The UMBC Rock Climbing Club advertises to students at Involvement Fest. Photo by Ian Feldmann
After the confusion and rescheduling of Involvement Fest, which was delayed for one week due to inclement weather and moved to the RAC, many students have been requesting more involvement events on campus. Many students were unaware that Involvement Fest had been rescheduled and its location changed; some missed it entirely.
Students have expressed disappointment that there was only one such event that they might not have been able to attend. Involvement Fest is, after all, an event for students to meet, interact with and learn more about student organizations and clubs. The less there are, the less people will be involved in clubs. Unfortunately, this also means that clubs will lack members.
According to Mitchell Richards, a second-year engineering major, “It [is] bad for clubs because they would lose members. And it [is] bad for students to miss out on lots of clubs and enjoyment.” If more involvement events are not introduced at UMBC, then both the students and the student organizations will suffer.
With the semester workload already piling up, students need to relax and have fun in between homework and exams. A diverse range of organizations are an excellent reprieve for them. Currently not involved in any clubs himself, Richards suggests, “Maybe if there were more [Involvement events] I would attend.” This points to a missed opportunity; with a lack of events to raise awareness and garner excitement comes a lack of motivation for students to become involved.
Nathan Shifflett, a second-year English major and member of Comic Book Club, agrees. He explains, “If you want people to be more involved in these things, then you need more of them.”
Shifflett has been a member of Comic Book Club for a year and has made many friends through the group. He talks about how more students would be aware of these clubs if they were given advertisements for them. More involvement events would be the perfect opportunity for students to receive those ads.
Unfortunately, without these incentives, students will miss out on great experiences to make new friends, socialize, relax and have fun. Without enough involvement events, some groups go under the radar entirely. For example, neither Richards nor Shifflett had any idea that there were over 270 student organizations on campus, or that the Ice Hockey Club was one of them.
Clubs at UMBC cover a wide variety of interests. With the multitude of groups available, there is something for everyone to enjoy, but it is often a matter of connecting the right group with interested students. Comic book enthusiasts like Shifflett would not be able to share their interests with like-minded folks if not for events like Involvement Fest. The university needs to hold more of these events so that the maximum number of students can find the group that is a perfect fit for them.