By Madison Archer, Contributing Writer
Twilight Smart-Benson, one of the Thrifty Beaver’s student workers. (Photo courtesy of Sam Shirley)
In the basement of the Fusion Center there is a room filled with donated supplies. Clothes, food, kitchen supplies, school supplies, textbooks and personal hygiene items. The Thrifty Beaver (TB) is a student-run food pantry and clothing exchange, aimed at helping UMF students “not fall through the cracks” said Mark Pires, Interim Sustainability Coordinator.
The Thrifty Beaver (TB) has made some compromises in how it is run to ensure safety is possible for students. Reduced hours and limited stock have proven to be struggles for the Thrifty Beaver.
Although new to campus, Pires has been hard at work along with its dedicated student workers trying to help the “Thrifty” get ready for students to utilize during the pandemic. Pires and the student workers have had to put away some items, like kitchenware, due to concerns of touching and passing items around. They also shut down the fitting room where students could try on the clothes that have been donated.
There is only one person allowed in TB at once and there is space in the hallway for students to wait as well. Things like prearranged hygiene bags are ready for TB customers to grab and go.
TB relies on donations from the UMF community and the Farmington community. “Typically our funds are given from the school. So we will have a once a month, big shopping trip that is school funded. That allows us to supply food to all kinds of students,” said Chelsea Roy, a sophomore environmental science and anthropology major. Roy is also involved with Sustainability Campus Coalition (SCC) which is the group that manages Thrifty Beaver.
In the past, donations have come in from current students, alumni, professors, The United Way and The University Credit Union. Alumni acknowledge the significance of the Thrifty Beaver. “Alums come in still,” said Roy. “I ran into an alum my last shift! She recognized that the Thrifty was a really vital resource and she came back to donate food.”
There are about a half dozen students employed by TB in addition to volunteering students. Pires had nothing but praise to give to the students who have been keeping the TB open. “As I become more familiar with the members of the SCC, I think that their devotion and commitment to keeping the Thrifty Beaver up and running even during COVID times is really impressive,” said Pires.
Both Pires and Roy agree that the TB is important to the campus and its students. “You know many students are on very tight budgets,” said Pires. “Here and at other campuses they might not have the resources for a full meal plan every semester. I think organizations like the SCC and TB fill an important role and need.”
Some upcoming projects that the TB is working towards includes making a commercial to feature well-known figures on campus. The other project is revamping their website to include an updated catalog of their inventory.
The Thrifty Beaver is located in the basement of the Fusion Center. They’re open Thursdays and Sundays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Graci Wiseman Contributing Writer
Walking into the recent Outdoor Recreation Job Fair, the whole atmosphere breathed winter, encouraging students to get outside and enjoy the glistening outdoor wonders of the season and the experience that comes with it.
Sugarloaf, a staple of Maine tourism and winter recreation, is a popular choice of seasonal employment among students. Employers there are looking to find students who are passionate about skiing and the outdoors as much as they are, and welcome students to the friendly, family environment they have created over the years.
Gabby Stone, the Manager for Reservations at Sugarloaf, has a strong connection to the mountain and the atmosphere it creates.“This was the only place I’ve ever skied at, I came on vacations and I spent every vacation week, long weekend and all other weekends at the mountain,” said Stone.“I started at a young age, 18 months to be exact and it made sense for me to do nothing but be there and be apart of it.”
Stone has always known working at sugarloaf would be in her future. “As a kid I have always wanted to work there, but didn’t know it would turn into something I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” she said.
Stone is not the only one who has a love for Sugarloaf, which has made it a major vacation destination for many years. “I believe that sugarloaf is a place where you come for a reason and a place where you want to be,” said Stone. “Go see for yourself!”
Charli Sayward, a UMF graduate, also works at Sugarloaf. She has had many different careers before she took the job as Events Coordinator at Sugarloaf. “I taught at Carrabassett Valley Academy and worked at Three Rivers during the summer, I then moved on to work at the Sugarloaf Inn before taking over the Events Manager position at Sugarloaf,” she said.
Sugarloaf provides many opportunities for people who enjoy skiing. “For me it is a natural fit, I love the outdoors and the recreational aspect of working at Sugarloaf,” said Sayward.
Charli Sayward (Photo courtesy of Graci Wiseman)
She encourages everyone to embrace the outdoors and exercise.“It is all about you and what makes you happy and finding what fits for you,” said Sayward. “Finding something that you love where you get to be outdoors can really benefit your mental health.”
Kayla Begin, a sophomore English major, has been skiing for as long as she can remember and the sport has helped her to emotionally overcome a pressing medical concern with an immediate family member.
“It was an emotional escape for me when I didn’t think I needed one,” said Begin. “It all started when I was 4 years old and we took a ski vacation to Pennsylvania; ever since that day I fell in love with skiing.”
When Begin was in high school she continued to pursue skiing. “Throughout high school skiing made me feel like myself, when I was going through a rough time,” said Begin. “I also taught at Lost Valley[ski resort] when I was 15 and it was my first job.”
Begin started working at Sugarloaf last year, but has already learned so much. “I was teaching with people who have been doing skiing for years, and I am still getting used to it, but I continue to learn and love what I am doing,” said Begin.
Begin has always enjoyed winter and the activities that came with it. “I always liked winter, I first started doing figure skating along with skiing for 10 years each,” said Begin. “But I stuck with skiing because how cool it was and I wanted to share it with younger generations.”
Sugarloaf is meaningful to many people as Stone knows the mountain, “is a part of many peoples lives, and will always be a part of mine.”
If you are interested in applying or would like more information, go to www.Sugarloaf.com/employment.
Dave Larsen Contributing Writer
As a registered Independent I make an effort to listen to all sides while attempting to block the political noise and decide on the merits. I am a new student here, so I read the piece on the Kavanaugh confirmation with eager anticipation. What bothers me is in the article no where was the innate unfairness to Judge/Justice Kavanaugh brought up, much less condemned by the author.
How is it that a man, who by all accounts, leads an exemplary life, is considered an outstanding jurist, husband, and father can get dragged through the political mud in an effort to destroy his good name and everyone is okay with that? Has politics gotten so bad that its okay to trash a man’s reputation on zero evidence and a 35 year old recalled memory?
When good people sit by and say nothing while they slander one of the best of us, whose going to say something when they come for one of us? Are we witnessing the death of Fairness in this country when so many are willing to ignore the difference between right and wrong?
You have an individual quoted in your article stating Senator Susan Collins “decided” not to do the right thing, perhaps this individual used mind reading skills to ascertain this critical information in which case I will use my mind reading skills to ascertain this individual succumbed to political correctness rather then standing up for the right thing which is Fairness for all Americans.
As a newspaper, it’s your duty to call out injustice in our country, while I understand this was an Opinion piece, why didn’t the Editor of the paper come out in the strongest terms condemning this behavior. Drop the politics and be the umpire, call balls and strikes but don’t take sides, be honest, fair then let your readers decide for themselves.
Julianne McLaughlin accepts her award. (Photo Courtesy of Julianne McLaughlin)
UMF’s representative this year in the Maine Policy Scholar Program, political science major Julianne McLaughlin, presented her extensive research on the implementation of proficiency based learning standards in Maine at the scholarship program’s annual graduation ceremony in Orono last week following an initial presentation at our own Michael D. Wilson Symposium. In her research, McLaughlin concluded that the conflicts surrounding the implementation of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are not due to a fault in the CCSS itself, but the result of other factors such as limited availability or easy access to resources for teachers and parents to utilize and understand the standards. She will be sending her final policy recommendations to Maine’s Commissioner of Education.
By Sarita Crandall, Contributing Writer
“I am extremely excited for my new position,” Noonkester said. “I feel really motivated to make Titcomb successful and hold true to it’s values.” Noonkester graduated from UMF in May 2015 and has been giving back to the community through his work with the town’s recreation department for the last two years. With his experiences and fresh ideas, Noonkester is ready to take on whatever comes his way in his new position.
Noonkester attributes a lot of his success to the ORBA program and how it’s run. The program has the components of a business major but with some recreation activities mixed in such as white water rafting classes. “You get an idea of how business works in common recreation activities that people enjoy,” Noonkester said.
An important requirement that Noonkester pointed out was that the ORBA program has their students find an internship so they’re acquiring real world experience rather than just reading about it in a classroom setting.
Professor Clyde Mitchell agrees with Noonkester saying, “Internships are very helpful in forming relationships, networking and ultimately getting jobs.” Mitchell tries to teach his students that making connections, stepping up, and taking opportunities are going to be the building blocks towards the career that they want.
Along with Noonkester’s new position at Titcomb, another UMF student and fellow ORBA major, Drew Bates, has been elected onto the Titcomb Board of Directors as Head of Terrain Parks. Bates was involved in the Snow Cats program at Titcomb and noticed that the kids always requested going to the Beagle—where the terrain park is located—and hopes to make the park friendly and challenging for all ages.
“I’ve heard Seth’s name tossed around a bit when I first came here and I knew he did his internship at Titcomb,” Bates said. “When the job opened up at Titcomb a lot of people were saying that it would be a young kid, like a UMF student. I wasn’t surprised that Seth got the job, he knows how Titcomb works and I like that he has a terrain park mind!” Bates said. “I am really looking forward to working with him and seeing how much we can do for Titcomb.”
One of the first events coming up for Titcomb will be a fundraiser for their education foundation; a golf tournament being held at Sugarloaf on June 6. Teams are made up of four players and any level of play is welcomed. Contact email@example.com for further questions.
Cote acknowledged for her winning design. (Photo Courtesy of UMF Website)
Cote’s winning design. (Photo Courtesy of UMF Website)
Recent winner of the Partnership for Civic Advancement sticker design contest, UMF student Samantha Cote, was acknowledged at the Partnership’s Annual Recognition Dinner last month. According to the Partnership’s website, Cote’s design was chosen because it best conveyed the purpose of the organization while also incorporating UMF colors. Cote’s work was well received by the attendees of the event. Congratulations!