Really I think RPI is a pretty standard college campus. There are the standard social cliques, something for everyone, and usually its easy to find. Sometimes the cliques interact but it varies based on settings. If there were 4 tables at the dining hall, there would be a super geek, jock, frat, and average joe table. Most RPI students seem to be from the north east. It seems as though most students are politically active, but there are plenty of both left and right wingers. People talk about future earnings all the time.
Most RPI students are from New England or New York State. They vary greatly in financial and ethnic background. We are famous for our ratio here, about three boys to every one girl, though it is evening out. No one would feel out of place here, there is a niche for everyone somewhere on campus. I have been involved in few political discussion since I have been on campus (not that I take much interest in it) and most ended with, "I just want to work for the governement, not be a politician."
RPI is pretty diverse, although it's a private, expensive school meaning majority of students are mid-to upper class and white. If you aren't into science in the least bit you will not fit in. RPI does attract a specific kind of person and it isn't for everyone. RPI is a relatively conservative campus and in my opinion not very politically active. Most RPI students are from New England. Also lots of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. T
RPI seems like any other college as far as the student body goes. Some people dress in their own unique ways while others conform to the standard. RPI lets you form clubs as long as there is even a minimal amount of interest in the topic. That's great. You get to meet a wide variety of people from all over the world. It's like a miniature melting pot. If you have some interest you think you're alone on you're wrong.
RPI's student body is mostly from the east coast. MA, NY, NJ, CT, VT. Most students range in wearing sweats or jeans, sometimes people will be dressed up. Layers is always good especially in the winter because it gets nasty cold and windy and then classrooms are pumped with heat. First year most of the students live on Freshman Hill (in the Freshman Five) and eat in commons, but some upperclassmen eat there too.
RPI from my experience is fairly diverse and very accepting of all varieties of race, gender, sexual orientation, or economic status. I personally have not focused or noticed anything I dislike about RPI's student body and have not experienced anything I've been dissatisfied with - although I'm sure others may disagree. I've been fortunate enough to not have any problems in this area.
RPI is a very politically neutral campus. I think because it's an engineering school, people are very analytical and don't get caught up in the emotion of issues, just stick to facts and figures. I don't think theres a type of student who'd feel left out in terms of race or religion or sexual orientation alone, the only people left out here are the people who leave themselves out.
As far as the LGBT scene goes, the campus is generally accepting. There is a decent sized gay male population. If you are a lesbian though, your options will be limited on campus. There is an all girls college downtown though, and supposedly there are some lesbians there. Bisexual women at RPI normally end up dating men because the ratio is in their favor for finding a man they like.
Similar to high school, there are jocks, greek fraternity kids, popular people, geeks, and every group u can imagine. Students interact, its not a very large school. Given the tuition, its mainly middle to upper class students. Politics depend on the person and whether they are active. Talk of future jobs is prevalent and students are excited about it ($$$).
There are a few "normal" kids on campus, with the right amount of balanced social skills, common sense, and brains..but a lot of people fit into the category known as "creepy RPI kids." They are generally nice though. I haven't come across too many mean people. Everybody is nice when walking around campus, I don't feel unsafe anywhere.