Taking a look back at the past 90 years of our campus newspaper and highlighting noteworthy items that perhaps were best forgotten.
Scanned text originally from the Mainestream on September 20, 1979
Ah yes, the longstanding ratio issue here at UMF. Well, I guess it’s not that much of an issue for the 33% of students here that are guys, but the other 66% definitely see it as more of an issue.
That’s right, for all you freshman guys who haven’t noticed yet, the ratio is 2:1, which gives you all some pretty good odds. As for you gals, there’s a reason that Tinder is one of the most popular apps on campus.
Why is this the case? Not enough guys want to be teachers? Is it perhaps because we don’t have a football team? Are they scared of the cold winters? We may never know. Anyways, until next time, happy hunting!
How a generous donation is helping students find new appreciation for the local ski mountain.
By Faith Rouillard, Contributing Writer
As the air gets colder and snow begins to fall, one Farmington location prepares for the winter season. Winter is nearing and Titcomb Mountain will soon be the heart of the town, the staff and all the volunteers’ hard work will begin to pay off. The mountain sits just two miles away from the university; a seven-minute drive. Throughout the years, the mountain has become a necessary asset to UMF.
Titcomb Mountain is fit to serve all levels of skiers and snowboarders, from beginners to experts. The mountain has well-kept cross country trails and a terrain park. Titcomb was established in 1939 and is more alive and well than ever before. Night skiing is offered on select evenings throughout the season.
Thanks to a generous donation, full-time students at UMF receive free season passes to Titcomb. “When you pair the free season pass with MO (Mainely Outdoors) rentals, and free learn to ski lessons taught through the Alpine Operations Certificate Program, it really makes skiing accessible to all students here at the university,” says senior and class president, Isaac Seigle.
“It’s impossible for Titcomb to go a day without the mountain being used by someone who is also a student at the university,” said Seigle. The mountain has a deep-seated integration with the university.
Seigle explained how Titcomb means more to him than just skiing. “Titcomb [has been] a part of my life since I was eight is what made me want to go to UMF for ORBA (Outdoor Recreation Business Administration),” he said. “I loved skiing, and I loved Titcomb, and getting an education that would help me do work addressing awareness of the barriers to equity in outdoor recreation was really important to me. Without organizations like Titcomb, I probably wouldn’t have been able to make skiing such a part of my life.”
For the students in the ORBA program at UMF, Titcomb has been a great outlet to show off what the students have learned. “For me, this is a great opportunity to have a management position at a mountain as a student. It will help me later in life,” says Sam Scheff, an ORBA major and the terrain park manager at Titcomb.
Both Scheff and Seigle started working at Titcomb through internships at UMF as requirements for their majors. “Titcomb sees a lot of students wanting to do their internship at the mountain. Once it came time for my internship, it just made sense to me to do it at Titcomb and give back to the mountain that gave me so much throughout my life,” said Seigle. “Being a smaller organization, an internship at Titcomb is also a great first chance for students to stand up and be in a position to take on more responsibility within an organization that is resource strained.”
“The atmosphere is one of the best things about Titcomb. It is so family-friendly and accepting,” said Scheff.
This small mountain operates with the slogan, “The friendliest mountain around.” That goal is embodied by all. “Titcomb is oriented around being a really friendly place that can feel like home,” said Seigle.
This mountain is an incredible resource to the community and our school. “Most know that the mountain is run by mostly volunteers, so it takes a whole community to get it up and running,” said Scheff. “Stop by and come see Titcomb. Come see what we’re all about.”
by Emily Cheney, Contributing Writer
As campus life adjusts to the new policies, local businesses and restaurants downtown are also struggling to handle the new modifications.
When COVID-19 first hit, businesses began to shut down in order to stay safe. The Homestead, a local business located in downtown Farmington, has been one of many local businesses that has adapted to the pandemic lifestyle.
The Homestead in downtown Farmington.
Photo courtesy of Sam Shirley.
Kyra Zabel, a fourth-year student at UMF, has been working at The Homestead for two years and describes her struggles. “We closed for a couple months so I was technically out of a job, but when we got back, I was working more than before we closed,” Zabel said. “I had more time and a lot of the staff left because they lived on campus and went home. I was going in at 11:30 and working until close frequently, which is a lot of being consistently on your feet.”
Between trying to keep everything clean and the customers happy, dealing with backlash is inevitable. “Most of our customers are really respectful, but especially during lunch, there are always people who feel the need to complain and make comments about having to wear a mask,” Zabel said.
Working in any sort of local business has become significantly stressful during these past months. For restaurants, employees are much more attentive, working with food and constantly cleaning tables, one after the other, “To maximize time before, we used to be able to have all of our tables close to each other, but now we have to sanitize and wash our hands in between people, and it’s so much more time-consuming.” Zabel said.
Looking from the customer’s perspective, Farmington resident Emma Petersson shared her recent experience with dining at the Homestead. “Besides the extra sanitation precautions, I cannot say that I noticed a difference in how things are run,” Petersson said. “I would definitely say they are more on top of things as the dining area is more spread out and staff is enforcing and maintaining strict sanitation practices.”
The tables are already spread out making social distancing easy to maintain for those who are dining. “The staff has been very kind and considerate, but firm with boundaries,” Petersson said.
Though Zabel said that she has dealt with some very rude customers who complain about wearing masks, Petersson said that from a customer’s point of view, she did not see anyone being insolent about masks while she was there. “I didn’t interact with other customers, but they were all wearing masks when walking to or from their table which I appreciated,” said Petersson.
Taylor Burke, Contributing Writer
Farmington’s essential businesses are working hard to serve their communities through the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), but since Maine Governor Janet Mills mandated the stay-at-home order, this hard work doesn’t come without challenges.
Franklin Printing, just five minutes away from UMF, has remained open because the customers they serve are part of essential industries. “The two general categories we service are medical supplies and food packaging,” said David Nemi, Marketing and Sales Manager at Franklin Printing, in an email interview. “One of our customers, Abbott Laboratories, is manufacturing COVID-19 test kits. We print the materials included with each kit.”
Nemi is very appreciative of how the staff is responding to the changes involving how business is being done. “We have a dedicated team who works hard to service our customers,” he said. “When Abbott needed COVID-19 materials from us in 24 hours, we rose to the occasion, working over the weekend to make a delivery on a Sunday morning.”
Franklin Printing is working hard to protect both its staff and customers in accordance with precautions concerning COVID-19. The building isn’t allowing any visitors except for those who are essential. In addition, they are constantly cleaning surfaces, practicing social distancing, and providing all employees with masks and bottles of hand sanitizer. “Everyone is adapting and understands our good decisions now will bring a better tomorrow that much sooner,” Nemi said.
Even though Franklin Printing is experiencing a decrease in business and have been forced to cut hours for their production team, Franklin Printing is using the challenges they’ve faced as a learning and growing opportunity. “Our goal is to make sound decisions now so there is no long-term financial impact,” Nemi said. “We are taking advantage of the various stimulus programs the state and federal government are offering to provide financial assistance to employees.”
Mary Jane’s Slice of Heaven, a pizza restaurant near Narrow Gauge Theater that opened in January, has been overwhelmed by the community response that it’s received over the changes. Mary Jamison, owner of the restaurant, has had to make, including laying off new employees, running the business by herself, and switching to take-out only. “The support from the community and the customers is amazing and humbling,” she said in a phone interview. “Everybody that comes in has been super friendly.”
Being a new business trying to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic has caused some challenges for Jamison, especially in the efforts to receive federal aid. “We don’t have a lot of the documentation that they’re needing,” she said. “We’re trying to find ways to make it work.” This has included contacting banks and other resources recommended to her in order to get the assistance she needs. “It’s like starting the business all over again,” she said.
To keep everyone safe, Jamison is following social distancing guidelines and has made changes to how she interacts with customers. “It has all been a challenge, but we’re doing it.”
Jamison is also giving back to the community to those in need during these tough times. “We donated food for the kids’ meals through W.G. Mallett School,” she said. “We also worked with the Children’s Task Force to donate some pizzas to families in need.”
The Pierce House, a residential care facility located on Main Street in Farmington, also has the goal of keeping spirits alive for those that they serve. Administrator Darlene Mooar and her staff are doing everything they can to accommodate for new recommendations while also continuing to offer the same way of life that the residents enjoy. “We are providing the opportunity to carry on their most precious activities (exercise, Bingo, and sitting on the porch) by modifying the room set up to accommodate for social distancing.” They had to inform Pierce House residents and family members that there would be visiting restrictions
With these visiting restrictions in place, Mooar was worried about the residents. “My greatest concern is the risk of separation anxiety from their usual visits,” she said. However, her team still plans to support residents just like they always have. Through the kindness of those in the community, The Pierce House has been able to exceed the needs of their residents to make them as comfortable and safe as they can.
The Pierce House staff are reporting any symptoms of respiratory infection, taking their temperature before starting their shifts, and wearing surgical masks, cloth face shields, and face shields when needed. “The best thing I have seen is the employees’ willingness to do everything necessary to protect each other, the residents, and their own families,” said Mooar. “We are the armor that shields our most critical resource: human beings.”
Despite the challenges Farmington businesses are facing, they are still going strong with the support of their customers, community, and staff. Their resiliency is a true testament to how important togetherness and dedication are in times of uncertainty.
By Samuel Carignan – Contributing Writer
In partnership with UMF Health Promotion students, the Franklin County Children’s Task Force held the Make Tracks for Kids event to raise money to end child abuse and neglect.
On Saturday, October 14th, community members got together to participate in the Make Tracks for Kids event. The program supports children who need help in learning or school activities and works to get them the resources they need. The day featured a 2-mile walk, 5K run, and 1-mile kids run. Through registration fees and donations, the group was able to donate the proceeds to 21st Century Kids of F.R.A.N.K.L.I.N. After School Program.
UMF students in Health 310 also added to the day’s events. The students were tasked with running multiple stations that provided information on nutrition and provided participants with healthy snacks.
Chantal Diamond, a Community Health and Anthropology major, was one of the UMF students involved at Make Tracks for Kids. “My job was to provide nutritional and health guidance and give out snacks. We provided information on how to make healthy snacks on a tight budget,” said Diamond.
Students of Health 310 at the Tracks for Kids event.
(Photo courtesy of Katie Callahan)
Information booths were located both at the Task Force Center and Mt. Blue Middle School. UMF students also set up obstacle courses for children to enjoy. “One was a hoop game, another hopscotch, and a bunch of other little activities to get the kids moving,” said Diamond.
The main events at Make Tracks for Kids were the three runs. Participants could choose between a 2-mile walk or a 5K run and children could race in the 1-mile kids run. The races started at the Task Force Center and went through both Bonny Woods and Flint Woods. Racers enjoyed the beautiful fall colors that the trees of New England are famous for. Although it was a race, as a charity run, the focus was on raising money and awareness for the programs as opposed to the winners of the race.
Bikers Against Child Abuse, a non-profit national organization of motorcyclists, was also in attendance. Their mission at Make Tracks for Kids was to raise awareness for child abuse prevention. Healthy Community Coalition, along with UMF students, helped provide families with health information and snacks.
Make Tracks for Kids has left a positive impact on the community. “I think it definitely [made an impact on] the children. It really gave them a chance to learn a little more about nutrition and health,” said Diamond. The money raised from this event will be used to better the lives of community members, especially children.
Work for the students of Health 310 did not end at the conclusion of the event. UMF students taking the course will use this experience to create a project, presentation, and paper on the process of going through an intervention.
“It teaches us on what we can do better and what we need to focus on in order to make sure an intervention goes smoothly,” said Diamond.