Tagging Hostile Terrain

Tagging Hostile Terrain

By Ciera Miller, Staff Writer

Hannah Binder at Colby’s HT94 installation (Photo courtesy of Ciera Miller)

    Since September, University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) students across five disciplines participated in filling out a total of 1,370 toe tags for the Hostile Terrain 94 (HT94) installation at the Oak Institute for Human Rights at Colby College. A toe tag is a piece of cardboard or paper attached to the toe of a deceased person used to identify them. HT94 is an art project organized by the Undocumented Migration Project (UMP), directed by anthropologist Jason de León.

    HT94 was born out of the term “Hostile Terrain”, a direct quote from the U.S. government’s Prevention Through Deterrence (PTD) policy. PTD uses the desert and mountains as a form of border patrol to deter people from migrating into the United States through Arizona. However, PTD has failed and migrants continue to flood in. 

    For this project, toe tags are filled out and pinned to a large wall map at the coordinates at which a dead migrant body was found. Orange tags belong to unidentified people and white tags belong to the identified.

    Dr. Gaelyn Aguilar brought HT94 to UMF because she believes in “teaching justice in an unjust world.” She said, “I was hoping that filling out our toe tags would feel an awful lot like the naming of names,” which she compared to the most recent surge of Black Lives Matter protests throughout the country. 

    Cassie Donald, a UMF student who participated in filling out over 20 toe tags, echoed Aguilar. It made them feel more personally involved and was more than just an assignment. “Putting names to the issue made it very real,” they said. “It brought forward a lot of emotion that reading an article might not.”

    Aguilar discussed the language used to dehumanize migrants coming into the U.S. from our southern border. “We call undocumented immigrants ‘illegal’―folks do that to avoid speaking the names of those who’ve died, or even having to imagine their faces,” she said. Aguilar believes contributing to this toe tag installation allowed herself, her faculty members, and her students to reinvision these migrants and give them their names back, not only in individual consciences but in our national conscience as well.

    Senior Adriana Burnham knows what it’s like to experience this language. “I’m half-Mexican, and I get a lot of jokes about jumping the border,” she said. Due to Burnham’s heritage, it felt personally disrespectful not to fill out these toe tags. Living in the U.S., Burnham reflects that most don’t have to stress about crossing into a new country to start a new life and/or supporting families from afar. “It gives a reality to something we don’t see in Maine,” she said. “We have this chance to recognize these people who risked their lives.”

    Laney Randolph, a senior education major, was blindsided by the amount of tags UMF received to fill out. She hadn’t realized how many people died crossing the border. “It’s horrifying to think that this isn’t something most people are aware of,” Randolph said. “I think Americans would have a much more empathetic attitude towards immigrants if they knew just how difficult and dangerous it was to get here.”

    Their reactions are the purpose of HT94. This installation is a moment of global reflection and remembrance of those who’ve died on this hostile terrain, trying to cross into the United States. Donald said it best: “It’s important for people outside of the issue to gain awareness of the issue.”

Ye Olde Beaver

Ye Olde Beaver

Taking a look back at the past 90 years of our campus newspaper and highlighting noteworthy items that perhaps were best forgotten.

Old scanned text

Scanned text originally from the Mainestream on September 20, 1979

Ah yes, the longstanding ratio issue here at UMF. Well, I guess it’s not that much of an issue for the 33% of students here that are guys, but the other 66% definitely see it as more of an issue.

That’s right, for all you freshman guys who haven’t noticed yet, the ratio is 2:1, which gives you all some pretty good odds. As for you gals, there’s a reason that Tinder is one of the most popular apps on campus.

Why is this the case? Not enough guys want to be teachers? Is it perhaps because we don’t have a football team? Are they scared of the cold winters? We may never know. Anyways, until next time, happy hunting!

 

Narrow Gauge Cinema Reopens 

By Sydney Beecher, Contributing Writer

 

    After Governor Janet Mills announced that drive-ins theaters could reopen in May, Narrow Gauge Cinema in Farmington began offering drive-in movies, a concert series, and various other events to the community. Near the end of August, the cinema began offering indoor screenings every weekend for the near future.

    When Franklin Savings Bank heard of Mills’ plan to reopen drive-ins in May, they knew that they wanted to help offer a safe activity to local communities. The bank decided to partner with John Moore, the owner of Narrow Gauge Cinemas, to sponsor a month’s worth of movies. “When Franklin Savings said that they wanted to sponsor a show, we were thrilled. When they said they wanted to sponsor the first four weeks, we were more than happy to collaborate on yet another community event with the organization,” Moore said in a statement to The Daily Bulldog. Together, Narrow Gauge Cinema offered moviegoers four different movies each week for a month, ranging from new releases to the classics. 

    When they finished screening those movies in June, Narrow Gauge introduced a lineup of live music to perform throughout the summer. These three hour-long shows featured bands like Ghost of Paul Revere, David Mallett and the Mallett Brothers Band, and the Rustic Overtones. 

    Miranda Kramer, a sophomore, attended two concerts at the drive-in and loved the experience. “The newly renovated drive-in accommodated social distancing guidelines very well. Everyone was spaced out in their own spots,” said Kramer. “We had a perfect view of the stage and the bands, even from two rows back. Both of the concerts were the highlight of my summer.”

    In August, Narrow Gauge Cinemas was finally able to reopen its indoor theater for the first time in over five months. In order to comply with Maine’s guidelines, the cinema had to make some changes to the theater setup. Among the first few visitors was Cam Foss, a sophomore, who saw a variety of movies last semester at the cinema. “It was definitely a different experience than when I went to Narrow Gauge in the spring,” said Foss. “There were a few rows taken out to maintain social distancing, so there were fewer seats and a lot of legroom between each row. Either way, I was glad that the theater reopened and I can watch movies in-person again.” 

    Since Maine has been experiencing a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, Narrow Gauge has had to change some of their policies in order to create a safer environment for moviegoers. According to a Facebook post made by Moore on Narrow Gauge Cinema’s page on Oct. 30, the capacity in each theater room has been reduced to 20 people per theater show, customers are asked to be no earlier than 15 minutes to their show, and the drive-in will be continuing to offer movies as long as people are going for $10 a carload. “We have every intention of staying open and are adjusting our protocols in hopes to do that,” the post says. “We think it is important to have some continuity as a business…We thank everyone for their continued support.”

     Moviegoers are asked to wear a mask until they are seated. The indoor theater offers $5 tickets to all moviegoers and plans to remain open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for the near future. To find out an updated list of movie screenings, visit https://narrowgaugecinema.net or Narrow Gauge Cinema’s Facebook page.

Titcomb Provides for UMF

How a generous donation is helping students find new appreciation for the local ski mountain.

By Faith Rouillard, Contributing Writer

     As the air gets colder and snow begins to fall, one Farmington location prepares for the winter season. Winter is nearing and Titcomb Mountain will soon be the heart of the town, the staff and all the volunteers’ hard work will begin to pay off. The mountain sits just two miles away from the university; a seven-minute drive. Throughout the years, the mountain has become a necessary asset to UMF. 

    Titcomb Mountain is fit to serve all levels of skiers and snowboarders, from beginners to experts. The mountain has well-kept cross country trails and a terrain park. Titcomb was established in 1939 and is more alive and well than ever before. Night skiing is offered on select evenings throughout the season. 

  Thanks to a generous donation, full-time students at UMF receive free season passes to Titcomb. “When you pair the free season pass with MO (Mainely Outdoors) rentals, and free learn to ski lessons taught through the Alpine Operations Certificate Program, it really makes skiing accessible to all students here at the university,” says senior and class president, Isaac Seigle.

    “It’s impossible for Titcomb to go a day without the mountain being used by someone who is also a student at the university,” said Seigle. The mountain has a deep-seated integration with the university. 

    Seigle explained how Titcomb means more to him than just skiing. “Titcomb [has been] a part of my life since I was eight is what made me want to go to UMF for ORBA (Outdoor Recreation Business Administration),” he said. “I loved skiing, and I loved Titcomb, and getting an education that would help me do work addressing awareness of the barriers to equity in outdoor recreation was really important to me. Without organizations like Titcomb, I probably wouldn’t have been able to make skiing such a part of my life.”

    For the students in the ORBA program at UMF, Titcomb has been a great outlet to show off what the students have learned. “For me, this is a great opportunity to have a management position at a mountain as a student. It will help me later in life,” says Sam Scheff, an ORBA major and the terrain park manager at Titcomb.

    Both Scheff and Seigle started working at Titcomb through internships at UMF as requirements for their majors. “Titcomb sees a lot of students wanting to do their internship at the mountain. Once it came time for my internship, it just made sense to me to do it at Titcomb and give back to the mountain that gave me so much throughout my life,” said Seigle. “Being a smaller organization, an internship at Titcomb is also a great first chance for students to stand up and be in a position to take on more responsibility within an organization that is resource strained.”

    “The atmosphere is one of the best things about Titcomb. It is so family-friendly and accepting,” said Scheff.

    This small mountain operates with the slogan, “The friendliest mountain around.” That goal is embodied by all. “Titcomb is oriented around being a really friendly place that can feel like home,” said Seigle. 

    This mountain is an incredible resource to the community and our school. “Most know that the mountain is run by mostly volunteers, so it takes a whole community to get it up and running,” said Scheff. “Stop by and come see Titcomb. Come see what we’re all about.”

Free the T Fights Period Poverty

By Cassidy Delano, Contributing Writer

 

    Free the T Project is a student-lead initiative that’s determined to make women’s sanitary products accessible for students on campus.

    The project is currently run by seniors Alanna Atkinson and Emilee Eustis, being supervised by Dr. Kate Callahan. The team continues to promote and support student’s health needs while following COVID-19 restrictions, and lack of members.

    “The group is funded through UMF’s health club. Free The T Project is part of the Health Club, but is not funded by the Student Senate like other clubs are.”

    Free the T started in 2017 when a group of students in HEA410: Resource Management and Grant Writing sent a request to Procter & Gamble’s Tambrands in Auburn, ME, a consumer product company who makes tampons. In response to the request from UMF students, the company donated over 33,000 Tampax brand tampons to UMF.

    In 2018 Dr. Callahan, a faculty member on campus, recruited students who had an interest in period poverty and providing tampons to college students. “Period poverty is when daily life is affected due to either not being able to afford menstrual products or not having access to them,” said Eustis.

    In the first year of Free the T, the students that participated were tabling in the Student Center during common time. Students were able to see what the project is and also grab a bag of already packaged tampons. 

    The group also worked towards putting containers in every building’s bathrooms that offered free tampons in a range of sizes.

  “The UMF Free the T Project is a way to relieve some of a person’s financial stress by making tampons accessible in every building on the UMF campus,” Atkinson said.

    Last year tampon containers were found in every building. Now, due to COVID-19 restrictions there are tampon containers on the first floor of every building.

    These restrictions have also affected the groups use of common time, as they cannot table during this time. Before this was a way for them to hand out free tampons, and get people thinking about the project. With this aspect gone, the group is having trouble spreading the word about the project, as well as finding help.

    “Due to COVID we have had trouble finding volunteers to help,” Eustis said. “As of now, there are only two or three of us actively doing Free the T duties and searching for more to help.”

    Eustis and Atkinson’s duties include refilling buildings each week, helping to run the social media pages (Facebook and Instagram), and any other responsibilities that need to be done as given to them by Dr. Callahan.

    Eustis was able to give some insight on what the project has done for her. “Free the T brings not only joy to those who utilize it, but us on the project team as well. I have been a part of the project for three years and wouldn’t have wanted it any other way,” Eustis said. “It has become such a huge part of my journey at UMF and it has become a huge part of my life!”

    Atkinson feels the same. “UMF Free the T Project has really opened my eyes to how prevalent period poverty is just in this small community,” Atkinson said, “Free the T has been extremely beneficial in this community. I hope this project continues for years to come.”