The Commons Terrace is packed with students and visitors alike. Black and gold are everywhere: on shirts, hats and all over the stage, which has taken over the Quad. This is the first Pangea hosted in the newly remodeled Quad and marks this summer’s completion of the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building.
Pangea, UMBC’s cultural and ethnic showcase, wraps up the end of the Fall Welcome Week. The festivities include performances from many of the university’s cultural organizations, tabling, raffles and catering provided by local food trucks, Chowhound Gourmet Burgers and American Halal Food — a favorite of President Freeman Hrabowski III. Absent from this year’s Pangea was the smell of free food wafting in the air.
The list of performing organizations is not limited to the African Student Association, The Vietnamese Student Association, The Filipino-American Student Association, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., The Hispanic Latino Student Union and the Caribbean Students Council’s dance team, says Island Gyalz.
“Being my first time at Pangea, I thought it was really great and amazing to see how diverse UMBC is,” says junior psychology major Lauren Roundtree. “It made me feel more connected to the school. The performances were also very fun to watch.”
Between performances, to get the student body involved in a bit of school spirit, the two onstage student hosts raffle off exciting prizes such as Nintendo Switches, Fitbit watches and a variety of games. After a brief intermission, a dance contest between six students launches on stage, and the winner receives the very generous prize of a Microsoft Surface.
Yasmin Carter, a senior theatre major, leads the crowd in the University of Maryland, Baltimore County pep cheer, “Go big dogs!” Students erupt in a series of barks, woofs and howls. When asked how she saw the event affecting school spirit, Carter answered, “Pangea IV was really jam-packed with a lot of diverse performers and audience members. It was the first time I saw hundreds of students come out to celebrate and to be entertained by UMBC’s diverse members and clubs.”
The size of the crowd that came out to support this diverse UMBC event is certainly impressive compared to past years’ events. Student attendees filled the entire section between the Quad and Commons. “The energy was great the whole night,” Carter adds. “It really meant a lot to me when I looked out into the audience toward the end of the show and saw so many diverse and engaged faces. Overall, Pangea was an amazing event and I hope that it continues to only get bigger and better in the future.”
Photo credit: Students perform at the Quad for UMBC’s annual Pangea. Photo by Alex McKenzie.