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University of Tulsa

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Describe the students at your school.

There are plenty of minority social and honors groups on campus. I myself am not involved with them, however, because I am caucasian. There is an LGBT group that a friend of mine is involved in; campus is very tolerant of them from what I have seen. I'm involved in the nondenominational religious group called StuMo and it's a good group for fellow Christians to get to know eachother, worship God, and grow in faith. There are also several other religious groups for Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Jews, and Muslims. A student that won't fit in at TU is one that is not responsible for their actions. I have seen many students leave at the semester or end of their first year because they neglect their grades for social events and/or make social decisions they regret. Other than that, you would have to try hard not to be able to fit in; we are a very diverse community. I'm friends with students with all different types of majors. I'm friends with students in different Greek houses. I'm friends with students who hate Greek life. I'm friends with students who are extroverted and I'm friends with students who are introverted. I'm friends with the starting basketball players. I'm friends with the top students in the Engineering college. At TU, it's very easy for completely different people to come together and bond socially. Politically, most students are split right down the center. TU has a handful of conservatives, a handful of liberals, a handful of moderates, and a large portion of people who really don't care or admittedly don't know enough about politics to have an opinion. Politics usually aren't that dire of an issue for students, so most will not end friendships over the topic.

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I was very disappointed to find out that the activist and LGBT groups on campus were really more focused on self-congratulation than they were on activism; as a result, I do not participate very much in those groups. Racial diversity is high, although there is a big disconnect between racial groups. It is hard not to adopt racist opinions when living near students from other countries who are very unconcerned with being considerate of others. Students tend to come from very rich backgrounds. People like me, who are on full ride for National Merit (and could not be here under any other circumstances), find it very difficult to interact with people who seem to take their parents' unlimited financial support for granted. Students tend to be very apathetic in terms of politics as a general rule. In terms of people who swing left or right, I would say that there is probably an equal number, although the people on the right are usually more moderate than crazy conservative. The crazy conservative people are the business majors and engineers.

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TU is composed mainly of whites, athletes, and international students. I think diversity could use improvement, but in terms of groups on campus, diversity is great. There is a club for every interest. Students wear jeans and t-shirts to class with sweatshirts on cold days. The four tables at the dining hall include the Honors House (nerds) table, the frat boys table, the Arab (sometimes Saudi, sometimes Kazakh) table, and the theater table, or when they aren't there, everyone else. I think different students do interact, but there are groups of people from different places that stick together. Most students are from around Tulsa, Dallas, St. Louis, Kansas City, or Houston, with a heavy emphasis on the first three. I'd say that though there are some really rich families in Tulsa, most people are from middle-class backgrounds and are on some sort of scholarship. Politically, I'd say TU has a very diverse range of opinions, and I could not situate it on any side. Students do not talk about how much they'll earn one day.

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Most of the student body is Caucasian. I have not run across many African-Americans, or Hispanics, although there are some. Individuals come from so many different countries it really provides you a cultural experience. They have different events on campus to introduce you to all these cultures and it's just amazing. There are so many different religions too. Even though it is technically a Presbyterian University, you see Methodists (and other Christians), as well as Buddhists, Jews, etc. The LGBT community is well accepted here. It's nice. Most students see the price of tuition and fees at TU and automatically think that all the students are rich. That is not the case. They help you get a good financial aid package so that all students, regardless of their socio-economic status can attend there. Most students wear shorts or jeans and flip flops to class. It's pretty laid back. I think hardcore Goth students may feel out of place at TU, but if they tried they could definitely fit in and be accepted.

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For TU being such a smaller school I have come into contact with people from many many different backgrounds! I can honestly say I have friends from all over the US in addition to people from Europe, South America and the Middle East. It is incredible and has really taught me a lot and given me a greater world view. Also I always loving hearing other cultures' perspectives on things going on in America. While people do form friends groups they are groups that intertwine--there are not cliques of people--the school is too small for that! You can hang out with whoever you want really and I truly believe you will be accepted. There is not a specific stereotype for all the students at TU except I do know that everyone is friendly and for the most part non judging. You can dress up for class or wear your pajamas and you will be treated the same. Everyone has a different financial, political and educational background--I don't think there is really one dominant profile of a "normal TU student".

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I'd say there's a pretty broad range of races, religions, etc. For as small as the campus is, there a quite a few buildings devoted to various religious organizations. It's a presbyterian school but religion doesn't actually have anything to do with stuff on campus. As far as socio-economics go, I think there may be more upper-middle to upper class people than your typical school. I had a friend who went to school here for a while and then transferred, she said she thought people here were a little snooty. I don't see that so much, so I guess it's up to the individual. Most of the people here graduated in the upper portion of their high school classes and took advanced courses. Someone who's used to slacking off and putting more effort into social stuff than academics would probably struggle here. Not that we don't slack off...we've just learned how to do it but still put in the effort to make the grades.

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TU is racially diverse with students of all ethnic backgrounds. There are a lot of ministries on-campus, which a lot of students seem to enjoy ranging from Baptists to Catholics to Muslims. In addition, the LGBT community is active and has a voice on campus. For an incoming freshman, the most likely person to feel out of place would be someone from a small town that hasn't had much exposure to different types of people. Although TU isn't a large campus, it has a lot of diversity that could overwhelm someone not used to people thinking differently from them. However, most of the students are from Oklahoma and the surrounding states (Texas, Missouri). Politics does play a role in the student body, and there is some grating between the right and the left. I would say that most students are moderate because there is an equal balance of conservatives and liberals.

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The student body here is very diverse. TU encourages study abroad and hundreds of students every semester take that opportunity. Being located in Oklahoma, TU does have a pretty conservative stance on many issues however, it doesn't mean that students would be degraded for being different. The students here are very welcoming. I, personally, have friends in my different circles and I adjust well being placed in any one of them. The students at TU come from many different places but mainly the midwest: 50% from Oklahoma and 50% from areas outside Oklahoma. Because TU is located in Tulsa where the population is the second highest in the state, many students don't want to come here becasue it's too close to their parents. This issue is understandable but I would not have been able to handle the larger state schools.

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I have noticed that when I visit larger state schools, it seems as if the Greek system dominates life on campus. It's different here at TU. Greeks hang out with non-Greeks, and vice-versa. It's not a big deal, and that is so refreshing. Seriously, everybody hangs out with everybody else. My friends are physics majors, mechanical engineers, political science majors, Greeks, non-Greeks, computer engineers, and art majors, along with my fellow film students. Coming from a high school that had a huge problem with exclusive cliques, TU allowed me to become whatever I wanted to be, and I greatly appreciate that. Looking back on it now, I can see how much I have grown and changed since I was an incoming freshman, and a large part of that is due to the friends I have made here from all over the world.

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There is definitely a diverse campus. I personally had a major in the engineering school and that is where I ran into the most diversity. I never had a problem with it but at times it was very different b/c sometimes they would talk in different languages. However it was nice to make friends from different places. Some students dress up for class, some wear athletic clothes, and I have seen some in pajamas, I think it completely depends on the person. Coming from St. Louis, I found that there was a large amount from my hometown. It was fun however to become friends with people from home that I had never met before.

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