On Jan. 24, President of the University of Maine Joan Ferrini-Mundy announced that “Maine Day” is being rebranded to “Maine Day Week.” Administration also released a detailed, 12-page report put together by the Maine Day Task Force.
This decision transforms the long-held traditions of Maine Day by extending it through the entirety of the last week of classes and reinstating classes on Wednesday, April 26.
UMaine students and faculty have been awaiting an answer since President Ferrini-Mundy put together the 23-member task force group following the growing number of concerns from disgruntled students during the fall 2022 semester, many of which were addressed at the Faculty Senate Meeting on Nov. 9.
“I’m certainly disappointed by the decision to reinstate classes on Maine Day but I’m not surprised. I’m most upset by the decision because I feel like it’s just another step to improve optics and increase safety with no regard for the people and traditions that contribute to our school culture,” said Michael Delorge, third-year student.
One of the concerns raised in the report was that this new Maine Day Week would create multiple days of off-campus gatherings.
“I think some students will attend classes and some won’t. It depends on how students’ professors decide to enforce attendance and how students prefer to spend Maine Day anyway. Some might not want to risk skipping class and I don’t blame them,” Delorge said.
Despite students expressing their disappointment, President Ferrini-Mundy is not concerned about off-campus gatherings resulting from this decision.
“The last week of classes is typically packed with end-of-semester and end-of-academic-year papers, projects and preparations for finals. Thinking that students are only focused on partying discredits them and does a disservice to us all,” Ferrini-Mundy said.
Students have started sharing through social media that they are going to skip class regardless of the reinstatement of classes. An Instagram page called “Umaine Affirmations” made a post stating they will not attend classes on Maine Day, which so far has received over 500 likes.
There were also concerns raised by members of the student body in November 2022 that the university was lacking transparency with its student body.
“We have heard the concerns about the need to communicate extensively about Maine Day Week 2023. We hope that the Maine Day Task Force, with broad student representation and posting of the full report, illustrates the administration’s commitment to transparency,” Ferrini-Mundy said.
Ferrini-Mundy says that a full schedule of events, including philanthropic activities, will be shared with the UMaine community once it becomes available.
“We are always considering effective and new ways to share information and that will continue to be a value we adhere to here at the university,” Ferrini-Mundy said.