By: Kate Rogers, Staff Writer
Every spring, USM holds the Husky Day of Service, during which students and faculty participate in a myriad of community service projects. At the University of Maine in Orono, they do a similar event called Maine Day. In Orono, they host a concert on a weeknight and then have a community service event the day after, along with a barbeque and other campus games and activities. Student Senate Clerk Joshua Blake is trying to bring Maine Day to USM in combination with the Husky Day of Service.
“USM really needs something like this…something pretty close to finals for students to blow off steam and kind of bring the whole campus together in a stressful time when emotions are high,” Blake said.
The plan for the concert is to get some local bands and maybe showcasing some student talent. Blake’s ideal goal would be to have the concert on a Tuesday night and the following Wednesday off. Wednesday would be set aside for not only the community service activities of Husky Day but also yard sports like a cornhole tournament and other fun events. Blake said that Sodexo–the quality of life service that already works closely with the university–has agreed to provide food.
Husky Day has traditionally been held on a Friday because that is when there are the least classes. The concern that Blake has is that many students do have classes on Friday, or they work or go home and they can’t participate. That’s why he believes a Wednesday day off would be a good solution.
“USM really struggles to provide that upbeat kind of school pride atmosphere and I think that this day is something that could start changing that,” Zachary Tidd, another Student Senate member said.
Blake is trying to communicate with the traditions committee to bring this event together. He said that he is not sure if they will be able to get everything they are wishing for, but he has high hopes for getting a concert or something equally entertaining on Thursday before Husky Day, with some more exciting things on campus during the event on Friday.
Maine Day at Orono has been a tradition since 1935. It started as a campus clean-up day and has now evolved into a large event with the aforementioned concert, a campus wide barbeque, and even a Maine Day parade.
The Husky Day of Service has only been a tradition at USM for nine years. Last year nearly 200 people volunteered and contributed 540 service hours at local organizations like the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, the Maine Children’s Museum, the YMCA and the Preble St soup kitchen.
Blake hopes to bring some of what Maine Day has to offer to USM so that students can have a day off. “You’re working so hard on the weekend for the last few weekends anyways, studying your butt off… It’s a time to just relax, blow of steam, to do what you like to do,” Blake said.