I have to say we are pretty well represented in the different racial, religious, and LGBT. We have a Black Student Assocation, Women of Color, a Jewish Student Association, an Asian Student Association, a Latin-American Student Group, PRISM (LGBT student group), a Baptist Ministries, Catholic Ministries, the Canturbary Club, and many more. It is a majority white campus, but there is much diversity and openness among most of our students. We hold a huge Mulitcultural Fair on Campus for the community in the Spring and some of the biggest events on campus are run by one of the above mentioned groups. Because we are a smaller campus, all students interact with each other despite racial or religious differences. If there were four tables in the dining hall I would say there would be: a table with a big group of Freshman, a table with sports girls, a table with sports guys, and then a table with everybody else. The sports teams stay pretty unified, and freshmen seem to travel in pacts. We are pretty well represented in the left, right, and center with both a large Young Dems, Republicans, Libertarians, and Anarachists groups on campus. Students come from all different backgrounds, but are probably majority middle class students that compete for financial aid and hold an on-campus job. Students are passionate about their field of interest, so I guess if it is a lucrative field they'll make bank, but otherwise I've never heard anyone say how much they expect to make...
We have a very diverse set of students. A majority of our students are LGBT, and we have a great group called PRISM to help educate the campus about LGBT individuals and where LGBT people can come together and discuss problems, plan events, or share experiences. We do also have a large group of Christian based religions on campus. Students that are religious still have the chance to attend church with transportation usually being provided or in walking distance. A church near campus is always hosting dinner and inviting students to attend mass. Most students dress comfortably on campus such as in sweat pants. Some students do still wear jeans, and other will be seen in dress clothes after coming from work or practicum. All different students do interact on campus. Students are able to have friends like the, such as same religion or sexuality, and also friends that may not come from the same background. All of the students get along fairly well. Most students are from Northern Virginia. There are some out-of-state students and out-of-the-country students as well. With many people coming from around the DC area, the student body is mostly middle class white Americans. Students are politically aware, and I have to say we are more on the liberal side.
We aren't terribly racially diverse and that's something we certainly need to work on. There is religious diversity on campus, and our LGBT group is very active. They have many events every year. I know people who need financial aid and people who have their own Ferraris. I think African Americans would feel somewhat out of place, but I hope that changes soon. Students wear anything from sweatpants to dresses to class. Different types of students do interact; I'm friends with people I would probably never have been friends with in high school. Many UMW students are from Virginia, but there are also a ton from New Jersey and New York. Students don't really talk about how much they'll earn one day, but that may be because I interact primarily with freshman and sophomores who usually don't know what they'll be doing yet. There are a lot of politically aware students. My political science classes have been my biggest classes and many people have had a lot of interesting and constructive things to say. Our Young Democrats and College Republican groups are very large. We lean left but there are many conservatives as well.
So many different kinds of people at UMW. Like I mentioned before, diversity is increasing (racially speaking.) That's about the only thing that I wanted to see happen in terms of diversity. Religiously, socio-economically, etc.-- it's pretty diverse. There are tons of differently people with tons of different views, but they're all extremely accepting. I never felt as though I was going to be judged or persecuted due to my beliefs. I think that's an important aspect of a college. In terms of political activity, I'd say it's pretty politically active. It's not in your face, though. And there are definitely substantial amounts of people that support both sides. I wouldn't characterize it left, right, or center-- I'd say it's fairly equal. And even if it does lean, it never showed. For example in my political science classes the professors never disclosed their political beliefs. That's not true across all the disciplines, but it definitely was true within my department.
The students are as i said before, are generally quite liberal. If you're more conservative or religious you may feel out of place, especially since this liberal sediment is readily present in the administration as well. However, there are strong Catholic, Baptist, and other Christian Centers located right next to campus. Just be ready to feel like the administration is completely out of touch with you, especially if you're coming from a Catholic/Christian school. Most students are fairly well off, and wear jeans, polos, t-shirts, sweats, ect. to class. Do be prepared for one or two students in every class who have bright pink hair or their hair in dreadlocks. And don't think that you're going to have some gourmet, or even decent food, because you're not. The two food services on campus close very early (one stops making new food at about 6:00 the other around 8:00) and are just barely edible. Many people move off campus and buy their own food as early as sophomore year.
There are a lot of racial issues are UMW. For the most part, the minorities stick together. The University has allowed this to happen by setting up minority only programs. I think this is bad for the student body. Sometimes I feel out of place at UMW, because I do not have as high of a socio-economic status as most students on campus. I have learned to overcome this and I have realized there are many students like me. The students, especially the athletes at UMW often find themselves seperating from the rest of the student body. Students are very politically aware since we are so close to Washington, D.C. The conservative and liberal people seem to balance out, but there are often heated political debates on campus.
Most of the students are white, so other students might feel out of place at this university. Also, 1/3 of the students come from Northern Virginia, and another 1/3 come from the rest of Virginia. The rest of the students come from various states, with Maryland and Northeastern states being popular. Most of the students are from middle-class backgrounds. Like any other college, there are many liberal students, but there are some conservatives and many other moderates as well. People do seem to have thier own cliques of friends, but you can certainly make friends with a lot of other people. The student body as a whole is very nice. A lot of students give up their time to do community service activities.
Very small diversity on campus. Some international students, some diversity. But primarily white middle class. Very casual attire to class.A lot of students are from Virginia, some from New Jersey. Four tables of students in dining hall: one table are the loud Rowing jocks, the other are the theatre kids who ALWAYS travel in packs, the other are odd RPG kids who wear black in the summer, and die their hair pink, along with adding random piercings, while making up the entire membership of the Renaissance Club. The fourth table are the people who can be nerdy, but also party whenever possible.
Pretty standard college group. UMW is mostly kids from Northern Virginia and are middle to upper class and think they are gods gift to the world. Many more are out of staters from NJ, NY, and PA. Pretty much what you expect from college, people away from mom and dad try to figure out who they are. Some kids start smoking, but illegal drug use seems really low. Get a few more oddballs at UMW than schools that have more of a reputation as preppy, nerdy, or spirited. You get all kinds here, but seem to be alot of really smart people who probably could be more if they tried.
There is not a great deal of racial diversity in the student body, but even that is improving. The amount of interaction between groups is refreshing and the spectrum of political and religious beliefs is a large one. The general student body is very aware of current events because the campus is located halfway between Richmond VA and Washington DC. Also there are three different newspapers provided daily for the students. Oh yeah and the ration of females to males still hovers at or above 2-1.