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    Jan 21, 2022  
American University Catalog 2015-2016 
American University Catalog 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Campus Life

The Office of Campus Life integrates students into a diverse university community; promotes their intellectual, social, and spiritual development; and, in collaboration with the faculty, prepares them for lifelong learning and global citizenship.

Campus Life offices include: Dean of Students; Academic Support & Access Center; Center for Community Engagement & Service; Center for Diversity & Inclusion; Counseling Center; Housing & Dining Programs; International Student & Scholar Services; Kay Spiritual Life Center; Orientation, Transition & Retention; Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution Services; Student Health Center; University Center & Student Activities; and Wellness Center.

Office of the Vice President of Campus Life

The Office of the Vice President of Campus Life is located in Butler Pavilion 400. For more information, contact 202-885-3310, or go to:

Recognizing students’ unique needs and the diversity of American University’s student body, the Office of Campus Life promotes students’ integration into an inclusive university community and supports and complements students’ preparation for lifelong learning and global citizenship.

The Office of Campus Life is guided in this mission by assessment of students’ characteristics, dedication to service and advocacy for students, and accountability for our actions. The Vice President of Campus Life is the chief student affairs officer of the university and reports to the president.

Office of the Dean of Students

The Office of the Dean of Students is committed to cultivating an environment that enriches and supports student development. The Dean of Students staff provides advocacy, information, referrals, and other assistance to students, and works closely with academic and administrative units to promote student success.

Student Conduct Code

Each student is expected to adhere to established standards of behavior for members within the university community. Students must abide by all federal and local laws as well as all policies and regulations of American University. The Student Conduct Code describes the rights and responsibilities for student conduct. By registering for classes or enrolling at AU, all students acknowledge their awareness of, and agreement to adhere to the Student Conduct Code. The code is available at:

Office of Campus Life Departments

Academic Support & Access Center

The Academic Support & Access Center supports the academic development and educational goals of all American University students. The Center is committed to providing equal access for individuals with disabilities within the university’s diverse community. Academic support services include individual instruction in time management, reading, note taking, and exam preparation; study skills and writing workshops; referrals for peer tutors; and Supplemental Instruction, or group tutoring, in selected courses. Specific services are available for international students, student-athletes, and graduate students.

Services for students with disabilities are provided to ensure equal access within the intellectual and social life of the university. Services include assistance with accommodations, alternative testing arrangements, assistive technology, academic counseling, and the Learning Services Program for first year students with learning disabilities. This office provides consultation and in-service training for faculty, staff, and students, to promote an inclusive and accessible campus environment. Services are provided free of charge, except for the one-time fee for the Learning Services Program and modest fees for individual peer tutors. The Academic Support & Access Center is located in Mary Graydon Center 243. For more information, call 202-885-3360, email, or go to:

Center for Community Engagement & Service

The Center for Community Engagement & Service provides opportunities for American University students, staff and faculty to cultivate mutually beneficial community partnerships to promote learning, leadership, and social change. The Center envisions a more just and equitable world in which people engage with their local, national, and global communities. Students and faculty utilize the resources in Washington, D.C., and beyond to forge academic learning connections between classroom and community through service-learning and student leadership.

Projects and programs available include Alternative Breaks, Community Service-Learning Projects, DC Reads, Eagle Endowment for Public and Community Service, Freshman Service Experience, and One-Day Service Events.

For more information, call 202-885-SERV (7378) or go to:

Center for Diversity & Inclusion

The Center for Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) advances American University’s commitment to respecting and valuing diversity by serving as a resource and liaison for students, staff, and faculty on issues of equity through education, outreach, and advocacy. The center’s programs acknowledge and address multi-layered topics of identity, including ability, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, religious beliefs and practices, and socioeconomic status. The center works in close collaboration with other Campus Life departments, and with faculty, alumni, and community resources. CDI is dedicated to:

  • Enhancing LGBTQ, multicultural, first generation, and women’s experiences on campus;
  • Promoting student retention, graduation, and academic achievement;
  • Collaborating with campus partners in particular those that work with international students, students with disabilities, and students with active religious affiliations to create a safe, supportive, and empowering community for all, regardless of identity and affiliation.

CDI is located in Mary Graydon Center, Rooms 201 and 202. For more information or to receive the CDI newsletter or join the CDI listserv, visit or e-mail

Counseling Center

The Counseling Center provides confidential intake assessments, emergency appointments, referrals for off-campus mental health care, short-term individual therapy, and group counseling. The Center also offers consultations, workshops, and other outreach programs, including self-help resources such as the anonymous online mental health screenings (e.g., for anxiety, depression, etc.) on its website. The Center’s staff includes psychologists and graduate-level clinical trainees. Services are confidential in accordance with professional and legal standards, and are free of charge. The Counseling Center is located in Mary Graydon Center 214. For more information, call 202-885-3500 or go to:

Housing & Dining Programs

Housing & Dining Programs (HDP) is responsible for daily operations in American University’s residence halls as well as management of the professional and student staff. Complementing the goals of the Office of Campus Life, HDP seeks to create and maintain an environment that fosters intellectual, social, and emotional growth. The staff works to provide a safe and comfortable living environment that encourages respect for individual rights and social responsibility.

HDP is responsible for applications for student housing, student room assignments, summer housing, and conference operations. Facilities Management is responsible for the maintenance of equipment as well as housekeeping in the residence halls. HDP staff oversees minor furnishing repairs.

AU’s ten residence halls have distinct characteristics and offer a variety of living arrangements. Several special interest housing options, or Living Learning Communities, are available in the halls, including the Honors Program, University College, American Scholars, the Leadership Academy, Community-Based Research Scholars, Three-Year Scholars, the Social Justice Community, the Health & Wellness Community, and Residential Community Clusters.

Visitors to AU’s residence halls must check in at the front desk and be escorted while in the hall. Residents may not lend their access cards to guests. There are no curfews; 24-hour visitation is the policy in each hall. Overnight guests are permitted only with the agreement of roommates. In all cases, overnight guests are limited to a 3-day stay. Residents are responsible for their guests’ behavior and may be charged in lieu of their guests for violations of the Student Conduct Code and damage to university property.

The Off-Campus Housing Resource Center serves AU students and the community by providing support to those looking for housing, as well as to those who wish to list rental property. In addition to a comprehensive, up-to-date web site of rental listings, information on landlord/tenant relationships and helpful hints and advice about the housing search process are also available. Individual consultations are available for members of the AU Community who may have specific questions or concerns regarding their off-campus housing search.

Housing is available to undergraduate students on a first-come, first-served basis. For further information call 202-885-3370 or go to:

Residence Hall Association

The Residence Hall Association (RHA) is the student government and program planning organization for resident students. RHA works with Housing & Dining Programs to ensure that university policies and services are responsive to students’ needs. The Executive Board, or RHA, is the link between the administration and students. The Executive Board, in conjunction with the hall and floor officers, organizes both hall and campus-wide programs. The Executive Board and Hall Council presidents are elected in the spring and serve one-year terms. Hall Council members are elected at the beginning of the fall semester and serve one-year terms.

RHA provides both social and educational programming within each hall and across campus. For more information, call 202-885-1RHA (1742), e-mail, or go to:

International Student & Scholar Services

International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) provides specialized immigration services to international students and exchange visitors and supports all members of the university community for globalization efforts, including cross-cultural consulting and intercultural programming.

ISSS administers the F1 Student and the J1 Exchange Visitor Programs on behalf of American University. Through these programs ISSS assists students, student interns, scholars, professors, researchers, and others who come to the university for temporary international education exchange.

To assist international students and exchange visitors, ISSS offers pre- and post-arrival orientations, reentry and employment workshops, cultural programming, and advising on social and immigration issues. ISSS is located in Butler Pavilion 410, 202-885-3350. For more information, go to:

Kay Spiritual Life Center

The Kay Spiritual Life Center is an interfaith house of worship and home to a rich array of faith communities, cultural and educational programs, student organizations, feasts, festivals, circles of prayer, and activism. In keeping with the university’s commitment to inquiry and diversity, the Kay Spiritual Life Center seeks to be not only a center for religious life, but a place where people of conscience, intellect, and spiritual curiosity come with their questions, their dreams, and their struggles. The center fosters a climate of interfaith understanding and openness, in which matters of faith and value are recognized as an integral part of human growth and university life.

Regular services of worship and religious observances are held throughout the year by Baha’i, Buddhist, Catholic, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Hindu/Vedic, Jewish, Muslim, Orthodox, United Methodist/Protestant, Quaker, Shinto, Sikh, Taoist, and Unitarian Universalist communities. Meditation from a variety of traditions is also offered. In addition, the center sponsors special interfaith celebrations, as well as a variety of workshops, panel discussions, retreats, outings, and social action opportunities.

Chaplains from the diverse faith traditions assist in organizing events and are available to students, faculty, and staff for pastoral counseling and spiritual direction, residence hall programming, advisement on issues of faith and ethics, life events, baptisms, bat/bar mitzvahs, weddings, and memorial services.

The Kay Interfaith Council fosters dialogue and discussion among the member communities of the Kay Center, provides for collective interfaith action, and promotes awareness of and respect for interfaith issues. The Kay Center also houses clubs committed to expressing spirituality through active engagement, and the office serves as a resource for AU students seeking to work for responsible social change.

The Kay Spiritual Life Center is located at the north end of the Friedheim Quadrangle. Hours of operation during the fall and spring semesters are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, call 202-885-3320, e-mail, or go to:

Orientation, Transition & Retention

Orientation, Transition & Retention designs and coordinates orientation programs for first-year and transfer students. Through summer, fall, and spring orientation programs, the staff assists new students in their transition to American University. The office also coordinates the All-American Weekend in October for parents and family of current AU students and other programs to enhance the quality of life for all AU students. For more information, call 202-885-3303, e-mail or go to:

Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution Services

Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution Services provides an organized discipline system founded on principles of equity, fairness, and due process for the resolution of grievances in the American University community. In addition, this office promotes the learning and use of alternative dispute resolution methods.

Student Conduct addresses alleged violations of the Student Conduct Code, Regulations for Student Conduct in the Residence Halls, and other university policies. The Conduct Council is a community review board composed of students, faculty, and staff members that provides an excellent experiential learning opportunity. All students, regardless of their majors, are encouraged to take active roles in the discipline system on campus.

American University Conflict Resolution Services (AUCRS) provides resources for the resolution of interpersonal and inter-group conflicts to all members of the AU community. AUCRS helps parties learn about sources of and responses to conflict and their roles in this dynamic process. Services include conflict consultation, assessment and evaluation, mediation, facilitation, and post-conflict reconciliation. Services are confidential and free of charge to all students, faculty, and staff. AUCRS also provides alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and conflict management skill-building workshops. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome to participate in basic mediation skills training offered each semester.

Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution Services is located in Butler Pavilion 408. For more information, call 202-885-3328, e-mail, or go to:

Student Health Center

The Student Health Center provides primary medical care, minor first aid, gynecological care, immunizations, allergy injections, and health education services to students. Psychiatric services (primarily medication management) are also available. There are fees for care at the Student Health Center.

The clinical staff consists of an internal medicine physician, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and registered nurses. These primary care practitioners initiate treatment and coordinate all aspects of care, including referrals to specialists when indicated. Patients are seen by appointment, which can be scheduled online, by telephone, or in person. The office is located in McCabe Hall, 1st floor. To schedule an appointment, call 202-885-3380 or go to:

Student Health Insurance

Health insurance is mandatory for all full-time degree, resident, and international students, unless the student is covered under another comparable health insurance plan. The fee is assessed automatically unless waived prior to the deadline. Waiver forms must be completed online (before published deadlines) at Medical insurance coverage is available to part-time students carrying at least 6 credit hours, spouses, domestic partners, and children of students enrolled in the student health insurance plan.

For information call the Student Health Center at 202-885-3380 or go to:

University Center & Student Activities

The University Center is a multi-building complex comprising Mary Graydon Center, Butler Pavilion, the Tunnel, and the Sports Center. The mission of the UC is to provide a welcoming environment for AU students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors, and to support programs, activities, and services that promote community, individual growth, responsible citizenship, and a global perspective. The UC houses food service options, including the Terrace Dining Room, community lounges, meeting and event facilities, and an array of offices providing student services such as the Academic Support & Access Center, the Career Center, the Center for Community Engagement & Service, the Center for Diversity & Inclusion, the Counseling Center, International Student & Scholar Services, the Office of the Vice President of Campus Life, the Office of the Dean of Students, Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution Services, and the University Center & Student Activities.

Student governance and media organizations are also housed in the footprint, including the Student Government (SG), the Media Board, the American University Club Council (AUCC), and the Fraternity/Sorority Governing Councils.

The UC staff of professionals and students facilitates events in the Center’s facilities through University Event Scheduling (UES) and UC Operations. UES also manages the scheduling for all events on campus. The UC provides promotional opportunities for campus events and services through the Information Desk on the 1st floor of Mary Graydon Center. The UC administrative office is located in Mary Graydon Center 271. For more information, call 202-885-3900 or go to:

The Student Activities staff serves as advisors, mentors, and facilitators to the student leaders and members of more than 225 recognized clubs, coalitions, student government departments, and student media groups. The Student Activities team helps to prepare students for life-long learning and global citizenship by promoting and supporting campus activities that appeal to a diverse community. The main goals are to provide students with information on how to get involved in student activities at American University and to provide leaders with the tools they need to be successful. Student Activities is located in Mary Graydon Center 271.

Student Activities Organizations

The broad categories of organizations that Student Activities advises are: American University Club Council associations and clubs, Fraternity and Sorority Life, student government, and student media.

American University Club Council: Associations and Clubs

Many students enhance their collegiate experiences by getting involved in student-sponsored associations, clubs, and professional/service organizations. Student Activities annually recognizes approximately 150 student associations, clubs, and professional/service organizations. Recognized clubs are divided into five caucus communities: Academic, Community Connections, Political Action, Service/Outreach, and Social. Membership in student associations and clubs is open to all registered AU students and can provide opportunities for meeting other students, networking with faculty and staff, learning outside the classroom, and developing leadership skills. For more information and to obtain a complete list of clubs and organizations contact Student Activities at 202-885-3390 or go to:

The American University Club Council (AUCC) is the funding board for clubs recognized by Student Activities. In addition to allocating student activity fees to the clubs, the AUCC is responsible for mediating club disputes, encouraging collaboration among clubs, and helping clubs do business more efficiently. For more information, call 202-885-6453 or e-mail

Fraternity and Sorority Life

AU recognizes 27 active fraternities and sororities and three governing councils. The distribution of chapters includes:

  • National PanHellenic Council (NPHC-fraternities and sororities): 2 recognized organizations
  • Interfraternity Council (IFC-fraternities): 15 recognized organizations
  • Panhellenic Council (Panhel-sororities): 8 recognized organizations
  • Culturally Based Organizations: 2 recognized organizations

Student Government and Graduate Leadership Council

There are two student government organizations advised by Student Activities: the undergraduate Student Government (SG) and the Graduate Leadership Council (GLC).

The SG represents student interests, advocates for student concerns, and provides services and programming for the student body. The SG executive office is the administrative branch of the SG and is located in Mary Graydon Center 270. It can be reached at 202-885-6400 or

The Student Senate is the legislative branch of the SG and is located in Mary Graydon Center 262. The Senate is responsible for allocating student activity fees to SG departments, enacting legislation to further the interests of undergraduate students, approving rules and regulations governing the SG, and acting as a forum for student concerns.

The Student Union Board (SUB) is the social programming division of the Student Government and books bands, comedians, and other talent. The Kennedy Political Union (KPU) is a nonpartisan student lecture bureau. Founded in 1968, KPU has grown into a nationally respected lecture series.

The Graduate Leadership Council (GLC) is the graduate student government at AU. The GLC is composed of the five school/college Graduate Student Council (GSC) presidents and the GLC Exec Board. The GLC also provides students with opportunities and events more focused on their field-specific interests as well as advocates for graduate student concerns. For more information contact 202-885-2472 or stop by the GLC Office in the Graduate Resource Center, University Library.

Student Media

The student community supports and manages the following campus media through an aggregated website at

  • ATV is a student-operated television station that airs nearly a dozen news, sports, and entertainment programs. Located in Mary Graydon Center 256, ATV broadcasts on two campus-wide channels and broadcasts periodically in the student center. ATV crews have covered the White House, and local and campus news events. For more information, go to:
  • American Literary (AmLit) is AU’s award-winning literary magazine that publishes twice annually. The magazine solicits artistic and literary contributions from across campus. It is located in Mary Graydon Center 248. For more information, e-mail or go to:
  • American Way of Life Magazine (AWOL) is a student-run progressive magazine that exists to ignite campus discussion of social, cultural, and political issues, and serve as an outpost for students to explore solutions to local and global problems. For more information, e-mail or go to:
  • American Word is a news, entertainment and sports magazine written by students about students and student-related issues. It is published four times per year. For more information, go to
  • The Eagle is AU’s oldest student publication. It has a web-first orientation and breaks news for the AU community. The newsroom and business offices are located in Mary Graydon Center 252. To contact The Eagle, call 202-885-1402 or go to:
  • The Photo Collective is a collaborative community of student photographers. Members’ photographs are used throughout Student Media publications and highlight campus news and events. Photographers may be commissioned by the campus community to cover speakers, conferences, or meetings. The office is located in Mary Graydon Center 252. For more information about the Photo Collective, go to
  • WVAU is a student-operated, internet radio station that airs a wide range of music, open mic nights and occasional live music events. To contact WVAU, call 202-885-1212 or go to:

Wellness Center

The Wellness Center’s programs and initiatives are based on the philosophy that wellness encompasses many dimensions, including physical, emotional, spiritual, and social wellness. The Center, located in McCabe Hall, strives to promote healthy lifestyles, reduce risky behaviors, and offer a a safe, non-discriminatory environment. Programs and events, coordinated by peer educators and professional staff, cover a variety of health topics, including alcohol and other drugs, sexual health, sexual violence, mental health, nutrition, eating disorders, and body-image. In 2015, the Center, in collaboration with the Sexual Assault Working Group, launched a new advocacy office within the Wellness Center - OASIS: The Office of Advocacy Services for Interpersonal and Sexual Violence.

For more information about wellness programs and services, call 202-885-3276, email, or go to