Hello everyone! Here is a post about some of the affinity groups and spaces on campus!
Some terminology: A closed group is a group whose meetings are open only to members of the identity the group is designed to support. Often these meeting times and locations are private and membership is confidential. An open group is a group whose meetings are open to members of the identity the group is designed to support, as well their allies. Some groups are partially closed, where the group is closed for a majority or sometimes all of the meetings, but then open up for specific discussions and events with allies.
For example: The Black Student’s League (BSL) is an open group, so it welcomes black students to its meetings as well as non-black students who want to know more about the black experience at Haverford, as well as how they can support their black peers. Queer Discussion Group (QDG) is a closed group, meaning that only those who self-identify as queer are welcome at their meetings, which focus on connecting queer students with each other and providing support.
Here are the affinity groups/spaces that we reached out to:
- The Black Students’ League (BSL) – open group
- Alliance of Latin American Students (ALAS) – partially closed group
- Queer Discussion Group (QDG) – closed group
- Existence as Resistance – partially closed space
- The Pan Asian Resource Center (PARC) – closed space
- Women*s Center – open space
The Black Students’ League (BSL) is an open affinity group which encourages all students to attend. Within this, BSL focuses on bringing Black students on campus together in order to celebrate their blackness, and provides a place of support and safety for Haverford’s black students.
BSL members congregate weekly for meetings, in which they discuss various facets of black life at Haverford, national and global occurrences which influence black people, or simply kick back and find some peace among the various stressors at Haverford. BSL is also the host of several campus events over the course of the year. We coordinate smaller scale events on weekends, as well as larger events such as an annual fashion show, Black Love (an event in conjunction with Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore Colleges), and WeSpeak, an event for students of color to share their thoughts and experiences with the whole Haverford community. Come stop by, our door (at the Ira De A. Reid House) is always open and we’re always here!
The mission of the Alliance of Latin American Students (ALAS) is to create an intentional space where Latinx students can share their unique experiences at Haverford and celebrate their cultures. We hope to create an open, inclusive space that will allow ALAS members to grow, thrive, and be supported at Haverford.
Furthermore, we host dinners, discussions, and other events that help Latinx students find their space at a predominantly-white-institution. Acknowledging that the Latinx identity encompasses a vast array of students from so many different types of cultures and experiences which are all accepted and celebrated inside the ALAS community. Finally, ALAS members will continue to discuss and create action regarding Latin American issues within and outside the Haverford community.
Queer Discussion Group (QDG) is a closed safe space for students who identify anywhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum or are questioning. We hold private, weekly meetings, and we do not disclose the meeting time, location, members, or content to anyone outside of the group. QDG serves as a space for queer folx to get to know each other, support one another, eat yummy snacks, and revel in queer solidarity and goodness. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to the co-heads Ari Kim (they/them/theirs, ajkim@hc) and Eva Montgomery-Morrison (they/them/theirs, ejmorrison@hc)!
Existence as Resistance
Our community house centers around the intersectionality of identities and the acknowledgment that people consist of multiple identities. Our mission is for students from different identities to come together and create a space in which our identities are seen through a multidimensional perspective. At a predominantly-white-institution, spaces where we can explore what multidimensionality means are crucial.
Existence as Resistance House offers a variety of resources for Tri-Co students. Last year, we opened our space for poetry and karaoke nights to practice self-care. Additionally, we help bridge groups together to work towards common goals. We had the chance to advance this goal by hosting a dinner where members of ALAS, BSL, and PARC came together and actively thought of ways to collaborate. Furthermore, we intend to connect with neighboring communities by continuing field trips into Philly. One of our widest-reaching events was a conference which explored the intersectionality of migration, queerness, and indigenous rights. This 3-day conference brought together community members from across campuses, initiating more dialogue about intersectionality. We hope to continue events like these and are excited to come up with new ways in which we can engage with questions of identity with the community.
The Pan Asian Resource Center (PARC) is not a traditional affinity group, but rather a room located in the DC Basement 008 that is open to all Asian-identifying students. PARC serves to unite and mobilize Haverford’s Pan-Asian community. Historically the term “Asian” has been exclusionary to many identities, so we especially welcome people of South Asian, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, and multiracial/multiethnic backgrounds, as well as international students and adoptees.
Aside from physical resources such as books and class syllabi relating to Asian identity, PARC facilitates discussions about Asian identity several times per semester. In the past, these discussions have centered around themes such as: What Does “Asian” Mean to You?, Mental Health in the Asian Community, Confronting Anti-Blackness in the Asian Community, and Reverse Culture Shock. In PARC, students can also relax, do homework, and just hang out with each other, among other things.
Alice, on what she values about PARC: As someone who grew up in an area where there were not many people of color, I was often outcasted for being Asian. As a result, PARC has provided me with the closest sense of community and acceptance I have ever felt in my life. Through PARC, I’ve learned and continue to learn about the implications of being Asian. The people I’ve met through PARC and the conversations I’ve had in that space will undoubtedly be what I miss the most after I leave Haverford.
Makoto, on what he values about PARC: Being multiracial, I felt isolated from my Asian and white peers because I never really felt like I could connect with either group. PARC has helped me develop some of my closest friends, provided me with a niche in the community where I feel incredibly welcome, and gave me a broader understanding of the world as I explore the Pan-Asian experience through our discussions and casual conversations and use what I learn to better understand my own life and the experiences I had.
Don’t hesitate to contact either one of us at ahu1@hc or mmanheim@hc if you ever want to learn more about PARC or just want to chat!
The Women*s Center provides resources, education, outreach and programming that have to do with gender and sexuality for folks of all genders at Haverford. We seek to build solidarity among women, feminine–identified folks, and all marginalized communities. Like our page on facebook for more information: www.facebook.com/hfordwomenscenter/
And that’s not all! Here’s a list of over 100 completely student-run clubs, organizations, and even more affinity groups at Haverford! You can meet and sign up for a bunch of them during our Club Fair in the fall!
Have any questions? Email Blien and Isabel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow us on Snapchat @FYsquirrel or on Instagram @hc_studentlifeoffice for fun posts and important updates/reminders!