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This week in GSS

General good and welfare

James Varner, a 1957 graduate from the University of Maine and founder of the Maine Human Rights Coalition and Black Student Union, discussed the fourth Black History Month and Black Lives Matter breakfast.

New senators, officer appointments and resignations

Kathraynne Hebert was officially appointed to the Student Senate.

Club maintenance

A speaker for the Improv-in-Sanity club asked the Senate for reactivation. The club averages 12-15 members a semester and is trying to reach a larger group of students. The motion for reactivation passed.

A student came before the Senate asking for recognition of the Japanese Language Club. Students are trying to start the club for Japanese students and those interested in Japanese language and culture at UMaine. A motion to recognize the club was passed.

Executive reports

President Logan Aromando began by cancelling the cabinet meeting that would incidentally be held during the snowstorm. He reminded the Senate about the Student Government Conference in April and encouraged everyone to attend before ending his report by discussing some future projects, such as the Maine Day Concert and speed readership workshop.

Vice President Bentley Simpson announced that Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Robert Dana would be attending an upcoming meeting to give a talk about leadership for the Senate. He mentioned that a photographer would be in attendance within the next week and reminded the Senate that they should take part in the spring Senate training.

Standing in for the vacant vice president of financial affairs position, President Aromando reported that there were $213,468 in unallocated funds.

Vice President of Student Organizations Taylor Cray reminded the Senate that each club, as long as they are active and recognized by Student Government, is eligible for the $200 office budget. This can be used for advertising or any other office needs.

Vice President of Student Entertainment Corey Claflin reported that he is working closely with the interim Vice President of Financial Affairs President Aromando on the Maine Day concert. Claflin announced that he had met with administrators and planned to meet with more in the near future to further discuss concert plans.

Periodic reports

Faculty Senate Student Representative Harrison Ransley reiterated that if students have issues, such as increasing the add drop period for classes, for example, they should come to him with concerns.

Chair of Fair Election Practices Commission Matthew Akers reminded the Senate that the nomination forms for executive elections would be due soon.

Center for the Undergraduate Research Liaison Courtney Hatton reported that the graduate program was holding a professional session on thesis for the undergraduate students.

Orono Town Council Liaison Cameron Bowie reported that at the last Orono Town Council meeting he attended there was the discussion of more “nightlife” and new local businesses to be put into place. “What we’re doing here is making a difference and they are hearing us,” Bowie said.

Due to the fact that Director of Communications Austin Steward was not in attendance, President Aromando gave the communications report, noting that senators should send in headshots as soon as they can.

Reports of standing committees

Chase Flaherty of the Policy and Procedure Committee reported that his committee’s first meeting was coming up soon, and Emmaline Willey reported that the first meeting of the Services Committee had recently been held. At the Services meeting, she said, the problem of commuter parking was discussed and the idea of putting swing sets on campus was also mentioned.

Representative board reports

Commuter and Non-Traditional Students Representative Chris Toothaker reminded the Senate that there would be a pancake breakfast coming up that would be free for all students.

Interfraternity Council President Andrew Arsenault reported that the All Greek meeting set for that Wednesday night was cancelled, but Harry Potter trivia night at Orono Brewing Company was still on until further notice.

Bristyn Leasure of the Senior Class Council urged the seniors of the Senate to attend the senior night her group was planning to hold at Orono House of Pizza.

Community Associations reports

Vice President of the Student Heritage Alliance Council Sadie Novak mentioned that the heritage mosaic is still in progress.

Co-Chair of the Feminist Collective Miranda Snyder reported that the group now has an email that students can reach them at.

Aiden Ciaffaglione, the representative for Wilde Stein: Queer Straight Alliance, reported that the group’s Lavender Prom event is in the works and that they are planning Pride Week.

Hannah Holbrook with the International Student Association reported that the International Dance Festival would be coming up soon and encouraged those at the meeting to attend and spread the word.

Consent agenda

The Dressage Club asked for $1,000 to bring four members to a national competition. These funds would be used for travel, room and board for the members. The resolution passed and the club received the funds.

The Navigators, a Christian organization on campus, sought to amend their funding request for their conference from $1,200 to $1,080 due to a decrease in members attending. The Senate passed the amendment of funds.

The Woodsmen Team asked to increase their budget for spring events for multiple reasons, including the fact that the number of teams attending their spring home meet had increased and they would need to purchase more supplies. The Senate passed the motion after much debate.

New business

The Senate moved into nominations for the position of president pro tempore. Those nominated included Senators Flaherty, Prophete, Bowie, Wyles and Legere. Senators LaBonne and Embleton rescinded. Flaherty won the vote and will now stand in for the vice president if he steps down or is unable to perform his duties in office.

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