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 Activities and Integrative Learning, Campus Recreation, Multicultural Student Programs & the Intercultural Center, Student Health & Counseling, University Police, Residential Education, Housing Operations, University Dining Services, and Special Programs.
Student Affairs also supports Underdog Productions, Student Government, Student Environmental Center, Student Media, Campus Ministries, and UNC Asheville’s student programming calendar, the eBarker.
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 and settling student grievances. 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. He or she is charged with representing concerns of students as reflected by the Student Senate. The senate is responsible for recommending policies and procedures consistent with the welfare of the students. The legislative branch of the SGA, led by the vice president, is primarily responsible for this important function. Students are encouraged to get to know their Senate representatives so concerns of the student body can be properly reviewed. Senate meetings are held at least every other week during the academic year. All students are invited to attend.
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 student newspaper, The Blue Banner, which is published Thursdays and covers campus news and features and other news that affects students, Headwaters creative arts magazine, Metabolism literary magazine, and The Blue Echo campus radio station.
Campus Ministries helps coordinate the activities of many different student religious organizations, including Baptist Student Union, Campus Crusade for Christ, Catholic Student Association, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Illumination, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Jewish Student Association, Presbyterian Campus Fellowship, Reformed University Fellowship and United Methodist Campus Ministry. Adjacent to campus are Baptist Student Union and Cooperative Campus Ministries houses.
Student Activities and Integrative Learning (SAIL)
Student Activities and Integrative Learning (SAIL), through campus and community partnerships and collaborative efforts, provides educational programming that enhances the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary for personal development. The SAIL office is responsible for Student Organization Services, International Student Services, Greek Life, Underdog Productions, Campus Programming, the eBarker, Blue Echo (radio), Highsmith University Union building reservations and operations, Student Leadership Programs, as well as New Student Orientation Programs.
Student Organization Services
Involvement in co-curricular student organizations is an important aspect of college life. There are typically over 100 social and general and/or special interest clubs, honor societies, service groups, religious organizations, departmental clubs and Greek social organizations at UNC Asheville. All organizations strive to offer an opportunity for students to become involved and develop leadership skills, self-confidence and individual talents.
All student organizations are part of the campus Student Organization Council (SOC), a venue whereby student leaders have opportunities to share ideas and initiate collaborations, learn information pertinent to maintaining and developing their organization, and properly garner funding for upcoming semesters.
International Student Services
International Student Programs provides programming and cultural and academic advising for international students in order to ease their transition to life in the United States and to the UNC Asheville community. Programs are designed to help international students succeed academically and socially during their time at UNC Asheville and beyond.
The UNC Asheville Greek Life system promotes personal, social, intellectual and ethical development of all chapter members. The advancement of the Greek system at UNC Asheville is seen as an ongoing effort to preserve traditional intellectual growth and progressive leadership development. The following national/international organizations have chapters at UNC Asheville: Alpha Xi Delta, Gamma Phi Beta, and Sigma Nu.
Many of UNC Asheville’s extracurricular campus-wide events are sponsored by Underdog Productions (UP). UP is UNC Asheville’s student-run campus activities board. Students interested in getting involved with UP may apply as leadership positions become available. These positions are rewarded with a small stipend, but volunteers are always welcome. Students do not need previous experience in programming events. UP 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. UP members may learn and sharpen programming skills through planning and coordinating campus events, NACA training, and the many other leadership programs offered on campus by UNC Asheville.
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 Student Activities and Integrative Learning (SAIL), Campus Recreation, Residential Education, Health and Counseling Services, Multicultural Student Programs, Student Leadership and Greek Life. Representatives from these areas come together to form the Student Activities Programming Board. In addition to sponsoring Underdog Productions, SAIL sponsors a number of events of its own, including open mics, trivia nights, and movies. For information about upcoming events, students can check the eBarker online, or pick up a printed calendar of upcoming events at the beginning of the semester.
The eBarker is an online calendar of student programs and events. The eBarker may be viewed at www.unca.edu/barker. Submissions to the eBarker should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Leadership Programs
Leadership programs at UNC Asheville are open to all students who wish to enhance their leadership skills on any level. In addition to enhancing skills as a member of any of the over 80 student organizations on campus, students may develop their leadership skills through leadership programs including becoming a member of the Leadership Scholars program, participating in the Professional and Personal Development series programs, induction into Omicron Delta Kappa (national leadership society), and participation in U-LEAD, a leadership certificate program for students. U-LEAD is designed to inspire students to take an active role in the life of their communities by offering programs and services that develop and enhance leadership skills.
Highsmith University Union
Highsmith University Union is the center of UNC Asheville campus life. Highsmith University Union is dedicated to serving the entire campus community as a social center and by offering a variety of programs. Union programs, while being educational and fun, are opportunities for participants to develop a lifelong commitment to personal wellness, practice leadership, and develop a sense of attachment to their peers, to the Union and to the University. The Union offers comprehensive development programs for student staff members focusing on transferable skills, field specific skills, and program ownership. Highsmith Union houses the game room, food court, bookstore, computer lounge, cycle shop, OneCard office, and the Copy & Shipping Center. Union and Underdog Productions’ programming includes lawn parties, block parties, comedians, magicians, game shows, bands, Homecoming, and much more.
Complete information about Highsmith Union facilities and programs is available at www.unca.edu/highsmith.
New Student Orientation Programs
Orientation at UNC Asheville is the first and most important step in becoming a UNC Asheville student and is critical for student success. Programs included in the New Student Orientation Program at UNC Asheville are embark, pre-rendezblue, and rendezblue.
Embark—During embark, new students learn about academic advising, registering for classes, campus resources, and much more. Each embark session is packed with fun activities and chances to meet other new students. Embark employs UNC Asheville students to assist with helping new students meet other new students, learn about campus resources and social activities, navigate the curriculum requirements, and find their niche here. Embark for freshmen students is a two-day program where students stay overnight in a residence hall, getting a taste of life at UNC Asheville. Embark for transfer students is a one-day program. Parents are welcome to attend embark parent orientation which takes place concurrently with the embark student orientation sessions.
Pre-rendezblue—New students are invited to get a head start on their UNC Asheville education by delving into the many assets of their new community. Pre-rendezblue offers six special-interest programs that showcase Asheville. Participation in pre-rendezblue allows students to move in early to the residence halls and meet fellow students and staff who share their interests. Space in the pre-rendezblue program is limited, so students are encouraged to sign up early. Topics include arts, community service, health and wellness, history, and multicultural and outdoor adventures.
Rendezblue—In addition to embark orientation, students are encouraged to participate in rendezblue, a series of social and educational activities that take place in August prior to the start of classes. These activities include social entertainment events, convocation, and preliminary class meetings with faculty that allow students time to get settled into their new surroundings in preparation for their first semester. New students are allowed to move in a few days early to acclimate themselves to campus and attend social and educational events with their peers. Rendezblue is an opportunity for new students to meet friends, learn about the academic rigor at UNC Asheville, and get an initial taste of the social life on campus. Rendezblue is open to all new freshmen and transfer students.
Campus Recreation at UNC Asheville offers consistent and diverse recreational pursuits to students, faculty, and staff of the university throughout the academic year. The department houses Outdoor Recreation, the Cycle Shop, the Diamond Brand Low Ropes Course, Equipment Rental, Adventure Trips, the Wilderness Experience Orientation program, Intramural Sports, Group Exercise, Personal Training, Sport Clubs, and Informal Recreation. The department utilizes three racquetball courts, an indoor pool, a weight/fitness center, indoor track, three activity courts, outdoor track, softball field, all-purpose field, and 6 tennis courts to successfully implement a variety of programs and experiences to the university community. Participation in programs and use of facilities is afforded 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 www.unca.edu/recreation.
The Intercultural Center, located in Highsmith Union, houses Multicultural Student Programs (MSP) and the Center for Diversity Education. The Intercultural Center is multipurpose and is a resource to be utilized by the entire UNC Asheville student body and faculty, regardless of race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or ability.
Multicultural Student Programs is responsible for delivering programs and services to underrepresented populations and educating the campus on issues of diversity and multiculturalism. Major MSP events include programming for the cultural/heritage months (Black History, Women’s History, Asian Pacific American Heritage, Hispanic Heritage, and American Indian/Alaskan Native Heritage months); Donning of the Stoles; Multicultural and International Student Welcome Dinners; and Black Alumni Reunion to name a few. Moreover, MSP collaborates with other campus constituents to facilitate a successful transition into college for students from underrepresented populations and to increase retention of members of these populations. The office provides support for several multicultural organizations including Alliance, Asian Students in Asheville (ASIA), Black Student Association (BSA), Hillel, Hispanic Outreach for Learning Awareness (HOLA), and International Student Association (ISA).
Student 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 at one of the lowest fees in the state system. The role of the Student Health and Counseling Center extends beyond physical and mental illness-related care to the areas of wellness and health promotion.
The Student Health and Counseling Center is located in Weizenblatt Hall 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 the MAHEC Family Practice or local emergency room. Referrals to specialty care in the community can be arranged by the Health and Counseling staff.
North Carolina General Statute 130A, Article 6, Part 2, establishes specific immunization requirements for all students enrolled in colleges or universities. Student Health Services monitors student compliance with this immunization law. Students must submit the health form with immunization data signed by a physician in order for Student Health Services to review individual student compliance with the legal and North Carolina requirements. Students should make every effort to submit verification of their compliance prior to registration at UNC Asheville. State law allows 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.
The University Police, offices located in Vance Hall, are here to protect life and property, manage the university’s parking services, provide crime prevention services, and be of general assistance to the university community (including 24-hour escorts, key extraction and jump-starts). The department consists of university police, security, communications and parking 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 have met or exceeded 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 www.unca.edu/publicsafety.
Special Programs is responsible for providing programming for parents and families, for student veterans, and for student volunteers.
The primary focus of Special Programs is to assist parents and families as they, along with their students, become part of the UNC Asheville community. Families are kept informed about campus resources, news, and events. Family Weekend, held in the fall, provides an opportunity for parents to return to campus and visit their student, as well as to participate in educational and fun activities.
Special Programs collaborates with faculty and staff members to provide a welcoming environment for our student veterans. Every effort is made to smooth the transition from military life to academic life. Services to veterans include forums throughout the year providing them with an opportunity to meet and to discuss their concerns.
Civic Responsibility is an integral aspect of UNC Asheville’s Strategic Plan. Working with the Key Center for Civic Engagement and Service Learning, Special Programs provides opportunities for students to become actively engaged in volunteer service projects in the local and regional community.
Residential Education, Housing Operations, and Dining Services
The Residential Education and Housing Operations are committed to providing a safe, clean, well-maintained living learning environment for all residents. The residence halls represent a wide variety of living options including single, double and suite-style arrangements. Community Directors (CDs), professional Residential Education staff members, live in each residence hall area, and resident assistants (RAs) live on every hall of each building. Residential Education staff offer programs and activities that complement and enrich each student’s campus experience. Staff members plan and coordinate educational and social programs and entertainment including a wide variety of activities, such as lectures, movies, discussion groups and intramural teams.
Each of the five residence hall areas is a short walk from classroom buildings, the library, dining hall, and recreation facilities. All areas offer computer labs, laundry facilities and lounges for students to study or relax. Kitchens are available in all areas except Founders Hall. Rooms are furnished with beds, desks, chairs, chests of drawers, micro fridges, blinds, and closet space. Basic cable service and high-speed Internet access are included in the housing package at no additional cost.
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. The Housing and Dining Contract includes a meal plan that is required for all resident students. By signing this contract, each resident agrees to observe all rules and regulations of the university and Residential Education and Housing Operations as outlined in the Residents’ Handbook and the Student Handbook. Students who live in the residence halls are required to maintain an enrollment of no less than 12 credit hours. A complete listing of policies and procedures is distributed to new residents each semester and is available to other students upon request. It 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.
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 commuting students. A declining balance system allows students to make deposits into a fund that may be accessed for the Dining Hall, Cafe Ramsey, Highsmith Union Food Court and Pizza Hut.
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.