Downtown Spotlight: Determined Nutrition Club Welcomes UMF Students With Open Arms

By Grace McIntosh Contributing Writer

Walking into the quaint building where Determined Nutrition occupies, the eyes are met with vibrantly painted walls of lime green. Silver tinsel and other Christmas decorations grace the walls and motivational messages such as “Dream, Achieve, Succeed” adorn the room.

   Determined Nutrition is an “ herbalife health club” that sells healthy shakes and teas “patented to serve and give the body what it needs on a cellular level,” according to Danielle Allen, owner of the health club. Herbalife, which is a “nutrition and weight management company”, is the supplier for the shake’s and tea’s ingredients.

   When it comes to creating shakes and teas for the menu, Allen and her employees take it very seriously. “I am like a chemist or mixologist,” she laughed. “A lot of times it’s trial and error, we never put anything out that we have not truly tried or made to taste exactly like it’s supposed to.”

   “I love being able to walk out the door with a brownie batter shake and know that its guilt free,” Allen said. “It still tastes like I am licking the bowl without all those calories.” Shakes are 200 to 220 calories and include 24 grams of protein. The 32 flavors vary from vanilla to snickers to oatmeal cookies and many more.

   The teas that are sold have varying levels of caffeine labeled as “energizing, boosted and lit”. Classic flavors such as Chai and Lemon teas are offered, as well as candy flavors such as Gummy Bear and Skittles.

   Determined Nutrition is the third club of its kind to pop up in Maine, and when Allen opened her shop’s doors last May, she had a goal to positively impact the community. “I help people lose weight, gain weight and gain energy,” said Allen “It has been the most rewarding, amazing thing I have ever done in my entire life.”

   Allen also passionately expressed her wish to assist everyone with kindness. “Serving people with a smile and making a change in somebody’s day means more to me than anything else in my job.”

   In the future, Allen would love to see more students stop by her shop. “We are starting to get you guys [students] to trickle in which is nice,” she said. “I am always open to what you guys are looking for.” The business offers a dollar off any order for students who show their ID at the checkout.

   The students who do utilize Determined Nutrition, go for various reasons. “I definitely have different groups come in,” said Allen. “We have the people who hit the gym who come in for one reason, and we also have the people looking for a pick-me-up for studying.”

   All of the teas served at Determined Nutrition are vegan, while shakes are vegetarian. The menu labels which products are gluten free. Their business hours are  are 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Tuesday, 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, and closed on Sunday’s. Determined Nutrition can be found adjacent to the Municipal Parking lot next to Tranten’s.

UMF Community’s Hopes For The Future In Light Of Question 4 Passing

By Grace McIntosh Contributing Writer


     Several members of UMF’s community, including both faculty and students, casted their votes on November 6th, to decide the fate of Question 4, which directly institutes $8.5 million in renovations on UMF’s campus.

     Isaac Michaud, treasure of the UMF college Republicans, wrote in an email sent on the day of the election,“Question 4 is an unprecedented investment that would be a real game-changer for our campus.” The bond is set to renovate Olsen Student Center, upgrade residence halls, Merrill, Ricker Addition and Mantor Library, as well as assist in building a new Swett-Winter Education Center according to Michaud’s email.

     Laurie Gardner, Chief Business Officer, said renovations will be taking place soon. “Studies and planning will begin immediately and we hope to break ground next year on as many of the projects as possible,” said Gardner.

   Gardner said that the changes being made to campus will create a different atmosphere after the projects are completed. “The investment will enhance space and make much needed infrastructure upgrades that will improve campus facilities,” said Gardner. “The improvements will substantially improve the quality of space on campus and living environments.”

     Students also expressed their hopes of future improvements on campus. Emma Casey, a first year student, voted yes on Question 4 and would like to see renovations take place in older residence halls especially.

   “Purrington and Mallet are definitely dated and need to be modernized a bit,” said Casey.

     Freshman Mckenna Lockwood thinks that updates will benefit residence halls as well. “Mallet is such a beautiful building and I wish that it was more wheelchair accessible. There is no elevator,” said Lockwood. “The wooden stairs gave me a splinter and contain a lot of graffiti on them.”

   Lockwood also said that she was surprised the money wasn’t being used to increase parking availability on campus. “The parking lot behind the fitness center is really far away, I wish there was one closer to my dorm.”

     Although senior Brandon Cardona will have graduated by the time renovations take place, he still voted yes. “I would love to see Merrill touched up a little bit. It’s old aesthetic is dope however, the classrooms could definitely be modernized,” said Cardona.

     Some students hope that the bond will bring sustainable changes to campus. “I would love to see the dorms and other building, upgraded to have solar panels on the roofs,” said first year student Corbin Bouchard.

     Nik Peterson, a first year psychology major, said that he hopes for better seats in the lecture auditoriums. “The Weird bending-swiveling ones [chairs] are terrible to sit in for long periods of time,” said Peterson.

     In an email titled “A Happy Day”, Interim President Eric Brown wrote from Morocco with  his gratitude for the passing of Question 4. “My deepest thanks to all of you for your support, promotion, and enablement of the state bond,” said Brown. “And special gratitude to the students who voted in town yesterday, as well as those who supported them. It’s a fine hour and worth a long celebration. I look forward to joining in that in person soon.”

         The last times that campus has received renovations were updating the snack bar and cafe in 2017 as well as the construction of the biomass plant in 2016.

Hard Class? Think you won’t Pass?

Hard Class? Think you won’t Pass?

By Grace McIntosh Contributing Writer


Professor Timothy Breton teaching BIO 150, a class of 80 students. (Photo by Grace McIntosh

 As the semester quickly rolls by, some students may feel like they are struggling to keep up. Whether it is a seemingly impossible class, difficult professor, or lack of motivation, failing a course can be avoided. Professors and high-achieving students give their best advice on how to escape common mistakes and study efficiently to those who feel overwhelmed with the thought of not passing a class.

     Professor of Biology Timothy Breton said that the biggest mistake he sees when students study for exams is lack of active involvement. “Studying for several hours late at night and just glossing over the material is often not as effective as less time spent that involves quizzing yourself or pushing each other to succeed in an active study group,” said Breton. According to Breton, focusing on learning the material, versus how much time is spent on studying, increases the chance of successful outcomes.

     Alyssa Morin, a sophomore who is currently in Professor Breton’s class, said that it is critical to dedicate enough time to make sure the content of a course is understood. Morin also emphasizes the importance of finding the right place to study. “Find a quiet place with no one around,” said Morin. “I always find myself in the library or my dorm room.”

   Morin’s phone can also be a distraction to her, so she uses an app to lock it for a certain period of time. “It does not allow me to access anything and I just bust out the work that needs to be done,” she said.

    Abigayle Weston, also a sophomore at UMF,  stays motivated by thinking about her career goals. Weston’s advice to those falling behind is to make one giant list of everything that needs to get done and color-code it by priority. “My favorite way to study is by rewriting my notes,” Weston said. Rewriting notes allows for the content to be refreshed into Weston’s mind and helps her retain information.

     Morin encourages students who aren’t able to figure out course material to seek out help from professors. “Go to your professor’s office hours and make sure to set up tutor sessions in the learning commons,” Morin said.

   Morin also stated that a key factor to success is putting school before anything else. However, she also points out the importance of taking breaks and making time for leisure activities.

     Professor of Mathematics, Michael Molinsky, said that procrastination can be a sure way to do poorly. “By waiting until the very last possible minute to do homework or study for exams, students put themselves in a position where they cannot ask any questions about the parts the material that they don’t understand,” said Molinsky. Another problem that Molinsky sees often is students will memorize methods but not how to utilize them.

     For students who feel that a class is just absolutely impossible, Professor Breton said, “Be strategic, break things down, and spend the most time on very important topics you know will appear on an exam.” Allocating time to focus on material that needs to be understood as well as asking questions outside and inside class can be the difference of passing or failing a course according to Breton.

     “While trying obviously doesn’t guarantee success, you can certainly guarantee failure by not even trying from the start of the class,” said Molinsky. As a general rule of thumb for college, “Students should be spending an average of two hours outside of class each week for each credit,” Molinsky said. Students should be dedicating an average of eight hours a week for a four credit course. The weekend can be an effective slot of time to catch up on school work as well.

     Whether it is dedicating more time to studying, working harder in classes, or being more actively involved, utilizing this advice may make a difference in academic performance.

Student and Faculty Opinion: The Confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh

By Grace McIntosh Contributing Writer


     US Supreme Court Justice nominee Republican Brett Kavanaugh was officially confirmed by divided senators in a 50-48 vote. Kavanaugh’s recent confirmation has sparked heated debates and public outcry across the nation.

   Over the past few months, Kavanaugh’s name has been headlining news due to accusations of sexual assault. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick all came forward with allegations against Kavanaugh. The White House has stood by Kavanaugh’s denials.          

     Treasurer of UMF College Republicans, Isaac Michaud, explained mixed feelings on the situation. “On one hand, I believe that his judicial record and belief in precedence makes him a good candidate for the Supreme Court,” said Michaud. “On the other hand, I believe that the sexual assault allegations brought up by Dr. Ford made me not want Judge Kavanaugh confirmed.”

   Michaud stated that if it had been up to him he personally could not vote “yes” or “no”, he would have not been opposed if they decided to end the confirmation hearing to put another judge up for consideration.

     Jeffrey Willey, President of the UMF College Democrats, feels strongly that Dr. Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh were genuine. “Dr. Ford was clear and concise in her testimony and various people, including Mr. Kavanaugh’s college roommate, believed that the actions of Kavanaugh recounted by Dr. Ford were believable and truthful,” said Willey.

   Willey believes that the reputation of the Supreme Court’s reputation has been tarnished by the decision by the Senate. “This was a blatantly political appointment to a Court that is supposed to be non-partisan,” said Willey.

     Political science professor Scott Erb believed in confirming Kavanaugh before allegations surfaced. “I originally favored confirming him, believing he was intellectually solid and had a strong moral character,” said Erb.

   Erb changed his opinion when people began coming forward with accusations of sexual assault. “A lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court is a major honor, given only to people one can believe has true integrity,” said Erb. “Any doubt is enough to say no, this is not ‘innocent until proven guilty.” He said that when he saw Kavanaugh’s “hyper-partisan” and “anger laced” testimony, he strongly opposed the confirmation.

     Senior Aislinn Forbes, a registered Democrat, says that she is not surprised by the outcome. “It’s very clear that this administration doesn’t care whether a woman is telling the truth,” said Forbes. “They just want to win at all costs. Brett Kavanaugh is at the very least an extremely biased alcoholic, and unfit for the Supreme Court…”

   Forbes explained that Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing was not a trial of law, meaning the only “consequence” for him was the chance of not being appointed. “Anyone who claims this would have ‘ruined his life,’ is either willingly ignorant or purposefully trying to deceive you,” said Forbes.

   Maine Senator Susan Collins was one of the 50 senators to vote for Kavanaugh’s confirmation. “I listened to her 45 minute speech and could hear in her voice the long hours of thought, discussions, and research she put into her final opinion,” said Michaud. “I think she voted the best way with what she had to work with at the time of the vote.”

   Professor Erb simply stated, “She succumbed to pressure within her party, rather than deciding to the right thing.”

     With the upcoming election on November 6, there is the possibility that the recent events will cause an increase in voter turnout. “I hope it means more people will vote. I hope it will make people realize that we need ranked choice voting and more regulation of how people can run for office and how much they can spend,” said Forbes.  

Navigating the Dining Hall with Food Allergies and Dietary Restrictions

Navigating the Dining Hall with Food Allergies and Dietary Restrictions

By Grace McIntosh Contributing Writer

Walk into South Dining Hall and you’ll witness busy Sodexo employees hustling around in their bright blue uniforms as they work to provide students their meals. What’s on today’s menu? For some people, the importance of this question is all too real with their food allergies or dietary restrictions.

The Simple Serving station, an allergen free station, is useful for people with dietary restrictions. (Photo by Keely McConomy)

   Doug Winslow, executive chef of South Dining Hall, clarified why these concerns won’t be a problem at UMF. “We have identifiers at every station at every meal that show whether it is gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, or if it contains allergens,” said Doug. “If there is ever a question they can ask the person working the station or come find any of the managers. The doors to the kitchen are 100% open.”

   First year student Toni Facciponti, who has been a vegetarian for two years, was afraid she wasn’t going to have healthy options to fit her needs. “I was worried I would only have salad or cheese pizza to eat,” Facciponti said.

   However, when Facciponti arrived at UMF, it was clear there would be a variety of options. “The stir fry bar is a nice area for lunch, they’ll usually have rice or noodles and will cook up veggies of your choice and sometimes tofu, ” Facciponti said. The aroma of curried vegetables can often be smelled as students enter for a meal.

   At the far end of South Dining Hall, next to the kitchen, lies an allergy-friendly food station that has become a safe haven for students. The Simple Serve station is free of the eight major allergens – peanuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soybeans, fish, shellfish, and treenuts – making it the perfect place to grab a bite worry-free of cross contamination.

   First year student Brandon Marx, a pescetarian, says the Simple Serve station is his go-to for dinner. “UMF has a good selection of vegetarian choices and there will always be at least one available each meal,” Marx reassured.

   Of course, the dining hall is not a perfect system and there is always room for improvement. One student found their experience with Sodexo quite difficult. Junior Alexis Libby has a gluten allergy that caused dining during her sophomore year to be challenging.

   “Choices were always so limited. I lived on salad,” Libby said. “Frankly, the lack of options was unacceptable and I think a greater variety of gluten-free options should be available.” Libby acknowledged that the Simple Servings option was usually her safest bet. Her advice is to advocate for yourself if you don’t feel your needs are being met.

   Regardless of people’s experience with the food, Sodexo workers have a reputation around campus for being some of the warmest and kindest people.

   “The workers have been extremely helpful and pleasant during my interactions with them,” Marx said. Facciponti also agrees with the staff-friendliness saying that they make an effort to know your name as well.

   Whether today’s menu looks good or not, the dining hall aims to make your experience pleasant from start to finish for each meal.