Welcome to Our Horrible Advice Column, Bite-Me-Beaver

   Want to hear from Bite and get some (not so) DAM GOOD ADVICE? Write in to umfdearbeaver@gmail.com for a chance to hear back from a beaver that learned to type!

Dear Bite,

    The Rocky Horror table in the student center keeps trying to sell me edible dicks and vaginas. I really want to buy one but it makes me a little uncomfortable. How do I overcome my uncomfortableness?

-Scared Dickless

Dear Scared Dickless,

    Oh, you sweet summer child. Of course, you’re uncomfortable- instinctually you have to know that with one lick of those lollipops it’s all over for you. You think you’re just buying candy but before you know it, you’re not just back for more, but you look down to pull change from your pockets and you’re wearing fishnets and heels, and you can’t remember where you got them. You can’t run away because now you can only strut and shake that ass with every step. All you know is absolute pleasure. It’s called a cult classic for a reason. But seriously, buy the damn candy and give us money because we’re very poor and won’t know what to do with our weird, kinky selves if we don’t have a show. 


Dear Bite,

    My e-board underling quit out of nowhere without any word of warning and none of us have heard from them since. Do you think they’re dead? And if not, should I arrange that? 

-One of Many Dying Clubs

Dear Dying,

    I too struggle with object permanence and assume that once I can’t see my staff, they must be dead, because where else would they rather be than at my meetings with me yelling at them? I’d suggest starting a search party, but you might want to go straight for the funeral. You might think you’ll see them charging in, yelling, “I’m not dead!” but given the campus’s haunted reputation, it’s probably a ghost. If you throw a crucifix at them hard enough, the spirit should quiet down.

Dearest Readers,

I know you probably picked this up just to read the back page and then toss this paper somewhere (like multiple people have told me to my face. You know who you are), and that’s cool, I can’t force you open the paper and read the amazing stories inside that we spent literally hours on. But have you ever thought of maybe contributing to the supply that you demand and I don’t know… SENDING ME QUESTIONS? The email is RIGHT. THERE. Please. I don’t make this stuff up. Help a mean beaver out.

Give Me My Dam Money — Financial Advice

     Finding ways to make your funds stretch throughout a semester can be very challenging as a college student. 

     The weight of balancing a social life, paying for tuition, textbooks, phone bills, groceries and car expenses can be almost too much to handle at times. Isiaah Boria, FinLit Peer Educator in his fourth year, has made a list of some of the ways he saves money and stretches his funds. 

     After a tough first semester of college, Isiaah realized textbooks cost a lot more than he had expected. He now uses Sluggbooks.com, this website looks for the best textbook prices across multiple platforms like Chegg, Abcbooks and Amazon. This website saves him money and time hunting for the best price. 

     The Dollar Tree is a place where Isiaah buys some of his basic needs. This can oftentimes be an overlooked store where students can save money. Remember to pay attention to unit prices, sometimes you may be paying more than you would at another store. Some items are a great deal and sometimes the packaging is small enough that a dollar is rip-off! Entertainment can be expensive so take advantage of events like Dollar Movie Night and programs like Mainely Outdoors that offer free excursions. Student Life also promotes trips to professional sports games, Broadway shows and much more. 

     Keeping an eye out for these resources around campus can help you save a lot of money and have a lot of fun. Isiaah’s last big tip is to use budgeting apps. This helps him keep track of his expenses and also budget ahead of time so he can save money each week. 

Stories of Migration: Samantha Rose Aloba Melgar

Stories of Migration: Samantha Rose Aloba Melgar

Andrea Swiedom Staff Reporter

     When people ask senior Samantha Rose Aloba Melgar where she’s from, they’re rarely satisfied with her initial response of the Gardiner/Augusta area. Often, they ask her again with an emphasis on from. “I feel like I have to explain because I don’t belong to one place. To me, where you are from is such a heavy question,” Aloba Melgar said. “I assume they’re asking where you are originally from and I don’t know. I am just used to telling people the Philippines-Maine-Texas-Maine story.” 

    Aloba Melgar moved to Augusta with her mother and older brother from Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines when she was nine years old. Her mother had remarried a man from Maine and they arrived during a Jan. snowstorm. “It was my first experience of snow because in the Philippines there’s only a wet and dry season, and I was just looking around really fascinated,” Aloba Melgar said.

    While she’s still fascinated by snow, she admitted that that’s about as far as her appreciation goes for Maine winters. “I like it when it first initially snows,” Aloba Melgar said with her fingers dancing in mid-air to mimic snow falling. “But the cold that comes with it and when it gets dirty…” she trailed off shaking her head in discomfort.

    She experienced a short break from New England winters when she was 11 years old after her mother’s divorce led the family to move to El Paso, Texas where they reconnected with extended family members. For the first time since living in the United States, Aloba Melgar was amongst Filipino Americans. “There is a community here in Maine, but we’re not really a part of it. It was nice in Texas to get to know them and not have it be as scattered as it is here in Maine,” she said.

    Exposure to Filipino culture in Texas brought back nostalgic memories of Aloba Melgar’s early childhood in Cebu where large family gatherings consistently took place several times throughout the month. “I do miss the physical gathering of us together,” she said. “Sometimes we would go to the beach. Mostly, we would either go to someone’s house or go to a restaurant together.”

Samantha Melgar. Photo Courtesy of Samantha Melgar.

    Aloba Melgar’s face lit up as she described the strong tradition surrounding food at family reunions and one of the dishes her mom still makes regularly at home called pancit, a noodle dish similar to chow mein that is quickly fried with vegetables and seasoned with soy sauce.

    “Food is a big thing in the Philippines, we love to share food. We just love food, and I think that transcends beyond any language,” Aloba Melgar said. Although, she admitted that she has struggled to carry on her culture’s culinary traditions in an attempt to avoid washing dishes.

    While in El Paso, Aloba Melgar joined a Christian church and was baptized in the Protestant faith while her mother remained Roman Catholic, the primary religion in the Philippines. While this was not a dramatic change, it does demonstrate how Aloba Melgar’s identity often reflects her dual origins of the United States and the Philippines. 

    “There are views that formed while I grew up here, and there are views that stayed with me that I learned from the Philippines. I’ve noticed in Western culture, you guys like independence very much and by the time you’re 18, you’re expected to go off,” she said. “Usually in the Philippines, for my family anyway, you stay with the family and usually the older sibling takes care of the parents.”

    Aloba Melgar considers herself Generation 1.5, which refers to immigrants who moved to the U.S. as adolescents. “You’re not really a generation one, and you’re not a generation two; you didn’t entirely grow up in the States,” she said. “So you are both, battling with two identities.”     

    Aloba Melgar still has vivid memories of her childhood in the Philippines and how certain aspects were ironically unaffected by place. She played with Bratz dolls and princess Barbies and binge-watched Disney movies. 

    But she also reflected on aspects of her childhood that were unique to the society and culture in the Philippines. “We would play hide-and-go-seek in the woods with a lot of bugs or go into abandoned houses,” she said. “I could say, ‘Mom, I’m gonna be gone and I will come back later,’ and it was usually fine. I don’t think it was dangerous, there was never an idea that there was a dangerous situation.”  

    Aloba Melgar also remembered the cost of education and the strain it had on her mother who was determined to keep her and her older brother in school. 

    “We were a middle class family in the Philippines, but there was a time when my mom’s salary was not enough, and my mom had to pick between me and my brother,” she said. “My mother sat me down once and told me that I might have to stop school, and I started crying.  Luckily that didn’t happen. My mom moved me to a different school that was cheaper.”

    Aloba Melgar’s family spent a short year and a half in El Paso before returning to Maine which seemed to be beckoning them back. “I think we just met the right people, and that really contributed to why we came back and stayed here.”

    After graduating from Cony High School in Augusta, Aloba Melgar enrolled at UMF to pursue psychology after breaking the news to her mother that she would not be going to school for nursing. “I was going to go to USM, but then out of nowhere, I realized that I didn’t want to become a nurse because that is more of what my mom pushed me to do. Nursing is actually a Filipino stereotype,” she said, chuckling.

Samantha Melgar as a kid in the Philippines. Photo Courtesy of Samantha Melgar.

    Her mother supported her interest in counseling, but as Aloba Melgar studied psychology she found herself more drawn to social work. She also realized that her mother had imprinted some career ideas on her that were still intriguing such as working for the United Nations or the Peace Corps.

    When Aloba Melgar was still considering nursing in high school, she always imagined traveling for work. She started exploring international social work options and that’s when she learned that the Peace Corps was essentially just that. “I wanted more experience before going into grad school and I was just exhausted with academia.”

    Aloba Melgar applied to the Peace Corps last semester and will be returning to the Philippines in early July for the first time since she was nine years old to work as a youth development facilitator.     

    “I am going to be working with elementary age to even up to college age people, just helping them with education, to access resources, with positive identity and vocational skills, with critical thinking and healthy lifestyle activities, with mentoring and workshops.”

    For the next two years, Aloba Melgar will be reintroducing herself to a place that she considers to be a significant part of her identity. “I want to explore and go back to where I started. I just want to see the changes,” she said. “I want to make connections again with the culture and see how I will react to it now that I’ve spent more than half my life here in the U.S.”

Basketball Coaching Legend Creates Lasting Legacy at UMF and Beyond

Samantha Creech Contributing Writer

    The head coach of men’s basketball, Dick Meader, has made a profound impact on the team since 1993. Coach Meader is in the Hall of Fame at both Thomas College and UMF for his achievements as a player and coach. This year alone, Meader has received his third Coach of the Year honor from the National Atlantic Conference (NAC), the Division III Outstanding Service Award from the National Association of Basketball Coaches and earned his 500th career win. 

    Meader is proud of his team and the work they’ve put in this season. “It was a great season, with a disappointing ending,” he said. “It was a tough ending that should not mask the great season that we had.” 

    The team went 22-5 this season, while going 13-1 in the NAC Conference regular season. 

    There were many factors that led to the team’s success. “We were fortunate because two days before school started, Terion Moss contacted us and he certainly made a difference in the season in a positive way,” Meader said. “We knew we had a good group of seniors, and a pretty good group of freshmen. With the seniors, it was tough to get a lot of time for the freshmen, but it will be a good team next year. A very good team.”

    Meader and his staff had a strategy going into the 2019-2020 season to make it their best one yet. “The strategy really was to do what we are good at. We wanted to play fast, because we thought that was our best opportunity to score. Defensively, try to take away good shots from the opponent and rebound the basketball.” 

    Meader knew at a young age that he wanted to be a part of basketball because of his enjoyment of the sport. Starting in 6th grade, he knew he wanted to be a coach. “I was fortunate enough to be in the right places at the right time to be that, and have that opportunity,” said Meader.

    As a UMF alumnus, Meader said the Farmington community has done so much for him throughout his years, which is one of the reasons why he has loved being a coach here for so long. “I was a first-generation kid from a very small town. I had two great coaches and two faculty members that really cared about me and wanted me to do well, and made sure I did the right things,” he said. 

    “The college itself is me. I think of it as it being my home. It did so much for me. To be able to coach here the last few years, I didn’t expect to, but all of a sudden there was an opening and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.”

    He has made an incredible impact on his players throughout the years and has the respect of many throughout New England. Senior forward, Billy Ruby, said Meader has influenced him a lot these last four seasons. “Coach Meader has had a huge impact on my collegiate basketball career,” he says. “He has given me a lot of confidence on the court throughout my four year career. That is something that I always struggled with in my game before coming to UMF. Whenever there is a problem or something that I need assistance with, I can always rely on Coach Meader for assistance. It’s more than just basketball, he really wants his players to succeed in life. “

    Ruby isn’t the only player who has had a positive experience with Coach Meader. First Year forward, Drew Storey, has been a part of the Men’s Basketball program for one season, but can already identify his favorite things about his head coach. “One of my favorite things about Coach Meader is how he knows so much about the game of basketball and wants to give back to it,” he said. “His coaching style is very unique I think because of that. He’s been around basketball for so long he knows exactly what to do every single time.”

Park it at UMF

Park it at UMF

Colin Harris Contributing Writer

    Parking has been a long held complaint of many UMF students of all years, from freshman who dread the long walks from the parking lots by Prescott fields and behind the FRC to commuting upperclassmen who can never seem to find a spot. Another grievance is the sight of a parking ticket on the windshield. Annually, UMF collects roughly between $40,000 to $50,000 in parking-related expenses, including parking tickets, decals, and fines. 

    Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Brock Caton said in an email interview “I do not handle the finances for the University so I don’t know the specifics, but I do know that some of the revenue does support the UMF infrastructure to improve and maintain the parking lots on campus, including annual maintenance.” Such maintenance includes fixing the lots, painting lines, lighting and signage, among other things.

    Caton has been working for the department of public safety since October of 2012. He was originally hired as the Police Sergeant before taking over as the Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police in July of 2013.

    To avoid parking fees, Caton advises UMF students, as well as community members, to obtain a parking decal at the beginning of each year, to read the Parking Policy Brochure given out when given a parking decal, which is also available at Public Safety office located near the FRC, and to familiarize themselves with the parking lots around campus. 

Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police, Brock Caton. Photo Courtesy of UMF Website.

    Amy Hodge, a first-year student here at UMF has obtained numerous parking tickets in just their first semester of college. “As of right now I currently have four parking tickets from being here since fall semester.” 

    Hodge attributes these violations to parking in lots that were not designated to her. “Most, if not all, of the tickets I’ve gotten were from lot 7 [located between Scott Hall and Old South Congregational Church],” Hodge said. With this many tickets, Hodge has had to pay over $50 in parking fees so far. 

      “Parking ticket costs increase each time a ticket is issued,” Caton said. “First offense is $10 per violation. Second offense is $15 per violation. Third and subsequent offenses are $25 per violation.” It is important to note that a UMF community member can receive multiple violations per ticket.

    “Parking tickets not paid within 10 business days are assessed a $10 late fee, and the parking ticket is placed on the student’s account, which may create a hold on the account until paid,” Caton said.

    First-year students at UMF are assigned parking lots P18, located near Prescott Athletic Fields, P21 near Alice James Books, P22 which is next to P21 and P26 which is behind the FRC.

    Other repeat offenders of these parking rules include guests. Guests that plan on staying at UMF overnight or late at night need to obtain a guest parking decal. Caton said, “Guest parking decals are free and are good for 48 hours.” 

    The UMF parking brochure states that the objective of parking at UMF is, “to maximize the use of parking facilities so it is necessary to establish and enforce policies governing motor vehicles operating and/or parking on campus.