Belen Dougherty

The University Times

Presque Isle, ME – Walk down the hallways of any university and any passerby will find walls covered with thumb-tacked posters urging students to join various clubs: “Join the Art Club,” “Sign up for the Commuters’ Club,” and the list goes on. The University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) recently had its anticipated and much-needed Spring Break, and campus clubs took this opportunity to go on adventures beyond Aroostook County. 

 This year the Geology Club, composed of seven students along with their advisor Dr. Chunzeng Wang, drove nine hours to New York City. 

UMPI's Geology Club in New York City

UMPI’s Geology Club in New York City Photo Provided by Dr. Wang

Ben Snow, a non-traditional third-year student majoring in environmental science with a focus on sustainability, said this was a great opportunity and not one that he would have done if he had just gone home during spring break.

Ben Snow at the New York Aquarium

President of the Geology Club Ben Snow at the New York Aquarium. Photo Courtesy of Dr. Wang

Snow said, “It was a nice experience to go with the geology club, and the group that we have made the trip a good experience.” 

The group was able to sightsee the city and visit some famous New York attractions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Natural History Museum, and the New York Aquarium. A stroll through Central Park was a geology playground as Dr. Wang pointed out some geological sites to the students. 

Geology Club members in Central Park

Dr. Wang stops at Central Park for a geological expedition.

 The Criminal Justice Club also left the northern region, taking a trip down south to  Louisville Kentucky. The club’s advisor Dr. Lisa Leduc has connections at the University of Louisville and helped coordinate all of the events the club did over the course of four days. 

Maddie Buzza, an UMPI student majoring in social work with a double minor in criminal justice and psychology, said, “We visited multiple places near the Louisville Police Department, visiting the Real Time Crime Center and they have a bunch of cameras where they look at the footage from the cameras placed around the city.” 

Maddie Buzza with a local Louisville Police Officer

Maddie Buzza with a local Louisville Police Officer Photo Credit Maddie Buzza

Buzza, who is also the president of the Social Work Club like Snow, finds that being engaged in clubs offers affordable opportunities for students to travel and experience field-related activities.

“It’s really cool; it gives the students the opportunity to go on trips in fields of interest and it ultimately costs students very little money,” Buzza said, adding that she only had to pay for her meals. 

Maddie Buzza on a police ride-along Photo Courtesy of Maddie Buzza

Maddie Buzza on a police ride-along Photo Courtesy of Maddie Buzza

Buzza and Snow encourage students to be more involved, with Buzza stating, “Student involvement is becoming more scarce so I would definitely encourage anyone to get involved in any clubs that pertain to your major or are interested because it can open it up to many opportunities.”

Snow shared how after a long academic week it is great to have a break and meet with the club, sharing, “I think Geology club is the highlight of my week. I have a pretty busy week so to have a short time a week to hang out with a laid-back group of people and chat  is a good break from the academic grind.” 

There are many opportunities to be engaged on campus and clubs are a great way for students to build relationships and grow outside of the classroom.