By Malcolm Langner, Assistant Editor
On Jan. 20, Joe Biden, in his first day in office, officially signed the documentation which allowed the United States to rejoin the Paris Agreement, a deal which was originally signed back in 2016 by nearly 200 countries. The United States had been one of the many countries to sign on with the deal, but decided to leave the agreement under the Trump Administration on Nov. 4, 2019.
Marcia Hartwell, a political science professor at UMF, believes that The Paris Agreement holds plenty of importance throughout the world, especially with the recent and ongoing concerns over global warming. “I believe it is important for the U.S. to align themselves with the global issues, as no country is unaffected by climate change and related government issues.” said Hartwell. “Rejoining the Paris Agreement sends a signal that the U.S. acknowledges its national and global importance.”
Global warming has provoked extreme weather across the globe, and such weather is appearing to become more and more common. The U.S. is one of the greatest contributors to the effects of global warming. When the U.S. left the agreement, many feared industrial regulations would be limited and these worldwide concerns would only grow larger. “The 2019 UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction documented in their 2019 report ‘Human Cost of Disasters 2000-2019’, that the extreme weather events experienced by the U.S. such as hurricanes, excessive rain and violent storms, extreme heat and cold, have accelerated worldwide in the past twenty years,” Hartwell said. “These events cross international borders and no country has escaped the human, social, and economic costs to its infrastructure.”
The ramifications for a widespread, unified coalition benefit the majority of parties across the world. Hartwell believes that maintaining close relationships globally will help combat cross-border environmental disasters. “Building international coalitions to assist with cross border emergency responses and collaboratively plan prevention strategies will help all countries manage and reduce current and future impacts and risks,” said Hartwell. Hartwell also notes that emergency response units like firefighters, paramedics, and the Red Cross will have greater capabilities in assisting those in need.
The Paris Agreement also creates a widespread sense of community. It helps send out a message of willingness to tackle one of this generation’s greatest obstacles. “The U.S. can also intensify efforts to increase climate change education, training, public awareness, participation, and access to information by utilizing transparent and relevant communication strategies on the local, regional, national, and international levels,” Hartwell said. “These are the first steps in the many needed to maintain and create a better global environment.”
The news comes during the transition of the end of Donald Trump’s presidency to the start of Joe Biden’s. Trump had little environmental plans and put greater emphasis on fewer restrictions, favoring the economy over the environment. Biden has already displayed vastly different ideals, putting the environment and the well-being of the planet ahead of economic value. Despite this, the Biden administration is seeking out environmental changes which can also help boost the economy.
You happen upon a tiny frog who grants tiny wishes. The frog informs you that you cannot wish for big things, like money, love, or power, or wishes that will benefit a population. What do you wish for? -Freckles the Flyer Frog
Freckles the Flyer Frog
By Faith Rouillard and Malcolm Langner:
– A restful night sleep
– A pencil that never goes missing
– A shower that never gets cold
– A full fridge without going grocery shopping
– Flawless internet while on Zoom
– A clone to attend Zoom classes
– A phone that never dies
– A white and sunny Christmas
– White shoes that never get dirty
– A coffee table that won’t slide away from your feet
– Getting into shape without having to exercise
– No ads on games or TV
– Never getting toothpaste on your clothes again
By Portia Hardy:
– Jeans that fit perfectly
– An electronic charger that works on any device
– A never-ending jug of pure maple syrup
By Emma Pierce:
– A bedroom that cleans itself
– Paper mâché that dries quickly
– Glasses that don’t smudge
By Malcolm Langner, Contributing Writer
During phase four of COVID-19 testing, three cases of COVID-19 were reported on the UMF campus. The phase four testing round included 100 randomly selected off-campus students, faculty, and staff.
Gracie Vaughan, a sophomore, experienced the panic caused by the virus first-hand when she found out she had tested positive for COVID-19. “I was extremely worried. I work at a place with patrons who may have a very difficult time if they were to catch the virus,” Vaughan said. “My main worry was that I could have infected other people.”
Vaughan was asymptomatic, meaning she didn’t show any of the symptoms of COVID-19, but still tested positive for the virus. Despite this, she was concerned for her health and those who were around her. “I’m very lucky that my symptoms didn’t progress for me, but that doesn’t mean that everyone will have the same luck,” said Vaughan. “It was scary not knowing exactly what it could turn into and that alone was even hard on my mental health.”
The various COVID-19 protocols and safety measures may seem tedious and have left some with sour tastes in their mouths, but Vaughan was adamant that such measures are for the good of the community. “Just because people our age have a less difficult time with the virus doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. I would be in a very different position if everyone on campus was following the protocols set forth by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and by the University,” said Vaughan.
Vaughan mentioned that she was like most others in that she didn’t believe the disease could ever touch her, but she wants to use her experience as a positive, rather than a negative. “I think if people see someone they know has the virus, it will become more real to them,” said Vaughan.
For the students on campus who haven’t contracted COVID-19, seeing that UMF isn’t immune to the virus was a wake up call. For Mackenzie Dyer, a sophomore, this was especially true. “Seeing these cases really opened my eyes. Even though I follow the guidelines, I never really thought that the virus would, or even could, get to UMF,” Dyer said. “I can’t even imagine being told that I have COVID-19.”
Dyer isn’t just worried about her own health, but of UMF as a whole. “I love it at UMF. I would hate to see the campus close down early–or even worse, get closed down for the entirety of the spring semester–because we couldn’t follow safety protocols,” said Dyer.
Not only do the ramifications of a COVID-19 outbreak cause closures on campus, but they could put the lives of family members at risk. “If we get sent home and there have been several cases of COVID-19 on campus, I worry especially about the possibility of bringing it back to my house,” said Dyer. “Just because it might not give me any problems doesn’t mean my family members will have a similar fate.”
As UMF is receiving its first COVID-19 cases, Maine as a state has been increasing once again in positive cases. On Oct. 31, Maine totalled 101 new cases; the most new cases in a day since May 23, with two cases from Franklin Country “If we all work together now that means this whole situation will be a lot shorter in the long run. Please think of other people before deciding not to follow safety protocols,” Vaughan said.
by Malcolm Langner, Contributing Writer
Mallett Hall, a residence hall on campus.
(Photo courtesy of Sam Shirley)
Despite the terrors that came with 2020, nothing comes close to some of the spooky UMF stories which resurface during Halloween. Rumors swirl around buildings on campus, most are about Mallett Hall, Merrill Hall and Purington Hall. This Halloween is bound to bring back hidden memories and spirits which reside in them.
UMF was founded in 1864 as the state’s first public institution of higher education. With such a long history comes many stories—some good, some bad. One of the most common stories comes from the Nordica Auditorium in Merrill Hall. Here, there have always been whispers about Madame Nordica—a famous opera singer from Farmington in the late 1800s—haunting the hall.
Bob Samson, a part-time UMF police officer, can advocate for these hauntings. “One night I was conducting a foot patrol at about three in the morning. I had a person who was interested in police work shadowing me on my rounds. We were on the first floor of Merrill Hall when we heard a loud scream or screech. It sounded like a crow cawing, but louder,” Samson said. “I assumed someone had snuck into the building so I had that person stand in the hallway so he could see both exits. I went to the top floor and worked my way to the basement checking every room, every closet, every nook.”
Samson continued by saying, “The person I left in the hallway said no one left via either exit. I checked both exits and both sets of doors were locked and secured.”
Not everyone may believe in the supernatural, yet there is no doubt that something spooky took place that night in Merrill Hall.
Merrill Hall isn’t the only sketchy hall on campus. Mallett Hall is notorious for unexplainable phenomena, spooking students every year. Rumor has it that a woman died in the elevator of Mallett. Others say she killed herself. These rumors have led to many interesting nights in Mallett.
Kaci Bates, a sophomore at UMF, has a story of her own. “According to my roommate, I was sleeping one night and I shot up very suddenly. Apparently, I started singing the Happy Birthday song in a low, eerie whisper,” Bates said. “When I got to the verse ‘Happy Birthday dear *blank*’ I gasped and fell back asleep.” Now, maybe the hauntings of Mallett don’t have anything to do with this, but don’t be surprised if your roommate gets possessed for a few seconds if you live in Mallett.
This last story comes from Stone. Unlike the other halls Stone does not have an historical past, but nonetheless there are some blood curdling stories.
Ileah Arcand, a sophomore at UMF, was a resident in the basement of Stone her freshman year when she and her roommate pulled an all-nighter. “At about 3 a.m., we heard a horrible scream coming from the kitchen/laundry room down the hall,” Arcand said, getting chills about the memory. “Of course, we went to check to see if everything was okay. As we investigated we came to realize that there was nobody around.”
Unfortunately for Arcand, this wasn’t her only disturbance. “Another time, I went to the vending machine in the laundry room (the same room as the scream). As I walked in I noticed a group of people in the kitchen from the corner of my eye. When I turned to see who it was there was nobody there. I ran straight back to my room,” said Arcand. She also mentioned that she would constantly hear doors being slammed in the middle of the night, while there were only four others living on the floor.
These are just a few stories spread throughout the history of UMF. Whether these are ghosts or simple coincidences, they remain intriguing. “I think a lot of people experience things that have no explanation, like that screeching I heard. I have no idea what it was, but I know I heard it,” Samson said.
With Halloween coming up, it wouldn’t be shocking to hear a few more ominous, chilling tales during the spooky season.