A. Formation and organization

Affinity groups are formed and led by employees. Affinity groups must:

  • Be formed around a shared characteristic or common interest that can affect professional or academic development and be aligned with the District’s Mission, Vision, and Goals. Examples include national origin, race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, being a working parent, and caring for aging family members while working.
  • Be open to all Seattle Colleges students, employees, and volunteers. As required by state and federal law and Seattle Colleges policy, affinity groups may not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, veteran status, sex, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.
  • Adhere to all Seattle College policies.
  • Be composed of only Seattle Colleges employees and volunteers. Guest speakers may be invited to affinity group meetings.
  • As required by the Executive Ethics Act, affinity groups may not use state resources to support or oppose any ballot proposition or candidate for public office. Additionally, affinity groups may not be formed to promote or benefit any private company or organization.

Employees interested in forming an affinity group should contact their campus or District HR representative, in addition to the campus Associate Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and follow these procedures:

  • Draft a letter including the following information:
    • Names of five individual members who will support and join the group
    • A mission and purpose statement, including a list of goals, based on the College’s mission, vision, and values as set forth in the District Strategic Plan and the strategic plan of their respective college
    • Proposed activities/topics of the group and proposed timeline
    • Name(s) of designated Chair or Co-Chairs of the group
    • A commitment to respect the guidelines and practices outlined in this procedure
    • Any specific assistance requested from Seattle Colleges
  • Upon receipt of the information:
    • HR and the AVP-EDI will review the information, ask for clarification as needed
    • Submit to the Chief Human Resources Officer for approval
  • Once approved, the affinity group will be welcomed and bound by Seattle College policies and use of resources as laid out in this procedure.

B. Resources available to affinity groups

Affinity groups are welcomed, but not supervised, by the Seattle Colleges. They are authorized to make use of the following state resources for the listed purposes:

  • Physical space:
    • Seattle Colleges shared space, including conference and break rooms, may be used for group meetings on a space available basis. Because shared space is limited and priority for use must be given to the performance of business or academic tasks, it is possible that a scheduled affinity group meeting will be bumped when a room is necessary for district business or class activities.
    • Use of any District space must be in compliance with District Policies 250 (Use of Seattle College District Facilities) and 270 (Use of Seattle College District Facilities By College Groups and Non-College Groups for First Amendment Activities).
  • Employee time:
    • o Meetings, informal mentoring and training will primarily occur outside of working hours but may overlap during regular working hours.
    • Meeting preparation: employees preparing meeting agenda and/or training materials may use work time to prepare.
    • Supervisor approval is not required to join an affinity group. An employee’s participation may not interfere with performance of the employee’s assigned work. Where an employee’s performance is affected by participation, supervisors may limit use of work time on affinity group activities in order to improve performance.
    • Use of employee time must be in compliance with District Policy 400 (Ethical Conduct/Conflict of Interest Standards).
  • Computer, electronic mail, and telephones:
    • Affinity group meetings may be conducted using teleconference, Skype, Zoom, or other similar means to facilitate participating of employees and students across the state.
    • Seattle Colleges computers may be used to prepare meeting agenda and/or training materials.
    • Email and phones may be used to hold meetings by teleconference, convey information about upcoming meetings, communicate with one another between meetings, communicate with speakers or potential speakers, and provide advice and mentoring to others.
    • Use of electronic resources must be in compliance with District Policies 259 (Use of Electronic Resources) and 281 (E-mail Use).

Companion Document : Pol
Adoption Date : 2020/01/09
Revision Date : 2020/01/09