Student Organizations

University Recognition

The University of North Carolina Asheville is committed to a policy of open access.  In order for a student organization to apply for use of University meeting space, to use the University’s name, to use UNC Asheville as an address, or to apply for Student Organization funds, they must first seek recognition through the Office of Student Activities.

Each year, Student Organizations must be recognized by the Office of Student Activities and the Student Organization Council.

In order to become recognized, the organization must be open for full membership and participation by any student without regard to race, religion, national origin, disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, and gender, except where allowed by law. The majority of membership must be current UNC Asheville students and all officers must be currently enrolled in 6 credit hours or more.

When the organization is ready to seek recognition they must complete the Application for Official University Recognition (available in HU 215) and submit this along with a Statement of Purpose or a Constitution to the Office of Student Activities.

The organization’s Constitution or Statement of Purpose must contain the following information: organization name, purpose, the process and the time line for electing officers, the role(s) of officers, the role of your advisor, your meeting schedule (date, time, and location) and the process for removal of officers.

Additional information about recognition may be obtained from the Office of Student Activities (HU 245) or by emailing studentorgs@unca.edu.

Student Government Association (SGA) Student Government Association represents you, the student, at the local, state and national levels. It strives to make the voice of the student body heard through constant contact with UNC General Administration, the General Assembly and the UNC Asheville administration. The Student Government Association President is a full voting member of the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees. The Student Government plays an active and vital part in the decision and policy-making processes at UNC Asheville. Recognized by the university as the official governing body of its students, the Student Government Association is organized into executive and legislative branches. Each branch focuses on a specific area while keeping in contact with the other. This creates a checks and balances system that ensures every decision is made fairly and in the best interests of students.

Every student enrolled at UNC Asheville is considered a member of the Student Government Association and is invited to get involved. Officials are elected each spring, except freshman senators who are elected in the fall. Appointments of qualified applicants are made throughout the year. A minimum grade-point average of 2.0 and current enrollment in at least six semester hours of classes is required to hold a position.

Funding by Campus Commission

The Campus Commission exists for the purpose of funding student organization sponsored activities. Any student organization officially recognized by the University is eligible to request student appropriations from the Campus Commission; however, a request does not insure that appropriations will be made.

  1. Funding Request
    The Campus Commission reviews all requests for student appropriations. It is the responsibility of the Commission to allocate the student appropriations to various organizations. Organizations must give an oral request for funding in addition to a written one.
  2.  Approval of Funding
    Organizations receiving funds from Campus Commission must complete a Campus Commission Authorization form. This will allow Highsmith Student Union and Student Activities to know who is authorized to request payments to be made for their organization. The Associate Director of Highsmith Student Union and Student Activities will be responsible for any correspondence between an organization and the Business Office, including check requests and deposits.
  3. Deposit of Funds
    Any funds designated for Campus Commission account (Campus Commission or personal funds) must be deposited though Highsmith Student Union and Student Activities. Failure to do so will result in the loss of all funds for the remainder of the year. A request for funds may not be made until the next funding cycle.
  4. Use of Funds
    All organizations receiving funds from Campus Commission must use those funds for the activities for which they were requested and granted.

Organization Fund Raising

Student organizations can raise money for their organization if they are willing to put forth the time, effort, and the creativity demanded for a good fund-raising campaign.

Raffles (PPM No. 21)

The University Policy and Procedures Manual addresses the following about raffles: “The University, as a recognized tax-exempt organization, is permitted up to two raffles per year. Campus groups or associations may not conduct raffles under the ‘umbrella’ of the university’s tax-exempt status unless they have obtained express written approval from the Chancellor. Any campus organization wishing to utilize one of the two permissible University raffles should apply in writing to the Chancellor. The application should state the reasons why a particular request justifies utilizing one of the two raffles permitted the University annually. Because raffles are so strictly controlled by statute, authorization to conduct a raffle under the University’s ‘umbrella’ will be granted only in exceptional circumstances.”

Sponsorship by Faculty/Staff Members

All recognized student organizations must have a full time UNC Asheville faculty or staff advisor. Being an organization advisor can be a rewarding experience and important extension of the classroom.

Student Organization Conduct

It is important that the rights and privileges of clubs and organizations and their members be protected through a policy that provides a process for review of alleged misconduct.  This section defines the process of working with and holding a club or organization accountable when there is a violation of university policy of federal, state, or local laws. This policy will be in effect in situations on or off campus at the discretion of the University depending on the interest of the University. The purpose of this policy is to define the circumstances and the process for handling matters if the University deems it necessary to review the status of a recognized student organization, as well as sanctions that may follow.

  1. Student Organization Conduct Offenses
    A. University societies, fraternities, sororities, clubs, organizations, and groups are subject to the same standards of conduct, both on and off campus, as are students in the academic community.
    B. Failure to abide by the Student Code of Conduct or federal, state, or local laws and other policies specifically applicable to student groups, or the knowing failure of any organized group to exercise preventive measures relative to violation of the code by their members shall constitute a group violation.
    C. The failure of any officially organized group to act in a manner that prevents their members from abiding by the University Code of Conduct, federal, state, or local laws, or other applicable policies will constitute inappropriate behavior on the part of the organization.
    D. Applicable sanctions may result from inappropriate behavior on the part of the organization.
  2. Due Process for Groups
    A.  A complaint that a student organization has committed an act of misconduct may be filed against any officially recognized student club or organization. The complaint may be filed by any student, any member of the university faculty, administration, staff, or any aggrieved person, group or organization on campus or in the community.
    B. A complaint against a student organization must be submitted in writing to the Director of Highsmith Student Union and Student Activities within 15 days after the club or organization in question has been identified.
  3. Structure for Process
    A. The Director of Highsmith Student Union and Student Activities or his/her designee shall serve as the chair of a panel composed of at least one faculty, one staff, and one student member. In case of a tie vote, the chair will then become a voting member of the panel. The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will choose the faculty representative, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs will choose the staff representative, and the Student Government President will choose the student representative who will serve on the panel. This panel may call a meeting with the organization through its president or appropriate officers.
    The panel will:
    1. Provide notice of the meeting to the organization.
    2. Conduct the meeting.
    3. Make recommendations, when necessary, regarding the organization’s failure to abide by appropriate policy or laws, to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
    4. Recommend sanctions against the organization.

    B. If the panel determines that individuals, rather than the organization, should be held responsible, those individuals will be referred to the Student Conduct System.

  4. Determining Responsibility for Actions
    Any one of the following criteria may be used to determine that an organization is responsible for an inappropriate action. Criteria include, but are not limited to, the following listing. The behavior of one or more members of the organization is inappropriate and/or
    1. is sanctioned or condoned by one or more of the organization’s officers either implicitly or explicitly.
    2. is perceived by any of those involved that the inappropriate behavior is a condition for membership in the organization (i.e. hazing).
    3. was discussed and supported during a meeting of the organization.
    4. occurs on property owned or leased by the organization.
    5. the action is carried out using the name of the organization.
    6. the action occurs in an area reserved for the organization at a public event.
    7. the action is carried out by any member of the organization who is aware of the potential of inappropriate behavior and does not take appropriate action to prevent inappropriate behavior and/or inform the appropriate University officials.

    Note: For the purpose of this policy, a pledge, associate, candidate, neophyte or any other affiliate of the organization is considered to be a member of the organization.

  5. Organization Rights
    Student organizations at the UNC Asheville are guaranteed the following rights:
    A. To be afforded due process in a fair and timely meeting, including the right to challenge any of the panel members and the composition of the panel prior to beginning the meeting.
    B. To have full knowledge of the report in writing in advance of the meeting.
    C. To obtain all documentation and ask questions of the person(s) who made the report.
    D. To be afforded adequate time to prepare for the meeting. A minimum five academic day notice shall be given before the meeting. An organization may waive this five day minimum.
    E. To offer information and to allow others to offer information, to question persons or information presented, as well as to talk with those who saw the behavior in question.
    F. To have the advice of student counsel or their national advisor in preparing for a meeting.
    G. To receive in writing the decision of the panel.
    H. To appeal any sanction to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs based on claims that improper procedures were followed.
    I. To waive any of these rights. A statement that you accept responsibility for the behavior represents a waiver of the hearing rights of those individuals involved in the inappropriate action.
    J. To a closed meeting.
    K. To have the organizational (faculty/staff) advisor present when the panel is discussing the behavior in question.
  6. Organization Sanctions
    If the organization is found responsible, one or more of the following sanctions may be imposed.
    A. Reprimand is an official notice of censure. If, within two years, an organization with a reprimand is held responsible for any additional behavior that goes against the Code of Conduct, the sanction imposed shall be nothing less than probation.
    B. Social Probation is imposed for a specific period of time but not for less than four weeks during a regular academic term. The sanction prohibits the organization from sponsoring any organized activity, party, or function on or off campus. The organization can have meetings but will not be allowed to use other University resources in any way.
    C. Probation is for a specific period of time and carries the immediate threat of charter revocation or restriction for any inappropriate actions committed during the term of the sanctions.  The organization may seek and add members but may not enjoy any of the privileges removed under Social Probation.
    D. Organization Suspension is the temporary removal of University Registration usually not for more than one semester in addition to the one in which the behavior occurred. While under suspension, the organization may not continue to occupy property on campus, may not seek or add members, hold or sponsor events in the University community, on or off campus, or enjoy any of the privileges removed under Social Probation.
    E. Organization Expulsion is the permanent removal of University Registration for an organization. Charter revocation may be recommended by the panel but can be imposed only by the Chancellor.
    F. In addition to the above, any of the following sanctions can be added to the total sanctions at the discretion of the hearing panel:
    1. Exclusion from intramural competition.
    2. Restitution of loss to University or person.
    3. Denial of use of University facilities for meetings or activities.
    4. Rushing or recruiting suspension.
    5. Special educational assignments.
    6. Loss of student fee funding opportunity, including but not limited to Campus Commission.
    7. Community service assignments.
    8. Special sanctions when appropriate.

University Rights and Obligations

The University of North Carolina at Asheville has the right and responsibility to respond to situations involving student organizations and its members in a timely and responsible manner. The University reserves the right to suspend registration of any student organization for an interim period prior to the review panel convening to discuss the problem. This will be done only when the nature of the allegations justifies a reasonable belief by the Chancellor that such an action is appropriate to protect the interests of one or more individuals, or the University community as a whole. Student organizations and their leaders play an important role in meeting the needs of members and providing valuable learning experiences. Students join organizations expecting these organizations to follow their prescribed purposes and to provide for the welfare of their members. This policy will hold these values to be true, and the organizations and University policies accountable to each other. The University has a responsibility to the community as a whole, and therefore will take action on such matters whether they occur on or off campus, depending on the severity of the behavior.