.
Since the vice president of financial affairs had not yet been elected, President Aromando gave the chair’s report. Aromando said that the week’s budget contained $200,108 worth of unallocated funds and that the week’s only expense, a $200 office budget, would be included in the consent agenda.
Vice President of Student Organizations Taylor Cray said that the Maine Animal Club had been selected club of the week and that information about the club could be found on the Student Organizations Committee’s social media pages. She said that she would be speaking with the Student Maine Education Association on Wednesday and that during the conversation she would inform them of the Student Government’s roles and the ways in which it could offer them assistance. Concluding her remarks, she mentioned that club advertising is continuing and that anyone interested should contact her.
Vice President of Student Entertainment Corey Claflin told the Senate that a proposal to amend the general election rules would be presented later in the meeting. The amendment, he said, was intended to improve upon the previous year’s election, in which complaints had been filed about campaign conduct.
Orono Town Council Liaison Cameron Bowie told the senate that he would soon visit the town’s office in order to discuss issues pertaining to the UMaine Student Body. If a senator would like him to raise any specific issue, he said he would be happy to oblige.
Reports of standing committees
A representative for the Senate’s Policy and Procedure Committee said that the group had recently held their first meeting and had finalized the Fair Election Practices Committee’s election guideline.
Reports of the special committees
Harrison Ransley, the chairman of the Senate’s Code of Conduct Committee, mentioned that his committee is considering making changes to the Student Code of Conduct. He asked his colleagues to help him spread information on social media in the event that any changes are made. He concluded his report by saying that he would like to speak to the Orono Town Council sometime this semester.
A representative for the Commuter and Nontraditional Student Association told the Senate that his committee’s pancake breakfast the previous Thursday had been successful and that an additional pancake breakfast is being planned.
The Honors College Student Advisory Board representative notified the assembly of the annual Meal Packout and explained that the event is a collaborative effort between her organization and UMaine faculty. She said that this year’s aim is to provide 65,000 meals and that, as of Tuesday, the fundraising was halfway there.
Community association reports
The Student Heritage Alliance Council’s representative said that his group is currently planning the University’s Multi-Cultural Mosaic, which is scheduled for March 29.
The International Student Association announced that they had conducted an extremely successful International Dance Festival in which a new record for performances was set. The food sales for the festival had totalled nearly $600, and the group is now planning a Japanese movie night.
The only item on the consent agenda, a $200 budget for the Student Government office, was approved by a clear majority.
The resolution to amend the upcoming election rules, which had been alluded to by Claflin, was presented to the Senate by President Aromando. According to Aromando, an FEPC rule against campaigning on election day had previously existed, and the resolution would simply reinstate it. This amendment’s intent, Aromando said, is to remedy some of the problems that had occurred on previous election days, including dorm room disturbances. During the deliberation period, Sen. Chase Flaherty said that this was a necessary regulation tactic, and that it will proactively solve potential problems.
A closed executive session ensued in which the Senate voted to approve a new vice president of financial affairs.