Monday, May 29th, 2017

Staff Musings: Offer alternative summer activities

Posted on May 01, 2017 in Perspectives
By USM Free Press

By Dionne Smith, Free Press Staff

Summer vacation approaches quickly. The semester is on its final week and the only thing left is finals. However, there are students who stay on campus during the summer for reasons such as summer classes. What are some events that can make the summer exciting for these students?

Over the summer, there are surprisingly few things to do across all three campuses. For the Portland and Lewiston-Auburn campuses, it’s reasonable that there are no events because they’re commuter campuses and there would be a very small number of students on the campuses. In Gorham, though, students live in the dorms, and it could get extremely boring, especially since the buses don’t run over breaks and not every student has a license and a car. I’d personally loath having to stay in Gorham with nothing to do and no mode of transportation.

The university should put together a number of summer events in Gorham. There don’t have to be as many events as there are throughout the school year, but there should be a few scattered throughout the months so the students don’t loath the fact that they’re stuck on campus. Some of the events could be like events that happened during the semester, and some could be different. The Escape Room, for example, was a fun event that people enjoyed. There could also be parties and fun game nights.

Another alternative could be offering discounts for students to concerts and events happening in Gorham or Portland. Portland tends to get very lively over the summer with a flood of tourists, concerts, free events and more. The university could even offer a bus service in the summer that would take students to the Portland campus and pick them up later so they can enjoy events such as First Friday.

There could be organized adventuring trips for students over the weekends and scattered throughout the week. Students could get on a bus and go explore different parts of  Maine, or do things such as tubing and visiting a beach. It’s possible that a lot of the students staying on campus are from out of state, and the summer would be a great time to have those students experience Maine’s beauty.

A trip to an amusement park like Six Flags Great Adventure or Hersheypark could be extremely fun. Students wouldn’t mind paying for a trip to an amusement park if they were guaranteed a safe ride there and back, and they would get hours of fun.

Adding these events could potentially increase the amount of students who stay over the summer to work or do summer classes. At the least, it could raise morale and offer some fun for the students while they’re on campus, instead of leaving them with nothing to work with.