With 72 percent of students living on campus, it is rather surprising that UMBC holds its reputation as a commuter school. While in the past it may have made sense that UMBC held this title, as a majority of students commuted, that does not seem to be the case today. More students than ever are living on campus, so why is it that this school is referred to as a commuter school? Is it because the campus life isn’t as in-your-face as it is in other universities? Is it because at night and on the weekends the campus feels dead?
Nansen Kuo, a freshman biology and psychology major, believes that the reason for UMBC’s reputation is because of the amount of students who go home on the weekends. “When I go outside later in the day on a weekday or if I go out during a weekend I often don’t see anything going on and the campus feels really dead,” said Kuo.
Kuo also provided an interesting perspective on weekend campus life. “Everyone assumes that everyone else has gone home on the weekends so the people who do stay over on the weekends don’t leave their rooms often because they don’t think anyone else is here,” said Kuo. It would appear that UMBC’s reputation leads people to believe the stereotype more than they should.
While many people felt similarly to Kuo, there were others who feel that community events are advertised but are not presented in way that most effective way. Katelyn Gregory, a freshman biochemistry and chemical engineering double major, said, “I use student websites because I do not feel that student events are advertised as well as they should be.” Gregory emphasized this as an issue, stating, “I’m on campus every weekend and if I want to know what’s going on, I have to look online.” Gregory continued, “you have to take the initiative in order to find find event to participate in.”
Gregory believes that a good solution to the advertising issue is in technology, specifically myUMBC. Gregory stated, “if more advertising were to be done in myUMBC, it would be more accessible and easier to find.” She continued, “although the posters are eye-catching, they are easy to avoid because of where they are located … people walk right past them and don’t even pay attention to what they say.”
Maybe the cure to what some have perceived as UMBC’s poor campus life reputation lies online.