Feed aggregator

Networkmaine Maintenance - UMA-Bangor 02/25/2018 06:00 am

Outages - 2 hours 58 min ago
Where: UMA-Bangor
Start: 02/25/2018 06:00 am
End: 02/25/2018 07:00 am
Scope: UMA-Bangor Wireless

Summary:
Wireless controller software will be upgraded to address various bugs.

Networkmaine Contact Info:
NOC 581-3587

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

Re: Networkmaine Maintenance - Orono 02/18/2018 06:00 am

Outages - 3 hours 33 min ago
This maintenance is now been fully complete.

The replacement chassis IO Module has been received from Cisco and is
installed/configured.

Adam

*Adam Paradis*
Virtualization Administrator | Data Center Operations | Networkmaine | US:IT
University of Maine System
Direct Phone: 207-581-3529
Direct Email: adam.paradis@maine.edu
Group Phone: 207-581-3550
Group Email: dco@maine.edu
Data Center Operations - Confluence


On Sun, Feb 18, 2018 at 12:55 PM, Adam Paradis
wrote: [...]

Re: Networkmaine Maintenance - Orono 02/18/2018 06:00 am

Outages - Sun, 2018-02-18 12:55
This maintenance is partially complete.

During the firmware upgrade an IO module on the chassis experienced a
hardware failure resulting in loss of connection to VMs on the blades.
This downtime was approximately 10 minutes.

Cisco has been contacted and a new part has been dispatched to prevent
future interruptions.

Adam

*Adam Paradis*
Virtualization Administrator | Data Center Operations | Networkmaine | US:IT
University of Maine System
Direct Phone: 207-581-3529
Direct Email: adam.paradis@maine.edu
Group Phone: 207-581-3550
Group Email: dco@maine.edu
Data Center Operations - Confluence
[...]

Networkmaine Maintenance - Data Center 02/25/2018 05:00 am

Outages - Sun, 2018-02-18 06:41
Where: Data Center
Start: 02/25/2018 05:00 am
End: 02/25/2018 07:00 am
Scope: Firewall Services

Summary:

Data center firewalls will be upgraded for Orono and Portland. Minimal service disruption is expected during this window.

Networkmaine Contact Info:
NOC 581-3587

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

Re: Networkmaine Maintenance - Multiple Locations 02/18/2018 05:00 am

Outages - Sun, 2018-02-18 06:34
This maintenance has been completed.

On Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 8:31 AM, Ray Soucy wrote:

> Where: Multiple Locations
> Start: 02/18/2018 05:00 am
> End: 02/18/2018 07:00 am
> Scope: Firewall Services
>
> Summary:
>
> Non-Cisco campus firewall services will be upgraded. Minimal service
> disruption is expected as all firewalls are redundant.
>
> Major services in-scope include UM dining services, Sodexo, and Guest
> Wireless.
>
> Note: This maintenance event does not include data center firewall
> services.
>
>
> Networkmaine Contact Info:
> NOC 581-3587
>
> Local/Campus Contact Info [...]

Networkmaine Maintenance - Little Hall 02/21/2018 05:00 am

Outages - Fri, 2018-02-16 08:54
Where: Little Hall
Start: 02/21/2018 05:00 am
End: 02/21/2018 07:00 am
Scope: Switch Upgrades in BDF and IDFB.

Summary:
CAT-O-LITTLE-BDF will be upgraded to a single 9300 switchstack.

CAT-O-LITTLE-IDFB, are also being upgraded to a single 9300 switchstack.

Networkmaine Contact Info:
NOC 581-3587

Local/Campus Contact Info during this window of work:
NOC 581-3587

Networkmaine Maintenance - Orono 02/18/2018 06:00 am

Outages - Thu, 2018-02-15 13:17
Where: Orono
Start: 02/18/2018 06:00 am
End: 02/18/2018 10:00 am
Scope: UMS IP Telephony

Summary:
Maintenance will be performed on one UMS IP telephony server in Orono that will require it to be offline during the maintenance window. No outage is expected.

Networkmaine Contact Info:
NOC 581-3587

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

study abroad

USM Popular Queries - Thu, 2018-02-15 01:00

Networkmaine Maintenance - Orono 02/18/2018 06:00 am

Outages - Wed, 2018-02-14 14:28
Where: Orono
Start: 02/18/2018 06:00 am
End: 02/18/2018 09:00 am
Scope: Cisco UCS Infrastructure/VMware

Summary:
Updating firmware for UCS infrastructure including fabric interconnects and multiple chassis to incorporate new blade servers. The existing blade servers in this infrastructure (which are VMware hosts) will not be updated in conjunction with this maintenance and instead will be updated at a later time using a staggered approach. No downtime is expected. [...]

Networkmaine Maintenance - Multiple Locations 02/18/2018 05:00 am

Outages - Wed, 2018-02-14 08:31
Where: Multiple Locations
Start: 02/18/2018 05:00 am
End: 02/18/2018 07:00 am
Scope: Firewall Services

Summary:

Non-Cisco campus firewall services will be upgraded. Minimal service disruption is expected as all firewalls are redundant.

Major services in-scope include UM dining services, Sodexo, and Guest Wireless.

Note: This maintenance event does not include data center firewall services.

Networkmaine Contact Info:
NOC 581-3587 [...]

Re: Networkmaine Maintenance - Campus Firewalls 02/14/2018 03:00 am

Outages - Wed, 2018-02-14 05:03
This maintenance has been completed.

On Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 2:12 PM, Ray Soucy wrote:

> Where: Campus Firewalls
> Start: 02/14/2018 03:00 am
> End: 02/14/2018 07:00 am
> Scope: PCI networks and UMPD firewall services
>
> Summary:
>
> NOTICE: This maintenance event will begin at 3:00 AM rather than 5:00 AM
> due to the length of the upgrade process and number of upgrades being
> performed.
>
> A series of ASA firewalls in use by UMS are running vulnerable software.
> Compensating controls remain in place to mitigate the risk until this
[...]

tuition

USM Popular Queries - Tue, 2018-02-13 17:00

groupwise

USM Popular Queries - Tue, 2018-02-13 17:00

athletics

USM Popular Queries - Tue, 2018-02-13 17:00

human resources

USM Popular Queries - Tue, 2018-02-13 17:00

Food insecurity problem seen across entire state

USM Free Press News Feed - Mon, 2018-02-12 23:05

Sarah O’Connor, Staff Writer

 

Maine’s food insecurity situation has gotten worse in the past three years. The number of food insecure Mainers has decreased from 2014 to 2015, but Maine’s ranking nationwide has moved up to 7th in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Maine ranks #7 in the nation and #1 in New England for food insecurity, according to the USDA. They estimate that 16.4 percent of households or more than 200,000 people in a state of 1.33 million people. Additionally, one in every five children are food insecure, making Maine #16 in the nation and #1 in New England for child food insecurity, according to Feeding America.

The USDA defines food insecurity as not having access to enough food to ensure adequate nutrition. They reported in September 2016 that 42 million Americans are food insecure.

“The USDA defines food insecurity as limited or uncertain access to adequate food — a situation that will often result in hunger,” Matthew Hoffman said, a food studies minor at USM. “Hunger is a physical condition, food insecurity is a social and economic condition.  A person on the street with no money who has just found or been given a sandwich might not be hungry at the moment, but they are still ‘food insecure,’ since they don’t know where their next meal is coming from.”

The reasons for food insecurity are hard to pin down. Explanations for food insecurity don’t shed light on the truth of people’s experiences. They can stem from rates of food, divorce, crime and more, following certain patterns that vary over time and place.

“It is very common in the U.S. of course to look for reasons to blame people for whatever happens to them,” Hoffman said, “which is easy to do since most people’s fates are in some way connected to their actions, choices, or dispositions — however similar these may be to those of other people with completely different fates.”

Even so, Hoffman attributed two of the most influential reasons for food insecurity to low wages and state-created barriers to participation in federally-funded assistance programs. Hoffman noted that one third of Maine’s workforce cannot support themselves with their wage. According to the Good Shepherd Food Bank, 37 percent of Maine’s food insecure population does not qualify for public assistance. Instead, they must rely on charity supplied food.

Food insecurity does not just affect families, children and elderly people, but peers at USM and college students across the nation as well.

Matthew Walsh of the Portland Press Herald wrote, “Feeding America found that 49.3 percent of the college students it serves reported having to choose between food and educational expenses such as books, tuition and housing.”

At colleges in Maine, such as USM and University of Maine Orono, credit unions are there to assist students. In the community, the Good Shepherd Food Bank does a lot to help people in need. For every dollar donated, they distribute four meals to hungry people in Maine. The bank relies on the help from over 200 food donors like supermarkets and wholesalers. They provide to more than 178,000 Mainers each year. In 2015, they distributed 23 million pounds of food to local agencies in all 16 counties in Maine, according to the bank’s website.

The Good Shepherd Food Bank has teamed up with fellow local organization Preble Street to provide immediate relief through programs, research and advocacy.

“Their joint report, Hunger Pains, which came out last Feb., provides an excellent overview of the scope and causes of food insecurity in Maine,” Hoffman said. “Both of these organizations are collaborating with the Food Studies Program at USM to host a food policy forum on March 30, as well as gubernatorial candidate debates in April.”

The food policy forum is still in the planning stages, according to Hoffman. The forum will take place in Portland at Glickman’s University Events Room (UER) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Additionally, the Hunger Pains report can be found on the Great Shepherd Food Bank website.

To help the food insecurity situation in Maine, people can donate money, food or time to the Good Shepherd Food Bank, Preble Street and local soup kitchens, food pantries, neighborhood centers and homeless shelters. Freshman core classes volunteered at the Salvation Army with Wayside Food in Portland, and served meals to food insecure individuals. Any students can volunteer here as well, as they serve two meals a deal, almost every day.

Letter from the editor: New changes and new challenges

USM Free Press News Feed - Mon, 2018-02-12 21:08

Julie Pike, Editor-in-chief

 

My first letter from the editor, a piece of writing that symbolizes a big change in my role at The Free Press, as I take on the challenge of becoming editor-in-chief.

For the past two years that I have worked at The Free Press, I always had in the back of my mind that I might someday become editor. Although it never occured to me that this opportunity would come so soon. I’ve had a great mentor, Sarah, who has passed on all of her wisdom from her time as editor. I’ve also got a great staff to work with, who I know will all help ease the pressure of this transition for me.

I first started as a news writer during my second semester of my freshman year here at USM. I will always remember my first assignment, to cover an event on the Gorham campus, where a group of “sexperts” were hosting a panel to have an uncensored discussion on sex related matters. The news editor at the time, who has since moved on from The Free Press, informed me that going into what could be considered an uncomfortable situation is a great way to start my time at the newspaper. Considering I’m still working at The Free Press today, he must’ve been right.

Since then I’ve had the opportunity to cover major issues affecting students and staff at USM as well as our community. I’ve covered Trump’s election, Molly Ringwald stopping in Gorham to promote Hillary Clinton, a Bernie Sanders rally, as well as stories regarding the Student Senate, protests against campus speakers and the strive for more gender neutral bathrooms at USM.

That’s one of the things I love the most about this job, every week it’s a new assignment. Every week you have the chance to learn something new. Every week you have the opportunity to challenge yourself.

This position is a turning point in my career path to become a journalist. I dream of one day working for a national publication such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, or even Time magazine.

When I was younger, I was an avid viewer of Gilmore Girls, a drama and comedy sitcom centered around the eccentric relationship between a mother and her daughter. For those of you who are familiar with the show, you know that Rory Gilmore, the daughter, shared a similar passion of mine, she wanted to be a journalist. In fact, it was Rory who inspired me to begin writing.

That was close to seven years ago, in my first year of high school, when I thought to myself, “maybe someday I can be like Rory Gilmore.” I was 14 years old then, and to this day that idea still stands with me. I may not want to be exactly like Rory, but as far as her success in journalism, I hope I can live up to that.

And now here I am, editor-in-chief of my college newspaper, just as Rory was for the Yale Daily News. I may not have the eccentric mother-daughter relationship that Rory and Lorelai share, but I’ve got that one thing in common with her.

I have big dreams for The Free Press and I hope that during my time as editor I can work to improve and continue the success of the paper. It’s not going to be an easy task and it’s going to take lots of time and devotion, but I am prepared for that.

For those of you who are avid readers, you can follow me on my journey as I work to navigate the intricate process of producing a weekly college newspaper. You’ll see my highs and lows, and I’m expecting there to be plenty of low moments.

I may have high expectations for this paper, but I’m not expecting myself to be perfect. I know there will be moments when I will make mistakes, but there will also be times when I can be proud of the content of our paper.

This position comes with a responsibility and commitment that is new to me. I fully expect the next year and a half left that I have at USM to be the most challenging of my time here. But if I wasn’t in a position where I am challenging myself, I wouldn’t be working to get any better.

A wise television mother once said, “you have so many years of screw ups ahead of you,” and that woman is Lorelai Gilmore. These are words of wisdom that I live by.

This is coming from a woman who said, “I need coffee in an IV,” which are also words of wisdom that I live by.

History of mandatory student activity fees

USM Free Press News Feed - Mon, 2018-02-12 21:04

Sarah Tewksbury, Staff Writer

 

Student Activity Fees

$110. That is how much a full-time USM student pays each year to support the student activity fee.

Over a century ago, students at universities and colleges across the U.S. self imposed student activity fees in order to fund extracurricular activities and additional services. In the beginning, the additional services included having electricity and hot water in dormitory buildings. At the origination of the concept of these fees, they were collected and distributed by students.

The first time that mass controversy arose about student activity fees was during the 1960s when the argument was made that political action and advocacy groups could be given preference based on their ideological affiliation. On one hand, students argued that this increased the quality of student life because campus groups were able to increase their presence and action items with monetary backing. On the other hand, it was argued that students funneling money into the activity fee pool were essentially supporting causes they did not believe in.

Once the lid was removed on funding being split among all groups on campuses and the controversial effects that funding all politically motivated clubs had on students, it has been difficult to contain the issue. Numerous legal actions were filed following the politicization of student activity fee funds. In 1985 students at Rutgers University sued the university for the right not to pay student activity fees that would fund groups they did not believe in. The courts ruled in favor of the students. Following the major Galda v. Rutgers suit, the University of California at Berkeley (UCB) was sued by students, who made the same arguments as the students at Rutgers, eight years prior. The California Supreme Court ruled in favor of UCB continuing to impose mandatory student activity fees but also found that it was an infringement on students’ rights to allow their money to go to groups they ideologically disagreed with.

Through the courts rulings, the precedent has been set that viewpoint neutrality will influence student activity fee dissemination. However, this principle only applies to public universities and colleges because they are government entities. Private colleges and universities are not held by the same rules and have more authority on how mandatory fees are collected and distributed. In turn, students have less autonomy on governing their own fees at private institutions.

In the case of Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System v. Southworth, the Supreme Court found that students using referendum voting to decide how public universities distribute funding to campus groups to be unconstitutional. According to the conclusion delivered by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy in March 2000, the “First Amendment permits a public university to charge its students an activity fee used to fund a program to facilitate extracurricular student speech if the program is viewpoint neutral.” However, the conclusion also included that public universities may not favor certain groups over others based on their viewpoints.

The management of student activity fees across throughout the U.S. varies, depending on the type of institution. Private universities have become accustomed to having official administration offices for the university govern student activity funds. Applications for funds processes are often filtered through campus activity offices and student affairs departments. At private institutions, administrative governance of student activity fees leaves more autonomy for the university to redirect funds to support projects that benefit the administration’s goals and plans, rather than support student groups and the best interests of students.

A majority of public universities distribute their student activity fees through student run governance. Student government associations and student led boards often respond to requests and determine the dispersion of the fees. Most do not set the percentage of the fee charged to students and that is left to the discretion of the student activities office.

At the University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG) a commission of students and faculty members converse each fall to discuss and recommend fees to the university Chancellor. After ample opportunity for public input on the fees, the Chancellor then turns to the UNCG Board of Trustees and UNC Board of Governors to determine exactly what will be charged to the students.

Having students govern the student activity fee is common for public universities. By having the system set up in this way, students are given full autonomy to self distribute the funds to campus groups and projects, thus entrusting that a fee collected for the students is truly going towards student based projects.

Arguments have been made that should a student body lose control of their student activity fee funds, the administration at the university level would have the power to limit the accessibility for groups to obtain funds based on ideology. A major concern is generated from student run media organizations. Should a college newspaper report unfavorably, yet truthfully, on university administration, an institution controlling funding could re-assign monies to other groups.  

Generational Differences in Student Reporting

USM Free Press News Feed - Mon, 2018-02-12 21:01

Sam Margolin, Staff Writer

 

“In the English language, it all comes down to this: Twenty-six letters, when combined correctly, can create magic. Twenty -six letters form the foundation of a free, informed society.”- John Grogan

USM’s student newspaper, The Free Press, has been a definitive source for news and commentary throughout the history of the school and beyond. USM itself has only been in existence for about 40 years or so. To trace the lineage of The Free Press, one must look farther back than that.

USM’s story begins with the Gorham Academy which opened in 1803 as a prep school for boys. This was the first established secondary education institution still connected to the University of Maine system. The first noted periodical from the school system is an edition of The Oracle, released on January 26, 1931 provided by USM’s Archives, Special Collections. The issue describes the early stages of USM’s formation by highlighting the beginnings of the merger between the Gorham Normal School and University of Maine Portland. The main headline reads, “Gorham Normal School Attends Teachers Convention in Portland.”

From the 1930s to present day the newspaper has undergone many changes both on the surface and behind the scenes. The name of the newspaper itself has changed from “The Oracle” in the 1930’s to such names as “The Stein” from 1967-1968, “The Viking” from 1969-1970, and “The Observer”, with variations of them all leading up to 1972, when the name the “University Free Press” was first introduced.

Since 1972, the name of the paper has stayed relatively the same, but the characteristics of the stories and the overall tone and mood of the paper has shifted over the generations.   

Al Daimon was a ‘72 USM graduate and political columnist who wrote under the pseudonym “Baggy Tweeds.” Daimon remembers his time with the paper fondly but recalls some of the differences between generations.

Daimon was a fan of rock writing such as Rolling Stone and Crawdaddy, that were popular in the ‘60s and wanted to focus his writing around music as well. The Free Press was much more willing to publish quirky, offbeat writing.

“The Stein was willing to publish just about anything, so that worked out to our mutual satisfaction. For the readers, maybe not so much,” said Daimon.

The changes that have been implemented since Daimon’s time have helped the paper become more credible and professional, but to some this strategy made the writing process less entertaining.

“The Free Press was an attempt to professionalize what had been an extremely amateur effort. To that end, the powers-that-be made a concerted effort to eliminate all the fun,” Daimon said.

In the ‘80s the paper was still representative of a more laid back approach to writing than that of its current image. Jim McCarthy, a USM graduate from 1982 with a degree in English is the current digital editor at Mainebiz. He was a writer for the Free Press from 1979 to 1982. McCarthy joined the Free Press in order to rejoin the college life after he dropped out of Cleveland State University six years prior.

“I was 25 and had a vague notion that somehow writing and/or photography would be my ticket to doing what I loved and also make a living,” said McCarthy.

The paper was more of a unsupervised student organization than it is today. The extreme media scrutiny that our modern digital age provides, makes writing without regard hard to do.

“The best part of working at The Free Press, then and I imagine now, was the fun of being part of a rag-tag team putting out something, week in and week out, with very little guidance or supervision from faculty or professional journalists,” said McCarthy.

By the ‘90s the paper had progressed to the quality of work it has today. Troy R. Bennett, a USM graduate and multimedia producer for the Bangor Daily News, says that he would not be where he is today without the help of The Free Press.

“I went to college to become an English teacher. But I ended up working at The Free Press and falling in love with newspapers. Since there was no journalism program, I got all the experience and professional contacts that I needed through The Free Press,” said Bennett.

One of the largest benefits of working for The Free Press to students is the ability to fail or succeed as much or as little as you want to. The amount of effort put in is directly related to the amount of satisfaction the audience gets out.

“Everything I learned there still helps: how to work as a team, ethics, precision, news judgement,” said Bennett. “It was wonderful. We were free to triumph or fail on our own.”

Some of the current staff and faculty include Dennis Gilbert of the Communications and Media Studies Department, and Lucille Siegler, the business manager and administrator for the paper. Siegler, who joined the paper in 2004, says the paper provided her with respite from other jobs such as working for crematoriums and cemeteries. She remembers the days when the merger between campuses was still fresh and new. A slogan was chanted at sporting events and student gatherings that represents the blossoming partnership between Gorham and Portland campuses. A combination of the towns themselves that now hosts the University of Southern Maine: Go! Po! Go!

New Board Policy stirs up debate among faculty

USM Free Press News Feed - Mon, 2018-02-12 20:59

Julie Pike, Editor-in-chief

 

The UMS Board of Trustees (BoT) has been in the works on a new policy, “Institutional authority on political matters.” The proposal was first introduced five months ago, but on Friday, Feb. 2, the USM Faculty Senate had a chance to weigh in on their opinions.

This proposal, Board Policy 214, addresses the exact guidelines for UMS faculty to follow if they plan on engaging in political activity. This includes restrictions such as, no UMS employee may engage in political activity on their work time or use university resources, and they are also not allowed to use university classes to endorse or oppose specific political candidates. However, the policy states that, “This provision will not be construed to restrict legitimate exercises of academic freedom, pursued for legitimate curricular or pedagogical purposes.”

The policy also outlines what issues that the UMS Chancellor and System University Presidents may publicly speak about, using a stoplight diagram. This states that university officials have the authority to speak about issues on behalf of their institution if that issue involves topics such as, academic administration, curriculum, health and safety of students and employees and issues critical to the wellbeing of the institution. Those topics would be considered to be in the green category of the diagram.

In the yellow category it lists topics that are indirectly related to the university, that should be reviewed before discussed, such as climate change and labor standards. Then the red zone lists issues that are not related to the institution, ones that should be strayed away from in discussion, such as abortion policy or tax reform.

At the Faculty Senate meeting, James Thelen, the Chief of Staff and General Council to the UMS system, was in attendance to address comments and concerns from faculty members. At the time of this meeting, revisions had been made to Board Policy 214, after faculty from different UMS campuses had given negative feedback.

Thelen stated that Board Policy 214 had its foundation in Board Policy 212, which address free speech, academic freedom and civility. The free speech policy had been recently revised in March of last year, its first revision since 1974.

In the free inquiry and academic freedom section of Board Policy 212, it states that, “system faculty and staff have the right to comment as employees on matters related to their professional duties, and the functioning of the University. System employees have a responsibility and an obligation to indicate when expressing personal opinions that they are not institutional representatives unless specifically authorized as such.”

These policy changes initially came up after President Trump’s election in 2016. Days after the election the BoT met at the University of Maine in Machias, when a student representative on the board spoke up about the need to take a public stand about civility and political power.

With the new policy, Thelen stated that it was intended to be viewed through the lens of what the rights of free speech are. However, by not actively stating the free speech rights in the policy, they saw backlash from faculty.

“By not directly calling out that we were intentionally trying to address free speech in our first draft, we caused a lot of consternation, and frankly we deserved it,” Thelen said. “Faculty members still have all of the rights that exist in policy 212.” The revised version of the policy includes a paragraph that states that the policy is intended to be read, interpreted and administered in conjunction with Board Policy 212.

During the meeting with the Faculty Senate, Thelen mentioned that the policy was following IRS guidelines about a tax exempt institution and what political activities they can engage in. He also stated that the BoT got feedback from faculty that work on public policy matters, as well as other lawyers.

When it came time for faculty to share their input, Susan Feiner, President of the Associated Faculties of the Universities of Maine (AFUM), spoke up about her concerns.

“This is a policy that is overreached,” Feiner said. “You are trying to craft language that represents us in something we don’t do.” Feiner stated that free speech becomes a contract issue once a policy is explicit on the prohibition to represent the university.

The question arose of what faculty’s rights are in regard to speaking publicly about the university.

“I frequently represent myself as someone against the university,” Feiner added.

Wendy Chapkis, a professor of Women and Gender Studies and Sociology, stated that the policy should be reworked to only address system presidents and the chancellor, not the faculty members, to which several faculty members applauded.

The only official statement before this policy, regarding political activity guidelines for UMS faculty, was written in an administrative practice letter. The statement, which was only one sentence long, only included that faculty couldn’t use university funds for political purposes.

“What we’ve put here is what the law of the land is and the BoT wants to represent that,” Thelen stated.

In response to this, a faculty member in attendance questioned that if the faculty were already governed by federal law, then why wouldn’t that statement be sufficient.

It was also brought up during the meeting that one of the current BoT members is running for governor in the upcoming election. Shawn Moody, the owner of Moody’s Collision Centers and a Gorham resident, has served on the BoT since 2014. He is running as a Republican candidate for governor in Nov. However, his appointment on the BoT is set to expire in May of this year.

Thelen stated that the BoT has reviewed that there is no conflict, and that UMS is not officially endorsing him.

The BoT had met the previous Monday to discuss the revisions to Board Policy 214. USM President Glenn Cummings stated that the feedback that they had gotten from those changes was very positive.

“They did a better job of protecting and drawing a clear bright line between your absolute rights as a citizen to weigh in on whatever you want, as long as you’re not acting in some way that could confused with your position,” Cummings stated.

However, the feedback from the USM Faculty Senate only brought up concerns and criticism regarding the policy, despite the revised changes.

A big concern among faculty is how this policy will affect discussion in the classroom.

“Faculty should have the freedom to explore topics that may be sensitive, controversial, or political, all in the pursuit of understanding, reaching a truth and developing critical thinking skills,” said Daniel Panici, a professor of Communications and Media Studies.

Panici also stated that he thinks the policy undermines students’ ability to critically think and engage in dialogue, and that this policy would only disrupt discussion.

“Almost every issue we deal with in media and communications is political,” Panici said. “It’s going to be messy to have to have a talk with students every time about where my opinions are coming from.”

Cummings touched on this concern for faculty, “if a professor reveals their political predisposition… they are not in danger as long as they are not trying to specifically use a platform to then influence students in that direction.” However, Cummings added that they would have to clearly state, ‘this is what I believe,’ when discussing political matters.

Despite his concerns, Panici stated that he believes this policy is more aimed at university presidents and chancellors, because they are the ones that are engaged in both the educational and political arena, an argument that multiple faculty brought up during the meeting.

To end the Faculty Senate discussion, which had to be cut short due to time constraints, Thelen stated that the BoT will consider whether or not there is a way to remove faculty from the proposal.

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