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Student Development

Gardner-Webb University is committed to the education of the whole person. This includes the mind, the body and the spirit. To this end, the University considers the student’s activities outside the classroom to be just as important as the classroom experiences. These activities help the student to develop social and interpersonal skills, deepen spiritual commitments, explore career opportunities, formulate a philosophy of life, develop leadership skills, and develop sound ethical and moral principles. Experiences in residence halls, student government, the Tucker Student Center, service organizations, informal social groups, the Broyhill Adventure Course, and intramural teams are important to the student’s total development. The University supports and encourages student involvement in a variety of activities.


The Division of Student Development consists of the departments of Career Development, Student Leadership Development, Community Engagement, Housing and Residence Education, University Police, Counseling Center, Student Activities, Campus Recreation, and New Student Orientation.



College is a time of change and adjustment, which may lead to anxiety, conflict and uncertainty for many students. The University Counseling Center is available to assist students who may be experiencing these and other feelings.


The University Counseling Center is staffed by a team of professionals, trained in education and counseling, who want to assist students in coping with difficulties and making the most of their opportunities for success.


The University Counseling Center adheres to the Code of Ethics of the American Counseling Association and operates within a Christian perspective. All services are provided to students, faculty and staff in a concerned, caring, and confidential setting. No information will be given to others without the consent of the individual.


Services are provided to assist students in defining and accomplishing personal and academic goals. The services include the following:


  • High quality individual and group counseling to people who may be experiencing psychological or behavioral difficulties;
  • Programming focused on the developmental needs of college students, designed to maximize the potential of students to benefit from the academic experience;
  • Consultation to the institution to make the environment as beneficial to the intellectual, emotional and physical development of students as possible;
  • Appointments may be made by contacting the Counseling Center. Referrals to local community agencies may be made if needed.



The Career Development Office is dedicated to serving Gardner-Webb students and alumni with an emphasis on two fundamental roles - aiding in career exploration and self-discovery and providing a myriad of resources to aid in the job search process. All Gardner-Webb students and alumni are eligible for the vast array of services including use of FOCUS, a computerized guidance system, resume writing assistance, and job listing services. The Career Services Office also sponsors educational workshops, career planning events, and several career fairs throughout the year, open to all current students and alumni.


The Career Development Office also administers an online resume referral, internships and job listing service. All students are encouraged to register with Career Development during their freshman year. Registration is simple using the Bulldog Network. Students complete a registration section and transfer their resumes to our database, after which prospective employers can view those seeking work on the Internet. For a complete listing of upcoming events and current job postings, visit www.gardner-webb.edu; student life and career services. Bookmark the site and visit often, as the contents of the site change daily.


Employers are an integral part of career development. However, the Career Development Office reserves the right to refuse employers with discriminatory hiring practices. The office will also make decisions regarding third-person employers and on-campus recruitment.



The University strives to make residential living attractive, comfortable and developmental in nature. All residential facilities have heating and air conditioning. The different housing options offered are single, double and triple occupancy rooms. Students should bring linens, pillows, and other items to personalize their room. It is strongly suggested that they consult with their roommate about decor and items they want to bring.


Residential facilities open the day before registration each semester and close after classes at the end of the fall, spring and summer semesters. Seniors may only remain through Commencement in fall, spring, and summer semesters. Residential facilities close during Christmas break except for international students or those participating in University-sponsored events. Students must sign up to stay during other breaks.


Room assignments are made through the Housing & Residence Education Office. Incoming freshmen will be notified of their room assignment during the summer. Students should start checking their housing assignment beginning in June. Students will be able to access this information by going through WebbConnect. Instructions on how to do this are:


  • Go to www.gardner-webb.edu and login to WebbConnect.
  • Click on the “Housing-Meals-Vehicle” tab.
  • Click on View My Housing Assignment.
  • Type in Fall 2013.
  • Your hall, room, and roommate’s contact information will appear.

Each residential facility is staffed with a Graduate Resident Director and Resident Advisors. The staff is available to assist students with a variety of situations and concerns. All facilities are equipped with laundry rooms and each room has cable TV service. In addition, the campus is wired for Internet use and voice mail.


More specific Residence Education policies and guidelines may be found in The Student Handbook and in the Housing Contract. Residence Facility policies apply 365 days a year.




1. All single, full-time undergraduate students enrolled in the regular program are required to live on campus. Exceptions will be considered for the following reasons:

a. Living with parent or guardian within a 50-mile radius

b. 21 years of age or older prior to the beginning of the academic year

c. Completed 120 consecutive days of military duty

d. Lived six semesters in a university residential facility (fall or spring)

e. Achieved 90 semester hours of university credit

Note: Full-time students desiring commuter status must complete and submit a Commuter Application Contract along with a $50 Advance Deposit. New students should submit the application and deposit upon acceptance. Continuing students wishing to change from a resident to commuter status must submit the application and fee no later than April 15th for the following fall. Please note: The Housing Contract is for the full year - fall through spring.


A student who chooses to live off campus and fails to obtain approval for commuter status will be subject to revocation of registration, loss of institutional financial aid, and/or fines.


2. Married or part-time students enrolled in the regular program must complete and submit the Commuter Application Contract along with the $50 Advance Deposit.

3. All resident students are required to purchase a University meal plan. Exemptions will be considered only for medical reasons when the University’s food service cannot accommodate the necessary dietary requirements. Medical exemptions must be requested in writing at least 15 days prior to registration and be accompanied by a doctor’s statement and prescribed diet.



1. All resident students must submit a properly completed Application and Contract for Housing and pay a $150 Room Reservation Deposit before a room will be reserved.

a. New students enrolling for the fall semester should submit the Housing Contract and $150 Room Reservation Deposit within 30 days of acceptance or before the opening of school.



b. Continuing students may reserve rooms during the spring semester. Each student must submit to the Office of Housing & Residence Education verification of payment of the $150 Room Reservation Deposit and a properly completed Housing Contract.





The University Police Department is a multi-functional service agency whose primary purpose is to protect the University community and enforce N.C. State Law. Full-time officers are professionals who have been certified, and sworn by the N.C. Attorney General office. Services provided by the department include traffic control, engraving, educational seminars, a 24-hour emergency number, vehicle entry service for "lock-outs", vehicle "jump-starts", and escort service on campus. Officers patrol the entire campus on foot, segways, and in marked/unmarked campus police vehicles. The campus is also protected by a camera security system. The department also employs students for job specific responsibilities. The University Police Department is located in the Poston Center.



Three fundamental tenets of the University are FAITH, SERVICE, and LEADERSHIP. The Office of Student Leadership Development exists to plan, implement, and coordinate a comprehensive campus-wide student leadership program. It promotes a study of leadership and leadership principles that includes hands-on training. The office works collaboratively with appropriate campus-wide constituencies to promote a study of civic and organizational leadership. The office seeks to incorporate leadership principles in academic courses. This office represents a significant effort by the University to prepare graduates for a life of leadership and civic engagement in a global society.



Representing the interest of the Gardner-Webb student body is the Student Government Association (SGA). Projects and proposals dealing with social, cultural, and academic life are promoted by the SGA officers and the Student Senate. The SGA advocates on behalf of student interests, encourages involvement in service, provides co-curricular and extracurricular activities and fosters interaction among faculty, staff, and students. The SGA is advised by the Director of Student Leadership Development.



Gardner-Webb University offers students opportunities to become involved in a wide range of activities and organizations on campus. Students work with the Student Leadership Office to assist in forming new clubs and organizations, developing fundraisers and creating budgets. Guidelines are available online.



The smell of popcorn drifts through the crowd as preparation for movie night under the stars is underway. Shouts of "bingo" are heard among the student body on the first Monday night of exams as students take a study break. Students feel the soft, cuddly fur of a favorite animal during the popular "Create a Critter" event. Warm, chocolate chip cookies melt in your mouth as a surprise afternoon treat on a cold afternoon. Beautiful dresses and handsome suits can be seen throughout campus on a warm spring evening as pictures are snapped before the Spring Formal.

The Office of Student Activities strives to plan a jam-packed calendar full of opportunities for our students to get involved, meet new people and try new things. We help to create an atmosphere where the students enjoy the full college experience. We want our Bulldogs to be motivated academically and socially and become well-rounded individuals. By providing events, such as the ones above, Student Activities encompasses a variety of activities to meet the desires of our diverse population and are always open to student suggestions! Other events include but are not limited to concerts, Miss GWU Pageant, laser tag and carnivals. We hope to encourage our GWU students to embrace this new chapter in their lives.



Campus Recreation provides recreational activities that are designed to enrich the quality of physical, mental, spiritual, and social life of University community members. Many different fitness classes are offered throughout the semester ranging from beginner to intermediate. Intramurals offer a variety of individual and team sports during the fall and spring semesters to accommodate many interests and abilities. The Suttle Wellness Center, located in the University Physical Development Complex, is a health and wellness educational resource center available to all Gardner-Webb University students, faculty, staff and family members of faculty and staff.



The Broyhill Adventure Course is a unique outdoor adventure complex that offers a series of experiential challenges designed to enhance team building and personal growth for Gardner-Webb University students, faculty, staff and community groups. Using a combination of high and low ropes activities, participants experience climbing and problem-solving as metaphors for life whereby communication skills are improved, self-esteem is enhanced, problem-solving techniques are applied and cooperation in group and team situations is further developed. The Broyhill Adventure Course practices a “Challenge by Choice” philosophy which allows participants to choose a comfortable level of involvement. Programs are flexible and can be designed to meet a specific group’s needs.

The Tucker Student Center houses a state of the art, indoor climbing wall featuring 740 sq. ft. of climbing terrain. It provides another outlet for climbers and non-climbers alike to work out, challenge themselves, and experience a sense of adventure in a safe environment. Programming will include times for instructional classes/camps, competitions, birthday parties, reserved times, and recreational climbing for fun.

Adventure Recreation, also, offers a challenging 18-hole disc golf course surrounding our beautiful campus. The course wraps around Lake Hollifield among the natural landscaping. Discs are available from the Student Activities Office. The course is designed to provide an exciting game for both the beginner and pro.



The Office of Community Engagement houses programs in order to provide all members of the Gardner-Webb community with meaningful service opportunities. Each year, Gardner-Webb students, faculty and staff volunteer their time and talents to the surrounding community through various campus wide volunteer programs. In addition to providing campus wide service programs, the office also serves as a resource center and clearinghouse for volunteer information. Interested individuals and groups may visit the office or go online to receive information on various ongoing and one time service opportunities.



Orientation provides students a glimpse in to the upcoming college experience. They are given information to assist them during the transition from home to their "new home away from home". Our Big Brother/Big Sister program allows new incoming students to meet with other GWU students who can answer questions and give them "the real deal" about life at GWU. They will participate in activities that will give them an opportunity to meet other new students which gives them a familiar face to wave to on the first day without family.



Gardner-Webb University is a community of students, faculty and staff who are dedicated to learning and personal development in a Christian environment. As in any community, certain standards of conduct are necessary to protect the safety, rights, health and general well-being of all members of the community. The University strives to promote concern for the good of the entire group as opposed to selfish individualism. Each person, whether student, faculty or staff, voluntarily joins the University community and thus is expected to abide by rules and regulations that have been adopted to insure reasonable standards of conduct. The Code of Student Conduct describes conduct which the University does not tolerate. By enrolling in the University, each student agrees to abide by University rules, regulations and expectations. The Board of Trustees has approved minimum penalties for certain of the prohibited behaviors. The University assures fundamental fairness to any student accused of involvement in prohibited behavior. The Student Handbook describes the Code of Student Conduct and the student conduct process used in the event a student becomes involved in prohibited behavior. The Handbook is available online and may be accessed at http://www.gardner-webb.edu. Click on Academics heading, then Undergraduate Student Handbook. Portions of the Handbook (student rights, responsibilities and expectations) will be reviewed during new student orientation.


Gardner-Webb University supports and is fully committed to the concept of a drug-, tobacco- and alcohol-free campus community. In order to comply with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, Gardner-Webb publishes the following and makes it available to each student.


1. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of controlled substances is prohibited by students on Gardner-Webb University’s property or as any part of the University’s activities. As a condition of enrollment, Gardner-Webb University students will abide by these terms. The following is a partial list of controlled substances:

Narcotics (heroin, morphine, etc.)

Cannabis (marijuana, hashish, etc.)

Stimulants (cocaine, diet pills, etc.)

Depressants (tranquilizers, etc.)

Hallucinogens (PCP, LSD, designer drugs, etc.)

Designer (MDA, MDA-known as ecstasy, ice, etc.)




2. Gardner-Webb will impose disciplinary sanctions on students who violate the terms of paragraph 1. If found responsible, the appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion from the University and/or satisfactory participation in a drug and alcohol abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by a Federal, State, or local health, law enforcement, or other appropriate agency, will be taken. More specific penalties are outlined in the Gardner-Webb University Student Handbook. Violations may also be referred to the appropriate civil authorities for prosecution under local, state, and federal law.

3. Local, state, and federal laws prohibit the possession, and distribution of illicit drugs, alcohol and weapons. The applicable legal sanctions for various offenses are listed in the North Carolina Criminal Law and Procedure book, a reference copy of which is maintained by the University’s Campus Police Department.

4. Information describing the health risks associated with the illicit drugs and abuse of alcohol is made available to all students. Additional information and individual counseling is available through the University’s Counseling Center. If necessary and at the student’s expense, referral can be made to an outside agency.

5. Local, state and federal law prohibits the possession of weapons on campus. These laws supersede any statutes.