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‚ÄčAffinity Groups Information Guide

What is the purpose of UJ Alumni Network Affinity Groups?

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) Alumni Network Affinity Groups are a means through which alumni can continue their association with the University by engaging with each other around shared professional interests, personal interest or University experiences. These Affinity Groups are both professional and non-professional, complementing the work of our Alumni Network.

UJ Alumni Affinity Groups are volunteer groups dedicated to celebrating connections, providing enrichment and continuing UJ's tradition of service with many offering networking, social gatherings, mentorship, seminars and other means for alumni to stay connected to one another, including the University.

In addition to Affinity Groups, UJ Alumni work with PreAlumni (current students) in the crucial areas of mentorship, volunteering and entrepreneurship.

If you are interested in joining or volunteering for an existing group, or forming a new group, please email suzanm@uj.ac.za

Benefits of joining an Alumni Network Affinity Group:

  1.   Members are given the ability to form their own sub-communities within the broader UJ Alumni Network to share knowledge, collaborate and find other members with similar interests.
  2. Membership provides the opportunity to network, connect with new people (peer and industry professionals) and widen your social/professional networks.
  3. It gives members a voice in the management of UJ by representation on the Convocation Board.
  4. Collaborate with peers who represent multiple organisations and industry segments.
  5.  Members have the flexibility to create a confidential environment or an open discussion platform to bridge space and time, giving them more control over whom they share information with.
  6. Groups also provide a timeless archive of shared information that can be referenced or contributed to on an on-going basis.
  7. Creates opportunities to develop skills and experience while sharing your abilities and knowledge with others.
  8. Your enthusiasm and commitment will strengthen the University of Johannesburg.
  9.  Get invited to UJ Alumni Network and UJ events/activities.\
  10. Access to information - many Affinity Groups provide information to their members in a variety of forms; from workshops and conferences, to group sessions.
  11. Gives you the opportunity to give back to your alma mater in the form of Mentorship or Voluntarism.

 

What are the responsibilities of UJ Alumni Network Affinity Group volunteers?

  1. Recruit members to increase alumni engagement with an eye to developing new leadership.
  2. Work with fellow Affinity Group committee members, volunteers and the UJ Alumni Network staff liaison to discuss goals, activities and strategies for the group.
  3. Attend Affinity Group events where possible.
  4. Provide reports of Affinity Group activities (June & October).
  5. Record attendance for group events and submit to the Alumni Network staff liaison.
  6. Act as an ambassador for the group by explaining the group's goals to potential new members when attending events or speaking with other alumni, parents and friends of the University of Johannesburg.
  7. Manage the group's website information including: announcements, volunteer updates and events.
  8. Supply an active membership database of the Affinity Group to the UJ Alumni Network Office

 

What resources does the University provide?

  1. Marketing support through Alumni Network websites and email blasts for established groups.
  2. Access to publicity for the Affinity Group through printed brochures whenever possible.
  3. Work with Affinity Groups to develop cross-interest programming.
  4. Funding, which is available on a limited basis to support activities of individual Affinity Groups (to be discussed with the UJ Alumni Office through the relevant faculty well advance of the activity)

 

What are the responsibilities of the Alumni Network?

  1. Work with leadership members and attend meetings to determine how the group is reaching assigned goals and help strategize if they are not being met.
  2. Maintain the central database of members.
  3. Provide logistical support for event planning on an as needed basis.
  4. Attend Affinity Group events.
  5. Share knowledge of best practices

What type of events have been done in the past by Affinity Groups?

UJ Alumni Network Affinity Groups have successfully organized events such as networking, social gatherings, mentorship, seminars, lectures (by faculty or distinguished alumni) and dinners. Some events appeal to certain groups more than others.

Possibilities for UJ Alumni Network Affinity Groups

As groups develop, they may focus on whatever activities are most relevant to them.  Well-established groups might fundraise for an on-campus student group that reflects the group's own passion or interest. A moderately well-established group may grow chapters in different areas of the country or the world which shows interest in their affinity. Many Affinity Groups have a strong student focus and work toward increasing interaction between Alumni and PreAlumni.

Groups succeed when they recognize and develop leadership, meet regularly to discuss ideas and build cohesiveness, while planning activities around the goals of the group.