Colgate University Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.

Susan

There is a certain awareness of racial, religious, LGBT groups on campus, emails are sent out, banners are made, but I don't know if any impact is made or any success is had. Most students dress nicely to class, button downs, sweaters, polos and designer jeans with fashionable sneakers, boots or of course, Uggs. If you want to interact with people of different backgrounds you do, if you don't, then you don't. There is a section of the dining hall that the African-Americans predominately eat at. Most Colgate students are from New York or the rest of New England area. Most students are very well off. BMWs, Lexus's, Escalades, etc. Some flaunt their wealth, others don't. Students care and discuss politics but we are in a bubble. Current events are discussed but not broadcast around and there is not a lot of activity on campus.

Gene

Colgate is the most homogenous place I've been at. I am white and rarely see people of other races, black or Asian, specifically. When I do see African Americans, they tend to always be in groups or with an affinity club, which is kind of disappointing because I almost feel excluded or that they are trying to separate themselves. I am friends with a few black people, no asians, whereas at home, two of my best friends were Asian and three of my closest friends were black, so it's definitely a change-up. It doesn't seem that there is an obvious racial separation - it's not like there is prevalent racism on campus - but I do find lots and lots of white people and lots of white people always hanging out together.

Laura

colgate definitely attracts a certain kind of person, but the admissions office is working on breaking that mold and that idea. i stand by the mantra that most students work hard and play hard.

Mike

Most of the student body is from CT, NY, NJ, OH, or somewhere nearby, but there are still a lot of us from other parts of the country (three of us in just my grade came here from the same high school in Minnesota). Students are athletic, fit, preppy, happy, outgoing, etc.

Andy

The student body is not particularly diverse. There isn't any friction or conflict between different groups, but people still tend to self-segregate. There seems to be a group for pretty much every student, but the population is definitely dominated by upper-middle class white kids from the East coast, many from private schools. Probably 95 times out of 100, someone is from either New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Mass., or California (in that order). That said, everyone is extremely friendly and laid back and it is very easy to make friends. People here are always involved in some club or organization, and the school tends to be very open to new ideas from the students. My advice is to get onto the different boards that the school makes, as these seem to always be well funded and respected by the administration.

Michael

Great students, I love my friends.

Chris

There is some mixing between different groups, but for the most part, groups can become very segregating, whether it is a club, sport, organization, or greek system. One keeps one's groups of friends, and branching out occurs only through involvement in other groups that one might be in. Students are mostly liberal, but the political spectrum is all encompassing.

Corey

Colgate's student body needs more diversity. Minority and International students are still under represented.

Devin

PRETTY MUCH WHITE KIDS HANGING OUT WITH WHITE kids a few minorities sprinkled about but racial groups tend to stick together

Alex

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.

Nikki

My experience at Colgate is within the greek system which is stereotypically white upper middle class students. I think the majority of people I see on a day to day basis are from New Jersey, New York, or Connecticut. It is uncommon for a lot of minorities to be involved with the Greek system and I actually think Colgate is a very segregated community because there is not a lot of diversity which makes it so the minority students usually clump together and interact with one another. Students are usually pretty casual going to class, it is not uncommon to see people in a Colgate sweatshirt or their sorority/fraternity tshirts. Besides that, a lot of students look like they just walked out of a JCrew catalogue.

Jason

To be entirely honest many of the religious groups on campus rub me the wrong way. I identify as a non-religious Jew and have found myself put in many uncomfortable situations in which I am made to feel as if I am somehow in the wrong. I have no problem with people being religious, but I do have a problem with people telling me I need to be religious. The student body in general is pretty affluent. Because Colgate does not pursue need-blind admission and is a private school this is an inevitability. Still, there are some more wealthy than others, but it doesn't create much tension on the campus. There are some uncomfortable situations, but that's the way life is.

Kathlin

We are somewhat racially divided. Rich students are popular. We are predominantly politically left, though there are many who are conservative as well.

Lauren

"What are your experiences with racial, religious, LGBT, socio-economic, and/or other groups on campus?" No group gets in your face. The groups are there for awareness, and then activism if you want it. I have been to LGBT functions as an advocate; in fact, Big Gay Weekend 2007 was tons of fun, and I really enjoyed hosting a student. "What kind of student would feel out of place at Colgate?" LGBT students, though this is getting better with each year. "What do most students wear to class?" Jeans, rain/snow boots (when the season gets going), and a nice shirt. Or sweatpants, t-shirt/sweatshirt, and the appropriate boots. "Do different types of students interact?" Yes, though not all the time. "There are four tables of students in the dining hall. Describe them." Athletic teams, freshmen, and everyone else. (Those are three tables, I know.) "Where are most Colgate students from?" Dirty Jersey. "What financial backgrounds are most prevalent?" Lower-upper class and upper-middle class. "Are students politically aware/active? Are they predominantly left, right or center?" There are a few more conservative-minded students on campus, but it takes all kinds... Students are active, but I don't think that Colgate has seen much in the way of protesting. "Do students talk about how much they'll earn one day?" Yes.

Matthew

Colgate feels almost completely white so I rarely think about it. I think black students and gay students would feel out of place. Most students wear jeans, tshirts or sweaters - sandals when it's warm. table 1 - athletes 2 - gossipy girls 3 - people you've never seen before 4 - freshman guys who will probably be in fraternities. most students seem to be from the northeast. Most students tend to be well off, financially. Some students seem politically aware/active. THere is definitely a "Colgate Bubble" though.

Doug

If you walk onto the quad between classes and take a poll of 20 people and where they come from, you'll probably find that 10 of them came from the NYC Metro area (NY/NJ/CT), 8 of them came from the Greater Boston area, and the other 2 came from California. True this is a generalization, seeing that we have students from 48 of the 50 states, plus international students... but those NY/NJ/CT/Mass people can sometimes dwarf the other population. I don't really think this is a good or bad thing, just something to know. It's great if you want to travel to one of these cities for a break or something, because its hard to miss a free place to crash for the night.

Rory

more diverse than people think. our homogeneous student body is a flawed stereotype. pretty accepting place, but the openly gay kids do not choose to join fraternities still.

Allyssa

While not the most diverse campus, people are very accepting of one another. There are a lot of great multi-culture opportunities and students and faculty are working hard to provide even more.

Maddy

Colgate students are generally socially liberal but economically conservative. Many will grow up to be Republicans but being a liberal is "hipper" in college. Different types of students can interact but you have to make an effort to get to know different people. It is very easy to fall into one category here.

Jeff

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.

Blake

Most students are from the white, upper class society. Not much diversity, many ethnicities would feel out of place. Different types of students hardly interact. Sports players very cocky at the school.

Ryan

One would definetly find a group that he or she would gravitate well to.

Jesse

Colgate's student body is very homogenous, mostly white and upper middle class to upper class students from urban or suburban areas in the Northeast. I have friends of different races but even though most people are friendly, the students of color tend to stick together. There are groups for LGBT students, students interested in religious life, and other things of that nature but most of the people I have met here are non-practicing Jews or Christians and straight or not openly gay. I have friends who are not upper class or upper middle class and I don't think it matters to them except that they can't spend money the way some people here do. The students at Colgate are very concerned with their appearance, a lot of people here go to the gym and most everyone dresses nicely. A typical Colgate girl will wear some kind of Ugg boots, a Northface fleece or jacket and designer jeans to class. I honestly think that anyone who is friendly and nice can fit in here, even if most of the other people around them are different.

Sarah

I try to be as open as I can. I am not a member of any of the social awareness groups on campus. People will wear anything to class. A majority try to dress stylishly, or clean cut, but that shouldn't and doesn't really stop people from wearing what they want to. No one really cares or is overly judgmental of others' attire. Mixing in the dining hall isn't as common as it could be, however I would explain that as social groups formed by activities or sports teams, and not as much socio-economic or racial issues. Many students are from the tristate area, but my favorite people are actually from the midwest and the west. I've found plenty of people from these areas even though Colgate is heavily dominated by east coast students. A majority of students probably are prevalent, however you would be surprised how many students do receive financial aid. Some students are politically aware and active just the same as other students are into theatre--everyone finds something they like or something they want to do and politics is no different. Generally, Colgate is a relatively liberal school (I think? Most of my friends are...it is partly the nature of being an east coast school). It's not overly liberal though--more moderate than anything else, but with a liberal edge. Most people don't talk about how much they'll earn one day--that can be sickening to listen to, although I think that most people would like to earn a lot.

Becky

a lot of students get dressed up for class. Sometimes it's a pain when you feel like a bum and don't want to get dressed. Students here are definitely liberal to moderate.

Eric

There's diversity here? They claim it, but I don't see it, and don't really care. Most students are from Long Island, Westchester County, or New Jersey. There's also a bunch of people from Massachussetts. People are as politically active as they want, from apathy to passionate, but apathy is more common. Most people here are from affluent backgrounds (one of my professors said that 80% of students here pay full fare...myself included). It's just generally accepted that people here either already have a pile of money or one day will.

Eileen

The student body at Colgate is not as diverse as I had expected. The overwhelming majority of students are upper-middle class from the Northeast and are white and straight. The presence of the various racial and religious groups is certainly felt on campus and within the classroom, and all groups interact, but outside of academia, these groups tend to stick to themselves. Most people dress up for class and save sweats for the weekends or the gym, but there's no pressure felt to constantly look nice. In terms of politics, I would say there are more liberal students than conservative. They're not found solely within the hippie population, but in every group.

Katrina

There are a lot of club offerings for all sorts of things. Clubs are usually small but they are there. Everyone is pretty friendly with each other and there are no defined cliques. There is a good mix of students democratically. I would say that Colgate students aim to get higher on the income bracket than most colleges, but they don't usually brag about it.

Mark

Persons of color may feel out of place if they are bothered by going to a predominantly white school. Although persons of color are not necessarily discriminated against overtly, there is a sense of segregation. The source of that segregation and what can be done to change it has been a pretty consistently prevalent issue for the duration of my time here. Colgate students are mostly from the east although there seems to be a disproportionate number of students from Colorado. The majority do not qualify for financial aide, which is saying something since tuition is in the area of fifty thousand dollars per year. However, it has not been my experience that differences in socioeconomic background interfere with a student's ability to make friends or break into the social scene. I am from a very middle class background and am from Idaho (I'm one of like two Idahoans here at Colgate) but I have a lot of friends who are from Long Island or Westchester or Jersey and whose dads work on Wall Street or are corporate lawyers who pull in six figures.

Charlie

I talked about this a bit in stereotypes, but I'll elaborate. Everyone is pretty accepting, though it depends what definition of diverse you use to determine how "diverse" Colgate is. Unfortunately a stereotype that it's not scares off people that would potentially make it MORE diverse. A lot of cultural groups have presences greater than their constituent parts, which is good. I think most people could feel comfortable. Maybe except racists and homophobes, but I don't think anyone else would want them here either... Most students are... normal. Jeans, t-shirts, coats. It's not something I pay attention to. Of course there's a few people that are concerned with being fashionable, but most people aren't. Having lots of different extracurriculars helps people from different groups interact. You'll see a lot of people participating in things because they're genuinely interested, regardless of any connotations of the activity. Most students seem to be from the northeast, though they're trying to expand a lot and have students from almost every state. Even from the northeast, though, backgrounds differ a lot. I've had friends from estates in Westchester and Harlem, whose parents could pay for college 10 times over and whose parents can't pay a dime. I don't know if that's typical, but I hope it is. Students seem aware but not too active, though there's several groups on campus that are very enthusiastic. Too many protests/political issues could be annoying - this way groups pick and choose the important problems that students care about. In general people seem to be moderate to left-leaning. There's some outspoken conservatives, but they seem to be in the minority. For some reason we have a reputation as being conservative, but I think that's just compared to colleges and universities known for being incredibly liberal (like Berkley). I've never heard people talk about future earnings. People talk about what they dream of doing for the rest of their lives, what will make them happy. Bringing up salaries for seniors seems almost... not taboo, but you certainly don't brag about it. People seem to all be really passionate about whatever they are interested in, regardless of the financial payoff. I'm sure there's students here who are only in college to get a prestigious degree to get a good job, but I don't think I actually know many. If anything, people joke about "living in a box" because they're pursuing what they love to do and it's not lucrative (like teaching for example).

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