Black Affinity Housing

The Black Affinity Housing program is located on the fourth floor of Alma Clark Glass Hall, named for the first Black student to attend Western Washington University in 1906. The program will explore and celebrate the diversity of Black and African American people and culture, with historical and contemporary context. All Western students residing in the program help foster a warm and vibrant community supporting social, personal and academic success.

Black Affinity Housing residents, representing all diverse identities, pride themselves on fostering a sense of belonging for all residents by creating a safe environment for open, honest, and sometimes challenging dialogue. Regular programmatic events and interactions allow students to deepen knowledge and understanding of themselves, peers, and the world. Any student interested in Black Affinity Housing and committed to the goals of the program is encouraged submit a request form.

Black Affinity Interest Form Frequently Asked Questions

ESS Black Affinity Webinar - Friday, April 9

Housing staff present information on Black Affinity Housing - coming fall 2021.

Goals of Black Affinity Housing

  • Build a caring and connected community among residents. 
  • Provide students with opportunities for learning about development of their own multidimensional personal and social identities. 
  • Connect residents with resources across campus that promote academic success and personal wellness centering the Black student experience.

What to Expect

Residents in Black Affinity based housing are encouraged to participate in periodic community programming and dialogues intended to build community, promote learning, and support wellness centering the Black experience. Staff will organize opportunities for residents to attend Black-centered events and general university programs as a group. 

Request Black Affinity Housing

If you are interested in Black Affinity Housing, fill out the request form below.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Black Affinity Housing is located on the south bar of the fourth floor of the newly built Alma Clark Glass Hall.  Alma Clark Glass Hall, opening in Fall 2021, is named after the first Black student to attend Western. 

Glass Hall is named after Alma Clark Glass, the first Black student to attend Western. As the building is constructed, Housing has had the rare opportunity to gather feedback on design, artwork, signage, and furniture derived from feedback of the Black Affinity Housing advisory board.

In the design of the building, Mahlum Architects of Seattle facilitated several student feedback sessions. Within multiple student group sessions, Housing and Mahlum hosted work groups facilitated by Kim Harris a Western alum, bias trainer and community consultant to gather student input around safety, fabrics, textures, and the structure of the new building, specifically considering equity and inclusion as core values of the project. 

Currently, the project manager for Alma Clark Glass Hall is collaborating with a consulting firm, MultiCultural Collaborative, in identifying artwork and signage for the new space, which will celebrate the history of Alma Clark Glass and also represent the Black student experience at Western today.

The building’s accessibility, proximity to dining and campus resources, make it one of the most desirable living communities on campus. With the ability to expand the program and lots of community development spaces it was decided that Glass hall would meet all the goals of Black Affinity housing.

University Residences consulted multiple universities around the nation during the discovery phase of this program to learn more about their affinity-based housing, challenges, and how to grow and support the program.

Housing administered presentations and feedback sessions to student leaders such as RHA and the Associated Students, rooted in the research conducted during the discovery phase. University Residences currently meets with a Black Affinity advisory group regularly which includes students from a variety of student leadership areas including but not limited to:

  • Black Student organization
  • Development specialists for the Black coalition
  • Residence Hall Association
  • Associated Students

University Residences has reserved space for 40 students to take part in the program. If Housing receives over 40 applications, our assignments team will work to open up more spaces on the floor for students to live in Black Affinity Housing.

We welcome your questions about Black Affinity Housing. Contact reslife@wwu.edu for more information.