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GSS members seated around long table.

UMSG policies undergo four fundamental revisions

The University of Maine Student Government (UMSG) convened on April 16 to discuss administrative plans for the 2024-25 academic year, end-of-semester programs and senate-wide guideline alterations. 

Club Maintenance:

Sports Management Club was granted preliminary recognition by the senate. Sport Management was introduced as a new major within the Maine Business School in 2021. The club’s mission is to provide opportunities for professional development and increase outreach by next year. There are currently 12 members and approximately 150 students in the major. Objectives of organization include networking with alumni mentors and creating job pathways to ensure a meaningful experience in the program. 

Executive Reports:

Student Body President Michael Delorge announced that the hiring for fall 2025 is complete. 

Vice President Tripp provided an update on the UMSG Spring Survey and the potential for students to win a prize by participating. 

“I used $150 of my executive fund to buy one $100 and two $25 gift cards to the bookstore as an incentive to take the survey, which President Delorge and I are preparing,” said Tripp. We will be releasing that as soon as possible.” 

Tripp and Board of Trustees (BoT) Representative Olivia Britton will meet with administration to discuss an open town hall initiative for students to express concerns and hear from UMaine System (UMS) leaders directly. 

Tripp is also meeting with UMaine Alumni Thomas Peaco to learn about his role in the Alumni Association. The final senate meeting of the academic year will take place on April 23. Delorge will serve as the guest speaker and deliver a farewell address. 

Paige Allen, vice president for financial affairs, is organizing a student roundtable with Chief Financial Officer Kelly Sparks to increase UMS and UMSG budget clarity. The current UMSG budget projected unallocated stands at $99,526.

Vice President for Student Entertainment Myles Moore announced that there are four official food trucks scheduled for Maine Day of Service on April 24, including Yum Bus, Falafel Mafia, Wild Cow Creamery and Red Barn. The number of meals increased from 600 to 850. Meals are free to students and will be available from 2 to 5 p.m. or while supplies last.

Periodic Reports:

Britton shared that the undergraduate student appointed to the BoT will not be inducted in July because their membership was not approved by the Maine Governor’s office. She brought up the issue at the Senior Administration meeting on April 17. The BoT bylaws state that student representatives may participate in meetings in addition to ASA.

Services Committee Chair Beau Michaud met with Auxiliary Services on April 16 and touched on equitable access. There will be a pop-up on MaineStreet and students will receive mail over the summer with information about the program and how to opt out. Professors are encouraged to open courses early.

Michaud also shared that cable programming will be phased out of dorms and replaced with streaming services. Hancock will have 16 single-use bathrooms. Parking Services seeks to collaborate with the University of Maine Police Department for free car checks and modernized parking passes to improve its relationship with the student body. The Department of Residence Life announced that all on-campus students can receive free red parking passes next semester. Cutler Health will remain open throughout the summer break. 

Meredyth Waters, academic affairs committee chair, met with Associate Provost on April 17 to discuss primary student issues, such as online major and minor change. She hopes to find the point of contact for degree progress report updates. Waters is also going to inquire about what the administration is proud of and bring the response to Senate next week. 

Senior Class Council Representative Nathalie Poulin announced the event lineup for UMaine graduates. April 22 will be a movie day at Black Bear Cinemas, with the option to watch Shrek Two or Ghostbusters at 7 p.m. There will be a cap decorating event in the Walker Room on April 23 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. On April 24, Orono Brewing Company is hosting a cornhole tournament at 5 p.m. A $5 donation to participate is encouraged but not required. On April 25, there will be an arcade night from 4 to 9 p.m. and a bar crawl at 7 p.m. starting at Margaritas. Lastly, a “jumping into graduation” event will be held at the Orono trampoline park from 2 to 4 p.m. on April 26. 

New Business:

An act to revise the Financial Policies regarding pay-to-play passed with a two-thirds majority. Allen explained the club facility-use fees that occur due to the inherent nature of certain sports or need for external facilities off campus. Six out of 33 clubs are affected by the process and often request funding outside of the tier system to cover the costs. Figure Skating, Men’s Hockey and Tennis were approved for funding. Other groups that are included are Alpine Ski, Women’s hockey and Pickleball. Allen devised a policy allowing UMSG to cover up to 75% of each club’s financial need with written approval from Campus Recreation. 

An act to revise the Student Organization Recognition Policies was passed with a two-thirds majority. Vice President for Student Organizations Julian Ober presented a change to the guidelines which allow new clubs to receive preliminary recognition with five active members as opposed to 10. This would allow those groups to engage in the process sooner upon forming and be advertised in the UMSG newsletter. A total of 10 members is still needed for final recognition and to request funds. 

An act to revise the Fair Election Practices Commission Guidelines was passed with a two-thirds majority to ensure students can access election results prior to Spring Break. The scheduling of the executive election must conclude no later than seven days before spring break, thus pushing the election period forward by one week.

An act to revise the financial policies to compensate members for summer and legal hours worked throughout school breaks was passed with a two-thirds majority. The VPFA or president may receive payment over the summer should an emergency audit arise.

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