Building Community in Mallett Hall

Building Community in Mallett Hall

By Emilee Eustis Contributing Writer


   CAs in Mallett Hall believe that residence hall programs not only help ease the unfamiliarity of college, but also aide in higher academic achievement and bonding opportunities.   

   Jamie St. Pierre, a first year CA at Mallett Hall, said that living in the dorms holds a lot of importance for students.

   “Not only will they probably meet their first friends this way, but they also have great resources like CAs to help them out with whatever they need,” St. Pierre said.

   “I enjoy being a mentor and a resource in the halls and around campus,” said Brian Weiner, another first year CA at Mallett Hall. For both Weiner and St. Pierre, building their community and having a positive impact on their residents is the most important aspect of being a CA.

   Weiner and St.

Mallett CAs are working towards building a sense of community in the residence Hall. (Photo Courtesy of Brian Weiner)

Pierre are dedicated to making sure the residents who live in Mallett get the best experience possible by putting on hall programs to benefit the students.

   “Programs are typically put on to build community,” said Weiner. “So the residence halls are not just where people live, but also where residents socialize and learn as well.”

   It takes flexibility and creativity to come up with programs that everyone will attend, especially with the tight budget the CAs have to shop for supplies. An upcoming program Weiner is putting together is called “Guided Meditation and Glowsticks” which will help students relieve stress before going into finals week. “We have to shop on a budget so we make the best programs we can for the least amount of money,” Weiner said.

   St. Pierre is also aiming to help with the end of the year madness by putting on a program called “BJ’s in your PJ’s,” where students can eat Ben & Jerry’s ice cream while doing homework in their pajamas. “Programs enhance the dorm experience by bringing residents together,” St. Pierre said, “they help to build a community with everyone around them.

   Both St. Pierre and Weiner are helping to put together an end of semester barbeque with the other CAs in Mallett Hall along with programs like making your own laundry soap to help students save money and better the environment.

   The CAs will continue to brainstorm program ideas to close out the end of the semester by helping students tackle the stresses of finals and begin to think about the move-out process in May.  

Senior Art Majors Present Capstone Projects in Art Show

Senior Art Majors Present Capstone Projects in Art Show

Eric Berry proudly stands with his installation “Caddywhompus Ho-Hum Handsomeness” at Feints opening night. (Photo by Sarah Lamb)

By Sara Lamb Contributing Writer

 Senior Art majors at UMF are showcasing their final capstone projects in a group show titled “Feint” in both the Emery Arts Center and the UMF Art Gallery. Feint is a group project with contributions from six UMF seniors: Eric Berry, Samuel Burnell, Nicholas Cole, Elliott Eno, Cameron Morrell and Olivia Vanner.

   The meaning behind the title came from the word’s definition: to deceive. The artists are deceiving cultural restraints through its various themes. The show explores topics such as labor, cultural norms, media and memory through the artist’s different points of views and experiences.

   Capstone is a final accumulation of all the work and knowledge that one has consumed over their four years at UMF. It is a year-long course that is required to graduate and is found in all majors on campus with slight variations for the different degree programs.

   Eric Berry, a senior, has wanted to pursue a career in art since high school. Berry said in an online interview, “I would consider myself a sculptor but I do love adding color to my work, whether it is painting or using the color of the original material.”

Senior Olivia Vanner Experimented with 2D animation. (Photo by Eryn Finnegan)

   Berry has installed his work in the two locations, and continues to tweak and modify the pieces to improve them. All of Berry’s pieces have been worked on since this past fall. “One of my most reoccurring themes is exploring labor through rural objects. Each piece does have multiple themes underlining that idea,” Berry said.

   Berry encourages everyone who goes to the exhibits to take a booklet created by each artist that goes into more detail about their work.

   Cameron Morrell, another Senior Art major, said in an email interview that his favorite art to work with is installations and digital compositions/collages. “I like to create pieces that have a sensory impact so they engage more th

One of Morrell’s installations, “Rebuild & Continue.” (Photo by Keely McConomy)

an just the eye. Something that puts the body into perspective with either size or with sound or smell or a feeling,” Morrell said.

   Most of Morrell’s pieces in the show involve multiple senses, such as the breeze of a fan or the smell of citrus fruit. In addition to the pieces they had to create, artists needed to write a thesis about their work. For Morrell, this was the most challenging part. “It’s incredibly difficult to try and explain in words what our art is doing and where it’s coming from,” Morrell said.

   President Foster, who attended the event, said, “there is nothing more inspiring than seeing the culmination of a person’s thought process and I am awed by and blown away by the talent and the diligence the creativity and the brilliance of the work that I see from the seniors.”

   President Foster continued, saying that she sees talent illuminate from the seniors every year, but this year’s art capstone seems particularly compelling for her. After speaking to some of the artists about their art, she walked away with a smile on her face.

   The UMF Art Gallery is open for viewings Tuesday through Sunday 12-4 p.m., and t

Morrel’s Digital composition “Windows” in Emery Arts Center. (Photo by Eryn Finnegan)

he Emery Arts Center is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The artists will uninstall their work on May 13. If you would like to know more information about each artist’s work, they will be participating in artist talks about their work on Symposium Day.

UMF Men’s Rugby Tackles England

UMF Men’s Rugby Tackles England

By Keely McConomy Contributing Writer

The UMF Men’s Rugby Team has enjoyed a successful season since returning from England. (Photo by Liam Brinkler)

  Recently, UMF Men’s Rugby team traveled to England to improve their skills for the upcoming spring season, and experience the sport to its full potential.

   The team landed in Manchester, England, and traveled through the expansive sheep-filled fields during the four hour drive to Hexham, England. The 18 members of the UMF team and ten alumni, including coach Tony Solis, stayed in bunk houses that were crammed and cozy, making it so all the players could do was eat, sleep and breathe rugby.

  The men played four games in their travels that put their skills to the test. They competed against teams that consisted of members who have been “playing since they were five years old,” said Liam Brinkler, a second year rugby player for UMF.

   Playing the English teams taught the UMF men much more about rugby. Through the games against high caliber teams, Brinkler and the UMF squad were able to show their skills and better themselves.

  “It’s such a better atmosphere to learn and grow, the other guys would give us advice off the field,” Brinkler said. “On the field you’re enemies, but off the field you’re friends.”

   The games were not the only way they were able to advance their rugby skills. The team had the opportunity to work with former professional rugby player from England National Team Chris Jones. Working with Jones resonated with the men.

   “He’s really smart,” said David Kimmel, also a second year rugby player.

   The team was able to learn lots techniques from Jones. “We learned a lot about defensive formations, which is something that we don’t really focus on in the States. He had knowledge that people here seem to overlook,” said Kimmel.

   For current coach and former rugby player Tony Solis, this trip was not only about developing skills related to the sport, it was about fully experiencing the true traditions of rugby. Solis had been on the trip when he was a player, so he was privy to all the knowledge and culture that his men would benefit from.

   “Our guys got to see how various traditions get handed down, and how different club rugby in the UK is than University rugby,” said Solis in an email interview. “On top of it all for me was solidifying old relationships as well as creating new relationships with guys halfway across the world that share the commonality of rugby,” Solis said.

   Solis went on to say, “I hope that we continue as a community of Maine rugby to develop relationships with other squads in a similar vein: Fierce competitors on the field, and members of the brotherhood of rugby off it.”

   Both Kimmel and Brinkler are excited about “Beast of the East,” a collegiate rugby tournament, hoping to show off their improved individual and team skills. In a recent schrimidge against Bates College, Kimmel saw the improvement first hand. “Once we started focusing on what Chris [Jones] had said I think some of us, who were on the tour, figured it out and it clicked a little bit more,” siad Kimmel.

   Brinkler has his heart set on getting the gold at “Beast of the East.” “We lost in the plate championship last year. But I’m very confident, we had a very good team and we’ve even added a couple players,” said Brinkler.

   Beast of the East will be held in Portsmouth, Rhode Island on April 14 and 15.

UMF Continues Search for Tenure-Track Creative Writing Professor

By Dale J Rappaneau Jr Contributing Writer

   In response to UMF’s unsuccessful search for a tenure-track Creative Writing professor, Eric Brown, Interim Provost and VP for Academic Affairs, remains confident in the program’s academic strength and ability to find a quality candidate to fill the role.

   “UMF values highly its creative writing program, which continues to draw exceptional students from around the country,” wrote Brown in an email. “While we were unable to hire a tenure-track position for the coming year, we will continue to offer screenwriting courses next fall and spring.”

   Brown’s specific mention of screenwriting stems from the fact that Bill Mesce, Associate Professor of Creative Writing, who currently teaches the screenwriting courses, was among the candidates unsuccessful in securing the tenure-track position. As a result, students have speculated on the state of screenwriting and its place in the creative writing program.

   “Screenwriting is a unique component of the program, offering opportunities for the study of a genre not widely offered elsewhere in the state of Maine,” Brown said. “I regard screenwriting as a potential difference-maker for our program, appealing to students not only as a distinct genre, but as a gateway to further work in the film industry, and I see the coming year as crucial in defining the best way of supporting that at UMF.”

   Jeff Thomson, Professor of Creative Writing, echoes Brown’s sentiments, stating that the creative writing program is the school’s “jewel program” and that screenwriting is an essential part of the program. He added, “Pat [O’Donnell] and I are going to rethink and rework the screenwriting position and do another search in the fall.”

   At the time of writing, screenwriting courses are being offered for the Fall 2018 semester, despite the program’s continued search for a professor to teach those courses. “We don’t have an official contract in place yet so I can’t say for certainty,” wrote Brown, “but, again, the plan going forward is to have staffing for those courses, and I expect we will have it resolved positively in the next week or so.”

   Linda Britt, Chair of the Division of Humanities, rallied behind the creative writing program and saw the unsuccessful tenure-track search as unreflective of the program’s strength and long-lasting academic appeal. “The creative writing program is strong and popular, and it has an excellent reputation in the field,” Britt wrote in an email. “The program will be here for far longer than you or I will.”

   The Fall 2018 screenwriting course, as detailed in the MaineStreet course catalog, will take place every Wednesday, from 3:10 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and the instructor in charge of the course is simply detailed as “Staff.”

Senior Social At The Roost Delivers An Evening of Entertainment

By Nicole Stewart Staff Reporter

When walking along Main Street in downtown Farmington, seniors who opened the door to the Roost were greeted by loud music playing from the DJ, chatty bar-goers, and their fellow classmates for the Senior Social.

   The social was a way for the class of 2018 to relax for the night with their friends by dancing, talking and chowing down on the greasy, yummy bar food. Though the event was held from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., a majority of the class showed up towards the later hours of the Friday night. No matter what time the students showed up, it was a night for relaxation and forgetting about both the worries of school and of what is to come after graduation.

   Michaela Zelie, a senior who attended the event, does not regret going and had a fun evening. “I enjoy spending time with my fellow classmates,” said Zelie. “It’s always fun. I always have a good time.”

   When it came to the planning of the event, the president of the senior class, Sarah Young, admits that putting on a party like this takes a lot of time. In an email interview, Young said, “The class officers and I normally start a month in advance to begin planning our socials. Sometimes, we even start two months in advance. The process is pretty long as we have to obtain contracts from the locations that we are holding the socials at.”

   This was not the first senior social that has been held this year. There have been four socials that have occurred during both semesters. The Roost is where the socials are typically held, but back in February, there was one held at Titcomb Mountain.

   The recent social at the Roost was held on a Friday, instead of a Thursday like the socials usually are. Because of the day change, the Roost could not be shut down and exclusive to the senior class. It was open to the public of Farmington, while community members kept to themselves, seniors mingled with one another. The reason for the change was because the senior class urged for a Friday social so it would be easier to attend.

   Zelie admitted that she enjoys the socials more at the Roost than she did at Titcomb Mountain. “It’s more veritable here [The Roost] than at the Mountain, because it was really overpriced,” Zelie said.

   Another difference in the events was that since the Roost is downtown, it’s closer for students compared to Titcomb Mountain, which is farther away from campus. Also, the Roost offered more choices for students to pick from when it came to their beverages, where as the social at Titcomb only had a few selections.  

   Young believes that attending the socials are a good way for students to connect and relax no matter where the place is. “Ultimately, the conversations I’ve had wind up talking about school work, but that’s really only because our students at UMF are extremely passionate about what they do, and we want to be able to highlight their achievements,” said Young. “As long as you’re 21-years-old, I think that anyone should be able to attend these socials because the friends you make in one night can truly last for a lifetime!”