The Green Campus Initiative at UMaine

November 29, 2014 in Campus Life

The University of Maine is one of the best campuses focusing on going green. Many benches are scattered around the campus that are green used from recycled material as part of the green campus initiative.

The university has received numerous awards for it’s green sustainability. In 2011 it was one of 16 schools to be selected to the Princeton review’s Green Honor Roll in 2011. This has really helped the university recruit students who are concerned with the environment.

One of the biggest facilities on campus is the student fitness center. Many of these buildings around the country know how costly they can be to run and how much energy it needs to be a great facility. UMaine has a green center that offers a tremendous amount of natural light. With windows wrapping around the majority of the building, there is no need to use electricity. Not only is the electricity the only resource conserved, but the student fitness center also conserves water as well as took into account what type of materials were used to build the structure.

Here are some stats provided by the website:

  • 7 percent of UMaine’s food budget is spent on organic and local food.
  • 30 percent of UMaine’s energy comes from renewable resources.
  • 70 percent of UMaine’s cleaning products are green certified.
  • 90 percent of campus grounds are maintained organically.
  • UMaine has a full-time sustainability coordinator and a Sustainability Council, made up of students, faculty and staff.

Also started is a student organization called the ‘green team’ their main goal is to create and maintain efficiency on campus. They help create activities that help raise awareness about a green initiative.

One of the greatest things about the campus is how important everyone views being green. It has just become a part of the culture at UMaine. Many Maine towns aren’t used to recycling or having recycling programs put in place. But, many students who come from those backgrounds including myself pick up the recycling very quickly. Sorting out trash from recycled items that can be re-used again sometime in the future. The campus has many trash and recycling stations around the campus instead of having students just throw their trash on the ground.

Speaking of trash, UMaine opened a compost facility in 2013. The compost will be used in landscaping and with the university’s crop fields. It is a great way for the university to save money by using materials that they already had paid for. Not only will it save money but the compost is used as a soil en-richer which will help with their crop fields tremendously.

UMaine has become a leader in green resources and sustainability. It not only is a great example for other colleges in the surrounding area but in the state as well. It also gives students a great example to learn from the college and adapt this lifestyle into their own lives. If you are environmentally conscious and want to reduce your carbon footprint on the earth, think about the University of Maine and their green efforts.

UMaine culture events

November 21, 2014 in Campus Life, Events

At the University of Maine there are many cultural events that are planned on campus at the Collins Center for the Arts. It is the main auditorium for the University and holds concerts, comedians, plays and hosts an art gallery.

One of the great things about the University is that it brings in many artists from around the area of Orono as well as around the world. It is a great way for people to experience different cultures. For students to attend most of these events it is free to enter by showing their student ID card. For events that are not free, students are allowed two free tickets per semester to use towards any event.

During this year the University is hosting many holiday events to bring in people from the community, this year they are having the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas on December 9 at 7:00 p.m. This is a holiday concert event is produced by Chris Davis, a Grammy award winner, is a mixture of holiday music and multimedia effects. Later on December 20 and 21 the university will be hosting a special presentation of the Nutcracker. It can’t be considered the holiday season without having a presentation of the Nutcracker.

Another event that is taking place this holiday season if you have a young family is an Art factory family fun day. It is free for families to attend and all art supplies are supplied as well. What better way to kick off the holiday season as a family than attending an art factory fun day.

UMaine does a great job at hosting multiple events that will appeal to all audiences not only just adults. It is a great way for the entire community to feel involved. Many other cultural art venues forget to add family events to their schedule. It is one way to build a strong relationship that will last.

UMaine really does a great job a promoting these events to people who are in the community and from far away. The marketing department sends out reminders and promotions for their events to ensure that they receive proper turnout. Social media has also become really helpful to reach out to even more people that aren’t in their e-mail list.

Not only do they focus on the arts, but on other cultures as well. UMaine hosts an annual multi-cultural event once a year. With many international students attending UMaine it is a great idea for them to express their own culture to their new surroundings and friends. Not only does it give students a chance to express their own culture, but it gives other students a chance to learn about other cultures.

Being in the state of Maine, it is very hard for many to experience different things. UMaine does a great job to help students experience different events and cultures that they wouldn’t exactly have the opportunity to do. Because of the size of the school it is able to attract artists, musicians and events because of the size of the school.

Private school or State school? I’ll take state school!

November 15, 2014 in Admissions, Alive Campus, Colleges

It is that time of year, students that are in high school are visiting campuses across the country to decide where they are going to continue their education. For many this task is incredibly stressful. It shouldn’t! This is a great time for students to take advantage of seeing what the colleges have to offer. Now, there is always this debate, private school or state school? State school!

At the University of Maine, a state school and in-state for me, the size of the school is a huge plus and wouldn’t be this large if it was private. In many visits to other schools around the state that are private schools, it felt like a small step above high school. With only a couple thousand students that attend each school each student knows each other. Where is the fun in that? The ability to meet someone new everyday and establish connections that will be beneficial to students is incredibly valuable. Students have the opportunity at the University of Maine to do just that.

State school UMaine

State school UMaine

The campus atmosphere is another area that students should evaluate. Small campuses are the norm for private schools in the state of Maine. It feels too cramped. The University of Maine has the largest campus in the state and also has the most students. Campus atmosphere shouldn’t be your number one reason when selecting a school, but it does play a role in making it feel like the right campus for you.

The expense of private schools are incredibly high. Thankfully, the University of Maine tuition rate is roughly $23,000 compared the annual cost of attending one of the state of Maine’s private schools, Colby, it is at an astonishing $61,100. Students need to think about the cost of their education and how it can effect them in the future. That difference of tuition cost can really make or break a student’s decision. Over the course of your 4-year college career you would pay $92,000 at the University of Maine. Over 4-years at Colby, $244,000. Double the cost!

Another thing that students should look into is remaining in-state. The cost of being an in-state versus being an out of state student is quite high. Roughly a difference of $17,000 at the University of Maine. The great thing the university does is offer a discount to students who are in the New England region rather than just having them pay the full out of state tuition rate. Also, it makes moving incredibly easy. Living far away from home makes moving to and from college difficult. Living within reasonable driving distance of the school you are attending makes it a lot easier.

High school seniors, take all of these topics into account when you are considering what school you should attend next fall. By determining whether or not to attend a state school vs. a private school students need to look at all of the factors. Tuition costs, campus atmosphere/environment and how all of these factors will effect your future. Good luck class of 2019 on deciding your school.

Sites to use as a college student

November 7, 2014 in Alive Campus, Tech

world wide web

world wide web

College students spend a lot of time on the internet interacting on social media. But what about those useful websites that students should always be checking that will be beneficial for them? Here are a list of websites that will be really helpful throughout your college experience:


Your University website – By staying in touch with your University website students are more informed with what is happening on campus. Events, important days and school closures is a great reason for a student to constantly check. Not only is it good to be informed with what is happening on campus but students can also plan out their degree programs as well as looking for scholarships.

Student account website – Keeping on top of your student account website will always be extremely helpful. No student wants to have an outstanding charge be put on their account and then not be able to register for future classes. Another great thing that is helpful about the student account website is that you can prepare future wishlists for your classes. By preparing a wish list before you enroll for classes, students are able to see what type of schedule they will have for the upcoming semester.

Twitter – For some, Twitter is just used as a place to tweet about your regular schedule. ‘Oh I got Starbucks’ or ‘Look at my new shoes’, but Twitter can be incredibly helpful for trying to help promote your work by the use of hashtags. People will be able to discover your work and potentially will follow you. This will be a great tool helping establish an audience to promote your work, also receive feedback from viewers that you could use on future projects.

Indeed – A great website that many students should be checking on a consistent basis. It has more than just job postings, but also internships. Internships are the key for many students because it is a great way of establishing contacts that will help in the pursuit of jobs. Creating a great network of contacts will only help students by opening many possibilities after college.

Alive Campus – It offers insight on colleges around the country. No other place will you see actual stories from students that go to these campuses like this. If you are interested in attending a college and want to a little more information on what type of atmosphere this school is like. It gives students a place to express their likes and dislikes about their school, which incoming students really need to hear before they decide to go to that particular college.

USA Today – Students sometimes can develop a campus bubble that nothing outside of that bubble exists. It is important for students to stay informed about the world outside of their campus. USA Today is easy to scan quickly, the layout of their website allows students to quickly view stories without having to search through the entire site.

So there you have it, some websites that will make your college life easier. Stay on top of your campus events and your student account. In the long run it will only make your college career that much easier.

Want an iPad? Take this class at UMaine!

November 1, 2014 in Academics, Alive Campus, Career, Colleges

UMaine iPad

The University of Maine is one of the best colleges in the state with innovation and integrating technology into the classroom. With the communications and journalism department here at UMaine, there has been an emphasis to be a leader in these categories. Here are some of the coolest classes to take:

Multimedia production – Who doesn’t want an iPad for a semester? Of course every student does. In multimedia production the integration of the iPad has really been a game changer for the entire structure of the class. Before, students would have to check out  cameras, audio equipment, etc. because there wasn’t one device that could do it all. The CMJ department purchased an iPad for each student to use in the class and it’s a great experience. Want to edit some of your audio interview right away? You can do just that with Garageband. This only helps students because mobile journalism is becoming even more prevalent and building this experience, while creating skills using different programs will only help you when looking for jobs. Even though this is a required journalism class, you will enjoy yourself while taking this class because you can also use the iPad in your free time. For four months you receive a iPad, who wouldn’t want that?

Opinion writing: the blog age – Interested in sports, fashion, or technology? You can write all about these topics or any others you have interest in while taking this class. Learn how to build a WordPress site and manage posts are great skills to have because WordPress is becoming extremely popular to use for many sites. It teaches the students to really go in depth with these topics, because by the end of the semester each student has to have roughly 40 posts. It also simulates a beat that reporters have to cover, which is a great learning experience. The opportunity for students to write about something for an entire semester that interests them will really produce some quality content. That content can than be used to show employers your work that you have done while in school.

Media ethics –  Some may be reading this and thinking how is this class interesting seems like it would be a snooze fest? Well, it was actually the opposite. Many of the issues that were discussed in this capstone class were extremely engaging and recent which helped students relate to the topic matter. After discussing these issues it is great for your career because then you can think about these ethical issues in every situation that you may be in. This will become second nature for some and will help you solve and manage huge ethical dilemmas that may be problematic for you in the future.

Sports in journalism – Probably one of the coolest classes that the University offers. Each student was issued a college football team at the beginning of the year and to help some students that have used social media each student had to tweet about their team a few times a week. Social media is a huge part of journalism and helping promote your work. Great class that was fun to take and learned a lot of techniques that can be used in writing sports stories.

Those are some great classes at the University of Maine, if you are looking at becoming a journalism major make sure you have these on your wishlist!