Our School Color is Green
Just a coincidence? Maybe, but at Machias, students, staff and faculty are all committed to a sustainable, green campus. And we're also committed to a lively, fun, inclusive and tolerant campus community.
Good Food, Good for the Environment
There is something very inviting about Kilburn Commons, the dining facility, and it's not just the new, sleek, silver tables and chairs. With a cafe ambiance, Kilburn features trendy, healthy food, and the servers wear blue berets and red scarves. There is little resemblance to the dining hall of your parents' day.
Matthew Cormier, Food Service Director, knows students want good food, but they're also sensitive to the environment. They realize their future will be sustainable only if everyone does their part today, and that means thinking critically about what we eat, where it comes from, how it's grown, and what happens with food waste.
"We are very proactive when it comes to sustainable practices," says Cormier. "We're always looking for ways to better utilize resources and support the local economy. Also, our students know that they can come to us with ideas for ways to save, and we'll work with them to implement those changes."
Even UMM's president Cynthia Huggins has gotten involved. When she saw studies about how cafeteria trays promote food waste, she had them removed. "Despite our small student body, we still stand to save 12 tons of food that would have been discarded if trays were used."
It's Greek, not Geek!
Four fraternities and four sororities add an element of camaraderie to the campus. Pledging to one of the Greek organizations provides the basis for a family-like support system during the college years, followed by a lifelong connection.
Very popular with the campus' residential students, Greek life entails various opportunities for community and charitable service, as well as the much anticipated highlight of spring, the Greek Games. The day-long series of fun contests range from floor hockey to tug of war to the traditional chariot races.
A Friend Next Door
U Maine Machias' two residence halls aren't just for students. Two staff members serve as residence directors, and live amid the students. Nichole Cote, in her seventh year in the position, is one of them.
"We are a resource for the students," says Cote, who lived in residence halls as an undergraduate. "We have office hours, but we also have an open door. The best part about my job is just seeing the students hanging out in the lounges. Or they just stop by to sit on the couch and chat. They don't have to be locked out of their rooms to stop in."
UMM's fully wired residence halls include gender-neutral options, and comfortable common areas allow for watching American Idol or Grey's Anatomy on the big, flat-screen televisions. For special events, such as the Super Bowl or the World Series, the parties move over to Portside. Then, the residence staffs-- including the dozen or so resident assistants, students themselves-- go all out. The munchies are on them.
Born to Be Wild
The Ukulele Club is the school's newest-- and oldest-- musical venture. In 2006 Jim Sawyer, a UMM employee, was reading a 1926 yearbook and spotted a photo of that year's Ukulele Club. Sawyer and music professor Gene Nichols revived the club with a single performance in mind-Commencement, when "Happy Trails" is played as a traditional sendoff to seniors. Today the club is thriving. It's a mix of students, alumni, staff, faculty and the community. They play hundreds of tunes, from "You Are My Sunshine" to Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild."
Enjoying College 100%
Moving on to college and adjusting to new digs can be tough experiences. For those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning, the transition to campus life can be all the more difficult. Not here, thanks to the 100 Percent Society. The club is active on campus to promote awareness, understanding and acceptance. The group meets weekly throughout the school year and holds a number of campus events.
Shake Your Soul
Ever since Professor Lois-Ann Kuntz arrived on campus, belly dancing has become the dance of choice. Since it was first offered as a physical education course three years ago, more than 75 women have learned the moves from Kuntz, who has long enjoyed belly dancing as a hobby. Today the very popular, one-credit course also may count toward a student's performing arts requisite. The end of each semester brings an evening performance, with dancers in the introductory class spinning on stage with the intermediate dancers. Students who have completed both courses don't fade away, either. They are the core of the Belly Dance Club, staying active and encouraging newcomers as the craze grows on campus.
Fastest Kid on the Block
You can't miss David Butler, very likely U Maine Machias' tallest student, a 6-foot-7 center from Teaneck, New Jersey. His specialty is blocking shots, and in 2006-2007, he led the nation's NAIA Division II in blocked shots per game (6.167). That in turn helped the Clippers lead all NAIA Division II teams in two statistical categories: blocked shots and field goal percentage defense. A Recreation Management major, Butler transferred from Valencia Community College. The transition from the Florida sun to Maine snow fell into place as easily as his jumpers swoosh through the net. The campus family and community fans rallied and he became a favorite on the court. The 1,200-seat Frederic A. Reynolds Center was packed all winter as everyone kept score on Butler's nation-leading statistics.
The Clippers compete in the NAIA Division II Sunrise Athletic Conference, with intercollegiate matches throughout New England and eastern Canada. Student athletes also often participate in post-season and championship games with regional colleges and universities.
UMM's Fitness Center houses fitness facilities for the entire campus community. The Center includes a six-lane competition size pool, training facilities, and gym, and is also the headquarters for the Outing Club, where students can check out gear for kayaking, canoeing, sailing, camping, and skiing.