UMF Community Gives Advice on Affordable Gifts from Students

UMF Community Gives Advice on Affordable Gifts from Students

By Bryan Eldridge  – Contributing Writer


The UMF campus recognizes the bitter and stressful emotions that often haunt college students as they Christmas shop for their loved ones, which is why a few community members wanted to provide their own gift ideas for the jolly season without leaving a dent in your wallet.

   Screenwriting professor Bill Mesce is in his first year of teaching at UMF and is a resident of Lindon, New Jersey. As a parent of college-aged children himself, Mesce feels as though just seeing your kids for the holidays is a gift. “At this point in your life all your parents really want is for you to show up for Christmas,” Mesce said. “That’s the gift.”

   When shopping for your parents especially, make sure it’s something that shows you’re familiar with what they like. “[Parents] would rather it be that small thing that says ‘I know mom’ or ‘I know dad’,” Mesce said. For Mesce there’s only one way to do Christmas shopping right: “Go simple. Go purposeful.”

   Brian Weiner, a sophomore at UMF and a first-year CA, is originally from New Hampshire and uses the lack of sales tax to his advantage for ideas such as gag gifts. “A lot of people like gag gifts, so that could be an option,” Weiner said with a sense of optimism.

   Like most college students, Weiner understands the importance of shopping on a budget. “You don’t want to spend a lot,” said Weiner. “You could always make homemade stuff. Ornaments are always a good idea.”

   Taylor Rossics, a sophomore at UMF and an employee at Everyone’s Resource Depot in the basement of the Ed. Center, knows that the cheaper prices offered by the Depot are very helpful. “The Resource Depot has significantly lower prices than other stores,” Rossics exclaimed with pride.

Everyone’s Resource Depot provides many different tools and materials that can be used to make gifts.
credit: Bryan Eldridge

   Along with their low prices, a wide variety of options helps make shopping easier. “We have an abundant variety [of materials] here at the depot,” said Rossics. “We have pretty much anything you could ever need.”

   At Everyone’s Resource Depot, finding gifts for anyone is much easier. “Come to the Depot! We have so much that’s so cheap that you could get ten gifts at the price of one,” said Rossics. “There’s really something for everyone here.”

   No matter what gift you ultimately decide to get for your loved ones, it’s important to spend time with those around you, especially family. “You have all the time in the world to spend time with friends up here,” said Weiner. “Spending time with family is super important.”

   For students who want to visit Everyone’s Resource Depot, it’s open from 3-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

UMF Residence Halls Open Their Doors to Trick or Treaters

UMF Residence Halls Open Their Doors to Trick or Treaters

By Bryan Eldridge – Contributing Writer

   Every residence hall at the UMF campus is preparing to open their doors for yet another Halloween, letting kids from the community come in and get candy from the students during the “Trick or Treat Through the Halls” event.

   “Trick or Treat Through the Halls” is an event sponsored by the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) club on campus where kids and families from the community walk to each residence hall on campus, collecting candy from the festive Halloween spirited students in their halls. The event has been a UMF tradition for over 10 years, and always seems to keep the busy residence halls full of laughing children and happy students.

Mallett residents, Katie Franke and Becky Paradis decorate their dorm room in preparation for trick or treats through the halls.
(Photo courtesy of Bryan Eldridge)

   Emily Hartford, a junior at UMF and current President of APO, finds the event to be a great connecting point for many students in the same school.

   “They get to see kids they might not be able to hang out with outside of school.” said Hartford.

   The event aims to provide a safe experience for the families in the surrounding community. “It’s a safer alternative because you’re not wandering through the streets.” Hartford said. “You know who’s passing out the candy [and] you know why they’re handing [it] out,” said Hartford with confidence.

   Information regarding the event is sure to reach students and their parents. “We have flyers going out that have all the contact information on it that will be distributed to every school in the district,” Hartford said.

       Stephen Riitano, second CA in Mallett Hall and a senior, finds the event engaging for the residents. “It gets people in the hall out of their room and engaged in a similar activity with other people in the Mallett community.” said Riitano. “They all have a similar goal.”

   The event in recent years has been a hit, with many eager and busy feet flooding the halls. “The past two years have been a pretty good turn out,” Rittano said. “There’s a large number of kids that come through.”

   Kierra Carmichael, a senior at UMF who has been a resident on campus for all four years, enjoys the variety of costumes and anxious kids that visit each year. “[The kids] seem so eager and excited and their costumes are adorable.”  Carmichael said.

   Carmichael feels the event is very important for connecting with others and brings UMF closer with its surrounding towns. “It connects us with the community so we’re not just a campus.” said Carmichael. “It made me feel like I was part of the community as a whole.”

   There are other ways for the residents to be a part of the event besides handing out candy. “Just come down to the lounge and help people give out candy and interact with parents and kids.” said Carmichael. “I think it’s still important to try and be involved.”

   The event is scheduled for Sunday, October 29th and will begin around 5:00 p.m.

Sitting in on UMF’s New Patio Addition

Sitting in on UMF’s New Patio Addition

Bryan Eldridge – Contributing Writer

The newly installed patio next to Mantor Library
(Photo by Bryan Eldridge)

UMF students are fully embracing the new patio in front of Mantor Library that was constructed over the summer, giving the campus its newest popular gathering spot.

The patio consists of three umbrella covered tables overlooking the Mantor green. With four seats placed at each table, the spacious seating area is often fully utilized.

Keenan Farwell, the Grounds Facilities Manager for UMF, lead the team that built UMF’s newest addition. Farwell has been the Grounds Manager for a year and a half. Coming into this role felt quite familiar for Farwell, having to own his own business in the field of hardscape.

Farwell noted that the enhanced seating and continuous use of the patio are both effective outcomes of the new install. “It created more seating area,” said Farwell. “It gets quite a bit of use at this point, even the lower seating wall.”

The patio was intentionally built with more than just seating in mind. “We put power in also so, we can house bands on top of there to play out over the green,” said Farwell.

Matt Breer, a senior at UMF and a new employee for the Mantor Library this year, noticed the interest that’s being taken.

“I think people really enjoy the patio being there,” he said. “The patio’s installment has done more than just attracting students; it’s also attracting business. During normal school hours,  there is usually only one free table (in the library),” said Breer, adding that “giving people a choice of where they can sit gives them a lot more freedom, and when people have those kinds of freedoms they’re more likely to give business.”

The grounds crew are responsible for the patio’s construction but aren’t the only set of employees to thank for the campus’ upkeep and appearance. The grounds crew for facilities often collaborates with the maintenance employees to make UMF look the way it does.

Tim Burnell, a longtime custodian at UMF, works in Purington hall and noticed the comradery. “There’s a lot of teamwork that’s going on with all the groups here in facilities,” Burnell said.

Nick Richards has been the custodial manager on campus for 14 months and noted the importance of both aspects of facilities working together to maintain both the grounds and the building upkeep. “Those two groups have to work together closely to make sure that all these areas are taken care of,” said Richards.

Both UMF employees were very student-driven when it came to their favorite aspects of the job. “Trying to provide the best customer service that we can and making sure that the students are as happy as they can be,” said Richards.

Students that wish to speak to somebody about a maintenance or facilities issue around campus have multiple options including to email facilities directly at