A Freshman Engagement Guide for New Students at UNCW – The Seahawk
On September 1, 2022, UNCW held its annual carnival of involvement. This was the first time the event was held in person since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. However, this article serves as a virtual preview of the event, as well as a guide for first-timers. year and other newcomers to UNCW who are still struggling to find involvement at the start of their first semester.
UNCW offers a lot in terms of clubs and organizations. With so many options to choose from that cater to so many interests, it can be difficult to decide which one to pursue during limited free time. Clubs and organizations fall into several different categories, including academic, honorary, and professional; Fraternity and sorority life; Commitment Council; Graduate student organizations; Media; Diversity and inclusion; Performing and visual arts; politics and activism; Religious; Service; Special interest; and Sports and Recreation. Below are some clubs and organizations from four of these categories that are most relevant to freshmen.
The Association for Campus Entertainment, better known as ACE, is UNCW’s student programming organization. They hosted student-produced events, including screenings at the Lumina Theater, book swaps, and quiz nights. ACE President Malin Heppert strongly encourages students to join ACE because of how it broadens their skills through teamwork and planning and prepares them for college and the real world at the coming.
“Since joining ACE, I have improved my creative thinking, execution, communication and leadership,” Heppert said. “I think I speak for everyone at ACE when I say this organization is the most fun way to build your skills as you start your professional career.”
If planning fun and entertaining events while acquiring and improving a plethora of skills sounds like a good time to you, then ACE might be the way to go.
Flicker Film Society is the student media club that focuses on all things film. Whether it’s a casual moviegoer looking to scratch a creative itch or an avid filmmaker, Flicker is sure to satisfy your artistic desires in a variety of ways.
The four different sections of the club allow students to choose what best suits their filmmaking interests. There are the general assemblies, during which the members discover specific aspects related to cinema and the industry through presentations prepared by the club’s leaders. Then there’s Production Club, which is the part of the Flicker where members write and produce a short film during the semester. According to Flicker president Katherine Chapin, Production Club is perfect for those looking for a cinematic experience that resembles what’s in the industry today.
Flicker also has a YouTube section whose members are responsible for creating content for the Flicker Film Society YouTube channel, which includes sketches, video essays and more.
The newest addition to the Flicker lineup is the Writers Room, where members pitch and present story ideas and then turn them into scripts.
“Cinema is about community, and you create a lot of people-to-people bonds by being in this club,” Chapin said.
Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion is definitely the most important category when it comes to student engagement. It is necessary to have organizations on campus that cater to these interests because being represented and having a sense of belonging is a crucial part of a good college experience. Fortunately, UNCW has no shortage of them. Black Student Union, Centro Hispano Embajadores, Sexuality And Gender Alliance, International Student Association, and the new Asian Student Association are just a few of the long list of clubs and organizations freshmen should know about. However, the full list can be found here.
UNCW offers many opportunities for students to break out of the college bubble and help improve life on campus and in the community. The Plastic Ocean Project is an organization whose goal is to help alleviate the problem of plastic pollution in the community. They are actively working to achieve this goal through student-led research, eliminating plastic from the environment, and raising awareness. Kayla West, Laboratory Manager at POP, explains why what they do is so important to the health and safety of people and the environment.
“Plastics, as they degrade, release chemicals,” West said. “They’re also eaten by animals, eaten by us, and that’s causing public health issues and environmental health issues.”
West strongly encourages anyone from UNCW who wishes to join to do so. POP is especially good for freshmen who are in the STEM program, but also for any new students who want to join the cause. There are many ways to get involved, including internships, work studies, outreach events, and cleanups.