Graduate Student Life: Part 2 of 3

George M. Holmes Convocation Center and Seby B. Jones Arena

The purpose of the George M. Holmes Convocation Center is to provide facilities for the Department of Health, Leisure and Exercise Science as well as Appalachian's basketball and volleyball and to support the academic processes of Appalachian State University.

Serving as a multi-purpose arena for the northwestern region of North Carolina, the Center will support University-sponsored events, such as Commencement and Open House. Cultural events, concerts, trade shows, athletic events and other public assembly activities will also be a part of the Center's programming.

Since several departments will share the facility, all efforts will be made to accommodate the activities of each department. Because the schedule for the Center will be constantly changing, every effort will be made to keep all concerned updated. University sponsored events such as commencement, convocation, and student recruiting events will have priority over all other events. Please contact the Center's Director for reservations.

Graduate Student Association Senate

The Graduate Student Association Senate (GSAS) of Appalachian State University is an elected body through which the graduate students express their concern for the welfare of the graduate students at the University, develop and disseminate ideas for the improvement of graduate education, and contribute to the formation of relevant University policy. GSAS is the representative, deliberative, and administrative organization of the graduate student body of Appalachian State University, and is a duly constituted collegiate organization within the Graduate School.

Lee H. McCaskey Center for Student Involvement and Leadership

The Lee H. McCaskey Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, a part of the Division of Student Development, recognizes that the development of the whole student is achieved through in-class and out-of-class learning opportunities and experiences. These experiences are provided through programs designed to enhance leadership, intellectual, personal, cultural, and professional development. It is believed that when afforded opportunities for learning and growing, students will graduate from the institution with a better understanding of themselves and their peers, organizations, chosen professions, and responsibilities as part of a larger community.

Programs and services are grounded in the philosophy that all students be given opportunities and responsibilities for engaging in activities, programs and services relevant to their individual, educational and professional goals. The Center, through the implementation of student development theories in traditional and non-traditional settings, assists students in developing environments that enhance diversity, promote ethical and moral development, and provide leadership and experiential learning opportunities. To this end, the Center promotes personal growth opportunities, leadership development, social development and student accountability through personal counseling and instruction, practicum and experiential learning opportunities.

More than 275 clubs and organizations are recognized by the University with over 8,000 students involved in these groups. Academic, honor, special interest, service, religious and activity organizations are open to all students. There are 25 fraternities and sororities with 1,200 students that comprise the Greek system and maintain an active presence on the campus. Students have an opportunity to learn about clubs through club expos held each year, club advertising and recruitment activities, new student orientation and by visiting the Center. Research shows that involvement can be a positive factor for academic success and personal satisfaction with your college experience. Students who become involved on-campus more often than not get better grades and indicate that they have had a more positive experience in college. Students who become involved in organizations related to their major find such involvement reinforces classroom learning as well as providing valuable hands-on experience.

The Center offers a wide variety of leadership and involvement opportunities for all students. Whether you are interested in taking leadership classes for credit, attending conferences and seminars, or receiving individual advisement, the Center staff can provide that support. Programs range from an Emerging Leaders Program for new students to a Keystone Series for seniors and everything in between. Students have access to the Leadership Resource Center where books, videos and instruction materials about leadership are available.

Student Publications provides students the opportunity to become involved with campus media while developing writing, editing, photography, graphic design and advertising skills that enhance classroom learning and provide hands-on experience that translates to job opportunities on leaving the University. The Appalachian, the University's award-winning twice weekly paper, is distributed free on-campus to keep students informed of important campus events. The Appalachian Online is Student Publications' worldwide website containing the latest news from the pages of The Appalachian, as well as links to other sources of information. Both the print version of The Appalachian and the online version offer an instructional experience for students interested in careers as student journalists. Students learn the responsibilities of a free press by making all content decisions.

Mary S. Shook Student Health Service

Medical Services are provided to eligible students by the Mary S. Shook Student Health Service at its location on the second floor of the Miles Annas Student Support Services Building on Howard Street. Full service clinic hours are 8AM-4PM Monday-Friday (9AM-4PM Wednesday). Limited service clinic hours are 4PM-6PM Monday-Friday, 10AM-2PM Saturday, and 1PM-5PM Sunday. Health Service is also open for limited services 8AM-11AM during breaks. Summer hours are 8AM-4PM Monday-Friday (9AM-4PM Wednesday). Registered Nurse telephone consultation is available when Health Service is closed. Persons calling Health Service at (828) 262-3100 will be given the option to access this service. Referrals to off-campus physicians or to the Watauga Medical Center may be required for services not available or outside of regular clinic hours. In such cases, the student is responsible for all charges incurred.

A current, valid Student ID must be presented before each visit to the Health Service. Students paying fees for nine or more credit hours during an academic semester or at least one credit hour during a summer term are eligible for care at the Health Service. Students who are enrolled and pay fees for less than those hours may elect to pay the Health Service fee at the Student Accounts office and be eligible for care. The Health Service is funded by student health fees. Many services provided require no payment other than the health fee, though there is a nominal charge for some services. Contacts with the Health Service are confidential. Records are maintained separately from the University records for the use of Health Service personnel and may be released only with written permission by the student.

The Health Service does not issue medical excuses for class absences due to illness or injury. Students who withdraw from the University for health reasons should do this through the Health Service and must receive a medical clearance before being re-admitted. This clearance must present evidence that the condition which necessitated withdrawal has improved and that there is reasonable expectation of the student's ability to participate in University life.

North Carolina law requires that all students have a complete immunization record on file at the Health Service. Students not in compliance will be administratively withdrawn from the academic term in question.

Mandatory Student Insurance Requirement

Beginning with the 2010-11 academic year, any student enrolled in a degree-seeking program at Appalachian State University for six or more semester hours and who is eligible to pay the student health fee, must provide proof of a creditable health insurance policy. Students who do not provide proof of insurance by the start of fall classes will be charged each semester for health insurance provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield, the company selected by the UNC Board of Governors to provide medical insurance system wide.

Any student meeting these criteria who has an existing creditable coverage health insurance policy is able to waive out of the UNC system plan easily and quickly online. No paperwork is required. The Web portal to waive out of the UNC system plan may be found via a link at ASU Student Health Service website. A response to a waiver request submission typically will be made within no more than three business days once the verification process begins. For further information, go to

Office of Multicultural Student Development

It is an essential public service to recruit, retain and graduate a diverse student body that is able to apply innovative solutions to the complex cultural, economic, social, environmental and political challenges of a global society. The Office of Multicultural Student Development, part of the Division of Student Development, contributes to the academic mission of Appalachian State University by providing marginalized and underrepresented students with mentoring, advocacy, community and identity affirmation; as well as by offering multiple and varied learning opportunities for all Appalachian students to develop an appreciation for diversity and different perspectives, enhance self-awareness, increase multicultural knowledge and strengthen intercultural competency.

Multicultural Student Development aspires to offer leadership, advocacy and serve as a resource to all Appalachian State University constituents and residents of Northwest North Carolina in matters concerning diversity. Multicultural Student Development also aspires to contribute to a campus-wide conversation that advances the University's commitment to an inclusive learning environment for everyone.

Multicultural Student Development operates three student-led outreach centers; the LGBT Center, the Multicultural Center and the Women's Center. The following principles guide our work:

Social Justice: To challenge the roots of oppression, inequity and injustice; empower all people to exercise self-determination and realize their full potential.

Collaboration: To share resources and expertise with students, faculty, staff and community partners; provide leadership in promoting diversity and social justice in our community.

Community: To foster a sense of belonging to, engagement with, and shared responsibility for the well-being of the community.

Learning: To foster safe spaces for the exploration of new ideas and concepts and to encourage critical thinking.

Intercultural Competence: To enhance self-awareness, knowledge of difference, and ability to interact across differences.

Leadership: To mentor, challenge and empower students through out-of-class experiences that help develop self-efficacy and allow for the exploration of ideas, passions and interests.

Support: To guide students, advocate, teach accountability, empower, cultivate culture of inclusion, and promote the interests or causes of students.

Sustainability: To value social capital, preserve culture, embrace social, economic and environmental interdependence.

Personal Well-being: To promote an active process of becoming aware of and making choices that help enhance one's health.