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The organizational foundations of the Campus Y date back 160 years but the structure of the current model was developed in 1963 during which time it effectively functioned as the student union, serving as a hub for student leadership and social activism and as the leading organization for student action, addressing issues of integration, free speech, gender equality, workers’ rights, world hunger, apartheid, and armed conflict.

Until early 2024, the name Campus Y extended to the following three entities, which the University considered distinct:


  1. Campus Y department; a department within the UNC Student Affairs division that fosters student success through leadership development, student advisement and support, and high-impact local and global programming. Funds managed by the Campus Y department (within the Student Affairs division budget) support departmental operations, co-curricular development, and campus-wide student programming and resources, including the Bonner Leaders and Global Gap Year Fellowship programs.  The Campus Y department has been renamed UNC Y. Visit the UNC Y department website here.
  2. Campus Y student organization; a Registered Student Organization with more than 30 student-led committees and initiatives committed to the pursuit of social justice through advocacy, service, innovation, and direct action. The Campus Y student organization funds its activities through private philanthropy, fundraising, undergraduate student senate fee allocations, and project-based grants. It does not receive any state funds. Visit the Campus Y student org website here.
  3. Campus Y building; a historic, shared building on campus that houses the Campus Y department, Campus Y student space, Anne Queen Faculty Lounge (managed by the Office of Faculty Governance) Meantime Coffee Co., Blue Ram Café, and reservable meeting spaces for the entire campus community.