Cultural clubs and organizations help foster a sense of community and link students’ academic, social, and personal experiences.
The groups listed below are multicultural or social justice-oriented groups whose objectives are in sync with the Office of Intercultural Development. Click on a student group for more information or see the full list of student organizations on the Campus Life site.
Lafayette College has a chapter of Amnesty International USA. Amnesty International is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote universal human rights. In pursuit of this mission, Amnesty undertakes research, advocacy, and educational campaigns to protect human rights. Past events have included experts who spoke on the violence and genocide in Darfur, students attending rallies in DC and New York against the violence in Darfur, and letter writing campaigns to elected officials addressing human rights issues.
This group shares with the community the cultural experience of Asian students studying at Lafayette, and educates the campus on issues important to Asian students. Besides regular monthly meetings, the group sponsors various events including a celebration of Chinese New Year and an East Asian film series. They also take part in the annual International Extravaganza.
This group creates an atmosphere conducive to the intellectual, cultural, and social growth of its members and contributes to the general student body’s understanding of the needs of its black members. Through the sponsorship of cultural programs, philanthropic projects, and social events, the group helps new students adjust to a small campus atmosphere and strives to give the community a better understanding of the intellectual and cultural traditions of black culture.
ALF is an organization dedicated to educating the Lafayette community about the protection and enforcement of women’s and other minorities’ rights. The organization sponsors events including The Vagina Monologues, Take Back the Night, Love Your Body Day, and various brown bags on topics such as rape/sexual assault, domestic violence, racism, women’s right to choose, and body image. The group is committed to maintaining a comfortable and safe environment in which all members of the Lafayette community may achieve their highest potential.
An organization that celebrates the cultural contributions of Latino/as and Latin Americans, the society sponsors lectures, film, dances, and a series of lunches, during which students who are learning Spanish can converse with native speakers. The group hosts activities each year during Latino Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) including a Latin Market with food and crafts. They decorate the Landis Atrium of Farinon College Center with flags of Spanish-speaking nations. Students from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Colombia, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Peru, and other Latin American countries, provide insight into their native countries, and speak of the experiences of Latinos in the United States.
Lafayette’s student body includes representatives from about 60 countries, many of whom are members of this organization. ISA sponsors social events and lectures throughout the year, and a major week-long cultural celebration each spring called Extravaganza whose goal is to celebrate cultural diversity and to increase awareness about the various countries represented on campus. Each day a different region is highlighted by displays, discussions, events, and film screenings. The week concludes with the Grand Finale, which includes food tasting and a fashion/talent show. ISA publishes World Wise magazine each spring, and you can find an international students’ handbook on its web site.
The Interfaith Council is an alliance of students and advisers from the religious life organizations and the major religious and spiritual traditions represented at Lafayette. The Council meets twice monthly to discuss programming ideas and issues affecting people of faith on campus.
Membership in LACSA is open to all students at Lafayette. The organization aims to educate the Lafayette community about African and Caribbean culture and way of life, promote cultural diversity activities with an African or Caribbean focus, and help incoming African and Caribbean first-year students adjust to a new environment. The group organizes movie nights, trips to museums, and other activities as well as monthly meetings.
The purpose of Le Cercle Francais (Lafayette’s French Club) is to enable the campus community to encounter and better accept French language and culture. The group organizes French-themed events such as a National French Week guest lecturer, a Mardi Gras celebration, a film festival/contest for local high school students, and various other events that involve French cuisine, films, and games. Its members run a community outreach program to teach French to local elementary school students, and the group offers a forum for students, faculty, and staff of all skill levels to practice speaking French.
The Muslim Student Organization (MSA) strives to provide a friendly and cooperative environment where Lafayette Muslim students from around the world will be able to interact with other student bodies on campus and other Muslims in the community. The group also aims to educate the Lafayette community regarding issues pertaining to Islam. Over the course of the year, MSA organizes informative lunch time talks, trips to the Allentown mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, as well as an annual event to celebrate Eid/Diwali in conjuction with the Asian Students Association.
The Newman Association is the Catholic student group on campus that welcomes students of all religions with its many social and spiritual activities. A retreat to Cape May, New Jersey, is held every fall. Fellowship dinners are open to the campus and are held at the Newman House on McCartney Street about once a month. In addition, Newman organizes a student-run weekly Mass, social outings (bowling, ice skating, movie nights), and spiritual activities. Meetings are Monday nights at 9 p.m. at 119 McCartney Street. A discussion group also meets weekly. Meeting times for this group vary from semester to semester.
NIA is an organization which provides a forum for open discussion on prevalent issues facing multicultural women on campus, and creates a sense of support and sisterhood within the Lafayette community.
The step team strives to incorporate several universal themes within its existence, these themes being that of diversity of
culture, competition, unity, dedication, discipline, responsibility, and personal fulfillment. The many elements that this organization comprises of are condensed to the four main initiatives that we wish to employ which are tradition, honor, entertainment and satisfaction.
Quest’s mission is to provide Lafayette students, faculty, and staff with a neutral environment in which to discuss issues concerning sexual orientation and gender identity; to offer support to anyone struggling with these issues; and to help educate members of the Lafayette community and surrounding areas on topics dealing with sexual orientation.
The mission of Stand Up Social Justice is to create and maintain a safe, honest, and regular online blog forum for Lafayette students to submit their thought-provoking and personal pieces that promote, discuss, and inspire social justice on our campus and in the world.