On Tuesday, Nov. 2, the University of Maine General Student Senate held their weekly meeting in the Bangor Room of the Memorial Union in which they discussed new resolutions and appointed a new senator.
The meeting opened with the appointment of Senator Ciro Falanga.
Falanga was also nominated for the Student Organizations Committee, and as the only nominee, was appointed to the position.
UMaine student Nate Stanley was also observing during Tuesday’s senate meeting, as it is still not too late for students to gather signatures and join the student senate.
According to Vice President for Student Leadership Alyssa Ciasullo, she and President Wyles are set to go around to first and second-year classes to promote student government so students can be more aware of how to get involved and what it is that the student government does.
“Hopefully we will have some new faces in here soon,” Ciasullo said.
Vice President of Student Government Elizabeth Davis revealed during her executive report to the senate that she has reached out to Darren Ranco, the coordinator of Native American research on campus, to schedule a meeting to see how UMSG can honor Native American Heritage Month. Native American Heritage Month began on Nov. 1, and is celebrated throughout the entire month.
Wyles and Davis also got in contact with the Vice President for Student Life and Inclusive Excellence and Dean of Students Robert Dana to discuss the lack of transportation in the Orono area and the issues that it’s causing to students. Dana is set to look into this issue and report back to them.
Tuesday was also Election Day for the state of Maine and the Advisor to Student Government Lauri Sidelko touched on this matter.
“We are part of a national voter engagement group called NSLV,” Sidelko said. “We just recently received our results from last year, this is how it always … works. We get our results from last year one year later, and the national average for voter engagement on campus [was] 66% and we are happy to announce that we came in at 72.9%.”
According to Sidelko these results are about 10% higher than the average voter engagement on campus since the 2016 presidential election.
Reports from the senate reveal that there are a lot of great events happening on campus in the next few weeks.
According to the Representative of the UMaine Army ROTC Matthew Fishbein, there is going to be an Army ROTC dining event on Dec. 3 in the Wells Conference Center at 7:30 p.m. According to Fishbein, this event is meant to promote the ROTC program.
“If you’re interested in ROTC it’s a good way to basically pay for college and on top of it if you follow up you could have a good paying job after college with benefits,” Fishbein said.
Representative to the Feminist Collective Assocation Megan Keast reported that they will be hosting a discussion on women in climate change for Maine Recycles Week. According to reports from the Portland Press Herald, this is the first time in more than a decade that the state of Maine will be celebrating this event again. Maine Recycles Week lasts from Nov. 15-19 and residents of Maine raise public awareness towards waste recycling.
The Feminist Collective discussion is set to take place on Monday, Nov. 15, at 1:00 p.m. The location is still to be determined.
“We are going to be giving away free succulents so it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Keast said.
There were two main resolutions during this week’s senate meeting, both allocating funds to the Student Government Inc.
Vice President for Financial Affairs Frank Kelly presented the resolution to the senate. The first resolution proposed an allocation of funds for a new Sony Alpha a7 III camera to the student government.
“We are looking at purchasing a camera body and the associated equipment for the director of communications to use in their efforts to promote student government activities and other club community association and report activities on campus,” Kelly said.
Senator Delorge questioned what the intended use of the camera is.
According to Kelly, the intended use of the camera is to give the Director of Communications Hope Bifulco the ability to take pictures and document student government activities with high quality images that can be used to promote on their website and social media pages.
After a brief period of debate this resolution passed.
There was also a resolution to provide funds for four Dell Optiplex 7780 computers to the office of Student Government Kelly also spoke on this resolution.
“A lot of our computers are getting out of date and getting pretty tenable to use,” Kelly said. Part of the resolution also asks for a Dell P2720D with a dual monitor. “In my role as a VPFA a huge part of it is considering additional funding requests, comparing them to spreadsheets that have past funding information, comparing it to financial policies and then writing resolutions and that’s really difficult to do on one screen.”
Senator Elliot Weeks also spoke on this resolution.
“This monitor isn’t just for VP Kelly, it is an investment for anyone who takes this position in the future,” Weeks said.
During the period for debate many senators expressed their support for this resolution and it was ultimately passed by the senate.