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New fraternity aims to create community for students with a passion for tech

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The Executive Board of Kappa Theta Pi, like many other groups, now holds meetings virtually over Zoom. Photo courtesy of Maya Agnihotri.

The University’s newest technology fraternity is gearing up for a spring semester filled with virtual rush events, networking panels and member gatherings.

The UNC chapter of Kappa Theta Pi was founded by Maya Agnihotri, a sophomore majoring in computer science, and Rohitha Madduluri, a sophomore majoring in statistics and analytics and computer science. They aim to provide a community for students who are interested in technology on campus. 

Through consulting with the University of Michigan’s Alpha Chapter of the fraternity, the pair said they decided to officially establish the organization at UNC in September. 

“We wanted to create a community for UNC students coming from various backgrounds in tech,” Madduluri said.  

She said she was inspired by other UNC communities, like Delta Sigma Pi and Scale and Coin. 

“A Kappa Theta Pi chapter at UNC would be a great way for computer science and STEM students to come together and grow professionally and socially,” she said.

Agnihotri said the organization is founded upon five principles: social growth, academic and technical improvement, professional development, community service and alumni connection. These components are incorporated into many of their events, from connecting with alumni from the University of Michigan to volunteering for Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in computer science. 

Yash Shah, a sophomore majoring in economics and business administration, said his main goal for Kappa Theta Pi is to create powerful leaders who will thrive in the corporate world. 

“Since I was in a business fraternity last year, (Kappa Theta Pi) was another way for me to get involved and grow professionally,” he said.

Josh Redman, a sophomore majoring in statistics and analytics, said it was important to him to work with a group of like-minded individuals to help each other network — especially during a pandemic, when social interactions are sparse.

He said he hopes the fraternity brings people together from all backgrounds who have a shared interest in technology to form a supportive brotherhood. 

“I want Kappa Theta Pi to be a fraternity that gives opportunities to those interested in technology to meet new people and gain new experiences that will help them throughout their career at Carolina and afterwards,” Redman said. 

Even with social restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Madduluri said the executive team still holds weekly virtual meetings to plan for upcoming events like a completely virtual rush event. During its last meeting, the team played Among Us and carved pumpkins. 

The team has also planned for a professor speaker series, jeopardy game nights and a wide variety of community service activities that members will be able to vote on.

Agnihotri said the organization is still in its early stages until the first rush event. 

“Once we transition into becoming a real organization, our focus will be on the new members,” she said.

Rush week will include events such as an open house, speed dating, a game night and a workshop called “All Hands on Tech.” Madduluri said they are also developing professional workshops for new members, such as technical and behavioral interview practices. 

“We are looking for a diverse group of people, because tech is not just about being a computer science major,” she said. “I would say the top three (components) we look for are diversity, passion and background.”

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