On Tuesday, Oct. 19, the General Student Senate held their weekly meeting in the Bangor Room of the Memorial Union to discuss modified financial policies and the recognition of three new University of Maine clubs.
The meeting opened up with the new Aquaculture Club seeking recognition. The goal of the club is to get students involved with aquaculture and explore the field to see if it’s something they enjoy and want to pursue as a career.
“I’m always excited to see new organizations on our campus, it lets students explore the fields they want to explore and helps guide them later in life,” Frank Kelly said, the vice president of financial affairs for the General Student Senate. “I think If we can help fulfill that goal it is a fantastic opportunity so I’m fully in favor of this recognition.”
The club currently has 13 members and plans to pursue projects including a small aquaponic system.
After a unanimous vote the club received official preliminary recognition from the senate.
A representative from the Women in Economics Club was also present and seeking recognition from the senate.
According to the Women in Economics representative, the purposes of Women in Economics are to create spaces for inclusion, learning and professional development. Their goal is to foster mentoring relationships in order to sustain a growing network of school of economics alumni and to encourage different perspectives by reducing under-representation in the field of economics.
“Once again, always excited to see stuff like this come across our table, it’s a really good way for us to help students, and I’m a little biased because I’m an econ major,” Kelly said.
After a unanimous vote, the Women In Economics Club received their preliminary recognition from the senate.
The third new club present was the Women’s Basketball Club who was seeking final recognition.
The Women’s Basketball Club practices twice a week and has weekly team bonding events.
“Our mission is to create a fun and safe place to play basketball and to make new friends,” a representative said of the club.
According to their club speaker, they are the first women’s basketball club at UMaine and their goal is to eventually play against other club basketball teams.
The senate was impressed to hear that the club currently has 45 members, and after a unanimous vote the club received its final recognition from the senate.
The senate moved forward with a new resolution to the issue of funding apparel. At the previous meeting it was a significant topic of debate, and the resolution was sent back to the Executive Budget Committee for re-evaluation.
“It seemed like the majority of people didn’t like the requirement for the logo to be on the back of the t-shirt, so I modified it to just say that apparel has to show the logo somewhere and approval is up to VPFA and EBC,”Senator Bray said.
As the Head of the Executive Budget Committee, Kelly also spoke on this issue.
“[We had] A lot of debate last week about the resolution… This one definitely leaves it a lot more open ended for EBC and VPFA while still giving both the power to reject anything they want to. As far as our financial policies go, this is right in that perfect middle ground of enough room to work but still giving enough guidance to prevent anything that we don’t want from happening,” Kelly said.
The senate agreed with Kelly, and it was a majority vote to pass the resolution.
There was also an election held during Tuesday’s meeting. Senator Tessa Shanteler resigned from the position of Old Town City Council Liaison. There were four nominees: Senators Fishbang, McConville, Plater and Ricker. The only one to give a speech was Senator Fishbang.
“I am a member of two student executive boards at UMaine [and] have experience with the formation of new clubs as I was one of the founding members of the new version of the College Republicans. So, I have a lot of experience with management of clubs and also founding of new clubs,” Senator Fishbang said.
Kelly spoke on behalf of Senator McConville.
“It’s kinda the downside of being in college and trying to be in an organization like this is sometimes you just can’t make it, so I would like to speak for [SenatorMcConville],” Kelly said.
According to Kelly, Senator McConville has class conflicts that are keeping her from being able to be an active participant in the weekly student senate meetings.
“Keely is an excellent member of student government, she has been an active participant in all of the committees she’s been on, also one of the most knowledgeable people I know when it comes to digesting and processing rules so I think she’d be an excellent fit to this committee,” Kelly said.
Kelly’s words were enough to gain votes for McConville, who won the election for Old Town City Council Liaison.
Advisor to the General Student Senate Lauri Sidelko also contributed to the meeting with a positive message.
“This is the time of the year where it’s important for us to take care of one another. Keep an eye on our friends, if somebody is not doing well offer them some resources, tell them about the counseling center and tell them to talk to me,” Sidelko said. “This is the time of year it starts to get tough and mental health is very important.”