Mostly great people. Very diverse set of personalities for how small the school is, but not diverse racially.
A male student tells us his favorite movie and class, as well as what he does when he has an hour to kill.
My classmates were incredibly intelligent, interesting, and talented people of all walks of life.
Mostly eager to learn, with some only interested in partying and being irresponsible.
My classmates are eager to learn, attentive, cultured, and driven.
Because Kenyon is an expensive, private, liberal arts college, it's mostly made up wealthy white kids. The "minority" percentage of students is about 14%. However, we have the Unity House which does lots of LGBT programs, the Snowden Multicultural Center, Black Student Union, etc. There are black and white kids in the gospel choir. Students hail from all over the country and a number of foreign countries to, and I'm willing to guess that about the half students come from private schools and half from public high schools. There's definitely some snobbery. For instance, I had a friend here whose dad is the vice president of a major company. Once when we were in his car, my friend asked me what I thought of his car. I said, "It's really nice," and it was. He actually said, "Yeah, this is what happens when your family does very well for itself." However, most people don't shove it in your face if they've got money. Personally, I went to a public school with 2,200 kids. Fights in the halls were common. You don't find too many students from that kind of high school here. I think the people who feel most out of place here are the ones who barricade themselves in their rooms and don't make an effort to get to know people. People aren't just going to come to you-- you have to go to them. At the dining hall, most people sit with the people who live on their hall. I don't mind eating meals by myself sometimes; it's not seen as weird. Students are very politically active. They're overwhelmingly democratic and liberal. I'm sure there were people who voted for Bush in 2004, but I only knew one person and he didn't make it common knowledge.
Kenyon's student body does seem rather homogeneous. The high tuition makes it harder for minority groups to afford to go to school there. As with any college, sports tend to be the more important of the extra-curricular activities. However, the "jock" stereotype doesn't really happen at Kenyon. Sure, there are some people who fit into that category, but that can be found anywhere. Most Kenyon students are smart and outgoing, even if a little awkward. The joke is that Kenyon students are all crazy in some way. You'd have to be if you voluntarily sent yourself to rural Ohio for 4 years. Clicks do happen, like the jocks, the grunge kids, the artists, the theater kids, etc. But each group is nebulous enough that you can move from one to the other. Of course, it doesn't matter if you're in a group at all. Most Kenyon students are liberal. I don't know if it's just Kenyon, or if college students tend to be more open-minded in general, but Kenyon is really great about embracing diversity. However, there have recently been prejudicial attacks on certain minority groups. The most recent was anti-Semitism, but there has also been some severe homophobia. But when these things happened, the Kenyon student body was outraged. It's impossible to think that every person at Kenyon is open-minded and non-bigoted. But those types of ideas definitely aren't acceptable at Kenyon.
Kenyon is trying to diversify, but its mostly white bread and well off. There is a decent gay population, but its a small campus. The lesbian community is almost non-existent. Inner city kids would feel pretty out of place at Kenyon, as do some metropolitan kids who miss the city life--Kenyon is very farmland, not city. Although people identify with certain groups, everyone has a friend in each. For example, there are very strong fraternity/sorority groups, but they are not exclusive and they throw open parties. Four tables, 1) the soccer team guys or a fraternity 2) the swimmers, guys and girls 3) random group of girls all from one grade who probably all live together 4) some academic table---like Spanish table with a professor where everyone speaks Spanish. Students come from all over the country with a lot from Washington DC, New York, Chicago, rural Ohio, and all over California--there is also a decent international population mostly from Europe. There is the whole spectrum for political activity--plenty of apathetics, but there are also the large number of us, myself included, who waited 10+ hours in line to vote for the 2004 presidential election. People run the spectrum from left to right politically, but I would call Kenyon a left of center group. People do not talk about how much money they will make after college.
In general, Kenyon students are predominantly white, left-leaning, open to new experiences, and in the top 20% of their graduating high school class. Beneath that, though, you'll find an astonishingly diverse population. Kenyon is not the place for those looking to party hard and study later, nor is it the place for those who really want to feel like they're out there "in the real world." Kenyon students are looking for a haven from the outside world where they can focus on bettering themselves and their community without the detractions presented by a big city or a state school. The students come from all over the country and the world, and all of them are eager to learn about what the world has to offer. Students come from all financial and social backgrounds, and the dining tables are more likely to broken down by interests rather than stereotype. Most everyone at Kenyon is politically active and very opinionated, so those who love having intelligent debate fit right in. The majority of the campus is very liberal, and intolerance of any kind is severely frowned upon. Students are Kenyon to learn for the sake of learning, not to put another notch on their path to a six-figure CEO position. Although Kenyon students often end up with such jobs, that is never the main reason why they attend the school.
Kenyon is admittedly very "white bread." We get a lot of east coast prep school kids. I mean, there are minority kids, there are "scholarship kids" who don't fit the typical profile, but on the whole, Kenyon students are rich and white and imported from Connecticut. I have to admit that as a public school kid from the Midwest, I sometimes feel out of place (ironic since the school is in Ohio) or intimidated by how much money my friends have! That being said, it really has little impact on day to day social interaction. Not to beat a dead horse, but the Kenyon community is a very level playing field. I don't know anyone who wouldn't be friendly with anyone else based on their background. As far as what people wear to class--sweats, leggings, and pajamas are all totally common sights in a Kenyon classroom. People who get dolled up to go to a party on the weekend look kind of foolish, in my opinion. I feel dressed up I bother to put on jeans in lieu of sweatpants. And it's such a small community that sooner or later, everyone's going to see you at your worst, so you quickly learn not to care about appearances.