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Student Organizations and Activities

Students discover hundreds of ways to take ownership of their experiences, step up as leaders in the UVA community, and learn about themselves along the way. A wide range of ways to be involved academically and socially is available to students – from lectures and guest speakers to musical performances, athletic events, art exhibits, community service, and student organizations.

Opportunities for Involvement

The chance to develop leadership skills is available to every student. The first step is to learn about the many groups and activities on Grounds. Groups are defined based on their relationship with the University.

Agency Groups

These organizations act on behalf of the University and provide specific University services. Student leaders of these organizations assume responsibilities that are delegated by the Board of Visitors and through an administrative office on Grounds. Examples include University Programs Council, the University Judiciary Committee, and the Honor Committee.

Contracted Independent Organizations (CIOs)

Most organizations at UVA are CIOs. These are student organizations that exist independently from the University. These organizations do not have official University advisers, and the University does not supervise, direct, or control the CIOs’ activities. This means that anything students do in conjunction with or for the organization, they are doing on their own authority, and thus, they are individually responsible for their actions. The students are learning from their own experiences and from one another.

With more than 700 CIOs available, students can find a group for nearly any interest and level of involvement. CIOs encompass a variety of activities such as hobbies, sports, publications, community service, religious belief, culture, arts, professional development, and social communities.

Through their involvement in CIOs and other organizations, students gain skills in leadership, communication, conflict management, time and project management, budgeting, and teamwork.

Special Status Groups

These organizations act as agents of the University in the specific functions that are delegated to them by a University official. The functions of these groups are subject to the supervision and control of the University. Examples include Class Councils, Student Council, School Councils, and University Guide Service.

Recreation and Sports

Club Sports

Club sports allow students to play sports in a competitive environment with other institutions without the commitment of NCAA Division I varsity sports. Many club sports regularly compete in tournaments and events across the country. A few examples of the many club sports include: sailing, skiing/snowboarding, dance, lacrosse, crew, martial arts, racquet sports, baseball, climbing, cycling, swimming, water polo, ice hockey, field hockey, soccer, rugby, and golf.

Intramural Sports

Intramural sports offer students the opportunity to play sports in a competitive and recreational environment within the University community. Intramural leagues often are organized around residence halls, fraternities, sororities, and other organizations, but are open to any students with valid University IDs who wish to form a team. Intramural sports include, but are not limited to: basketball, flag football, floor hockey, innertube water polo, soccer (indoor and outdoor), softball, volleyball, and ultimate Frisbee.

Recreation and Fitness Programs

In addition to intramural and club sports, the Intramural-Recreational Sports Department offers students the opportunity to connect with the fitness community at UVA through formal instruction, drop-in classes, or open recreation.

Recreational Facilities

Five recreation facilities at the University enable students to exercise and enjoy recreational activities every day of the week:

  • Aquatic & Fitness Center
  • North Grounds Recreation Center
  • Slaughter Recreation Center
  • Memorial Gymnasium
  • McArthur Squash Center

These facilities collectively house cardiovascular and strength training equipment; basketball, volleyball, squash, racquetball, handball, and wallyball courts; indoor running tracks; swimming pools, hot tubs, and saunas; showers and locker rooms; and multipurpose rooms with more than 100 group exercise/training classes per week.

Outdoor facilities include two turf fields, three softball fields, three grass fields, and 17 tennis courts. For outdoor needs, Outdoor Adventure offers a bouldering wall and gear rentals, as well as a variety of trips.

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Madison House

Madison House serves as a student volunteer center located near the University. It coordinates volunteers, develops leaders, builds community partnerships, and promotes lifelong volunteer service. Every year, more than 3,000 UVA students volunteer on a weekly basis in the Charlottesville community through Madison House, serving as tutors, construction workers, day care supporters, patient service representatives, role models, and peer counselors.

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Public Service

Did you know that more than 80 percent of students do service while at UVA? Students can find volunteer and research opportunities, service organizations, community engagement courses, funding opportunities, and other ways to connect with faculty and community partners interested in applying classroom theory and knowledge to real-life problems and situations through social entrepreneurship and community engagement.