East Tennessee State University Top Questions

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

Justin

Some of the stereotypes of ETSU are very biased. One that i get a lot is the "gym rat". A lot of the students at ETSU are very involved in taking care of them selves and helping others. It does happen a lot at ETSU but we all need to take care of ourselves. Another is fraternities and sororities on and off campus. Being in a fraternity we all get labeled as a "frat guy". These two stereotypes are the two biggest in my eyes.

Andrew

The few stereotypes that exist on Etsu are that fraternity and sorority ties can get students into excessive drinking and over socialization. This in turn leads to faltering grades because there are many people to meet and be friends with on campus. Otherwise, the college stereotype is students go party, while they attend school and balance their grades. How students choose to interact socially and responsibly effects scholastic achievement. I like to thing that Etsu doesn't have stereotypes because of its diverse network of great people steering students in the right direction. Each institution a student finds such as extracurricular activities and having a place to share your ideas, gives them more opportunity to excel away from social trends and meet the diverse range of great people.

Rebekah

ETSU is often called a "suitcase school" because some people leave for the weekends to stay with their parents. Everyone does not do this, but students like this make up a large part of the population. Many of them are typical, fresh-out-of-high school students who have yet to be stereotyped as anything other than dependent. We have outdoors lovers (because the school is surrounded by hiking, caving, camping and rafting area). I sometimes hear the partiers called "chromies," named after our local dance club Chrome where the girls who tan too much and the boys with perpetual boners go on Thursdays to sweat on each other. We have geeks, artists and athletes. Greek life is about the same as any other school: bros in their matching glasses, vests, polos, shoes and hobbies and sorrority sisters with their philanthropy, fashion and booze. The student population is mostly friendly and laid back. Everyone seems to mesh. I suppose that happens when people get out of high school and learn to appreciate their differences.

David

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

Seaira

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.

Alexandra

A lot of people believe that half of the school's population consists mainly of hipsters and Asian exchange students. They aren't wrong.

Rachel

There is definitely an eclectic mix of students at ETSU; however, I would say that because of the slow pace of life in Johnson City a good majority of us seem to be pretty laid back. The mountains and all that goes with them are a big incentive for attending school here; so, there are students that really like to adventure outdoors, there are students who enjoy late night parties (more house parties than crazy city nightlife), and there are a lot of students who hang out together because of the common bond of enjoying music. The athletic population on campus is not absent, but is not as predominant as with other colleges and universities, perhaps because we do not have a football team. Most of the athletic entertainment focuses around men's and women's basketball and soccer. Greek life is similar to the athletic population. Fraternities and sororities are active on campus, but there is such a wide variety of students that they represent a fraction of student life and do not establish a stereotype for ETSU students. For people who do like more nightlife there are 7-8 fairly busy clubs and bars in downtown Johnson City. They offer a good variety of music and entertainment - harder rock/punk music venues, acoustic music venues, pool halls, sports bars, dance clubs. One important thing to know about ETSU students is that there are a good number of them who commute to campus, so on-campus life at ETSY is not nearly as active as some colleges and universities. In many ways, however, this is one of the unique parts about going to school at ETSU. Students do not live and breath ETSU all the time. It is easier to get to know your surroundings - great local cities like Asheville, all the great hiking, climbing, kayaking locations nearby, the music festivals (like the yearly Bristol Rhythm and Roots), etc. You probably know your city and the surroundings better because not everything you do takes place on campus. So, in general ETSU does not have a predominant stereotype. We are more of a potluck of people than anything else - a good mountain chill.

Victoria

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.

Keeley

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.

Tyler

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.

Alessandra

There is no one specific stereotype of students at ETSU. Yes, there are frat kids, geeks, girly girls, foreign students and much much more. There are all types of people who attend ETSU from adult students to foreign exchange students; it is a very diverse campus. This a great thing because there are students just like you and students completely different than you who you can meet. It's amazing to have so many different types of people in one place; it broadens one's horizon to experience diversity.

Alisha

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.

Michael

We have a large variety of students and it is impossible to place any individual into a stereotype.

Michael

We have a large variety of students and a single "stereotype" does not exist.

Michael

We have a large variety of students and a single "stereotype" does not exist. Stereotypes should not be used to classify individuals as they can cause false misconceptions and over generalization which are false and can lead to bigotry. What are some common stereotypes of the students at your school? Humans

Michael

We have a large variety of students and a single "stereotype" does not exist. Stereotypes should not be used to classify individuals as they can cause false misconceptions and over generalization which are false and can lead to bigotry. What are some common stereotypes of the students at your school? Humans

Adam

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.

Adam

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.

Nick

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.

Ruth

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.

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