After having spent my first year here at 'Berg, I can honestly tell you that this stereotype does not hold true. Coming from the East Village in New York City, I had friends of all nationalities, races, and religions. When I came here to campus last fall, I was taken aback by how many places on campus in which diversity was present, after having read all these blogs. From the Multicultural Center, to clubs like Comunidad Latina and Gay-Straight Alliance(GSA), you can definitely find diversity on campus. One of my favorite parts of Freshman Orientation weekend was seeing a production performed by students through the Sedehi Diversity Project. This project, created by a Muhlenberg Alum who graduated in 2008, deals with questions like "What is diversity?" and "How diverse is our campus?" Various students on 'Berg's campus are asked questions like these, and their responses are all put together into this piece. I absolutely loved seeing the piece and hearing about students' honest responses to diversity here on campus. The pieces highlighted the fact that diversity spans not only the racial spectrum, but also the religious, ethnic, and sexual orientation spectrums, which are all represented on Muhlenberg's campus.
While the majority of students on Muhlenberg's campus are Caucasian, and about a third come from New Jersey that definitely does not describe Muhlenberg students as a whole. We also have many students from Pennsylvania, New York, a growing population from New England and even a few from the West Coast. As far the stereotype of wealthy, white, Jewish students - we have a freshman class with a racial diversity of 12% and over 70% of our students get some form of financial aid. In addition, our traditionally Lutheran college is 1/3 Catholic and about 1/3 Jewish, although I recommend going to Hillel even if just for Shabbat dinners and bagel brunches! Prospectives should feel assured that Muhlenberg students are extremely down to earth and search for other forms of diversity other than skin color and religious backgrounds.
Also, while we rank 4th in the nation for our Theatre & Dance program as well as having about an 85-90% acceptance rate to medical schools - Muhlenberg students are also excelling in other areas such as Business Administration, Psychology, Media & Communication and English just to name a few.
Lastly, Muhlenberg students would be proud to say that the stereotype of a welcoming and caring faculty, staff, and administration is one hundred percent TRUE! As prospective students may see on tour or when coming for our Campus Visitation Program where they may sit in on classes; students, faculty, and staff will always hold the red doors open for anyone walking by and greet them with a smile.
For all three of these stereotypes I would say that these are vast exaggerations. I myself and from California and I am not Jewish.
While there is a large and active Jewish population, it totals to only 34% of the total student body. Along the same lines, while there is a large portion of the student body that hails from New Jersey, from the Class of 2012 it totals to about 34% as well. In general, of course I have friends that are from New Jersey or who are Jewish, but not everyone at Muhlenberg is Jewish and/or from New Jersey.
Also, in terms of everyone being rich this is inaccurate. While of course there are students whose families are well off, not everyone is in this situation. I have many friends that receive financial aid, in fact about 70% of the student body receives need-based financial aid.
Overall, while there is some truth behind these stereotypes- they are not entirely true. Not everyone, in fact not even a majority of the student body, fits into these three stereotypes.
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