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GSS members seated at 11/14 meeting. Photo by Erika Hipsky

UMSG urges campus to fly the Penobscot Nation flag indefinitely

On Nov. 14, the University of Maine Student Government, Inc. (UMSG) met for their weekly meeting in the Bangor Room of the Memorial Union. The lengthy agenda consisted of clubs seeking final recognition, funding appropriations and other discussions, including one surrounding the flag of the Penobscot Nation. New business was discussed about many acts to allocate funds.

Club Maintenance:

The UMaine chapter of the Hidden Opponent organization sought final recognition from UMSG. The club’s main focus is mental health matters surrounding sports. The club was granted preliminary recognition seven weeks ago, and it has gone well. 

“The club was proactive in getting paperwork in on time and working well with UMSG during the preliminary process,” reported Vice President of Student Organization Julian Ober. 

Funding for the club’s large events will come from national organizations, and funding for smaller events, such as meetings, will come from UMSG. The vote to grant the club final recognition passed unanimously.

Orono Contra Dancing Club also sought final recognition. The club reported that the two dances it had held during the preliminary period had gone well. The club needed funding for the band from UMSG. Dances are held in the Keith Anderson Community House in Orono. The dances are held from 8-10 p.m. Refreshers are for current members, and practices are for new members from 7:30 p.m. until showtime. This vote for final recognition also passed unanimously.

Tripp and Delorge speaking at head of table. Photo by Erika Hipsky

Guest Speaker:

The guest speaker, Sen. Mike Tipping, discussed his role in the legislature, where he serves on the Labor Housing Committee and Government Oversight Committee. Tipping first entered politics as an advocate for student issues and emphasized to students his role as a resource for them in government.  Sen. Tipping suggested that students considering a career in public service should be “very public and make sure you’re reaching out and being a part of the conversation.”

New Business:

An act to allocate funds for the Tennis Club was discussed. The funds would pay to lease indoor courts to allow the club to practice during the winter. The club currently has 87 active members. Practices are held at ATC in Hampden, Maine. The club provides players with carpooling services, and all gas money is refunded to the players. The vote passed unanimously.

Two acts to allocate funds for Men’s Club Rugby were also discussed. UMSG would be of help in covering the funds for hotel rooms, rental vans, and flights. The first set of funds would be for regionals. The second set of funds will go towards nationals if they win regionals. All funds allocated for the nationals will be returned if they do not win at regionals. The vote passed unanimously.

An act to allocate funds to the marketing and public relations committee within UMSG, Inc. was brought to the attention. More funds were required to advertise over the remaining months of the school year, including those that would pay for printing costs, merchandise and flyers, among other purposes. The vote passed unanimously.

An act to allocate funds for the Student Heritage Alliance Council (SHAC) was considered. This club is a multicultural and multi-faith advisory board. SHAC hopes to organize large-scale collaboration events and create a larger platform for members to make a voice for themselves. The first event of the reformed SHAC was the Family and Friends Feast on Nov. 16, which featured a diverse array of multicultural foods from local vendors.  

Three GSS members at a recent meeting. Photo by Erika Hipsky

UMSG previously passed funding for the food for that event as well as funding for the position of SHAC representative. This position also fulfills the role of president on the club’s side, although it has not been filled in recent years. The vote passed unanimously.

At the beginning of the year, UMaine sent out improper instructions for using the printing services. UMSG is urging the school to distribute better information regarding the usage of PaperCut printing.

An act to urge the University of Maine to fly the Penobscot Nation flag has been implemented. The Penobscot Nation’s flag is only flown one day of the whole year on campus. As UMaine’s campus is located on indigenous grounds, the students believed it necessary for the school to fly this flag as a permanent fixture. The students also expressed that National Native American Heritage Month is the whole month of November, as opposed to its current status as a single day.

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