“I think that I’ve just become more confident in my ability to be a leader and effect change when I have an amazing group of support,” they said.
Phi Delta Epsilon
Phi Delta Epsilon is an international medical fraternity at UNC that focuses on research and professionalism.
Rising senior Pierce Whiteman, the vice president of finance for Phi Delta Epsilon, said when he was a first-year, he was not involved with the organization and felt lost on his journey of pursuing medicine.
“But then once I joined, I was able to see how many different paths there are and there’s not one set path,” Whiteman said. “And so I’ve learned about a lot of opportunities I’ve become involved in outside as far as shadowing, research.”
Whiteman said Phi Delta Epsilon has a welcoming environment and includes people from many different walks of life.
He said he has also made good friends in the organization and has gained self-confidence he didn’t previously have.
The organization's events include panels with medical students and medical school deans. Whiteman said the fraternity also has events with Kaplan, which offers MCAT prep courses.
“I’ve learned a lot of things that I know now from those opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten outside of that,” he said.
Mi Pueblo is a club that provides support for students and brings awareness of Latinx issues to UNC. It values and promotes tolerance, community, multiculturalism and support. The organization is Latinx-based but welcomes anyone to join, according to its description.
Erika Munguia is a co-president of Mi Pueblo. She said she encourages everyone to join, whether students identify as Latinx or Hispanic, or just want to learn more about the culture.
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Munguia said joining new clubs will allow students to meet more people, develop friendships and find stability at UNC.
“Just go for it," she said. "I think obviously it’s scary at first, but I think if you don’t put yourself out there, then you’re never going to know if you would have met someone that literally would have become your best friend.”
Munguia said stepping into a leadership role in Mi Pueblo really helped her grow as a professional by teaching her communication and decision-making skills.
“It truly feels like family, and I think there’s no better way to put it,” she said. “Because you find your people, you find the people that you connect with, and then I think you kind of just grow together, which is something that we are really passionate about."
Learning more about student groups
For more information, students can visit Heel Life, an online platform that includes a list of campus organizations, as well as information about events and membership.
Additionally, each year after convocation, the Carolina Union hosts FallFest, an event to welcome new students to campus and orient them to the various organizations and opportunities available at UNC. Last year, the University adapted it to be SmallFest, a week-long event for students to participate in while adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols.
Information for the upcoming FallFest 2022 has not yet been released, but will be made available on fallfest.unc.edu or by following the hashtag #UNCFallFest.