Free Hour & Involvement Fest
One unique campus tradition that is often overlooked is Free Hour, an hour on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday when classes are not scheduled. Free hour was planned by a group called the Student Union in 1970; this student organization advocated for direct action and responsibility outside of the set system of the Student Government Association. The Student Union submitted three requests to the Faculty Senate, including establishing a free and unscheduled hour for student assembly, organization, and advising. Ever since, this time has been used for student organization meetings and other campus events. Attempts to get rid of Free Hour have always faced strong opposition, although it was moved from 1-2pm to 12-1pm in 2005.
One way that students can learn about the student organizations available at UMBC, and how to spend their Free Hour, is to attend Involvement Fest at the start of each Fall semester. This popular event, now held on the Quad, features service groups, social clubs, fraternities and sororities, academic council of majors, recreation leagues, and arts and literature clubs, vying for the attention of UMBC students.