Kenyon College Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.

Aubrey

Friendly, if not sometimes a little pretentious, liberal thinkers, who are interested in current even and controversal topics. No particular religious affiliation although there is a notable percentage of Jewish students. Interest in sports and other campus activities varies among the students.

Andrew

The only person who would feel out of place here is one who thinks trying is for losers. Or maybe someone who absolutely hates the rural, isolated atmosphere. That said, Kenyon is home to a wide variety of students, most of whom are fairly laid back and understanding. There isn't a lot of racial diversity compared to other top liberal arts colleges. There IS a lot of geographic diversity and a growing pool of international students.

Jerry

There is virtually NO racial or socio-economic diversity. This is quite bothersome to me, but it does not seem to affect anyone else. The minority and international students group together, not because they're unwelcome, but because they feel out of place. Everyone seems to be liberal-leaning. And most students know what goes on in the world, they just are, frankly, quite apathetic. Many Kenyon students are from cities in the West and East Coast and are proud of it. Different types of students interact, but there is a clear divide with the jocks. And everyone is secretly judging each other.

Katelyn

My classmates were incredibly intelligent, interesting, and talented people of all walks of life.

Jamie

Kenyon is so white that there's only one black dude on the basketball team. Mostly upper middle class, but you find people from other socio-economic groups. Everybody mixes and migles, and snobbery is looked down upon. There are, however, those minority students that for the most part keep to themselves, like a little "support group." Kenyon students are rather unkempt. People often go to class looking like they just rolled out of bed. Sweatpants and a northface jacket are like the Kenyon uniform. It's so disappointing. However, there are pockets of people with impeccable or interesting style, which is always refreshing and a joy to see. Theres also those troupes of people who think they have style, but they just rock American Apparel all the time, and ALL look alike.

Emily

My classmates are eager to learn, attentive, cultured, and driven.

Nicole

Mostly eager to learn, with some only interested in partying and being irresponsible.

Emily

A female student tells us her favorite movie and class, as well as what she does when she has an hour to kill.

Emily

A male student tells us his favorite movie and class, as well as what he does when he has an hour to kill.

Laura

There is a good support network for LGBT folk at Kenyon. There is a special interest house where the organisation has a base, and where they can meet etc., and people on campus are for the most part really accepting and there is no separation. There was one incidence since I have been there where someone was ridiculed for their sexual orientation, but that was an isolated incident and had other facets besides sexuality that lead up to it. Wealthier students are obviously the majority, but like I said earlier, I was surprised by just how many people were far from rich, and working hard to maintain themselves on scholarship or with loans. To classes, dress is very VERY casual! And yes, students are very politically aware. There are a lot of opportunities to see speakers who come to school talking about different political, social, or environmental issues, and there is often a very good turnout.

Adrian

Seriously diverse. Maybe not financially or racially, but certainly in terms of lifestyle, personality and values. You could spend a Saturday night so many different ways I can't even imagine. A student concert, a rager in someone's apartment, a frat party, the library, wine and poker at someone's apartment, camping at the environmental center, swimming, running through cornfields, going to the arts center in Columbus for a show, the possibilities are endless.

Matt

Most everyone gets along. There are a few assholes who get that rep on campus but they don't do any real harm and everyone is very accepting. Though if you are politically conservative it is not a bad idea to keep that to yourself.

Anna

Most students on campus are democrats. They join the group the first week of class and maybe go to 1-2 meetings before losing interest. The republicans on the other hand are a very small handful of students who seem to remain highly organized because they are in a community that does not share their views. Many students are on financial aid. Kenyon is an expensive school. Some of us could not be here without it. Kenyon Students don't have a uniform. SOme tend to dress preppy, some roll out of bed and go to class in their pajamas, others go dressed in flannel. We are a very diverse group of people. CLothing is not really important here.

Ann

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.

Harper

We're a very liberal, pretty wealthy, and not particularly diverse crowd here. Thats the biggest problem with the school.

Devon

Kenyon students are from all over. Perhaps the most predominant group are upper-middle class New Englanders. People wear anything and everything to class. In one class you'll see some people in sweats, jeans & t-shirt, sun dresses, and usually a few pairs of Uggs. There are few racial/ethnic minority students on campus but I wouldn't say that such students would feel out of place. Students do not seem particularly political, although Kenyon made big news in the 2004 election because students waited in line for hours (the last polling station to close) to make sure their votes counted. Kenyon definitely leans way to the left, but as with other things, I feel like this is changing some.

Phan

Students are friendly in general. All students wear casual clothing to class. Sometimes with just a sweatpants and a sweater. Most students from Kenyon came from upper / middle class family. Majority are Caucasians . Students are politically active and aware.

Kristy

white.upper middle class. liberal. but that is not to say that they are not trying really, really hard to remedy this homogenous student body.

Maria

To be honest, Kenyon has fairly wealthy people, there is a lack of the Latino/a population, but that is the choice of the student if they chose to enroll. This campus is mainly open to new ideas and new people. There are numerous organizations that support you in any belief or preference. As well as to what you wear to class, people can roll up into class in their pajamas and other will not even care.

Sarah

There is little diversity on campus. I think that any minority would feel at first out of place at Kenyon. As a Jew, even though Jews make up 10-15 percent of the student body (few are practicing, however), I initially felt very out of place and sometimes still do. Many Kenyon students are from New York, D.C. and L.A. and surrounding areas. Students are not too politically active but the great majority are liberal.

Cassidy

Racial, religious and LGBT groups are fairly vocal on campus--sometimes to the point where they make some people angry. I don't think any student can feel out of place at Kenyon--unless they're close-minded. That's the thing I love about Kenyon: there are so many different types of people here, who all interact and become friends with people who are completely different from them. In the cafeteria, you can occasionally point out one table as the soccer guys, or another as kids from the Unity House (the LGBT meeting place on campus), but in general, I find people to be unclassifiable, which is absolutely wonderful to me. Geographically, politically, religiously, and economically, students at Kenyon are extremely diverse. There is frequent political debate, though you can easily stay out of it if you're not into that. Generally, I think Kenyon is a more left-leaning campus, but there are definitely conservative people here, too, which differentiates us from a place like Oberlin. The diverse student body is what makes the school so appealing to me. And even better is that are all unclassifiable.

Laura

The Christian community here at Kenyon is small, but amazing. They're like a family to me. Most people are very respectful of students' religious beliefs and I've never witnessed any problems with racial discrimination. East-coast fashion styles seem to be fairly popular here, although people tend to wear whatever suits them. Walking down Middle Path you'll see everything from high heels to sweats. People can pull off a lot here at Kenyon. Kenyon students aren't from any specific location. Less than 20% are from Ohio and the other 80-some percent come from all over the US and from abroad! I have friends from New York, Nevada, Florida, etc. There's really a nice mixture of backgrounds which lends to more cultural learning (and connections around the world!). I'd say students have predominantly left views, but all opinions can be voiced.

Melissa

Students are predominantly liberal. Very casual dress. Most students are from wealthier backgrounds. I think most of the students have a skewed view on what is really important. You will hear complaints about administration having to stop a "bonfire." However, the bonfire was a safety hazard. Or you will hear complaints about the dining hall.

Quinn

Pretty white, people don't really go to church that much or it's not a big deal at school. Very liberal campus with a mixing of conservatives. Pretty wealthy, a lot of BMW's and Volvo's to be found on campus. Most students are from the Northeast, New York, New Jersey, and Boston are probably the most prevalent.

Alex

I think the student body is more socio-economically diverse than one would expect, but as intellectual as you would expect. By this I mean that people are very smart in and out of class. I really enjoy it, and like that people understand my really nerdy references. You learn a lot about the other disiplines just by talking to people, which I think is really cool. There are definately the frat boys and the sports cliques, and I wouldn't recommend living by division housing if you're not in that frat, but on the whole they're respectful and throw good parties. There are a lot of people from Ohio and the surrounding states, but there have been a growing amount from New York and California. Some people dress up for class, which I think is kind of dumb, but most people just dress how they like and nobody bothers them about it. Again, most people think everyone who goes here is really wealthy and has money to throw away, but that's not true at all. You do hear through the gossip mill things like "oh, that's so and so's daughter/son," but that only happens once every so often and other than that we don't really talk about money, at least with my friends, beyond where to order dinner from.

Chris

Students tend to be wealthy, liberal, and white, but there isn't any noticeable prejudice against other groups. There is a sizable LGBT group on campus. Liberal campus organizations tend to be the dominating political voice. The Kenyon Libertarians club has more members than the Republicans club. The majority of students do not strictly practice a religion. Students come from all over the world, but a majority of students are from the east; Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania have the largest contingencies.

Tristan

I believe that the student body is very considerate of everyone. Everyone really just gets along and there is never really any conflict between groups of people.

Devin

Kenyon is great and as diverse as you'd expect. There are a few muscle-heads and jerks, but 95-98 percent of the people, including townspeople, staff, and students, are super kind and great. One rotten apple shouldn't spoil the whole batch, and it doesn't.

Phil

Mostly great people. Very diverse set of personalities for how small the school is, but not diverse racially.

Will

Very diverse range of students (not so much racially, but based on personality). Every 'type' of student you can find--nerdy, sporty, social, shy. I feel comfortable wearing mostly anything to class. However, upperclassmen stress that the student body is changing, especially with my freshman class, to the type of typical college students everywhere in America, instead of the unique off-beat students Kenyon traditionally produced.

Katy

The first thing my friends from other schools say when they visit Kenyon is how shocked they are that everyone's so nice. And we are. Sure, you'll find the occasional curmudgeon, but for the most part Kenyon people will do what they can to make you feel welcome. Within the first week of my freshman year, some of the people on my floor had taken to calling ourselves the family--and, two years later, we're all still friends. And we're very different people.

Sara

Very white, mostly wealthy (either private schools or high-tax bracket public schools), and mostly moderate-liberal politically. People pretend to be more liberal than they are. Most people would feel accepted by some group or other since it's a diverse set of kids in terms of interests. One nice thing is that it's regionally diverse, though there are large pockets from the coasts. It's impossible to call it a preppy or a hippy school, but it is not a very attractive school, maybe because everyone meshes together and there is no "look". People don't dress up - the best way to stand out at a party is to wear what you would wear to go out at home, i.e. try hard to look like you don't try hard. I wish people just looked nice and didn't wear sweats all the time. Would it kill guys to wear tuxes to "formals"?

Caroline

I think a very conservative student might feel out of place, just because the campus is strongly liberal. This is not to say that everyone is liberal--there's a Republican student group as well as Democratic (and Libertarian). People seem very free to just be themselves, not caring what they look like. I know I try to look put together for me, not because I'd be out of place if I didn't. Politically, it's a very interesting campus--a few years back students waited for 13 hours in the rain to vote in the presidential election, but almost all of the student government positions run uncontested.

Peter

We are center-left, New York Times reading, student body that opposes the Republican Party. We're open-minded to different life-styles.

Terry

The student body is very eclectic. There is a very active LGBT group on campus, as well as an Asian group, Black Student group, and visual/performing arts groups. There is a group for every student to fit into. Most people are open to interacting with different minorities, but it feels false when it does happen; like they feel they have to. Most students wear jeans, T-shirts, sweatpants, and sneakers to class. Most kids here are from wealthy or upper-middle-class families in the Northeast/Midwest/California. They are mostly liberal with a few conservatives and libertarians mixed in, but they're not politically active. Nobody talks about future plans because life changes and plans change every day that it's hard to get locked into one way of where you're going.

Karen

Kenyon students are varied. A lot of people are lazy when it comes to broader issues, but that's definitely not always the case. We care, but we're disorganized. Some students are extremely active politically, and others don't want to be bothered with the issues right now. I'm involved with the LGBT community on campus, specifically the politically active branch, and getting others involved can be difficult. This is partially because Kenyon is generally a very welcoming community, so people forget what it's like off the hill in the real world. A lot of people are upper middle class, but not everyone. There isn't a lot of racial diversity, but the number is growing. There are religious groups and an active LGBT group on campus, all of which are very warm and welcoming.

Emmy

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.

Alex

Kenyon isn't diverse. They're trying, but you can't really force that sort of thing. It used to be more socio-economically diverse, but because of the acceptance rates and the types of students they're seeking, that's going away, too. LGBT and religious diversity is pretty good, and both groups have an active presence on campus. For the most part, all different groups or cliques get along, because it's so small and everyone goes to the same parties and has the same classes. It used to be that most students would wear pajamas or casual jeans and t-shirts to class, but it's getting more dressy (and hipster), especially for women. As far as four tables go, that's a big part of Kenyon. The swimmers sit together, the betas (mostly football players) sit together, the circle table (mostly minority students) sit together, and then there's everyone else. Most Kenyon students are from New England, Washington D.C. or Ohio. Students are pretty politically aware, but there's also a definite bubble culture wherein its very easy to ignore the rest of the world.

Alex

Kenyon is a very laidback campus; some people are so laidback they slip into apathy about "issues" of politics, religion, race, etc. However, there are still students who care quite deeply about these issues and, if nothing else, discuss them quite heavily. Basically, we are a small school, but somehow, there's a niche for everyone. If you really like the big city and the anonymous nature of it, though, then Kenyon will be a very tough place for you. That said, we have loads of people from large cities here, and they love it! Kenyon provides students with the chance to make their own place at the school; you just have to do it!

Harper

Tables are probably indie kids, nerdy dorks, jocks, and fashionistas. One of my favorite things if not my favorite thing about my shcool is that you can look however you want and there will be a general consensus that that appearance is not all one is. You can dress like a teeny-bopper or a typical football player and it still be an easy possibility that you are brilliant. Everybody at Kenyon knows that. I love that about my school.

Erin

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.

Heather

Kenyon is very tolerent sexually and racially. We are VERY economically friendly here on the hill. We like to walk and we don't really drive anywhere because its only a little over a mile from one end of campus to the other. Kenyon students wear jean or sweats with flats. Heels are a no no. Most kenyon students are from the tri-state area, Ohio, and surrounding Ohio states. And also, odly, LA. Students interact with each other, we do not really have huge divides in people. Most students tend to be well off financially. Kenyon is a very potically active and aware campus. We were on the news nation wide for the last elecations. We are more concerned over our present life and education and not as focused on future earnings.

Jamie

Diversity is the Holy Grail of the Kenyon Admissions Office. Try as they might to draw in students from a wide range of backgrounds, the same throngs of Mid-Western/Mid-Atlantic, Middle Class/Upper-Middle Class, Caucasian/Non-Hispanic, and Christian/Apathetic fill the halls. Then by harping on so much about multicultural affairs, the administration inadvertently clusters the coveted 12% together and fosters the very separation that they hoped to dispel. The greatest diversity in the student population is in its opinions. And even may occasionally seem startlingly uniform.

Michael

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.

Mary

Lack of racial diversity, but plenty of other diversity. Students wear anything from sweats to dresses to class. Liberal student body.

Christa

I feel out of place at Kenyon. Most of the kids here have been extremely heltered and seem to have no interest in observing a world different from their own. It''s a very preppy sort of place, and there's a WASPy sort of sloppiness to the appearance of many, mostly sweatpants and J Crew. I have been criticized for my own eclectic style of dress, which then bears the question "are people reeally judging you base don what you wear?" and apparently some are, which is kind of pathetic. I have found two extremes: people can be really, really sweet or incredibly judgmental. In such a small place, word travels fast, and if your reputation is at all disputed, then you might have a problem.

Maria

I just wish there more who looked and act like me on this campus. That is all

Liz

I have could experiences with racial, religious, LGBT, socio-economic and other groups on campus. Students will wear anything to class. Different types of students do interact. Kenyon students are from all over, ad most are politically aware and active.

Al

I think there are representations of most groups-- enough so no one feels left out. politics: mostly liberal, democrat, those are the ones who voice their opinions the most. 4 tables in dining hall: one with all girls, one with all guys, the other two coed.

Shawn

you'd feel out of place if you don't understand what it is to have a personal connection with everyone in every part of your daily life. to me, it's not just the professors and classmates, but also the women who work at the market, the stray dogs who wander around, that guy at the post office window, and the shuttle driver.

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