Hendrix students go beyond the tolerance that comes from the liberal nature of college campuses to a genuine celebration and appreciation of diversity. No one pushes anything on you, whether it be politics, lifestyle, religion etc... What exists is a place where you can be exposed to myriad new experiences and be completely free to choose what suits you. Politically, Hendrix students run the gamut from conservatives to socialists, with a liberal orientation making up the majority. Students volunteer in both Republican and Democratic campaigns, and what emerges is a friendly rivalry based on intelligent discourse. Religiously, Students range from devout adherents to a religion to atheists. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are all present on campus, along with many other less known sects such as the Bahai faith. Nondenominational services are held frequently, Catholic communion is offered weekly, and many other services occur periodically. Hendrix students come from many different economic backgrounds, from impoverished to privileged. The generous financial aid programs ensure this diversity. Traditionally, a large part of the Hendrix body came from within Arkansas, but as Hendrix's reputation continues to improve, that trend is shifting. Currently, there are students from all over the country. Additionally, Hendrix's participation in exchange programs has brought in students from all over the world. Hendrix's multicultural programs ensure both domestic and international students interact and exchange ideas. Hendrix is predominantly white, although a vibrant culture of black students organizes programming celebrating their culture. Also, Hendrix's admissions department is firmly dedicated to exhibiting the most possible diversity within the student body, so diversity increases every year. Socially, Hendrix students tend to be Liberal. The only thing that is not tolerated at Hendrix is intolerance. Anyone who harbors prejudice, whether it be on the basis of sexuality, race, religion, or some other criteria, would not be welcomed or excel at Hendrix.
Diversity: not that much racial diversity, lots and lots of white people. There's some religious diversity, and quite a bit of diversity in the sexuality/sexual orientation department (Hendrix is by far the most LGBT friendly place in the area). I'd say the majority of the diversity is socio-economic, because most of the students here receive some type of scholarship or financial aid, though sadly, many students are forced to transfer because tuition goes up every year and their scholarships remain the same, making it so that they're no longer able to pay for Hendrix (one of the reasons why Hendrix has around a 60% graduation rate). There's really almost every type of student here, even though the majority are white southern liberals, but I guess I'd say if you're conservative and come from a lot of money (like a lot a lot), like the classic southern fratboy or sorority girl, you'd feel out of place here. My main issue is that Hendrix students tend to pride themselves on how "open" and "welcoming" they are to everyone, but if you don't have a set group of friends by the end of your first semester, then, to put it bluntly, you're pretty much screwed socially. Because it is VERY difficult to break into another "friend group" after that period. People are nice and cordial to you and I'm sure if you are a very extroverted person, you can succeed in making friends with anyone and everyone, but if you're an introvert like me, then it's very hard to break into one of the tight knit cliques that Hendrix has after your first semester (when everyone is new and just getting to know each other).
For such a small student body, there is a lot of variety. It is hard to imagine someone coming to Hendrix and not feeling welcome, or not feeling like they fit in. We tend to be very open-minded, and we tend to lean to the left politically (but we do have a vocal group of conservatives). If you prefer to spend time with people who are just like you, this is not your school. Students are very accepting of people of all backgrounds, regardless of sexuality, religion, economic status, etc. Even though people do tend to form groups of friends that they spend most of their time with, there are not really rigid cliques that divide us. I have friends who study creative writing, politics, theater, and biology and who are gay, straight, and from all parts of the world. Most people at Hendrix could probably say the same. People here tend to be very engaged in their environment, whether that means helping plan events for the Social Committee (SoCo), working on a political campaign, or playing on the Quidditch team. If students feel strongly about a proposed policy on campus, they make their voices heard.
I can honestly say that I have never seen a more cohesive, active, motivated student body on any other college campus (and trust me, I have visited quite a few!) At Hendrix, we are a community. Even if you do not know each student's name, we are all familiar with everyone. This is important for both social reasons along with safety reasons. Hendrix students support each other, no matter what. We have a voice on campus, although it may not be as strong as we would like it to be at times (the administration doesn't always take our opinions seriously) but the fact that we have a voice that is somewhat influential says a lot in comparison to other schools. Hendrix does not have a Greek system, so there are no boundaries between social groups. When Hendrix parties, everyone is there! We have fun, but we keep it safe because we care about each other and don't want bad things to happen at our school. We are just full of love and we truly do accept everyone! Basically what I am trying to say is that the Hendrix student body rocks my world!
Hendrix is an incredibly accepting environment, and it asks that each of its students maintain that level of acceptance. True, it's a mostly vanilla school, but Hendrix is diverse in the truest sense of the word: Students from across the country and around the world study here, so it's not like we're all middle class suburban white kids. My roommate this year is from Iceland, and one of my favorite new friends from working Orientation is from China. I had never met so many LGBT people before I came to school, NOT something that you might expect from a small school in the middle of Arkansas. So if you're closed-off to people of different beliefs and lifestyles, don't come here expecting to find people with that same mindset. A religiously-pushy, collar-popping racist would feel out of place at Hendrix. Don't worry if you're just a collar-popper like me, you'll only get a little bit of grief about it!
Hendrix is a pretty small school, with 1200 or 1300 students. The student body is mostly white, though of course other races are represented. There are a fairly large number of international students as well. Hendrix students are generally laid-back and hard-working. There are a million clubs and student organizations, so almost everyone is involved in a club or an extracurricular. I have never seen evidence of discrimination against people of a different race, sexuality, religion, etc.; in fact, Hendrix students are likely to be really interested in learning about lifestyles different than their own. Hendrix students are more liberal than conservative. About 50% of the student body is from out of state and 50% are in-state.
The classmates are usually very self expressive and non mainstream. They usually very open minded and friendly. Students are typically liberal minded, which might be a problem if the potential student is more traditional or conservative. Although an important aspect of social life and academics is the free exchange of ideas and very few students will put pressure on individuals to conform. Students are academically advanced and usually predisposed to discussion. An important and immediately obvious integral part of social life is the unique individual expression of students at Hendrix.
We're a pretty white dominated school, but coming from the very white NH there is a lot more diversity here than in a lot of other places. We are associated with the Methodist church but you can find someone from every part of the religious spectrum on campus. You can find far-right wingers to far-left wingers and everything in-between. We have a good deal of international students and exchange students on campus. We are very LGBT friendly and have a solid ally community. The Hendrix community is so open and welcoming to all types of diversity, sometimes I wish that we had even more.
The diversity on the Hendrix Campus is more unique tha anything I have ever been around. We only have 1400 students. There are more people from out of state than in state. Every religion and faith background is accepted, every sexual orientation. Every one here works hard and is smart. Even athletes are working hard to succeed in school. It takes just a few weeks on campus to get to know people and to recognize faces.
They are all hard-working, ambitious students. There's never been a question as to whether or not a certain person should be there because of their academics; they're all intelligent and well-rounded.