Learning happens throughout every aspect of a student’s college experience – both inside and outside the classroom. Whatever the interest, Highsmith Student Union and Student Activities offers many programs, activities, and services that provide the opportunity to get involved and connect with other students who have similar interests. Access information on the over 60 existing student organizations; find out how you can start a group of your own; sign up to participate in the National Society of Leadership and Success program or community service; apply to represent your peers as a senator in the Student Government Association; find out what is happening with fraternities & sororities at UNC Asheville; get involved in programming through Underdog Productions (the student programming board); or inquire about student employment opportunities.
Involvement in co-curricular student organizations is an important aspect of college life. There are typically over 60 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.
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 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.
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 60 student organizations on campus, students may develop their leadership skills through participation in the Professional and Personal Development programs housed in Highsmith Student Union and Student Activities, induction into Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society, and participation in National Society of Leadership and Success, a leadership certificate program for students. Students and student organizations that have positively affected the University community through strong leadership skills will be recognized at the annual Alumni and Student Leadership Awards. Students are encouraged to take ownership in their own development and hone their leadership skills to leave a lasting legacy at UNC Asheville during their educational experience.
Commuter Student Programs
Commuter Student Programs are intentionally designed to connect students that do not live on campus to the social, academic, fun, and co-curricular opportunities that make up the vibrant on-campus community. Additionally, all student programs reach out to our non-traditional students and their families and create opportunities for these students to be more fully engaged in the campus experience.
The UNC Asheville Greek Life system promotes the personal, social, intellectual, ethical, and leadership development of all chapter members. The advancement of the Greek system at UNC Asheville is seen as an ongoing recruitment effort to foster a supportive environment of brotherhood and sisterhood. The following national and international organizations have chapters at UNC Asheville: Alpha Sigma Phi, Alpha Xi Delta, Gamma Phi Beta and Sigma Nu.
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 and Student Activities, Campus Recreation, Residential Education, Health and Counseling Services, Multicultural Affairs, Student Leadership, and Greek Life. In addition to sponsoring Underdog Productions, Highsmith Student Union and Student Activities 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 master calendar, UNC Asheville's News Center, or pick up a printed calendar of upcoming events at the beginning of each semester at the Highsmith Student Union information desk.
Underdog Productions (UP) and Campus Programming
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. 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.
Omicron Delta Kappa
Omicron Delta Kappa is a national leadership honor society for junior and senior level college students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni. This organization seeks to honor those who have achieved in the areas of scholarship; athletics; campus/community service, social/religious activities, and campus government; journalism, speech and mass media; and the creative and performing arts.
Student Leader Awards
Each year, UNC Asheville recognizes those students and student organizations that have excelled in their contributions to the University community. Strong student leadership at UNC Asheville is marked by a balance between the rigors of academic life and the citizenship of co-curricular and community involvement. Nominations may be made by any member of the University community (students, faculty, staff, and alumni).
Highsmith Student Union
The Highsmith Student Union is the center of UNC Asheville campus life. The Union is dedicated to serving the entire campus community by being the social and gathering place for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests. The Highsmith Student Union houses a student organization suite, meeting rooms and performance venues. Services provided in Highsmith Student Union include a game room, food court, bookstore, computer lounge, bike shop, FreeStore, art gallery, Student Mail Center, OneCard office, and the Copy Center. Administrative offices in Highsmith Student Union include Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership, Multicultural Affairs and the Intercultural Center, Career Center, Key Center for Civic Engagement and Service Learning, Transition and Parent Programs, as well as the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.