Upper School
Upper School

Support Initiatives

The Importance of Affinity Groups

Adolescence is a time of exploring and defining identity, students are actively asking and answering the questions “who I am,” “who do others expect me to be,” and “who do I want to be? ”The process of defining one’s identity can be challenging for any adolescent and there can be an added layer of complexity for students who don’t find themselves in the majority in terms of their race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. Affinity groups are an important way of affirming identity for these students. An affinity group is an occasional and temporary opportunity for students to come together with other’s who share a specific aspect of identity. Supporting student affinity groups is just one way that Walker’s strives to help students make sense of and find meaning in their experience.

Black and Latina Student Union (BLSU)

BLSU is one of the largest and most active clubs on campus. Members of this affinity group meet regularly to discuss issues of racial and ethnic identity. Activities include weekly meetings, weekend retreats throughout the year, and an annual trip to the “Body Politics” performance by and about women of color focusing on cultural identity, discrimination, body image, and self-esteem. Weekly BLSU meetings allow members to come together in a casual environment to plan projects, as well as discuss current events and issues related to being a student of color on a predominantly white campus.

Gay/ Straight Alliance (GSA)

GSA provides a space for students to talk about issues related to sexual orientation, gender identity, heterosexism and homophobia. In addition to bi-weekly meetings the club has hosted a variety of programs for the campus community including film nights, and activities to recognize “Coming Out Day” and “Day of Silence.”

International Student Orientation

International Student Orientation Leaders

This four-day program takes place before school starts in the fall and provides new international students with a chance to get acquainted with each other, the campus, and the Simsbury area. The program is organized and facilitated by returning International Student Orientation Leaders (IOLs) who prepare informative presentations, lead activities, and small group discussions.
©2015 Ethel Walker School. All rights reserved. Site by schoolyard. Sitemap
The Ethel Walker School