Groups: no experience, really. OK, OK, so I joined the Korean club cause I liked a girl in it. Feeling out of place: Don't think any student would really feel out of place here, unless they are insecure. But that's not Colgate's fault, now is it? Garb: Dress is predominately "normal" -- i.e. no look-at-me artsy types or anything like that. Interactions: Yeah, interactions are generally varied among different types of students. I guess. I dunno. Tables in the dining hall: Boring question. Next. Where from: Most students are from the "tri state area", whatever that means. Financial backgrounds: Dunno, it's not transparent. Lots of middle class students on financial aid who think they're poor (c'mon now, we're in AmErIcA!), but no one really talks about it so as a students I'll just have to fall with the stereotype: Colgate students come from relatively wealthier backgrounds. Politically aware: Who gives a shit about politics? Left/right/center: See above. Earn: No.
There are groups for everything at Colgate. That's pretty much all I need to say. Colgate is definitely a dressed-up place when it comes to clothes. It's really only acceptable to slouch around in lounge wear in the early morning or on the weekend, unless you're an athlete. Otherwise, most people at least make the effort to put on jeans. I'd say that it's definitely a fashion-forward campus. Colgate students come from everywhere, including abroad. There are certainly more kids from the East Coast than the West, but Colgate is a good enough institution to attract people from all over. Also, financial aid here is great, so there's a good mix of economic backgrounds. Class and group lines aren't very obvious here either; unless you flaunt it, no one cares. Colgate is pretty cohesive. As to politics, I actually see more liberal activity on campus than conservative, but both groups are equally active.
The student body very homogeneous and tends to dress in little more than polos, khakis, button downs, and sweaters. J. Crew, Polo, and Brooks Brothers dominate students wardrobes. Our student bodies are nice- we were ranked as one of Men's Fitness’s' "Most Fit Campuses" and most Colgate kids exercise frequently and are rarely overweight. Colgate does not have much of an arts community nor are the students particularly politically active. We have a reputation of being a politically conservative campus, but I think a better way to put it is Colgate is more conservative than you may expect given that this is a college campus in a blue state. What little diversity exists, is pretty segregated. Those who fit the Colgate mold and stereotype really seem to love Colgate, but those who don't fit the Colgate type, do not seem comfortable here.
As said above, there is very little diversity, which is very easy to understand. I know that if I were non-white, gay, muslim, etc. I would not come here. You would notice this from attending one class and seeing kids in their seersucker/vineyard vines/brooks brothers attire. Cliques dominate the student body, as most people join a frat or sorority or other organization sophomore year and stop communicating with people outside the group for the most part. In addition, the school is small enough that everyone knows who everyone else is. That doesn't mean they are friends or talk to each other, but it does mean when something happens, everyone on campus knows about it. People tend to know a lot more people they don't know than one would expect. I've heard people refer to the school as Colgate High before.
As I wrote before, the Colgate student body is generally rich, white, and from the East Coast. The few minority students on campus are generally isolated in the Harlem Renaissance Center by choice. In my opinion both sides need to make more of an effort in order to come together both in and out of the classroom. Most students are preppy, and politically students range all over the spectrum yet no one is really politically active. A typical dining hall scenario would see lacrosse players at one table with their "laxtitutes", a table of African-American students, several tables each hosting distinct fraternities/sororites, and a table of "geeks". While they may all seem different, all groups interact to some extent given Colgate's small size and the tendency of just about everyone to party on the weekends.
Colgate is not the most diverse of places. There are a lot of initiatives right now to change this. In the next few year I predict it to be different. Colgate is a safe and accepting place, but it usually recruits individuals from opposite spheres - that is, rich kids with everything or underpriveledged who are promising. It just makes social mixing a little more stratified. I wouldn't say anyone is mean or prejudice, but there are cliches. Students are socially liberal but politically from all over the spectrum. Most students are from the Boston and New York City (both NJ and NY side) area. There are also a lot from Conneticut, Colorado and California. Some from Pennsylvania (like me), DC, Oregon and Chicago.
Although Colgate is regarded as homogeneous, every clique is represented at Colgate if you look hard enough. A lot of kids played sports in high school, so a strong majority of the students are in shape. You won't see many fat people here. Politically, most students are at least mildly liberal but Colgate has its fair share of moderates and conservatives. What kids wear to class varies. Personally, what I wear to class and around campus is different from day-to-day. I can go to Frank in a stupid t-shirt and ratty sweatpants with a friend who is wearing a button-down and Timberlands. Of course, be sure to make sure you don't look scruffy if you're trying to attract the opposite sex in class.
The students at Colgate are intellectually curious, hardworking, and overall quite happy. There are people of all backgrounds on campus and students have incredibly diverse interests. There definitely are separate groups of friends, however different types of students interact often. It is easy to make friends based on where you are living, classes, clubs ad activities, and general interests. The students are open and very amicable, for the most part. It is very easy to have an intelligent conversation with someone whether it be about history, molecular biology, or current events and politics. Students are very aware; they are willing to learn and are open to new and different ideas.
Colgate students are overwhelmingly wealthy (the school costs $50,000+ per year) and white (most hail from the East Coast). I wouldn't say students 'dress up' for class, but they tend to be put together. The school says something like 22% of students identify as minorities, but I have no idea where they get that figure from. The campus tends to be pretty segregated along lines of racial and financial lines. The kind of student who would feel out of place is someone who is not very social and does not drink. Basically, a dork.
Colgate is very liberal and most students feel very comfortable going there. There are many different religious groups and churches, LGBTQ groups and culture oriented organizations. All students wear different things to class, the most common is probably jeans, a t-shirt and a jacket. Occasionally - as in any other school/city - there is some discrimination and prejudice, but very rarely. Most students come from wealthy backgrounds but there are also a great deal of students who receive aid or scholarship in order to attend.