Welcoming diversity

The Boston College Affinity Groups recently gathered for a welcome luncheon.
The Boston College Affinity Groups recently gathered for a welcome luncheon. (Lee Pellegrini)
Campus & Community / Around Campus | October 02, 2017

Boston College’s Affinity Groups are now planning workshops and programs to be held this academic year.

Volunteer employee-managed groups that promote the interests of their respective constituencies, the Affinity Groups at BC bring together individuals with common interests to advance and sustain a campus culture and climate that welcomes diversity and inclusiveness. They held a recently held a luncheon to reconnect, socialize, and lay the groundwork for coming events.

 “As members of the Affinity Groups continue to build community within their respective groups, it is our hope that the cross-community building among groups and the University community – as demonstrated during the luncheon – will become an ongoing occurrence, building capacity for inclusive excellence at Boston College,” said Patricia Lowe, executive director for institutional diversity.

“The groups help to move diversity and inclusion strategies forward through various efforts and are instrumental in championing a campus community that is welcoming, respectful, and fosters engaging dialogue amongst all people.”

The eight Affinity Groups at Boston College are: Asian, Pacific Islander Employees (APIE); Black Faculty, Staff and Administrators Association (BFSAA); Latino/as at Boston College (L@BC); Lesbian and Gay Faculty, Staff and Administrators Association (LGBT@BC); The Middle-Eastern Employees and Allies Affinity Group (MEEA@BC); The Women’s Collaborative; Staff Advisory Senate; and the Veterans Affinity Group.

“The BC Affinity Groups are a testament to the commitment of the University, and Human Resources in particular, to build cultural competence and capacity and to celebrate our community,” said Assistant Director for Student Organizations and BFSAA member Karl Bell.

“In the short term, BFSAA will partner with other groups in November for a ‘Gathering of Gratitude’ event to thank our Facilities, Grounds, Trades and Dining Services employees for all they do to make the University a better place. In the long term, we hope the welcome luncheon will become an annual event that allows us to celebrate the community that is BC and to recognize the beauty of our collective vision for the BC community.

Women’s Collaborative members agreed that the luncheon was a successful event for the groups to advance their collective mission.

“The Women’s Collaborative is thrilled with the success of the luncheon, the first collaborative event bringing us all together to connect, socialize, and share ideas on how to build a more diverse and inclusive community at BC,” said Government Relations Director Jeanne Levesque of the Office of Governmental and Community Affairs.

“The lunch was a wonderful first step and we look forward to working with [the Office for Institutional Diversity] and the other Affinity Groups on future socials, workshops, training or community service events to continue the collective progress,” said Levesque.

Associate Director for Selection, Development and Formation and Veterans Affinity Group member Michael Lorenz said the opportunity to connect with other Affinity Group members is a great way to build from common ideas. 

“While we each have our own passions, we often intersect at the idea that we want BC to be a welcoming place for faculty and staff to engage and interact with one another,” said Lorenz.

The Affinity Groups are open to all University employees.  Click here to visit the Affinity Groups website.

–Siobhan Sullivan / University Communications