The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has an active student community, with over 800 student organizations on campus. Learn more about student organizations and how to register a new one from the department of Student Life and Leadership.
New student organizations that wish to use the University’s name in the organization’s title may do so, as long as University sponsorship or endorsement is not implied or stated. If an organization uses the University’s name, it must adhere to one of the following naming conventions:
- Organization Name at (The) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Organization Name at UNC-CH
- Organization Name at UNC-Chapel Hill
- Organization Name at Carolina
The organization name may not use any of the following naming conventions:
- UNC Organization Name
- Carolina Organization Name
- UNC-Chapel Hill Organization Name
- UNC-CH Organization Name
- Tar Heel(s) Organization Name
- Heel(s) Organization Name
Student groups not registered with the University may not use the University name or any other University trademarked term in their organization’s name. Examples of University trademarked terms can be found on the Office of Trademarks & Licensing’s UNC Brand Sheet.
Currently registered student organizations that do not follow the naming conventions outlined above are encouraged to rename their organization in order to align with the standards being implemented in August 2021. Following the approved naming conventions will ensure consistency and clarity among all student organizations and their connection to the University.
Registered student organizations at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill fall outside the University’s visual identity and logo system and may create their own custom visual identity. Please note that custom logos cannot use elements from any protected University marks and may not mimic the appearance or structure of official University logos. Examples of protected University marks can be found on the Office of Trademarks & Licensing’s UNC Brand Sheet.
If a group wishes to include an element from one of the University’s trademarked logos, the design of the element in the custom logo must be an artistic representation that is distinctly different from the University mark. The design of artistic representations should not start by using or closely mirroring the official University mark. To learn more about when an artistic representation is required, contact UNC Creative.
Beginning August 16, 2021, registered student organizations that design a custom logo must submit the design to Communications and Creative Services within the Office of Student Affairs for review and approval prior to use. Student organizations registered before August 16, 2021 that do not follow these guidelines are encouraged to redesign their logo and visual identity to align with the approved guidelines.
Co-Branding with University Marks
Registered student organizations and other departmental student groups are allowed to include the official University logo, unit logos or department logos on materials when co-branding is needed, and approval has been granted. When used, the University logos may not be altered, and all requirements must be met regarding clear space and minimum size. Please submit requests for co-branding to UNC Creative or the Office of Trademarks and Licensing for review and approval prior to use.
Student groups interested in having a website for their organization may use the “tarheels.live” domain. Support for these websites on the University’s network will be provided by ITS Digital Services, free of charge.
All websites associated with the University must meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A and AA standards. All web owners must develop and edit their sites with accessibility in place.
An accessible website includes, but isn’t limited to:
- Alternative text on all images
- Headings and semantic elements
- Descriptive and clearly marked links
- Content in easy to understand language
- Text and background colors with clear contrast
- Interactive elements that are keyboard accessible
- No time-based elements such as image carousels
- Captions on all videos
The Digital Accessibility Office provides guidance and training for ensuring that your website is accessible. Registration for the required training can be accessed on their website. Additionally, please send a link to your website to the Digital Accessibility Office for review prior to launching.
Office of Trademarks and Licensing – The Office of Trademarks and Licensing should be involved any time merchandise is produced using one of the protected University marks. This office can also help with considerations for appropriateness when naming a student organization and developing a visual identity.
Carolina Communications and Creative Services – Carolina Communications and Creative Services serves the design, photography and videography needs of UNC student organizations.
UNC Creative – UNC Creative is the award-winning in-house design agency for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, specializing in creative strategy, branding and a full range of design.
HeelLife – HeelLife is the hub for student organizations, managed by the department of Student Life and Leadership.
Student Life and Leadership – The department of Student Life and Leadership works with all student organizations to facilitate use of University resources and to empower students in their provision of services, programs and activities.