Affinity Groups

Syracuse University Affinity Groups

Affinity groups are a key component of inclusion and belonging as they are a platform to build community with those who share your culture, identities, background, perspective, and experiences. At Syracuse University you can join one of our many affinity groups or create your own.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion provides guidance to staff and faculty who would like to form an affinity group.

Benefits of Affinity Groups

Enhanced Inclusion

Affinity groups bring people together who often feel isolated due to aspects of their culture or identities thus fostering a feeling of inclusivity.

Improved Retention

Affinity groups can create a sense of belonging and enhance inclusivity. Staff and faculty who feel they belong on campus are more inclined not to leave.

Improved Health and Wellness

Affinity groups often serve as a space where people are more likely to share their successes and challenges which can relieve stressors.

Affinity Group

Types of Affinity Groups


Connect people who share the same backgrounds, identities, or professional goals.


Build social networks and establish camaraderie.


Accomplish established goals and objectives.

Syracuse University Staff and Faculty Affinity Groups

  • Asian American Pacific Islander Faculty and Staff Affinity Group
  • Barnes Center Staff LGBTQ+ Affinity Group
  • Christian Staff and Faculty Association
  • Jewish Faculty and Staff Affinity Group
  • Latine Staff and Faculty Affinity Group
  • LGBTQ+ Faculty and Staff Affinity Group
  • Maxwell Faculty of Color Affinity Group
  • Maxwell Staff of Color Affinity Group
  • SistaProf Affinity Group
  • Staff Disability Affinity Group
  • Staff of Color Affinity Group
  • SU/ESF Parent/Family of Queer and Trans Students Affinity Group
  • Syracuse University Native Faculty and Staff
  • Syracuse University Veterans Affinity Group
  • Women in Athletics Affinity Group
  • Women in Science and Engineering (WISE)

To inquire about joining an affinity group contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Syracuse University students can begin their search for an affinity group through:

Tips for Establishing an Affinity Group

  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 the Office of Diversity and Inclusion – registered affinity groups receive:
    – visibility on our website which will help prospective members find groups to join
    – an allocation of funds to assist with programs and/or events
  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.

Syracuse University Affinity Group Best Practices

  • Recruit members – identify 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 the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) – contact ODI for changes in leadership, mission/vision, and to discuss opportunities and challenges.