Skip to content
Tab thru menu links. Enter key for site map

Appalachian State University’s division of Student Affairs develops lifelong learners and leaders by engaging and challenging students within a culture of care and inclusion. We aspire to transform all students through a foundation of care and engagement.

Our work creates a culture of care that builds a foundation for students to thrive and be resilient. Our diverse, student-centered community fosters local-to-global learning, leadership, engagement, and service. We transform students into dynamic leaders and lifelong learners who will make a difference in their communities and throughout the world.

WeCARE Experiences

The We Coach, Advocate, Refer, and Educate (WeCARE) student employees of Wellness and

Prevention Services spend their hours in the office digging into the work of public health for the sake of

their fellow students. Their ability to think broadly in brainstorming and get involved in events on the

ground offers these young professionals a unique perspective on the workforce, while benefitting their

peers on and off-campus. All of this, they would argue, is probably second in importance to the

welcoming environment of the office, as well as the fun they get to have in creatively approaching the

work that they do. These students have the capacity to truly learn through experience working alongside

subject matter experts and campus partners. Just this semester, WeCARE has had the opportunity to

create bulletin boards, flyers, and social media posts to promote the many events and services they help

create and run, like The Mindful Meal, Take Back the Night, and the Condom Fairy. One student, Brianna

Pressey, said about the work: “I love being a WeCARE Peer Educator! The work I do with WPS makes a

huge impact on campus, and it is crucial now more than ever for students to be educated on public

health issues." Wellness likewise benefits from the time and effort of these students, and it is no

exaggeration to say the work would not be the same without them. Students interested in working with

WeCARE should keep their eyes on Handshake each academic year, as well as the WPS Engage page and

website to find more events and resources available through the department.

Apr 23
 Permanent link

Information to Share

Please view important dates:

Apr 23
 Permanent link

Update from Vice Chancellor JJ Brown

As we start the final push of the semester, I’m writing to share a few updates and thoughts on several matters impacting our community. I hope you will take the time to read this email, and forgive its length.

The Division of Student Affairs is committed to providing transformational programming, events, and support for each of you. Each of you deserves our very best to thrive in our community.

I’m writing to share a few updates that relate specifically to student life and engagement at App State, for which my division is responsible.

Free Expression Working Group:

I appreciate the responses to the Free Expression Space Working Group email that was sent last week. To date, we have had more than 50 applications to serve on the working group. We will pull together the group to meet next week, and given the responses will need to have some open dialogue sessions for those who are not selected so everyone may participate as they are able in these discussions. The most up-to-date information on the tunnel project can be found here.

Henderson-Springs LGBTQ+ Center’s Spring Fest:

Since 2008, the Henderson-Springs LGBTQ+ Center has served as a place of resource and support on our campus. Even prior to the center’s opening, Appalachian State University has affirmed our LGBTQ+ community through student organizations, various programming, and celebrations, including many in celebration of LGBTQ+ pride. It is important to know we are holding several events — through programming designed by students, faculty and staff — to affirm to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community this week. The mission of the programming has always been designed to “educate, empower, and unite Mountaineers of all identities, especially our LGBTQ+ community of AppState.” This year, the annual programming week is titled the Henderson Springs LGBTQ+ Center’s 2024 Spring Fest. Bo Henderson and Ed Springs, for whom the Center was named, are valued and important members of the university’s history. While the programs and the name were created by members of the university community, I hear and understand the concerns related to the title change of the week this year, and we will absolutely take this into account as we plan events for next year.

Working through challenges now and in the future

The last few weeks have been filled with frustration for some in our community. I hear the concerns being raised, and appreciate the voices that have come forward to share their experiences and perspectives. App State has long been a place of discussion and engagement in and outside of the classroom. As we face these challenges, I have reflected upon the words written by App State Professor of Creative Writing and former North Carolina poet laureate, Dr. Joseph Bathanti, about the Appalachian State University experience.

“Appalachian State University — a place invested with a kind of mysticism, certainly mystery and wonder, a portal that opened to them at a key moment in their lives, beyond which was revealed to them the limitless possibilities for a fully realized, purposefully committed, happy life, and the fact that the human spirit, in all of its guises, is inextinguishable. Appalachian State University has never been just a college, but a rare place where students, and faculty alike, the entire university community, are not only educated and sustained, but transformed.” (

The depth and breadth of programming through our departments and affiliated organizations is designed to provide the transformational experiences Dr. Bathanti references for all backgrounds, beliefs and identities within our community. Appalachian State University has been here for 125 years, and will continue to grow, and create new opportunities for students for at least 125 years to come.


As we look to the final few weeks of the semester, I encourage you to continue to support one another. When you see someone who needs some support, offer it. When you need support, ask for it. And when support is offered, take it. In doing so, managing the challenges becomes easier. I will never forget what a difference the support of others made for me as a college student, and I want to be sure you have the best possible support available to you.

I’ve included several links below to some great resources we have that might help you in the coming weeks. In addition to the resources listed below, there are many, many others on campus that are here to help you navigate the challenges of life, and the semester as well. Please don’t hesitate to ask for help if you or someone you know needs it.

Counseling Center

Free Speech Responsible Officers

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Plan and Policy

Henderson Springs LGBTQ+ Center

Student Health Services

AppCares Resources website

University Tutoring Services

Academic Strategy Instruction

University Writing Center

I look forward to providing additional updates in the coming weeks, and thank you for your contributions to our community.


JJ Brown
Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs

Apr 3
 Permanent link

Message from Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs J.J. Brown

Dear Students,

Thank you to the many of you who have shared your desire to have a space on campus designated for painting/drawing/posting your messages of free expression, and to those who joined the forum held by the Student Government Association last night.

This message is to let you know that I will be working with Student Government leadership to establish a group to engage in alternative options for free expression, given the safety priorities and changes being made to the tunnels on the Boone campus.

We will begin by establishing a Free Expression Space Working Group that will meet weekly, beginning the week of April 8, throughout the end of this semester, to discuss the needs expressed at last night’s student forum held by SGA, and to help determine the best way to meet those needs. Further discussions will take place over the summer and/or the fall as needed.

Jamie Parson and Jeff Cathey, App State’s Free Speech Responsible Officers, will facilitate this group.

Next week, we will reach out to students with invitations to sit on this working group. If you are interested in serving on this group, please complete this Google Form. Our student body will also have an opportunity for feedback sessions with this group in the coming weeks.

I will keep you updated on this project as it progresses.

I wish you all a restful and restorative weekend.

JJ Brown
Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs
Appalachian State University

Mar 28
 Permanent link
Read more stories