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GSS members seated around long table.

General Student Senate raises the possibility of inclusive and equitable accesses

On Feb. 6, three University of Maine organizations addressed the senate to speak on how GSS-granted funds were used, solutions to club storage issues are in the works, and equitable access is being established alongside the inclusive access resolution. 

Club Presentations:

Black Bear Catholic addressed the senate to present a slideshow about their experience at the  SEEK National Catholic Youth Conference. The club was able to bring 14 students to St. Louis, Missouri, from Jan. 1 to 5 and expressed gratitude for monetary support from UMSG. 

Mountain Bike Club had previously requested financial support for weekend trips and van trailer rentals. They competed at Sugarloaf in Maine and Thunder Mountain in Massachusetts. The club representatives thanked UMSG for allocating funds and said they made the Top 15 in Nationals.

Men’s Rugby took a trip to the NCR Division II East Regional Tournament in Reading, Pennsylvania, from Nov. 15 to 19. They used the $5,750 provided by UMSG to cover lodging and transportation. The group wants to increase financials independently from various fundraisers, campaigns, and alumni donations. 

Executive Reports:

Student Body President Michael Delorge announced that Senator Cynthia Shelmerdine, Fair Election Practices Commission Chairman Camden Olson, Representative Olivia Britton, and himself will be meeting with the CFO and Dean Dana to discuss plans of renovating Estabrooke Hall from a dormitory into offices. Sodexo administration has also reached out and is seeking students’ opinions. Delorge also issued a special thanks to those who helped plan the concert on Feb. 2.

Student Body Vice President Keegan Tripp said he has followed up with Dean Dana regarding the Penobscot Flag Resolution. Tripp and Senator Beau Michaud met with Dean Graham, Director of Retail Operations, and Richard Young, Executive Director of Auxiliary Enterprises, about inclusive access.

“I also have a meeting with VPFA Allen and VPSO Ober on Friday regarding club storage. We are getting this project going… It’s going to be a long-term one, but I think it’s important. So, I am excited to have some updates for you next week,” said Tripp.

Vice President for Financial Affairs Paige Allen met with the cheerleading captain. They intend to talk with Athletics about allocating funds for the club from their department. That meeting will likely be scheduled for next Thursday. Allen also provided an update regarding the UMSG budget, 

“Projected and allocated, we have $62,840.90. The second activity fee for the spring semester will be coming in next week, with two returns to unallocated. One from Men’s Rugby for their Nationals and one from the Athletic Training Student Association from a conference that they went on,” said Allen.

Vice President for Student Organizations Julian Ober also spoke briefly about finding space on campus for club equipment. Similarly, she has access to all of the previous club items and is looking to return them to any revitalized clubs needing them.

Ober also announced the Club of the Week: Chase Your Pace. Though it is not yet recognized, she highlighted this group because it requires new members. This club was created for those interested in running with others at their own speed rather than competitively. 

The Vice President for Student Entertainment shared that 690 people went to Sammy Rae and the Friends, and 419 attendees were UMaine students. He also purchased movie tickets for Free Movie Wednesday at Black Bear Cinemas for the rest of the year. 

Vice President for Student Leadership Jacob Chaplin reported that a syllabus bank meeting with Fogler Library will take place on Feb. 7.

Periodic Reports:

The Board of Trustees (BoT) Student Representative took notes at the Jan. 29 BoT meeting, which can be accessed through the UMSG web page under Resources

Olson will be meeting with candidates to explain the rules. He is searching for a location to hold the debate that is not the North Pod of the Union, since it is famously noisy. Election week commences on March 4. 

Chase Empsall will be sending out a survey regarding security concerns on campus.

Senator Michaud mentioned the possibility of a new bookstore initiative titled “Equitable Access,” wherein students have the opportunity to pay a $230 flat fee per semester for all of their books, as opposed to purchasing each one individually. Workshops will be held to gauge student input about the program. Some majors do not spend over $200 per semester, and those students can opt-out.

Lambda Chi Alpha and Phi Kappa Phi have recently been placed on suspension, meaning the two fraternities are not recognized by UMaine for the time being. 

The Student Heritage Alliance Committee will hold its second meeting tomorrow from 4-5 p.m. for an overview of the yearly budget and to discuss the formation of a cabinet committee. A president, vice president, treasurer, and faculty advisor will be appointed soon. 

Concert for a Cause donations raised $130 in addition to food and clothing donations. Wilde Stein will be hosting a Queer Trivia event at 4 p.m. on Feb 9 in the Multicultural Student Center (room 312).

An International Dance Festival is taking place on Feb. 24. Entry is free, and 20 performers from across all continents (besides Antarctica) will be welcomed.

New Business:

An act was passed to allocate $2,458.40 to the Maine Animal Club for their NESA Conference. $320 will be paid toward registration and $2,138.47 to cover hotel fees in Amherst, Massachusetts, from Feb. 24 to 25. 

An act to allocate $1,445 to the Society of Women Engineers for a conference in Baltimore, Maryland, was also passed. Of that sum, $575 will cover hotels, $750 will cover flights, and $120 will cover transportation. 


President Pro-tempore: Kyle Ricker, Senator

EBC: Shawn Jernigan, Senator

Mental Health Chair: Emery Clifford, Representative

Tripp announced his nomination in the upcoming presidential election.

“I am beyond excited to announce my candidacy for Student Body President. I am confident in my ticket, my campaign and am eager to earn the students’ vote this election season,” said Tripp. “Thank you, and best of luck to all of the candidates!” 


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