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Student Government makes change on campus

The University of Maine has a diverse variety of clubs and organizations available to join on campus. With hundreds to choose from and something for everyone’s interest, UMaine’s Student Government (UMSG) is an organization for leaders and students who wish to be heavily involved. What’s a day in the life of a UMSG member like?

Vice President of Student Organizations and fourth-year political science and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies student Taylor Cray works with UMSG-recognized clubs and organizations to strengthen the bond between them and Student Government. UMSG helps to provide marketing, contact information, connections and funding for these organizations. They also grant recognition to new groups on campus.

“Student government’s role is to bring together students who have a unified passion for helping other students and who want a leadership role,” Cray said. “We also provide funding and reallocate the student activity fee funding to clubs and organizations that benefit students. Because it is student money, there are a lot of rules for how that money is spent, and we give it back to the students as much as possible.”

On a weekly basis, UMSG holds multiple committee, Senate, cabinet and executive committee meetings. Student Entertainment, Student Organization Committee and Services Committee are just some of the different committees within UMSG that help make sure there is student representation and inclusivity on campus. UMSG holds it’s executive board meetings at 5 p.m. every week before Senate meetings, where students who have applied to Senate meet and discuss UMSG business. The president and vice president of the Senate meet weekly with the Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students Robert Dana and other UMaine faculty. 

“Many of the committees work on smaller projects with UMaine staff to help review the conduct code and other school policies to make them as beneficial as possible for the student body,” Cray said. “We do a lot of work on campus to represent certain things, try to represent as many students as we can while being fair and just.” 

The positions of the executive committee that members can apply for include president, vice president, vice president of financial affairs, student entertainment, student organizations, director of communications, fair elections practices commission chair and the board of trustees representative. Each member is elected and work together with the rest of UMSG to create a positive environment and spark change. Many of the executive members also have weekly office hours for students to come and ask questions.

“I like leadership, and I like people,” Cray said. “My favorite thing about my job is hearing people come to me with ideas and I get to spend time figuring out how to make them happen and make change on our campus. People who are frustrated with something on campus: I encourage you to do something about it.”

UMSG hosts many different events throughout the school year, including the spring concert and the Maine Day event that follows volunteering. The artist headlining the spring concert, held every spring semester in April or May and organized by UMSG, will be announced soon. UMSG also helps with the Winter Carnival, organization fairs and International Students’ Coffee Hour and brings speakers and entertainment to campus.

“In my opinion, this will be the best concert we’ve had in recent years,” said Logan Aromado, vice president of student entertainment and fourth-year mechanical engineering student. “Student [Government] will do everything in their power to make sure everyone can enjoy it and bring other events to campus in the spring semester.”

To get in touch with UMSG or submit feedback, you can contact them on the UMaine website or message their social media pages. Paperwork is available in their office, located in the Memorial Union, to become a senator, and they are always looking for more people to join and to get involved in student organizations.

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