By Alicia Davis – Contributing Writer
The UMF Ultimate Disc team recently participated in the Lobster Pot Tournament at Wainwright Sports Complex in Portland, Maine.
The team played four games on Saturday and won three of them. Saturday was a calm, cool day, which helped UMF beat out most of their opponents. The weather conditions on Sunday were much more harsh, with high gusts of wind affecting the players’ ability to throw. Despite the weather, UMF played three games and won all three.
UMF Ultimate Disc team at the Lobster Pot Tournament in Portland
Photo Courtesy of Sam Carignan
Overall, the UMF ultimate team took 9th place out of the lower men’s division despite being seeded 15th place, breaking seed by 6 places. Joe Brichetto, a UMF senior who will be playing his fourth year of ultimate, felt that the team worked well as a unit, which helped them be successful at the Lobster Pot.
“This is the best tournament the team has played at since my freshman year,” said Brichetto. “It was really vindicating for the senior players to now be the leaders who helped carry the team to victory.”
Sam Carignan, who will be in his third year playing ultimate, felt that this tournament was an important one for the team. “This weekend helped bind us together as a team,” he said.
Like Brichetto, Carignan also believed that the team worked well together. “I’m very proud of the team both on and off the field, because not only did we play physically well, but we kept the high ground and stuck with a good attitude,” he said.
Dan Abbatello, who will be playing his second year of ultimate, felt that this year’s Lobster Pot went much smoother for the team than last years.
“This year we played a lot better because we had a lot more numbers,” said Abbatello. “Last year, we went to the Lobster Pot with eight players, and seven played on the field. Having 15 players come down to the tournament this year really helped.”
Abbatello believed that the tournament was great for new players on the team. “This weekend was full of experience for our new players, giving them the chance to play at a competitive level,” he said.
“Ultimate is always looking for new members of any skill level,” said Brichetto.
Practices take place 3:30-5:30 Monday through Friday on Prescott Field. Practices are optional, so people can still play even if they do not go to all of the practices. For more information, contact co-presidents Cory McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tim Pacini at email@example.com.
By Alicia Davis – Contributing Writer
On a sunny Sunday afternoon, the UMF softball team had a game against alumni at the softball field. UMF softball beat the alumni team 3-2.
Coach Kat McKay, who will be entering her second year as the softball coach at UMF, felt that the game went well. “For the first year in many years without an alumni game, this
year was fantastic. I believe [the alumni] had an absolute blast,” said McKay. “They showed they still have all the skills to get the job done.”
Kailyn Hill, a junior at UMF and member of the softball team for the past two years, felt that the alumni game was very competitive. “We had a lot of fun. We had a back and forth game, so it was very competitive,” said Hill. “I pitched the first three innings, and then I played first base after.” This upcoming spring will be her third year playing softball for Farmington.
Alison Hamilton, a UMF alum, returned to play for the alumni team. She reclaimed her spot
in right field, where she played all four years during her time on the team at UMF. Hamilton’s favorite part about the game was getting to see her friends she met from softball.
“It was nice to see some former beavs, and reminisce about our time at UMF,” said Hamilton.
Eight alumni showed up to play in the game. “Because the alumni were down a player, the
UMF softball team leant us a player until Coach Pratt came in during the 5th inning to play for us,” said Hamilton.
The game was close to being tied in the end. The alumni and the UMF softball team felt both teams played well. “Our skills were equally matched,” said Hamilton. “We kept scoring back to back until we finally pulled through near the end of the game.”
McKay is looking forward to the spring season. “ I’m truly excited about this spring. We lost a handful of good athletes from our roster last year, but were able to replace and refocus with a large freshman class.”
Alyssa Dillan, a sophomore at UMF who will be playing her second year for the softball team this spring, is looking forward to what the season will bring for the team.
“I have high hopes for the spring season,” said Dillan. “I think that we have a lot of potential right now and I trust coach McKay will help us reach that potential.”
“We are selling pies to support our team to go to Florida in the spring,” said Hill. The softball team has an annual trip during the March spring break to Florida, where they will practice against other teams in preparation for the upcoming season.
People can support the UMF softball team by purchasing pies for their fundraiser. If anyone wants to purchase a pie, they can contact Coach Kat McKay for more details.
By Alicia Davis – Contributing Writer
UMF students in Relay For Life are prepare for the busy year ahead.
Relay for Life is a portion of American Cancer Society that raises money for cancer awareness, cancer treatment, provide housing near hospitals and more. The big event for Relay For Life occurs at UMF in April at the FRC, where teams walk around the FRC all night and fundraise to support children and adults with cancer.
In the fall, Relay holds an event called Kickoff. Meredith Laliberte, one of the co-chairs for Relay, said Kickoff is an event for students to find out more about Relay and become educated about the event.
Members of ALD
Kickoff helps Relay find new members, and get more people involved with their club. “People are able to sign up for Relay at Kickoff, or they can form their own team,” said Laliberte. “We do not know the exact date of Kickoff yet, but it will be at some point before second semester.”
This will be Laliberte’s third year with Relay at UMF. “We show a slideshow at Kickoff to show past Relay events, and we have themed activities at Kickoff. At last year’s Kickoff there was ornament and cookie decorating,” said Laliberte.
Brianna Fowles is the secretary for Relay For Life, and this will be her third year with the club. “We have decided that Relay’s theme this year will be Dr. Seuss. We will come up with different decorations and foods to have at the event that go along with this theme,” said Fowles.
Everything that Relay does this year will go along with the Dr. Seuss theme. “Teams at the Relay event will also have tables to fundraise, and teams’ tables typically match our theme at the event,” said Fowles.
From L to R: Heather King, Brianna Fowles, and Danielle Cote.
(Photos Courtesy of Loren Marshall)
Josh Beckett, a junior, has been a part of Relay for three years now at UMF. “I relay because two of my best friends from high school are cancer survivors. Many of my friends have parents or siblings who have beaten cancer or who are currently fighting. It’s so important to me to help raise awareness and to help those who are currently battling cancer. It’s also important for me to show that an ordinary student at UMF can help make such a huge impacts,” said Beckett.
Relay is always open to accepting new members. “Making teams for Relay is easy. We always table for the event, and are open to explaining what Relay is to anyone who is curious,” said Fowles.
Relay has meetings most Monday nights at 7pm, Roberts 107. If anyone has any questions about Relay for Life, they can contact Beckett, Fowles or Laliberte.
From L to R: Meredith Laliberte and Sage van Eekhout at the Fall 2017 Club Fair. (Photo Courtesy of Loren Marshall)
By Harley Davis, Contributing Writer
Walking into the Olsen Student Center, the building was buzzing with activity. Students, faculty, and community members all gathered for symposium day, where students would give short presentations of the work completed over the semester. A large number of people filed into CR 123, took a seat, and waited for the culminating presentation of Operation Giveback, a semester-long campaign to bring awareness to poverty in Franklin County.
Stephen Riitano, president of the Student Maine Education Association (MEA), stepped up to the podium and began explaining the impact of Operation Giveback. For this project, UMF’s Student MEA worked throughout the semester to raise awareness of poverty and provide relief for local families.
The campaign kicked-off in January with a panel discussion about poverty in Franklin County and the resources available to its citizens. This event was followed by a clothing drive and a performance by Maine comedian and UMF alum, Bob Marley. The funds raised through Marley’s show went toward Packs for Progress, an initiative which donates backpacks to local students in need.
Operation Giveback officially ended with the symposium presentation, but the effect of the semester-long campaign will continue on for much longer.
For Riitano, organizing Operation Giveback was an educational and eye-opening experience. “I think the biggest thing I have learned is how lucky I am for all the things that I have in my life and all the things I take for granted everyday,” said Riitano. “I learned that no one wants to be in poverty, and education is a way out of poverty.”
Operation Giveback was successful in providing goods to children and adults in the local community. Throughout the semester, the Student MEA was able to donate twenty bags of clothes from its clothing drive, while ticket sales from the Bob Marley performance raised over one thousand dollars. “I think if we helped one person or educated one person, then it was successful,” said Riitano. “I think the local community is growing more and more aware of the growing issues that are taking place outside the walls of campus.”
Moving forward, the Student MEA will continue striving to improve the community through the education of pre-service teachers. As their recent campaign stressed time and time again, education is vitally important. “We are looking to bring a plethora of resources here to campus for pre-service teachers,” said Riitano. “Through our affiliation through the MEA we have access to many speakers and other helpful resources for professional development, those opportunities are priceless and they start now.”
While next semester will bring new students and new campaigns to clubs on campus, lessons taken from Operation Giveback will continue to inform the work of Student MEA. “My biggest takeaway was learning the impact that a group of like-minded people with a goal can make,” said Riitano. “It takes a village, but that village has to be full of dedicated individuals.”
The Student MEA is working to join with other on-campus clubs to give back to the community. For more information about future events from Student MEA, the club can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Harley Davis, Contributing Writer
It’s a typical Monday morning as I begin my 40-minute drive to UMF, taking the winding and twisting back roads from my home in Oakland to Farmington. Spring has finally arrived and my drive, only a few weeks ago lined with snow banks and slippery roads, is now filled with potholes, warm air, and flocks of birds flying back to their summer homes.
I make this trip to Farmington five days a week, spending over six hours a week commuting to and from campus. The time spent driving equals about half the time I spend in classes at UMF per week. However I’m not the only student making a long drive to campus. According to the university website, while 86% of freshmen live on campus, 50% of UMF students choose to live off campus, whether it be within walking distance or driving to and from school. Nationally, 75% of college students choose to commute to campus instead of living in dorms, according to Complete College America.
According to UMF’s admission page, the cost for full time students to live on campus for one year is $9,334. This price, added to the cost of tuition is one of the main reasons I and other students choose to live off campus. Ashton Harvey, a junior at UMF, chose to commute to save money. “I did the math and my tuition would be cut in half,” Harvey said. “By living off campus I don’t have to have a meal plan, I work to pay my rent and that eliminates some of the overall cost of college and the amount of debt I have.”
While living off campus saves money, it comes with its challenges. Megan Rodrigue, a senior in elementary education, said that even living within walking distance to UMF has its drawbacks. “One thing that has bugged me about living off campus is that I miss out on stuff that is happening or going to happen on campus,” Rodrigue said, “Even though I don’t live on campus I’m still close enough that I would like to feel like I’m part of the university.”
Parking is an issue for all members of UMF, but can be especially frustrating for commuting students. “When UMF hosts events the parking lots commuters usually park in are reserved for the event,” Harvey said, “I spend so much time looking for a parking space that sometimes I am 15 minutes early but end up being late for class.” This issue becomes compounded in the winter, when eventually there is no more space to push all the snow. “Taking up four to ten parking spaces to pile up snow makes it that much harder to find a parking space,” said Harvey.
The Off Campus Commuter Council located in Student Center Room 109 is in place to help and support the commuting students of UMF. Every month the council offers free monthly breakfasts and lunches to students. Commuters are also given the option to rent a locker from the council so commuters don’t have to leave everything in their car during class. The council also helps students find accommodations to stay overnight on campus when the winter weather makes driving home nearly impossible.
As I pull into the commuter parking lot and happily claim the last available spot, I think about the time and money I spend each week driving to school. Is it easier to live on campus? Probably, but I wouldn’t be able to see the rolling fields of green grass in late spring dotted with black and white cows, or the fields of corn golden and shining in the fall, the views that make me thankful I go to college in a beautiful town in Maine.