Macalester College Top Questions

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?


Macalester is hard academically, and most of the students are very liberal, but there are definitely different opinions too. The majority of students don't smoke. We are pretty dorky though - we enjoy learning and having academic discussions.


Yes, but only for certain students. There's a wide variety of people at Mac, and they each have their interests. Nevertheless, the "let's save the world" type of students are quite admirable for their passion and engagement.


most of them- I'd say students are not socially awkward but rather there are many eccentric and unique personalities here that make for a lot of fun interactions.


It is generally seems to be the case for american students, where as international students are totally different crowd. They are liberal, I'll give you that, but no hippie crowd either.


These people do exist at Macalester. In fact, there are many of them. But the majority of students are not like them.


Dead on. All the American kids are rich, but they try to act like they're poor, only giving up some cash to find their next dime bag. They are soooo liberal it's impossible to have a conversation with them before they get too mad to speak to you. The international students form one giant clique and leave everyone else out. It's pretty frustrating.


More or less. I mean, all stereotypes are an exaggeration, but most Mac students tend to be liberal, involved in the community, into social justice work, or international relations or some other "i'm gonna change the world" area of interest. However, we aren't godless. There are a lot of different religious and spiritual traditions represented by the student body. And we are smart. :)


Here and there, yes. But of all of them, I would say the one about Mac students being "socially awkward" is the most prevalent. In all honesty, though, Macalester is a slice of the American 18-22 year old demographic (with a lot of international students to add to that). It's exceptional only in that it's a group of seriously capable, seriously intelligent people with serious ambitions in the world. A lot of awkward social situations do occur and there are a lot of people who you might say exist outside certain social norms. But people who emphasize these things and think that people are awkward because they go to Macalester or that the college attracts these people are overemphasizing their own, personal experience with some very specific people. Moreover, they don't have a whole lot of comparitive basis. Who gets to decide what "normal" is, anyway? If such a thing does exist, if there is a "normal" set of behaviors, set of thought processes and attitudes and values, then you are as likely to find people who waver from it at Macalester as you are anywhere else, and that shouldn't be a turn off. Macalester, like any college in America, is a society of individuals. We have some things in common (most are pretty liberal, yes), and some things we don't. That's just how it is.


For the most part these generalizations are accurate. My classmates are intellectual, both inside and outside the classroom, with political reform and social change dominating many discussions. Macalester's reputation for being tremendously liberal is certainly true. And while making the campus politically active, this diehard liberalism can also be a burden; it is difficult to exist on campus without holding liberal principles. People do drugs, but it certainly does not dominate the social scene. Marijuana is not hard to find, and neither is alcohol, but there are plenty of people who avoid these drugs. Macalester is definitely commited to the international community, constantly stressing the importance of being a "global citizen."




No, and I'll explain why...


Not at all, most people I know have shaved legs, so much so, that I feel incredibly awkward walking around without shaved legs. The other part might be true to some extent.


No. In general Macalester students are pretentious and closed-minded. They are unwilling to accept new viewpoints and are intolerant of any opinions that are outside of what is considered "socially acceptable." Most of Mac is liberal pseudointellectuals who dominate the campus, making this a very unsafe environment for anyone that is different.


The problem is, Macalester today is nothing like it was in the '60's. Today, Mac is increasingly conservative, complacent, and filled with alot of hot air and very little action.


To some extent. Mac students tend to care less about appearance and general stereotypical college-kid behavior. People are more chilled out. There is some drug use, especially Pot, but nothing out of the ordinary, definitely not a dangerous environment to be in. Whether you want to get into it or not is your individual call, no one will be chasing you down the corridor with a bong. As far as weirdos go, yeah I'd say Mac students are unique. People have their own passions, ideas and opinions and will not be afraid to express them. If anything, i'd say that's the great thing about Mac - people have their own personalities.


I think these are accurate for a large portion of Macalester students but there are certainly those that break the trends; lots of people play sports, and not everyone's politically correct.


We certainly have "hippie"-esque students on campus. But we are a pretty diverse bunch, any single stereotype could never possibly describe us all.




there are people who fit these descriptions and many more at macalester


There are a lot of hipsters, but there are also a lot of regular people, and I think that there are 6, out of the GOP closet, republicans on campus. And I would definitely say that that is an accurate picture of Macalester's academic environment


yeah pretty much--everyone is really politically active and interested in a braod spectrum of issues.


The liberal stereotype is true. I think we like having a strange reputation, but are actually more normal than our image. As far as the awkward image, it is generally true, but I feel we are awkward in a friendly sort of way.


There are certainly some that embody this stereotype. but the array of student interests, backgrounds, ideologies and passions transcend an easy categorization


No. Macalester may have some people who are rich, and some who are liberal, and some who are awkward, but we're all pretty different. The one thing I would say we have in common is our nerdiness -- our passion to get up and do something.


Only to the extent that you make them. For every student with wealthy East Coast parents, there are two who grew up in the same state with nothing. For every person who stops caring, there are two or three or ten who who still care, if a little more cautiously. People here all *have* something, cheezy as it sounds, that makes them want to face down the world and all its problems (yes, even the econ majors). And those stereotypes I mentioned, the rich white kid and the richer international student, equal in their naivety-turned-disdain? Really, they're a kind of self-deprecating joke, a way of laughing about and fearing the consequences of "new ivy" status.


There's a politically active atmosphere at Mac, and I could probably count the number of vocal conservatives on one hand.


Not necessarily. Macalester students tend to vote democratic but there are some conservatives around. Mac students are not particularly odd in thought or action and most are not into mind-altering or other substances. To be perfectly honest, the average student is not a hippie in any way. And students are as involved as they want to be. There are plenty of opportunities for community involvement so its up to each student to determine their level of participation


the pot-smoking hippie one is. however, almost everyone here is an underachiever: everyone does the bare minimum to get by.


Yeah, for the most part -- other than the fact that we are all hippies (of course there is a fair share of these kind of kids running around)




It's pretty true, actually. There are always people who will surprise you, though. People like to overanalyze everything, which is really fun at times but can get to be annoying.


I think stereotypes are based on something true, but if you really know the student body, you will find there is little truth. I would say most students are a little weird in their own way, but thats a good thing. I would say most students here are liberal or moderate in their political views. if you are conservative, you would probably have a hard time with a lot of stuff that goes on. I think there are a lot of non-religious students, but in that majority, we lose the identity of those of us who are religious. I am a Christian and am part of Mac Protestants and consider myself religious. I know that I am not alone, because there are other Christians, as well as students who are religious in other faiths. I think it makes people here angry, confused, and act a little awkward if they know I am a Christian. It seems like such a "weird" thing to be. Being a Christian did not make me weird in high school, I was a little "weird" because I didn't match my clothes or go to school dances. I think most people do not have a problem with religion once they meet someone they like who is religious that kind of shatters those preconceived notions, its just a matter of getting there.