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Talks of public relations overhaul for Student Government at GSS

Before this week’s meeting came to order, the General Student Senate shared a group photo to update their webpage.

Club Presentations

The Wildlife Society thanked the Senate for funding their trip to the National Wildlife Society Conference in Raleigh, N.C. on Oct. 15. Three members got to discuss their research with other professionals, compete in a quiz bowl (getting quickly knocked out in round one) and attend a mixer at the Museum of Natural History.

Executive Reports

President Kevin Bois will be traveling on Wednesday through Friday and cabinet will be held electronically for this week. He noted that the Event Planning Committee is currently underway, before congratulating Senator Floreani for the successful third debate watch party. Reports on the possible academic day on the date of the UMaine Graduate and Undergraduate Research Symposium will be available soon. The disc golf course expansion is also on schedule, with the path through the woods just about finished.

Vice President Jared Dumas is conducting interviews for the Fair Election Practices Commission chair and hopefully will have new hire among the current three candidates by the next meeting. He also reported that he finally tracked down the right person to discuss improvements to the Campus Sidekick app and will have a talk on the subject on Monday at 3:30 p.m.

Vice President for Financial Affairs Robert Begin reported that the Wildlife Society returned $85.87 from their conference funding back into unallocated, leaving $194,985.85 total.

Vice President of Student Entertainment Isaiah Mansour will be meeting with the CEO of Waterfront Concerts to plan the upcoming spring concert event.

Periodic Reports

Legal Services Liaison Mary-Celeste Floreani reported a successful case involving events at The Avenue.

The Orono Town Council’s next meeting will be on Nov. 7. Voting will take place in the UMaine Field House Ward 1 for the first, second and third precincts, on Nov. 8 from 7-8 p.m.

The Old Town City Council’s next meeting will be on Nov. 1. Voting will take place in the Knights of Columbus Hall from 7-8 p.m.

Director of Communications Cody Rubner is working on a unified calendar on the student government website. He worked with Sean O’Mara from Student Legal Services to improve the media request form for student organizations.

Army ROTC officer James O’Neill reported on the fall training exercises last weekend. Next week will be focused on juniors’ marksmanship training with M-16s. They are also planning a formal dining event this semester and are trying to secure a time to hold it at the Wells Conference Center.

Reports of Standing Committees

Marketing and Public Relations is focused on overhauling their social media for events and funding. They are currently working on Instagram (@umsginc), which already has 250 followers.

Political Activism is finalizing the details for an event on campus after the election. More information will be available next week.

Special Committees

The University of Maine System Student Government Association Conference Planning Committee had a small meeting with the Board of Trustees in the hope of establishing better connections between schools. There will be local committees and a system-wide committee, composed of representatives from connected campuses. They are looking to hold a meeting next week.

Community Association Reports

The Student Heritage Alliance Council is currently preparing for the upcoming Culturefest, as well as the Latin American Student Organization’s Dia de los Muertos event.

The Student Women’s Association was happy to report their successful Take Back the Night event, as well as having Emily Cain as their guest speaker. They are currently rehearsing their upcoming Out of Silence play. They will be presenting two shows at Minsky Hall on Dec. 8-9 at 7 p.m.

Wilde Stein Alliance is preparing for their upcoming Gay Thanksgiving, which will be open to anyone on Nov. 10 and the Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20.

Consent Agenda

Latin American Student Organization (LASO) requested $950 for their Dia de los Muertos event, which was amended to $700 before this meeting. This raised concerns among LASO about how they would feed approximately 200 people with less money and asked the Senate to reconsider. This will be LASO’s first event and there were a lot of tensions with other groups involved. The major concern was the cost beverages and utensils. The $250 was initially amended out because it was assumed they would be purchasing plastic disposable utensils and sodas. In actuality, they planned on purchasing reusable utensils to make up for their lack of inventory as a starting organization and also plan on mixing special holiday drinks in addition to offering soda. The motion was amended to include the $250 and passed.

Unfinished Business

Senator Allah was nominated for the Faculty Senate Representative chair. Elections will be held next week.

Senator Mitchell was nominated and elected for the Executive Budgetary Committee chair.

Three seats are available in the Student Organization Committee, with Senator Simpson as the only nominee. Senators Floreani and Sarra were nominated this week, which they accepted.

New Business

The Senate resolved to amend Rule IV of the Standing Rules Item 1, section c, to add and strike a number of committees from subsections ix, x and xii to better reflect current meeting procedures. Senator Floreani suggested that the act be amended to add the Honors College Advisory Board to subsection xii, purely because “if we don’t do it now, I’ll just have to write up another resolution to do that next week.” After confusion arose over presentation protocol and which subsection needed to be amended, the motion passed.

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