Welcome Back Nor’Easters!




We’re all back to classes, campus events, and trudging through the snow, and that can only mean that regular meetings of the Undergraduate Student Government are back on the menu. This meeting featured two notable guests, Dean of Students Jen Deburro and Provost Karen Pardue to discuss major upcoming scheduling changes and revisions to the current diploma. Lets jump right in!

Scheduling Changes

Currently many colleges of the university such as the College of Arts & Science operate on a four-day block schedule based around Monday through Thursday. Colleges such as Westbrook are the exception to this rule, operating on a five-day block schedule throughout all the weekdays. These five-day schedules will remain largely unchanged, as scheduling for these programs has proved to be difficult with classes and labs.

The schedule change will come into effect in the fall 2022 semester, with the major change coming on Wednesdays. The four-day block schedule will remain, but instead Wednesday and Friday will have their roles exchanged. The blocks will change to having classes take place on Monday & Thursday with the second block on Tuesday & Friday. This means that most classes will have two days between meetings, allowing for more time to get work done when compared to the one we currently have.

The first criticism of this that may come to mind for College of Arts & Science students is the loss of their regular three-day weekend, but this feature has been proven to do more harm then good. With more time off students are more likely to leave campus during these times, and from student surveys administration has determined that UNE students who regularly left campus were less likely to be involved with extracurriculars and more likely to not graduate from UNE. Student retention is one of the major factors at play in this decision, along with getting students and faculty more involved with on-campus activities.

What will a newly scheduled Wednesday look like? The day is imagined as one of club meetings, practices, sports games, and APB led events. Although labs will take place on Wednesdays, most students will have an empty schedule on that day, besides their other involvements. Professors have stated issues with being unable to meet in-person with clubs that they mentor, so having a free day will benefit both them and the clubs that they lead. Also if none of this is up your alley, then you can always just take it as a day of rest to sleep in and catch up on assignments.

Diplomas and Graduation

There is another change that our Provost Pardue and Dean Deburro came to speak with us about, that being changes to the diploma. The Communications department has been working on an update to UNE diplomas, as there have been past complaints about their style, mainly the thin paper they were printed upon, and they are working towards a more aesthetic and professional design.

Now speaking of graduation, there have been worries of a lack of an in-person ceremony, but the current plan is to return to how the affair was conducted pre-pandemic. That means if all goes according to plan then the ceremony shall be conducted at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, with more than enough space to accommodate any family-members that students would like to see in attendance.

The Last Word

That just about wraps up the current affairs of UNE’s student government, back and ready to get to representing the student body and continue to push for positive change on campus. Also make sure to keep an eye out for swim meets and hockey games to show some Nor’easter pride and support your fellow students. Also coming up is another mountain takeover on February 19th! (I forget the Mountain) Keep an eye out for a series of movies being shown by the Outdoor Recreation clubs! Stay safe, keep warm, and finish this year strong!