Community Standards and Engagement, Johnson & Wales University–Charlotte
Johnson & Wales University–Charlotte
Four-year, private, urban
Total Enrollment: 1,681
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Community Standards and Engagement Director: Alen Doty
Student Staff: 5 part-time
Nonstudent Staff: 3 full-time
A small school with a big agenda is what student life looks like at Johnson & Wales University–Charlotte. There’s no student union facility, but that hasn’t limited opportunities for students to have meaningful experiences and undergo personal and professional growth. The university’s Community Standards and Engagement Office focuses on developing and supporting programs that promote collaborative learning, character development, and social responsibility, and it emphasizes a student-centered culture that encourages a strong sense of pride and tradition. Community service and student leadership programs, student activities and student conduct, orientation and first-year experience, student government, fraternity and sorority life, and campus programs are all managed by Community Standards and Engagement, which until last year had formally been known as Student Involvement and Leadership. Two other foundational principles of the office are to empower students to embrace and strengthen an inclusive community and to foster collaborative partnerships to support and deliver successful campus events.
There are over 40 student organizations that receive assistance from Community Standards and Engagement and the office’s five part-time student employees. Those students also work with leadership programs, fraternity and sorority life, campus programs, and first-year experience. Cultural, political, and religious organizations include a black student union, a Caribbean student society, a Latino student organization, and a LGBTQIA+ organization. There are six fraternities and sororities, a fraternity and sorority life council, and nearly 20 academic and professional development student organizations.
One of the most successful fundraising events for student organizations is selling parking for Carolina Panther NFL football games. Up to three organizations sell parking for 200 spaces located in a gravel lot owned by the university that is in demand for football gameday parking.
Special events like PAWlooza, where students and the community learn about student organizations, and Winterfest, a week full of special programming, are held in a variety of locations. Wildcat Center, a 33,000-square-foot athletics facility, plays host to a variety of student events, including Winterfest, PAWlooza, and a spring fashion show organized by the Johnson & Wales Charlotte Fashion Society that relies on student designers, models, and make-up artists. And the university events center located in the campus academic center is where you’ll find One Ton Sundae being held each year. That event has faculty and staff dishing out free ice cream sundaes to students between classes.
The Campus Activities Board hosts a popular bingo night every other Monday, and a Freakfest timed around Halloween is another example of a student event that builds community. Additionally, a first-ever homecoming gala saw the Wildcat Center gym transformed into a special event venue last October.