Student Feature: Stephen Riitano Making a Difference

Student Feature: Stephen Riitano Making a Difference

By Kaitlyn Polk, Contributing Writer 

UMF student Stephen Riitano. (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

UMF student Stephen Riitano. (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

Stephen Riitano is a friendly face around UMF and is very excited to graduate in 2018 with a major in secondary education. Currently a CA in Mallet Hall, Riitano is also the vice president of Student Senate, president of Operation Giveback, and will be a Resident’s Assistant starting next year. He has a lot on his plate and continues to have a smile on his face while balancing his many involvements.

Being a CA makes him a familiar face around campus. “I call being a CA the fishbowl effect,” Riitano said. “You become a face on campus that everyone knows and goes to.” He strives to help all of his Mallet Hall residents so that they can be the best they can be.

Riitano has a passion for teaching and always has. “I have always wanted to be a teacher since 3rd grade,” Riitano said. He had his eyes set on UMF when he was in the eighth grade. “For years I have dreamed of coming to UMF,” Riitano said. Now that the end is so close, it is exciting to be finally in the profession.”

Before Riitano graduated from Bangor High School in 2015, he knew right away where he wanted to go next. “I decided to come to UMF based upon its esteemed reputation in teacher preparation,” Riitano said, “I came here my junior year for a tour and absolutely loved the campus and feel I got. I couldn’t wait to apply.” He loved the campus so much that he works as an Admissions Ambassador and gladly gives tours to incoming students and strives to make them love UMF as much as he does.

Riitano has had many impact on friends and students, including fellow Bangor High alum, Jake Harris. After both graduating high school in 2015, Riitano went on to college while Harris took a year off. Riitano knew UMF was a perfect fit for Harris and did his best to get him to apply.

“He told me how great the campus was, so I came here for a tour and fell in love with the place,” Harris said, “I would have never come to UMF without Stephen.” Harris is currently a freshman with a major in psychology.

Officer of Financial Affairs for Student Senate, Marshall Maxsimic, believes that Riitano is doing great things as well. They will be working together on the Eboard of Senate, and Maxsimic couldn’t be more excited. “Steve is really involved with a lot of things on campus so he brings a unique perspective,” Maxsimic said, “One example was Operation Give Back through SMEA, which was a huge success so I know that Steve gets results.” Operation Give Back is designed around a Create Grant that was given to the Student MEA last semester.

CA Joe Brichetto Elected Incoming  President of Student Senate

CA Joe Brichetto Elected Incoming President of Student Senate

Newly elected Student Senate President for the upcoming 2017-2018 year. (Photo Courtesy of Facebook)

Newly elected Student Senate President for the upcoming 2017-2018 year. (Photo Courtesy of Facebook)

By Kaitlyn Polk, Contributing Writer

Student Senate recently elected a new president, Joseph Brichetto whom you may know for his many involvements around campus. You can find him in the basement of Scott Hall taking care of his residents, you can catch him on the green playing Ultimate Frisbee, hanging out in the Mainely Outdoors building, or making lesson plans for his secondary education classes. His laugh is infectious and he captures the UMF spirit.

Brichetto, the long-legged, ultimate frisbee player shows pride as he talks about why he decided to run for Student Senate President, “I want to be Senate President because I feel that I can be very effective in the role in terms of giving back to the UMF community,” said Brichetto. “Throughout my time here, I’ve strived to make UMF a place for students to fall in love with like I did and Student Senate President seemed like the next logical step.”

He became involved with student senate his sophomore year because he didn’t attend UMF his freshman year. He started at Orono right out of high school after graduating from Bangor High School. He didn’t want to venture out of his comfort zone. “Being a freshman and an undeclared major and a commuter, I naturally hated it,” said Brichetto. He traveled up to UMF one weekend to visit some friends from high school and he knew this was the school for him and he transferred.

Being the great friend that he is, Brichetto would proxy for all of his friends who couldn’t vote and this would occur on a regular basis. “So naturally when a seat opened up, I ran for the spot but ended up losing to OCA Jaramillo,” Brichetto said with a giggle continuing, “Thankfully, six seats on general assembly opened up that next semester and I was appointed to one of those.”

Now a junior, he has served as club commissioner this year and has a passion to do more for clubs. “There are just a few pragmatic changes that could be made which would jive better with how clubs run today,” said Brichetto, “I think would be beneficial for Senate and clubs alike.” He is a member of one of the club sports and really wants to make a difference.

Brichetto believes that leadership is a key to being a good president and while he exceeds in leadership being a Community Assistant in Scott Hall, he recently passed his exam to be a certified EMT and is always around when his residents need him.

Amanda Swart a resident of Brichetto’s hall said, “Joe is a great a CA and leader and always makes sure his residents feel welcome.”

Brichetto and vice president Stephen Riitano are lucky that they get to work together. Riitano and Brichetto both attended Bangor High School, are CAs, and even have the same major; secondary education.

Along with the rest of senate e-board, Brichetto showed excitement to start working with them. “I’m excited to work with all of my eboard,” Brichetto said. “I know them all well and understand their work ethic and problem-solving styles and believe theirs will be a high level of cohesion.”