I think people think of ETSU as the "affordable" college in the area that will literally accept anyone. There are a lot of other private schools in the area with much higher tuition rates and smaller student bodies, and it is true that ETSU is one of the more affordable universities, and it also does have a large student body that is growing every year. Therefore, I think people stereotype some of the students at ETSU as "lower class" or "middle class" who wanted to go to college but couldn't afford anything better. I also know ETSU has a very big international program, so some students stereotype it as a place with students from all over the world. You can literally walk in a classroom in almost any building for any major and you're bound to see at least one foreign student in a classroom, often times multiple ones. And I think ETSU has a stereotype of having this point in the semester where a big percentage of the students attending drops. ETSU is one of the only schools in the area (to my knowledge) that has a strict attendance policy. Almost every teacher will fail a student if they miss more than X amount of classes. So it's quite common to see a lot of people on campus at the beginning of the semester. It's almost chaotic. But as the semester goes on, parking frees up, and sometimes class sizes can drop down from 20 people to just 10 or less students. I know every college has this problem to some degree, but with a big student body count like the one ETSU has, it's synonymous with the school
Most people think that students at ETSU are from the tri-state area or are from another Appalachian area which is false. We have many states from all states and many international students. I don't believe there are many stereotypes that identify most of the students at ETSU. We embrace and welcome diversity among our students; therefore we have students from all walks of life, races, cultural heritage, international students, etc. We have Buccaneer pride when it comes to our athletics, but we don't embrace the jock stereotype. Only a small percentage of our students are in fraternities and sororities; most everyone is active in one or more of our other 200 organizations on campus. Drugs and alcohol aren't welcome; and our Psychology department's research on student use of these substances proves that use is minimal. We like academically oriented students, who also engage themselves in extracurricular activities. I would welcome the geek stereotype, but its not a representation of all the students.
After living in Middle Tennessee my entire life, I had heard very little about East Tennessee State University, so I was unsure about the stereotype of the students at ETSU. Once I came to East Tennessee and talked to people from around the area, I learned that the stereotypical ETSU students are local Appalachian kids. This stems from the fact that a lot of ETSU students are from the Tri-cities, which gives the impression that we are a "suitcase" campus. While there are a lot of students from the Tri-cities, I have found that most ETSU students come from all over the state of Tennessee and Virginia. This stereotype represents old ETSU. We now have over 15,000 students from all over the place. I personally came from Nashville to come to ETSU, and if you especially live on campus, you will find this stereotype is not true any more.
Because ETSU is located in the beautiful mountains of north-eastern Tennessee, the student body would most likely get stereotyped as back-woods or dumb rednecks. This is far from accurate! We have students from many different states and many different countries. We have a very large asian exchange student population as well as many african american and european students. We are known for our medical programs such as our college of medicine, college of pharmacy, college of physical therapy, and college of nursing. Because we are so focused on the health sciences, our undergraduate science classes and science majors are academically stringent and our students are mostly hard-working bright individuals who are interested in pursuing challenging majors and careers.
Of course like every school, East Tennessee State University has all of the aforementioned stereotypes: jocks, frat kids, stoners and geeks and yes these stereotypes are accurate. It is no surprise to any prospective and current student that every school is going to include these stereotypes. What is unique about ETSU however, is that no matter what group one may be categorized under, they are greeted and welcomed with friendly, open arms. Stereotypes may be present, but they are not used to pass judgement. They are only present to identify one's own unique self.
I would say our campus has a variety of stereotypes, some fitting, most not. We have everything from your average campus stereotype of "frat boys" to "nerds." The truth is our campus has every walk of life. People don't try to live up to any particular stereotype on our campus, some people just like to marginalize others into a certain stereotype. ETSU has so much to offer to everyone, I guarantee you will fit right in.
At East Tennessee State University, we have a variety of types of students! We have a healthy mix of students in Greek life, the 'jock' type, and of course, the geeky ones too. Overall, no matter what type of student you are, you will find a niche on our campus.
The biggest stereotype is that everyone from this area of the country is illiterate, has a thick southern accent, and doesn't wear shoes. This is not accurate. While there is a small accent in this area, we are not as dumb as people believe.
This is certainly true for some students, as it is at any school, but it is entirely possible to avoid that scene, as I have. There are tons of other things to do on campus besides party so it just depends on the student.
A lot of people believe that half of the school's population consists mainly of hipsters and Asian exchange students. They aren't wrong.