On Tuesday, Feb. 22, The University of Maine General Student Senate held their weekly meeting in Room 100 in Neville Hall to discuss the winter carnival, the upcoming debate and other general reports.
The meeting opened with the general good and welfare section in which any non-member of the senate can speak for no more than five minutes.
Dominique DiSpirito, a fourth-year student at UMaine, is the current senior class’s Giving Campaign manager for the University of Maine Foundation and spoke to the student senate about their annual campaign.
“It tries to raise support from the senior class and establish a relationship of philanthropy that goes beyond our time at UMaine,” DiSpirito said. The goal of the campaign is to get seniors to donate or volunteer to causes of their choosing.
“As of right now, graduating seniors can donate $20.22 [a nod to the class of 2022] or more and what they’ll receive is a philanthropy chord, philanthropy pin and an exclusive invitation to a True Blue Champagne Toast the night before the commencement,” DiSpirito said.
This event is going to be hosted by Jeff Mills, the CEO of the University of Maine Foundation.
According to the senate, there are also multiple student events happening this week, including the Student Organization Fair.
“There will be over 100 amazing student organizations to connect with and join,” Bailey Lewis, vice president for student organizations of UMSG said. “There are going to be prizes every hour on the hour and student government is going to have a table there, so we hope to see a lot of you.”
The Student Organization Fair is set to be held in the Recreation Center on campus from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 24.
Winter Carnival is also in full swing this week. Dylan Taplin, vice president for student entertainment of UMSG has been very instrumental in putting together events for this week.
“We have a really big slide which is super fun and an ice-skating rink,” Taplin said.
There is now a snow globe meant for students to take photos in and UMSG is coordinating with student life to have many other fun activities for this Winter Carnival.
A significant event for the student senate are the upcoming elections. There is going to be a debate on Wednesday, March 2, at 5:00 p.m. in the North Pod, for the student government elections. Jacob Chaplin, the chair of the fair election practices commission, spoke on what he hopes to see happen this election season.
According to Chaplin, last year only 500 students voted in the student government elections, so they want to see that number increase this year.
Currently on the ballot of the upcoming election is the current Vice President for Student Leadership, Alyssa Ciasullo who is running for Student Body President of UMSG alongside her running mate, Peter Alexander. Ciasullo and Alexander’s campaign is centered around student wellness, mental health and sustainability.
Connor Bray, chair of the policy and procedure committee for GSS, is also on the ballot running for Vice President of UMSG.
“If you elect Connor, you will have elected a VP who cares about student voices,” Bray wrote on his campaign instagram page.
Election day is going to be Wednesday, March 9 and voting is going to be open for all students from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
In community association reports, Megan Keast, the chair of Feminist Collective, announced that the group will be hosting a self defense class. The course is going to be held on Sunday, March 6 at the Rec Center, and more information and sign ups are going to be posted on the UMaine’s Feminist Collective Instagram page. Feminist Collective meets normally on Thursdays at 5:00 p.m. in the IFRC.
Jinyoung Park, a representative of the International Student Association also spoke about the International Dance Festival which occurred on Feb 26.
The senate moved to executive session during their meeting this week, in which all non-members of GSS were asked to leave the meeting as they discussed private matters pertaining to the senate.