By Julie Pike, editor-in-chief

Welcome to our last issue of the academic year! It has been a great experience this past semester as I began to learn my way as editor-in-chief, and I look forward to the next year to come.

The overall theme of this issue encompasses the many changes coming to USM both over the summer and into the fall. With all of these changes happening, it felt fitting to dedicate this issue to that broader theme. As we serve as a way to educate the community of USM, our readers should know what to expect to change as they are away on break.

With the Master Plan in place, the look of our campuses will begin to change. I’m sure you have all seen the construction beginning to take place on Bedford Street. Check out Ben Theriault’s piece inside for more details on what to expect when we return.

Big changes are also happening with METRO, as the service will take over the transportation for USM to provide an even wider range of services and new routes. Now USM students, staff and faculty can use their ID card to get free access to METRO services from Portland to Brunswick.

Many academic departments are also undergoing changes set to go into effect in the fall, including the Communications and Media Studies department, the Food Studies program and the Psychology department.

While there are many things happening at USM, the Free Press will also be undergoing its own changes. Three of our staff members, Lauren Kennedy, Orkhan Nadirli and River Plouffe Vogel will be graduating shortly and moving on from their time at the paper. They were all an essential part of our publication and will be greatly missed!

With the seniors moving on, that makes room for other staff members to take on the role as editors, so we will be seeing some staff changes over the summer as we work on training new students wanting to join us as well.

This may be our last print issue, but I will be working on keeping our website going during the summer, with stories about happenings both at USM and in the area, such as the annual Old Port Fest.

The other changes I’ll be working on for the Free Press will be internal. I want to work on developing training sessions for new and current staff, increasing our advertising revenue and getting our paper more available to the off-campus community.

Next fall I’ll be able to hit the ground running as I’ve had this past semester to really learn what it takes to be editor-in-chief and what I can do to help our paper improve. For now, I’m going to enjoy the break from the busy semester, and soak up this wonderful spring weather. I hope you all have a great summer break and I’ll see you in a few months!


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