Student Affairs encompasses organized programs, activities and services outside the classroom that support students in a formal way or involve student participation. Student Affairs includes Student Transitions and Family Programs, Highsmith Student Union, Campus Recreation, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Intercultural Center, Student Health and Counseling, University Police and Public Safety, Title IX Office, Residential Education, Housing and Student Life Operations, Citizen Education, Career Services, and University Dining Services. Student Affairs also supports Student Government, the Student Environmental Center, and Student Media. More information about Student Affairs is available at http://studentaffairs.unca.edu/.
The UNC Asheville Division of Student Affairs develops and implements programs and services that foster an inclusive, nurturing and challenging community in which all students have the opportunity to engage in integrated and transformative learning which prepares them to be productive citizens of a global society and develop a lifelong commitment to learning and personal wellness. Students are encouraged to take ownership of their personal and intellectual development and be accountable to themselves, each other, and the community by achieving the following outcomes:
- Persisting and achieving academically
- Communicating effectively
- Appreciating and respecting diversity
- Promoting and practicing wellness
- Solving problems creatively
- Leading with integrity
- Serving the local and global community
- Living life with passion and compassion
The University recognizes the Student Government Association as the governing body of the students. The SGA plays a vital role in policy-making procedures, serving as a voice for students. The president of the Student Government Association is a full voting member of the Board of Trustees of UNC Asheville.
The student government president, elected by the student body, leads the executive branch of the SGA. The legislative branch of the SGA, led by the vice president, is primarily responsible for representing the concerns of students as reflected by the Student Senate. Students are encouraged to get to know their Senate representatives so concerns of the student body can be properly reviewed.
Student Environmental Center
A student-led initiative, the Student Environmental Center at UNC Asheville is a campus community resource dedicated to increasing campus awareness surrounding environmental issues and improving the environmental performance of our University.
Student media include The Blue Banner, UNC Asheville’s student newspaper, which is published regularly and covers campus news, features, and other news that affects students, Headwaters creative arts magazine, Metabolism literary magazine, and The Blue Echo campus radio station.
Student Transitions and Family Programs
The Office of Student Transitions and Family Programs helps new UNC Asheville students and families transition into university life, build a strong foundation for academic and personal success, and embrace opportunities that promote intellectual growth. The office serves new students by intentionally engaging them in interactive and meaningful campus initiatives that help maximize their collegiate experience. The Office of Student Transitions and Family Programs includes orientation (embark, pre-rendezblue, and rendezblue) programs, transition Student Programs, parent programs, and veteran programs and services.. Additional information about these programs is available at https://transition.unca.edu/.
New Student Orientation Programs
- Summer embark orientation—Freshman embark orientation is a two-day summer program in which freshmen stay overnight in a residence hall and get a taste of life at UNC Asheville. The embark session for transfer students is a one-day summer program.
During summer embark, new students learn about navigating the university’s academic requirements and the various campus resources that can help them maximize academic success. Small group activities led by members of the embark orientation Blue Crew allow participants to meet fellow first-year students, learn about campus life and identify opportunities for campus involvement.
A parent and family embark orientation session is offered in concurrence with each summer embark session. Parent and family embark is designed to educate parents and family members about the nuts and bolts of sending their student to college, and also connects them with staff and important university resources.
pre-rendezblue—First-year students are encouraged to get a head start on their UNC Asheville education by attending pre-rendezblue, a five day/five night program that occurs the week prior to the official move-in date for the fall semester. Participants join diverse groups of fellow students and program leaders with similar interests to learn about the resources, opportunities and social activities on campus and in the Asheville area. Students may explore such topics as diversity, health and wellness, music, literature, art, history of Asheville, sustainability, outdoor recreation, and community service while expanding their sense of belonging even before the start of the semester.
Fall embark orientation—In addition to summer embark, all new freshman and transfer students are encouraged to participate in Fall embark, a program which offers a series of social and educational activities during the weekend prior to the start of fall semester classes. Students move into the residence halls, attend Convocation where they are introduced to UNC Asheville’s Chancellor, faculty and staff and learn about some of our university’s traditions and rituals, and attend a variety of social events which allow students time to get settled into their new surroundings in preparation for their first semester at UNC Asheville.
Transition Student Programs
The Transition Student Program is designed specifically for new UNC Asheville students who fall into any of the following categories: transfer students, veteran students, freshmen not living on campus, first generation college students, and students older than 24 years of age. The transition process continues throughout the academic year, with workshops and programs comprising the majority of transition Student Programs, which highlight resources specifically geared towards helping new students succeed at UNC Asheville.
Family programs are designed to assist parents and families as they, along with their students, transition into the UNC Asheville community. A Family Newsletter is provided three times each semester to parents and families to keep them informed about campus resources, news and events. Family Weekend, held every fall semester, provides an opportunity for parents and other family members to return to campus and visit their student, as well as to participate in activities that will deepen their connection to UNC Asheville.
Veteran Programs and Services
Student veterans have a very special place at UNC Asheville and are encouraged to look into the various opportunities available for them to connect with other veterans and the campus community.
The Office of Student Transitions and Family Programs oversees the recognition of military-affiliated holidays, such as Patriot Day and Veterans Day. Additionally, the University Veteran Alliance is a student organization open to all veteran and non-veteran students interested in veteran affairs at UNC Asheville. Its mission is to bring veteran and non-veteran students together to build camaraderie and develop relationships with the university and the city of Asheville. This organization works to raise awareness of veterans on campus and the challenges they face, along with highlighting the unique strengths they bring to the university and local communities.
Highsmith Student Union
The Highsmith Student Union is more than just a building. It is an organization that provides programming, services and opportunities that enhance the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary for personal development. Highsmith Student Union is responsible for Student Organization Services, Student Leadership Programs, Fraternity & Sorority Life, Off-Campus Student Programs, Asheville Campus Entertainment, Campus Programming, and Highsmith Student Union building reservations and operations. For more information, visit the Highsmith Student Union website at http://highsmithunion.unca.edu/.
The Highsmith Student Union is the center of UNC Asheville’s campus life by providing dynamic spaces for interactions between students, faculty, staff, and the community. With more than 79,000 square feet, Highsmith Student Union offers meeting rooms, performance venues, game room, the Intercultural Center, and casual lounge spaces throughout the building. Services located in the building include Veteran Center for Excellence, general use computers, the Food Court, the University Bookstore, OneCard, the Bike Shop, vending machines, Student Mail Center, and the FreeStore. In addition, there are administrative offices for Highsmith Student Union, the Career Center, the office of Multicultural Affairs, International Student Services, Student Transitions and Family Programs, the Key Center and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
The Student Life Porch is a large, multi-purpose space that brings the student experience to the front and center of the building, providing meeting spaces and open areas for student organizations, as well as a gallery to showcase student art and to share the work of the Intercultural Center.
Student Organization Services
Involvement in co-curricular student organizations is an important aspect of college life. UNC Asheville officially recognizes two fraternities and two sororities. There are more than 70 social, service, religious and academic organizations represented, as well as a number of leadership and academic honor societies. All organizations strive to offer an opportunity for students to become involved and develop leadership skills, self-confidence and individual talents.
Student Leadership Programs
Leadership programs at UNC Asheville are open to all students who wish to develop and enhance their leadership skills on any level. Whether as a member of any of the over 60 student organizations, or just interest in identifying one’s own leadership path, students can develop skills through participation in one or more of our leadership development workshops, induction into Omicron Delta Kappa (National Leadership Society), or by participating in our UNC Asheville Leadership Summit held every spring.
Fraternity and Sorority Life
The UNC Asheville Fraternity and Sorority community promotes the personal, social, intellectual, ethical, and leadership development of all chapter members. The advancement of the fraternity and sorority community at UNC Asheville is seen as an ongoing recruitment effort to foster a supportive environment of brotherhood and sisterhood that is grounded in strong values. The following national and international organizations have chapters at UNC Asheville: Alpha Sigma Phi, Alpha Xi Delta, Gamma Phi Beta and Sigma Nu.
Off-Campus Student Programs
UNC Asheville students living off-campus are an important part of our community, and Off-Campus Student Programs works to engage these students in on-campus programs, leadership opportunities, membership in student organizations, and more. Resources are provided to connect students to various collaborative programs offered regularly throughout the semester.
Asheville Campus Entertainment
Many of UNC Asheville’s extracurricular campus-wide events are sponsored by Asheville Campus Entertainment (ACE), the student-run campus activities board. ACE organizes several events each month including movie nights, concerts, speakers and do-it-yourself events that are FREE to students. Students interested in planning and coordinating campus events are encouraged to join ACE. ACE is one of more than 1,200 member organizations in the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA), which provides superb educational and training opportunities at its workshops and conferences.
There is always something to do on the UNC Asheville campus. Campus programs are coordinated by a number of departments within the Division of Student Affairs, including Highsmith Student Union, Campus Recreation, Residential Education, Health and Counseling Services, and Multicultural Student Programs.
In addition to sponsoring Asheville Campus Entertainment, Highsmith Student Union sponsors a number of events of its own, including open mics, trivia nights, and movies.
For information about upcoming events, students can check the latest student events online at highsmithunion.unca.edu or by downloading the UNCA Now App on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
Campus Recreation at UNC Asheville offers consistent and diverse recreational pursuits for students, faculty, and staff of the university throughout the academic year. Programs include outdoor recreation, intramural sports, group exercise, sport clubs, and informal recreation. The Campus Recreation Department manages programs in a number of facilities including the Sherrill Center fitness room, the disc golf course, the Diamond Brand low ropes course, and the Student Recreation Center which has three racquetball courts, an indoor pool, group exercise rooms, indoor and outdoor tracks, three activity courts, and all-purpose field. Participation in programs and the use of facilities is available to UNC Asheville students, faculty, staff, and recreation pass members with a valid One Card. Complete information about all Campus Recreation programs is available at http://recreation.unca.edu/.
Multicultural Affairs and the Intercultural Center
Located on the main floor of the Highsmith Student Union, the Intercultural Center (IC) is both a working space and social space, housing the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) office suite and a lounge/study area for students and other guests.
Both OMA and the Intercultural Center exist to provide opportunities for students with marginalized identities and those without to be in community, develop their individual identities, and deepen their understanding of the diverse experiences of others on our campus. Through educational events, identity- and culture-based programs, workshops and trainings, and more, OMA creates a variety of options for students to learn and engage on campus. Further, by highlighting the experiences of those who self-identity as Black, Latinx, Indigenous/Native American, Asian/AAPI, LGBTQIAP+, disabled, and/or any combination of those, we encourage and foster a more inclusive and equitable campus culture for all members of our community.
Health and Counseling Services
UNC Asheville recognizes that physical, psychological and social well-being are deeply interconnected, especially in relation to our students’ ability to learn and serve. The university offers an integrated care model which combines counseling, medical care, and health and wellness promotion to meet and address the needs of our student population. Strong administrative support for an active and innovative model has allowed UNC Asheville to provide outstanding care and involvement with the university community. The role of the Health and Counseling Center extends beyond physical and mental illness-related care to the areas of wellness and health promotion.
The Health and Counseling Center is located adjacent to the UNC Asheville campus at 118 W.T. Weaver Boulevard and offers services to address a wide range of emotional and medical concerns facing the college population. Most services are free to enrolled students. The Health and Counseling Center is open Monday through Friday. After hours care is available through MAHEC Family Practice or local emergency rooms. Referrals to specialty care in the community can be arranged by the Health and Counseling staff. Additional information about health and counseling services is available att http://healthandcounseling.unca.edu/.
The North Carolina General Statute, Chapter 130A, Article 6, Part 2 establishes specific immunization requirements for all students enrolled in NC colleges or universities. Immunization records may be obtained from high schools, physicians, health departments, military records or previously attended colleges. It is the student’s responsibility to assure compliance with required immunizations prior to registration. Health Services provides required immunizations for students who are entering a North Carolina university for the first time. Health Services monitors the immunization records of all students, ensuring compliance with state law, which allows students a 30-day grace period for compliance. Failure to submit the required immunization information during this time period will result in the cancellation of the student’s schedule.
Title IX Office
The Title IX Office of UNC Asheville is located in Governors Hall. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex or gender in educational programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. Therefore, the Title IX Office coordinates preventive programs, investigates reports of sexual misconduct, and ensures that the University of North Carolina Asheville complies with all state and federal mandates. Acts of sexual misconduct, including sexual violence, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking jeopardize the health and welfare of our campus community and have the potential to impede a student’s academic success and will not be tolerated. The Title IX Office is also made aware of faculty and staff incidents and, with the assistance of Human Resources, will determine if such incidents should be addressed through this office.
The University has established procedures for preventing, responding and investigating all allegations of sexual misconduct. The Title IX Office ensures that reports are addressed through our procedures and policies, and that the incident is resolved in a timely, fair and impartial manner. Reports are investigated based on the policies and procedures of the University where the safety and security of all faculty, staff, students, and guests, along with compliance with Title IX, is of the utmost importance.
Additional information may be found on the Title IX website, https://titleix.unca.edu/.
University Police and Public Safety
The University Police, located in Vance Hall, are here to protect life and property, provide crime prevention services, manage the university’s parking services, and be of general assistance to the university community (including 24-hour escorts, key extraction and jump-starts). The Public Safety department consists of university police, security, communications, emergency management, parking, and transportation services personnel whose mission is “to maintain a safe, secure and peaceful environment with a positive social atmosphere, where meaningful learning can take place.”
All university police officers are state certified, derive their powers from North Carolina General Statute 116-40.5, and meet or exceed the requirements established by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Training Standards Commission. These officers, supplemented by trained, non-sworn security officers and public safety telecommunicators, are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security and Campus Crime Statistics Act, UNC Asheville’s Campus Police information can be obtained at http://publicsafety.unca.edu/.
Residential Education, Housing and Student Life Operations, and Dining Services
Residential Education and Housing and Student Life Operations are committed to providing a safe, clean, well-maintained living and learning environment for all residents. The residence halls present a wide variety of living options including single and double rooms in suite-style living arrangements and newly constructed apartment-style buildings.
Area Directors (ADs) are full-time professional Residential Education staff members who live in each residence hall area. Resident Assistants (RAs) are the student-staff members who live on the halls and floors of each building. Residential Education staff offer programs and activities based on the University student learning outcomes and the University Strategic Plan that complement and enrich each student’s campus experience. Staff members plan and coordinate educational and social programs, as well as outreach and support, including a wide variety of activities, such as lectures, movies, discussion groups and intramural teams.
The residence hall areas are a short walk from classroom buildings, the library, dining hall, and recreation facilities. Rooms are furnished with beds, desks, chairs, chests of drawers, Microfridges® , blinds, and closet space. All areas offer computer labs, collaboratories, kitchens, laundry facilities and lounges for students to study or relax. High-speed Internet access via wired and wireless connections and laundry use are included in the housing package at no additional cost. All of our residence halls have streaming cable television service (IPTV) through https://unca.philo.com. Additionally, all of our non-apartment style residence halls offer traditional cable television service as well. Apartments in The Woods come with a Roku stick in the living area to assist with IPTV service.
The Woods is the newest addition to the University’s residence halls. The apartment-style community, available to juniors and seniors, was built based on student input, ranging from furniture and flooring selections, to overall design. The buildings offer a mixture of single rooms and double rooms, one laundry room per building, and one Resident Assistant per building. Each apartment is fully furnished and has a full living room, a full kitchen, and two bathrooms. Students living in The Woods are not required to purchase a residential meal plan, but they can choose to purchase either a regular meal plan or a block meal plan. Residents of The Woods can select the option to be either an academic year resident, or a year-round resident, which means they will not be required to leave during break periods when our other residence halls close. In addition to the 5 halls that make up the Woods residential section, there is a multipurpose building, Chestnut Hall, which serves both The Woods residents and the campus. Chestnut Hall features a multipurpose room/visitor’s center, a fitness room, and the Community Director residence.
Students who live in UNC Asheville residence halls sign a Housing and Dining Contract which is part of their housing application. The term of this contract is for one academic year consisting of two semesters, or for an alternate period beginning sometime after fall semester begins and terminating at the end of spring semester. Students who reside in a year round housing space will have a different contract term. The Housing and Dining Contract includes a meal plan that is required for all residential students. By signing this contract, each resident agrees to observe all rules and regulations of the university and Residential Education and Housing and Student Life Operations as outlined in both the Residents’ Handbook and the Student Handbook.
The Residents’ Handbook, provided to new resident students and available online, contains regulations and guidelines pertaining to check-in and check-out, room assignments and changes, animals, personal safety, mail delivery, key replacement, parking, maintenance, overnight guests, visitation and many other topics which will assist in guiding the student in their on-campus living experience.
In order to live in residential housing, a student must have full-time enrollment status (12 or more credit hours) each semester. With special permission, students in their senior year are permitted to be enrolled in 9-11 hours and remain in the residence halls. A senior student enrolled in 9-11 hours who wishes to remain in housing will need to submit a special request form to the office of the Dean of Students. Graduating seniors who have special circumstances resulting in enrollment below 9 hours may meet with the Dean of Students to seek approval to remain in university housing. Other exceptions to this policy are for extenuating circumstances and are subject to review and approval by the Dean of Students.
Students seeking an exception must meet with the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, who will outline the risks and consequences of the credit-hour reduction and determine if the request will be approved. If the waiver is approved, the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs will require the student to complete a 9-to-11 Hour Agreement. If the request is denied, the student can choose to maintain their enrollment of 12 or more hours or they can adjust their schedule and vacate their residential space. Students who are required to vacate their residence hall may be subject to the full cost of the room rate for the remainder of the semester (or full academic year, depending upon time of year) and the $750 breach of contract fee. Additional information on Residential Education and Housing and Student Life Operations is available at http://housing.unca.edu/.
All first year students are required to live on campus. Students who plan to live off campus make their own living arrangements. They are governed by the rules and regulations of the university when they are on campus. Some off-campus living options can be found at http://housing.unca.edu/non-residential-student-resources.
University Dining Services
The Dining Hall is the main dining facility for students, faculty and staff, offering options that include specialty grill items, entrees, pizza, salad bar, deli counter, vegetarian, vegan, and items for special dietary needs. Resident students are required to purchase a meal plan. There are also separate meal plans available for off-campus students, faculty and staff. Each meal plan includes a declining balance component that allows students to make deposits into a fund that may be accessed for the Dining Hall, Cafe Ramsey in the library, Highsmith Student Union Food Court, Pizza Hut (on campus delivery), the Wellness Cafe in the Sherrill Center, and the Down Under in Overlook Hall. Additional information on University Dining Services is available at http://www.dineoncampus.com/unca/.