From my own experience, the students of St. Thomas create a diverse community of people who are interested in meeting new people, hearing different points of view, and are respectful and supportive of each other. St. Thomas is located in a very urban environment which allows people from all walks of life to come together. I have observed that people from very different backgrounds often become friends, and are willing to get to know students who are different from themselves. The type of student that would feel out of place at this school would be one who isn't prepared to open their mind at at least hear opinions different than their own. In my experience, students are very casual and friendly. Most students go to class in very casual attire, which creates a very relaxed atmosphere. If one were to enter our cafeteria and observe the tables of students eating, one would probably see a slight divide in gender (however only slightly; men and women interact very commonly and peacefully at St. Thomas). One would also see that race is not divided. White people make up the highest percentage of race at St. Thomas, however, it is very common and acceptable for students of different races to interact. In fact, if I walked into the cafeteria and saw an entire table of only Asian American or African American students, I would find that odd. I have also noticed a very strong acceptance of difference in religious, sexual orientation, and socio-economic backgrounds. It is also interesting to hear students talk about politics because there is such a variety of views prevalent in our student body. My friends and I happen to be more conservative, but I have also had pleasant conversations with classmates who are strongly liberal. Overall, I would describe the students at St. Thomas very relaxed in regards to social interaction. Students are more concerned with their studies than in getting worked up over drama between friends and judging people for their backgrounds.
If I had to choose three words: Excited, driven, and fun. Most days you cannot turn a corner on campus without seeing someone furiously copying a textbook, or a student picking a professor's brain in a hallway, or a study-group discussing their upcoming class. St. Thomas is a school filled with driven students, who are determined to make a positive difference in the world and know the hard work it takes to get there. This is not to say that you won't find those same students organizing a touch-football game for the quad in the afternoon, or planning a fun night out on Grand Avenue, or asking people to gettogether for a relaxing night of movies and some DaVanni's pizza. St. Thomas students know how to be excited and driven about their education, but also how to relax and have a good time. Some of my best memories have been made with friends I randomly met in the classroom, which is exciting because I still have a bunch of classes to take before I graduate!
Most of the students at St. Thomas are from the Midwest, but there are a good mix of students from other parts of the U.S. and even other countries. Everyone just seems really friendly and open to meeting new people. I was worried about meeting people my freshman year but I made so many great friends (including my roommate that year!). There's a lot of diversity when it comes to political and social views. UST is not one of those schools that everyone looks like clones of each other and thinks the same way. I've been in classes where there have been heated discussions because of people's different beliefs, but I think that's a great asset to the college. It broadens your perspective.
I don't think that any "type" of student would feel out of place at St. Thomas due to the many clubs and organizations. As long as you are willing to put yourself out there, you will easily find people that share common interests. I am involved with the club Students for Justice and Peace. This club works with many other departments throughout St. Thomas. We do a lot of work involving human rights, the environment, social problems etc. I would say that many students that attend UST come from upper middle class families. I would say that most students at St. Thomas are politically aware and politically educated.
About half of the students at UST are Catholic, and most come from the greater Twin Cities area and middle class backgrounds. However, there are students from many different religions, locations and financial situations, and a variety of religious and cultural events frequently occur on campus. The political flavor on campus ranges from liberal to conservative to undecided. Small class sizes and involved students mean that interactions between a variety of students happens on a daily basis. I've definitely become more aware of differing beliefs and cultures by the friendships I've made and classes I've taken.
UST is about 50% Catholic, but you certainly don't have to be Catholic to come here. I'm not, and I've never felt out of place once. There's a ton of acceptance between different faiths and lifestyles on campus. Basically, everyone is just happy to be at college together and they don't really care that you're Lutheran or African American or gay. People are just interested in getting to know the real you outside of any titles or groupings. I'd say there is a good mix of political views on campus, there is pretty equal support in both the College Republicans and College Democrats clubs.
Some are Athletic, Others Bookish; Some Cook, Others Depend upon premade meals; Everyone complains about the cold, (Some Feel it strongly, Others Go without a coat for months); Some Hole up alone, Isolating themselves to study, Others Join friends to do homework; Some love KUST; Some Love the Library, Some love Math and Numbers; Some are Organized and Punctual; Some are Quiet; Some are Stylish, Others Turn away from Trends; All love UST; Some are Vocalists, Some play Wind instruments, A few play Xylophones; Yet the Zenith of all they have in common Is a shared life here at UST.
Most or almost all of my classmates tend to be stressed out schooloholics, who live their lives through and within a deep blinding fog of fear. The pressure they enforce upon themselves is a grey hair inducer or even balder due to common hair pulling rages. All of who go into a clear tunnel of distress and single mindedness when in the classroom and are unable to deviate from the created box or norm creating new abstract contradicting ideas. I am one who tends to think outside the box and currently have no one to do so with.
When I came to St. Thomas, I was hopeful that my fellow classmates and I would share a strong faith life, especially considering we attend a Catholic University. I am so blessed that God brought me to this school. There is such a great community here, and I really feel like I found a place where I truly belong. I am also so thankful for my roommate whom I just met this year coming to school. She is one of my best friends here and she's also helped me branch out to meet other classmates of ours.
The majority of students are white and the racial groups can sometimes feel very separated. An LGBT group recently started on campus, and has dealt with some issues to become a public group. Most students make an effort in their dress. Uggs and Northface jackets are very popular. A majority of St. Thomas students are from Minnesota, especially around the metro area. Many visit home often on the weekends, especially as freshmen. A large group are politically aware and get a great following.