By: Averi Varney, Student Body President
First off, welcome back! I hope everyone had a great summer and is looking forward to starting the year off. I know I am!
I wanted to take a minute to tell you all about some of the exciting projects I’m working on as Student Body President with the help of my VP, Melissa Shepherd, and our cabinet.
The first project we are working on is funding the expansion of the Textbook on Reserve Project. For those of you who don’t know, the project focuses on having 100 and 200-course level textbooks on reserve for students to check out for two hours of in-library use. The books are kept in the library at the campus where the course is taught most. The funds we are putting towards the expansion will be used to update the 100 and 200 level books and purchase higher-level textbooks to have on reserve. I encourage all of you to take full advantage of the program.
To go along with our interest in making textbooks more affordable to students, we hope to host a textbook swap at the beginning of the spring semester and support the work of the Open Educational Resources Committee.
We’re also in the beginning stages of a project to put diaper changing tables on many of the gender-neutral bathrooms on campus. I want to make sure parents, students, faculty or visitors, feel supported at USM.
A priority of mine for the year is sustainability. I’m hoping to work with Sodexo to find cost-effective alternatives to single-use plastics, such as cutlery, straws, and to-go containers. As the semester goes on, I hope to find new ways we can work to make USM a more sustainable campus.
Finally, I intend to support and work with the Food Security Coalition to combat hunger and food waste on campus. The new and improved Campus Food Pantry is located in the Woodbury Campus Center and open to anyone. If you’re able, I hope you consider donating! If you have any questions email Madeleine Lutts at [email protected]
I’m still looking for project ideas and motivated students to join my cabinet! If you have an idea, an interest in sustainability or event organization, or just want to be involved please email me at [email protected] Additionally, the Student Senate has openings for senators. You can find applications at usm.maine.edu/sga under the Join the Student Senate section or outside of the SGA office located beside the Food Court in the Woodbury Campus Center.
The first Student Senate meeting of the semester will be on September 13 at 1 p.m. in Wishcamper 133. All are welcome to attend our meetings. Future dates, times and locations of Senate meetings can be found on the website listed above.
Averi Varney, Student Body President