It is common to hear UMBC students complain that there is nothing to do on campus. While there are little to no activities planned during the weekends, there is always something exciting and fun happening around campus during the school week. However, this makes no difference to UMBC’s socially-lacking stereotype if students are not attending these events in large numbers.
Student organizations hold many different events on campus practically every day. Many of these events take place on the swath of land behind the Commons, commonly known as “the Quad.”
On college campuses, the Quad is traditionally somewhere near the center of campus and is where numerous events take place. However, UMBC’s Quad is small and secluded from many areas of campus. If one is not directly in that area, it is often difficult to hear or see the events that are going on.
In order to increase student participation at these events, UMBC should relocate them onto the more spacious and open Erickson field.
Students who live in the dorms and in apartment communities walk by Erickson field multiple times throughout the day. Whether they are going to classes or heading over to the Commons, students are constantly walking near this much more central area of campus.
Angelina Zater, a freshman biology major, agrees that Erickson field would be a better location for campus happenings. She states, “Erickson field is bigger and more open. It’s easier to hear and see what’s going on there when you’re walking around campus.”
Matt Eastman, a freshman computer science major, noted that the library is also right by Erickson field, so “while people are studying they might look outside and say ‘Oh, there’s an event going on’ and decide to go to it.”
While some might argue that the steep slopes surrounding some parts of the field might make it difficult to get equipment for the programs onto the space, there is plenty of street-level access on the east side of the field.
Lack of appropriate space has been a nagging issue at various UMBC events held on the quad. Zater said “[she] felt claustrophobic during Involvement Fest on the quad” and that it “was hard to get around.” She said the Homecoming bonfire held on Erickson field felt “way less cramped and allowed way more people to attend.”
In order to increase student participation in school events and foster more school spirit, UMBC should make it easier and more convenient for students to attend the events that student organizations work tirelessly to organize. Considering that the Quad’s location on campus is not only secluded, but also cramped, Erickson field is the best replacement option for school events.