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 Transition and Parent Programs, Student Activities and Integrative Learning, Campus Recreation, Multicultural Student Programs and the Intercultural Center, Student Health and Counseling, University Police and Public Safety, Residential Education, Housing Operations, Citizen Education, 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 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. The president 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 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.
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. Consult the orientation website at http://leadership.unca.edu/orientation for more information.
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.
P2P SUCCESS is designed to ensure that off-campus freshmen will succeed in their first year and continue to excel during their time at UNC Asheville. Student leaders and P2P mentors provide support and social connections to the students in the program.
P2P hosts several events throughout the year to connect P2P participants with fellow participants. Additionally, the P2P program emails bi-weekly newsletters to participants to keep them informed of campus information and highlights events that will benefit participants socially and/or educationally. P2P mentors assist with participant questions and concerns throughout the program year.
The TRANSFERmation program is designed to ensure that transfer students succeed in their first year at UNC Asheville and find connections to the university which keeps them retained at the university through graduation. TRANSFERmation mentors provide support and social connections to the transfer students in the program. Transfer students are automatically enrolled in the TRANSFERmation program and may opt-out at any time.
First-year participants receive bi-monthly newsletters with information designed specifically to keep them informed of important university information and upcoming events that would be of interest to transfer students. Continuing transfer students (as well as first-year participants) receive monthly emails that highlight upcoming events, deadlines, social activities for transfer students, and other important information specific to transfer students.
Parent and Veteran Programs
Parent programs are designed 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.
Veteran programs collaborate 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.
Student Activities, Involvement and Leadersip (SAIL)
Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership provides programming, services and opportunities that enhance the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary for personal development. SAIL is responsible for Student Organization Services, International Student Services, Greek Life, Underdog Productions, the Highsmith University Union building reservations and operations, and Campus Programming and ourSPACE.
SAIL, in conjunction with the Key Center for Civic Engagement and Service Learning, also provides opportunities for students to become actively engaged in volunteer service projects in the local and regional community. Visit SAIL’s website at http://studentactivities.unca.edu/.
Student Organization Services
Involvement in co-curricular student organizations is an important aspect of college life. There are typically over 60 social, general and/or special interest clubs, honor societies, service groups, religious organizations, departmental clubs and Greek 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.
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 40 student organizations on campus, students may develop their leadership skills in various ways, including 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.
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 Sigma Phi, Alpha Xi Delta, Gamma Phi Beta, and Sigma Nu.
Many of UNC Asheville’s extracurricular campus-wide events are sponsored by Underdog Productions (UP), the 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.
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, bike shop, OneCard office, Intercultural Center, Career Center, Key Center for Civic Engagement and Service Learning, art gallery, Student Mail Center, FreeStore, 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 http://studentactivities.unca.edu/highsmith-university-union.
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 online ourSPACE calendar, or pick up a printed calendar of upcoming events at the beginning of each semester at the Highsmith University Union information desk.
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/.
Intercultural Center and Multicultural Student Programs
The Intercultural Center, located in Highsmith University Union, houses Multicultural Student Programs (MSP) and the Center for Diversity Education. The Intercultural Center is multipurpose and 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. MSP collaborates with other campus constituents, including the Connections Peer Mentoring Program, 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, Herman@s Orgullosos en Las Americas (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 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 can be found at 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 free 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.
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 Operations, and Dining Services
Residential Education and Housing 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, double and suite-style arrangements.
Community Directors (CDs) 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.
Each of the six residence hall areas is 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. Basic cable service, high-speed Internet access, and laundry use are included in the housing package at no additional cost. Wireless hotspots are located throughout the residence halls. All areas offer computer labs, collaboratories, kitchens, laundry facilities and lounges for students to study or relax.
Governors Village, newly renovated with 100 semi-suite rooms, reopened in Fall 2011. Overlook Hall, scheduled to open in Fall 2012, will offer four- and six-person suites and include a multipurpose room, study and programming spaces as well as an additional dining concept and roof-top lounge. Student input was used to assist in the design of the new residence hall and the renovation of the Village.
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 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 complete a special request form with the Housing office. 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 Dean of Students, 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 Dean of Students will require the student to complete a 9-to-11 Hour Agreement. If the Dean of Students denies the request, 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 cancellation fee. Additional information on Residential Education and Housing Operations is available at
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/campus-housing-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 University Union Food Court, Pizza Hut (on campus delivery), the Wellness Café in the Sherrill Center, and the new sandwich dining concept opening in Overlook Hall. Additional information on University Dining Services is available at http://www.dineoncampus.com/unca/.