The SEAM That Pulls Us Together

A batch of students sat around an oval table. For a close group of friends, they were unusually serious. They were discussing goals and fundraising. “Our goals are twofold: to be a bigger presence…and to get involved with the community,” Margaret Hart, the on-campus Student Education Association of Maine president, said.

The local SEAM tries to host a few events every semester. At a small campus such as UMPI, that is quite a handful. Still, they manage to handle it.

After all, a community presence is important to SEAM. This community ranges in size from on-campus events aimed specifically at education majors, to events for local children and even to a national level. This is due to a national conference that the local SEAM sends students to every year.

The most recent activity in the community was Read Across America. It was held at a local school. This is a yearly event held to encourage elementary students to read more. Traditionally these events are Dr. Seuss themed, as this year’s event was. The event was a success, and SEAM would like to repeat it next year.

SEAM is also working toward sending students to a National Education Association conference over the summer. They have been and will continue to work on fundraising. The main fundraising event they plan on doing is a basket of goodies and gift cards from within the community. The basket will be raffled off once completed. They plan to hold the raffle later this semester.

SEAM doesn’t just work to benefit itself. It also provides benefits for students. “I’ve seen [people] really grow and take on leadership roles,” Shara Gardner, who has been advisor of SEAM, said. Aside from leadership skills, students also get other benefits from joining SEAM. Members receive liability coverage when student teaching or are otherwise in local schools for work. Members also get to attend conferences, which are good for networking and getting contact hours. These conferences and other things allow students to stand out in interviews. “There are really a lot of solid professional benefits,” Gardner said.

Hart echoes the sentiment, saying, “Joining is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” and “SEAM is definitely worthwhile.”

For more information about SEAM, feel free to contact Margaret Hart at margaret.hart@maine.edu.