GPSF Resource Guide (PDF)

ABOUT US

UNC Graduate and Professional Student Federation

You are automatically a member of GPSF! We are more than a student government – GPSF represents all UNC-CH graduate and professional students.

WHAT DO WE DO?

GPSF offers FREE professional and social events for graduate/professional students.
GPSF hosts socials, orientation activities, public service events, and University Research Day. We advocate to the state and national legislature, inform students about policy changes via GradAlert! and social/campus events in monthly emails, and advise students about obtaining in-state residency for tuition purposes. We also offer funding through travel awards, event funding, and department allocations.

HOW IS THE GPSF ORGANIZED?

  • The Executive board oversees all GPSF activities.
  • The Cabinet plans events and initiatives to address student issues, with positions from RA/TA advocate to LGBTQ chair.
  • We represent students on many university committees.
  • The Senate is the GPSF’s main legislature, convening representatives from all graduate/professional programs.
  • Student Congress brings together undergraduate and graduate/professional students from across 11 campus districts.
  • The Judicial branch maintains the Honor court and provides counsel for students.

HOW CAN I LEARN MORE OR BECOME INVOLVED?

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HOUSING

WHAT IF I WANT TO LIVE OFF CAMPUS?

The vast majority of graduate and professional students live off campus in areas in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, or Durham. Contacting current students to find their favorite apartment complexes, neighborhood, or roommates can be helpful.
Many local apartment complexes are on the free bus lines (Chapel Hill Transit, CHT) in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. If at all possible, we highly recommend living near a free CHT bus line, because UNC instituted Park and Ride fees for commuters beginning Fall 2013 (see Transportation section).

Off-Campus Housing Links:
Apartment Finder—www.apartmentfinder.com
Apartment Ratings—www.apartmentratings.com
Craig’s List—http://raleigh.craigslist.org
Rent.com—www.rent.com

WHAT IF I WANT TO LIVE ON CAMPUS?

  • Graduate and professional students can select apartment-style housing in Odum Village Apartments. Students are encouraged to apply early once the application becomes available in March. Approximately 120 graduate/professional student spaces in 1- and 2- bedroom apartments (all with private bedrooms) are reserved.
  • Single graduate students and student families are eligible to apply for housing at Baity Hill Apartments.
  • For more information visit: http://housing.unc.edu/future-residents/graduate-students, call 919-962-4501 or email housing@unc.edu.

WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW?

  • Parking: There is no free parking on-campus from 7:30 am—5:00 pm during the week. However, there are pay lots on Franklin St, Rosemary St, and on South Campus. As it stands now, you may park for free in most campus lots after 5pm and all-day on weekends, with a few exceptions for football and basketball game days and special events (marked by signs). Night parking permits will be introduced in fall 2014.
    http://www.dps.unc.edu/Parking/parkingnav.cfm
    http://www.parkonthehill.com/
  • Commuting: Using the bus lines, biking or walking to and from the university is highly recommended.
  • Utilities: Make sure to consider utility providers and property taxes at your potential housing location, as they can vary.
  • Food: Most grocery stores are not within walking distance of campus; consider living close to a grocery store if you do not own a car. More information on here.

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FINDING UTILITIES AND MORE

These are just some options that many students use – you may find others that are useful!

WATER

  • If you plan to live in a rental property, check with your landlord to see if water is included in the rent and/or if you need to set up an individual account.
  • Orange county (Chapel Hill and Carrboro): OWASA (www.owasa.org)
  • Durham: city utilities (www.ci.durham.nc.us/_ecomm)

ELECTRIC

  • The electric company that covers your area varies within Carrboro, but for other surrounding areas, the company that will cover you is Duke Electric. Our experience is that Duke Electric is often less expensive.
  • Duke Electric: (www.duke-energy.com)
  • Piedmont: (www.pemc.coop)

CABLE/INTERNET

NC DRIVER’S LICENSE

http://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/
Multiple locations available:

  • Carrboro: 104 Carrboro Plaza (Hwy. 54)
  • Durham: 101 S. Miami Blvd.
  • Hillsborough: 1201 Hwy. 70W

Tips:

  • You can make an appointment for testing before you visit the office
  • Study the driver’s handbook before taking the test –available at http://www.ncdot.org/dmv

LICENSE PLATES/VEHICLE REGISTRATION

http://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/
Multiple locations available:

  • Orange: 1704 E. Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC (Gateway Commons shopping center) 27514
  • Chatham: 311 North 2nd Avenue Siler City, NC 27344
  • Durham: 5410 NC Hwy. 55 Suite AB Durham, NC 27713
  • Durham: 1058 West Club Boulevard Suite 626 Durham, NC 27701

Car must be inspected yearly to retain car registration in North Carolina.

CAR INSURANCE (note: GPSF does not endorse a specific plan)

RENTER’S/HOME INSURANCE (note: GPSF does not endorse a specific plan)

BANKS (note: GPSF does not endorse a specific bank)

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TRANSPORTATION

CONSIDER TRANSPORTATION WHEN CHOOSING HOUSING!

    • Living in Carrboro = bicycling, Chapel Hill Transit (CHT) – free local bus system
    • Living in Chapel Hill = walking, bicycling, CHT
CHT bus service is limited during weekends, so living closer to town is better if you don’t have a car.
    • Living in Durham, Hillsborough, Raleigh = Triangle Transit, Park & Ride CHT, carpool (Zimride.unc.edu)
Apply for a free Triangle Transit GoPass for commuting to campus through Commuter Alternative Permit (CAP) (dps.unc.edu/cap).
    • Other locations = vanpool, carpool, Park & Ride CHT
Park and Ride Permits for students are $227/year beginning in Fall 2013 –for more information: http://www.dps.unc.edu/CAP/Park&RideFlyer.pdf; GPSF GradAlert!

HOW CAN YOU TRAVEL…?

Around Campus?

  • CHT campus shuttles (U, RU, NU) for daytime/evening
  • Point-to-Point (P2P) shuttle for late-night campus travel (7 pm to 3 am)
  • Much of the campus and the surrounding area is walkable and bikeable!

Around Chapel Hill?

  • CHT bus lines extend throughout Chapel Hill and Carrboro
  • CHT Safe Ride buses offer late-night weekend transportation to some off-campus locations

Around the Triangle Area?

  • Triangle Transit extends from Chapel Hill to Durham and Raleigh, including RDU Airport
  • Zipcar rental by the hour, with 8 cars on campus

To Duke’s Campus?

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Have an iPhone? Use either the Pocket Chapel Hill Transit or EZ Chapel Hill Transit apps Use the goTriangle Trip planner!: http://www.gotriangle.org/
Questions? Contact the GPSF Cabinet Transportation Chair at: gpsftransportation@unc.edu; cap@unc.edu for the CAP program; parking@unc.edu for UNC Parking.

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FINANCES AND FUNDING

HOW DO I OBTAIN…?

WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT TUITION AND FEES?

  • Check with your department to see what portion of tuition and fees you will be responsible for.
  • Tuition and fees typically change on a yearly basis. To find the current tuition and fee rates see Student Account services at http://finance.unc.edu/.
  • If you plan on staying at UNC in the summer (and are not registered for classes), you will be responsible for paying a Campus Recreation fee (e.g., for workout facilities) and a Campus Health Services fee if you plan to use these services in the summer.

HOW DO I STAY INFORMED?

GradAlert!: Created by the GPSF, GradAlert! informs about changes at the local, state, and national level affecting graduate and professional students, including healthcare, student debt, federal loans, tuition, residency, and graduate student stipends. http://gpsf.unc.edu/gradalert/

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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

  • UNC Graduate School: Offers many resources and activities, not just for professional development but also campus and community resources at http://gradschool.unc.edu/student/. The Graduate School Handbook is also an important reference at: http://handbook.unc.edu/.
  • Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE): an excellent resource for establishing a good foundation for teaching at the college level, offering many teaching seminars and a biannual Future Faculty Fellowship program. http://cfe.unc.edu/
  • Graduate School Professional Development Program: training on resume writing, interview skills, thesis formatting, finding funding sources, dissertation boot camps, etc.http://gradschool.unc.edu/student/profdev/
  • University Career Services: offers workshops, networking nights, career panels and specific career advice for graduate students. http://careers.unc.edu/students
  • Training Initiative in Biomedical and Biological Sciences (TIBBS): offers career awareness workshops, career counseling, science outreach opportunities, graduate students skills workshops, socials, and other events. www.med.unc.edu/tibbs
Questions? Contact the GPSF Cabinet Professional Development chair: gpsfprofdev@unc.edu
Questions about RA/TA issues? Contact the Cabinet RA/TA Advocate at: gpsfrata@unc.edu

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INTERNATIONAL STUDENT RESOURCES

WHERE CAN I GO FOR HELP?

International Student & Scholar Services, located in the UNC FedEx Global Education Center, handles immigration status and visas, plans free events and seminars for UNC international students.
  • Every international student and scholar joining UNC-Chapel Hill is required to check-in with this office before classes or employment begins.
  • This office is prepared to help with immigration issues, so please visit them! http://oisss.unc.edu.
The UNC Writing Center, a free service for UNC students, offers small groups, workshops, and mini-courses to improve writing and speaking skills. For information or to sign up for the English as a Second Language list-serv visit http://writingcenter.unc.edu/esl/
Want to improve your English language skills? Check out this list of resources and conversation groups: http://oisss.unc.edu/resources/esl.pdf

WANT TO GET TO KNOW OTHER INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS?

To find out about upcoming social and networking events, join a listserv for international students sponsored by GPSF. http://lists.unc.edu/read/all_forums/subscribe?name=gradintlfriends

 

Questions? Contact the GPSF Cabinet International Chair at: gpsfinternational@unc.edu.

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STUDENT-PARENT RESOURCES

Carolina Student Parents Association (SPA): Provides resources, support, avenues for advocacy, and social networking opportunities to pregnant and parenting UNC students, postdoctoral fellows and medical residents. Visit the Facebook page for information. Note: this group is different from the Carolina Parents Association, which is for parents of current Carolina students. www.facebook.com/groups/UNCSPA/

 

Parenting@UNC website: Created for UNC student, faculty and staff parents and parents-to-be. This website provides a collective web space for UNC parents to obtain resources on pregnancy, prenatal care, student leave and academic policies, lactation, childcare, and family-friendly activities. http://parenting.web.unc.edu/

 

The UNC-Chapel Hill Child Care Scholarship Program offers child care scholarships are available through Child Care Services Association (CCSA) for full-time UNC students who meet the following maximum annual income guidelines:

 

Family Size Annual Income
Two $50,000
Three $60,000
Four $70,000
Five $80,000

 

  • Children must be under 12 years old.
  • All scholarships must be used in 4- or 5-star licensed child care facilities.
  • Scholarships cover a portion of child care costs, and parents must pay a portion based on a percentage of their income.
  • Student scholarships are awarded for a single school term with the opportunity to renew based on continued eligibility and funding.
  • Income eligibility is based on income from all sources, including student aid (with a deduction for the cost of tuition).
Qualifying students interested in a UNC-sponsored child care scholarship should call Child Care Services Association at (919) 403-6950, ask to speak with a Family Support Counselor, and identify that they would like to be placed on the scholarship waiting list. Students will need to acknowledge their student affiliation with the Chapel Hill campus of UNC and be prepared with complete contact information as well as an estimate of annual income as described above.

 

Questions? Contact the GPSF Cabinet Student Family Advocate at: gpsfparenting@unc.edu.

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HEALTHCARE

WHERE CAN I FIND HEALTH CARE?

Campus Health Services (CHS): in James A Taylor Building (http://campushealth.unc.edu/)
  • Medical Services: Offered as part of student fees or university-offered insurance plan. CHS offers full medical services including women’s health, immunizations (including free flu shots), HIV testing and other STD testing, and international travel clinic.
  • Counseling and Wellness: Confidential appointments including psychological/wellness.
  • Campus Health Pharmacy: Full pharmacy open Monday-Friday with an online refill process. Prescriptions here through UNC insurance can be cheaper than off-campus pharmacies.
  • Campus Health Services Healthy Heels Portal: (healthyheels.unc.edu) Secure electronic portal for messaging with campus providers, online scheduling, and online nurse advice.

WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT HEALTH INSURANCE?

    • Health insurance is mandatory at UNC-Chapel Hill. You may be able to stay on your parent’s health insurance until age 26!
    • Non-RA/TAs: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC (BCBSNC) administers the university-wide health insurance plan, including most preventive care and office visits. Medical care and prescriptive drug services are offered through Campus Health Services. It also includes some lens and eyeglass frame coverage. bcbsnc.com/student
    • RA/TA/Fellows: BCBSNC also offers a plan for RAs, TAs, and Fellows, which some departments pay for and includes most preventive care and office visits. Medical care and prescription drug services are offered through Campus Health Services. It also includes some lens and eyeglass frame coverage. (www.bcbsnc.com/content/studentblue/uncch-ta/)
For both plans, spousal/family coverage is usually available but at an additional cost to you.
  • If you have insurance, to avoid the twice-yearly insurance student fee, you must submit a waiver (even if you are enrolled in the UNC RA/TA plan) or automatically enroll in the UNC plan Non-RA/TA plan.

CAN I BUY DENTAL INSURANCE?

Not covered by UNC plans but available at extra cost; UNC does not endorse a specific plan.

WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW TO SAVE MONEY?

Be cost conscious:

  • Going to CHS instead of an emergency room or off-campus urgent care facility for non-emergency situations or using generic over brand prescriptions can save you money.
  • When CHS is closed, going to an urgent care facility can also be less expensive than an emergency room. Familiarize yourself with nearby urgent cares and hours of operation. The GPSF GradAlert! has links to the nearest urgent cares.
Questions? Contact the GPSF Cabinet Student Health Chair at: gpsfhealthpolicy@unc.edu

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SAFETY

WHO CAN I CONTACT IN AN EMERGENCY?

  • UNC Police: 919-962-8100 (911 for Emergencies)
  • Orange Country Rape Crisis Hotline: 919-968-4647
  • Chapel Hill Police Crisis Unit: 919-968-2806

HOW CAN I BE SAFE ON CAMPUS?

  • Alert Carolina: UNC’s text-message and email notification system for campus emergencies. Sign-up through ConnectCarolina: www.alertcarolina.unc.edu/go/doc/1395/184530/
  • SAFE@UNC.EDU: Interpersonal violence awareness & prevention http://safe.unc.edu/
  • Blue lights: Emergency blue lights around campus will signal campus police when activated.
  • SafeWalk: Free program providing student walking buddies for late-night travel on campus. Schedule a SafeWalk 919-962-SAFE(7233) or online http://safewalk.unc.edu.
  • Late Night Free Bus Transportation: Point 2 Point (P2P) on campus; UNC Safe Ride off-campus on weekends

Mental health, disruptive behavior, and safety trainings:

Counseling, Wellness, Confidentiality resources:

Questions? Contact the GPSF Cabinet Campus and Personal Safety Advocate at: gpsfsafety@unc.edu

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DIVERSITY & LGBTQ RESOURCES

Diversity Resources:

LGBTQ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered Queer) Resources:

The GPSF sponsors a variety of events for these diverse student populations. Questions? Contact the GPSF Cabinet LGBTQ/Diversity chair at: gpsflgbtq@unc.edu

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PUBLIC SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES

GPSF Sponsored Events:

GPSF organizes public service activities open to all UNC graduate and professional students. Whether we are framing a house in a Habitat for Humanity build, scaring people at a haunted house for charity, or brightening the day for Ronald McDonald house residents, every event is an opportunity to meet fellow students, have a blast, and better the community Watch for information in your monthly GPSF email or the GPSF website (http://gpsf.unc.edu/) about our events.

Other Resources:

Questions? Contact the GPSF Public Service chair at: gpsfservice@unc.edu

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FOOD AND DINING

Living without a meal plan:

Most graduate and professional students do not join a meal plan, but may eat on and off campus for lunch. Various supermarkets and co-ops are available nearby for groceries.

On Campus:

  • Frank Porter Graham Student Union – Alpine Bagel & Wendy’s
  • The Beach (by Health Science Library) — Quiznos, Chick-Fil-A, & others
  • Dining Halls (2nd Floor Lenoir & Rams Head) – pay cash for buffet
  • Lenoir Mainstreet — Subway, Chick-Fil-A, & others

Off Campus:

Major nearby supermarkets: Harris Teeter, Kroger’s, Food Lion, Whole Foods, Weaver Street Market (Co-op), Carrboro Farmers’ Market
Note: most major supermarkets are beyond walking distance of campus, but can be reached using the campus bus system, a Zipcar, or by bike. When choosing housing, consider living close to a grocery store or a bus route if you do not own a car.

Interested in a meal plan?

Use your OneCard as a Meal Card (http://www.onecard.unc.edu/Students/MealPlanInformation). Convenient dining spots are located on North & South Campus. Choice of two plans: Meal Allowance – Choose how many all-you-care-to-eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals you want to eat in Top of Lenoir or Rams Head Dining Hall per week or per semester or Dining Flex – Choose how many additional dollars, if any, you want to have for the semester.

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ATHLETICS/CAMPUS RECREATION

ATHLETICS:

All varsity athletic events are free with your OneCard picture ID. UNC’s biggest rivals are with Duke, NC State, and Wake Forest. Some men’s basketball games and some football games use a UNC student lottery system at http://goheels.com/. In the lottery, our experience is that winning tickets is relatively easy for many games. Duke/UNC men’s basketball tickets are most difficult to win, but is easiest your last year at UNC. However, some students are successful in earlier years! Block seating for football games can be reserved by calling the ticket office. Most athletic events are free to the public, including non-UNC friends and family members. If the event is not already free, you can purchase guest passes at http://goheels.com/.

CAMPUS RECREATION:

  • http://campusrec.unc.edu – Many free facilities and activities (others are very inexpensive!)
  • Individual Fitness: Free workout facilities are in the Student Recreation Center and Rams Head Recreation Center.
  • Group Fitness Classes: UNC offers a number of free group fitness classes in the Student Recreation Center and Rams Head Recreation Center, including zumba, kickboxing, muscle conditioning, yoga, spin classes, and more.
  • Climbing Wall: UNC offers two full size climbing walls in Fetzer gymnasium and Rams Head Recreation Center. Belay certification classes are offered on site.
  • Swimming pools: Available indoors at Bowman Gray and outdoors at Kessing Pool.
  • Courts: Courts for tennis, basketball, racquetball, and badminton are available at various indoor and outdoor courts around campus.
  • Intramural Sports: Many Intramural sports are available every semester and open to all students.
  • Club Sports: 48 club sports are available year round and open to graduate and professional students.
  • Outdoor Recreation: Outdoor Education Center on campus offers a 18-hole disc golf course and off-site hiking, kayaking, and biking expeditions. On-campus ropes courses are available for team building activities.

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“FREE” STUFF at UNC!

There are a large number of resources and events on-campus and off-campus that are free or deeply discounted due to paying student fees and being UNC students!:
    • GPSF-sponsoredsocial events, including happy hours, sporting events, family-friendly game nights, ice cream parties, sport outings and picnics. Check out our website (http://gpsf.unc.edu/) for more information!
Questions? Contact the GPSF Cabinet Social chair at: gpsfsocialchair@unc.edu
  • Movies on Fridays and Saturdays in the UNC Student Union at http://www.unc.edu/cuab/ The Carolina Union has many other free activities too!
  • Free movie and video game system rentals from the Media Resource Center in the House Undergraduate Library at http://www.lib.unc.edu/house/mrc/.
  • Microsoft 7, Office, or Office:mac or other software at Information Technology Services in the basement of the House Undergraduate Library (https://shareware.unc.edu)
  • Research Poster Printing: Research in Public Health (Office of Student Affairs, 263 Rosenau)
  • Buses(chtransit.org)
  • Recreation centers, swimming pools, basketball courts, Intramural Sports, Club Sports (http://www.campusrec.unc.edu)
  • UNC Athletic events (http://www.goheels.com)
  • 800 black and white printed pages in University libraries; money for printing is added each semester to your UNC OneCard.
  • Recreational reading books in Undergraduate, Graduate, and SILS libraries
  • N.C. Botanical Gardens: hiking trails, herb garden, vegetation (www.ncbg.unc.edu/)

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RELIGIOUS CENTERS

Chapel Hill has several on-campus or nearby places of worship (just to name a few!):
  • Newman Catholic Center, 218 Pittsboro Street, (919) 929-3778
  • Chabad of UNC Chapel Hill, 127 Mallette Street, (919) 942-7663
  • UNC Hillel, 210 West Cameron Avenue, www.unc.edu/~mkrebs/NCHillel.htm
  • UNC Muslim Student Association, http://uncmsa.org
  • University Student Methodist Church, 150 East Franklin Street, (919) 929-7191
  • Focus Graduate Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, focus.unc.edu

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TOWN HAPPENINGS

Entertainment:

Outdoor Recreation:

Interest Groups:

Questions? Contact the GPSF Cabinet City and Local Relations chair at gpsflocal@unc.edu.

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NC ACTIVITIES (just to name a few!)

Sports:

Museums:

Aquariums/Zoos:

Concert Venues:

Race Tracks:

Outdoor Recreation:

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OTHER GRADUATE AND PROFESSIONAL STUDENT ASSOCIATIONS

American Medical Student Association (AMSA), School of Medicine
Association of Chemistry Graduate Students (ACGS)
Biology Graduate Student Association (BGSA)
Biostatistics Student Association, School of Public Health
Black Graduate and Professional Student Association (BGPSA)
Carolina Classics Graduate Group
Communication Studies Graduate Student Association
Comparative Literature and English Association of Graduate Students (CoLEAGS)
Doctoral Student Association at School of Information and Library Sciences (DSA at SILS)
Economics Graduate Student Association (EGSA)
Environmental Sciences and Engineering Student Organization (ENVR-SO), School of Public Health
Epidemiology Student Organization (ESO), School of Public Health
Graduate Art Student’s Association (GASA)
Graduate Association of Geography Students (GAGS)
Graduate Computer Science Student Association (CSSA)
Graduate Mathematics Association
Health Policy and Management (HPM) Masters Student Council, School of Public Health
Information & Library Science Student Association (ILSSA)
Linguistics Circle
Marine Sciences Graduate Action Group (GAG)
MBA Student Association, Kenan-Flagler Business School
Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Student Organization
Physics and Astronomy Graduate Student Association (GSA)
School of Education Graduate Student Association
School of Journalism and Mass Communication Graduate Student Association (J- School GSA)
School of Public Health Student Government
Spurgeon Dental Society, School of Dentistry
Student Bar Association (SBA), School of Law
Student National Medical Association (SNMA), School of Medicine
Student Senate, Eshelman School of Pharmacy
Whitehead Medical Society

For more information, see the GPSF website page devoted to other organizations: http://gpsf.unc.edu/student-resources/graduate-and-professional-student-organizations/ or the UNC-Chapel Hill Student life website: http://uncstudentorgs.collegiatelink.net/organizations.

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ORIENTATION AND CAMPUS MAPS

North Campus Map

1. Daniels Student Stores (Bookstore, Post-Office, One Card Office)
2. Student Union (Information Desk)
3. Fetzer Gym & Student Recreation Center
4. FedEx Global Education Building (International Student Center)
5. Bynum Hall (Graduate Admissions)
6. Davis Graduate Student Library
7. Franklin Street (Shops & Restaurants)
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2013 GPSF Resource Guide FINAL18x1

South Campus Map for the Graduate School Orientation

1. Carolina Club, George Watts Hill Alumni Center
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2013 GPSF Resource Guide FINAL19x1

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