One thing Scripps needs to work on is improving the sense of community in the dorms and on campus. Scrippsies are very passionate people, and we come in with our racial/sexual/religious/political identities and values on our sleeves. I love that most Scripps students are active and not apathetic, but the diversity of values and identities can fragment the student body. We have many small, tight-knit groups on campus, but little sense of solidarity as a whole student body. In my experience, finding your group can take some effort (it's pretty hard to meet people in classes) but if you are pro-active about getting involved with activities you care about, you shouldn't have a problem. And once again, there are four other colleges full of people to be friends with if you're not having luck at Scripps. Scripps' diversity is growing and I think our administration is making a great effort to be as accepting as possible to students from all walks of life. While I think the majority of students are white, middle to upper class, not extremely religious, and middle to left in politics, we have visible and growing communities of students that do not fit this mold. In terms of how image-conscious Scripps students are, that defintiely varies from social group to social group too. Look into a class and there will probably be a mix of sweatpants and sundresses.
While Scripps does have racial and ethnic diversity, it is not as diverse as some schools in California, especially larger universities. Some students feel Scripps is not diverse enough in this regard, while others are not bothered by it. There are several religious groups on campus, plus LGBT support groups and racial/ethnic groups. While some students tend to interact mostly within their group of friends, there is definitely interaction among different types of students. Wednesday tea and snack nights are good opportunities for different members of the Scripps community to mingle and interact with each other. Scripps students come from all over the country and world, although there are more students from California, Oregon and Washington than any other one place. There are a wide variety of financial backgrounds - some students come from more wealthy families and can afford a Scripps education on their own, while many students are on some form of financial aid. Even the students that are more wealthy rarely flaunt it, and students with different financial backgrounds often interact with each other. Many students are politically aware and are active when it comes to issues they care about, whether it be social justice, women's rights, environmental sustainability, or helping the poor. Generally, students tend to be more liberal.
When asked how to describes the typical Scrippsie, there is an overwhelming consensus: there isn't a typical Scripps student. Women come to this school with different interests and to engage with all different types of people. Scripps has an LGBT presence which most students accept and support, but it is definitely not super overwhelming. Scripps also always discusses that it is working on increasing diversity on campus- but I do not find the college to be very homogeneous at all. I have plenty of friends that are black, hispanic, middle eastern, or asian, and know many international students. Lots of students are on some amount of financial aid, but there are others who definitely do not need it. Regardless, background does not influence who people are friends with. Scripps is a liberal arts school, and as the name implies most students are very liberal.
As said before, diversity is lacking if there is any at all. Stereotypes exist for a reason and stem from something. Minorities that are part of the student body though are strong and active. SCORE is a wonderful place and the directors are great as well. Socioeconomic status also drastically needs to change within the student body, and in my opinion the student body needs to be more aware of the lack of general diversity. The administration tries to dabble with the issue but has consistently failed in my opinion to act upon issues that come up or meetings that happen. Besides this, most students are from the west coast. Mix of private and public educations. Students here are generally good-hearted, down-to-earth people who are friendly and encouraging.
Scripps is not terribly diverse. They definitely are trying to diversify racially, but since Scripps is so expensive, it is hard to diversify in terms of socio-economic status. They do offer really generous financial aid, at least to me, but in order to do that, they have to have a certain number of students who can pay full tuition. Students' attire tends to be more put together than the average college campus. Sundresses are very popular. Of course, around finals or whenever it rains, people break out the sweatpants, but in general people are fairly fashionable. I would say that the student body is socially liberal and probably financially more in the middle just because, again, many of the students are from upper middle class families.
I've met just about every type of person at Scripps, and because we are so small and intimate, we all interact and are all friends. I would say that we are very accepting of everyone, I've never felt awkward or out of place for any reason. I think Scripps is similar to many institutions of higher learning populated by younger people, in that many students politically lean more to the left. But that's not to say that those of us who don't feel out of place. I feel as though many Scrippsies are always cute. They care about how they look and they look adorable! Sure, some people wear sweats or pjs but you can get some great fashion ideas from a lot of them. Scrippsies interact with everyone and are a good mixture of everything, it's fun!
Living in the dorms here, I feel surrounded by friends, or at least potential friends. I love that I can go to the dining hall and run into people to eat with. While Scripps offers a ton of resources (and great mentor programs) for minority students through Scripps Communities of Resources and Empowerment, I'd like to see a greater discourse about ethnic and racial diversity on campus. What discourse there is tends to feel tense or hostile. I think that, intelligent, empowered and compassionate as Scripps students are, we can do better.
I was part of an Asian American club at Scripps where we had a sponsor and events for all of the Asian Americans. Although I did not participate much, I found all of the women welcoming. I do not think anyone would feel out of place at Scripps regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. There are groups for every kind of person! I feel like Scripps is relatively diverse. Many students at Scripps are out of state or international. There are different financial backgrounds and political views too.
No student should feel out of place at Scripps. Whether it is a group on campus or across the 5cs, there is a place for you. If there is not, you are encouraged to create one. Because of this, students enjoy clubs and organizations including everything from Nerd Club to midnight acapella groups to improv theater.
Created by Alison Cantor (Scripps '10) in Spring 2010 for Media Studies 148 (Scripps) - "Introduction to Video" All content filmed in and around the Claremont Colleges. All interviewees are Claremont Colleges students.