Save Our Planet, One Campus at a Time

Save Our Planet, One Campus at a Time

By Wylie Post, Contributing Writer.

October is Campus Sustainability Month, and UMF is making sure to do its part through educating and creating opportunities for students and staff to get involved.

Many students at UMF and across the country are aware of climate change and global warming. However, the difference between these two commonly gets confused.

“‘Global warming refers to observed increases in average surface temperatures on Earth” while climate change “refers to changing patterns or trends in “long-term weather,” says Mark Pires, UMF’s sustainable campus coordinator.

In the most recent climate report from the UN, the panel discussed the harmful impacts the earth will take sooner in the future rather than later. The increase in carbon dioxide, mainly fossil fuels, has created higher temperatures in the atmosphere, which is now called ‘global warming’.

Image from United Nations

The UN believes that within the next 30 years, the environment and climate will continue to get worse if nothing is done.

The world has faced many catastrophic disasters. Flash floods, heatwaves, forest fires, and even historic droughts have occurred within the past ten years. Many of these disasters are due to the fact that the people who roam the Earth and call it their home are not taking care of it.

In 2019, students at UMF gathered on Mantor Green to increase awareness of climate change. The students were able to gather over 200 signatures on a petition to help the battle.

Local stores like The Outskirts, Touch of Class, and the Farmington Thrift Shop are all located downtown in Farmington and provide ways for students to shop green.

“Manufacturing new clothes creates a crazy carbon and water footprint,” says  Aiden Saulnier, co-student leader of SCC in 2019.

Throughout the country, civilians have discussed their beliefs on global warming and whether it is accurate or not. Most famously coming from the former President, Donald J. Trump, in a tweet, “I don’t think it’s a hoax, I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s manmade,” when discussing climate change. However, campuses worldwide have discovered new ways to be environmentally conscious with climate change activism clubs and even more. At UMF, the Sustainable Campus Coalition gathers students to discuss climate change, global warming, and how students can adjust their daily routines to create a more sustainable place to live.

Worldwide, climate change has been a huge discussion. It is the student’s duty on campus to be aware of these environmental issues and how to deal with them.

“I think that students should take notice of the information they hear about climate change, think carefully and critically about what is being said and who is saying it, and arrive at their own conclusions as to how best to interpret and understand what is happening on the planet at the moment,” Pires said.

After discussing the climate report from the United Nations and the historical changes on our planet within the past ten years, it is well noted that something needs to change. If not, this Earth is destined for darkness. The people are the only ones who can help stop global warming and live healthier.

Make sure to stop by the Ed. Center in room 113 on Fridays during Common Time at the Sustainable Campus Coalition.

“UMF students can keep an eye out for announcements coming out soon around campus and on social media about a series of events being planned by the Sustainable Campus Coalition to acknowledge Campus Sustainability Month during October,” Pires said.

There are several ways students can practice sustainability on campus. “A major thing would be for students to purchase reusable water bottles and bags, as many students already do,” student Kayleigh Brisard said.  Students can also find recycling bins around campus in each building.

Paper adds up quickly, so another way to spread awareness for climate change and to practice sustainability is to go paperless! Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and Pages are all free and easily accessible resources for students to take notes on their laptops and reduce the amount of paper being used. Reusable to-go containers are also available at UMF!

UMF also has a community garden for students to use! Gardening is a simple and fun way to get involved with cleaning up the earth and making good use of the environment.

Cleaning up on campus is extremely important and a great way to practice sustainable living in order to reduce global warming and climate change. Remember the golden rule… reduce, reuse, and recycle.

UMF Introduces Wellness Weeks

By Paige Lusczyk, Contributing Writer

The Well-Being Committee has created an eight-week program, Wellness Weeks, promoting wellbeing in five main categories: physical, social, emotional, occupational, and nutritional. Open registration began on Sept. 27 and will run until Nov. 21. Going into week three of the program, registration is still offered to any students, faculty, or staff.

Unlike last semester’s Wellness Challenge, Wellness Weeks follows a more personal path in accomplishing goals.  The Wellness Challenge drew in people who were more social and competitive as you could compare your wellbeing score. Wellness Weeks still has a weekly raffle and a grand prize raffle as an extra incentive.

“[The Well-Being Committee] wanted to focus a lot more on the individual,” the Chair of the Well-Being Committee, Ben White said.

The Wellness Weeks program has the person fill out a long-term goal according to one to five of the categories that they want to better in. The program structures around the layout of S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) with one larger goal with smaller goals leading up to it.

Some long term goals like social or emotional goals are not always measurable and do not exactly follow the S.M.A.R.T. goals layout. “They are not really judged. [the Well-Being Committee] are really leaving it up to the participants,” White said.

It is mentioned in the form that any unhealthy goals like losing too much weight in a short period of time will be addressed but White stated that “[the Well-Being Committee] didn’t have to reach out to anyone” and White was “really really happy with what people came up with.”

The Well-Being Committee checks in with those who have registered every Monday to see if they completed their weekly goal and put them into the raffle for the week. The prizes include $25 gift cards to local businesses, Mainely Outdoor Gear Rental, and a Fitness Design from the FRC. There are two grand prizes valuing up to $100.

White realized there were a lot of ways that UMF’s community could advance their wellbeing. White created these programs and the Well-Being Committee to create such opportunities and give the community an extra boost of support.

“Times are hard for a lot of people right now and engaging in well-being practices and activities can help people in a lot of different ways that I view that they could use some help,” White said.

Being part of the UMF community is not just about getting a degree or working. It is important to also ask “were they happy? did they thrive?” White said. “I wanted to contribute to that portion.”

Wellness Weeks will continue to accept new participants. The registration form can be found on MyCampus → Campus Life → Wellbeing. All information will be forwarded to late participants so they are caught up to speed. The only downside to starting late is the possibility of not being entered into the grand prize raffle.

The Well-Being Committee is currently looking for student representatives as well to bring new ideas for future programs. Please reach out to umfwellbeing@maine.edu if you are interested.

UMF XC Shines Highlighted by Mens’ Victory

By Michael Levesque, Assistant Editor.

On Saturday September 25, 2021, the men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Saxl Park in Bangor, Maine to compete at the Husson Harrier Invitational.

A good race day for the men’s and women’s team was highlighted with the men’s squad capturing first place. Five members from the men’s team finished within the top 32 positions with three runners finishing in the top 15.

Captain Joe Ashby, a senior, finished 21st overall and indicated some uncertainty before the race in regards to where they would finish. “Going into the meet we weren’t really sure if we would win because we know that Colby [College] and Husson [University] have really strong programs,” Ashby said. “But we were there to run hard and compete.” Improving on their times was the main focus of practice in the weeks leading up to the meet but actually winning the meet became the overall goal. “We are training really hard for times but at the end of the day, we are here to win the NAC [North Atlantic Conference],” Ashby said.

Coach Sean Cabaniss said through the teams Instagram page that the men’s win was the “first time since 2018.” Cabaniss also said on the page that many of the team members individually had great races with “PR’s[personal records] almost across the board.”Ashby also recognized the efforts of each runner. “We have a really strong team this year. With NAC’s being at a difficult course this year, [Saturday October 30th hosted by Thomas College] we really want to win.”

Ashby knows that even with the recent success, challenges still remain ahead. “Winning is never easy. We weren’t the smallest team there but I do think we were the second smallest.” One major challenge to winning each race is the team size. “It’s hard when you have a bunch of other runners to displace your guys,” Ashby said.

But with any success comes a sense of pride. Ashby recognizes the overall accomplishment of the team. “To win was a great feeling because I don’t think we have won a meet in quite a few years.”

The Cross Country teams will have their next two meets Saturday October 2nd [hosted by Bates] and Saturday October 23 [hosted by Bowdoin] before competing in the NAC championship on October 30th.

Everything Halloween

Everything Halloween

By Charity Webster, Contributing Writer.

Halloween is just around the corner with so many fun things to do this holiday season. What peaks your interest? Is it to dress up, go to a party, or just eat a bunch of candy? Maybe you want to have a marathon of scary films or hang out with your friends at a haunted house or hayride? Maybe all of the above!

The holiday brings a whole world of mystery and fun. Did you know that you originally had to dance for your “treat”? Or that Halloween used to be a great day to find your soulmate? Studies have shown that the holiday actually makes kids act more evil, and that a full moon on Halloween is extremely rare. What’s next? Farmington is full of spookiness too. Some people believe the ghost of Lillian Nordica haunts the halls of Merrill. Whatever your fancy, there is so much to do this season in Farmington and right on campus! Check out below:

 

All year around:

Nightmare Club

The point of this club is for its members to come together under the enjoyment of the horror genre in all of its forms, including but not limited to: film and television, literature, role playing, and video games. In addition to an appreciation and discussion of all of the above, the club intends to work on its own agendas for events to involve both the UMF student community as well as the community of Farmington and the surrounding towns. Meetings are Wednesdays at 8pm. Contact Paul Gies, the faculty advisor, at paulgies@maine.edu

 

October 7th from 7-9pm

“Mission Imagination” Electric Violin Concert and Discussion. Led by Electro-acoustic violist and David Bowie Collaborator Martha Mooke, this event is a concert and discussion of Bowie’s work and creative process. Free at the Emery Community Arts Center

 

October 9th 

Oktoberfest at Saddleback Maine. Visit their website for more details: https://www.saddlebackmaine.com/event/oktoberfest/

 

October 20th from 7pm-9pm 

Full Moon Hike put on by University of Maine Farmington

 

October 27th

“Get out and Horror Soundtracks” by Aaron Wyanski, composer, pianist, and Assistant Professor of Music Composition UMF. According to the New Commons Project page: “critical exploration of soundtrack of horror fills over the last century”

 

October 29th from 4pm-6pm

Trunk or Treat Put on by the Rotaract club 4pm-6pm. A safe place to bring your kiddos trick or treating! Located in the parking lot behind the Fusion Center.

 

October 22 & 23, and 29 & 30th

Haunted House at the Farmington Fairgrounds. Fright Nights  7pm-10pm, $20 admission fee. If Halloween is your scare come check us out! According to Mainehauntedhouses.com:  “Join us for this mind blowing, never before seen Halloween event! Three separate terrifying haunted houses in one location, one ticket to rule them all!… FREE Parking! Beer and Cider for those over 21. Vendors! Food! Axe throwing!”

This event is also looking for Volunteers, and benefits The United Way of the Tri Valley Area as well as Titcomb Mountain.

 

 

 

Visit the Apple Orchards in the area all through the month of October!

Pick your own pumpkins and apples, enjoy some goodies, hayrides, and  corn mazes

 

 

Morrison Hill Orchard from 12pm-4pm Daily

Pick your own apples or pumpkins or pick up some fresh pressed cider.

 

Boothby’s Orchard and Farm from 10am-5pm Daily

A unique experience to the area that includes wine tasting made from their apples and their grapes. Also come pick your own apples and pumpkins.

 

Ricker Hill Orchards from 9am-6pm Daily

Pick your own apples and pumpkins, play a round of disc golf, and pick up some of their famous apple cider donuts.

The Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

The Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

By Emma Dipompo, Contributing Writer.

Are you creative? Do you craft for fun? Have you ever thought of taking your hobby to the next level? The Center for Entrepreneurial Studies in downtown Farmington might be a great resource for you. The CES is a small business opened and operated by Bonita Lehigh to encourage students in both high school and college to start their own businesses.

“The mission for the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies is to create a wide-branching support system for workforce development and creative thinking,” Lehigh said. “Our program believes an entrepreneurial mindset allows for a growing and prosperous community. The Center for Entrepreneurial Studies is ‘created by students for students’ knowing that everyone possesses the qualities, skills, and knowledge to form their own businesses and enrich local communities.”

The CES is always looking for new creators, and it is very easy to get started. They are looking to add a creators’ space in the back of the store where people could come and craft without being interrupted.

Sophie Haley-Vigue is a high school student at Mt. Blue High School. Her earrings are one of the top selling items at the CES. “The experience I’ve learned while working here is great, how many 16 year olds do you know that can put in their own purchase order?”

There is currently a donation box in the shop. They are trying to raise $2,016,000 by 2022.

“CES is currently developing a fundraising committee to plan large community events and campaigns,” said Leigh. “We are on the lookout for people who can be passionate, think outside the box, put skin in the game, and be on the ground floor to make positive change in their community. I am also applying for a very large grant and believe we have a solid shot at it.”

Their website is also a good resource. You can apply for an application online at  www.cesmaine.com.

Student interest in extracurriculars on the rise

By Ashley Ward, Secretary and Assistant Editor

FARMINGTON 一 Extracurriculars at the University of Maine at Farmington have reported a struggle with student involvement and membership over the last 18 months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, group leaders believe that there is hope on the horizon.

For on-campus clubs, it was nearly impossible for students to engage in activities. Those that did join were faced with the responsibilities for several in-club positions.

“We took a hard hit last year with the pandemic and got all the way down to one member,” said Artemis Monteith, President of the Nightmare Club. According to Monteith, the club went all the way from 20 members to almost disbanding. Now the club has up to 16 members.

Learning Commons Coordinator William St. John noted increased difficulty in making new tutor hires for this academic year. “I’ve sent out dozens of emails…offering students jobs. Saying, ‘I’ll hire you! And you get to work your own hours, and get paid 12 bucks an hour!’ and most of them never replied,” St. John said.

St. John said that even though students haven’t been as aggressive at seeking out academic help from tutors, numbers are on the rise.

“…tutoring this semester is doing better than it was last semester at this time,” St. John said.

Despite the limited student participation last year, organizations on campus are optimistic about student interest levels returning to pre-pandemic levels with enough time. Advisor of the Student Senate Kirsten Swan said each incoming class of first year students brings a wave of reinvigorated enthusiasm back to extracurricular activities on campus. The increase of participation is observed in the demographics of several clubs and their members, as well as in the Student Senate.

“I think the future is pretty bright for the Student Senate. Everybody on the executive board is new, except for the President, and there are a lot of first and second year students that are Student Senators. There seems to be a lot of good energy in terms of wanting to get involved and wanting to find out what the Student Senate is all about,” Swan said.