How to Establish an Affinity Group

OVERVIEW

Affinity groups build shared community amongst individuals with similar personal or professional interests based upon mutual understanding and/or identity. In support of Syracuse University’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) provides guidance to staff, faculty, or students who would like to form an affinity group.

ESTABLISHING AN AFFINITY GROUP

To establish an affinity group, please following the steps below:

  1. Identify affinity group leadership it is recommended that leadership consist of no more than one to two individuals. The leadership will work to maintain and manage the group, set the agenda for meetings, lead planning activities.
  2. Develop a mission/vision statement – define what the group’s purpose, what it does and what it seeks to do long-term.
  3. Determine a group name – ideally the name of the group will communicate who and how the group serves e.g. Black staff affinity group. However, feel free to be creative.
  4. Establish goals and objectives – identify three to five things the group seeks to accomplish. Ensure that the goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
  5. Register your affinity group with ODI
  6. Complete the annual affinity group assessment – each academic year, ODI will issue an email to the affinity group leadership team to identify opportunities for support and assess the group’s impact.

AFFINITY GROUP BEST PRACTICES

Once an affinity group has been established, the below are suggested best practices for managing and maintaining a successful affinity group:

Recruit members identity those on campus who might benefit from the affinity group and establish a plan to invite them to join the group.

Create an engagement schedule – determine how often the group will meet and maintain a consistent schedule.

Organize social opportunities – as part of the engagement schedule, include dedicated time for social activities.

Partner with ODI – contact ODI for changes in leadership, mission/vision, and to discuss opportunities and challenges.

The below are affinity groups available to faculty,  staff, and/or students.  To add your affinity group to this list, please contact diversity@syr.edu.

Athletic Department Men's Affinity Group

If you would like to learn more about this group, please email Anthony S Cosby at ascosby@syr.edu. 

Athletic Department Women's Affinity Group

If you would like to learn more about this group, please email Veronica L Tearney at vdyer@syr.edu. 

SistaProf

A group of black faculty who identify as women in the College of Arts and Sciences.

If you would like to learn more about this group, please contact Kishi Ducree at kanimash@syr.edu. 

Faculty-of-Color, Under-Represented Graduate Students, and International Graduate Students

A group of under-represented graduate students and international graduate students.

If you would like to learn more about this group, please contact Kishi Ducree at kanimash@syr.edu and/or Gladys McCormick at gmccormi@maxwell.syr.edu.

Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA)

A group that works to bring attention and understanding to Asian and Asian American issues and culture, and to provide an academic support system for all students to connect with the APALSA community.

If you would like to learn more about this group, please contact Lynda Liberatore at lllibera@law.syr.edu.

Black Law Students Association (BLSA)

A professional organization committed to furthering the academic, professional, and cultural needs and goals of Black, indigenous, persons of color (BIPOC) students at the college of law.

If you would like to learn more about this group, please contact Lynda Liberatore at lllibera@law.syr.edu.

Christian Legal Fellowship (CLF)

If you would like to learn more about this group, please contact Lynda Liberatore at lllibera@law.syr.edu.

Disability Law Society (DLS)

An organization of Syracuse University College of Law students who are working to create and support a positive climate toward disability that values individual difference.

If you would like to learn more about this group, please contact Lynda Liberatore at lllibera@law.syr.edu.

Gay-Straight Law Student Alliance (OUTLAW)
If you would like to learn more about this group, please contact Lynda Liberatore at lllibera@law.syr.edu.
International Law Society (ILS)

A student founded organization dedicated to the education and involvement of the student body in the international legal community.

If you would like to learn more about this group, please contact Lynda Liberatore at lllibera@law.syr.edu.

Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA)

A student-led organization created with the purpose of creating a space for law students of Hispanic and Latino descent at the College of Law where they can connect with other students of a similar ethnic and linguistic background.

If you would like to learn more about this group, please contact Lynda Liberatore at lllibera@law.syr.edu.

National Women's Law Student Association (NWLSA)

A group that provides a forum for the discussion and advancement of women in legal education and the legal profession.

If you would like to learn more about this group, please contact Lynda Liberatore at lllibera@law.syr.edu.

Graduate School BIPOC Alliance for Excellence (GSBA)

A group focused on fostering academic success and building community, peer support networks and a sense of welcome in support of graduate students who self-identify as Black, Indigenous or other persons of color (BIPOC).

If you would like to learn more about this group, please email Dean Peter Vanable at pvanable@syr.edu and/or Philandra Smith at psmith06@syr.edu. 

If you would like to learn more about this group, please email Suzette Melendez at smmelend@syr.edu and/or Gladys McCormick at gmccormi@syr.edu.

LGBTQ+ Faculty and Staff Affinity Group

A group for faculty and staff who identify as LGBTQ+.

If you would like to learn more about this group, please email the LGBTQ Resource Center at lgbt@syr.edu.

QTPOC Affinity Group

A group for queer and trans students of color.

If you would like to learn more about this group, please email the LGBTQ Resource Center at lgbt@syr.edu.

Trans Affinity Group

A group for trans, nonbinary, genderqueer and gender questioning individuals.

If you would like to learn more about this group, please email the LGBTQ Resource Center at lgbt@syr.edu.

MARGINS

A mentorship program for Newhouse students of color and LGBTQ students.

If you would like to learn more about this group, please email nhmargins@syr.edu.

Syracuse University Veterans Affinity Group (SUVA)

An inclusive group open to all members of campus with military service experience or a passion for supporting those who have served.

If you would like to learn more about this group, please email SUVA@syr.edu.

National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS)

A group that provides minority students in the Syracuse School of Architecture with support in academics, professional matters and services.

If you would like to learn more about this group, please contact Ebonia Moody at ebmoody@syr.edu.

Women in Design

A group that seeks to empower women in design, encourage creativity, and advocate for equality in every field.

If you would like to learn more about this group, please contact Isabella Peiling Bai at ibai02@syr.edu.

If you would like to learn more about this group, please email Marissa Willingham at mlwill07@syr.edu.

Multicultural and First-Generation Parents Resource Group

If you would like to learn more about this group, please contact  Diane M. Crawford at dmcrawfo@syr.edu

Multicultural and First-Generation Students Resource Group

If you would like to learn more about this group, please contact  Diane M. Crawford at dmcrawfo@syr.edu

A group that proudly supports the recruitment, persistence, and advancement of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

If you would like to learn more about this group, please email Shobha K. Bhatia at skbhatia@syr.edu and/or Sharon Alestalo at swalesta@syr.edu.