Welcome to the next phase of your life.

We decided to put together a little guide to help you navigate your way through USM for the first few weeks. You’ve come to USM at a pretty cool time, a time when there are lots of changes happening around here. Right now it’s kind of an eye sore, but a brand new campus center is being constructed as we speak. We’re in the middle of changing presidents, and though we lost a beloved leader this year, former President Richard Pattenaude, we’re excited to see the direction that USM is headed under new leadership.

In the meantime, Interim President Joseph Wood and Interim Provost Mark Lapping are interviewed on page 3 of this issue. One thing that I urge you to do is to get to know the faculty here. They are eternally excited to relate to students on a level that extends outside of the classroom.

The next four years (or five or six, as many of us are on extended plans) can be whatever you want them to be. If what you’re looking for out of college is 30 credits a year and a diploma at the end, that’s what you’ll get. But know that college can be much more than that, especially at USM. Chris O’Connor, assistant to the dean of student life, has a presence on campus impossible to miss. He’ll encourage you to get involved as much as possible, and not because he gets paid to do so. Rather, USM has over 60 student groups to become a part of, whether you like to knit, ski, write, hike, whatever. There are people at this school with similar interests looking for good times and good friends. Seek those people out and let your college years be a time of education not only scholastically, but holistically.

You are always invited to stop by the Free Press. We’re a bustling group of a dozen or so crazy college kids interested in getting the latest buzz on campus out to you guys. We’ll keep you updated on the latest in news, arts, sports and what students just like yourselves are talking about around campus. Look for weekly features like “Question of the Week” and “Featured Faculty” to keep you up on your peers and professors.

We’re just outside of Luther Bonney and perpetually seeking writers, photographers, editors, artists and a host of other talents you may possess. Stop by and meet us and become a part of something great.

Welcome to USM. It’s an amazing place to spend these years. Don’t waste it.

Hugs not drugs,

Angelique Carson

Executive Editor

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