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Illinois State University

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Describe the students at your school.

As I said before, the large majority of students here are White, though the minority population is growing. ISU is a school tolerant of all religions and LGBTQ students- there are also organizations for students interested in learning about different religions and studying them, as well as for the LGBTQ students and their alliances. Though ISU is a relatively diverse campus, I find that often (not always, but often) students of the same race/ethnicity stick together. For instance, at many of the parties and events I've gone to thrown by Black fraternities and sororities, there are usually mainly only Black students there. Also when looking at students just walking around campus, you'll usually find students grouped by race and sometimes gender too. Let me stress though that this is not ALWAYS the case. Sometimes students really do mix it up and reach out to/hang out with people of a different race/ethnicity than their own. Some students get kind of dressed up for class- pretty, neat hair, makeup, heels, etc While some are more casual with jeans, sweats and basic t-shirts. It depends on the student, and also sometimes students who usually dress casually for class will sort of dress up on certain days if they feel like it. Remember you should always have dress-up clothes at school though for any interviews you might have, career fairs, and of course Communications class speech days. The students financial backgrounds are spread through a wide spectrum. Some students come from pretty well-off families while others are of lower class and had very low or no Expected Family Contribution on their Financial Aid. Shoot, some students don't even apply for financial aid here. I'm not one of those students. I get most of my money for school through grants and scholarships, fortunately.

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Majority of the students at Illinois State grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. If you grew up here as well it might be easy for you to imagine, that similar type cliques form at the college level (not in a bad way). During your first year or two away at school, most students find their way into a group of friends which most likely will remain their group of close friends throughout their college years. At Illinois State, there is a requirement that freshman and sophomores must live on campus (in resident halls) for those first two years (exemptions are made for special cases). This is the time when you get exposed to different people, who are outside of your racial group, may practice a different religion, and come from a different socio-economic background. I found my experience in the dorms to open me up and become more comfortable and accepting of individuals who are different from me. Generally going to class students wear sweats, some prefer jeans, but still a casual look. It is rare that students get very dressed up for class with the exception of presentation days, and some business majors, as you get more into your major classes (usually junior and senior year) are required to wear business attire to class. Financial backgrounds vary a little bit, as they probably do among students of any university. Some students come from families that are more well-off and whose parents can afford to pay their tuition in full. Others may have to take out a couple of loans, and other take out loans to pay for the entirety of their schooling and plan on paying it back later.

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The school is predominantly white so that's mostly who your around. But so far in my experience I have never had any problems with race. Unfortunately the majority of races stick to themselves, however everyone is friendly and there aren't really conflicts. In terms of sexual orientation and socio-economic status, I have never seen problems with either of those. The school seems pretty supportive of being yourself and accepting of that! The majority of students where sweatpants to classes. No one wants to get up at 8 and look cute for a lecture! The dinning hall varies, but usually people go with familiar faces and if they don't go with someone they know they usually get a take-out box. There are only a few times a day that the dinning centers are busy and seating is almost never a problem. In my experience money differences never seems to be a big issue. We are all broke college students, some people just have others providing for them. It never seems to be an issue or something people talk about unless it's complaining of a lack of money. Politically it doesn't really seem to be a topic people talk about. Our generation typically isn't super into politics. For the most part we are all in the same boat with similar goals...to graduate with as little debt as possible!

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Sadly, Illinois is not that diverse. There are multiple races here, but whites do dominate. However, there are numerous groups that speak directly to the minorities, and they put on some awesome events. Even though there is not much racial diversity, there is much diversity between classes and religion. There are a total of 7 campus ministries, there is also a pagan club, and I'm sure there's other organizations that address other religions. Also, you never feel out of place at ISU, there are an equal amount of students who work hard to be able to afford their education and students that come from financially secure famliies. Students at ISU are nice. And the campus is by far one of the safest. I know I have made not-so-smart decisions like walking on campus well into the night hours, but I have never felt unsafe. The quad and streets are all well-lit, and there are multiple "safe posts" around campus where if you are being pursued by an attacker, you just run to the nearest one, press the button, and police will be there within a few minutes.

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Most of the students here are from middle-class suburbia. There are also quite a few students from more rural communities. As for religion, that is hugely mixed. There are quite a few Catholic and Protestant churches nearby, but the school itself has no religious affiliation. There are also a few campus ministry groups that tailor their ministry to college students. ISU aims many of their programs at diversity advocacy, and promoting diversity on campus. They do a good job with it, but there is still not as much diversity as I would like to see on our campus. The students here are very, very casual when it comes to dressing for class. I can't tell you how many times students roll out of bed and go to class! Sweats, t-shirts, hair thrown back, Northface fleece, UGG boots, etc. tend to be the norm. There are always the students who dress up more, but the average student is relaxed with their daytime wardrobe.

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The school is filled with mostly students from the Chicagoland suburbs and the city of Chicago. However, students throughout the state of Illinois are here: from Rockford to Carbondale. The school is majority white americans. I would say about 75%. The rest is minorities. The majority of people (particularly the white people) seem to come from middle-to upper middle class backgrounds and many of them come from suburbs and small towns. I think that this school is as tolerant as any other place when it comes to the LGBT community: Meaning it could be better!! I still hear people throw the word faggot around. Most students wear jeans, sweats, and ISU apparel. Different types of students do interact. In the dorms you meet alot of different people so people are forced to be in social situations with others who may come from different backgrounds. People do tend to stick with their cultural backgrounds.

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From my experience (white, hetero, lower-middle class, female [in my fourth year at ISU]) I have observed great tolerance and acceptance of LGBT, minorities, and the disabled. I've never witnessed or heard about people getting beat up or anything like that because they're "different". I also work for the University's Architect's office and know that physical access to places for those who are disabled is a great concern and is always thought of in the design of buildings and the entire campus. Because I am in the majority, I have no idea what kind of student might feel out of place here. I see all different kinds of people he every day. The majority of students I've come in contact with are either from the Chicago suburbs or Central Illinois. I've met very few people from out of state.

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All of my classmates are very nice. Everyone here is very welcoming. I felt right at home the first day I was here. All the other students are very helpful and understanding. If you ask anyone for help, you'll get help. Everyone tries their best to help you understand things you may be struggling with. College is not like hig school. None of your classmates judge you or care who you were in high school. Everyone talks to everyone. It is a wonderful and enjoyable environment here at Illinois State University.

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The students here on campus are diverse. There are students from all sorts of backgrounds who are able to mingle and have great relationships with students outside of their race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. Students here don't feel like they are out of place everyone has a place at ISU. When it comes to what students wear to class overall they wear anything that they're comfortable in. Majority of the students at ISU wear the typical sweatpants, jeans, and hoodies.

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ISU is a diverse school. There are different types of students that attend ISU, there hasnt been any discrimation. There are many cultural organizations that reach out to different students as a resource and support system for them. Most students wear regular comfortable clothes to class, nothing fancy. Students at ISU are accepting of students from diverse backgrounds.

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