Many different communities make up our larger Ithaca College community. Some of these smaller communities are affinity groups, communities of like interest. Affinity groups are groups of individuals who gather to support one another, to share common interests, to develop professional and/or personal skills, and groups that convene to accomplish professional and/or personal projects.
Affinity Groups provide a unique opportunity for Ithaca College staff and faculty to support one another by offering resources specifically set up to meet their needs and address their common interests.
These groups typically schedule regular meetings to share resources, complete projects, and plan events and gatherings. Affinity group activities may focus on interests such as career/professional growth, cultural backgrounds, skill-building and social events. As voluntary, employee-initiated networks, affinity groups allow members to meet and arrange activities without being limited to specific times, locations or resources.
Just as neighborhoods are part of larger communities, so affinity groups are part of our larger Ithaca College community. Some affinity groups are on-going and are:
- related to the roles in which people function in here at the College, such as the Administrative Professionals Working Group
- faith based
- grow naturally out of individual’s interest in professional development
- learning communities, such as book clubs
- formed to provide mutual support and celebration of common cultural backgrounds
- more formal, such as Toastmaster’s and Weightwatchers
- formed naturally from community service interests and volunteer work
Some affinity groups are ad hoc and are:
- formed from a need for support during difficult times, such as the Caregivers’ Support Group
- formed to guide and support members in achieving a personal goal, such as smoking cessation groups
- created to initiate and complete a personal or professional project
Current Ithaca College Affinity Groups include: IC Affinity Groups: GO!
Affinity Groups can increase not only the support and resources available to employees, but also employees’ feelings of connectedness and community. The presence of Affinity Groups enhances Ithaca College’s efforts to retain and recruit people of color, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT), and differently-abled staff and faculty, and creates a more inclusive workplace for all employees.
For more information on starting an Affinity Group, or supporting an existing Affinity Group, please contact Jane Ray, Employee Relations and Diversity at X-48000. HR is committed to encouraging a workplace that is “Respectful, Responsive, and Resourceful”.