Director of public affairs Bob Caswell to retire after 34 years at USM

Posted on April 28, 2014 by Krysteana Scribner in News

Bob Caswell attended a media training day hosted by the Free Press in April 2013, where he took part in a mock-press conference in which the participants began to gather information for a fictional news story.

USM’s executive director of public affairs Robert Caswell has announced that he will be retiring this June after working at USM for over 34 years. He responded to an inquiry from the Free Press reminiscing on his time at the university, and talked about some of his fondest memories. After graduating USM in 1974 with […]

Senate tables reduced budget, will continue to work on it

Posted on April 28, 2014 by Sam Hill in News

Elizabeth Martin (right) and Jason Blanco (left) are the clerk and treasurer respectively at last Friday’s Student Senate meeting. Blanco asked that the budget be tabled soon after the meeting began.

The semester may be coming to an end, but the Student Government Association is still working on their biggest task–– passing next year’s budget. Due to low enrollment at the university, there were less student activity funds for the senate to work with than the previous semester. An emergency meeting to balance the budget took […]

Staff layoffs put on hold until May 31

Posted on April 28, 2014 by Sidney Dritz in News

USM library employee Adinah Barnett spoke at last Friday’s #USMFuture rally in support of staff members facing layoffs at the university. Barnett addressed the budget crisis which prompted the past few months’ flurry of cuts, saying, “There’s plenty of money. It’s just all going up, and it’s not coming back down.” Barnett then agreed with previous speaker and student Jules Purnell, “I do agree that cuts should come from the top.”

A student rally last Friday in support of USM staff facing layoffs attached a few faces to the rumors of shadowy eliminations of USM staff members as a part of the university’s most recent attempt to cut costs. Though the majority of the faculty retrenchments and eliminations announced as part of the same initiative have […]

Retrenchment Retrospective: Dean Kuzma explains criteria for cuts

Posted on April 21, 2014 by Sidney Dritz in News

Lyn Kuzma, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in her office last October.

Though the retrenchments and position discontinuances that were announced last March have since been rescinded, the process by which faculty members were selected for layoffs is still seen as unclear. One of the reasons that understanding the process is important, according to Dean Lynn Kuzma of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, is […]

Honors morale high as funding drops and program reviews

Posted on April 21, 2014 by Kirsten Sylvain in News

Kyle Robinson, a sophomore economics major and honors student, explains some of the advantages of being a part of the honors program at the program’s meeting last Thursday to discuss the program with reviewers. Robinson said he believes the staff layoff in the program will effect the atmosphere of the honors office.

The time has come again, after more than a decade, for the USM honors program to be reviewed, and according to program director Nancy Artz, the timing is right. “It would be fair to say that USM’s fiscal reality in recent years and future budget projections affected the timing of the review,” she said. The […]

Student profile: A commuter for community

Posted on April 21, 2014 by dakotawing in News

As a USM freshman, Brendan Butler is a brother in the Phi Mu Delta fraternity, a member of two active bands and organizing a dance marathon that will take place in Gorham next November.

Brendan Butler is first year student with a lot going on. He has not yet declared a major, but is already a member of the Phi Mu Delta fraternity, is a part of two bands, and has participated in many shows and community service activities. He has aspirations to make changes at USM and wants […]

Phi Mu Delta strengthens community partnership

Posted on April 21, 2014 by matthewgraeff in News

Brothers from USM’s Phi Mu Delta fraternity raked and picked up trash and painted benches in an effort to clean up Longfellow Park, near USM’s Portland Campus last Friday. They worked to clean up the same park for last year’s Day of service, and this year will be co-hosting a block party to celebrate on May 3.

The Phi Mu Delta fraternity and University Neighborhood Organization co-hosted a cleanup of Longfellow Park with a block party to follow in the hope that the events will bring USM and its neighbors in Portland together. Phi Mu Delta, which only formed in 2012, also hopes that the event will help establish them within USM. […]

Residential Life says goodbye to Dickey-Wood

Posted on April 21, 2014 by Sam Hill in News

The Dickey-Wood towers have been USM dorms since the ‘70s. They were under enrolled when they were first used and have stayed unpopular.

Come next semester, Dickey Wood Hall will be entirely offline to students. Due to a combination of low on-campus enrollment and the unpopularity of the towers, they will remain empty during the next school year and possibly beyond. “We’ve made this decision for now, but we’re not entirely sure what’s going to happen in the […]

Stonecoast MFA may soon be out of a house

Posted on April 21, 2014 by Sidney Dritz in News

 Faculty and students of the Stonecoast MFA Program for creative writing take a lunch break in one of their week-long residencies, which faculty and alumni describe as one of the more rewarding parts of the program. There are two residencies per year as a part of the program, which involve intensive workshopping at peer-editing sessions.

One of USM’s most prestigious pieces of architecture may have reached the point where it’s more trouble than it’s worth to the university, according to a recent University of Maine System maintenance report. When President Kalikow announced her first round of proposed cuts in February, one of the considered cuts was the Stone House, home […]

New student body president pushes to dissolve BSO

Posted on April 21, 2014 by Sam Hill in News

Board of Student Organizations’ Chair Katie Belgard hosted a meeting in the Woodbury Campus Center amphitheater last Tuesday for students to provide imput on the resolution that would dissolve the BSO. Few students were available to meet, and Belgard noted lack of attendance as a reason for inefficiency in BSO.

After 23 years of controlling student activity fee funding for student groups, the Board of Student Organizations may be stripped of its financial responsibilities, putting that power back into the hands of the Student Senate exclusively. According to Student Senate chair Joshua Dodge, the BSO was originally developed so that the senate wouldn’t be overwhelmed […]