Apr 20, 2024  
ARCHIVED 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog 
ARCHIVED 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student Services

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Services are provided at Western Carolina University to further each student’s academic and social development. The Office of Student Affairs has overall responsibility in this area, and its functions include providing comfortable housing, offering counseling services and health care, and enhancing the college environment with recreational and leadership activities.

Residential Living


The university’s residence halls are an integral part of campus life, offering a variety of experiences that contribute to intellectual, personal, and social development. The residence halls are staffed by Resident Directors and professional staff responsible for both community and personal growth and development.

The residence halls are open to all students, undergraduate and graduate, to the extent available. Freshmen are required to live on campus. This requirement may be waived if the student is married or lives with parents in Jackson, Macon, Haywood, or Swain County. Waivers for other reasons are decided upon by the Assistant Director for Operations.

A variety of accommodations are available; however, most rooms are designed for double occupancy. Each room is furnished with computer data ports, single beds, study desks, chairs, dressers, and closets. Students provide their own pillows, bed linens, towels, lamps, clocks, wastebaskets, and telephones. They also may bring radios, stereos, and televisions. Cable television is provided in student rooms, as well as designated public areas. Other amenities include vending machines, washers, and dryers. Mail service is provided to all residential students at the mail station located in Hinds University Center. Mailing addresses are assigned by the Department of Residential Living and will be provided when students receive housing assignments. Local telephone service is included in the housing fee. Long distance is not provided, but access can be obtained through the use of a personal calling card.

Room Reservations and Advance Payment. Any new, transfer, readmitted, or graduate student may reserve a room in the residence halls by mailing the advance payment of $100 and a signed Residence Hall Agreement to the University One Stop Student Services Center. Returning students are to submit the signed Agreement with $150 advanced payment. These payments for the fall semester should be submitted no later than June 1. Deadline for submission of the Residence Hall Agreement and advanced payment is December 1. All checks should be made payable to Western Carolina University. Advance payments and Residence Hall Agreements received after the deadline will be accepted on a space-available basis. Financial aid awards may not be used to cover advance payments.

Students may move into the residence halls the weekend prior to August orientation and the beginning of classes. Information on the designated move-in day will be provided with assignment information. Unless the Department of Residential Living is notified of late arrival, reservations expire at 5:00 p.m. on the first day of classes.

Residence Hall Agreement. Each student residing in a residence hall signs a Residence Hall Agreement with the University for the entire academic year, or any part of the year remaining when the student moves into the residence hall. The agreement outlines the responsibilities of the student and the University, and it is a legally binding contract. It may be canceled by the student or the University under conditions outlined in the contract.

Summer Terms. Students who begin their enrollment in summer terms (May, June, or July) are not required to submit the advance housing payment but must submit the Residence Hall Agreement if they wish to reside on campus. If, however, you are attending the Academic Success Program, on-campus housing is required.

Refund Policy. Students who have paid the advance partial payment and choose not to attend Western are eligible for a 100 percent refund if notification of cancellation is received prior to June 1 (December 1 for spring). Cancellations received after June 1 and prior to July 1 will be subject to a $50 administrative processing fee. Students who cancel their housing after July 1 will be eligible for a pro-rated refund, but they will be assessed a breach of contract fee..

Housing for Married and Graduate Students. Robertson Hall is available for married students, and consists of thirty-seven efficiency and five one-bedroom apartments. Madison Hall is available for graduate students, and offers forty-one private rooms with private baths and is an air-conditioned, nonsmoking hall.

Residence Hall Regulations. The Department of Residential Living, in order to provide a positive environment conducive to individual and community living and learning, has established specific policies and regulations related to personal conduct. These policies are available in the Student Handbook and Guide to Residential Living. In an effort to meet a variety of student desires and needs, each residence hall may have variations of certain policies, including visitation hours and smoking options. Please refer to the Student Handbook upon move-in to familiarize yourself with these policies and regulations, as well as student rights and responsibilities.

Off-Campus Housing.

The University’s residence halls are an integral part of campus life, offering a variety of experiences which enhance a student’s intellectual, personal, and social development.

First year freshman students at WCU are required to live on campus for their initial two full semesters. Attendance during the Mini-mester, Summer School and the Summer Bridge Program do not apply toward the fulfillment of this requirement. A freshman, as pertaining to this requirement, is defined as: any incoming student classified by Western Carolina University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions as a freshman who will not be 21 years of age before February 1 of the initial enrollment year and who is registered for a course load of six credit hours or more. AP College credit or Dual Enrollment credits do not apply toward the fulfillment of this requirement.

Transfer students with fewer than 18 hours of credit and falling within the age and course load requirements listed above will not be exempt from this residency requirement. AP College credit or Dual Enrollment credits do not apply toward the fulfillment of this requirement.

This requirement may be waived if the student is married or lives with parents or legal guardians in any county contiguous to Jackson County provided he/she completes a Freshman Authorization to Commute form and submits it to the Room Assignments Coordinator in the Department of Residential Living.

Students living in residence halls are required to purchase a campus meal plan each semester. The University provides food services at several campus locations.

Each student living in a residence hall must sign a Residence Hall Agreement for the entire academic year, or any part of the year remaining when the student moves into the residence hall. Students who breach this agreement will be required to pay room and food charges for any remaining portion of the Residence Hall Agreement. Freshmen who must meet the Residency Requirement but who do not sign a Residence Hall Agreement will be required to pay room and food charges for the two semesters needed to satisfy the Residency Requirement.

The Residence Hall Agreement may be canceled for the following reasons without breach of agreement:

-Graduation - A student graduating at the end of the Fall Semester must provide written notice to Residential Living before December 1.

-Medical reasons – A physician must certify medical reasons or injury making it necessary for a student to live off campus or withdraw from the university.

-Marriage – Proof of marriage must be presented to the Department of Residential Living.

-Academic or disciplinary dismissal from the university.

-Participation in an educational program that requires living off campus.

-Official withdrawal from the university.

Students who desire waivers or who wish to appeal breaches of the Residence Hall Agreement must submit a written letter outlining their reasons to the Assistant Director for Operations in the Department of Residential Living who will then render a decision based on the information provided. The next level of appeal is to the Director of Residential Living. If a student chooses to appeal that decision, the appeal will then be heard by an Appeals Board. The Residency/Breach Appeals Board will consist of the following: Associate Director for Residence Life (Chair), Resident Assistant Advisory Council Member (Student), representative from the Division of Student Affairs, a Faculty Member, and another student representative. If the student wishes to appeal the decision of the Residency/Breach Appeals Board, that appeal should be directed to the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs. The decision of the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs is final and conclusive. The only issue to be considered in any appeal at any level is whether or not the individual’s appeal request fits the criteria listed above.

Off-Campus Partners

The Student Affairs Division has entered into an agreement with Off-Campus Partners to list off-campus housing opportunities. OCP provides a site to link potential tenants with potential landlords/property managers. Users are provided with a variety of online services, including but not limited to the capability to search a database of off-campus properties, to post properties for rent or sale, and to post and search messages on message boards. The link to this service is available at: http://www.wcu.edu/offcampus/

Student Activities and Services


A variety of programs, activities, and services identified with everyday living are available on campus. Students are encouraged to choose and participate in co-curricular activities wisely and balance them with their academic endeavors. The student activity fee helps to support many of these activities and services as well as a number of cultural programs. The fee also supports the campus radio station, newspaper, literary magazine, and student public relations organization.

Voluntary associations of students on the campus are recognized as an important part of the educational process. More than one hundred recognized campus organizations provide students opportunities to explore their religious, political, professional, social, or special interests and to be recognized for their academic and personal achievements.

Student Government. The Student Government Association (SGA) is an active, vital part of the university community. Each student has the right to vote in all student elections and may participate in SGA by running for office or by applying for an appointive position. The SGA appoints voting members to committees of the Faculty Senate, and the president of SGA is an ex officio member of the university’s Board of Trustees.

A.K. Hinds University Center


The University Center (UC) is the hub of campus activity - the living room of campus. Included in the UC are a variety of programming groups such as Last Minute Productions (LMP), Lectures, Concerts and Exhibitions (LCE), Multicultural Center, Student Government Association (SGA), Women’s Center, and University Center’s staff. Some of the programs sponsored by these groups include movies and film series, comedians, concerts, voter registration, performances on women’s issues, race, and gender, and conferences. In addition, Western Encourages Leadership Enhancement and Development (WE LEAD) provides leadership opportunities to enhance student development by sharpening their leadership skills. Conferences, meetings, and presentations are held in the Grand Room, movie theater, and conference room areas. In an effort to meet the needs of our guests, there is a food court located on the first floor. The food court includes Chic-Fil-A, Market Smoothies, Montagues’s Deli, and the Western Burger Factory. Adjacent from the food court is Einstein Brothers Bagels, Java City (serves coffee and pastries) is located on the second floor along with Catamount Clothing, Student Mail Center, email stations, copy and fax services, and student lounges. Although Base Camp Cullowhee (BCC) is not located in the University Center, it is a part of the UC and has a vital role in the UC’s mission. Base Camp Cullowhee provides great opportunities for outdoor fun and leadership as well. BCC also offers an excellent outdoor experience and has a great rental program that provides students with equipment for camping, rafting, climbing and other outdoor experiences. Also a vital part of the UC is the Student Media Center, a historic facility that houses student-run media groups that include radio, newspaper, television and literary magazines.

Campus Recreation. The Campus Recreation Center is considered the playground of Western Carolina University’s campus and home to a wide variety of recreational opportunities. Within the 73,000 square foot facility there is a 48 foot climbing wall; three lane indoor track; gymnasium, two multi-purpose studios, and full locker room amenities. The fitness area includes selectorized weight machines and an assortment of free weights and cardio equipment which provide options for every fitness level. Additional programs offered by the center include: personal training, fitness assessments, group exercise, and other wellness activities that contribute to health, well-being and social development. Housed in the Campus Recreation Center is the Intramural Sports Program which offers sports in more than forty individual, team, and co-ed activities allowing students an opportunity to participate in sports in a fun and competitive atmosphere. In addition, the Intramural Sports Program has 14 established sport clubs. These clubs are open to all students regardless of skill level. Students are also encouraged to develop new sport clubs. Additional recreational facilities on campus include: Reid and Breese pool, Ramsey Center racquetball courts; tennis courts, and a 12 hole disc golf course.

Athletics. The university provides a full program of sixteen intercollegiate sports. Athletic teams play a full schedule in football, baseball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track, women’s softball, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s tennis, and women’s soccer. The university is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA Division I) and the Southern Conference. A standing committee of the Faculty Senate is responsible for reviewing and recommending policy regarding intercollegiate athletics.

University Health Center. The University Health Center (Bird Building) provides assessment and treatment of medical concerns. The center is staffed by physicians, physicians’ assistants, licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, a nutritionist, a wellness coordinator, and a laboratory technician. Additionally, the Health Center administers a student-run ambulance service that allows for on-campus coverage for emergencies. Specialty services offered include: comprehensive Women’s Health, Allergy and Immunization Clinic, nutrition consultations and support groups, extensive wellness resources, and limited pharmacy services. The Wellness center provides wellness programs, personal consultations, and is a primary advocate and co-advisor of the student peer educator organization C.L.A.W (Campus Leaders Advocating Wellness). Students’ health fees support many services; some services require a reasonable charge. The University of North Carolina Consortium-sponsored health insurance offers excellent coverage. Health insurance coverage is mandatory. Please visit www.studentinsurance.com to effect a waiver if you already have health insurance coverage (828-227-7640).

Mental Health Services


Counseling and Psychological Services Center. The Center offers most of its counseling services at no cost to students seeking assistance with personal concerns and difficulties. Short-term goal-oriented counseling is provided along with emergency on-call, therapeutic consultations, psychiatric assessments, weekly groups, outreach presentations, and referrals. Appointments can be made by calling 828-227-7469. The center is located on the second floor of Bird Building.

Career Services/Cooperative Education Office


The Career Services/Cooperative Education Office is multi-faceted and student service oriented. We are committed to providing up-to-date services which: assist in career/major decision-making; promote career experiences, and job search learning; and then facilitate contact with employers and graduate schools.

Activities/services include the following:

  • On campus student employment (http://careers.wcu.edu/nws-jobs.asp)
  • 4 on-line, web accessible job listings programs
  • individual conferences with career counselors
  • vocational and interest testing, both on-line and in person
  • cooperative education and internship programs
  • resume and cover letter critiquing service
  • an on-line mock interview program
  • a career library with a university-wide computer aided career guidance program
  • career events (18)

The Career Services Cooperative Education Office is located on the 2nd Floor Killian Annex. For more information (http://careers.wcu.edu).

Other Services and Facilities


Teacher Placement Service. Placement services are available to all teacher education graduates and alumni who seek employment in the field of education through Career Services, Killian Annex.

Department of Veterans Affairs Educational Benefits. Western is approved under the provisions of Title 38 United States Code, Chapter 36. Persons eligible and entitled under provisions of Chapters 30, 31, 32, 34, 35 and Section 901 and 903 and Title 10 United States Code, Chapters 1606 and 1607 may enroll in programs approved by the North Carolina State Approving Agency. All inquiries concerning Veterans Affairs (V.A.) educational benefits should be addressed to the Veteran Affairs Certifying Officer, Office of the Registrar, Killian Annex, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina 28723, telephone 828-227-7216.

International Student Services. The International Student Advisor assists international students with their transition to a U.S. university culture in a western North Carolina community by providing and sponsoring orientation programming, visa issuance and counseling, international activities, and community outreach activities. For more information, contact (828) 227-7494.

Student Support Services (www.wcu/cap/sss/sss.html) is a comprehensive academic support program which assists eligible students in choosing and working toward their academic, career, and personal goals with programs tailored to meet individual needs. Services include academic advising, career and personal counseling, mentoring, tutoring, and services for students with disabilities. For those students who qualify, all services are free. To be eligible, participants must meet one of the following criteria: they are first generation college students; OR they meet U.S. Department of Education income guidelines; OR they have a documented disability.

Books and Supplies. The Catamount Bookstore offers students a variety of educational materials and supplies. An extensive selection of paperback books is offered for class use and extracurricular reading. All books for graduate students, distance learning and supplemental text and course-related materials for undergraduates are sold by the store. The book rental plan, operated through the book rental department of the bookstore, is explained on page 38 of this catalog. Caps and gowns, graduation invitations, and class rings also may be purchased at the store. For more information, call 828-227-7346 or visit our Web site at wcubookstore.wcu.edu.

Clothing and Gifts. The Catamount Clothing and Gifts store offers students a variety of clothing, gifts, greeting cards and miscellaneous items. The store is located on the second floor of the UC and for more information, call 828-227-7626 or visit our Web site at wcubookstore.wcu.edu.

Wellness Center. Located within the University Health Center (Bird Building). The Wellness Center provides a variety of educational resources for multi-dimensional health promotion, illness prevention, and promotion of healthy lifestyles. Available multi-media resources include brochures, videos/DVDs, teaching equipment, and face-to-face consultations. The Wellness Center hosts and/or facilitates a number of programs and events that involve collaboration among students, faculty, and staff (for example, the Wellness Council; and the student peer education group C.R.E.W.). Individual wellness consultations are available. Feel free to contact Karrie Joseph, MPH at 828-227-3471.


Western Carolina University provides food services for students at the following campus locations:

Brown (on the upper campus)

Convenience Store locations at Dodson, Brown and Norton Residence Hall

Cyber Cafe (Dodson)

Dodson (on the lower campus)

Einstein Brothers Bagels (Hinds University Center)

Hinds University Center Food Court

Java City (Hunter Library) and Java City (University Center)

Food service may not be provided when dining locations are closed during holidays and other periods when the university is not in session.

Students living in university residence halls are required to purchase a campus meal plan each semester. Participation in a food service plan is optional for commuting students. Special dietary requirements are accommodated by contacting WCU Dining at 227-7396.

The various food service plans offered are described in the fees section of this catalog. For additional information and frequently asked questions, visit the Dining website http://wcudining.wcu.edu .

Mail Service. Students residing on campus are assigned a mailbox with their room assignments. All other students may rent a box in the Cullowhee Post Office. U.S. postal regulations do not permit receipt of mail through general delivery after an initial thirty-day period. A postal commodity machine offering stamps, envelopes, postcards, aerograms, overseas services, and other features is located in the University Center.

Laundry. Coin- and CatCard-operated washers and dryers are provided in all residence halls for resident use only. Commercial coin-operated laundries are located in Cullowhee and Sylva for use by the general public.

Bank Services. A Wachovia ATM is located on campus. State Employees Credit Union and BB&T ATM’s are located in the Hinds University Center. Additionally, branch offices of Wachovia Bank, BB&T, State Employees Credit Union, Sun Trust Bank, Macon Savings Bank, Carolina First Bank, Mountain Credit Union, United Community Bank, First Citizen’s Bank, Jackson Savings Bank are located in or near Sylva.

Disability Services. The Office of Disability Services facilitates the determination of appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities. Accommodations are determined on an individual basis and may include but are not limited to housing accommodations, testing accommodations, sign-language interpreters, note takers, books in alternate formats, adaptive equipment and software, and priority registration. To receive services, students must submit current documentation of a disability. Disability counseling, career advisement, awareness activities, advocacy, and coaching are also available. Dr. Lance Alexis, Director, 828-227-2716.  (www.wcu.edu/12789.asp)

Educational Talent Search. Talent Search is a federally funded program through the U.S. Department of Education hosted here at Western Carolina University. Our mission is to assist first generation college bound students with enrollment in post secondary schools. Talent Search provides a wide range of support services to 900 area middle and high school students. Academic, career, and financial aid counseling as well as a variety of summer and adventure educational experiences are also provided. Talent Search can be reached at (828) 227-7137.

The Kneedler Child Development Center provides affordable, accessible childcare for approximately 60 children of students, faculty, staff, and community members. The center operates four classrooms (ages 1-5) staffed by wonderful teachers who are committed to early childhood education. Each classroom offers developmentally appropriate activities designed to stimulate social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development. The facility is located in the remodeled west wing area of the Cordelia Camp Building. If you would like further information please visit our website (http://www.wcu.edu/studentd/kneedler/index.html) or contact the center at (828) 293-1530.

The Multicultural Center strives to have programs that are fun as well as educational. Cultural awareness programs are great for learning about the heritage and customs of others. The Multicultural Center sponsors programs during nationally recognized celebratory months to highlight some of the many cultures represented on campus.

The center serves as resource, advocate and foundation of support for the Western community on issues of diversity and multiculturalism. The Multicultural Center works to promote an inclusive community for students with diverse need. For more information contact: Tanisha Jenkins, Director, email: tjenkins@email.wcu.edu or call (828) 227-2276.

Ramsey Regional Activity Center

Concerts and Entertainment: Western North Carolina’s most versatile entertainment complex, the Liston B. Ramsey Regional Activity Center provides quality programming for the entire community. The 8,000 seat arena hosts major concerts, national touring acts, commencement and Catamount basketball and volleyball. Student tickets to major events are often available at a discount.

Event Services: The arena, concourse, meeting rooms, outdoor patios, and other reservable spaces are available to the public for banquets, trade shows, conferences and meetings. Students may utilize the Ramsey Center’s full line of event services including event planning, equipment reservations, and room set-ups.

Fitness Activities: The Ramsey Center offers opportunities to enjoy regular fitness activity. Students have free access to five racquetball courts, two basketball courts, walking or jogging around the concourse, and a lighted outdoor rollerblade and skateboard area.

Job Opportunities: Students play a major role in the operation of the Ramsey Center. Student managers keep the Ramsey Center open for activity during evenings and weekends. Stage crew, lighting operators, and promotion and event staff help with concerts and other major productions. Utility crew and office assistants work closely with staff to handle day-do-day operations. Ramsey Center team members work flexible hours; gain leadership experience; and develop communication, teamwork, and time management skills.

For more information about the Ramsey Center and its programs and services, go online to http//ramsey.wcu.edu.

Service Learning is a teaching/learning approach that integrates community service with academic instruction and structured reflection in such a way that students gain further understanding of course content, develop career-related skills, meet community needs, and become responsible citizens. Service learning extends learning beyond the classroom; facilitates deeper understanding of subject matter; increases students’ ability to apply classroom learning to “real-world” situations; improves critical-thinking and analytical abilities; promotes the development of civic, social and leadership skills; deepens appreciation of diversity; creates valuable community networks; helps students clarify professional goals and prepare for careers; enhances participants’ resumes and portfolios; and improves the quality of life in local communities.

The Service Learning Department is a clearinghouse of opportunities for service to the community. More than 90 community agencies provide service sites for students. The Service Learning Department coordinates reflection activities and manages a Chat Room and Discussion Board, which serves as a reflection tool. In addition, the Department provides a team of peer educators (Medford Scholars) who serve as reflection leaders for service learning. For more information contact Dr. Glenn Bowen, Director, at (828) 227-3059.

Upward Bound Math and Science program serves high school students form an eight state region in the Southeast. The program’s primary objective is to encourage and motivate high school students from low income/first generation college backgrounds to pursue their interest in math and science beyond high school. The summer experiential and ecological field based approach to critical reasoning provides a unique foundation for students to attain success in their post-secondary educations. For more information contact: Susan Fouts at (828) 227-7158.

Women’s Center and Women’s Programs. The Women’s Center provides resources, support and advocacy for women as they empower themselves and each other in their individual and collective pursuits. Opportunities include: leadership development, Women in Leadership class, programs on gender and women’s issues, lending resource library, volunteering, internships, sexual assault awareness and education programs, student employment, and more! The Women’s Center is located at 334 University Center. For more information contact Michelle Clonch at (828) 227-7450 or womenscenter@wcu.edu.


General Regulations and Safety Policies


The general regulations pertaining to student life at Western Carolina University are published in the Student Handbook. A copy of the Student Handbook is available at the Office of Student Affairs (460 H.F. Robinson Administration Building, 828-227-7234) or at www.wcu.edu/studentd/studenthandbook. Student rules and regulations are the responsibility of the Office for Student Affairs. Other regulations deemed necessary for the welfare of the members of the university community are the responsibility of the appropriate unit of the university, subject to administrative approval.

All members of the university community have the responsibility of conducting themselves in a manner befitting the university environment. The university can fulfill one of its major obligations to its students by providing opportunities for the development of self-discipline, respect for others, and concern for one’s personal conduct.

While on the campus, students are subject to the rules of the university, whether or not classes are in session. Students who exhibit unseemly conduct or destructive behavior or who impinge on the rights of other individuals, as these terms are defined in the Code of Student Conduct section of the Student Handbook, are subject to disciplinary action by the university.

Hazing is forbidden under North Carolina law: Upon conviction of any student of the offense of hazing, or of aiding in the commission of this offense, he/she shall, in addition to any punishment imposed by the court, be expelled from the college or school he/she is attending. The faculty or governing board of any college or school charged with the duty of expulsion of students for proper cause shall, upon such conviction, at once expel the offender, and a failure to do so shall be a misdemeanor.

Firearms are not permitted on university property except for academic instruction and law enforcement purposes.

The university, in accordance with the laws of the State of North Carolina, forbids the possession or use of fireworks in any building or location on the campus. Severe disciplinary action will be taken if this law is violated.

Drunkenness and other abuse of alcoholic beverages are grounds for disciplinary action. Although possession and consumption of alcohol by students are not sanctioned by the university, these acts cannot be controlled in rooms assigned to students without undue invasion of privacy. Therefore, possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages within on-campus residence rooms are options to be determined by the occupants of each room, within the framework of student regulations and North Carolina law. Public display or consumption of alcoholic beverages is not permitted. All students should be familiar with the policies in the Student Handbook and the laws of North Carolina concerning alcoholic beverages.

Policy on Illegal Drugs

  1. Purpose
    Western Carolina University is an academic community dedicated to the transmission and advancement of knowledge and understanding. The Board of Trustees is committed to the maintenance and protection of an environment in which students and faculty members may responsibly pursue these goals through teaching, learning, research, discussion, and publication, free from internal or external restraints that would unreasonably restrict their academic endeavors. Moreover, it is the obligation of all members of the university community faculty, students, administrators, and other employees to help maintain an environment where academic freedom flourishes and in which the rights of each member of the academic community are respected. The illegal use of and trafficking in drugs can jeopardize the welfare of members of this academic community. Accordingly, in an effort to responsibly address such threats to the integrity of the academic environment, the Board of Trustees adopts this policy.
  2. Applicable Policies, Practices, and Programs
    1. Education, Prevention, Counseling, and Rehabilitation
      1. Just as the primary purpose of Western Carolina University is education, so also the university’s major effort to address drug abuse should be educational in nature. The university shall maintain a comprehensive drug education program available to all members of the academic community (students, faculty, administration, and staff). The activities of the program shall be the responsibility of the Drug and Alcohol Education Task Force co-chaired by the University addiction’s counselor and a faculty member and composed of faculty, staff, and students. The task force shall develop and coordinate an ongoing program available to all members of the academic community that:
        1. informs members of the academic community about the health hazards associated with drug abuse;
        2. emphasizes the incompatibility of drug abuse and maximum achievement of personal and educational goals;
        3. encourages members of the campus community to make use of available campus and community counseling, medical, and rehabilitation resources in dealing with drug abuse problems; and
        4. informs members of the academic community that they also may be subject to criminal prosecution for violating state laws relating to the illegal use, possession, delivery, sale, manufacture, or creation of controlled substances.
      2. WCU shall provide information about drug counseling and rehabilitation services to members of the university community, through campus-based programs for students and through community-based organizations for faculty, staff, and students. Persons who voluntarily avail themselves of university services shall be assured that applicable professional standards of confidentiality will be observed.
    2. Enforcement and Penalties
      1. Western Carolina University shall take all actions necessary, consistent with state and federal law and applicable university policy, to eliminate illegal drugs from the university community. The institutional policy on illegal drugs shall be publicized in catalogs and other relevant materials prepared for all enrolled and prospective students and in relevant materials distributed to faculty members, administrators, and other employees.
      2. Students, faculty members, administrators, and other employees are responsible, as citizens, for knowing about and complying with the provisions of North Carolina law that make it a crime to possess, sell, deliver, or manufacture those drugs designated collectively as controlled substances in Article 5 of Chapter 90 of the North Carolina General Statutes. Any member of the university community who violates that law is subject both to prosecution and punishment by the civil authorities and to disciplinary proceedings by the university. It is not double jeopardy for both the civil authorities and the university to proceed against and punish a person for the same specified conduct. The university shall initiate its own disciplinary proceeding against a student, faculty member, administrator, or other employee when the alleged conduct is deemed to affect the interests of the university.
      3. Penalties shall be imposed by the university in accordance with procedural safeguards applicable to disciplinary actions against students, faculty members, administrators, and other employees, and by regulations of the State Personnel Commission.*
      4. The penalties to be imposed by the university shall range from written warnings with probationary status to expulsions from enrollment and discharges from employment. However, the following minimum penalties shall be imposed for the particular offenses described.
  3. Trafficking in Illegal Drugs
    1. For the illegal manufacture, sale or delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver, of any controlled substance identified in Schedule I, North Carolina General Statutes 90-90, or Schedule II, General Statutes 90-90 (including, but not limited to, heroin, mescaline, lysergic acid diethylamide, opium, cocaine, amphetamine, and methaqualine), any student shall be expelled and any faculty member, administrator, or other employee shall be discharged.
    2. For a first offense involving the illegal manufacture, sale or delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver, of any controlled substance identified in Schedules III through VI, North Carolina General Statutes 90-91 through 90-94 (including but not limited to marijuana, pentobarbital, codeine), the minimum penalty shall be suspension from enrollment or from employment for a period of at least one semester or its equivalent. For a second offense, any student shall be expelled and any faculty member, administrator, or other employee shall be discharged.
  4. Illegal Possession of Drugs
    1. For a first offense involving the illegal possession of any controlled substance identified in Schedule I, North Carolina General Statutes 90-89, or Schedule II, North Carolina General Statutes 90-90, the minimum penalty shall be suspension from enrollment or from employment for a period of at least one semester or its equivalent.
    2. For a first offense involving the illegal possession of any controlled substance identified in Schedules III through VI, North Carolina General Statutes 90-91 through 90-94, the minimum penalty shall be probation, for a period to be determined on a case-by-case basis. A person on probation must agree to participate in a drug education and counseling program, consent to regular drug testing, and accept such other conditions and restrictions, including a program of community service, as the chancellor or the chancellor’s designee deems appropriate. Refusal or failure to abide by the terms of probation shall result in suspension from enrollment or from employment for any unexpired balance of the prescribed period of probation.
    3. For second or other subsequent offenses involving the illegal possession of controlled substances, progressively more severe penalties shall be imposed, including expulsion of the students and discharge of faculty members, administrators, or other employees.
  5. Suspension Pending Final Disposition
    When a student, faculty member, administrator, or other employee has been charged by the university with a violation of policies concerning illegal drugs, he or she may be suspended from enrollment or employment before initiation or completion of regular disciplinary proceedings if, assuming the truth of the charges, the chancellor or, in the chancellor’s absence, the chancellor’s designee concludes that the person’s continued presence within the university community would constitute a clear and immediate danger to the health or welfare of other members of the university community; provided, that if such a suspension is imposed, an appropriate hearing of the charges against the suspended person shall be held as promptly as possible thereafter.
  6. Compliance with Federal Drug-free Workplace Act of 1988 Pertaining to Employees
    1. As a condition of employment, an employee must abide by the terms of this policy and must notify his immediate supervisor at Western Carolina University of any criminal drug conviction occurring in the workplace no later than five days after that conviction.
    2. Western Carolina University will notify federal granting or contracting agencies within ten days after receiving notice that an employee directly engaged in a grant or contract has been convicted of a drug offense in the workplace.
    3. Western Carolina University will impose sanctions and/or require satisfactory participation in drug abuse or rehabilitation programs by an employee convicted of a drug-related violation in the workplace no later than thirty days after notice of said conviction.

* Rules of the State Personnel Commission govern disciplinary actions that may be taken against SPA employees; under current Commission policies, discharge rather than suspension is the applicable penalty for SPA employees in instances where this policy otherwise requires suspension.

Annual Safety Report


Western publishes an annual safety report to comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (formerly the Campus Security Act).

The report can be accessed at: www.wcu.edu/studentd/safety.

Hard copies of the report are available upon request at the Office for Student Affairs, 460 H.F. Robinson Administration Building, 828-227-7234.

Policy on Computer Abuse


The University provides computer access through the information technology division, college, and department computer systems. It is essential that computer systems be protected from misuse and unauthorized access subject to university policy and applicable state and federal laws. Computer abuse defined as, but not limited to, privacy issues, theft, vandalism, copyright issues, and harassment will be referred to the Office of the Chief Information Officer and/or college or department computer network and laboratory managers. Abuse involving theft or vandalism will also be reported to the director of the University Police Department. Penalties include, but are not necessarily limited to, suspension or revocation of computing privileges, reimbursement to the university for resources consumed, other legal action including action to recover damages, referral to law-enforcement authorities, and referral to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs for disciplinary action. In connection with inquiries into possible abuses, the University reserves the right to examine files, programs, passwords, accounting information, printouts, or other computing material without notice authorized only by the Chief Information Officer. See University Policy #52, Use of Computers and Data Communications online at http://www.wcu.edu/chancellor/index/universitypolicy/policy52.html.

Electronic Mail Policy

University electronic mail accounts are provided and supported by the State of North Carolina to support the missions of the University.

The purpose of this Policy is to ensure the appropriate use of the University’s Electronic Mail System by its students, faculty and staff. The Electronic Mail System is provided by the University as one of its primary means of official communication. Users have the responsibility to use these resources in an efficient, effective, ethical and lawful manner. Use of the University’s electronic mail system evidences the user’s agreement to be bound by this Policy. Violations of this Policy may result in restriction of access to the University email system and/or other appropriate disciplinary action.

User Responsibilities

The Information Technology Division maintains the University’s official Electronic Mail System. Faculty, staff, and students are required to read their Electronic Mail System messages on a regular basis. Faculty, staff or students who choose to use another email system are responsible for receiving University-wide broadcast messages, notices and personal mail by checking the University’s official electronic mail system and the University’s World Wide Web homepage. An alternate method of receiving University electronic mail is to utilize the Forward Feature, which can be set to forward mail to an individual’s personal email account. An Electronic Mail System message regarding University matters sent from an administrative office, faculty, or staff member is considered to be an official notice. Supervisors must ensure that their University staff and faculty have access to the necessary or appropriate messages distributed via the University’s Electronic Mail System.

Personal Use of Electronic Mail System

The University’s Electronic Mail System may, subject to the foregoing, be used for incidental personal purposes provided such use does not violate either this policy or University Policy #52. In addition, personal use must not interfere with University operation of information technologies, including electronic mail services, generate a direct cost for the University or interfere with the user’s employment or other obligations to the University.

Privacy of personal electronic mail content residing on or transmitted through University equipment should not be expected. No University faculty member, staff member, or student should use a University Electronic Mail System account with the expectation that any particular Electronic Mail System content, whether personal or business-related, will be private.

Privacy of Email Files

The University does not inspect or monitor electronic mail routinely. To the extent permitted by law, however, the University reserves the right to access and disclose the contents of faculty, staff, students’ and other users’ electronic mail without the consent of the user. Access to electronic mail on the University’s computers that involves reading or disclosing electronic mail may occur only where authorized by the University and only for the following purposes.

  • troubleshooting hardware and software problems, such as rerouting or disposing of undeliverable mail;
  • preventing or investigating unauthorized access and system misuse;
  • retrieving or reviewing for University purposes University-related information;
  • investigating reports of violation of University policy or local, state, or federal law;
  • investigating reports of employee, student or user misconduct;
  • complying with legal requests for information (such as subpoenas and public records, requests); and
  • retrieving information in emergency circumstances where there is a threat to health, safety, or University property involved.

Users of the Electronic Mail System also should be aware that, in addition to being subject to authorized access as detailed herein, electronic mail in it present form cannot be completely secured and is, therefore, vulnerable to unauthorized access and modification by third parties. Receivers of electronic mail documents should check with the purported sender if there is any doubt about the identity of the sender or the authenticity of the contents, as they would with print documents.

Users of the Electronic Mail System also should be aware that even though the sender and recipient have discarded their copies of an electronic mail record, there may be back-up copies of such electronic mail that can be retrieved on University systems or any other electronic systems through which the mail has traveled.

Access by authorized University employees to electronic mail stored on the University’s network of computers may be necessary to ensure the orderly administration and functioning of University computing systems. Such access, gained for purposes such as to back up or move data, ordinarily should not require the employee gaining access to the electronic mail to read messages. The University requires employees, such as system administrators, who as a function of their jobs routinely have access to electronic mail and other electronically stored data to maintain the confidentiality of such information.

Limitations on the Use of Electronic Mail System

The legal and regulatory environment surrounding the University’s Electronic Mail System creates a number of other limitations on the use of the University’s Electronic Mail System accounts. Most apply uniformly to the use of all State-provided resources. They may be briefly summarized:

  • Electronic Mail System accounts are for the exclusive use of the individual to whom they are assigned
  • No use is permitted that conflicts with the requirements of civil or criminal law, including but not limited to laws relating to the privacy of student and employee records, pornography, defamation, intellectual property infringement, and illegal discrimination, or conflicts with any applicable policy of the UNC Board of Governors or Western Carolina University (including University policy #52), such as use in support of partisan political activities.
  • No use if permitted that constitutes the unauthorized exchange of proprietary information or any other privileged, confidential, or sensitive information.
  • The knowing transmission of a message containing a computer virus or that misrepresents the identity of the sender is prohibited.
  • The use of or attempt to use the accounts of other without their permission is prohibited.
  • Personal use cannot interfere with a University employee’s obligation to carry out University duties in a timely and effective manner.
  • The personal use cannot involve sending or soliciting chain letters or sending unsolicited bulk mail messages (e.g., “junk mail,” “spam,” or “MLM”), or otherwise overloading the University’s electronic mail system or negatively interfering with ht system performance.
  • Uses that result in commercial gain or personal profit are not permitted, except as allowed under University intellectual property policies and external activities for pay policy; however, in no case may the University’s Electronic Mail System be used for solicitation of an unrelated, external activity for pay. See University Policy 54 for EPA employees and University Policy 87 for SPA employees.
  • No personal use may state or imply University sponsorship or endorsement of its message.

Electronic mail created for business purposes by University employees is a public record and, as such, may not be disposed of , erased or destroyed unless permitted by law. Just as in the case of hard copies, individual employees are responsible for saving or archiving their Electronic Mail System messages. Electronic Mail System messages that have reference or administrative value but are of a temporary, ephemeral, or transient nature may be deleted when the user has determined that their reference value has ended.

Just as in the case of hard copies, the retention period for electronic mail that must be retained is determined by the type of document being retained. The North Carolina University Records Retention and Disposition Schedule followed by the University, contains required retention periods by category of record. If you have questions bout retention periods, please contact the Head of Special Collections in Hunter Library.

Electronic mail may be retained electronically or it may be printed and retained as a hard copy. Due to limited resources, the Information Technology Division has the right to restrict the amount of user space on the primary message server or archive older messages on other servers as necessary.

Electronic Mail System accounts of students who have not registered for a semester will be purged after 30 days. Accounts for faculty/staff who have left the University will be frozen within two working days after the person’s last day and will be deleted after 30 days. This period can be extended for up to three months for faculty and staff if requested by their supervisor before the employee’s last day.

Official University Electronic mails

Not all written communication is appropriate for the Electronic Mail System. In fact, in certain limited situations, the law may require the use of paper originals delivered via regular mail. In other situations, good business practice may call for not only a paper original, but, for example, one that is sent by certified mail, receipt requested.

When using the Electronic Mail System as an official means of communication, students, faculty, and staff should apply the same professionalism, discretion, and standards that they would use in written business communication. Furthermore, students, faculty and staff must remember that matters communicated via the Electronic Mail System may become a public record, may become evidence in a law suit or may otherwise be shared with a broader audience than intended.

Students, faculty and staff may not inappropriately disclose University information in Electronic Mail System messages that they are privileged to access because of their position at the University.

Those wishing to transmit broadcast electronic messages, either to an on or off campus audience, containing essential University announcements to alumni, students, faculty, and/or staff must obtain approval from the appropriate administrative authority. Within the scope of their authority, only the Offices of an Associate Vice Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Provost, or the Chancellor may authorized the transmission of broadcast messages to a wide audience of students, faculty and staff. Appropriate broadcast of electronic messages may include, but is not limited to, the following types of announcements:

  • Emergency or unforeseen campus-wide events notification (e.g., cancellation of classes or closing of the University due to inclement weather or emergency);
  • Important campus deadline notification (e.g., last day of drop/add for students);
  • Improved services to students, faculty, or staff that directly impact all members of the affected group.

By contrast, broadcast electronic messages should not be used for non-essential matters such as publicizing campus events. Broadcast email messages should be sent only to the affected group (students, faculty, or staff, or a subgroup of one of those groups) and should be of critical importance to that group.

Law Enforcement

The University Police department is responsible for providing law enforcement, criminal investigation, and protective services on campus. University Police officers are certified by the N.C. Attorney General’s Office and meet all standards set by the Attorney General for law enforcement officers in this state.

All crimes that occur on the campus of WCU should be reported to the University Police Department. Emergencies should be reported by dialing 911 from a University telephone or by dialing 828-227-7301 from your cellular telephone; non-emergencies may also be reported by dialing 828-227-7301. Reports for crimes may be filed by visiting the University Police Department, located in the Camp Building Annex, or by contacting an officer on patrol. Officers may also be summoned for emergencies by activating any of the emergency blue-light callboxes which are placed at various locations throughout campus.

Information regarding crime statistics and crime prevention programs is available at the University Police department. This same information is made available online at http://police.wcu.edu. For Clery Act Report information, see the Student Affairs homepage.

To better serve and enhance relationships with students, the University Police Department, in cooperation with Residential Living, maintains a substation in Leatherwood Hall.

Traffic and Parking. The University Police department is responsible for the administration of Western’s parking system, vehicle registration, and traffic and parking regulations enforcement. State statutes provide that campus traffic and parking regulations have the full-authority of law, and violators may be subject to the penalties such law prescribes.

Everyone parking a vehicle on campus must register that vehicle with the Parking Services Office and display a current decal on that vehicle. Visitors who park a vehicle on campus less than three days per semester do not need to register their vehicle. Parking and traffic regulations literature is made available in the Parking Services Office, located in the Outreach Center Annex. These same regulations are made available on-line at http://police.wcu.edu/parking.htm.

The Parking, Traffic, and Safety Committee, composed of students, faculty, and staff, functions as an appellate board for faculty and staff members wishing to contest parking citations that they have received. Appeals concerning student violations are heard by a similar SGA appellate committee. The faculty and staff parking citation appeal form is available in the Parking Services Office. The student parking citation appeal form is available online at http://paws.wcu.edu/sga/. For more information, contact the University Parking Services Office at 828-227-7275 (PARK).

Shuttle Bus System (CAT-TRAN)
The shuttle bus system, or Cat-Tran, is operated through the University Police Department. Cat-Tran provides shuttle service according to prescribed routes throughout the semester during day class hours. Reduced shuttle service is available during evening, weekend, and summer hours. The Cat-Tran does not operate during holidays, spring or fall breaks, or semester breaks. The Cat-Tran buses are used for the daily shuttle routes and are not available for special event or group use. For information regarding routes, hours of operation, or other issues, please visit the Cat-Tran web site at http://www.wcu.edu/cattran/ or call the Cat-Tran office at 828-227-8726 (TRAN).