Student Affinity Organizations (SAOs)

Student Affinity Organizations (SAOs)

The Division of the Social Sciences, Division of Humanities and the Divinity School seek to encourage the establishment of Student Affinity Organizations to promote a culture of diversity and inclusion in our community.

Student Affinity Organizations (SAO) are voluntary, student-led groups of Ph.D. and MA students who come together based on shared characteristics, life experiences, future goals, and interest. SAOs can advance the professional and personal goals of their members and promote a culture of diversity and inclusion in the Units by: 

  • offering an opportunity for students to connect with other students across departments, and committees within and across the Units; 
  • providing students with similar interest or experiences with a support network;  
  • serving as a student resource through the organization of educational forums, professional development events and awareness of student concerns; and 
  • establishing forums to consider issues affecting the constituency of the SAO through the exchange of ideas.  

All SAOs must adhere to the regulations found in the Student Affinity Organization Handbook and the University’s Student Manual. Apply to start an SAO here

Contact with questions.

2022-2023 SAOs

Black Lady Tearoom

The Black Lady Tearoom (BLT) was founded in 2020, with the express mission of creating a space for Black women enrolled in various graduate programs at the University of Chicago. This mission is to be accomplished by providing a social network for Black Women on campus, creating events which support the varied interests of our members, making space for honest conversation about our academic experiences, offering a forum for problem-solving, and most of all, giving the BLTR women a place to call home–to set down one’s load, and be cared for. To get involved, contact Siyanda Mohutsiwa and check out our website

First Generation, Low-Income (FGLI) Group

The FGLI Group connects students, faculty, staff, and alumni who identify as first-generation, low-income, in addition to allies. In doing so, the group works to foster a sense of community among all FGLI affiliates through social events, professional development opportunities, and more. To get involved, contact

Contact Us

Office of the Dean of Students