New senators, officer appointments and resignations
The General Student Senate meeting on April 16 began with the appointment of Gabriela Reyes as a new student senator.
The reactivation of the University of Maine Photography Club was postponed until next week’s meeting due to the absence of any club representatives.
Presenters from Alternative Breaks, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, American Marketing Association, Black Student Union, Dressage and Traditional Music & Dance clubs thanked the Student Senate for its funding of their clubs’ respective events and travel costs.
President Logan Aromando announced his plan to attend the Campaign for Affordability Conference on Friday, April 19. The meeting’s appointments, he said, would be conducted before its adjournment in an executive session. He asked the present senators to volunteer for Student Government Table opportunities in the Memorial Union. His recent meeting with Dean Students and Vice President for Student Life Robert Dana, he mentioned, had included a discussion of mental health, and he told the assembly members to speak with him afterward if they have any questions.
Vice President Bentley Simpson told the Senate that he and Vice President for Student Organizations Taylor Cray, along with Sens. Mikaela Shea, Harrison Ransley and Shane Blodget, had attended the University of Maine System Conference in Presque Isle over the weekend. He commented that it was a pleasure to meet the student government representatives from other campuses and that he enjoyed the experience of traveling and socializing with his colleagues. A meeting the next day, he said, between himself, President Aromando and a trustee, was scheduled for 9 a.m. in Dean Dana’s office. Simpson concluded by reminding the senators of the Spring Senate Retreat, which had been changed due to forecast weather.
Vice President for Financial Affairs Jack O’Donoghue reported a number of unallocated funds totaling $106,536 and mentioned that he is working with CASE to determine future budgeting. Senior Class Council funding, he said, had been tabled until the next meeting.
Cray, vice president of student organizations, noted that Photography Club had spoken with her earlier about their reactivation. The Club of the Week, she said, was Wilde Stein: Queer Straight Alliance. She praised the “incredible work they had done during Pride Week.” Concluding her remarks, Cray said that she would be assisting Aromando in decorating for Maine Day, and asked senators with any related ideas to speak with her after the meeting.
The Vice President for Student Entertainment Corey Claflin thanked certain senators’ volunteer work in distributing tickets for the Spring Concert, of which he noted less than 1,000 remained. The fencing and security for the concert, he said, had been planned and he again encouraged senators to volunteer for supporting roles.
Lauri Sidelko, the faculty advisor to student government, delivered a presentation on concert safety in which she informed the senators of their potential legal liability and provided them with information on the University’s crisis response system.
Ransley, the representative to the faculty-student senate, reported that faculty members had lowered the graduation requirement of 300 level course credits from 30 to 15, intending to assist students who have multiple majors. He mentioned that experimentation in the spring semester’s scheduling may take place and that the Senate would like to increase collaboration with the University of Maine Machias campus.
Austin Steward, the Senate’s director of communications, mentioned his intent to place a suggestion box outside of the student government office.
Reports of standing committees
The representative for the Membership Committee, Sen. Zachary Wyles, reiterated Simpson’s announcement on the Senate Retreat, adding that it would now begin with a visit to Dysart’s Restaurant & Truck Stop in Hermon for breakfast followed by a visit to an escape room in Bangor.
Sen. Chase Flaherty, representing the policy and procedure committee, told the Senate that a new Code of Conduct resolution had been presented to him and that it would be discussed later in the meeting.
Cameron Bowie of the Political Activism Committee noted that the planned Stillwater cleanup would take place on April 27, adding that volunteers are needed.
Services Committee Representative Sen. Emma Willey explained that her committee’s swing project is underway and that if any other members have relevant suggestions or proposals that she would be happy to hear them.
Reports of special committees
Sen. Ransley, who also serves as the Student Conduct Code Oversight and Review Committee chairman, reported that a lawyer from Orono would be visiting his committee to share legal information with members.
Aromando spoke on behalf of the Maine Day Committee, stating that he had secured four food trucks for the event and that his committee expects to spend approximately $850 on beverages. The Sophomore Owls, he said, will be providing entertainment throughout the day. He mentioned that print advertising will be necessary and that he expects the total costs not to exceed $20,000, which he added was nearly the same amount spent during last year’s Maine Day.
Representative board reports
The representative for commuter and non-traditional students, Ian Johnson, announced that his organization’s final pancake breakfast of the semester would be held on Thursday, April 18.
Dalton Bouchles of the Sustainability and Environment Actions Division said that he will be meeting with his officers to discuss elections, and with other clubs to discuss possible cooperation.
Community association reports
Siuan Cody, representing the Feminist Collective, announced that her club would be holding a “rant against ableist narratives” on Wednesday, April 17, in the FFA Room from 6-7:30 p.m.
The President of Wilde Stein: Queer Straight Alliance, MJ Smith, informed the Senate that Pride Week was a success and that its highlight was her club’s 45th-anniversary panel, during which the possibility of creating an activist commission between students and faculty was raised.
Hannah Holbrook from the International Student Association announced that her Club would be hosting Coffee Hour in the North Pod throughout the week from 4-5 p.m. and asked those interested in doing so next year to contact her.
The only item on the meeting’s consent agenda, an act to allocate a total amount of $200 toward the Sophomore Eagles’ office budget, which was passed.
An act to modify the Standing Rules of the General Student Senate to edit its format, remove typos and change font sizes passed with unequivocal support.
An act to modify the Fair Elections Practices Committee Guidelines likewise passed without objection.
An act to officially recognize a confidentiality contract of the Student Conduct Code Oversight and Review Committee as binding passed overwhelmingly, with the only dissenting voice coming from Sen. Stanley Prophete.
An act to allocate funds totaling $2,000 for Men’s Club Soccer passed without objection.
An act to allocate funds totaling $20,150 to Student Government for its Maine Day Fest, of which $16,000 were designated toward food expense, passed unequivocally.
The remainder of the meeting was conducted in a closed executive session