Although Marist has a predominantly white, upper middle class, majority; it's only an issue if you make it an issue since more often than not people are friendly here and open to learning about your culture. Minority percentage is somewhere between 10-15%, which is a little higher than many small private liberal arts colleges. There is also an LGBT club on campus for students who want to get involved with different events like movie and awareness nights. Usually people in sports teams as well as people in different clubs or organizations (be they theater, computer science people, or campus ministry) form tight knit groups of friends though you might likely have friends that may be in two or more of those different groups. Politically speaking, Marist students aren't generally as active as students in other colleges (it's not the protest kind of school) though it there are very lively groups like SEED (environmental group), FOX Paw (animal rights), and Marist College Republicans (there were plans to start a Democrats group as well). As far as political spectrum goes, I've seen students of many different shades (left to right) though many of them tend to be either moderate or generally politically agnostic.
Like I said before, I'm Jewish and I am going to a predominantly Catholic school, so every day I experience a religious difference between myself and others. I have not had any problems here whatsoever because of my religion; I actually find it interesting and I like learning about other people's backgrounds that are different from mine. Even though we are not the most diverse campus, I think that almost everyone is able to find a connection with other people at Marist. When students go to class, most of us are not dressed in lounge wear or our pajamas (part of the reason is because it's so cold and we need to bundle up), but there are some students who do go to class straight from bed, and pretty much everyone does every once in a while. We aren't really dressed to impress, we just wear casual clothes. Most of the students at Marist are from Long Island and New Jersey...I am not one of them, I'm from California!
Students here are typical college students. Most roll out of bed before their 8am classes and throw on a pair of sweatpants and head to class. I wouldn't describe the groups of people who are friendly with one another to be "clicks" because students generally have a wide variety of friends rather than one particular group. You get to know people through your classes, through extracurricular activities, sports, so it's hard to pick out certain groups of students as "the jocks," "the nerds," or "those girls..." Everyone is pretty much accepting of one another and understand we are all coming from different backgrounds. I'd say the majority of students on this campus are liberal to moderate in their political views and generally open to any issue affecting students on this campus.
The first thing that will strike you about the average Marist student is how polite and friendly everyone is. It seems that no matter how well someone knows a person, even if it is just someone that is in one of their classes, everyone always acknowledges everyone else with a simple "hey" and a smile. While it isn't much, I just think that just shows how outgoing the Marist campus is. Even better, they are polite too! Holding the door is huge here. Even if you are several feet behind someone, more likely than not, they will hold the door for you until you get there. I have yet to see that anywhere else.
Despite some minorities who may pull the race card, race relations overall are very good here. You will always see people of different races mingling together. You should know before you apply here however, that Marist is predominantly white, so if you want a greatly diverse school, you may want to look elsewhere. The school seemingly leans left politically, and some professors don't mind showing it.
As I mentioned earlier, most students are from Long Island or New Jersey. There are also many students from other parts of New York, Connecticut, and the surrounding states. The amount of students from the West Coast has been increasing steadily through the years. The students can seem cliquey, but at the same time everyone is friendly and for the most part all students get along.
I was afraid to feel out of place at Marist because I don't own designer clothes and take three hours to get ready every day. Of course, the fashion students always look nice going to class, but it's college - students wear anything and everything. Some go in sweats, some go in jeans, some dress up on occasion - but everyone fits in. I never feel judged walking around campus.
School spirit is fairly decent, but it can get better. Everyone does participate in some team or club though. There are so many clubs you can join it's inevitable to be a loner here. There are definitely more caucasian students than hispanics, african-americans, asians, etc. but the numbers are growing in the latter groups. There are also more girls than guys.
I love the Marist Student body. There are a lot of people with all different personalities and backgrounds that I am friendly with. There are also a group of students that I have become extremely friendly with. I have made some close friends that I am so grateful for. I have a great time on campus thanks to people that make up Marist's student body.
Most of them are really just air heads who have been spoiled and sheltered their whole lives. Hearing them speak can be painful. Not all of them are like this though. A lot of kids I met are extremely nice, intelligent, and willing to help. I've met some really great people in class.