In terms of students and diversity, most people are friendly with oneanother, though there will always be groups or cliques: African Americans, multiethnic, Asian Americans, Eastern Europeans, Latin Americans, the athletes, the dancers, the trust-fund kids, the Orthodox Jews, the pre-med kids...there will always be groups people migrate in, but this is because they identify with oneanother, and thus spend time together. Its not exclusive, and people often have friends from all different groups. Thats what I love about Barnard; the diversity and the friendliness. You can be yourself and others will also embrace that, whatever you choose. There are Barnard women from all over the country and the world. I have friends from the city(Staten Island, Brooklyn, the Bronx), New Jersey, California, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Maine, Tokyo, India, Spain, Miami, etc. Most of them come from more liberal areas, because it is a very left wing school. Students are very politically aware and active, and take part in rally's/protests...speak their minds to make change. Last semester, there was a racial incident on campus where a noose was hung on an African American teacher's door. There was alot of protest and rally from the college/university, as well as the surrounding neighborhood to let everyone know that intolerance and hate is not tolerated...thats pretty much the only thing that is not tolerated. In terms of groups to join, there are so many. I am African American, so I attended a few BOSS(Black Organization of Soul Sisters)meetings. I was not an active member though, because my life primarily revolved around dance, both academically and extracurricularly. There is a student group for almost every racial, ethnic, religious, special interest group. There will be a niche for you, I promise. And if for some reason you feel that there is an area lacking, you can always start up your own group and get funding from the college. In terms of socio-economic status, there are people from all classes as well, because even though its expensive, there is alot of assistance given/financial aid. I want to say that no one would feel out of place at Barnard. I think there is a place for everyone. Obviously though, if you didn't like the city, didn't want a small school, didn't want all girls(though thats not as big a deal as you would think) and didn't want a liberal, opinated environment full of diversity, where everyone is different and special, then you might feel a little out of place. But only a little, because you would quickly find out that Barnard is like no other, and would be fun years of trying something new.
The student body is extremely diverse in religion, ethnicity, geographical background and educational background. Barnard works hard to create an environment of acceptance. I don't think anyone would feel out of place at Barnard. It is more likely that someone would feel out of place in New York City. Some people show up in sweats every day. Some wear the typical leggings with boots and a skirt or sweater. Some people get dressed up for class every day. There is no expected dress code. Different types of students interact in classes and in the dorms. I think it really depends on your extracurriculars. If you choose to be part of an ethnic or religious group that is congruent with your own religion/ethnicity you will be surrounded by people who are the same as you. If you choose to branch out, there is plenty of opportunity for that. Four tables in the dining hall... breakfast: a table of swimmers who come over after morning practice; a table of girls frantic over their 9 am exam. Well, the dining hall is pretty empty in the morning. The campus is HUGELY politically active. I myself am not a politically oriented person. Had I known about the overwhelming political involvement, it probably would have been on the 'con' side of the list. BUT, now that I'm here, I have learned so much and I am a more educated and cultured person for it. There is a way to be politically aware without being overtly active. Columbia is LIBERAL.
the student body is not very diverse. there are a LOT of jews. as a German jew this is really nice for me but i can imagine that being anything else at barnard might almost feel a little uncomfortable. there are a lot of asians and indians also. in general, people tend to be a little more on the conservative side. but when you do find people from the LGBT community, these tend to be very liberal and liberated! there is a sizable amount of rich white girls at barnard which gets on my nerves, personally. wearing a name means a lot here. most barnard girls are politically active and/or at least highly aware and almost a little opinionated. the girls that go to this school are very intelligent young women which makes it a pleasure to interact with most any barnard girl. as mentioned before i have found the most wonderful friends here and i have had the most interesting conversations with very intelligent women here at barnard.
Barnard has a really diverse student body. Again, this is coming from someone who went to a prep school with 90 kids in which I made up one of the 1.5 hispanics in my graduating class, so I'm not sure what other people might think. To me its certainly diverse. People here are from all sorts of racial and socioeconomic backgrounds, and while this may not be Lesbian College as many of my male friends like to imagine, there is certainly a prevalent gay community. The downside is that there arent a lot of boys, seeing as there are barnard girls AND columbia girls on campus. Its not too too hard to meet guys though. Just dont expect to meet tons through your classes. You have to join clubs and put a little more effort into it. There are also a good number of international students here, and I've found that a lot of students are from the New York area.
Students interact well across race lines and and economic lines. Big jewish community at barnard that tends to seclude itself. Many barnard students come from all across the country. The school is world class and attracts women from all over the world. Barnard women are very fashionable and rumored to be gorgeous. (This is true!) Most people politically lean left, but there are plently of old money types too. Students talk about helping the world when they graduate, mostly. Though i would say there is a population that is interested in joining the finance and consulting world, and they are certainly interested in the money that will bring them.
There is racism. There is prejudism. But where does this not exist. Actually I have found Barnard to be a very accepting school. YOu must remember that we are an all girls school so there will be drama but overall the school is nothing like high school. There are groups of friends but people are inviting and welcoming and most of the time genuine people. But people are people and you will not always run into the nicest people. Also this being a difficult school, the stress levels are high and people as people always are, are very competitive. But the school overall is wonderful and I have made some wonderful friends.
I'm not sure that there is a type of student that would feel out of place at Barnard. From what I have observed, there are many different types of girls at Barnard, allowing everyone to find their place to feel comfortable. Most students seem to be middle or upper middle class, but there are also a lot of students who receive financial aid and participate in work study programs or work on their own, making it difficult for me to judge what backgrounds many of my fellow students are actually from. I would say that most of the population is at least politically informed, and generally speaking the campus is left.
As is a lot of New York there is a very large Jewish population at Columbia University and Barnard College. I am always surprised how many extremely religiously devote people I meet here. I think this is because at Barnard you can really do your own thing. If you need to practice religious holidays no one will judge you. If you want to go out and party every night no one will judge you for that either. I'm not saying everyone gets along here, but in general people can do their own thing if they need to/want to without any criticism. And there are groups for everyone.
My classmates are very different even though they have the similar background. Most of my classmates are white and range between upper and middle-class. Some are down to earth and are concerned with helping others, they understand if someone is underpriviledge. Others are not as tolerate and have narrow-minded views. But most of my classmates are very nice and they will go out of their way to help you out no matter if you are a first year or sophomore. They are giving and proud to be strong, beautiful Barnard women.
Barnard girls are characterized by their refusal to eat in public. They look at you like you're crazy if they see you eating (quel horreur!) or if you decline to join their group diet (so antisocial!). Furthermore, they act as though not eating in public makes them somehow morally superior to you, even if you're thinner than they are (not that being thin makes one morally superior either; I'm merely trying to point out that they, like all living beings, clearly do eat, and probably more than I do).