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Affinity Groups FAQ

Introduced to the research computing community by the Campus Champions in summer 2021, Affinity Groups encourage community members to gather based on common interests such as discipline, technology interests/needs or proximity. Below are some frequently asked questions about Affinity Groups. 

Q: What is an Affinity Group?

  • A group that encourages focused collaboration in areas where there is common interest.

Q: What are the benefits of Affinity Groups?

  • Extra touchpoint when new members join the research computing community.

  • Lightweight partitioning of the community into smaller, more accessible subsets when the need arises.

  • Communication tools such as auto-generated email lists, slack channels, and Ask.CI locales.

  • Organic leadership opportunities for career-building.

Q: Who can request to join an affinity group? 

  • Anyone with an account on this or any other Connect.Cyberinfrastructure Portal. See the Connect CI homepagefor a complete list of portals.

Q: Who approves the request to join an affinity group?

  • Type 1 - Anyone can join.

  • Type 2 - Anyone can request to join, but request must be approved by the affinity group coordinator.

Q: What affinity groups exist now? 

  • Visit Affinity Groups on the Campus Champions Portal for a complete list

Q: How do I create a new affinity group?

  • Submit an Affinity Group request form

  • Affinity Group creation requests will be reviewed and approved within 5 working days of the submission.

Q: How do I invite people to join my affinity group once it has been created?

  • Type 1

    • Send a notice to colleagues, mailing lists, etc of people that might be interested and invite them to join by clicking "Join" in the the affinity group listing. They will appear on the affinity group listing immediately after clicking.

  • Type 2

    • Same as above except that they will not appear in the affinity group as a member until an Affinity Group Coordinator has approved the request.

Q: What are the expectations of an affinity group coordinator?

  • Welcome new members to the affinity group and to the broader community (as applicable).

  • Ensure group is engaged, and contributing to the broader community through any means or mechanism that works for the group - zoom calls, slack channel, email list, Ask.CI locale or other.

  • Identify/Organize networking events when budget is available (contact Campus Champions staff for more information)

Q: What are the expectations of an affinity group member?

  • Engage with and contribute to the group's effort. 

Q: How do I leave an affinity group?

  • Click the "Joined" button again to leave the affinity group and it will revert to "Join". The departure will be reflected in auto-generated mailing list within 2 business days. 

Q: How does an affinity group get closed out?

  • Once a year, all affinity groups will be asked to confirm two leaders for the subsequent year. They can be the same leaders as in the previous year as long as they are re-confirmed at renewal. If an affinity group is not able to confirm two leaders, it will be closed out.