By Jordan Glassock, Contributing Writer
The North Dining Hall is crackling with energy as twenty student volunteers in light blue t-shirts prepare the finishing touches to their stations as Fresh Check Day begins. Hosted by UMF club Active Minds, this new event was organized to help promote mental health awareness and featured many activities for students to participate in.
Twelve tables lined the perimeter of the hall, two for registering, and ten for various stations that are part of the event. Next to registration students fill out a mandatory questionnaire on what they know about mental health. Gavin Pickering, one the counselors who works in Franklin Hall, leads that table.
“Fresh Check Day is a program funded by The Jordan Porco Foundation to bring mental health awareness to college campuses nationwide,” said Pickering.
“The Jordan Porco Foundation provides assistance in planning the event and giving ideas for programming to help reduce stigma and to inspire conversation about resources and ways to support those with mental health issues,” he said.
Fresh Check Day offered several themed tables such as “Trash Your Insecurities,” where students could write down something that they feel insecure about, crumple it up and throw it in a small silver trash bin. There was also “Uplift,” where students could build motivation kits, and “Elephant in the Room,” where students could write down what their elephant in the room is.
Brianna Fowles, a student who volunteered at the “Uplift” table, says that she was having a great experience at the event. “It was interesting talking to everybody and meeting different people,” she said.
At noon, students and volunteers munched on popcorn, Chick-fil-A popcorn chicken, and assorted vegetables.
By the end of Fresh Check Day, around 50 UMF students registered to participate in the program. While Pickering considered this a good turn out, he thought that there could have been more to the event.
“I think the event could have lasted a little longer to allow word to spread about the program,” said Pickering continuing, “I hope that because it was such a success this year that next year word will spread faster and we will have more students interested in attending and participating.”
Fowles agreed that the event turn out could have been better. “I think that a good portion of people knew about it, but when I was reading stuff, it said that 200 to 1,000 people can be expected to show up, even on a small campus,” she said, noting that she saw maybe 100 people. She emphasized,“I feel like it could have been advertised a little more.”
Overall, Pickering was proud of Active Minds and the students who volunteered at Fresh Check Day.
“This is the first time we have ever done this event and the first time this event has taken place in the state of Maine which The Jordan Porco Foundation was pretty excited about,” he said.
Along with Fresh Check Day, Pickering says that Active Minds will continue to provide UMF students with other programs related to reducing the stigma that is often associated with mental illness.
By Jordan Glassock, Contributing Writer
UMF College Republicans at CPAC 2017. (Photo Courtesy of UMF College Republican Facebook Page)
The UMF College Republicans are gearing up to host the event, “Pie a College Republican,” for this years upcoming Spring Fling which will take place on April 24.
Isaac Michaud, the president of College Republicans, is hoping that the event will attract attention to the club. “This is a new fundraiser for us. We hope a lot of students will be interested in this event as the funds raised will go to our annual trip to CPAC,” said Michaud via email.
Through fundraising, six of the twenty active club members were able to attend this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC. “We listened to many influential conservative speakers such as Senator Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Vice President Pence, and President Trump,” said Michaud. “We also got to tour around DC, which was a lot of fun!”
The cost to throw pies in certain College Republican club members faces will vary. “Students will be able to bid on the College Republicans to pie them,” said Michaud. “I’m hoping some Republican faces and pies will go for a lot of money!”
While the “pies” that students will be throwing will be pie tins filled with whipped cream instead of actual pies, Michaud still thinks that the event will be popular. “Who wouldn’t want to pie a Republican?!” he said.
Dan Mason, a junior and member of the College Republicans, is considering being one of the club members who will be pied by fellow students. “I know people who would want to pie me if I wasn’t a republican, so I might as well,” he said.
The UMF College Republicans club is very active on campus. During the election, the club collaborated with the College Democrats to host three debate watching parties and an election night party.
This year the club has also received a room for an office space, which is located where the Rainbow League’s original club space was.
“We applied to receive the office for two reasons: one to allow students access to our political materials more often, and two to allow a space for College Republicans to meet more frequently,” said Michaud. “From my understanding, we have never had an office before so we are really excited!” he said.
“It’s nice to have a physical space” said Mason.
Michaud said that the club is excited to further promote themselves on campus, and he hopes that by having an office and participating in Spring Fling, more students will gain an interest in getting involved with the club.
By Jordan Glassock, Contributing Writer
The Restless Atlantic performs at the 2016 Battle of the Bands. (Photo Courtesy of WUMF 91.5)
91.5 WUMF is gearing up to host the annual 2017 Battle of the Bands this April in the South Dining Hall.
“Battle of the Bands is essentially a massive concert,” said Julia Lent, the Music Director for WUMF.
The popular event attracts bands from all around New England. “Last year we had people as far away as Massachusetts come to play,” said Lent, “They compete with each other and put on a wicked good show for everybody in the area.”
Richard Southard, the Production Manager for WUMF, said that while there is a competitive aspect to Battle of the Bands, “It really is about just showing off lesser known local bands and really trying to get them out to the ears of the community.”
Local bands are usually invited by WUMF to perform at Battle of the Bands, but Lent and Southard said that it can work both ways. “Sometimes bands will see advertisements that we put up and they’ll be like ‘Hey, we wanna be in Battle,’” said Lent.
Southard and Lent said that preparing for Battle is a long process. “As far as getting the music goes, until up to the event, it’s more or less constant, because we’re either always sending out to bands, or people contact us.”
Once bands respond to the invitation to come to Battle of the Bands, they send in audition tapes that feature a few tracks that they consider their best work. After listening to the tracks, members of WUMF select six to eight bands that they want to perform at the event.
Selecting which bands WUMF would like to perform is only one part of the process. As far as the event itself, Southard said, “It’s an all day and almost all evening operation, straight from early as five in the morning all the way to three o’clock in the evening. It’s something we just mark off the entire day for.”
“We have to break down the entire South Dining Hall,” said Lent. “We have to set up all of our equipment and be ready to go for sound checks before any of the bands arrive. And they arrive still hours before the event. So, for us, it’s incredibly intense, but once the show starts it’s all worth it.”
“We wanna have everything as perfect and as pinpoint as possible,” said Southard. “We usually have a large audience, and of course we wanna make everything as best we can for the groups that are actually performing,” he said.
The winning band last year was The Restless Atlantic. Competitors for the upcoming battle have yet to be announced.
According to Lent, the size of the audience has only gotten larger since she’s been a part of WUMF. “It gets bigger every year, and the bands get better every year.”
By Jordan Glassock
UMF Career Services will be hosting the 2017 Career Fair on March 20 from 11:30 a.m to 2:00 p.m in the student center. The Educator’s Career Fair is being hosted on the same day from 1:00 p.m to 3:00 p.m in the North Dining Hall. While the Career Fair takes place every year, the Educator’s Career Fair is being brought back after being absent for several years. The Career Services team expects there to be a large number of businesses attending this years fairs.
“In past years, we’ve had about 50 employers come to campus for this fair, and they have things like part time jobs, full time jobs, and summer jobs and they’re specifically looking to recruit UMF students and alumni,” said Career Counselor Cyndi McShane.
Students who are not graduating this May should not be discouraged from attending the fairs. “Any student is welcome to come to the fair,” said McShane, “In fact, if you think ‘well, I don’t need a job yet,’ or ‘I’m not graduating until a few years from now,’ it would be a good idea to go to the fair because what you can do with that is you can warm up to the idea of talking to employers.”
This is McShane’s first year being involved with the Career Fair, and planning for the fair begins months in advance. “I do a lot of work with talking to the employers, and as the fair approaches we’re getting into a lot of logistical work,” said McShane, “but it’s a small price to pay for what it gives UMF students.”
Career Counselor Stephen Davis had some advice for what steps students should take to prepare for the upcoming fairs.
“I would start by analyzing the list of employers that are attending,” said Davis, “then from there I would prioritize the ones that are most interesting to them, and research them.” While it is important for students to be thoroughly prepared to meet potential employers, “You can be yourself,” said Davis, “just be a prepared version of yourself.”
Davis continued, “The other thing I would recommend is that if there is someone there that you have a meaningful conversation with and you’re excited about the conversation, follow up with them afterwards. Send them a thank you note.” Davis also said that students should take their time at the fairs.
The Career Services staff said that one of the challenges they often face is communicating to students that the Career Fair is not only a place to meet potential employers, but it is also a learning environment for students who are not graduating in May but are looking to get some job hunting experience.
“Even if you look at that list and there’s nobody there that they want talk to right away or they already have a summer job, it’s a chance to go talk to people in these industries,” said Davis.
Businesses who are attending this year’s Career Fair and Educators Career Fair are eager to meet and connect with students as well.
“For the past 5 years, we’ve attended the UMF Career Fair to connect with the qualified candidates we need,” said Dawn Palmer of Backyard Farms via email. “This year, we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary at Backyard Farms so we’re particularly excited to attend the Career Fair.”
Currently, there are 26 businesses and 14 schools registered to attend this year’s Career Fair and Educators Career Fair.