Smith College Top Questions

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?


yes. brainy lesbians and all the misfits from high school combined.


Smith does have a very intellectual culture, and students are not usually shy about speaking their minds in class. That being said, I personally never felt intimidated by my fellow students' intelligence, and I didn't think it was so much about intellectual competition as it was about excitement about ideas. In fact, I loved being at a college where people were genuinely excited about their classes. There were some houses (dorms) that had larger groups of people who liked to work all night long and all weekend and who liked to complain about their homework, but for the most part Smithies tend to be pretty balanced between work and play: work hard, then play hard. The whole sexual frustration thing is definitely not true; there are plenty of men to be found at neighboring colleges, at parties, and in classes, due to the 5-college consortium. About 1/3 of the students identify themselves as queer, lesbian, bi, or transgendered -- but, while the stereotype of a big gay school isn't numerically accurate, there IS a very pervasive culture of tolerance for the queer community. Homophobia is definitely frowned on, and the LGBT presence is loud and proud, not shy or closeted at all. If you're really not comfortable with a LGBT presence Smith might take some getting used to. I didn't meet a single woman while I was at Smith who owned a set of pearls (or a sweater set, for that matter). While plenty of Smithies come from well-off families, they don't flaunt their wealth. If anything students probably try to act like they have less money than they really do.


A student discusses some of the stereotypes associated with Smith college and comments on their accuracy.


A student discusses some of the stereotypes associated with Smith college and comments on their accuracy.


While there are indeed a lot of girls, it is a refreshing mix of people. Yes, sexuality is a hot topic on campus which is refreshing and mind expanding, especially for people coming from conservative hometowns.


Yes and ,like most stereotypes, completely wrong at the same time. The gamut is pretty big, but chances are that you can expect acceptance at Smith College.


There is a strong representation of both gay and straight students on campus. The all woman atmosphere is certainly different than a coed environment. Classes are interesting and challenging, and people work hard on their schoolwork.


Definitely not true. There's a big gay community, and people definitely take academics seriously but we also like to have fun.


Not necessarily. I am a straight, liberal person who does not always thrive in academic settings, and by no means is my family rich. However, stereotypes do come from somewhere, and I definitely feel that Smith's rep precedes it sometimes when I'm off campus. Ultimately, though, we are not restricted by these stereotypes and generally everyone is given a chance to be themselves.


NO! I am not. But many students at Smith are gay or something else but thats the case at other colleges too single - sex or coed.


A lot of them are, yes, but to varying degrees. Like any place, you will encounter the extremes of the stereotypes, but you are much more likely to meet people who are a combination (minus the boring and plain!, that's a false stereotype). People are very serious about their work and people try really hard to do many extracurrica activities. Also, there is a very large queer community at Smith, no lies. And of course we are feminists, it practically part of the curriculum...sometimes you can't avoid taking a class about gender in the liberal arts, even if you're not a study of women and gender major. It might be overwhelming at first, and then it still might be overwhelming a year or two later, but it really depends on what you are interested in.


No! Smith is in a very liberal area so it is more accepted to be openly gay but that doesn't mean there is a larger gay population at the school.


I only know the "I hate Moho" to be true. Also, a lot of us are competative, but it doesn't affect our interactions, for the most part.


Not at all. There are lesbians here but also plenty of straight people too, just like any other campus. I think that the difference here is that the gay population is active and is very accepted on campus. It is a safe space for all kinds of people to be who they are.


For the most part these stereotypes are correct. There is a large number of lesbians, transgender people, and bisexuals. Smith is very liberal even to the point that their Republican club has a confidential mailing list.


Not really. Yes, there is a large gay population, but there are a ton of straight people too. I know many conservatives on campus, but more importantly, I know that they don't get slammed for their opinions-- Smithies are really smart. They don't tend to stay along party lines, they want to know more and come up with better solutions. And no, not all Smithies are loud and obnoxious, on the contrary there are just enough of us who make noise to make classes lively and interactive.


Not really. All queer groups are minorities on campus, and we're just like the women at any other small, private, liberal arts college, only more so.




in a way... but there really isn't a lot of lesbians. But there are a lot of peculiar people.

Petunia Bee



Mostly, but not everyone is gay, and it's totally possible to go to Smith if you are straight.


There is some truth to the stereotypes, but in a positive way. We're not a school of hippies, but we are very conscientious about the environment. There are people from all sorts of political backgrounds and perspectives. We're activists in the sense that Smithies will make their voices heard and are very involved in the political scene.


No, not everyone is gay, and not everyone is liberal. While there may be some people who are gay there are just as many straight people. As for everyone being liberal that is also not true, a large portion of the population is, but everyone has their own personal views on things.


To an extent. They get exaggerated a lot.


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No, none of these stereotypes are correct. Although they all exist on campus they cannot be generalized about the students at Smith as a whole. In fact the group labeled "Smith Student" is so diverse that I can not think of one single generalization that would encompass the extremely diverse Smith campus.


You betcha.


No, not entirely. The gay community is very prominent and everyone is very open and welcoming about differences. Also, there are some stuck up bitchy people (anyone can be at some point) but mostly because they're just stressed.


Not really, our campus is just more open and accepting


I think this stereotype is partially true. Many students self-select into Smith because they identify with some part of that. Now not all, some people come to Smith for the prestige of the degree or because of the financial aid package. Or because their parent(s) made them. Regardless, Smith doesn't I think reflect the stereotype as much as one would assume. Yes there is queer community (and not all of us identify as lesbian). But its not unanimously accepted on campus and has its own internal conflicts. Are there liberal and progressive political ideas circulating, sure, but how engaged is the larger community with major political action. I guess no stereotype is entirely accurate even if its partially true.


First, not so accurate, but accurate enough. Second, definitely accurate.


Some days it does seem like everyone is a lesbian, but that's not true at all. But Smithies are very politically correct and hard working!


There is a large proportion of gay students, but not the majority. There is a large variety of people from different socioeconomic backgrounds.


There are a lot of lesbians, but there are also a fair number of straight girls. Also, the annoying, stuck up, self-righteous Smithie is found but can definitely be avoided. For the most part, you can totally find someone who is like you and hates the same people that you do. That's part of what's wonderful about Smith -- for every stereotype, there's a good number of people who serve solely as a foil. Sometimes, Smithies are too smart for their own good. I've heard "You can always tell a Smithie, but you can't tell her much" more than once. I think Smithies tend to have such good friends in college because, sometimes, we're the only people who can put up with people like Smithies.


It is not true that all or most Smithies are lesbians and we certainly are not all ugly. While most are rather liberal there are moderate and conservative students here.


not entirely


to an extent


Sometimes this can seem true, but going to a women's college allows for women to have a stronger voice and more opportunities to express themselves. This also allows for many voices to be heard from the whole spectrum.




I would not say that we are crazy feminists, but we are fervent believers that women must be included in every dialogue none to humankind.


No, there are all kinds of women at Smith. As far as the lesbian comment, there are probably more than at some other schools but not necessarily by much, people are just more open about it because we are more accepting here. I think people are competeive with themselves about how they do in school, etc but not necessarily with other students.


No, not for all of us at least, there are plenty of straight women trying to have a good time.


There is probably a higher queer presence here than is normal elsewhere, but straight is still the majority. It is liberal, but I don't think more so than any other college, and it has far too much money to be radical (unfortunately). It does, I think have a wider economic range than most private colleges, however.


To a point. There are lesbians here, but it's not like they take over the school. Some girls can be desperate when it comes to guys, but again, not the entire population. They are plenty of normal, single women who get along just fine. I would say we are overworked, but in the best way possible. I've heard of Smith students that went on to graduate school and thought it was easy compared to the workload they had at Smith. So it's a win-win situation.


it's impossible to define weird - everybody is an individual, and that's what counts. As for the rest, there's a little bit of everything here and that's the way every school is.




No. Some people at Smith are gay and some people are feminists, but that doesn't apply to the whole student body.


Smith doesn't turn you gay. You make that decision for yourself. Yeah there are plenty of hipsters, but there so many types of people on campus, too. Dining is very accessible for just about anyone, but it has been going down hill, in a big way. Smith Democrat head count about 200. Smith Republican head count about 15. People here are all gifted and talented in their own way, which contributes to the large diversity of Smith. Lots of famous alumni, who are always giving back in a big way. You meet all sorts of boys, at all sorts of functions. The nice ones through organizations and music related events. The creepers...well, there will always be a creeper. The ones only worthy of a few dances and some tongue at the Quad Party


there are a lot of gay people at smith. more so than at any other school. and it's also more accepted, i think, than at most other schools. people come to smith knowing at least that much; i don't think anyone really comes here without knowing that what they're getting into to some degree. at the same time, there are still a lot of people who are straight, and they're definitely not a minority. smithies do tend to be pretty intense, however. we don't get up in arms about everything, but when someone, or a group of people, cares about something, they're usually pretty active. a rare few will really get in your face about it, but most people are pretty polite and civilized and respect others' opinions.