Hampshire has a lot of diversity... or tries to. Anyway there are special mods (houses) for people of color, homosexuals, vegetarians, cowboys... No one really feels out of place. Unless they aren't weird enough. It's easy to feel that way at Hampshire. I'd say most of the students are pretty well off, since it's an expensive school. But they give a lot of financial aid, and scholarships (James Baldwin). I'd say it's a good mix A lot of students are politically active, a lot aren't. But the environment is very encouraging of those that are. A primarily leftist school. PC also I've never really been into forming my own groups on campus... drives, sales, recruiting... whatever people do. But it's a good environment for that too. Some crazy Brits, and other foreigners... not enough I'd say.
Hampshire College student body is loud. They complain a lot about the homogeny at Hampshire, and about how that necessarily denotes racism, orientation-ism, classism, etc. Most people on campus are Socialists, or at least Social-Democrats (self-proclaimed). Or they say that they don't believe in labels and act like Socialists or at least Social-Democrats. The student body tries really hard to say something alternative, without always thinking through what they're saying. A large proportion of the student body is also very awkward. Social skills are often lacking at Hampshire College. And yet, ironically, it's very hard to get people to leave you alone. People at Hampshire love to be social, even if they're not always good at it.
Hampshire is, by nature, totally accepting, and when this attitude differs a problem arises. New students find themselves editing their vocabularies (do NOT say fag at Hampshire period) Students commonly wear whatever they stumble upon in the morning. Cliques do exist here, but the school is not big enough to allow total exclusion of different groups. Students are typically middle-class and above, simply because Hampshire cannot afford anything but high tuition and conservative financial aid. Students are all politically aware, a majority are politically active. Republicans need not apply. When talking about how much they'll earn one day, Hampshire kids bemoan their future life of poverty, but with a good sense of humor about it.
The Hampshire student body is incredibly radical and intolerant of dissent. If your opinions deviate from the norm, you will most likely feel personally attacked, or you'll just learn to keep your mouth shut. We apparently used to have a Republican club (which had a total of 2 memebers) which was eventually intimidated into disbanding (though I don't know all of the details of this story). Overall, though, the student body is pretty laid-back, and they are generally more open to meeting new people and far nicer than the students at many other schools. If you are looking for diversity, though, don't come here. The majority of the student body is white, and from either a farm, the suburbs, or New York City.
Everyone is very accepting. In fact, they are so accepting that if you don't accept everything there is, you won't be accepted. Political Correctness is a pain in the ass there. There are cliques that go along with the issues. There are major class problems there, as some of the kids have more money than God and others are struggling to get by. There is a group of kids who are so obsessed about race and the horror of white privilege that sometimes I find them racist themselves. You are not going to be able to escape race fights on campus, they won't let you. And if God help you, you are straight, white, and male, prepare to feel guilty for the worlds sins for the next four years.
There is a wide variety of LGBT students at Hampshire. It seems to me, as Hampshire is a private school there is a majority of students from a wealthy or well-off background. I have met a lot of Jewish students. Even though many Hampshire students have money, it is not a preppy school. People are not stuck up. Many Hampshire students are from the East coast or California or Washington state. Students at Hampshire dress any way they like. It is one of the great things about the school. No one looks at you funny if you wear a wacky outfit. Many people, including myself, go barefoot everywhere, including to class.
I am queer and am part of the QCA, and this is good, but not great. There could be a lot more LBGTQ events, but I think Hampshire is very good compared to most schools. I am also at the very low end of the class spectrum here, most kids have parents who can fly them to exotic countries for vacations and send them money to buy hard drugs, but being a fairly lower class student, I do not even feel left out or picked on for it, just sometimes out of place.
Hampshire can be cliquey, and students tend to keep to themselves. There are safe spaces on campus for students of color, and LGBTQ students. It is possible to put students into three groups, hippies, hipsters and geeks, and then there are hybrids of both. The homogenous aspect bothers some people. Most students are from the east coast, but there are plenty of international and west coast students, they just don't make up the majority.
I think Hampshire students like to think that they're politically aware, and that we're a very socially just and active community, but I don't think we are as much as we'd like to believe. Many students are and there are many student groups on campus to address issues, but overall, I think most students don't take an active interest in the outside world, due to lack of time, mostly. It is a very leftist and liberal school.
Ugly, ugly people (honesty points?). To be fair, it's more that (for some absurd reason) Hampshire kids don't feel like they have to be presentable. Which is great, yay for what's on the inside. But it seems really disconnected from the real world. On the other hand, there are tons of attractive people at the other four colleges (cough, UMass). But in all seriousness, Hampshire kids are wicked smart.