Macalester College Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.


People here need to know what they stand for and what they believe in. That is a way of succeeding. Yet you meet many interesting and fun people, from different countries, backgrounds and with different ideas. There is always the chance of getting to know somebody everyday.


Like I mentioned before, everyone is very open-minded and accepting of all types of people - we have a very active LGBT group on campus and very present multi-cultural club. We have people from all over the country and all over the world - it's really amazing, actually. I've never been on a campus that has as many culturally diverse students as Mac. Everyone pretty much mixes well together - there is a noticeable difference between the international students and the domestic students, but it is not hostile or anything like that...mostly it has to do with the way everyone is oriented in their first year (we have different orientations...something I, and many other students, feel is somewhat detrimental to meeting and mixing with people from other parts of the world). Students are VERY politically active and aware, often organizing protests, rallies, and boycotts for whatever cause they support; since the War on Terror started, there have been annual (maybe bi-annual...obviously I'm one of the slacker students) events around school protesting the war (and don't even get us started on Bush...). As a result, there is a lot of emphasis on voting; as you can probably guess a lot of stuff has been going down regarding the upcoming election (unfortunately, I'm not able to observe any of the goings-on, as I am currently on my study abroad term). One thing that is regrettable is that, because of the enormous amount of cash it takes to go to Mac, I think it is hard for someone without financial security to come to here...that's not to say that everyone is rich because some of us get kick-ass financial aid, without which we wouldn't be able to attend, but it's more often than not that a student or her/his family is well-off.


Mac is extremely diverse. The only people who may feel out of place are those who do not seek to gain deeper understanding of themselves and their surroundings.


Macalester's student body is more left than center, but in other ways much more center than left. There is a middle-of-the-road-ness to Macalester's student body that sometimes I appreciate and sometimes drives me absolutely nuts. As diverse as the student body is, there is a sameness among the student body that is hard to put one's finger on. I think it comes from the campus being small, the student body being small, and the community being somewhat close-knit. Logically, there is some homogenization-- even in an "international school" -- that occurs as a result of a community being small and its members having lots of contact with one another. I imagine the "sameness" I'm trying to describe can be found in any small college.


Though most of the campus is extremely liberal, most anybody is able to find and make strong friendships while at school. There are many different types of people found at Macalester. People are always able to find someone else that shares similar qualities with them. Along with this, people are also able to meet many different people when it comes to personal belief and even home country.


One of Macalester's big issues is the race thing. Domestic students (and faculty) of color are highly under-represented, and while it's definitely a very diverse student body internationally speaking, the administration still has a long way to go in recruiting American students of color and building up their representation on campus. Mac also has a rep as being pretty irreligious, but I would say that's pretty inaccurate. I know Protestants, Catholics, evangelicals, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Unitarian Universalists, the list goes on and on, and everyone gets the same amount of respect. The LGBT community is pretty strong, it's a super-welcoming campus and there are a good number of students who openly and proudly self-identify as gay, lesbian, or bi. The socio-economic diversity at Mac really impresses me, because 75{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} of the student body is on work study. We're a very middle-class school, there are lots of rich kids and tons of private school graduates, but there are also children of single moms who worked in factories to pay for their kid's education. You can dress whoever you want at Mac, there are lots of cute little hipsters, some super-chique art kids, slackers in pjs and the sporty kids in their Macalester gear. There are some serious distinctions between social groups, however, and you canr eally see the differences in the dining hall. There's the football players' table, the Afro-Caribbean students' table, the international supermodel table, the oddball table of kids who all seem like characters from a goofy comic book... but after freshman year, most of the different groups at Mac start interacting and intermixing, so by senior year everyone is more or less speaking to everyone else. The big geographic contingencies are Minnesota, the Midwest, the Northeast, and the Northwest, and our international population is strong, proud, and really visible on campus.


Macalester students are fairly open-minded and willing to listen to most opinions. However, if you are conservative, it would probably be hard to express your opinions on campus. Also, while many of the students are atheists, and the majority don't really believe in organized religion, there are plenty of religious students on campus. There is a chapel that has Christian services, and there are religious student orgs on campus that hold their own services. (There is an open Shabbat every Friday night in the Hebrew House on campus). Many students are politically active. There are almost always students handing out flyers in front of the Campus Center at lunch, at there are usually petitions to sign in the basement of the Camus Center (save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, encourage our congressmen/women to provide more funding to the MN State scholarship fund...) Most Mac students are not at college to be trained for a specific job - we are at Mac to learn, and we'll figure out what we want to do for the rest of our lives sometime during college.


The student body is extremely diverse. Anything you want at Mac, you'll get it. What I feel however that is not very diverse are political opinions. Most people are Democrats, and there are only very few republicans. There is never any tension between them, but there might be some joking. What do most students wear to class? Whatever they find first.. or so it sometimes seems. There are some people who take a little more time getting dressed, but in general, people never go all out just to go for class. Dressing well is something many Mac kids don't know how to do. At Mac, there's a lot of students from the Mid west and the East Coast. There are also huge numbers of international students, which even though if sometimes tend to just stick to themselves in the beggining, by the end of first year, have already begun to mix with domestics. Financial backgrounds among students are quite varied, but it's hard to tell because people don't show their backgrounds, especially if they come from wealthy familys. Students are extremely active and very politically aware. At Mac, you'll find a lot of people, who care to make a difference, and actually make one.


there is a big emphasis on diversity especially international diversity so there are students from all over the world. Freshman year they tend to stick together a bit but I have tons of friends from around the world and we all intermingle quite a bit. As far as different sexual orientations they are all very welcome- we're an extremely open and liberal campus.


Don't believe in the whole internationalism specheel they'll give you. The student body is divided between international and domestic, and your social life will depend on which group you will be a part of. International student seem to be the ones who party the hardest, and just know how to spend their time well. But they don't take outsiders either, so if you are international you're lucky. if domestic, expect a rather boring social life, if any. oh no, i'm not saying you will not have any social life, you'll make friends, meet wonderful people. Just don't expect to have friends from all over the world, you will have aquaintanences from all over the world, but not friends.


Macalester students are predominantly liberal, but there is a significant conservative minority, and a great number are left-leaning moderate, in my experience. These moderates are often drowned out by outspoken students, though. There are a lot of international students here, and they form a different group from domestic students, which is not to say there isn't plenty of interaction. The domestic students are generally upper- or upper-middle class, and don't have a lot of experience with people who aren't.


No comment...


Macalester is contsantly advertizing its diversity. However, i get the general feeling that in reality while there is diversity, there isn't as much as they advertize, and there is a lot of separation between international and national students as well as between students of color and white students. In fact, last year racial tensions became really prominent due to a "politically incorrect party" that took place. But to the credit of Mac students, faculty and staff, i feel like the issues were handled fairly well, with open meetings and small group discussion to address the issue of racism and other "isms" on campus. I would say Mac students are generally very liberal, a little bit nerdy and awkward, and a little bit quirky. I think most of us try hard to be open minded and are willing to work on making our school a better environment. So i do have hope that while of course we have issues with every "ism" in the book, we will be able to change things slowly but surely. Because we really are a pretty radical and active bunch of young people.


Mostly white (is that surprising?) A lot of rich kids, but not of they type that will want to rub it in your face or who even take any pride in it. Wealth is not something that's espoused very much, often its something that is downplayed or denied all together. Lots of international students, some say they're cliqueish, and there is some truth to that, though that's because of a lot of reasons and not simply because they hate Americans or anything ridiculous such as that. Most people are from the Midwest, and of that slice, the vast majority are from Minnesota and to a lesser extent Wisconsin. They make up the real core of the school.


There is a lot of international diversity on campus, with students representing the entire world. However there is definitely a divide between the international students from the rest of the student body. It is hard to come to Macalester unless you are a liberal. You do not have to be politically active, but you may find yourself feeling out of place if you are not a diehard democrat; Republicans are a rare find on campus.


Race, LGBT, and diversity are common topics of conversation. I have never witnessed discrimination because of any of this issues. There are many different religious groups on campus but if I were to guess I would say most of the student body is athiest/agnostic. Students are politically aware and active, but predominatly left wing.


Mac students are diverse. There's not a whole hell of a lot to say other than that; people get along well, internationals maybe stick together a little more than seems necessary-- it always feels like a club-- but besides that it's really extremely mixed. I've never heard of an incident of racism at Mac, but that could just be because I haven't been listening. Also, going back to those stupid idiots that I referenced earlier, they still exist, they're just vastly in the minority. For some reason they're almost all on sports teams, and they're just a bunch of douchebags, but it always kind of seems like they know they're outnumbered and stick together and away from everyone else. That's not to say that everyone who plays sports is an asshole, far from it, I have a ton of friends who play varsity sports, it's just to say that there is a higher occurrence of dickheads in sports.


Gay-friendly, lots of International students, not the most diverse class wise, pretty rich middle to upper class students. Though a lot of students are on financial aid. Students who are more conservative and old fashioned might feel out of place. Students where whatever to class, there is the growing bourgy crowd, but still people do wear pajamas around and seem quite comfortable in it.


Macalester students are, in general, pretentious and self-righteous, always trying to be seen as the smartest person on campus. They are more concerned with seeming smart than actually being smart. A student like me feels out of place on this campus. I am not politically active; I am not interested in multiculturalism and internationalism; I don't care how much Marx or Plato someone has read; and I don't care how many countries anyone has lived in. I am a curious person who likes knowledge for its intrinsic value. I learn things because I want to know about them, not to present myself as intelligent. I do not judge people based on their opinions or stances but rather on their ability to accept others' opinions and stances. I don't feel the need to be "indie" and hate anything mainstream. Liking obscure bands does not make a person cool. I could be all of the things I hate about Macalester--pretentious, image-obsessed, and superficial, but I choose not to be, and that makes me an outcast here.


We used to be radically liberal, now we're liberals who stay within their comfort zone. We used to have gender bending dances, big pro legalization events, rallies and other counter cultural activities around campus all the time. Now we mostly just say we support - insert minority here - 's rights but don't get outside our comfort zone and don't actually do anything active to help anyone. Given our leftist ideals, we are a suprisingly segregated campus. Mac's international student body comes primarily from the same chain of highschools so most international students know each other before they get here. The international students are mostly here for econ, pre med or chemistry and are much more socially conservative than the American student body. We don't interact much. Even domestic racial groups rarely interact in part because cultural orgs form a basis for alot of social interaction and accidently create a situtation where the Asian kids go to the Asian cultural org party, the African kids go to the black cultural org party and the white kids all get drunk at the corner cottage.


Mac is very open and accepting if LGBTQ students. In fact, this year we're pioneering an "all-gender house" where students who associate themselves with any gender, or no gender, can live without having to define themselves. Students are generally informal, some wear flip flops and a hoodie, some wear designer clothes. It's all up to your personal preference. Mac students are generally left or center, we don't have a lot of republicans. People are geared towards human rights, ending racism and any other discrimination. While all opinions are respected, you probably won't get away with being openly, aggressively homophobic here.


Macalester has a huge international student population, but it is a little lacking in the area of domestic diversity. Most domestic students are economically fairly well-to-do and the majority are white. Students are very open to people of different religions, sexualities, etc, but sometimes there does arise a lack of understanding of people from different socioeconomic levels who do not tend to be well-represented at Macalester. Most students are politicall aware, but not all are active. Most are left-leaning, some are apathetic, and a very small number are conservative. Most students don't talk much about how much they'll earn one day!


Mac students are serious about academics and serious about extracurriculars and civic engagement. But the reason I love most Mac students is that we don't take ourselves too seriously, we're a pretty light hearted bunch. Mostly, we're just happy to be at Mac together learning and living together.


Macalester's student body seems to be changing from crazily liberal, pot-smoking hippies to a still liberal group with a few more jocks and Republicans in the mix. The freshmen classes have gotten progressively better-looking over the past four years, but the average Mac kid is still not a "looker." Clothes come mostly from the Salvation Army. Homosexuality is totally accepted. There are a lot of international students but there's a significant divide between domestic and international students. Most students seem to come from fairly wealthy families, but probably less wealthy on average than other private liberal arts schools. The financial aid is great. Students tend to be politically and environmentally aware, but this is a generalization and is certainly not true of everyone. There are a lot of groups at Mac; sports teams tend to stick together.


very open to all people tables in the dining room: 1) a bunch of students who are all on sports teams 2) international students 3/4 random mixes Liberals dominate


As a group students tend to be pretty socially aware, and politically active, and take others for who they are. If you are an outspoken conservative you might feel a little intimidated, but people really want to hear what others have to say, especially if they have different views. Most students are from the midwest, or northeast, but there is a real mixture. What I like best about Macalester is that they do make an effort to have a financially diverse population. Unlike a lot of liberal arts colleges I visited in the east, not everyone is from the upper-middle class. There is a real mix. If a Mac students was talking about how much they'll make one day, they are probably joking about how poor they'll be working for some non-profit while trying to change the world.


Macalester students are generally middle to upper-middle class and very liberal. Most types of students would feel accepted here, except conservative students may feel out of place and forced to be on the defensive all the time.


there are some divides that exist on campus- but the administration is trying to make systemic changes to address those. LGBT students mix with athletes, mix with music majors, mix with environmental activists, mix with economics majors. most students are fairly relaxed in what they wear to class, but take their eduction very seriously. again, it is difficult to type-cast macalester students. you can see a sweater vest, a sundress, sweat pants, skintight jeans, and Teva sandals- all from walking down an all boys hallway.


As an LGBT student of color, I have no problem on campus. There are lots of places for me to talk about myself or my identity if I want to, but it's not required or forced on me. The school is small enough that different kinds of people all interact with each other - there's no room for cliques.


We don't actually have that much racial diversity on campus. Of course, I come from a very diverse town, so I'm privileged in that way, and Mac is a step backward in terms of my interaction with other races. But I think that for many people, it's a step forward. We do have a good amount of religious diversity, but we're highly lacking in the born again and evangelical department. The LGBT community is very present and very accepted. I would echo the same sentiments about socio-economic diversity as I did for racial diversity. People who would feel out of place at Mac: people who think homosexuality is a sin. People who are not politically aware and don't want to be. Conservatives (unless they're looking to sharpen their argumentative skills). People who think prayer should be mandatory in public schools. People who are uncomfortable with the use of marijuana. Most students do not "dress up" to go to class. Four tables of students in the dining hall: the Internationals. the Athletes. the hipsters. the gamers. Macalester students are mostly from Minnesota, nearby Midwest states, the Northwest and the Northeast. Students are politically aware and active. Or at least they pretend to be for fear of being thought ignorant. The question about political views here is not: Are you left, right or center? It's: How far to the left are you? And of course being Green is also very common. Students talk about how much they won't be earning any time soon.


some student groups can get overly zealous, but most students are pretty chill


there's a large LGBT population. racially, religiously, and socio-economically i don't think we're as diverse as we believe we are. there are a lot of international students but they tend to all stick together. really preppy, jocky students are definitely in the minority. people who have a massive sex drive are also going to have problems because no one hooks up and almost everyone is a virgin clothes: everyone where's plaid and flannel. it's ridiculous. do different types of students interact: in class but not really otherwise tables: 1) the athletes and their friends 2) people who really like dungeons and dragons 3) the drug lords 4) international kids most people are from the midwest, especially wisconsin financial background: tends towards upper middle class politically active/aware: absolutely predominantly left no, no one talks about how much they will earn one day


Very accepting, very opinionated, often hypocritical, always awkward, passionate about the most unexpected things, and almost everyone is a huge dork about their academic field.


Hmm, no comment Conservative students stick out like a sore thumb Students where too wide a range of clothes to class to describe All students interact There are no "tables" at lunch - I sit with at least 100 different people each year Most of the kids here are quite well off, though the financial aid is excellent Students here are more politically active that 95{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} of colleges We are predominantly left (way left) Never


Macalester has everyone. It really does. The student body is primarily composed of neo-liberals. In other words, people who pretend to care and "feel" for you you to fuck off if you asked for money. As I said before, don't try to be really out of a comfortable identity box, because you'll be all alone (if you've ever heard the song "Love Me I'm a Liberal", it's pretty much that). Financial aid is becoming a joke, and the school seems to be admitting more people who can fully pay for college to support its rise to Ivydom. Hurrah. What hurts most is the facade, though. The facade of really carrying about issues of social justice, or the facade of really, truly being accepting. It's just that, a facade. Don't waste your time here.


At any given moment at Macalester, you could see geeks, indie rockers, outdoorsy people, jocks, girly-girls, flamboyantly gay men, and everything in between hanging out together in the floor lounge. The only type of person who wouldn't feel comfortable here is someone who isn't open to other types of people.