A freshman involvement guide for new students at UNCW

Eriq Dixon, Staff Writer

On Sept. 1, 2022, UNCW held their annual involvement carnival. This marked the first time the event had been held in person since the COVID-19 pandemic’s start in 2020. However, this article serves as a virtual overview of the event, as well as a guide for freshmen and other newcomers to UNCW who are still struggling to find involvement early on in their first semester.

UNCW offers much 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 to pursue during limited free time. The clubs and organizations fall under several different categories, including Academic, Honorary, & Professional; Fraternity & Sorority Life; Engagement Council; Graduate Student Organizations; Media; Diversity & Inclusion; Performing & Visual Arts; Politics & Activism; Religious; Service; Special Interest; and Sports & Recreation. Below are a few clubs and organizations from four of these categories that are most relevant to freshmen.

Engagement Council

The Association for Campus Entertainment, better known as ACE, is UNCW’s student programming organization. They put together student-produced events that include screenings at the Lumina Theater, book exchanges and trivia nights. ACE’s president, Malin Heppert, heavily encourages students to join ACE because of how much it widens one’s skill set through teamwork and planning and prepares them for college and the real world moving forward. 

“Since I joined ACE, I have gotten better at creative thinking, executing, communicating, and leading,” said Heppert. “I think I speak for everyone in ACE when I say this organization is the most fun way to boost your skill set when you start your professional career.” 

If planning fun and entertaining events while gaining and improving on a plethora of skills sounds like a good time to you, then ACE might be the way to go.

Flicker Film Society is an organization that helps students get hands-on experience in filmmaking. (UNCW)


Flicker Film Society is the student media club that focuses on all things film. Whether a casual movie viewer who wants to scratch a creative itch or a passionate filmmaker, Flicker is sure to satisfy your artistic desires in a variety of ways.

The club’s four different sections allow students to choose what most caters to their interests regarding film. There are the general meetings, in which members learn about specific aspects relating to film and the industry through presentations put together by the club’s officers. Then, there is Production Club, which is the part of the Flicker in which members write and produce a short film over the course of the semester. According to Flicker President Katherine Chapin, Production Club is perfect for those who crave a filmmaking experience that resembles how it’s done in the actual industry.

Flicker also has a YouTube section whose members are responsible for creating content for the Flicker Film Society YouTube channel, which include sketches, video essays and more.

The most recent addition to the Flicker lineup is the Writers Room, in which members come up with and pitch screenplay ideas, then turn them into scripts.

“Film is all about community, and you’re making a lot of interpersonal connections from being in this club,” said Chapin.

The UNCW Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion focuses on creating an inclusive environment for all students. (Diversity)

Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity & Inclusion is certainly the most important category when it comes to student involvement. 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. Luckily, 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 from the extensive list of clubs and organizations that freshmen should know about. However, the full list can be found here.

UNCW Plastic Ocean Project is an organization that focuses on plastic pollution in out community. (Plastic Ocean Project)


UNCW offers many opportunities for students to get 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 plastic pollution problem in the community. They actively work to achieve this goal through student-led research, plastic removal from the environment and spreading awareness. Kayla West, the Laboratory Director at POP, explains why what they do is so important for the health and safety of people and the environment. 

“Plastics, as they degrade, leach chemicals,” said West. “They are also being eaten by animals, being eaten by us, and it causes public health problems and environmental health problems.” 

West heavily encourages anyone at UNCW who is interested in joining 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.