Feed aggregator

Representative Lockman speaks at USM, exposing political divide

USM Free Press News Feed - Fri, 2017-02-17 10:45

By Sarah Tewksbury and Krysteana Scribner

On Thursday, Representative Larry Lockman spoke at USM in his presentation, “Alien Invasion: Fixing the Immigration Crisis” at 7:00 p.m. in the lecture hall located inside of the Abromson Center. The political climate was tense as community members gathered both in opposition and in favor of the conservative speaker’s visit to the Portland campus.

Before the Event: Protests and Political Tension

There was a presence of Maine GOP members and leaders at the event. Among them was Maine GOP Officer, Barbara Harvey, who greeted attendees at the door of lecture hall. Thirty minutes before the event was to take place, members of USM Future began a march from Payson Smith and traveled around the campus to the Abromson Center. Members of the group were chanting, “No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.”

At the same time, two men stood outside of the building holding a sign that read, “Secure our border.” One of these men, Robert Casimiro, is a Veteran who lives in Bridgton, Maine. He claimed that he has been arguing for a more secure border since 9/11 and believes that a lot of protesters who oppose Lockman’s ideas have their “minds made up” and he finds it difficult to talk to them to share opinions.

“I’m not against anybody,” he stated. “I think it’s appalling when people are prevented from engaging in a discussion of viewpoints.”

Before the event, individuals also tabled behind the Young Americans for Freedom and College Republicans information station inside Abromson. One of these individuals, who has chosen to remain anonymous, stated that protestors needed more attention and gratification because “nobody paid attention to them as kids.”

Lockman Takes the Stage in Abromson for Immigration Talk

Inside of the lecture hall, the crowd was restless and had a sense of anticipatory tension as USM’s Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Nancy Griffith, took the stage. She began the event by saying that USM supports academic freedom and freedom of speech, further adding that USM is committed to teaching students “how to think, not what to think.” She strongly urged all audience members and speakers alike to refrain from hate speech or protesting behaviors.

Next, Benjamin Bussiere stood at the podium and introduced Rep. Larry Lockman by briefing those in attendance on the background of Lockman’s career and life successes. With the audience clapping loudly, Rep. Lockman approached the stage.

“Let’s talk about how we got to where we are today,” he stated in regards to what he deems is an invasion of illegal immigrants. He went on to provide the staggering number of taxpayer dollars that go towards welfare assistance.

According to Rep. Lockman, “the burden for Maine taxpayers is about $40 million each year” in order to pay for illegal immigrants’ social welfare. According to Rep. Lockman, $1.7 million in Portland alone is diverted to an account reserved for giving welfare assistance to illegal immigrants.

“The vetting process for immigrants and refugees in this country is badly broken,” he stated as whoops came hurling out of the audience. “This problem is not unique to Maine.”

Half-way through the speech, Lockman referred to Bowling Green, Kentucky as evidence towards his argument that individuals who enter America illegally can cause great harm to the U.S. He called Portland a “harboring haven,” and stated to the audience that the illegal immigration issues has “life or death consequences for Maine people.”

Lockman went on to talk about Freddy Akoa, a man who was beaten to death in his own apartment on Cumberland Avenue in August 2015. He expressed his disappointment in the media coverage of Akoa’s death and the consequences for his attackers. “Those killers,” he paused, shaking his head, “should have been deported long before they beat Freddy Akoa to death.”

“Frankly, I’m stunned at the utter lack of journalistic and professional curiosity that’s been on display here,” said Lockman, referring back to the story of Akoa’s death. He stared over at the media section of the event seating, as someone in the crowd shouted “Bad media,” which prompted snorted laughter.

He also briefly discussed his desire to change the structure of the state as well, specifically in regards to a bill he was trying to push through the senate. According to the Portland Press Herald, this bill, titled L.D. 366, would require the state and local governments to comply with federal immigration law and “withhold state funding from cities that provide a haven for illegal immigrants.”

Yet, the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine stands in opposition to the bill, and “oppose anti-immigration legislation,” on the basis of potential racial profiling that could also occur. At this lecture, Lockman encouraged audience members to become involved in the passing of his upcoming bill. “We cannot afford to offer assistance to anyone who is not a U.S. citizen,” shouted Lockman, in which clapping followed.

Questioning Period Leads to Obvious Political Divides

During the questioning period, members of the community, from both ends of the political spectrum, shared their backgrounds, comments and questions. To begin the questioning period, a young woman who identified herself as a social worker from the area said that the “real crisis in Maine is elder care.” For what seemed to be comedic relief, she sang a line of a Neil Diamond song, singing, “We’re coming to America.”

The questioning period saw heated discussions, shouts and arguments between members of the crowd and individuals trying to voice their opinions and ask questions over the two microphones. Each individual who stood to spoke identified themselves – some were lawyers, other students, and other speakers identified themselves with titles such as taxpayer and foreign student.

Bryan Dench, a USM law school alum who has been practicing law since 1975, gave his opinion on Lockman’s proposed bill during the questioning period. Lockman thanked him for the “free legal advice.”

A Maine taxpayer, Lynn W., said that she is “sick and tired of paying for able bodied people,” in reference to immigrants and refugees in Maine who are on welfare because they are not legally allowed to work.

“I’m discouraged now and I want to know how we protect the taxpayer in times like these,” she said.

“We have elections every two years and we need to clean house,” stated Rep. Lockman in response to her statement, “[Constituents] need to exert maximum pressure on representatives. We tend to go whichever way we’re being pushed the hardest.”

A member of USM’s Student Government Association challenged Lockman, asking, “Why are you still here?” She argued that if she had made any of the controversial statements that Lockman has been recorded having said, she would be asked to leave the U.S., referencing Lockman’s heinous quote comparing a woman’s right to pro-choice with a man’s ability and right to force a woman to have sex with him.

Owen Yao, a USM student from China, expressed his frustration at the division in the community and in the U.S. and asked Rep. Lockman how all individuals can come together as Americans. Lockman responded by saying, “We all need to play by the same rules. If you want to be an American, you have to swear allegiance to the U.S. Constitution.”

The Free Press reporters observed that those in support of Lockman were predominantly Caucasian individuals – both young and old. In addition, the people rallying behind his beliefs with their whoops and cheers had no affiliation with USM at all, but were instead community members. One speaker, who did not provide his name, stood up to speak and accused Lockman of telling the version of each story that fit his argument and “left out key facts in order to gain a shock factor and increase support” for his bill.

Najma Abdullahi ended the questioning period with a bold statement, saying, “White men are the most dangerous demographic in the U.S.” Abdullahi asked Lockman, “How do you deal with white fragility?” he responded by saying, “next question.” While this legitimate question went unanswered, other sides of the political spectrum were prepared to argue with one another, but didn’t seem willing to listen to one another.

After the event, people rallied both inside and outside the Abromson Center. Protesters were not open to commentary, but referred media outlets to read the Portland Racial Justice Congress statement to the event, which was posted on Facebook. “As we face the rise of fascism and white nationalism, which now has a seat in the White House, we intend to build a bigger and bolder resistance,” the statement reads.

The Free Press will follow up if more information arises

Networkmaine Maintenance - USM, Portland Feb 19, 2017

Outages - Thu, 2017-02-16 15:29
Where: USM, Portland
When: Feb 19, 2017 7 AM
Expected Duration: 1hr
Scope: 25 Bedford Street (DFM)

Summary:
We will be performing network maintenance that will impact data services at 25 Bedford Street, the DFM building. Please plan accordingly.

Networkmaine Contact Info:
NOC 561-3587

Local/Campus Contact Info during this window of work:
NONE / Unknown at this time

Students with Syrian connections speak out

USM Free Press News Feed - Mon, 2017-02-13 16:01

By: Sarah Tewksbury, Staff Writer

Mahmud Faksh, a USM professor of political science, has called the Syrian Civil War the “greatest tragedy of the century.” The Syrian Civil War has had a global impact, triggering a massive refugee crisis, and has affected all corners of the world. In Portland, two USM students, cousins Dalia Muayad and Deena Raef, have close ties to Syria.

Both born in the U.S., Muayad and Raef are aspiring dentists, and though their futures look bright today, they have both experienced their fair share of darkness due to the war. Because of their bonds to Syria, Muayad and Raef understand how the war took hold and has developed since 2011.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in response to the 2011 Arab Spring protests calling for his removal from office, repressed Syrian citizens violently, ultimately leading to the conflict known as the Syrian Civil War. The war has been a proxy war for world powers and has resulted in at least 470,000 deaths, according to the Syrian Centre for Policy Research.

The Syrian Civil War has displaced millions of people, something Muayad and Raef both understand on a personal level. Their family members and friends have had to leave the country in order to find safety and stability. Some Syrians want to leave but have nowhere to go.

“A lot of the people don’t have anywhere else to go to and they don’t have family outside of Syria, so they feel like they cannot leave and instead have to stay in Syria where they stay at risk for dangerous situations,” Muayad said.

Spending all vacations and breaks from school in Syria visiting their family; the girls feel a deep, emotional connection to the country. With an aunt currently in Aleppo and their grandparents in Damascus, Muayad and Raef are aware of the conditions of major cities in Syria and the ways that fighting forces have altered life in them.

“My aunt who lives in Aleppo and is not in the eastern part of the city, so she is fine,” Raef said, “but even though she is in the safe part of the city, the electricity and water, it keeps cutting out.”

Atrocities committed by the Assad regime have also created deep divides among the Syrian people. Groups of close friends and families have been severed by political ideology based on which fighting groups they support. Raef spoke about the divisions within her own family and how they have affected familial relationships..

“It’s really sad for me because when the war started, I have a lot of family members who sided with the regime. So there’s this big split within my family. Half of my dad’s side is with Assad,” Raef said. “I’m against the regime and I got into some arguments with them. The media outlets they follow are completely different from mine so we do not see eye to eye.”

Since the inauguration of President Trump, U.S. media outlets have largely focused on the executive branch’s actions. International news has pushed the Syrian conflict to the sidelines, causing viewers who do not have a direct tie to the situation to forget about those affected. The war continues to carry on and refugees continue to be displaced.

It has been almost six years since the start of the Syrian Civil War and a devastating amount of damage has been done. Those connected to the situation are looking to move forward, to find ways that they can help to support the people who need it most: the refugees who have been forced to leave their homes and those who have held their ground within Syria’s borders.

“It’s so easy to find groups to get involved with or just give what you can from your own money and time,” Muayad said. “White Helmets is a really great group that has helped Syrians. We can try to do our best to fundraise and help out refugees, giving them the best lives we can, temporarily, until they can go home. I don’t think we can do anything when it comes to political things.”

Muayad and Raef encourage USM students to ask questions, read historical content as well as current news media. While it has been difficult for Muayad and Raef to stay hopeful, they made it clear that there will have to be a worldwide commitment to the rebuilding of Syria within the coming years.

“Sadly, I don’t know if it’s going to end soon,” Muayad said. “Even if it ends soon it’s going to take an even longer time to bring everybody back to Syria and make it better than it was before.”

Pdg Muhamiriza chosen as new Student Body Vice President

USM Free Press News Feed - Mon, 2017-02-13 16:00

By: Julie Pike, Staff Writer

Freshman student and political science major Pdg Muhamiriza will be taking on the role of student body vice president and will work alongside Student Body President Humza Khan. Muhamiriza stated that he was involved with the student senate only two weeks before he came into his new position.

“As soon as the former vice president stepped down and they took a vote, I talked to a few friends among the senate and they thought I fit the criteria,” Muhamiriza said. “The process was relatively quick and easy.”

Muhamiriza is in his second semester at USM. He came to Maine from his home country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He stated that after his time at USM, he hopes to go to law school in the future and pursue a career in law.

Muhamarizia got involved with student government because it fell into his area of interest and had come into his new role ready with projects he wants to get started. He expressed interest in starting a debate club on campus, and a diversity club as well, which he is working with the chief of staff on the student senate to create.

The student senate has been faced difficult problems over the past year, but Muhamiriza believes only the negatives were being focused on, and the good work the senate was doing was being cast aside.

“People usually don’t notice the good, they only notice the bad,” he stated. “When negative things happened in the senate, people assumed they weren’t doing a good job. But when the senators are doing a good job, people don’t talk about it.”

As far as how the student senate can improve, Muhamiriza has his own ideas to bring to the table.

“I’m hoping to build an atmosphere of trust among students, so that we can try to be prepared in advance of whatever might happen in the future,” Muhamiriza stated. “In the last month and in the last year there was a lot going on and people didn’t expect that sort of chaos to happen. We should try to avoid that in advance and try to work with every group, despite any differing opinions.”

Muhamiriza knew that taking on the position of student body vice president came with important responsibilities.

“You need to be able to listen to people’s thoughts and try to be as transparent as possible,” Muhamiriza said. “You need to be loyal to the president and not take the job only for the pay but as someone who is willing to bring something to the table.”

Muhamiriza expressed a desire to be committed to his job, and he believes that is one of the biggest qualities needed to be a part of student government.

“It’s all about commitment, if I can do my job right and try to be as innovative and creative as possible, I think that will be my contribution to the senate,” he stated.

Muhamirzia stated that as far as he knew the student senate acted in a constitutional manner when they dismissed the last student body vice president, Madison Raymond.

“They did whatever they did in a constitutional way and that’s all there was. If it was done right and constitutionally that’s all that matters,” Muhamiriza said.

For now, Muhamiriza is focusing on the future and on putting time and effort into his role as student body vice president.

President Cummings addresses the Student Senate on Lockman: “You have a choice”

USM Free Press News Feed - Mon, 2017-02-13 15:59

By: Julie Pike, Staff Writer

President Glenn Cummings was a guest speaker at the student senate meeting on Friday, Feb. 10. He spoke to the senators about the upcoming event at USM, a talk by Maine Rep. Lawrence Lockman titled Alien Invasion: Fixing the Immigrant Crisis.

Students at USM have pushed for the event to be cancelled in a Facebook post by the group Students of #USMfuture. Cummings decided not to cancel the event and stated that he doesn’t want the administration dictating what students can and can’t hear.

Cummings explained that Lockman has every right to speak at USM, as the First Amendment allows him to do so. He was invited to speak on campus by the student organization Young Americans for Freedom.

“Larry Lockman is a mosquito,” Cummings stated. “He’s just there to irritate us and see if we will act like he acts.”

In his conversation with the student senate, Cummings thanked the senators for handling the issue well.

“I want to recognize that you guys are classy people,” Cummings stated. “You guys understand why freedom of speech makes a difference and you stood by your decision to not shut this down.”

Cummings focused on the rights outlined in the First Amendment during his discussion with the student senate.

“Welcome to the greatest country on earth, you have the right to act exactly like Rep. Lockman,” Cummings said. “Along with that you also have the choice not to.”

Student Senator Aaron Pierce brought up concerns about having extra security at the event. On Feb. 1, a violent protest broke out at the University of California, Berkeley, where Milo Yannopoulos was scheduled to speak. Yannopoulos is a right-wing commentator who writes for Breitbart News. The protests caused $100,000 worth of damages.

Cummings stated that the university will be increasing the amount of police officers at the event as well as having other police on call. Cummings spoke to Portland Chief of Police Michael Sauschuck about having police close to the campus during the event.

Cummings made it clear at the meeting that if Lockman suggests violence or harassment in his talk, the event will be immediately shut down and he will be taken away. Cummings stated that it goes the other way too, however, and if people come into Lockman’s lecture and conduct themselves in such a way as to silence Lockman, they will face the same consequences.

“He is testing you, the students, that’s what this is about,” Cummings stated. “He knows he’s got an ignorant agenda. Nobody thinks he’s got any great wisdom to add to the world. He just wants to provoke you. He wants to provoke people to make himself look better.”

Members of the student senate had their own thoughts to add about the upcoming event and what the role of the student senate is during these situations.

“This is not what we agree with and this is not what we support, but by going to this event and possibly provoking violence, we’re not getting anything done,” stated Senator Shaman Kirkland. “If we were to have students not come to the event or to protest it, he would look like the person that he is, a person that doesn’t have power and a person that’s just trying to disrupt the university.”

Kirkland proposed the idea that Cummings should suggest that students not attend the event in a Monday Missives email. Cummings responseded that his job is to remain unbiased, but if there was an alternative event presented by a student organization, he stated that he would be happy to mention it.

“I’d love to wake up on Friday morning to the headline ‘Larry Came, No One Showed,’” Cummings said.

While Cummings’ expressed his stance on the matter, he ultimately left it up to the student senate to decide how they will move forward. He reiterated the fact that everyone has their right to freedom of speech.

“We don’t have the right to preach violence or the right to shut him down,” Cummings said. “He does get the chance to say his words and we cannot shut him down. However, you have the right to not participate.”

The overall agreement of the student senate was to not take a side. Student Senator Pierce stated that the student senate should remain supportive of every student.

“We are supposed to appear impartial no matter what and allow everybody the right to speak,” stated Senator Dylan Reynolds, who was inducted at the meeting as the Assistant to the Student Body Vice President.

Lockman’s talk will take place on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. in the Wishcamper Center. President Cummings and the student senate hope the event will be peaceful.

maine street

USM Popular Queries - Sat, 2017-02-11 16:00

blackboard

USM Popular Queries - Fri, 2017-02-10 04:00

mainestreet

USM Popular Queries - Fri, 2017-02-10 04:00

snow

USM Popular Queries - Thu, 2017-02-09 00:00

weather cancellations

USM Popular Queries - Thu, 2017-02-09 00:00

tutor

USM Popular Queries - Thu, 2017-02-09 00:00

Networkmaine Maintenance - UM,USM,UMF,UMA-Bangor Feb 08, 2017

Outages - Mon, 2017-02-06 14:43
Where: UM,USM,UMF,UMA-Bangor
When: Feb 08, 2017 5:00AM
Expected Duration: 1/2hr
Scope: Wireless@UM,USM,UMF,UMA-Bangor

Summary:
Access points which are supported on new wireless controllers but exist on end-of-life controllers (~2.5% of total) will be moved to the new wireless controllers at various campuses.

Networkmaine Contact Info:
NOC 561-3587

Local/Campus Contact Info during this window of work:
NONE / Unknown at this time

President Cummings talks openly about issues with SGA: His thoughts on discrimination, President Trump, and campus gossip

USM Free Press News Feed - Mon, 2017-02-06 12:56

By Krysteana Scribner, Editor-in-chief

What can you tell me about Madison’s decision to tell the general public about your confidential conversation?

Humza and Madison came to me to talk about the state budget. They wanted to know if they could be helpful for supporting a strong budget request, and it was terrific. In the context of that, there is a little piece of background information, and I wanted them to be confidential but make them aware. I said, “don’t even talk about it on Facebook,” because they had come to me with their own time and effort and I trusted them with it.

I was very clear. The nature of that information was more politicized by the individual who heard it. It wasn’t political in the way Madison was hearing it. It was a different issue how other states might interpret opposed to anything related to gender equity. Within a very short amount of time, maybe hours, Madison didn’t feel like they couldn’t honor that.

Did Governor Lepage withhold funding from the UMaine system because of LGBTQ discrimination?

It looks like he didn’t actually do that.

What was the reason that you chose to keep this confidential statement secret?

Because I was keeping someone else’s confidential information.

Madison claims they were demoted because of LGBTQ discrimination and stated that the administration played a part in this. Is that true?

I had no idea they had been removed from their position until I was contacted by the Free Press, actually. I think it’s totally inappropriate for the University to have any involvement to decide whether a senator should stay on the senate. It is a decision that should be on the senate. I do not have the jurisdiction. They represent the student body, so it is inappropriate for the administration. I was disappointed in Madison, I can’t deny that, but I had made it clear that I wanted to continue to meet with the both of them.

What is your thought on the political climate at Universities in today’s day and age?

Universities are being asked to live up to their highest ideals because they are being challenged – such as freedom of expression, diversity, our commitment to the students we represent and the community. The present political climate puts some of our students in danger of things like deportation, in danger of being denied an education and there is a role for us in the university to express their concerns.

At the same time, we are a place of freedom of expression, so there are people who don’t necessarily agree with the president and policies and yet there are individuals who strongly do. Both of those have to be held to the rights of free speech and free expression – and academic expression as well, that allows them to exist within the dialogue, the interaction of the university.

I had heard that USM had considered the possibility of deeming itself a sanctuary school. If this is true, how would the university go about this and what steps need to be taken to make that happen?

We looked very carefully at sanctuary, but that standard is something outside our jurisdiction, because it implies that we can protect students from things we absolutely, legally cannot do. So, many universities have said there is a better way to do this. We talk about it as supporting DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), but we have not made a formal vote on that – the Board of Trustees is still deciding where to go with that I felt obligated to lay out a very clear affirmation of our core values; inclusion, diversity, respect for all, and the sanctity of education. That is the approach web are taking.

Can faculty and staff speak openly to the press without fear of repercussion?

Of course, I would hope people don’t feel that way. Faculty members are held to a very important standards of intellectual accountability because they have to be peer reviewed, and their thoughts and views have to be tested in the marketplace of ideas and their legitimacy. The university has a deep obligation to protect their freedom. There are lines that cannot be crossed, not in the case of faculty, but if one advocates for violence and physical harm to people that no one would want to cross. If you are perceived to insight violence, those behaviors and actions cannot be acceptable. Barring that, we want this free exchange of ideas.

 

What are your thoughts on the recent discrimination cases that have come to light over the past 6-8 months at USM? How does our University handle these kinds of situations? How do you determine what is considered as a hate crime?

We have a student conduct review to determine our course of action. Or, in the instance of harassment in the fall, we sent it directly to the District Attorney’s office, because we believed  that it had the potential to be tried as a hate crime. We have the ability to do both. We have pretty strong procedures, but we need to get stronger in training and understanding. Lots of folks on the university level, all of us quite frankly, need to learn more about the complexities of these issues. Just like you noted, where does the line cross between hate crimes and harassment? There may be ambiguity in some cases, but we will always have accountability for those students or community members who have experiences such as these.

There have been various instances of hate crimes both from students within the multicultural center harassing Caucasian students and students from the multicultural center experiencing discrimination on campus. What do you believe all of this aggressive behavior is born from?

I think some of the responses are understandable, because when you are threatened, your life is threatened, it is very difficult to find those better angels of our nature and respond in a strong but still respectful way and civil way. It’s very hard, we could easily get caught up in righteous rage, and it is a high standard. What we are seeing in these attacks are the seeming cultural or political permission based on what they’re seeing on TV and perhaps even in tweets. Social media becomes a place to engage in hateful acts, and perhaps not even see them as hateful acts, but rather as norms of the new world order, so to speak.

Controversial conservative speaker to visit Portland campus

USM Free Press News Feed - Mon, 2017-02-06 12:46

By Johnna Ossie, News Editor

On January 25, 2017, Paul Lepage held the first town hall meeting of the year at Biddeford Middle School, consequently it was also the first town hall meeting since the governor made “racially charged” remarks about people of color coming to Maine to deal drugs. An article written by Moshe Marvit from The Century Foundation said it best: “a well informed electorate is a prerequisite for democracy.” So in order to inform myself, I layered up in warm clothes and drove out to the meeting.

Lepage took the first few minutes of the meeting to discuss his goals with the new budget. He stated that he wants to “do no harm” with the proposal, and states that two of the referenda that were on the ballot this past election are doing just the opposite.

The governor stated that the new minimum wage was not helping, but hurting the state. He stated that 358,000 elderly people, who live on fixed incomes, that don’t get an increase in payments, are now facing an increase in their cost of living, because businesses are now having to pay their employees nine dollars an hour instead of seven-fifty. Kids were another concern of his, mentioning that businesses would be less likely to hire children that don’t have any developed work skills. In December, Lepage had stated that the Department of Labor would stall the legislation three weeks past the original date it was supposed to go into effect. During the question portion, a constituent voiced her concerns about it, stating that she thought it was offensive that the governor implied that Maine people were “too stupid” to vote the right way. The governor channelled his inner Donald Trump, interrupting the woman as she asked the governor to respect the will of Maine voters. “Government officials should not be in the business of cherry picking which election results to follow.” says Justin Chenette-D Saco, a senator in the legislature. Like myself, he believes that the voting process should be respected by all members of government, regardless of whether they approve of the results.

       Donna Bailey-D Saco also explains that when a government official disagrees with what the people voted for, they need to offer a solution and evidence, of their wishes being better than what the people voted for, and that no one, including the governor had done so. “When the people pass a referendum, as they did with the minimum wage referendum, anyone who proposes going against that mandate, against the unequivocal will of the people, has a heavy burden to prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that their idea is better than the people’s law. I have not heard any idea, including the Governor’s, that has risen to that level. Default always goes to the people.”

Lepage also went after question two, calling the 3% surcharge a “misnomer” and “a bill of goods that was sold to the Maine people(and it was) totally erroneous.” He went on to say that there was “so much money for education that we don’t know where to spend it.” The problem he stated was that the money doesn’t go towards classrooms or teachers , but to administration and to some extent, union bosses. He lamented that we have some of the lowest paid teachers in the country, but as one constituent pointed out later on, his new budget eliminates cost of living increases in the pensions of retired public servants, of which teachers fall under.

Lepage was also very critical of news media, implying that the media is dishonest and unreliable by saying to one constituent “you must be reading newspapers sir” after the gentlemen asked why the governor opposed a new casino being built in Maine. None of this is surprising to me, since during the election season, the governor stated that he and Donald Trump are “cut from the same cloth”, and like his counterpart, he’s attempted time and time again to discredit the media when they don’t report what he wants them to.

     After the meeting finished, I caught up with Sarah Rawlings, a graduate of the Public Policy and Management program at the Muskie School of Public Service, who, despite being interrupted by the governor, his press secretary, and members of the audience, gave a powerful statement about Lepage’s refusal to expand MaineCare, an action, or, rather inaction, that would cut over 20,000 of the state’s most vulnerable population from the program, while leaving some out in the cold when it comes to subsidies for purchasing insurance under the ACA. Lepage’s response was that when the minimum wage passes, that those people would be eligible for subsidies. According to the proposed budget, a family of three could earn no more than 40% of the federal poverty line to qualify for MaineCare. To see the breakdown in numbers: the federal poverty level for a family of three is $20,160/year. Because of Lepage’s budget, said family could earn no more than $8,064/year. I’ll say it again. NO MORE than $8064/year. Rawlings said it best. “This is insanity”.

    Throughout the meeting, Lepage, and members of his staff, admonished members of the audience for being “disrespectful”. But one of the traits that his supporters love about him is that he “tells it like it is”, it’s evident that he doesn’t value the same trait in his constituents. Even though the meeting went off the rails pretty fast, I hope to go to more, and at best, get my own questions answered, or at least watch another hilarious train wreck.

     The governor’s office declined to comment.

Young Americans for Freedom? Conservative students on campus fear backlash for holding beliefs that contradict Liberal values

USM Free Press News Feed - Mon, 2017-02-06 12:43

By Sarah Tewksbury, Free Press Staff

On January 25, 2017, Paul Lepage held the first town hall meeting of the year at Biddeford Middle School, consequently it was also the first town hall meeting since the governor made “racially charged” remarks about people of color coming to Maine to deal drugs. An article written by Moshe Marvit from The Century Foundation said it best: “a well informed electorate is a prerequisite for democracy.” So in order to inform myself, I layered up in warm clothes and drove out to the meeting.

Lepage took the first few minutes of the meeting to discuss his goals with the new budget. He stated that he wants to “do no harm” with the proposal, and states that two of the referenda that were on the ballot this past election are doing just the opposite.

The governor stated that the new minimum wage was not helping, but hurting the state. He stated that 358,000 elderly people, who live on fixed incomes, that don’t get an increase in payments, are now facing an increase in their cost of living, because businesses are now having to pay their employees nine dollars an hour instead of seven-fifty. Kids were another concern of his, mentioning that businesses would be less likely to hire children that don’t have any developed work skills. In December, Lepage had stated that the Department of Labor would stall the legislation three weeks past the original date it was supposed to go into effect. During the question portion, a constituent voiced her concerns about it, stating that she thought it was offensive that the governor implied that Maine people were “too stupid” to vote the right way. The governor channelled his inner Donald Trump, interrupting the woman as she asked the governor to respect the will of Maine voters. “Government officials should not be in the business of cherry picking which election results to follow.” says Justin Chenette-D Saco, a senator in the legislature. Like myself, he believes that the voting process should be respected by all members of government, regardless of whether they approve of the results.

       Donna Bailey-D Saco also explains that when a government official disagrees with what the people voted for, they need to offer a solution and evidence, of their wishes being better than what the people voted for, and that no one, including the governor had done so. “When the people pass a referendum, as they did with the minimum wage referendum, anyone who proposes going against that mandate, against the unequivocal will of the people, has a heavy burden to prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that their idea is better than the people’s law. I have not heard any idea, including the Governor’s, that has risen to that level. Default always goes to the people.”

Lepage also went after question two, calling the 3% surcharge a “misnomer” and “a bill of goods that was sold to the Maine people(and it was) totally erroneous.” He went on to say that there was “so much money for education that we don’t know where to spend it.” The problem he stated was that the money doesn’t go towards classrooms or teachers , but to administration and to some extent, union bosses. He lamented that we have some of the lowest paid teachers in the country, but as one constituent pointed out later on, his new budget eliminates cost of living increases in the pensions of retired public servants, of which teachers fall under.

Lepage was also very critical of news media, implying that the media is dishonest and unreliable by saying to one constituent “you must be reading newspapers sir” after the gentlemen asked why the governor opposed a new casino being built in Maine. None of this is surprising to me, since during the election season, the governor stated that he and Donald Trump are “cut from the same cloth”, and like his counterpart, he’s attempted time and time again to discredit the media when they don’t report what he wants them to.

     After the meeting finished, I caught up with Sarah Rawlings, a graduate of the Public Policy and Management program at the Muskie School of Public Service, who, despite being interrupted by the governor, his press secretary, and members of the audience, gave a powerful statement about Lepage’s refusal to expand MaineCare, an action, or, rather inaction, that would cut over 20,000 of the state’s most vulnerable population from the program, while leaving some out in the cold when it comes to subsidies for purchasing insurance under the ACA. Lepage’s response was that when the minimum wage passes, that those people would be eligible for subsidies. According to the proposed budget, a family of three could earn no more than 40% of the federal poverty line to qualify for MaineCare. To see the breakdown in numbers: the federal poverty level for a family of three is $20,160/year. Because of Lepage’s budget, said family could earn no more than $8,064/year. I’ll say it again. NO MORE than $8064/year. Rawlings said it best. “This is insanity”.

    Throughout the meeting, Lepage, and members of his staff, admonished members of the audience for being “disrespectful”. But one of the traits that his supporters love about him is that he “tells it like it is”, it’s evident that he doesn’t value the same trait in his constituents. Even though the meeting went off the rails pretty fast, I hope to go to more, and at best, get my own questions answered, or at least watch another hilarious train wreck.

     The governor’s office declined to comment.

Networkmaine Maintenance - UMPI Feb 08, 2017

Outages - Mon, 2017-02-06 11:34
Where: UMPI
When: Feb 08, 2017 5:00AM
Expected Duration: 1/2hr
Scope: UMPI Wireless

Summary:
Wireless IP address space will be consolidated at UMPI such that users preserve their IP address when roaming between certain buildings.

Networkmaine Contact Info:
NOC 561-3587

Local/Campus Contact Info during this window of work:
NONE / Unknown at this time

Re: US:IT Maintenance - Orono Feb 5th, 2017 - CAS SSO BUGFIX

Outages - Sun, 2017-02-05 08:16
Work has been completed.

On Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 4:40 PM, Drew Northup wrote:
> Where: ITS Orono
> When: 5:00 AM - 10:00 AM
> Expected Duration: Downtime less than 15 minutes, most likely around
> 6:30 AM, but earlier if at all possible.
>
> Scope: All services using CAS and Shibboleth for SSO, including but
> not limited to the following.
>
> MyCampus Portals, some Library web applications (UM and state-wide),
> Google Apps, System-wide support desk Ticket Submission form, IWMS,
> Request Tracker, NOC Apps, Mailwatch, InCommon Service Providers not
> otherwise listed, [...]

dean's list

USM Popular Queries - Sat, 2017-02-04 10:00

study abroad

USM Popular Queries - Sat, 2017-02-04 00:00

Sexual assault prevention training on campus

USM Free Press News Feed - Fri, 2017-02-03 16:25

By: River Plouffe Vogel, Free Press Staff

The University of Southern Maine hopes to provide fair, safe and equal education to all students. Protecting as well educating the student body is one way to do that. USM offers students to take an online sexual assault prevention training course, which is required of all university employees and students.

The online trainings are created by a group called Student Success, which works with the university in creating training modules that best fit the student body. Student Success has access to MaineStreet, where they post who has completed the trainings. Currently, however, there is no penalty if a student does not complete the trainings.

The 2016 Annual Safety Report from the university lists that there were five “forcible sexual offenses” in the residence halls in Gorham in 2015. Sarah Holmes, assistant dean of students and Deputy Title IX coordinator, said the numbers may be higher, as sexual assault often goes unreported.

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five college women will be sexually assaulted on campus, as well as one in sixteen for men. Ninety percent of sexual assaults are reported by the victims. One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually assaulted before the age of eighteen.

Sexaul assault’s prevalence and impact on so many college communities has caused controversy at many universities, especially within the last year after a list of those charged with Title IX violations was released by the Department of Education. Many high profile schools, including Harvard College, Harvard Law School and Sarah Lawrence College, made the list.

USM has stated that “all USM community members are required to complete the [sexual assault prevention training] course.” Holmes explained that all incoming first year students, most student athletes, any students involved in fraternity or sorority life and many other student groups receive the sexual assault prevention training  in person.

Holmes went on to explain how the university is continuing to expand its outreach and to open  avenues for dialogue, with the hopes that more students will become active in educating members of the USM community when it comes to speaking out about sexual violence. These trainings are also offered throughout the year by Sarah and other staff members.

The video takes an hour to complete and gives the viewer first-hand accounts of sexual assault, solutions to difficult situations and also includes information and knowledge surrounding the topics of sexual assault. Some of the material can elicit past memories of experiences in the viewer, and the video warns the viewer beforehand if there might be something triggering or too difficult to watch.

Jeffrey Ahlquist, treasurer of the student senate, member of a USM fraternity and an RA on the Gorham campus, explained why he believes it’s important for students to take this training:

“Especially on campus, these issues can be very real to many people and only by educating ourselves can we help to face and solve them. The videos do a great job of giving the student’s real life examples and providing real life solutions.”

Pages

Subscribe to University of Southern Maine aggregator