Student-initiated groups provide a safe space for all participants to identify salient issues and common concerns through dialogue, using individual voices to bring about affirmation, fellowship, connection, and empowerment.
Students with a shared identity meet regularly, working together and with advisers to focus on specific objectives and goals. Alliances comprise students with a shared commitment to a cause. Activities include Chapel presentations, community events, and similar opportunities to inform fellow students and SPS adults about the challenges they face. Each group has a lead faculty adviser or co-lead faculty advisers.
The Asian Society at SPS is an affinity group for students who identify as Asian or Asian American. This is a space where students can feel the familiarity of those who identify as they do. The group is centered around the sharing of stories, the discussion of events, the celebration of Asian holidays, and the sharing of Asian food and culture. The group’s goal is to share in the celebration of Asian culture with each other and the greater SPS community.
Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA)
The GSA is open to anyone, including allies who are interested in discussing issues around gender and sexuality. We stand in full solidarity with people who may be disadvantaged because of their sexual orientation, sexual identity, or gender expression. We help create awareness and make systemic changes at SPS to counteract discrimination, homophobia, and transphobia, educate the community through planned events, and ensure that school policies and curriculum are inclusive.
The Hillel Society
The Hillel Society is an affinity group that works to create opportunities and programming to support Jewish students at St. Paul’s School. Through social gatherings, celebrations of holidays, and planning chapel programming we are able to connect with one another and celebrate our shared Jewish identities.
South Asian and Hindu Society
The South Asian and Hindu Society at SPS is an affinity group for students who identify as Indian or Indian-American. Our meetings feature activities including weekly check-ins and conversations on current events. The South Asian and Hindu Society offers a space to affirm, nurture, and celebrate our shared cultural identity. As members of the South Asian and Hindu Society, our role in the St. Paul’s School community has been to advance diversity/inclusion initiatives and to share our cultural experiences with the School. This includes the planning of chapel programs and campus-wide events.
The Japanese Society welcomes the participation of all students interested in celebrating the Japanese language and culture. The alliance group exists as a place for those with Japanese heritage or language skills to come together over food and Japanese media and share their experiences and love for Japan with the larger SPS student body. Importantly, the Japanese Society honors and supports the longtime exchange program between St. Paul’s School and the Seikei School in Tokyo, Japan, by providing a platform for each resident Seikei Scholar to plan events highlighting aspects of Japanese culture with our School.
Justice and Social Equality for Asians (JSEA)
JSEA is an alliance group for students of all backgrounds at SPS. A typical meeting includes discussion around a current event (which could be specific to SPS or at a national or global level), social justice initiative, or historical inequality impacting people of Asian descent. This is a space for students of all backgrounds to learn more about challenges faced by people of Asian descent either here at SPS or in the U.S. as a whole because of their ethnicity, and ways we can all work for change to address these inequalities.
The Latinx Society at SPS is an affinity group for students who identify as Latinx. A typical meeting includes a conversation about our shared experiences, a reflection on the celebration of cultural tradition, or the planning of an external event to share and to educate the community on the rich cultures of Latin America. This is a safe space for students to unpack their Latinx identity and to explore it among peers.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual or Allied+ (LGBTQIA+)
The LGBTQIA+ Affinity group at SPS is a membership for students and faculty who are part of the queer community and identify as being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning/Queer, Intersex, Asexual/Agender, Plus (other self-identifiers not listed). A typical meeting includes gathering in a safe space and engaging in conversations about shared experiences, being out (or not) at SPS, and working with the School administration to educate the community about homophobia and transphobia and counteract discrimination based on one’s sexual orientation and gender expression.
Mixed Heritage Society
This affinity group provides a safe space for multiracial students to feel comfortable discussing issues and topics regarding race.
The Muslim Society of St. Paul’s School is a diverse affinity group for students who feel inspired by, or a sense of belonging to, any dimension of Islam. First and foremost, it is a safe space for students who identify as Muslim by faith, heritage, geographical influence, or sincere exploration to support one another, inclusively, without privileging any particular sect, tradition, or national interpretation. The Muslim Society also strives to serve the greater SPS community by clarifying common misconceptions about Islam, which is sometimes portrayed in the media as less diverse than it really is, and celebrating its culture together.
Onyx at SPS is an affinity group for students who identify as Black, African American, or of African heritage. This group is a safe space for students to gather together and be in community with one another and adults. Onyx meetings vary in topics but the overall goal remains the same and that is making students feel comfortable on campus and having a “place to process.” This affinity group creates a safe and brave space for students to discuss various topics and socially connect with one another.
Transitions is a cross-cultural affinity group for students who identify as students of color. Transitions is a group where students gather to discuss the commonalities of being a non-white student on a predominantly white campus. Meetings are opportunities to celebrate one’s culture while on campus, a place to hang out, and not have to code-switch, a place to celebrate your triumphs, and discuss your frustrations. Members can build a network of support systems across campus and find themselves among peers with whom they share cultural identities and backgrounds. These connections forge strong friendships and create lasting memories.
Women of Color
The SPS Women of Color (SPS WoC) is an affinity group for students who identify as Women of Color at St. Paul’s School. SPS WoC sponsors events and gatherings to discuss concerns and topics that WoC feel are meaningful to them, inspire support of one another, and foster mentorship of students new or unfamiliar to all the opportunities SPS offers and any challenges fellow students may encounter. WoC hopes to build upon the fellowship, friendship, and fun of being WoC together at SPS.
Young Women’s Club
The Young Women’s Club is an affinity group at SPS. We seek to provide an inclusive and supportive space for the young women on campus. By surrounding the girls with other members who identify similarly, cultivating discussions about gender equity, and hosting various activities that encourage the building of strong relations between older and younger students, the Young Women’s Club is dedicated to supporting all of the girls that reside on this campus. The group’s goal is to be more active this year, which means having a greater presence in the community through frequent activities.