The General Student Senate meeting on Sept. 1 began with a welcome message and a role call. The agenda for the meeting was adopted unanimously. The in-person members all stood for the Pledge of Allegiance. President Harrison Ransley noted that the kinks in Zoom will be worked out in the following weeks.
General Good and Welfare
President Ransley addressed all members and urged them to sign a paper for contact tracing purposes due to COVID-19. He noted that if anyone had questions or concerns during the meeting they must raise their hand, either in person or via Zoom. He welcomed the new people to the meeting.
New Senators, Officer Appointments, and Resignations
There were no nominations for the vacant position of the faculty student senate representative. Sen. Hammill was nominated for the position of student legal services liaison and she accepted. There is a vacancy for a representative to work with the Graduate Student Senate and Tessa Shanteler accepted this nomination. Sen. Vale was also nominated for this position. Sen. Thorpe accepted the nomination for the Old Town Council Liaison. Sen. Alexander declined the nomination to work as a University of Maine security representative. Sen. Laredo accepted the nomination to act as a liaison between the Center for Undergraduate Research and the student senate. A second unnamed person who was not present also accepted the nomination by default. There is a vacant position for the sergeant at arms role with no nomination. There are four vacant positions working with the office of Student Organizations, and three people accepted nominations for these roles. Three paid positions are also vacant this semester, including director of communications, assistant to the vice president and senate clerk. More nominations are set to take place next week before the official elections begin.
President Ransley stated that there will be one person appointed to ensure that everyone who attends in person has signed the contact tracing form. There will be no cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Sept 2, but moving forward cabinet meetings will be held on Wednesdays at 8 a.m. Lastly, all office hours will be held via Zoom for matters relating to student government.
Vice President of Financial Affairs Jacob Tauke, reported that he is in need of four senators to join his team. He remarked that recreational sports are redoing their budgets and are in need of sports equipment, and he strongly recommends that these budgets are passed quickly. The Department of Labor passed an audit since UMaine lost profits when students left campus early in March.
The Vice President of Student Organizations (VPSO) Emmaline Willey remarked that student organizations will no doubt look different this year in the era of COVID-19. Student organizations will need to have a COVID-19 acknowledgment form signed by all members of the organization. Willey remarked that she is looking to hire someone to manage the Instagram account for student organizations and she needs four senators to join her team.
Vice President of Student Involvement Chase Flaherty admitted that it will be challenging to hold events this semester. They are aiming to hold events virtually or in a hybrid format. This past Friday at 9 p.m. they played the movie “42,” starring Chadwick Boseman, as a tribute to the late actor. Only 50 people were allowed on the university mall to accommodate for social distancing. He hopes to send out an engagement survey so students can give their input on future events, which will be posted on Instagram and in a newsletter.
The town of Orono reported that they passed an ordinance on wearing masks. The Orono Police Department will be carrying masks to give to those who are not wearing one and they will be fining those who refuse to wear masks.
Wilde Stein: Queer Straight Alliance held their time slot at the Virtual Student Organization Fair from 4-6 on Thursday, Sept 3. Their president from last semester, MJ Smith, is stepping down and they will be holding elections for this vacant position.