Leaders of the General Student Senate convened on Jan. 23 for the first in-person meeting of the spring 2024 semester. Members provided information regarding the upcoming Board of Trustees meeting, seat nominations and various committee initiatives.
The Board of Trustees will be accepting two student representatives. Student Body President Michael Delorge is in the process of interviewing candidates to be appointed by the Senate. Once the prospective students are chosen, their names will be submitted to the board for review. From there, the governor’s office will need to give their approval.
Currently, Andrew Bement is the main nominee for the undergraduate position, and Nancy Flagg for the graduate position. They are in the final stages of being confirmed. The next Board of Trustees meeting will be held on campus on Jan. 29 at 8 a.m. in room 2 of the Wells Conference Center.
Delorge also informed the senate that a welcome letter can now be accessed via the newly revised UMSG website.
Vice President Keegan Tripp announced that the UMSG handbook is officially complete. He also mentioned that the adoption resolution for inclusive access is currently underway. The Penobscot Flag resolution is still in the process of being enacted.
“I am working on lining up some more guest speakers this semester. So far, I have a few. Mainly, Kelly Sparks, the CFO, who will be coming in to talk about the university’s budget,” said Tripp. “As well as Jeffry Mills, the UMaine foundation president and CEO, as well as former UMSG President.”
Vice President for Student Organizations Julian Ober seeks four senators to be nominated to the Student Organization Committee. She also shared that the Club Handbook is nearly finalized and will be printed on Jan. 26. The purpose is to detail processes and clear confusion. Similarly, a binder for representatives and committee associations is being established.
Myles Moore, the Vice President for Student Entertainment, announced that there will be a concert event on Jan. 26 and that tickets can be purchased via QR code or box office. He will also be tabling on Jan. 25 from 10 a.m. to noon. Also, 500 tickets have been ordered from Black Bear Cinemas for Free Movie Wednesday. Last week, 330 people were in attendance.
Advisor to Student Government Lauri Sidelko drew attention to a change of the local election date to March by the Orono Town Council. Since it is being held during UMaine’s spring break, many residents may be unable to participate. The decision contributes to the disenfranchisement of the university student body. She also emphasized the importance of guiding new students in the right direction.
“I have seen a lot of students in the past week that just need some help with knowing where to go, or what to do if they’re a transfer student. They don’t know the routine around here. As student leaders, if you see someone who looks like they might be confused, ask if you can help. That’s what we do as Black Bears,” Sidelko said.
Reports of Special Committees:
Food and Dining Affairs Committee Chair Nate Feng pointed out that Hilltop Dining has returned to self-serve meals besides the burger bar. Per request, signs now indicate students look at food options using the screen above each serving area.
Feng will be addressing concerns about the sandwich bar removal, portion sizes at York Dining, and incorrect nutritional information being displayed on menus at his next bi-weekly meeting with the Sodexo heads.
The Senate passed an act to modify the Fair Election Practices Commission guidelines.
An act to adopt the UMSG election timetable for 2024 was also passed. It calls for nomination form availability on Jan. 24 and for the campaign period to begin on Jan. 31. On Feb. 26, a formal debate will be held between candidates. Election week will occur from March 4 to 8. The winners will be announced on the final day of this election week. Lastly, the inauguration will take place in mid-April.
Lastly, the Senate passed an act to adopt the UMSG student organization handbook for distribution to student clubs and organizations. It will be given to club leads throughout the preliminary recognition process. The handbook is also available online and at the UMSG office in the Memorial Union.