Monday, January 21st, 2019

USM Husky Festival

Krysteana Scribner | The Free Press

Posted on November 12, 2016 in Community
By USM Free Press

By Mary Ellen Aldrich


Between Luther Bonney and Payson Smith, a colorful collection of tables and tents sat ready for students and faculty to pursue. Each year, the USM community gathers together for Husky Fest to display its unique groups, clubs and resources. This event serves as a great way for students to easily look at what the the university has to offer, especially for incoming freshman looking to get involved in student organizations.

Among the many tables set up last Wednesday was the Psychology Club, whose yearly goal is to make it to the Eastern Psychological Association Conference. This spring, the conference will be held in Boston, so fund-raising for the trip is the club’s main focus.

Madeline Waugh, a senior psychology major, stood behind her table at the event, and offered information regarding meeting times and topics discussed during these meetings. As a student who has tabled at the event before, she said that her goal was to recruit as many members as possible.

“I would like to help raise awareness of the psychology club, and help bring community to our department,” she said. She also noted that the club, which consists mostly of upperclassmen, needs to recruit  incoming students so that the club doesn’t disappear once all its members have graduated.

Emily Epstein, a graduate student studying psychiatric nursing, stated that this was her second year attending the festival, and both times she has had a great experience and met many  new people. She also explained that, as a commuter campus, USM often doesn’t have a community-feel like other campuses, but this event in particular offers that kind of experience.

Located along the walkway outside of Payson Smith, the University  Health and Counseling Services hosted a table. Andrea Beaudoin, both a counselor and graduate student intern, wanted to let students know the Health and Counseling center is there to help. According to Beaudoin there are many services offered at the University Health and Counseling Service that students may not even be aware exist. Whether a student is feeling ill, mentally exhausted or simply have a question regarding their health, they can visit their offices located on the Gorham campus in Hasting Hall, or on the Portland campus in Payson Smith.

Also tabling at the Husky Fest was the USM Theatre Group. Sara Valentine and Michael Boudewyns, both new USM teachers, work with students on main stage productions and on their Student Production Association or, more simply, SPA. Sara Valentine was pleased with the Husky Fest and readily related her enthusiasm.

“I can tell you how excited I was at this opportunity, that such a thing exists to be able to meet people, especially students, to share about our program,” said Valentine.

There’s a new show being created this semester that will be performed in Gorham and Lewiston-Auburn. Two guest artists from Libra Visiting Professorship will be involved with the production. This new production is  called “Molded by Flow,” which is about Maine and its many waterways. “Molded by Flow” is open to all USM students, as is the Student Production Association.

In addition to offering opportunities to learn more about the USM community, the Husky Fest offers a great chance to get out and talk to people. A lot of freshman aren’t sure how to go about making friends, opting to sit on their own. The Husky Fest does a great job at bringing out those shy freshmen and connecting them to others, and will continue to be an event to remember for all freshman involved, as it’s a great way to connect and help the newcomers find their own little niche here at USM.

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