By Emily Thibodeau Contributing Writer
The Student Senate has plans to “brighten” campus up as they have been working to improve lighting on campus. Stephen Riitano, the Vice-President of the Student Senate, recently met with Jeff McKay, head of Facilities, to talk about lighting improvements.
Riitano and McKay discussed lighting options and later put out a survey for students. The survey asked students’ opinions on the lighting and where more lighting is needed. Out of the 30 responses reported, a majority suggested improvement at the walkway to the Emery Community Arts Center, the Admission Courtyard and a light shining down on the Mantor Green.
UMF students are worried about the lack of lighting at certain locations across campus. (Photo by Eryn Finnegan)
“Facilities has planned to update the spaces listed above and many others,” Riitano said. “Facilities work out of a ‘Green Fund’ that was established to update the campus and make it more efficient. Student Senate’s Student’s Rights and Affairs Committee (SRAC) is tackling the issue.”
SRAC members include Chair Stephen Riitano, Senator Sudeep Stable, Senator Nathan McIvor and Senator Samuel O’Neal. SRAC is currently proposing a plan to the Student Senate General Assembly and waiting for approval.
When asked about the timeline of this project, Riitano said, “The hope is that when the money is transferred to Facilities, they will start making the upgrades and improvements when the ground thaws. Some exterior and interior lights that are affixed to buildings may be done sooner. However, Facilities has a long to-do list, and I am unable to pinpoint an exact timeframe for when this would be done. My hope is that some improvements and upgrades are made this spring or summer.”
When interviewing UMF students, a main concern was if the new lighting would be energy efficient. Riitano said, “the lights will be much more energy efficient and save the campus in lighting costs.”
In regards to the budget, Riitano commented that it costs anywhere from $200-$600 to replace and/or update the current fixtures. “The idea is to make the campus safer, listen and act according to student requests, and to leave a lasting legacy for the campus and Student Senate for the 2017-2018 school year,” he said.
Public Safety student worker Talon Hutchinson, a Sophomore Anthropology major at UMF, was interviewed about the lighting on campus. Public Safety is often walking around at night to motioner the campus, check that doors are locked and offer their escort service. The escort service is to “help people feel safe while being walked safely somewhere,” Hutchinson, who worked this service last year, said it was used almost every night.
In Hutchinson’s opinion, “Lots 21 and 22 [freshman parking on Prescot Street] don’t have enough lighting.” Hutchinson also said that the crosswalks in front of Mallet and the Student Olsen center need to be better lit at night.
First-year student Ella Russell commented that “Walking back alone from the FRC parking lot at night is scary.” Russell suggests more outdoor lighting should be installed near the parking lots of campus.
By Sara Lamb Contributing Writer
The University of Maine at Farmington Men’s basketball team boasts a nine game winning streak as their season comes to a close. The men’s team came into th
Billy Ruby returned to compete in the conference semifinals. (Photos Courtesy of UMF Athletics)
e North Atlantic Conference (NAC) in 5th place as they headed into the semifinal round of playoffs at New England college after Defeating the Thomas Terriers 92-83 at the quarterfinals.
Although the team fell short of the final match with a score of 71-56, they had a season for the record books, winning 14 of their 26 games and beating the top two teams in the conference. Alan Young, a Junior forward, called their nine game winning streak “a great confidence booster for us.”
Prior to the game, Eric Berry, a Senior captain of the team, said in an email interview, “We’re peaking at the perfect time. We have high confidence, and now we just have to win three more.” Berry said the team was hopeful that they could win it all because they had beaten the top two teams.
Berry said that it felt good to be the captain of a tight-knit group of guys who all got along and shared a unifying goal. Berry took it upon himself to personally prepare for the first playoff game.
“I [was] watching film of the opposing team, getting treatment from the athletic trainers, and getting shots and practicing,” Berry said.
Young expressed that the sport will always be important to him no matter what.
“I have played my whole life and I’ve worked very hard to get to where I’m at,” Young said. “Basketball is a sport that has made me a more competitive and successful person and I owe that to the sport.”
Dick Meader is the head coach of the men’s basketball team and has achieved success with the team over seasons.
Dick Meader is the head coach of the Men’s Basketball team and has coached at UMF for 25 seasons. In that time, Meader has brought close to 20 of his teams to the playoffs and has won the North Atlantic Conference championship once in 2010. When asked about the game plan for the first playoff game, Meader said, “nothing really different except we got a couple guys back.” Meader is referring to the return of players Billy Ruby and Amir Moss, who were in better shape than when they played the Thomas Terriers.
Meader added that the Men’s Basketball team is “a group of guys that are very unselfish, and it’s fun to watch them play. They work hard in practice trying to get better, they do what you ask them to do, and it’s just a good group of guys, good students. It’s always fun.”
By Richard Southard Contributing Writer
UMF will be holding its annual Dean’s List Reception, an event that will congratulate the academic achievements of first year and transfer students in March. The event is specifically held to honor those who made the Dean’s List during their first semester, and encourage further success in their upcoming semester.
Lori Soucie, the coordinator for the reception, commented in an email interview that the event has value from an education perspective. “A well-known formula for success in higher education is high achievement in the first semester. Students who are successful in their first semester are often successful thereafter.” The reception is an opportunity to celebrate new student’s academic achievement.
While UMF certainly honors Dean’s List recipients, the way it affects the lives of students can vary. Second-year Creative Writing major Sylvia Schulze, who has been on the Dean’s List since her first semester, commented that its effects on her work effort are neutral.
“It’s kind of a personal goal,” Schulze said. “It motivates me a bit, but I’m more self-motivated.”
Schulze values the Dean’s List as a goal, but does not let the idea of it cause any stress. “If I don’t get it, it’s no big deal to me,” Schulze said, who did not hear about the event during freshman year.
Third-year Health major Bethany Berger holds a similar opinion towards the Dean’s List. “I think being on it in high-school kind of set up the expectation, but took away all the excitement.” Berger said. “I don’t ever aim to be on it or check to make sure I’m on track for it.”
Berger still sees value towards the Dean’s list, and said “If I’m not on it at the end of the semester, I feel like I should’ve tried harder, and I’m a bit disappointed.” Berger did not attend the Dean’s List Reception during her first year.
Creative Writing professor Patricia O’Donnell stated in an email interview that the Dean’s List is a good way to honor student effort. “I think the Dean’s List is a congratulations to students,” O’Donnell wrote. “They should be proud to see their name there, a sign that they worked hard and were given this honor.”
While O’Donnell sees the Dean’s List as a valuable honor, it does not shape her expectations for students in any specific ways. “Sometimes students are very bright and creative, but have rough semesters.” O’Donnell said. “It happens. Other times they pull together and make the Dean’s List. I expect good work from all of my students.
The event will also introduce students to groups such as Student Leadership, the Honors Program, Career Services, and Alpha Lamda Delta, who along with faculty and staff, will be providing information on various academic, leadership and experiential opportunities.
“This event is an opportunity to celebrate students’ success and to show them opportunities at UMF that may attract their interests,” Soucie said.
The reception is being held on March 6th at 5:30 p.m. in the North Dining Hall. If you qualify and are interested in attending, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to RSVP.
By Caitlin Raye Contributing Writer
It’s that time of year again, when snow is piling up and UMF facilities is working hard to keep the parking lots clear and free of snow for students and faculty.
Keenan Farwell, Grounds Manager at UMF, leads the facilities crew in charge of snow cleanup and parking lot bans. Facilities tries to clear the parking lots after receiving snowfall of more than 12 inches. They usually plan the parking bans during the school week, but do occasionally have to plan the bans for the weekends.
During a parking ban, students that have not moved vehicles from the closed lots get a parking ticket. Then they get a call, text, and email from Public Safety to have their vehicle moved, and if they do not move, they are then towed at their expense.
“We try to not tow but sometimes it is a necessity,” Farwell said.
Parking bans are done to help access the parking spaces. During the winter, snow builds up from plowing the throughways and makes a large berm in front of the cars, making it difficult to get in and out of the parking spots. Snow removal from lots helps with water build-up and also opens more spots to park.
Ana Drew, a resident hall CA, agreed that parking bans are important. “Cars start to get stuck if they aren’t cleared completely.”
Erika Tardif, a junior at UMF, agreed that parking bans are a good idea, but felt they could be handled differently. “I think they should do one lot at a time verses trying to clear four parking lots at a time, moving all those people into one parking lot,” Tardif said.
“The parking bans are never convenient for everyone, but it is something that is necessary to do to keep our parking lots safe during the winter months,” said Farwell. “We try to give plenty of notice and also plenty of space for the students and faculty to park during the bans.
Kelsey Brann, a sophomore at UMF, echoed Tardif’s frustration: “I think [parking bans] are inconvenient because we have to find somewhere else to put our cars.”
Although not everyone agrees that parking bans are convenient, Farwell said that “normally we only have parking bans on student parking lots because most of the staff and faculty lots are closed to overnight parking, so we have a chance to clear the snow from these lots before the cars park in them.”
Even when students agree that snow removal parking bans are necessary, there is disagreement on how to handle the snow removal. Drew would like to see the parking lot next to Scott Hall cleared more often, whereas Brann would like to see Lot 26 cleared.
By Emilee Eustis Contributing Writer
With the popularity of its futsal program last year, Jaycee Jenckes, the Assistant Director of the Farmington Recreation Center, is hoping to see a similar turnout for the 2018 spring season.
“Futsal is a modified form of soccer that’s played indoors,” said Jenckes. “We borrow rules from both professional futsal leagues, and indoor soccer leagues to best fit with our facility.”
The Rec. Department prepares for the futsal season by keeping the floor in good condition and properly staffing enough referees to keep the games under control and keep track of the score. The Rec. Department also provides all the necessary equipment like balls, pennies, and goals, so all players need to bring is shoes.
“We have college students, UMF faculty, [community members], Mt. Blue school teachers and parents, and even a few out of town folks who all just love to come together and play a little competitive soccer,” said Jenckes.
Anyone 18 years and older are allowed to register, and the mix of UMF students, faculty, alumni, and community members helps to intensify the levels of the game. The teams play for a championship at the end of the season.
“The winners of the league get individual jerseys however they want to have them designed and also get their names on our Futsal Trophy so we budget to be able to buy those prizes for people.” Jenckes said.
Seeing members of the community come together and enjoy themselves for one night is one of the highlights of their program. Since many of the programs put on by the Rec. Department are centered around children, this program is very important to them. This is one of their few that programs that supports the adult community, and their health and activities. Futsal games take place on Friday nights and each game is 40 minutes long, split into two 20 minutes halves.
The futsal program will continue to evolve, as the Rec. Department has added a Fall season as well. The Rec. Department has other programs such as Pickleball and rock climbing on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
For further information, anyone can stop by the Community Center located at 127 Middle St., or they can call the Rec. Center at 207-778-3464. They also post updates and flyers about all of their programs on their Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/farmingtonrec.