New Financial Literacy Program at UMF

By Abby Shields  Contributing Writer

The Financial Literacy program is being re-established with a 5-year long plan advised by program coordinator Sarah Hinman designed to help better educate students about finances in college and prepare them for life after UMF.

   “Our mission is to increase the financial literacy of UMF students by providing them with student led informational programming regarding personal finance, student loan borrowing, default prevention, and financial aid,” said Hinman.

   Hinman was hired in April as a program coordinator and hand selected eight peer educators:  Abby Waceken, Austin French, Bailey Parenteau, Caleb Grover, Isaac michaud, Jake Leonard, McKayla Marois and Sarah Veilleux. When August arrived, Hinman and the peer educators came to campus for a week long training.

   The program started the first day of school, with the goal being for Hinman and her team to reach across the UMaine system. The educators at UMF, known as the #finlitsquad,  run the program, giving Hinman the opportunity to travel across Maine, educating other schools about financial literacy

   Sarah Veileux, a junior at UMF, is happy to be apart of the team. “I came into this program really just out of being at the right place at the right time when I met the coordinator, Sarah Hinman, at Mantor Cafe through a mutual friend,” said Veileux. “We really just connected as people, she thought I would be a great fit for the program and liked my energy for taking boring topics and making them fun and interesting, and now I’m a Financial Literacy Peer Educator.”

   All the members of the team bring something different to the table. “Every educator is expected to perform the basic duties of the program, but they also all bring their own unique personality and skill sets” said Hinman. Whether it be being really good at understanding how to save, knowing how to make the most out of outdoor rec salary, or having experience with investing and budgeting, everyone has a skill they bring to the program.

   Makayla Marois, a junior at UMF, is happy to help students in whatever way she can. “My main focus is on saving money. I chose this because of my own personal savings journey that I believe to be successful,” said Marois. “However, I am trained to help students conquer all of their financial demons, just as every peer educator in the program is.”

   “Our program does a wide array of programming: once a month we host a pizza power in The Landing where we will have pizza and discuss a financial literacy topic for an hour,” said Hinman.

   They also will host special days around FAFSA, reaching out to the local middle/high schools and community colleges and plan to work with the CAs putting on programming throughout the dorms. “We would love to work with clubs, sports teams, and faculty to present to a wide variety of student groups,” said Hinman.

   As for the years to follow if anyone would like to join there will be a hiring process that consists of an application as well as a interview.  

   Their next campus event will be a Pizza Power Hour hosted on Wednesday Oct. 17 from 11:45 a.m. to 1:00  p.m. The topic will be on “the 5 steps to making a budget in college.”

   If students have questions the best way to contact this program is by emailing the coordinator, Sarah Hinman at ( or stopping by the office in room 201 Franklin Hall.   


New Editors of the Sandy River Review Introduce their Vision

New Editors of the Sandy River Review Introduce their Vision

By Andrea Swiedom Contributing Writer

Dale Rappaneau and Emily Marquis, the two editors in charge of this year’s Sandy River Review, are on a mission to promote art and writing submissions from all UMF students for the 39th v

Dale Rappananeau and Emily Marquis are this year’s Sandy River Review Editors. (Photo courtesy of Andrea Swiedom)


   Creative Writing majors at UMF are often reminded by their professors to submit to The Sandy River, but there has been little to no outreach to promote submissions amongst the rest of the students on campus.

   The Sandy River Literary Journal was established in 1982 and is published once a year by two of UMF’s Creative Writing interns. Though the journal is overseen by Alice James Books, the interns have complete control over submissions.

   “We don’t just publish UMF work. Right now, we have submissions from Hawaii, one from the Netherlands and one from Arkansas,” said Rappaneau.

   Marquis expressed the desire for Sandy River editors to be more visible so that they can encourage all students, regardless of their major, to submit their work.  “That’s why we set up the table in the student center trying to get submissions from people who aren’t creative writing majors who still like to write,” said Marquis.

   Not only are the editors looking for a broader pool of UMF students to choose work from, but they are also hoping to see a diverse spread of genres.

   A genre the editors would like to see is one that explores the self. “We were talking about how maybe we would want to break [The Sandy River] into sections like, personal or family-wise or community-wise and break up the pieces according to that,” explained Marquis.

  Rappaneau expressed his desire to see more science-fiction and fantasy submissions. “I don’t think we could turn the magazine into strictly dystopian sci-fi all of a sudden,” said Rappaneau. He hopes his selection process for the journal will showcase genres that haven’t been represented in past anthologies.

   As long as the editors uphold The Sandy River’s tradition of showcasing contemporary writing, they have the freedom to design the journal however they want, within reason.

   The editors are also hoping to see a large variety of art mediums submitted to the journal this year.  “Previously they [former editors] would accept photography, art, mixed media. We would like to see a lot of illustrations in this anthology,” said Rappaneau.  

   Adding illustrations will help make this anthology stand out from past volumes, but so will the vision for the cover design.  The editors are holding a contest exclusively for UMF students to submit their art work for this volume’s cover.

  To make the submission process less nerve-wrecking, students can attend the Writer’s Guild, a writing club that meets on Mondays at 7 p.m. on the third floor of the Creative Writing House.   When attended regularly, the club is an ideal place to prepare pieces for submission.

   Annie Moloney, who is currently the Writing Guild President, initially had her work rejected for the The Sandy River, but she received a letter from the editor encouraging her to continue working on the piece and to re-submit it.  

   “I brought it to Guild and I had a really good workshop there,” said Moloney, “and I eventually kind of changed the format of it from a piece of flash fiction into a monologue which was my first experience writing dramatic work.” Moloney re-submitted her edited piece, “Until It Does,” and had it published in the 36th volume of the literary journal.

   The Sandy River is accepting art and writing submissions until Dec. 7 and the 39th volume will be published in May 2019.  Submission guidelines can be found online at


Navigating the Dining Hall with Food Allergies and Dietary Restrictions

Navigating the Dining Hall with Food Allergies and Dietary Restrictions

By Grace McIntosh Contributing Writer

Walk into South Dining Hall and you’ll witness busy Sodexo employees hustling around in their bright blue uniforms as they work to provide students their meals. What’s on today’s menu? For some people, the importance of this question is all too real with their food allergies or dietary restrictions.

The Simple Serving station, an allergen free station, is useful for people with dietary restrictions. (Photo by Keely McConomy)

   Doug Winslow, executive chef of South Dining Hall, clarified why these concerns won’t be a problem at UMF. “We have identifiers at every station at every meal that show whether it is gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, or if it contains allergens,” said Doug. “If there is ever a question they can ask the person working the station or come find any of the managers. The doors to the kitchen are 100% open.”

   First year student Toni Facciponti, who has been a vegetarian for two years, was afraid she wasn’t going to have healthy options to fit her needs. “I was worried I would only have salad or cheese pizza to eat,” Facciponti said.

   However, when Facciponti arrived at UMF, it was clear there would be a variety of options. “The stir fry bar is a nice area for lunch, they’ll usually have rice or noodles and will cook up veggies of your choice and sometimes tofu, ” Facciponti said. The aroma of curried vegetables can often be smelled as students enter for a meal.

   At the far end of South Dining Hall, next to the kitchen, lies an allergy-friendly food station that has become a safe haven for students. The Simple Serve station is free of the eight major allergens – peanuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soybeans, fish, shellfish, and treenuts – making it the perfect place to grab a bite worry-free of cross contamination.

   First year student Brandon Marx, a pescetarian, says the Simple Serve station is his go-to for dinner. “UMF has a good selection of vegetarian choices and there will always be at least one available each meal,” Marx reassured.

   Of course, the dining hall is not a perfect system and there is always room for improvement. One student found their experience with Sodexo quite difficult. Junior Alexis Libby has a gluten allergy that caused dining during her sophomore year to be challenging.

   “Choices were always so limited. I lived on salad,” Libby said. “Frankly, the lack of options was unacceptable and I think a greater variety of gluten-free options should be available.” Libby acknowledged that the Simple Servings option was usually her safest bet. Her advice is to advocate for yourself if you don’t feel your needs are being met.

   Regardless of people’s experience with the food, Sodexo workers have a reputation around campus for being some of the warmest and kindest people.

   “The workers have been extremely helpful and pleasant during my interactions with them,” Marx said. Facciponti also agrees with the staff-friendliness saying that they make an effort to know your name as well.

   Whether today’s menu looks good or not, the dining hall aims to make your experience pleasant from start to finish for each meal.


Farmington Outing Club Planning New Trips and Reaching Out

By Journey Bubar Contributing Writer

The Farmington Outing Club’s President Isaac Seigle and Vice President Kyle Joseph both agree that FOC is a great place to have fun with friends while enjoying the outdoors.

   “A lot of people don’t really get outside anymore,” added Joseph. “Growing up, all we were was outside, and now everyone’s got screens.”

   FOC does all kinds of activities from skiing to rock climbing to hiking. “It’s mostly just about getting people engaged in the outdoors,” explained Seigle.

   Both Seigle and Joseph are Outdoor Recreation Business Administration majors with certificates in Alpine Operations. They’re also involved with Mainely Outdoors activities, as well as regular skiers and teachers at Titcomb Mountain.   

   Seigle mentioned that people who are uncomfortable or not as familiar with the outdoors can join FOC and be surrounded by people that are. It can make the overall experience more enjoyable. “Sharing what we like to do with other people,” said Joseph.

   As a club, all of the members are friends and like to go skiing and hiking as a group outside of FOC events. “You can be like ‘Hey I’m gonna go do this thing’ and people can come with you,” said Seigle. “So I guess a lot of stuff that we do isn’t necessarily like through the University, but we use our club time together through the week to plan activities.”

   FOC likes to take at least one big trip a semester. Last year they went Nordic skiing at Maine Huts & Trails. They rented a lodge and some cabins for 40 people for a weekend trip. “That was what we spent most of our budget on,” Joseph added.

   Seigle said that this year is a building year for FOC and they are in the process of meeting with Student Senate to create a new budget. They do a lot of fundraising and bottle drives to earn most of the money for their trips.

   “A lot of us have decent connections with people in the outdoor recreation industry, so sometimes we can get a lot of discounts and stuff or make things happen for cheaper than they would if you were to buy it yourself,” Seigle explained.

   Some of FOC’s big attraction events are “Party in the Park” and ski trips. “Winter’s our busiest season,” said Seigle.  “We do a lot of stuff like every weekend.”

   “Party in the Park” is a collaboration between Titcomb mountain, a local high school ski club and FOC. The groups work together to build park rails and jumps for freestyle skiing in the spring, and provide music and food as well. “It’s a really good event, usually 70 people show up. It raised like $1000 for Titcomb,” Seigle said.

   Joseph and Seigle both said that the Poplar Falls trip they did last year was one of their favorites and they want to do it again this spring. “We have plenty of ideas for trips,” said Joseph. FOC also tries to do other types of activities like white water rafting, biking, and boating.

   “We need people to show up, that’s what gets the club going,” said Joseph. “If you have a good experience with us, share it. Spread the name, spread the word.”

   “Spread the vibe,” Seigle added. “Peace, love, positivity,” Joseph concluded.

Aspiring Educators Host Events for the Farmington Community

By Sara Pinette Contributing Writer

The Aspiring Educators of Maine Club give hands-on experience and professional connections to pre-service teachers at UMF.

   The club welcomes early childhood, elementary, secondary and special education majors to attend their weekly meetings and occasional events that give students inspiration and a chance to learn more about their profession.

   “We’re really big on the idea of giving perspective and inspiring teachers,” says President of the club Bryan Eldridge. “Giving hands-on experience to understand what the profession might look like and feel like through different conferences, activities on campus, and tangible advice in our meetings.”

   An event that was popular last year, according to Vice President Carson Hope is “Tales from the Classroom”. It was such a success that the club decided to host the event again this year.

   “Tales from the Classroom” will take place on November 1st and have a panel of new and experienced teachers talking about the realistic and sometimes amusing aspects of being an educator. “[It’s purpose] is to give advice to pre-service teachers,” Hope said.

  The club also hopes to get more involved with the town of Farmington, instead of just the campus. They are partnered with local businesses and schools to do food drives a few times a year.

   They already have plans set in motion to start a mentoring program with the Mt. Blue school district, where club members would tutor middle and high schoolers. Another idea they plan to initiate is a “Parent Night Out”. Hope describes the idea as “kids from the community would come and we would provide free childcare for the night.”

   The Aspiring Educators Club is also involved in professional development opportunities outside of the local community. Anyone who is willing to sign up for a student Maine Education Associate (MEA) membership, which costs $28, will be able to go to a fall and spring conference which the majority of the association attends. “Typically we have about 20 and 30 UMF students who go,” said Hope.

   These conferences offer many sessions, put on by various educators, about professional development and how to be a better teacher. There will be educators from all over the state gathering at the Fall Conference on October 19-20th to make connections and learn about new developments in the profession. Since the MEA is a full supporter of the Aspiring Educators Club, most of their members will be attending.

   On October 18th, the club is hosting the President of the Maine Education Association, Lois Kilby-Chesley at their weekly meeting. She is coming to meet with the group to talk to about the profession and gain insight into how the UMF Aspiring Educators club operates.

    Anyone interested in joining the club or just attending a meeting is more than welcome. “It’s really open to anyone who wants to come,” said Eldridge. The club meets every Tuesday night at 8:30 in the Ed Center.

   Students can contact the club through their Facebook page or contact the President at if they have any questions about the club or the education profession in general.