Finding your community within Northwestern


Evan Robinson-Johnson/Daily Senior Staffer

The Black House, located at 1914 Sheridan Road, under renovations.

Grace Wu , Copy Chief

Transitioning to college is hard, especially if you hold an identity that has been historically underserved, marginalized or oppressed. At an institution the size of Northwestern, there are several organizations and resources at your disposal that aim to provide marginalized students with the resources and communities that they need to succeed during their time as a student. 

Multicultural Student Affairs 

MSA, housed at 1936 Sheridan Rd., is composed of four units: African American Student Affairs, Asian/Asian American Student Affairs, Hispanic/Latino Student Affairs and Gender & Sexuality Resource Center, the last of which is housed on the third floor of Norris University Center. The composition of these four departments collectively work to celebrate the diversity on campus in addition to providing resources to these communities. 

Some past MSA programming has included Native American and Indigenous Community Celebration, Queer wellness and healing community socials, APIDA Solidari-Tea discussions and excursions to minority communities in Chicago. MSA also oversees operations at the Black House — a “home away from home” for Black students that is expected to reopen this upcoming fall after the pandemic prolonged the renovation timeline. 

For Members Only 

The largest Black student group on campus, NU’s premier Black student alliance serves to encourage political, social, cultural and intellectual unity and growth. FMO is the representative and political voice of the University’s Black undergraduate student body, and it offers a freshman mentoring program. In 2018, the organization created a Black Resource Guide containing information on various Black student organizations, on-campus resources and community resources. FMO is expected to return to its meeting space in the Black House this upcoming academic year. 

Rainbow Alliance 

Originally established in the 1970s as the Northwestern Gay Liberation Front, Rainbow Alliance serves as the premier undergraduate LGBTQ+ student group at Northwestern. The group is dedicated to providing a safe space for students of all genders and sexualities by grounding itself in a supportive and social environment as well as fighting homophobia and transphobia. Events it held in the past include Rainbow Week — an entire week of programming leading up to National Coming Out Day — and Slumber Party Drag Show. 

Advancement for the Undocumented Community at Northwestern

Active through social media, AUC sought to not only support the University’s undocumented students, but also engaging the greater NU community through dialogues in how to better support and advocate for undocumented people. During COVID-19, AUC hosted webinars on Latinx mixed-status families and voiced their support of NU Community Not Cops’ protests. They also provide resources for undocumented students in the face of ICE raids and police violence. 

Student Enrichment Services 

Housed in Foster-Walker Complex, SES serves first-generation, lower-income, undocumented and DACA students. In addition to providing resources — such as winter gear, textbooks and legal assistance — they also host community events that seek to help the FGLI students foster identity development and community. In past Wildcat Welcomes, SES hosted events for FGLI students to socialize and review what resources are available to them. 

Email: [email protected]

Related Stories:

A guide to community spaces and student groups for marginalized students 

Black students are adjusting to the temporary Black House, anticipating renovations