Denison University Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.

Alexandra

Denison students are dedicated to education, and dedicated to building lasting relationships with each other and the school.

Danelle

The student body is diverse enough that you can and will meet many people who are similar to you. It has been over a decade and I am still close friends with five of the people from my floor freshman year in East Hall. The more involved you are with various groups, the more people you meet. The only thing that I think really needs to be improved is the GLBT climate, but it has improved in the last decade, at least as much as one can tell from the occasional homecoming or class reunion visit.

Antonio

The great majority is very WASPy and rather well off. There are a ton of people on scholarship, atleast all the smart ones and the few diverse people. All of my friends are on some sort of merit aid, if not also financial aid. Most students interact only with people similar to themselves, it's hard to be between friend groups here as your friends basically become your family, so groups don't interact. Most people would have a hard time mentioning a news event that is off campus. Everyone is really nice though, they are always polite and respond to greetings. It's a pretty conservative bunch though but only politically speaking, but politics aren't really a big deal on campus.

Tyler

My classmates are intellectually driven students competing with each other seeking to gain more knowledge.

Stetson

Smart and engaged yet often inclined to procrastinate and dissipate; however, they are still very involved in various aspects of our community. Unfortunately, most have little school spirit, and look at the four years of college as four years of reckless fun. Few truly appreciate the liberal arts philosophy.

Giana

They are extremely driven, bright, curious, career-driven individuals. Many of them know how to have a good time and relax on weekends, but they also know that they are here for academics. My classmates are also talented in many areas, not just cerebral. They are very active in greek life, volunteering, sports, intramurals, music, art, working, etc. A majority of them are also very preppy and from the East Coast, but I do not feel as though they are not open to meeting others. Typically people here fit a mold, however.

Abigail

I love my friends but some people I could definitely do without. A lot of people here dress very nicely, are from wealthy upper-middle class families, and are very conservative. This school seems exclusive and overwhelming at first but once you find your place, it is the greatest place ever. They're cliquey, they drink a lot and the love to wear polos.

Andrew

I love my friends

Kevin

Most of them are good people, easy to make friends.

Amanda

Students are diverse and yet many are very similar, upper class students that wear uggs, polo shirts and burberry...

Chase

Elitist. Many of the fraternity/sorority student body simply think they are better than everyone else.

Devin

May 26th at the homestead 30th reunion.

Devin

Denisonians For Obama got to participate in a conference call with BARACK OBAMA!

Catherine

There are students from all kinds of backgrounds and the students that interact with all kinds are the ones that get the most out of their Denison experience. If you are open-minded and understanding of cultural differences and respectful of your fellow students, then you can earn the respect and friendship of any other Denison students. Many students are independently-minded and act accordingly, so there aren't many standards for dress or behavior; everything that is respectful of others is acceptable. It is a liberal atmosphere and, thus, anything is acceptable, whether it express conservatism or liberalism, upper-class or middle-class. At Denison, you can be who you are or want to be without concern for others' judgment if that is what you want to do.

Claire

Denison's student body is White, good-looking and stylish, however when you walk around the quad you are likely to see people who "break the mold" such as hippies, punks, nerds, and people of other races. It would be hard to be of any socio-economic class other than upper middle class to upper class. Girls always wear designer clothing as well as some boys. Much of the student body from the East coast went to boarding school. Students do not wear sweatpants to class. Boys were khakis and polos and girl wear sun dresses (when the weather permits). The important thing is to always be carrying your expensive tote if you are a female. Denison students interact with people of their own kind. The Black students are mostly seen with other Blacks and the frat brothers stick to themselves. Most students are from Ohio, Connecticut or the Chicago area. Many students are politically active and aware of important current events.

Amanda

Another great thing about Denison is what everyone brings to the table. No one comes from the same background and everyone is different and that is great at a school like Denison. All different types of students interact and at least try to make acquaintances with other groups. If there were four tables of students in the dining hall they would be the multicultural group, the athletes, the theater majors, and the students who like to show off their money. Each group is unique and individual however outside of the dining hall and in the dorms or classrooms they all mix and get along great.

Monica

I personally haven't experienced any discrimination in these aspects but the forum certainly revealed that problems do exist. I have come across a lot of different kinds of students at Denison but the college seems to be big enough that every kind of person manages to find friends to mix around with. Most students wear skirts, shorts, t-shirts, or dresses to class during the summer and winter coats, jeans, and boots during the winter. Interaction is there between different types of students but it is limited. A lot of the times I feel that most students stick to their own kind. Most Denison students are from America. I think Denison has students from all types of economic backgrounds and yes, I do think that students are politically aware. No, I have not heard students talk about how they'll earn one day.

Chelsea

I seem to blend in with everyone on campus. I'm a rich little white girl who basically pays a full-ride, which is not cheap, and gets looked past for im just like the stereotype, someone dressed as a prep, polite, and a smart-ass for we tend to think we know everything.

Tia

One of my biggest problems with Denison (and one the administration has been trying to fix for many, many years without success) is its diversity. Most of the students that attend here are white and upperclass or white and middleclass. But very few are lowerclass or of a different ethnicity. We have plenty of students from outside the country to pad the ethnic diversity when it comes to nationality, but very little domestic diversity occurs at Denison. Denison is well known for being a very liberal Liberal Arts College. Its LGBT population is very prominant, and the club Outlook (kind of like a college Gay-Straight Alliance) often coorisponds with the Black Student Union to host functions.

Dylan

I had great experiences with peopel of all races, genders and creeds. One of my best friends was a black male from inner-city Chicago. I am a white male from the suburbs. We had more in common than society would ever let us believe, but we had to find that out for ourselves. People don't have to have the same background to be friends. In fact, none of my close friends were from my area. That being said, similar racial and cultural groups do flock to each other, but that is indicative of our culture as a whole. The most important thing is to not avoid the issue. Everyone is aware that race organizes our society, so why not talk about it? Put the issues out in the open, and much of the tension will be dissolved. I have some minority friends who feel out of place at Denison, but wouldn't this be true of anyone in a drastic minority position? I found that if you treat everyone with kindness and respect, it doesn't matter how dark your skin is or what God you worship. Take the diveristy at the school and use it to your advantage- other people have invaluable experiences that you will never have; learn from them, and let them learn form you.

Gene

Diverse amoungst its whiteness... Depends who you are friends with, most of the population is white and waspy, but there is a big international group of kids (who tend to keep to themselves since they were on a separate Denison orientation). However two of my good friends are from Bombay (Mumbai). My girlfriend is foreign, I have a number of African American friends, but some of them also keep to themselves and seem to cause more of a racial issue than the white students. Denison had a forum throughout last year about problems perceived by black students, which I had no idea existed. The president tried to ignore which made it worse. If they perceive a problem, it should be addressed - I am just not convinced it exists.

Katie

Denison has made it a point to raise awareness of all ethnicities and social backgrounds. Many students that attend Denison are well-to-do financially, but there are many that are receiving large amounts of financial aid from the school. Not many students are politically aware, but discussion can be fueled by hot topics in the media and feed academic discussions in and out of the classroom.

John

Mostly a white campus and the minorities are trying to change that, but it's not going to happen

Adrian

There are some groups that, to an extent, are easily recognizable: the Chinese (and some other Asians), who often hang out together and speak Mandarin; the African-Americans, many of whom are involved in the Black Student Union; the South Asians (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh), who make up a comparatively large section of a population, and whose "group borders" are frequently more porous. There is a sizable Catholic population, as well as the panoply of Protestant sects, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, and the proudly irreligious. Most of the time, people dress well. There is an emphasis on putting forward an image that, though not necessarily made of the most expensive clothes, is one of careful appearance. Conversations range depending on the students; it's not uncommon to walk through the dining hall and hear one table discussing the YoYo Ma concert yesterday, another table arguing about the place of religion in democracy, and another talking about how freshman chick X fucked two Delta Chi's (in the same night). Politics and religion do matter to people here (in conversation, anyway). There's a pretty wide spread in terms of socio-economics, with the majority stretching across the middle class, a few from the lower class, and a larger section with quite a bit of money. The vast majority of Denison students are socially liberal, and I'd say a lot of the students are centrist-left fiscally (although there is much greater variety along the "conservative-liberal" spectrum outside of individual liberties). Most students are welcoming of LGBT individuals, and it's not uncommon for gay and straight friends (guys included) to room together.

Matt

People do dress up for class though when you oinly have one class like on a tuesday or thursday, it is common to get through it in sweatpants.

Katie

I would say that most students are from the midwest. Different types of students interact. I have learned a lot from people who have different beliefs, thoughts and opinions from my own. People wear a range of clothes to class, some people wear swats, others jeans and tee shirts, other people dress up for class. I personally dress to my mood because I do not feel over dressed or under dressed.

Ryan

This past year on campus was fairly active with regards to racial and LGBT awareness and oppression. There were incidents of hate crimes, both race and LGBT related, and there was a day-long campus discussion forum to raise awareness and discuss many of the problems at hand. Denison constantly brags about our so-called "diverse" atmosphere, but I think that it is not quite as friendly to race and sexual orientation as people would like to believe. Steps are constantly being taken to increase diversity, and I hope they really pay off because I think this campus could turn into a great liberal arts school with a greater number of diverse perspectives on campus.

Jess

While I will say that Denison is not the most diverse campus, they do work hard to promote and encourage cultural understanding and diversity. Most students study abroad their junior year. You could pretty much talk to anyone anywhere on campus and they would invite you to hang out or offer you help. There is a very "midwestern" kind feeling. Studnts are active in on campus organizations, there are tons of them.

Paige

While there is not a whole lot of diversity at Denison, I think any student could find a niche at Denison. There are a ton of extracurricular groups for students to join, and if there isn't one you like, you could very easily start a group. Most students are generally preppy, and girls get really dressed up for going out at night. There are a lot of students from the Northeast, many of whom went to either private schools or boarding school. I think different activities on campus bring different types of students together.

Jill

I feel like Denison's campus is not super-diverse, even though we do have different racial, religious, and socio-economic groups represented. I feel like there are certain cliques at Denison, and people generally stay in their respective groups, but I feel like this is pretty common at a lot of schools, even though it's kind of unfortunate. I feel like Greek Life is pretty big at Denison and a lot of times you are identified with what sorority, fraternity, or athletic team you are on. On the whole, Denison likes to dress well. Most of Denison's students look good, a lot of the time. Even to class at 8:30 in the morning, which is something that I really will never understand. I'm not trying to say that girls and boys from their respective groups or teams only talk to each other all day long, but there is definitely a divide.

Chris

Many people are downers, but many people are beautiful. Just bring your positive vibes, and if you don't like it, change it. That's something that's great about Denison--it is small enough that people know who you are and you know who other people are. If you want to make a change, there's not a whole lot holding you back.

Betsy

Denison comes from a very privileged background, but has made enormous strides in recent decades to reach out to minorities and those of lower socioeconomic strata through generous financial aid (which explains why I'm there). Students are predominantly, for example, Obama fans.

Ali

I guess I don't really know what sort of student would feel out of place at Denison, but maybe kids who are anti-social and unwilling to meet people. There are definitely a number of students like that, but I don't know if they feel out of place. Certainly different races and LGBT groups are present on campus, and thank god they are. If it weren't for the small amount of diversity that Denison has to offer, I would go totally crazy. I just wish there was more diversity. If there were four tables in the dining hall, they would be the 1) sorority girls, 2) the fraternity boys, 3) the swimmers, 4) random people (a mixture of unaffiliated people, minorities, and anyone who doesn't fit in the above categories), JUST LIKE HIGH SCHOOL! I like the fact that Denison students are from all over the country, and all over the world. I was at dinner with a group of 10 Denison students the other night and I was looking around the table and noticing that not two people in our entire group of friends was from the same state. Pretty cool.

Julie

Denison's student body is basically all white and upper or upper middle class. There Asians and African Americans as well, but they're not even close in number to the white majority. Religious diversity is a topic I don't know much about. I have a few Jewish friends, but other than that, most of my friends are Christian. Many people at Denison dress preppy, though it's perfectly acceptable to wear sweats to class. People don't talk about how much they'll earn one day. Students are politically aware in general. I would say most students are liberal, but that may just be my friends... there are definitely some conservatives out there...

Kayanna

When you go to class, you'll find everything from pajamas to dress clothes (especially in your 8:30 AM classes). No one really reacts to either one as unusual, that's just how campus is. Since you live on campus all four years, you'll spend a lot of time with all ages of students (17-23 or older, and the occasional young-young student of like 13). You'll make friends of all ages, and no one will be shocked to find a freshman and senior hanging out on a Friday night. And Denison students come from all over the place (USA, Australia, Egypt, Bangladesh, India, Korea, Japan, China, Russia, Africa, Pakistan, etc etc etc); you'll get a chance to learn about many other cultures. I loved that aspect of it.

Patrick

Most students dress up for class NO ONE wears PJs to attend class. Most kids wear brand name clothes to class, including Polo, Vineyard Vines, Burrberry, and True Religion. Swimmers show up at the start of every meal and sit in the same section of the dinning hall.

Morgan

Throughout this year alone, Denison's student body has become more accepting and welcoming than ever. Although it is still a pre-dominantly upper class white student body, diversity is increasing and there are numerous organizations on campus to make minorities of all kinds feel more at home and comfortable. While some insist that Denison's campus has not changed at all this year and is still as racist as ever, I have seen a significant change for the better and hope to see this change continue as the future students arrive at school. There also seems to be a focus on the lack of originality in people's clothes, especially with the girls on campus. In the winter it is Ugg boots and leggings that seem to be the focus and when it gets warmer it is the Ugg boots and jean skirts that raise issues. The campus has a daily printing that anyone can submit a piece to (it is usually some controversial issue) called the Bullsheet. This printing is great for lunch time reads and sparks both intelligent and pointless discussions all over campus.

Becca

Denison has a pretty diverse student body. Almost 70% of students are from out of state. I come from a county school in central kentucky, so compared to that there is a lot racial, religious and socio-economic diversity on campus. I have friends from all different backgrounds and I don't have a problem interacting with different groups of people. Some students on campus don't interact with people from different groups, but if you have the desire to meet new people and experience different cultures and lifestyles the option is available.

Kat

If you want huge parties and tons of school spirit, dont go to Denison. Many students are very weakthy but i never felt out of place as someone from the middleclass who went to public school. People say that it's half liberal and half conservative but i feel like it leans more toward liberal. A lot of students are from the midwest but there are people from all over the country.

Terry

There was a revolution on campus in November (2007) about tolerance on campus. The student body came together and the administration listened. It brought the campus together.

sarah

most students wear jeans and a t shirt to class. there are people who dress up and only wear designer, but most people are pretty laid back, not many people wear sweatpants, but it is acceptable. everyone has something from either vera bradley, vineyard vines, or other designer. upper middle class backgrounds are most prevalent. students are politically active, especially liberals, there are conservatives on campus but they aren't very vocal. there are alot of students from the midwest, especially ohio, michigan, and chicago area...also alot of people from boston, connecticut, pennsylvania and a few from the west coast.

Alex

PRE-TTY diverse: people from all states (Maybe except hawaii, I dont know) People from other countries--I myself am Russian, but live in MA. Most ppl are middle class, white. We don't have too many black people. (I'm white) Gay people openly accepted. Bottomn line--it;s VERY FRIENDLY. Someone hating-mean-rough would feel out of place here. Someone who just wants to be in a citey would be somewhat out of place. Different people do interract. Although, the swimmers, are very close, and it is a rummor, they don't have many friends outside that---Not true. Lots and Lots of tables in the dining hall. Round tables in the middle. Rectangular tables on the sides. Not usuay alot of conversations in between tables. Financial backgrounds--middle class, not too poor, not too rich. Not too many rich. Yes, surprisingy students are politicaly active. Various political views (I myself am personally neutral to politics) Sure, people talk about who they are gonna try to be--mostly routine stuff though---"Oh I'm gonna go to med. school" "Oh, Im gonna try to earn money to go to grad school" "Im gonna get an internship with this company"

Parker

Imagine your middle school experience (as in the ridiculous drama)...then add a lot of money, alcohol, cocaine, sex & ignorance, there have been terrible racial and LGBT hate crimes on campus, as a middle class white girl with a conscious I have personally experienced rampant sexism and classism from the student body, At first I thought I was the only one who realized how ridiculous Denison students were, but I quickly learned from my other friends (not so ironically the other students on scholarships) that my despise was/is valid, simply the most immature, uncaring, ignorant people I have ever met,

Alex

Lots of parties on campus, most available to whomever, some groups more welcoming than others. Same goes for the Greek system: some fraternities and sororities are very friendly and welcoming and not at all snobby, others are not so much. LOVE to party. It is a conservative school, no way around it. Women are often very feminine in dress and manner (dresses, pearls, pink rooms, fashion-minded, etc.), men are often very masculine. Non-conformists and those who don't walk the traditional road of life either stick closely with like-minded people or transfer. Seemingly apathetic about politics, though the far-left minority can be very vocal. Most noticeable on campus are the stereotypes: women with pearls and sorority bags and men in pink polos and khakis, all more often than not fairly well-off. The African-American/POSSE group is often very friendly. Most people are friendly and helpful with everyone around, but cliques are very prevalent.

Lauren

Denison doesn't have a hugely diverse student body. There is also not a lot of interaction between the different types of groups. You have to work at really getting to know other people of a different race or ethnicity but I don't think people feel out of place.

Evan

Denison has had some issues with intollerance of diversity on campus this year but I am hoping that the situation is getting better. Many people spoke out about the problems this year and I think that the administration is listening to students' concerns. I think it will take more time for the general student body to listen and act to make this campus a more respectful environment towards everyone but I think that everyone is working hard towards the right direction.

Brad!

This campus has a lot of diversity, but sometimes the majority can be a little overwhelming. I think, that after some incidents we had as a campus community in the Fall of '07 have brought us closer together as an understanding and accepting community. Like the rest of the world though, you will always have a select few people just never get the big picture and will hate and discriminate. Overall, it is a great place and minds will be opened if you let them.

Charlie

If you are not a WASP, you will feel out of place at Denison. All of the student organizations such as LGBT and the BSU make sure their voices are heard, but no one really cares. The ones that do can do nothing to help their causes. The average attire for class for guys is: a polo, jeans or khakis, sperrys, and a lacoste or polo hat. Girls usually wear: a sun dress if its warm, and during the winter, jeans or spandex, a pastel top, and uggs are mandatory. Every student gets along with the others for the most part, nobody is outright mean to another student though they are not above talking behind backs. There is a good divide at Denison between liberals and conservatives, and people often get into heated discussions about politics.

Dale

Expect to dress well. In high school, I felt comfortable wearing sweats (sweatpants and sweatshirts) but here, I never felt comfortable doing that. A couple students wear sweats, but lots of students dress up daily. This means that girls wear summer dresses to class and guys wear madras shorts and loafers and polos. Not everyone, but it's common. There are a lot of students from Ohio, but there are also a lot of international students as well as students from across the U.S. I have friends from China, California, Connecticut, and Texas, for example.

Samantha

I think I only know a handful of students whose parents aren't doctors or lawyers. Most of them went to private or boarding school and come from wealthy backgrounds. That being said, Denison is like mini California. The majority of the student body is liberal, and that's perfectly fine, but there is an INSANE minority that gives the rest of them a bad name. These are the students who protest absolutely everything, accuse everyone of being racist, and claim to be fighting for freedom of speech and opinion while they're actually stopping anyone else from saying a word for fear of getting bludgeoned to death.

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