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Senate continues in controversy

USM Free Press News Feed - Sat, 2017-04-22 15:34

By Dionne Smith and Sara Tewksbury, Staff Writers

On April 21 the USM student senate held their weekly meeting. Senators began the meeting by discussing new systems to be implemented and leadership programs. After one hour of the meeting, students began speaking on the current controversy surrounding the student senate chair, Liam Ginn, and the creation of the new Violations Inquiry Committee (VIC).

Student senators discussed plans for a judicial branch that would act as a form of checks and balances for the SGA, and act as a way of holding the senate accountable for their actions. It would run independently of the SGA, but would work with the SGA when ruling on issues within the senate. Senators approved a motion to begin the drafting process for the judicial branch.

A clause called a “Vote of No Confidence” was also brought up. The clause would allow for a vote to take place to force senators out of the SGA if they aren’t fulfilling their duties.

Once the meeting allowed for non-members to voice their concerns, talk about the VIC was brought up again. The VIC is a private committee that will gather information on different incidents, in this case being the incident with Ginn. The VIC would meet privately and go over the consequences that Ginn could face. It could take up to thirty days.

Senators told students that they want student information to remain private during the violations inquiry process.

“People should be held accountable by the public, but we don’t want to share any confidential information before it needs to be shared,” said Student Body President Humza Khan

Hawraa Rikan, who will be a student senator next year, said she believed that since the issue is involving the student senate chair, the decision making process should involve students. Elizabeth Donato, a USM student, was also opposed to the fact that the VIC is private, including the investigation involving Ginn.

“Are you trying to protect the student senate or are you trying to protect the students and people at USM?” Donato said. “You’re supposed to be allocating funds but you’re allocating hate and discrimination. You should be doing the things that we ask.”

“Senate should be held accountable for everything we do,” said Senator Aaron Piece.

Students in the audiences demanded an apology from Ginn for his statements. They asked that Ginn speak for himself instead of having the senate defend him. The senators tried to motion to move on from the issue twice, but they were voted down during both attempts.

“We can’t make Liam apologize but we can hold him accountable,” Kirkland said.

“It has been made very clear that we don’t have your trust,” said Student Senator Dylan Reynolds. Senators discussed ways to improve the relationship between the student body and student senators.

“Have we failed you guys in that regard? Absolutely,”  said Pierce, discussing concerns of the SGA addressing discrimination.

After the official SGA meeting ended, student senators remained in the room to hold a VIC meeting regarding Ginn’s alleged ableism. After intense discussion that was closed to the public, Ginn was asked to step out of the room while the final verdict was determined.

Muna Adan, the vice chair of the student senate, disclosed the student senate’s decision to Ginn. According to Adan, Ginn will face a one week suspension without pay, complete mandatory sensitivity training with the Disability Services Department and issue a public apology. Ginn is expected to publicly apologize at the student senate meeting in 166 Upton Hastings in Gorham on April 28. The public apology is solely for the comments Ginn made about individuals with disabilities. Other issues and comments made by Ginn will be addressed in the future by another VIC.

LePage’s town hall meeting disrupted by protesters

USM Free Press News Feed - Sat, 2017-04-22 15:32

By: Julie Pike, Staff Writer

In Hannaford Hall on Tuesday, April 18, Gov. Paul LePage addressed an audience of USM students, faculty and staff and community members. LePage focused on three main topics: tax policy, budget, energy policy and welfare reform.

He was invited by the USM chapter of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF). Ben Bussiere, the chairman for YAF, introduced the governor before his talk. This event took a similar turn to a recent event hosted by YAF, when Rep. Larry Lockman spoke at USM.

Ten minutes into the event, an audience member stood up in the crowd, yelling profanities at LePage. This man was asked to leave by USM faculty and campus police who were in attendance, including Dean of Students David McKenzie. The Portland Police Department were also present at the event. Audience members were asked to leave if they were considered to be disruptive and were not allowed back in.

President Glenn Cummings issued a statement over email to the entire student body, urging LePage’s critics to practice “peaceful protests” and to challenge his positions during the Q&A portion of the event.

“Denying the Governor his right to speak, or denying others their right to hear what he has to say, is not free speech, runs counter to our student code of conduct and flies in the face of a core USM principle that hearing differing points of view sharpens our own critical thinking,” Cummings wrote.

Cummings wishes, however, did not come true. LePage was interrupted during his talk over a dozen times by people sitting in the audience, including USM students and community members. While some shouted profanities and spoke negatively about LePage, others brought up questions about policy choices and budgets.

People in the audience also stood up in unison chanting “Black Lives Matter.” The woman who began the first chant also said that she and her fellow protestors are committed to ending white supremacy.  

While LePage stayed mostly reserved while protestors spoke, he sometimes gave quick responses to their statements.

“All lives matter,” said LePage in response to their chants.

“All lives can’t matter until Black lives matter in this country,” said another woman who stood up in the crowd.

Many of the protesters focused on accusations of LePage being racist. Some referred to a well known quote that LePage said at a town hall meeting in January 2016:

“There are guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty…they come from Connecticut and New York…they sell their heroin, they go back home… half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave…”

One of the protestors of LePage’s event, Brian Ferguson, a USM alumni, felt that LePage’s words and policies prove that he is a racist and white supremacist.

“His own words speak for [themselves], but his policy positions really send the message,” Ferguson said.

There are some students who disagree. This  includes Bussiere, who was involved in getting LePage to come speak at USM.

“My question for them is, where is their evidence that he’s a white supremacist?” Bussiere asked. “This is a narrative that is pushed by the far left, to paint whites and white conservatives as the enemy. They want to shame people for their love for their country or for being white.”

Alex Shaffer, a student from the USM chapter of the College Republicans said that LePage has not shown evidence of being racist.

“I have not seen him demonstrate any signs of white supremacy,” Shaffer said. “I’ve seen him treat everybody equally.”

LePage’s event only lasted around an hour. As it came to an end, LePage thanked the crowd and ended by saying that despite all of the commotion, he had survived.

As people left the auditorium, approximately 25 students stood outside on the sidewalk in peaceful protest, holding signs and continuing to chant “Black Lives Matter.” They also chanted, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Paul LePage has got to go,” and “You’re a racist, Paul LePage, get your ass off the stage.”

Some of the protesters included members of the student group Students for USM’s Future, who were against LePage speaking at USM.

“The university would rather threaten removal by police to anyone who disrupts than acknowledge the violence in allowing LePage to speak in the first place,” USM’s Future wrote on their Facebook page.

Overall, Bussiere stated that he felt the event went better than the Lockman event.

Climate change affects Maine market

USM Free Press News Feed - Sat, 2017-04-22 15:23

By: Heather Roberts, Staff Writer

The early arrival of spring may be a relief to the people of Portland, but for scientists, early spring means a rapidly changing ecosystem. According to the National Weather Service, in 2016, the average temperature in Portland was 48.4 degrees Fahrenheit, which was as high as 2012.

The Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s Andrew Pershing and USM’s Karen Wilson observed that the change in Maine’s temperature affected Maine’s lobster, cod and herring populations, which have influenced the Maine market. Both scientists noted the change in Maine’s temperature in 2012 and its effect on life.

“In 2012, we had temperatures throughout the year where we were almost three degrees Celsius above normal,” said Pershing. “So that would work out to almost five degrees Fahrenheit above normal on any given day of the year.”

The change in temperature affected river herring spawning. Wilson said that, in 2012, at a spawning site, herring were aware of the temperature change because they arrived four weeks early.

According to Pershing, the lobster in 2012 mated a month early. The increase of lobster lowered the market price. Although lobstermen caught a lot of product, they made less money compared to 2011.

Between 2004 and 2013, the Maine cod market also suffered. Pershing said that the temperature increase reduced the cod population before fisheries could adjust their quotas. He added that the fisheries later realized the quotas were set too high.

Warming temperatures may decrease cod food sources such as river herring, especially during spawning. These herring spawn in May and leave between July and October. Wilson reasoned that despite the changing climate, river herring are highly adaptive, but because of droughts the fish can’t get to spawning sites or out to the ocean.

“Last summer we had a drought starting in July that lasted to October. There was not enough water going over the dam,” Wilson said. “People kept reporting that the adults were still in the lake. They stayed in the lake and it wasn’t until October when we had the first rains that the fish started to leave.”

Temperature change may have an impact on river herring travel. Wilson added that warmer temperatures may bring the river herring’s sister species, the blue herring, north. Other southern species may also travel to Maine waters.  According to Pershing, Humboldt squid and striped bass are likely arrivals.

“In 2016, we had a year as warm as 2012,” Pershing said. “In many ways, the landing and fisheries played out very similarly to what they did in 2012.”

Pershing explained that, because of what occurred in 2012, markets adapted to the overproduction of lobster. By learning and adapting to Maine’s temperature change, fisheries can avoid overfishing, high quotas and economic setbacks.  

In Portland on Saturday, April 22nd, an estimated 1,000 people gathered downtown for the March for Science in response to Trump’s cuts to the EPA and National Parks, as well as to show support for scientific research surrounding climate change. Other marches took place around the country.

USM’s role in the North Atlantic region continues to grow

USM Free Press News Feed - Sat, 2017-04-22 15:16

By: Sarah Tewksbury, Staff Writer

The Maine Economic Improvement Fund at USM (MEIF@USM) is currently working hard to increase and improve Maine’s relationship with the North Atlantic region.

In 1997, USM received a portion of the MEIF, a fund that was established by the state legislature to spearhead research projects. The initial value of the fund was $482,000, roughly one quarter of the University of Maine System’s total MEIF allocation from the state legislature.

“None of [the projects] are really possible through [USM’s] own funds,” said Glenn Cummings, president of USM. “We just don’t have enough money in our reserves to be able to spend this kind of money in terms of developing our partnership.”

Each year, money is set aside by the state legislature to support the MEIF, which, in turn, supports the growth and development of seven target areas: biotechnology, aquaculture and marine technology, composite materials technology, environmental technology, advanced technologies for forestry and agriculture, information technology and precision manufacturing technology.

MEIF@USM is focused on funding initiatives that have significant economic development impacts, fit community needs, produce measurable workforce development outcomes and are focused on one of the MEIF target areas. Due to the focus of science and technology courses at UMO, the majority of the MEIF goes to Orono.

“The emphasis is more at UMO than USM, but we do get about 20 percent of the allocation,” said Terry Shehata, MEIF Coordinator. “We started to invest in initiatives that made sense for USM, primarily to provide our students with international exposure so they can become globally competent. More and more companies want to hire folks with a better appreciation for the global economy and cultural awareness.”

According to the MEIF@USM Strategic Framework for fiscal years 2017 to 2021, initiatives and projects that are results of the program share a common goal: “To strengthen USM’s research and workforce development capacities in strategic areas that are responsive to the needs of one or more businesses and industries in the seven MEIF technology areas and/or support ecosystems.”

Cummings said that the allocation USM receives is used to help foster the interest of the next generation of USM students in the North Atlantic region. Current projects within the North Atlantic Initiative that USM is working on are intricate and interdisciplinary. One of the most well known programs is the partnership between USM and Reykjavik University (RU), which, spearheaded in 2015, is finally allowing USM student participation this summer.

In June, a trip of 15 matriculated students will travel to Iceland with the USM Honors Department with funding from both MEIF and an endowment from a private donor. The rising sophomore honors students will spend four weeks on the island participating a semester-long honors seminar course. The cost of the trip for participants could be as low as zero.

“Students have to procure their own passport, so that’s the only potential cost, but all the travel, food, lodging and transportation are paid for by the honors program. The honors program is also paying their tuition,” said Rebecca Nisetich, the director of the Honors Program.

Not only will honors students experience international travel during summer 2017, but students also enrolled in an ethics lab course or a tourism and hospitality course will travel to Iceland. The Tourism and Hospitality Department is offering the travel course to the public as well as USM students. With plans to transfer to USM next spring and expand her studies in the tourism industry, SMCC student Alysa Grindlinger will be among those traveling to the North Atlantic in June.

“I’m really enjoying this partnership,” Grindlinger said, in reference to the USM-RU alliance. “It’s giving me a lot of opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise. The value of the real world experience that I’ll be getting is fairly balanced with the cost of the course.”

Students who do not travel with the honors program are not able to take advantage of grant money, as it was designated for students with high GPAs.

Internships, research opportunities and innovative projects are just some of the additional benefits MEIF@USM has been able to provide to students and faculty members. However, the impact the entire MEIF@USM and North Atlantic Initiative have on the community surpasses the benefit for the USM community.

By creating opportunities for coalition work between businesses, such as EIMSKIP, research institutions and academic institutions throughout the North Atlantic, connections and relationships have been established.

“USM and RU are two small, isolated communities that have had the opportunity to network and gain knowledge of other communities,” said RU’s president, Ari Jonsson, at a formal event during an RU visit to USM on March 17. “It would have been impossible to have connected RU to the United States without a partner.”


USM Popular Queries - Fri, 2017-04-21 11:00


USM Popular Queries - Thu, 2017-04-20 17:00

Networkmaine Maintenance - ITS Orono Apr 23, 2017

Outages - Thu, 2017-04-20 13:26
Where: ITS Orono
When: Apr 23, 2017 6AM
Expected Duration: 3hrs
Scope: MSLN mail server (mail.msln.net)

We are replacing the MSLN Mail server with an up to date VM running CentOS 7. During the upgrade, mail.msln.net will not be available. This means tha IMAP/POP and web mail hosted by Network Maine for MSLN sites will not be available. [...]

Re: US:IT Maintenance - Orono April 23rd, 2017 - CAS & Shibboleth System Updates

Outages - Wed, 2017-04-19 13:21
This work will have to be rescheduled due to work scheduled by our
networking group which has a higher priority.

On Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 10:08 AM, Drew Northup wrote:
> Where: ITS Orono
> When: 5:00 AM - 10:00 AM
> Expected Duration: Downtime less than 20 minutes, most likely around
> 6:30 AM, but earlier if at all possible.
> Summary: Apply core system software updates requiring a reboot.
> Scope: All services using CAS and Shibboleth for SSO, including but
> not limited to the following.
> MyCampus Portals, some Library web [...]

US:IT Maintenance - Orono April 23rd, 2017 - CAS & Shibboleth System Updates

Outages - Wed, 2017-04-19 10:08
Where: ITS Orono
When: 5:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Expected Duration: Downtime less than 20 minutes, most likely around
6:30 AM, but earlier if at all possible.

Summary: Apply core system software updates requiring a reboot.

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, DCIM, HireTouch (for all campuses), FluidReview,
Blackboard, EAB, Video Conference Reservation System, eXplorance Blue,
US:IT Splunk, JIRA / Confluence [...]

Networkmaine Maintenance - USM - Portland - Various buildings Apr 23, 2017

Outages - Wed, 2017-04-19 09:48
Where: USM - Portland - Various buildings
When: Apr 23, 2017 7am
Expected Duration: 3hrs
Scope: Loss of connectivity for several buildings

Switches need upgrades and slight maintenance in the following buildings:
Wishcamper,25bedford, Law, 92 and 94 bedford.

These upgrades/modifications will cause the majority of Exeter street buildings, Bedford street buildings, and 25 bedford to lose connectivity during this period. Expected downtime should be less than 1hr. [...]

Networkmaine Maintenance - UMA-Bangor Apr 23, 2017

Outages - Wed, 2017-04-19 08:31
Where: UMA-Bangor
When: Apr 23, 2017 7a
Expected Duration: 1hr
Scope: Legacy Wireless

During the maintenance we will be swapping a switch in MPBN. This will cause all legacy wireless on the Bangor campus to be unavailable during the window.

Networkmaine Contact Info:
NOC 581-3587

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

Networkmaine Maintenance - UM Neville Apr 23, 2017

Outages - Wed, 2017-04-19 08:20
Where: UM Neville
When: Apr 23, 2017 6:00AM
Expected Duration: 2hrs
Scope: UM Neville

Uplinks in Neville BDF will be moved back to switch 1.

Networkmaine Contact Info:
NOC 581-3587

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

Re: Networkmaine Maintenance - Bangor Campus Apr 19, 2017

Outages - Wed, 2017-04-19 07:54
This maintenance has been completed.

On Mon, Apr 17, 2017 at 10:02 AM, Lucas Wood wrote:

> Where: Bangor Campus
> When: Apr 19, 2017 5a
> Expected Duration: 1hr
> Scope: Lewiston,Acadia, and Bangor Hall
> Summary:
> We will be changing the uplink connection for Lewiston hall and
> swapping out UPS's in Bangor and Acadia Hall. Each building will see brief
> disruptions in network connectivity during the maintenance.
> Networkmaine Contact Info:
> NOC 581-3587
> Local/Campus Contact Info during this window of work:
> NONE / Unknown at this time

Networkmaine Maintenance - ITS Orono Apr 18, 2017

Outages - Tue, 2017-04-18 18:03
Where: ITS Orono
When: Apr 18, 2017 6AM
Expected Duration: 1hr
Scope: NameD

Replacing NameD with a new VM. This will briefly affect Self Registration and MSLN MRTG graphs.

Networkmaine Contact Info:
NOC 581-3587

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

Sodexo serves mixed reviews on college campuses

USM Free Press News Feed - Tue, 2017-04-18 15:59

By: Johnna Ossie, News Editor

In 2016, the University of Maine System gave its five-year dining services contract to French multinational corporation Sodexo. According to Buster Neel, interim chief business officer at USM, Sodexo was the best decision financially for the university.

General Manager Tadd Sloane oversees all of the Sodexo operations at USM and at UMaine Augusta. Sloane explained some of the corporation’s goals on campus, which have been to bring in more local foods and be involved in local community hunger initiatives.

At USM Sodexo has worked with the local Boys and Girls Club and the Husky Hunger Initiative. They have also promised to bring more Maine produce to campus dining. So far throughout the Maine campuses Sodexo has purchased over 17 percent of its produce locally. Sodexo employs 117 employees across the Portland, Gorham and Lewiston-Auburn campuses.

According to Sloane, the company is able to get food from several dozen Maine farms through the distributor Native Maine, including Lakeside Farm in Newport. The company also gets its dairy products from Oakhurst, located behind the Woodbury Campus Center.

Sodexo has business ties with Starbucks and suggested bringing the coffee shop to Glickman Library. Neel says Starbucks was chosen as a result of student, staff and faculty interest, but it was Sodexo who originally proposed bringing a Starbucks to campus. Neel also said that right now the coffee stand in Glickman is not technically a Starbucks, but simply Sodexo serving Starbucks coffee.

Sloane believes that product fatigue was the reason for not choosing Coffee by Design for the library.

“Currently, we have eight or nine locations serving Coffee by Design…we hear that students are looking for some variety,” he said. He confirmed that Sodexo offered Starbucks as a potential business to come to campus.

Though Sodexo at USM is working to maintain community involvement, the business is not without its share of corporate controversy. In 2005, the company paid out 80 million dollars in a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by thousands of the company’s Black employees. The employees claimed that they did not receive promotions because of racial discrimination and that a segregated work environment was being fostered.

In 2003, the company was forced to suspend distribution of all frozen beef products due to horse DNA being discovered in various meats.

According to a 2016 article from Medium, until 2001, Sodexo owned a large amount of stock in the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), a corporation that owns over half of all private prisons in the United States. After pressure from students at Pomona College, the company dropped its CCA shares but continues to manage over 100 private prisons abroad. These are located in countries including Belgium, Chile, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. The company also manages prisons and immigrant detention centers throughout the United Kingdom.

One of the company’s prisons is HMP Northumberland, Britain’s seventh largest jail. The prison was recently the target of BBC undercover journalism which reported that within the prison, drug sales, security breaches and weaponry were commonplace, and that there was a general sense of “chaos.”

At Scripps College in Southern California, students have started a campaign, “Drop Sodexo,” demanding their school drop the caterer. Leah Shorb, a member of the group and first-year student at Scripps, provided a statement from the Drop Sodexo campaign.

“Students have been actively organizing…to pressure the Scripps administration to terminate the facilities and dining services contracts with the corporation. Sodexo is one of the largest corporations in the world that services institutions such as prisons, schools and universities, assisted-living facilities, hospitals, government agencies, military bases, and others,” the group wrote. “It is infamous for its host of civil rights abuses, exploitative labor policies, neoliberalism, anti-unionism, substandard food quality, violations of food safety, environmental destruction, racial discrimination, major class-action lawsuits, ownership of over 100 private prisons abroad, and much more.”

The group has organized a boycott and continues to work to get Sodexo dropped as the school’s food provider.

“Our focus is…how do we serve our students best, that’s the whole key and clearly Sodexo presented the best proposal,” said Neel. When asked for USM’s stance on Sodexo’s controversies, Neel said the university does not have a position.


Starbucks in Glickman has ties to university dining services

USM Free Press News Feed - Tue, 2017-04-18 15:53

While a Starbucks in the Glickman Library may seem like an exciting new addition to campus, the service fails to provide a full assortment of options. Sodexo, USM’s food provider, was chosen because they presented the best offer and the highest capital amongst competition. Many of the statements by USM officials about the Starbucks’ success differ greatly from the perspectives of students on campus.

Sodexo, which has business ties with Starbucks, made the suggestion of bringing a Starbucks coffee shop to Glickman. According to Buster Neel, the decision was made after hearing strong student, faculty and staff interest.

The Starbucks in the library is not a full-service location, and offers only coffee and snacks. The initial installation cost, according to Neel, was around $20,000–$25,000. The contract started on July 1, 2016, and will continue through June 30, 2021. It is renewable for five additional one year terms by USM.

According to an article by the Free Press published in March, “The money is pulled from a one-million-dollar contract between USM and Sodexo,” so in the first two years of the contract, there is this much money available for “university renovations through Sodexo.”

Neel explained that changes will come to the Starbucks in the summer, after the university begins running water lines to the Starbucks location in order to meet health department requirements for speciality drinks. He said that during this time, various quotes on pricing for Starbucks installations will come in.

“[Sodexo] can have a Starbucks operation or we can just serve Starbucks coffee instead. It’s much more expensive to have a full fledge Starbucks,” said Neel. “By the fall semester, students, faculty and staff will be able to get a lot more than they’re getting now.”

The current plan is to see what summer brings. Otherwise, future goals aim to completely redo the whole first floor of the Glickman Library so that the Starbucks location will be closer to the entrance and exit doors.

“One of the things I know that the director of the library wants to do is get students in the building,” said Neel, speaking for David Nutty. “The long-term goal is to have a strong gathering place for individual and group study, as well as a charging station. But that takes money, and that takes time.”

All six institutions in the UMaine system now have a contract with Sodexo. Neel explained that this was a system-level decision to go out and re-bid. He noted that three bids came in back: Sodexo, Aramark and local individuals in the state.

“After looking at all the financial components, the service component and so forth, the collective wisdom of the system showed that Sodexo provided the best offer,” said Neel. “These local individuals couldn’t come up with the capital or a price point that was competitive. A lot of what we’re trying to do is not only provide better service but keep the costs down too.”

According to Tadd Sloane, general manager of Sodexo operations at USM and UMaine Augusta, product fatigue was a big reason for not choosing Coffee By Design for the library, one of USM’s current local coffee options, which is offered in the Woodbury Campus Center, the Luther Bonney Snack Station and on the Gorham campus.

“Currently, we have eight or nine locations serving Coffee By Design…” he said.“We hear that students are looking for some variety.” He confirmed that Sodexo offered Starbucks as a potential business to come to campus.

Since the initial excitement of the Starbucks installation, students interviewed by the Free Press have expressed a huge disinterest in and dissatisfaction with the new addition to Glickman. Senior history major Jessica Vogel stated that while it is nice to have decent coffee available, calling it a Starbucks at all is not the right label when considering how little it offers.

“I think if you’re gonna have a contract [between Sodexo and USM] that costs so much, there are a lot of local shops that have great products,” she said. “If students could form partnerships with those kind of companies, it’s much more beneficial.”

Neel explained that after establishing rates and working with Sodexo to provide students what they need, USM gets as close to “breaking even” as possible. He explained that USM spends 3 million on meal plans through Sodexo, and that USM turns around and charges students for these meal plans. He also stated that Sodexo has catering, which USM gets a sales commission on. This extra income, he said, is “for the most part” put back into the dining operation.

“I think we don’t necessarily try to make this a profit operation for us, obviously Sodexo has to make a profit, but our main concern is to try to offer products to the student at a reasonable price,” he said. “The surveys that have come out so far have a pretty high rating of satisfaction. At this point the students are, overall pleased with us.”

Sophomore social work major Samia Ali disagrees with Neel’s statements, saying that the costs of items in the Starbucks are too expensive, so she has never purchased any product at this location.

“The costs could be a lot cheaper than they are now,” said Ali. “It shouldn’t cost so much. A lot of people like their coffee but as students it is hard for us to afford.”

In March of this year, senior psychology major Brent Shabnore told the Free Press that he thinks the Starbucks addition makes a lot of sense for the university. He explained his liking for its convenient location, noting that you “can’t have a library without a coffee [shop] at the bottom of it,” saying that it’s “basic economics.”

When addressed with several Sodexo controversies, which include allegations of providing low-paying wages, owning private prisons and finding horse meat DNA in food, Neel stated that the decision was made without “getting into the political side of things.” He continued by explaining the importance of satisfying students.

“I think the committee went about this with what’s best for our students, providing the needs that we have. We haven’t had any comments on controversy at this point,” he said. “It’s never gonna be perfect, there is no such thing as that.”

Some information in this article was collected by Johnna Ossie, News Editor of the Free Press.

LePage to visit USM: President Cummings’ office picks up the cost

USM Free Press News Feed - Tue, 2017-04-18 08:15

By: Sarah Tewksbury, Free Press Staff

The USM chapter of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) has invited Gov.Paul LePage to speak at Hannaford Hall on Tuesday, April 18 at 6 p.m. According to the USM YAF Facebook event page, LePage will be speaking about four different areas: “the budget, tax policy, welfare reform, and energy policy.” Ben Bussiere, the chairman for YAF, titled the event, “Making Maine Great.”

“The purpose of the governor’s visit is to inform students and community members about issues regarding the state of Maine,” Bussiere said. “I am hosting this event so people can be educated and informed on these key issues in our state. I also am hosting this event so community members and students can ask Gov. LePage questions that are important to them.”

Bussiere has been planning to invite LePage to speak since the fall semester. LePage, who has not been to Portland for a forum since 2015, will spend 45 minutes discussing current and future Maine policy topics, which will then be followed by a 15-minute Q&A period.

Since the beginning of the semester, the YAF group has attracted a considerable amount of attention due to controversial incidences. In February, YAF hosted an event where Maine State Rep. Larry Lockman discussed an immigration bill he was planning to sponsor. The event was protested and caused disagreement and discussion among USM administrators.

Increased publicity for the group has allowed for the USM community to become involved in the events YAF has sponsored. Though attention has not necessarily been positive, students say the presence of the small group has been felt on the Portland campus.

“I think it has negatively affected campus. It’s really stressful to have [Bussiere] and [YAF] host events, especially because it’s very clear that he’s hosting events with politicians who are controversial and far-right leaning such as Gov. LePage and Rep. Larry Lockman,” said Emma Donnelly, a sophomore social work major at USM. “He’s bringing politicians that spread hate rhetoric and make students feel unsafe, namely our queer, trans, immigrant and Muslim students and our students of color.”

Some students feel like tension has increased on campus because of the open presence of the group. Though YAF has experienced contention during the recent months, USM continues to support the presence of the group on campus. In an attempt to be fair and respectful to the public official visiting campus Tuesday, President Cummings has initiated that the President’s Office pay the rental fee for Hannaford Hall. Bob Stein, executive director of Public Affairs and Marketing, spoke about the cost of renting Hannaford Hall.

“Because Gov. LePage is a public official, USM picks up the cost of the rental,” Stein said. “He’ll be bringing his own security detail, but to compensate, we might be bringing in more security presence.”

Though Stein originally said USM pays for public officials to come to campus and does not charge student groups, such as YAF, for the cost, Elizabeth Morin, the director of Conference Services, has a different perspective. According to Morin, the cost of hosting LePage would be $900 and would cover a half-day rental. She also said that USM does not cover the cost of events for public officials. Upon further questioning, the office of the Conference Services referred Free Press staff back to Stein.

Following up on his initial comments, Stein detailed more clearly why USM has covered the cost of Hannaford Hall.

“The President’s Office has paid the cost of Hannaford Hall. President Cummings feels that when a statewide officeholder comes to USM, we should not charge a fee,” Stein wrote. “We recently did the same when Senator King held a town hall in Hannaford Hall regarding the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court.”

The inconsistencies between administrative offices’ interpretation of the rules and protocols did not go unnoticed.

“President Cummings plans a university review of our guidelines on rental of space and security costs,”  Stein said. “He feels we have not been consistent in the past with enforcing our guidelines, and is also uncomfortable with some specific guidelines on the cost of security.  He wants USM to develop clearer guidelines that will be consistently enforced.”

Networkmaine Maintenance - Bangor Campus Apr 19, 2017

Outages - Mon, 2017-04-17 10:02
Where: Bangor Campus
When: Apr 19, 2017 5a
Expected Duration: 1hr
Scope: Lewiston,Acadia, and Bangor Hall

We will be changing the uplink connection for Lewiston hall and swapping out UPS's in Bangor and Acadia Hall. Each building will see brief disruptions in network connectivity during the maintenance.

Networkmaine Contact Info:
NOC 581-3587

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

patriots day

USM Popular Queries - Mon, 2017-04-17 10:00

Re: Networkmaine Maintenance - UM Apr 16, 2017

Outages - Sun, 2017-04-16 08:04
Completed, continuing to monitor for additional link flaps.

On Wed, Apr 12, 2017 at 7:40 PM, Jason McDonald wrote:

> Where: UM
> When: Apr 16, 2017 5:00AM
> Expected Duration: 3hrs
> Scope: Neville Hall
> Summary:
> Swapping an optical module in the Neville IDF will result in less
> than a minute of downtime for some classrooms and offices. It will then be
> monitored for three hours. Extra steps may be taken if instability remains.
> Networkmaine Contact Info:
> NOC 581-3587
> Local/Campus Contact Info during this window of work:
> [...]


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