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The General Student Senate discusses events for Halloween weekend and recognizes new club

On Tuesday, Oct. 26, the General Student Senate held their weekly meeting in the Bangor Room of the Memorial Union where they discussed upcoming events that clubs and committees had prepared for Halloween weekend. 

With Halloween only a few days after the meeting, the senate chose to participate by ditching their formal attire and wore Halloween costumes this week. 

“Shout out to everyone who dressed up, you guys look great,” Vice President for Student Leadership of GSS, Alyssa Ciasullo, said. 

Due to the absence of President Zachary Wyles, Vice President Elizabeth Davis held his position on the executive board. Senator Delorge served in her place as the pro tempore, the temporary presiding officer of the meeting. 

The meeting opened with a representative of the Pokémon Club seeking final recognition from the senate. 

The Vice President of the Pokémon Club, Amanda Dodge, spoke on behalf of the club. 

“We want to bring together everyone who wants to do anything and all things Pokémon, and support them and teach them new things about Pokémon,” Dodge said. 

According to Dodge, the club currently has 100 members. They partake in activities such as  Pokémon Go and are branching out into other Nintendo activities.  

Their final recognition was approved by the senate and the Pokémon Club is now recognized as an official university club. 

During the executive reports of Tuesday’s meeting, Vice President Davis gave updates on textbook requirements for the student body. She met with the faculty senate academic affairs committee chair in which they discussed guidelines for texts that professors require. 

“The current policy is that if professors want to assign texts… they have to appear before a panel of colleagues, who then determine if the text is necessary,” Davis said. 

According to Davis, there is an avenue for students to report abuse of this policy if they feel that professors are requiring unnecessary texts that are not being utilized in the class. 

“The committee chair suggested that our role in this be spreading awareness/promoting the avenue for students to report abuse of this policy, which when brainstorming we had thought about putting something up in the bookstore or maybe on Instagram,” Davis said. 

Frank Kelly, the vice president for financial affairs of GSS, revealed during his executive report that the University of Maine Sophomore Eagles requested funding for their haunted trails event as hosted in the Union this weekend. 

This is one of many events that was hosted this upcoming weekend for Halloween.

The Board of Commuter and Non-Traditional Students hosted a pumpkin painting contest on Friday from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. in the commuter lounge, according to the head of the representative board Samuel Ransley. 

The Honors College Student Advisory Board also hosted a pumpkin painting event this weekend. 

“This Friday we have our pumpkin painting and our pajama party events which we are really excited to do for Halloween,” Dominique DiSpirito said, the head of the Honors College Student Advisory Board. 

The board is also looking for people to sign up for the It’s Personal campaign. 

“If you’re not familiar with the It’s Personal campaign, it’s a competition where you bring in personal care products for the Black Bear Exchange,” DiSpirito said. 

According to DiSpirito, 19 teams were signed up for the campaign last year, and there are currently two teams signed up for this year’s campaign. The deadline to sign up was Friday, Oct. 29.

A representative from the Alpine Race Team was also present during the meeting. The team was seeking $4,000 for their upcoming race season. 

“We compete against eight schools all over Maine and every weekend from when we get from winter break we head to the mountains and start competing,” President of the Alpine Race Team, Tyler Reinke, said. “The team usually makes regionals and for nationals we send a couple people.” 

According to Reinke, the club typically has around 16-20 people, and during the club fair this year they received 60 signatures from interested students.  

“We are having our first meeting this Thursday just to get some information out to see who wants to join. We will have our second meeting a few weeks after that and then we will get our final number,” Reinke said.  

Their request for funding was approved by the senate. 

There was also an act to allocate funds to Wilde Stein for their annual budget. 

Kelly spoke on behalf of Wilde Stein.

“Wilde Stein is the Queer Straight Alliance on campus, they are one of our rep boards and we always fund their annual budgets,” Kelly said. “Everything pretty much falls into our financial policies and is less than they have requested in the past so there’s precedent to fund more than this.” 

After a majority vote the motion was passed to allocate $2,150 to Wilde Stein. 

The meeting concluded with nominations for the Student Organizations Committee. 

“This is a really important committee that the student government needs to properly function,” Senator Delorge said. 

In the previous senate meeting, Senator McConville was elected to this position but according to Vice President Davis, Senator McConville was unable to accept the position due to scheduling conflicts. 

Further nominations and elections will take place during next week’s meeting. 

Toward the final minutes of the meeting, Kelly highlighted that the UMaine Rugby team has made playoffs and are the number one seed in their division. He encourages students to come to their first-round playoff game Sunday at noon on Lengyl Field. 

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