At the start of each semester, UMBC student organizations join for a massive event called Involvement Fest. This event showcases most student organizations on campus. While it is held on Erickson Field in the fall semester. At the start of the spring semester, IFest is held indoors at the Retriever Activities Center due to the cold weather. This year, spring Involvement Fest was held on Feb. 5, 2018.
Because the event is held in the RAC, space is a serious issue. As people enter Involvement Fest, the RAC quickly becomes crowded with tables, club representatives and students who came to learn about the various organizations present.
Freshman history and political science double major Zane Poffenberger was among the many people who commented on RAC space issues.
“There is an issue with not having a lot of space. If we were able to have this somewhere bigger, that would be good,” said Poffenberger. “It’s what we have to deal with but going forward that’s something we want to change.”
Also commenting on the space, senior global science major Matt Taylor said, “if it’s possible to space people out, it would probably be better.” Taylor also suggested that using the new Event Center could improve the space issue.
Although some students take issue with the lack of space in the RAC, many students expressed positive opinions about the event. Spring Involvement Fest allows people to see organizations that they did not get to see in the fall. It also provides new transfer students a chance to see student organizations on campus.
Freshman biochemistry major Liliane Ventrone said, “it’s always good to have a second [Involvement Fest] to remind people that these clubs exist.”
Also commenting on the efficiency of the spring Involvement Fest, freshman information systems major Brent Bemiller said, “I like the idea of the second Involvement Fest to see the other organizations that you didn’t get to see the first time.” He also said, “I can help out in the clubs I’m involved in now.”
Many students believe that spring Involvement Fest is a way to learn about organizations that they did not get a chance to see in the fall.
Junior bioinformatics major Veneeth Antony said, “I think it is good to have two [Involvement Fests] in a year. You might have missed one in the fall and this is another opportunity to find a club that you missed.” He also said that the event impacts people who missed out on the fall Involvement Fest: “it’s good for students who weren’t able to come to the first one.”
Junior biochemistry and chemical engineering double major Katelyn Gregory also commented on spring Involvement Fest.
“I think it’s efficient to have the second one,” said Gregory. “After the first semester you get the opportunity to branch out and if they don’t have Involvement Fest in the spring, you don’t know what’s really available.”
Involvement Fest is not just for returning students interested in seeing organizations they missed in the fall, it is also an opportunity for transfer students to get involved with the student life on campus. Junior modern language and linguistics major Ellie Coxe said, “there are transfers who start in the spring. I think it’s good for those students who are looking for something.”
Involvement Fest is an opportunity for students, both new and returning, to see the clubs and organizations at UMBC.