If one were to walk into the Douglas Dining Hall on a Tuesday evening, this is what they would likely find: A group of very tall and attractive guys sit leisurely around a large rectangular table. An aura of confidence (read: supersized ego) radiates off of them. Occasionally, a few attractive girls sift in and out of the group. This would be the basketball team. Four tables are pushed together to make one large table. Forty girls are seated together, all sporting shirts with their sorority's letters. It's a Alpha Delta Sigma Kappa dinner night. Sisters only. Several tables are pushed together to form one long table. At this makeshift banquet table sit thirty gaunt guys and girls, still dressed in their running attire. These people run cross country and track. They keep to themselves, in the loudest way possible. The guys make fun of the girls for eating too much. To the left is a round table, with all but one of its seven seats occupied. Six suite mates enjoy their meals as they go over plans for a party they are throwing in their common room. Two are greek-affiliated, one plays soccer, and the other three dance. Notebly, a occupants of these four table groups hail from various backgrounds. Many are white, and some are black, hispanic, asian, indian, or maybe something else. Some come from money, others are there on a scholarship or financial aid.
I think the socio-economic backgrounds of the students are very diverse. As far as racial and ethnic backgrounds, it is a bit less diverse. There are still many international students here but the majority of the students come from the northern NY area. Socially, there is quite a barrier between the less social studious types and the students that go out on the weekends to bars and frats. I think the person who would stand out at UR would be the goth, extreme type. Although there are "nerdy" kids here, they aren't very outgoing or rebellious. Four tables at the dining hall look like this: the first is the football team, they just got back from practice, are very loud and arrogant. The second table is a sorority, they aren't quite as loud but every once in a while will do something weird like clap in harmony or laugh really loud and everyone will turn and look. The third table are the less social, good students and they keep to themselves and every once in a while you will hear a glimpse of their conversation and it revolves around World of Warcraft. The fourth table is a mix of the first three tables and consists of a few boys, a few girls and they will talk about recent news around campus and around the world and sports news and what is going on this coming weekend and how wasted they got last weekend.
Rochester is very open minded and liberal with a disproportionately large group of LGBTs on campus and a group of left wing and communist radicals called students for social justice- a group that has been very controversial and frequently marches around protesting something that nobody cares about. Most smart, hard working students would feel at home at Rochester, and at the same time Rochester also has a moderately sized greek life so you can also find students who like to party. However, don't be deceived because most of the students who party also work really really hard studying in their down time. Students are from all over the US and a few internationals. Most students come from middle to middle-upper class backgrounds and there is some social pressure to act and dress accordingly. Dining sucks, you'll want the smallest meal plan possible. Residential life isn't that great and a lot of students have been moving off campus by junior and senior year because on campus is too expensive and the meal plans suck. Rochester's a great school as long as you're willing to work really hard and not have much time for anything else.
Basically, 30% of the kids who go to rochester are in frats or sororities. But you would never know it since most of the campuses parties are at Frat Quad, where in exchange for free beer you have to put up with the latest rap and pop music playing too loud to talk to anyone, darkness, and some generally horrible smells and sticky floors. Oh, and most people are assholes there. The sports teams are annoying as well. None of them are good at their sports, everyone is D1...or D3, i forget which is the bad one, save for squash who are apparently amazing. However, although they are bad at their sports and generally only got to the college because of their "skill" they aren't the brightest people. Yet they all think they are awesome. It's a lot like High School, cause frat guys and sports guys think that they are the popular kids. if you want a constant party kinda social life, you have to join a frat or a sports team not that there arent cool people, but i would say that most people fit into this stereotype.
The school is very divided, the black/hispanic population lives in GLC, the sorority girls in phase, the asians on the quad, and the athelets in towers. There are obviosly all different religions here like everywhere, and historically there is a large jewish population, esp from the NYC area. The same as the rich and the poor kids, there are both and people dont discriminate or anything, people are generally accepting and understanding. Most people would feel at home here unless the cold turns u off. Class wear depends on the weather, nice clothes when its nice, sweats in the winter. People typically eat with thier friends, so the notion of a "clique" is simply stupid, and a word used by someone who doesnt have friends, or anyone to eat with. People are as aware as they want to be, no more here than anywere else, well prob less than georgetown, princeton, but they arent stupid. I have no idea what kind of voters there are at U of R but its generally agreed that pres bush isnt doin much of anything productive.
Diverse. Let's just say that. You'll get a speech about it if you come here to visit from one of the dean's. He'll tell you all about the diverseness. Basically he picks the students with the most ridiculous background story and tells them to you. Usually it boils down to... # of people from various continents / nations That special person who has a company already That person who had no money but got 50 scholarships and now has a free ride # of people who do a particular sport...etc etc. It goes on. It's interesting though. Everyone is usually pretty nice to each other. Despite what seems to be a "liberal" education, it's pretty well balanced here and everyone for the most part is respectful. I say "liberal" because usually the big outbursts of protests tend to come from the left and not the right. Which, personally, bothers me just as much but it's a nice change from what I usually see on TV (maybe because I don't watch Fox news =P)
While there is significant diversity at Rochester, I feel that a much greater connection could be made throughout the students among the different diversities. I definitely know a lot of people from different ethnic, religious, social, and political backgrounds but I'm slightly sad to say most of my closest friends come from a similar background to mine. I recently performed with my dance team at an award ceremony honoring the different community service acts of various ethnic fraternities, sororities, and student groups on campus. I was honestly surprised at how many there were and what they had been doing. It was great to see that there were so many groups and achievements, but many people I felt I had never seen before, let alone interacted with. There definitely is diversity, but it feels much more separate than it should be from the overall community of the school.
There are a lot of groups on campus and they are for the most part, all supported. I would say a student that felt out of place would be one that wasn't interested in doing work and learning. EVERYONE here wants to do well! Most students dress in sweats in the winter because it's so cold. But once the sun peeks through EVERYONE is outside on the grass or playing frisbee or football, wearing skirts and flip flops. It's the greatest time of the year! I would say most UR students are from NY state. Other than that, there's no real demographic. Most people here are middle class to upper middle class or even higher than that. People walk around wearing Uggs and North Face jackets constantly. I don't think students are huge on the politics thing. Students are concerned with their future more than I've ever seen!
Awesome people. There are hundreds of different student groups on campus. The university is full of leaders and talented students. The best groups would be the dance groups, the a capella groups, Bhangra, and Improv. Most of the students at Rochester are from the Metropolitan area in NY, or from upstate NY. The students are typically pretty wealthy, but not all of them. They are very liberal, left-wing when it comes to politics. Rochester claims to be a diverse school, but from my perspective, it is not at all. Similar cultures tend to stay together and separate themselves from everyone else. I love the people because everyone is so much fun and seems happy all the time. I have made amazing friends at Rochester and I hope all other students who go there do the same.
Most people at UR are very open to different types of people and interactions with those, not of the same "kind" are very common. However, there does seem to be a division between minority groups, and the different majorities of the campus as units, not as individuals. There are numerous individuals who branch out and make diversity at UR positive and unique of an experience, but a small percentage, are closed minded ans stick to people of their own, racial, within, socio-economic, religious etc, groups. I think college is taking a step outside of our comfort zone,a and exploring and appreciating the world around you wherever, you may attend.Most people @ UR follow the same idea or something like that, but there is a small percentage that still are living in the past so to speak.