The Office of Diversity and Social Justice provides leadership to support the development and success of diversity and inclusion initiatives across the entire campus. Affinity Group Gatherings managed by university faculty and staff are a part of collective efforts to leverage diversity to improve productivity, create a sense of togetherness and ensure that employees experience a greater sense of engagement and belonging, which in turn has a direct impact on student recruitment and persistence. In short, Affinity Groups benefit the entire university.
Affinity Groups at MU are not formed to duplicate or replicate the work of the unions. Specifically, they are not to deal with the terms and conditions of employment (the jurisdiction of the unions), which include working conditions, working hours, assignments, pay and promotions. MU Affinity groups are not part of the formal governance structure (i.e., not a committee), but rather are sites of community engagement and formation. Each affinity group determines its own priorities. MU Affinity Groups are open to all who support the mission of the group.
Affinity groups are formed around a shared identity or common goal to build community among members of underrepresented/underserved groups and to foster inclusion and awareness in the broader university. Millersville University’s staff & faculty affinity groups are linked by a common purpose, ideology, or interest, and they play a vital role in ensuring an inclusive environment where all are valued, included, and empowered to succeed. Moreover, Affinity groups play an important role in fostering an inclusive campus environment, including contributing to efforts to:
- Foster inclusion and community through a network of mentors, allies, and peers
- Provide sense of security and acceptance for employees on campus by maintaining a visible presence and sense of togetherness.
- Support new staff members in identifying campus resources and understanding university culture.
- Challenge misconceptions build positive identities.
- Advocate for policies and programs to meet the needs of members of underrepresented groups that lead to greater advancement.
- Make suggestions on educating all employees on relevant matters that impact a specific affinity group.
- Recruit, hire, and retain a highly skilled workforce that reflects the diversity of the students that we serve.
- Fostering camaraderie and building bridges amongst the campus community.