Although it is fair to say that there is little ethnic diversity on campus, I do not think this affects who befriends whom. At Trinity, students become friends with those who they meet through dorm life, classes, social activities, extracurriculars, etc. For me, although I am in a sorority, I do not restrict my social network to just students within the Greek system. I have friends who participate in a wide array of activities and interests throughout campus. Generally speaking, the majority of Trinity's student body are affluent caucasians from the New England area.
While Trinity is comprised mostly of white kids, there are a fair amount of international students, especially because the squash teams draw from many different countries. In terms of diversity, there's more than I thought there was going to be. And, while it's pretty segregated, I haven't witnessed any firsthand racism...maybe that's a naive or ignorant observation though, because it might occur. Actually, it seems like a lot of white kids are intimidated by other groups of people and the sororities in particular seem really exclusive and unfriendly.
People at Trinity really care about causes. People care about the environment, about race, about culture, about rape, about other people. Of course, there are those who don't care...but there are definitely a fair number of people who genuinely give a shit. There's preppy kids, artsy kids, science dorks (like me), religion buffs, history-lovers, religion nerds (like me), etc etc the list goes on. There's a huge range of interests. Students are predominantly liberal, but there are definitely conservatives. Trinity is no Wesleyan.
Very non-diverse student body. Mostly white upper-middle class. Any students who are not familiar with Polo or Vineyard Vines may feel out of place. Most students wear polos, khakis, or anything that is in style. Rarely sweatpants. Most Trinity Studens are from Tri-State area or New England. Upper-middle class. Students sometimes talk about politics, but hardly a presence on campus. I find a majority are conservative. yes, student talk about that, and about their current family economic situations as well.
This campus is not overtly comfortable with racially, sexually, religiously "different" people. That being said, I have never had a problem and I have had multiple (4, to be exact) gay friends while at this college. Compared to my hometown, this college has much less diversity and even the minorities that are represented on campus are very much segregated from white students. I would say it is the school's biggest weakness, but Trinity recognizes that and has made significant steps to fix it.
There have been a few racial issues on campus. Last year a forum was held to deal with these issues and I think/hope it was somewhat beneficial. From what I have heard from upperclassmen there is a greater amount of interaction between students of diverse backgrounds then there use to be. Most trinity students are from wealthy north eastern areas. My friends and I almost never talk about how much money we will learn but talk about what we would like to do.
most people dress appropriately when coming to class (i.e. not sweats or looking disheveled)-i think that is an important image to maintain, esp in showing the professors your respect for them. in many cases, i believe, the way you are dressed, is the way you are going to preform, if the professor makes it in to class, with a prepared lecture, the lesast the student body can do, is not look like they just rolled out of bed.
The basis of on-campus racism lies in exclusion. Since we have such a small community, it is easy for students to feel left out. While it may seem that minority students do not have the same venues in terms of social life, co-curricular activities and access to forums for campus-wide expression, these venues seek leadership. You can create any forum for expression as long as you are motivated. Getting involved is key.
I think while there are perceptions of wealthy, preppy students as a majority of the student body at Trinity, this is not really the case. As a result of sports, multiple majors, and a collection of students from all over the Country, Trinity offers many different domains that appeal to a diverse group of people, and thus creates an environment for different types of students to interact and develop commonalities.
While the majority claims our school to be overly homophobic, racist, etc, I would not say that is entirely the case. The majority of students I have met are actually very open to other people, they just don't interact with them. It's a small school, and thus there are not large racial populations and LGBT populations. Overall, students are well off, financially conservative but socially liberal.