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Senators take on leadership roles for the spring 2024 semester

The General Student Senate (GSS) was called to order on Jan. 30. New and returning members filled 20 positions. Three clubs were granted preliminary recognition, executives provided updates and senator votes were cast for the internal UMaine Student Government Election. 

Club Maintenance:

Pickleball Club addressed the Senate seeking final recognition. The organization has maintained a 15-student attendance average per practice, held twice weekly. It is an official club sport, working toward tier four. The motion passed.

The Student Portfolio Investment Fund was also seeking final recognition. It was established by the UMaine Foundation in 1993 and has 70 current members. The motion passed.

Health Professions was the third club seeking final recognition. They have 150 members on the email list and 15-30 people in attendance per meeting. The motion passed.

Executive Reports:

Student Body President Michael Delorge mentioned that the Maine Event Series will kick off on Feb. 2, with a performance by Sammy Rae and The Friends. The concert will be held at the Collins Center for the Arts (CCA). Tickets are free to undergraduate students, courtesy of the UMSG Entertainment Division and available at the CCA Box Office. 

Delorge was nominated to serve on the mental health task force. 

“This task force will be able to accomplish student primary goals of identifying mental health challenges on campus by students, faculty and staff. Also creating a framework to address these challenges and give recognition to members of the administration,” said Delorge. 

Delorge met with Vice President for Financial Affairs Paige Allen, Vice President for Student Entertainment Myles Moore and Attorney Sean O’Mara to discuss the Esports arena in room 131 of the Memorial Union. GSS began funding space in March 2021. The financial agreement expires on March 2. 

Student Government has the option to resign and continue maintaining the equipment, relinquish those obligations or resign and modify the agreement. There will also be discourse about hosting events and creating a survey for frequent users to gauge what else is desired from the space. 

Student Body Vice President Keegan Tripp reported that he is working alongside Advisor Lauri Sidelko to solve the club storage crisis on campus. Addressing the issue will be pursued with the help of Allen and Julian Ober, vice president of student organizations.

“I am meeting with Senator Michaud and the bookstore executives on Thursday to finally follow up on the inclusive access resolution,” said Tripp. “Next week, I will be able to give more of an update on that.”

Tripp also shared that he is continuing to work on locking down guest speakers and intends to begin the series next week. 

Allen noted that Sean O’Mara’s contract with UMSG is almost up. There will be a preliminary conversation to approve his new agreement. An initiative to allocate funds as needed for those who cannot pay club sports dues was also touched upon. 

Ober has chosen to reinstate Club of the Week, the first of this semester being Dungeons and Dragons. It is currently the biggest club on campus. They are a welcoming and inclusive community with a supportive environment for new and seasoned players.

Vice President for Student Leadership Jacob Chaplin has an upcoming meeting with Allen and the head of IT at Fogler Library to discuss the logistics of implementing a syllabus repository. From March to November, Chaplin and Ober will meet with the Orono Town Council to advocate for an election-day change.

Members seated around long table. Photograph by Madox Malaquias

New Business:

An act to allocate $ 6,800 to Cheerleading was brought to the senate. $3800 would be put toward hotel fees and $3000 for NCA Collegiate Nationals admission. 19 athletes will compete from April 9 to 14 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Those funds were granted. 

Election Results: 

Faculty Senate Student Representative: Kate Kemper

Kemper’s role is to serve as representative of the Undergraduate Student Body and UMSG to the Faculty Senate by attending their public meetings (may debate on behalf of students).

Legal Services: Senator Neil Rockey

Rockey is responsible for providing regular (bi-weekly or monthly) updates on Sean O’Mara’s usage and helping to advertise his services.

Representative to the Graduate Student Senate: Meredyth Waters

This position connects our Undergraduate Student Government to the Graduate Student Government, specifically their Senate.

Orono Town and Old Town City Council Liaison: Darrin Martone

These roles act as a conduit for student voices to town officials. Martone will attend both monthly meetings and report back to the general Senate on any issues that may be relevant to the student body.

Representative to the Military and Veterans Student Affairs: Cynthia Shelmerdine

Shelmerdine is responsible for being a bridge between UMSG and the ROTC/Veterans affairs services on campus. 

Security representative: Chase Empsall

Through this position, Senators can attend bi-monthly meetings in which security funding on campus is discussed and allocated, providing a student voice during these discussions. 

Center for Undergraduate Research: Joshua Bohm

This position serves as the bridge between UMSG and the Center for Undergraduate Research.

Membership Chair: Nate Feng

Feng is responsible for the weekly catering at our Senate meetings, the “Senate Retreat and working with VPSL to ensure the senate binders are up to date and have all needed information

Policy and Procedure: Memphis Peterson 

This position and committee is responsible for all matters of policy and procedure within UMSG including reviewing and revising Senate resolutions, changing or improving our existing governing documents, and creating and structuring new Senate positions. 

Political Activism: Hayden Buzzell

This position and committee is responsible for educating students on relevant, non-partisan political issues and the promotion of political involvement among UMaine undergraduate students. 

Services: Beau Michaud

Michaud will act as a bridge between UMSG and the various services on campus.

Academic Affairs: Meredyth Waters 

This committee was established to liaison between students and administrators about academic issues that students are facing.

Undergraduate Student Symposium: Joshua Bohm 

Bohm will work to ensure student voices are heard in the planning of the Undergraduate Student Research Symposium.

Food and Dining: Nate Feng

Feng’s role is to raise student issues regarding food and dining on campus,as well as work with the dining halls and Sodexo to improve service.

Student Organizations Committee: Ethan Crawford, Elizabeth Oldfield, Cynthia Shelmerdine and Jordan Thompson 

Executive Budgetary Committee: Joshua Baum, Chase Empsall, Tristan Friend and Kate Kemper


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