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 Emily Thibodeau Contributing Writer
Artist and activist Katrina Majkut recently visited UMF’s Emery Art center to share her art that “explores social traditions and their impact on civil rights.”
Katrina Majkut utilizes the cross stitching method to accentuate the status and hard work of women in society. (Photos by Emily Thibodeau)
Majkut’s work is on display in the Mantor Library and can be found on the Mezzanine. The series is made up of birth control methods, as well as other products associated with feminism. This is part of a series Majkut has been working on since 2010.
Majkut specializes in cross stitching, a form of sewing in which X-shaped stitches are formed into a picture.
“Cross- stitch is considered a low-end art, which is an unfair stereotype in contemporary art,” Majkut said.
Majkut was picked out of over 40 applicants from to be part of the “Art on Campus” program. Ann Bartges, chair of The Art on Campus Program committee said Majkut was unanimously chosen by the
IUDs and a NuvaRing.
committee as “she does not try to get a specific response, but her goal is to get the conversation going,” as well as the fact that she can publicize “something such as a tampon in her art.”
Majkut got into cross-stit
ching when her mother taught her around age eight because “she was teaching me a part of my Ukrainian heritage.” Part of Majkut’s heritage is to learn skills to run a household at a young age.
“Those roles are extremely physical,” Majkut emphasised. Majkut uses cross stitch as a comparison and to representative to the physical labor expected from women.
Majkut has spent hours, even years working on each cross stitch piece. Majkut’s goal is to be “Intersectionally and medically honest” with her work, adding that, “if I don’t understand an object [medically] I refer to [Doctors].”
One piece discussed in the art talk was a Rape/ Sexual Assault kit cross stitch. “The rape kit opened up my eyes to how violent the process [of filing a report] is,” Majkut said. “I think this is the work that is just a response to who I am as an artist and person.”
A question from the audience was if Majkut had any advice for upcomin
A pregnancy test and birth control. Majkut strives for medical honesty and accuracy.
g graduate art majors. Majkut said to “create a defined schedule for art, block time, start to build an art resume now, get used to talking to people. Rejection is high in this field and the art world is a numbers game.”
Avery Boucher, a freshman at UMF, attended the talk as a requirement for a digital imaging class. Boucher commented, “I think what she is doing is definitely new and different. I think as a feminist she has quite a unique way of expressing herself.”
After her talk, Majkut held a workshop where students could learn how to cross stitch. Bartges said, “Students were surprised by how long it takes” to create a cross-stitch pattern. This gave students an idea on how much work and labor is put into each cross stitch piece.
Majkut has recently written a book called The Adventures and Discoveries of a Feminist Bride: What no one tells you before you say ‘I do’. Majkut’s goal with this book was to “create dialogue around what it mean to be a woman.” The book invites readers to join Majkut’s personal journey through experiences with weddings and opinions on wedding traditions.
For more information on Katrina Majkut, please visit katrinamajkut.com.