The general student senate meeting on Feb. 9 began with the roll call performed by Senate Clerk John Cyr and the approval of the Feb. 2 meeting minutes.
New Officer Appointments, Promotions and Resignations:
Students Peter Alexander, Leanne Nisbet, Catherine Keely McConville, Tessa Shanteler, Blaize Vail, Alexis Plater, Alyssandra Ciasullo, Kayleigh Hogg, Kylie Trawick, Angel Loredo, Michael Delorge, Jacob Chaplin, Frank Kelly, Camryn Hammil and Connor Bray were all sworn into the senate.
President Harrison Ransley reported that the Wade Center renovation project has split into two separate projects. He is currently doing some memorandum work, as well as working out logistics for the rest of the renovations, so he can be sure of the maximum amount of benefits for the investment in the center. Vice President Zachary Wyles met with Vice President for Student Life and Inclusive Excellence and Dean of Students Robert Dana to talk about how this semester has been going and to talk through some concerns of the student body. Wyles and Dana are trying to organize some projects for the overall improvement of the current semester, as well as the coming semesters. These projects include organizing a meeting with the provost council and trying to extend the add period for classes so that it is equal to the drop period. Wyles and Ransley are also trying to negotiate textbook pricing, so that buying textbooks can be more affordable to students. Next, Wyles and Ransley will be voicing their discontent with the recent decision to change the pass/fail option. Finally, the pair want to try to put the most updated syllabus for classes on MaineStreet so that students have a better idea of what they will be signing up for. Vice President of Financial Affairs Jake Tauke spoke on unallocated funds and upcoming funding requests. These requests are coming from UMaine Renaissance, the Asian Student Organization, and the Tennis Club. Vice President of Student Entertainment Chase Flaherty announced that the Winter Carnival will be happening next week. A winter olympics event is in the works for next Thursday. While Flaherty was unable to get an ice rink for next week’s events, he is looking into more permanent options for ice rinks on campus for the future. Advisor to Student Government Lauri Sidelko stated testing has successfully restarted and lately the lines have been shorter. She will also be absent in the coming weeks due to a surgery. As of right now, commencement is looking like a mix of in-person and virtual events.
Director of Communications Danielle Jarosz has reached out to several senators and executives to appear on Instagram, but has received few responses back. The Center for Undergraduate Research Liaison Tessa Shanteller attended the most recent CUGR meeting, with the last one revolving around the student symposium in the spring. The CUGR logo was changed from last semester and the grant prize had been increased by $400. Students are urged to submit research proposals if they have them. The university will also be offering a course (INT 125) that will revolve around how to successfully conduct research.
Reports on Standing Committees:
The Membership Committee is looking into catering options for this semester, as well as looking to do a COVID-19 friendly retreat. They will be hosting a Facebook group chat where senators can bounce ideas off of each other. Zoom meetings will be held on Tuesdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Policy and Procedure Committee has four resolutions in the works.
Representative Board Reports:
The Interfraternity Council has been supporting fraternities through rush, but will be moving more into philanthropic events soon. They have also recently completed two leadership summits and will be applying lessons that they have learned to greek life as a whole. PanHellenic Council has also completed two leadership summits. The Senior Class Council has finally placed their order for senior class masks. On Feb. 17, they will be hosting a virtual trivia night over Zoom. The Sustainability and Environmental Action Committee has reported that a representative from a nonprofit organization wants to create low carbon emission transportation in the greater Orono area and is seeking help from the university.
Community Association Reports:
Wilde Stein has reached out to Old Town high school to try and connect with the school’s gay-straight alliance program. They have started general meetings this week. The International Student Association is considering getting funding for pizza orders.
There were several resolutions and funding orders on the table for this meeting:
An act that allows senators to gather signatures electronically amidst the pandemic.
The Tennis club made a request for $1,000 for funding their off-campus facility.
An act to modify the standing rules so that senators may appeal their dismissals.
An act to modify the standing rules so that senators have the opportunity to appeal their unexcused absences.
An act to modify financial policies so that committees must contribute $5 towards their own apparel.
All of these requests/resolutions were passed.
The senate then held nominations for their upcoming elections. Then, they held their final roll call and adjourned shortly after.