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UMaine dormitories are expected to undergo extensive structural alterations

The General Student Senate (GSS) convened on Feb. 20 to discuss upcoming events and campus concerns. Tom Paeco attended to represent the Alumni Association, the Student Speaker Showcase is coming up in March and nominations for two positions were announced. 

Club maintenance: 

Jewish Voices for Peace addressed the senate seeking preliminary recognition. The motion passed. UMaine French Club was reactivated.

Guest Speaker: 

President and CEO of the University of Maine Alumni Association Tom Paeco was welcomed by the senate as the first guest speaker of 2024. Paeco graduated from the university in 1988. He shared that there are currently 110,000 alumni living across the world. Half of them still reside in Maine. Massachusetts is the second most alumni-populated state, and Florida is close behind with about 4000 people who once studied at UMaine. 

The Buchanan Alumni House on campus has a staff of nine people. The Alumni Association is a nonprofit organization separate from the UMaine System, making it one of 30 alumni organizations across the US unaffiliated with its institution. The association operates with an annual sum of $1.1 million. 

GSS members turned toward the speaker

“We want you to know that we’re here. You may or may not realize it now, but you’re going to miss this place when you leave. So, it’s our job to keep reminding you about why you love it here,” said Paeco. “We look forward to keeping in touch with you now as students and as you go off into the world after you leave.”

Executive Reports:

Student Body President Michael Delorge spoke of making extensive revisions to each of the 10 executive job descriptions. Part of the process is to meet with all team members and modernize the summaries line by line for complete clarity. 

Delorge spoke with Advisor Lauri Sidelko and Coordinator for Student Involvement Brendan Trechel to convey UMSG’s intention to renew the eSports gaming arena contract. A survey will be sent out to gauge student interest and desire for the future of that space. 

Vice President Keegan Tripp was unable to attend GSS. Tripp’s report was read aloud by Kyle Ricker, who led the meeting in his absence. The Senate will welcome the second guest speaker of the semester on Feb. 27.

“Next week, CFO Kelly Sparks will be attending the senate meeting! Get excited to talk about the University budget and such,” wrote Tripp. 

Tripp also assured the senate that a club storage survey will be sent out by the end of this week to scale exactly how many groups need equipment space on campus.

Vice President for Student Organizations Julian Ober announced the club of the week: Woodsman Team. The group is co-ed and travels to competitions throughout the Northeast and Canada. Some events include crosscut, underhand chop, fire build and standing block.

Myles Moore, vice president for student entertainment, shared that a student-made short film festival will be held in the IMRC on March 28. Furthermore, the second show of the Maine event series is in the works and will take place during Spirit Week (April 22 to 26). 

Vice President for Student Leadership Jacob Chaplin notified the senate that there would be a Student Speaker Showcase on March 21. Individuals and groups are encouraged to sign up and present on a topic that they are passionate about. For example, participants may educate the audience about research projects, athletic organizations, clubs, etc. Those who wish to be considered must apply no later than March 1.

Chaplin is drafting a policy for the syllabus bank repository initiative. Also, he will be tabling at the Memorial Union on Feb. 23 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Periodic Reports:

Camden Olson, fair election practices commission chairman, reiterated that the student body vice presidential debate will be held on Feb. 26 at 101 Neville Hall, starting at 5 p.m. Funds from EBC may be transferred toward advertising the spring inauguration. Dean Dana will speak at the ceremony toward the end of the semester.  

Services Committee Chairman Beau Michaud mentioned that Wells Commons is being transformed into a retail hub, and its construction should be finished by summertime. Students cannot use meal swipes to make purchases at Wells. 

Hancock Hall, which is being converted to compensate for the housing removal at Estabrooke Hall, will have 16 single-use bathrooms and rooms similar to Estabrooke’s. 

Next fall, the UMaine System will conduct a housing study to map out the next few years. The purpose is to assess the state of each housing building to compare national trends with what students seek in a dormitory. Gannett, Cumberland and Somerset Halls will be renovated this summer as well.

Amanda Levesque, honors college student activities board representative, emphasized that the Maine Day meal packout raffle received over $600 worth of donated funds, much of which was courtesy of Dean Robert Dana. The Honors College surpassed its goal of being able to pack 50,000 meals. A ticket is one dollar, which is used to make three meals. 

Student Heritage Alliance Council (SHAC) Representative Jon Guzman shared that SHAC voted to induct the South Asian Association of Maine into its organization. They also voted to pass a letter in support of the Wilson Center’s proposal for a kitchen, signed off by Office of Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator Taylor Ashley and Guzman. SHAC is also advocating for Kosher and Halal dietary options on campus. 

New Business:

A resolution to amend the job descriptions of all 10 executive members was passed.


UMaine Security Representative: Sam Brown, Tim Burgartz, Cali Warren

Winner: Cali Warren

Executive Budgetary Committee: Memphis Peterson, Jordan Thompson, Tim Burgartz 

Winner: Jordan Thompson

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