I honestly do not have a lot of direct, first-hand experiences with other racial, religious, LGBT, socio-economic and/or other groups on campus. Really, the only times that I see these types of groups is when they set up booths at Red Square and do "tabling" which is where they advertise for their clubs or perhaps a certain event or cause that they're sponsoring. I honestly think that all students can find their place at school. UW has over 600 clubs for students to join and find their niche, and these clubs include ethnical, religious, sexual orientations, academics, athletics, and various other interests. There are a lot of programs and sessions for scholarships for students who feel the strain of tuition, and although budget cuts are taking a lot of things away, I think the UW is trying to do its best to cater to as many students as possible. Seattle is often a cold, blustery place, so North Face is everywhere-- vests, jackets, raincoats, backpacks, you name it. It's everywhere and it's worth it, so invest in one. I have three coats and a backpack myself. Jeans and Ugg boots are popular as well amongst girls, and jeans and sneakers are what guys wear. Frat and sorority members are more obvious on campus since they all dress alike-- "bros" wear basketball shorts, crewneck sweatshirts, backwards caps, and socks with slippers--even when it's raining. You might see them wear suits as well since a lot of them try and go into the business school. Sorority girls tend to wear crewneck sweatshirts with lululemon yoga pants tucked into Uggs with their make-up done but hair up in a bun held back by a headband. These might sound scarily specific but that's really how alike they all seem. This is a generalization, but it's about 75% true. There's always an exception, but I wouldn't know since they probably look like everyone else. I would say different types of students interact. This isn't high school anymore. Granted, I feel that the Greeks tend to keep to themselves, but otherwise, people are more interested in actually maintaining a meaningful conversation rather than being friends with "cool" kids. Considering the fact that UW has a student population of 40-something thousand, no one is considered popular. Sure, we know our athletes names, but honestly, I walked by Chris Polk yesterday and had no clue until my boyfriend told me. So there you go. A lot of students are in-state, but increasingly we've been getting a lot more international students-- China, Korea, Japan, Australia, England, Germany, all over-- and more students from out-of-state as well: particularly from California, but also some from the east coast as well. A few mid-westerners, but mostly people from Oregon and California. In terms of what financial backgrounds are most prevalent, there is a wide variety, although I don't know the exact background. What UW is great about is that it acknowledges all financial backgrounds--it has a program called the Husky Promise in which it gives full scholarships to students who qualify, for all four years. It's a great program that was started by our previous President, and the program does a great job at getting its name out there and being visible for people to contribute to. Students are politically aware but I don't know about active. We've certainly tried to be, especially when it comes to lobbying Olympia. Our ASUW is great about encouraging participation. Most people at UW are predominantly left-- Seattle in general is fairly liberal-- but the campus is respectful of people's beliefs regardless. We have an active UW Republican club, and the Republican and Democrat clubs enjoy getting together to debate.
There are a lot of white and asian kids here. there are not that many black, hispanic or native american students. However, what minorities there are are well represented with clubs and specialized sororities and fraternities. Many UW students are from Washington state, but a ton of them are from out of state as well. On sunny days, it's seriously the most beautiful campus I've ever seen...all of my out-of-state friends always say that the sunny days here make all the rain totally worth it. I would say there are not really cliques at UW at all. There are so many students here, it's super easy to find friends. The biggest split I would say is between Greeks and non-Greeks. People in sororities and fraternities mingle a ton amongst one another, but not a lot with non-Greeks. I made the choice (which I am very happy with) not to join a sorority, but I know a ton of people who are in sororities and absolutely love it. It just depends what kind of college experience you want. Also, classes, clubs and sports are great ways to get to know people in or out of the Greek system who you otherwise wouldn't get a chance to meet. Also, most of the Greek system do tend to party...a lot. People in the dorms/off campus do, too, but often the dorm kids (like myself) get the better end of the stick, because we can choose to go to Frat parties if we want, but we can also throw smaller parties just with ourselves. it's great. most students are pretty politically and environmentally aware. It's Seattle, so almost everyone is extremely liberal and environmentally friendly. We have SO many recycling/composting options here, it's great! The people here are just really nice in general. People in the northwest are generally really accepting and relaxed. extremely relaxed. haha. Some people are here just to find a high-paying job and make money, but not many. It seems that everyone is here to find and study something they're passionate about. It really doesn't matter here at alllll what your financial background is. I have friends who come from both pretty poor families and from really wealthy families. it doesn't matter!
Seattle is a very liberal place. Because of this, the UW is a very accepting place of all different types of students. No matter your sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or place of origin, there will be a place for you. The student body mainly comes from within the state of Washington. However, because of the recent budget cuts, more out of state students are being accepted. There are many California, Oregon, and Idaho students as well. The international student population at UW is also very large. Many people come over from Asia, The most needed clothing at UW is an umbrella, rain boots, and a rain jacket. This is what the typical student wears to class on rainy days. People say that Seattle is not a fashionable city, but students at the UW don't fit this stereotype. On days it's not raining, students usually dress up to class and look very presentable. Financial backgrounds range a lot. It is hard to tell which financial background a student is from and frankly, it doesn't really matter. There is a group for everyone at UW. This being said, people tend to stick with those that are most like them. The international students stick together, the athletes are always together, and the greek students usually are together as well. Students are very politically active. Seattle is a very liberal city and so is the UW. There are always protests going on in the main square. People predominately tend to lean towards the left, but there are still some that lean to the right. There are groups for everyone and a place for everyone. People are also very focused on what they will be doing after they graduate. People don't really talk about how much they'll earn one day, but they talk about what they want to do and are always searching for internships or jobs., There are many different schools and majors at UW, so it just depends on which school you are in.
The UW is a very diverse campus, in fact my essay on my application for admittance was on the topic of diversity. Just like seattle the UW is a place that really emphasizes equal human rights for everyone, no matter what their background. On occasion I have a lesbian or gay teacher, as was the case in my photography class. They are treated just like any one else. The type of student that may feel out of place with this school is any kind of religious conservative. While UW is a secular school, religion is a common topic on campus and students are very opinionated. A person who does not want to have their beliefs challenged or wishes to learn in an atmosphere that's conducive to religious people may want to consider other schools. Like the majority of seattle, this school is very liberal and NO topic is off limits. That being said, the students are open to any kind of person as long as you are open to them. Discrimination of any kind is not tolerated by the school or the students. If there were four tables of students in the dining hall they would be as follows: Jocks Asians Dorm kids Greek System kids Many of the students are local, but a large minority of them are from foreign countries. The largest majority of the foreign born students are from china, japan, and korea. These student are often quite wealthy due to the fact that there parents had to have enough money to send them to school in the United States. The foreign born students tend to stick together and stay to themselves. It's one of the few groups on campus that seems to be racially homogenous.
I spent a year living in India, and upon my acceptance to the University of Washington, I tried to get involved in the Indian cultural events. However, unfortunately I find it hard. It seems that to be truly welcome, you need to be Indian, and when I tried to join their mailing list to get more information on events hosted, I was rejected. Maybe this is only my experience, and I do not want to jump to judge the campus Indian community groups. Someone who is "country" would not be very welcome, or rather, may feel out of place. I come from an area of my valley that is more rural and traditional in thinking and dress. I found when I came to campus that people were even bold enough to call me out on it, and would comment to others. I felt very uncomfortable and unwelcome. As in line with my previous comment in a previous question, the students are very active, though I feel it may not be for the rights reasons, or it is only the idea of being active, but not actually helping the cause, but rather associating with it because it is the "cause of the hour". Most students I see in class are actually very well dressed, or they are in "workout clothes". I find this a nice change from High School in the respect that I always found it odd that people thought that it was acceptable to wear their pajamas to class. However, the work out clothes, are normally uggs, tights, and a North face jacket, and do not actually come with the intention of working out. I am not sure where this fashion started, or when tights became a form of pants acceptable on their own.
The school as a whole is very diverse, but living situations on campus are not nearly as diverse. For example, the Greek System is predominantly all-white, straight students, with maybe 10-20% asian students. This varies vastly from the dorms, where there are probably 50-70% asian students. Oftentimes different libraries will have greek system (mainly all-white) attendance and others (usually the ones closer to the dorms) will have almost all international (mainly asian) students. For some reason, there are not as many African-Americans that attend the University of Washington compared to other public schools I've visited such as University of Oregon, Oregon State University and University of Michigan. The vast majority of students are from the state of Washington (probably 75%). Out of these students, most of those are from the Seattle area, with Tacoma, Vancouver, Spokane, Wenatche-area and Bellingham following that. The state with the second most students at UW is California. There are quite a few Southern California students and Bay Area students as well. It is rare to meet a student from the Midwest, East Coast, or Southern part of the US, although I have met a few over the past few years. There seem to be a lot of International students on campus as well, they always seem to be hanging out with each other and speaking languages different from English. The majority of students in the Greek System are from Eastside Seattle and upper-middle class.
I am a member of the LGBT community. The LGBT community at UW isn't very good; meeting people is difficult and the Q center is badly-run and exclusionary towards people who aren't inclined to write dissertations about the promlematization of invisibilities or what have you. It is very disconnected from reality. UW is not as racially diverse as it sometimes likes to portray itself but it could be worse. Most of the student body is white, and significant number are Asian. There do not seem to be that many lower-income students on campus. Most of the students are from Washington state; the out-of state students tend to come from Oregon, California, or Hawaii. There is a significant number of international students. A student who is not white or Asian might feel a part of a very small minority at UW. Lower income students might, as well. An apolitical student may feel out of place. A liberal arts major who is not into drinking would feel out of place, and so would a STEM student who does not have a ruthless personality. People from places with friendlier cultures usually feel out-of-place in the city of Seattle in general. Most of the nice people I met at UW have been from out-of-state or international students.
My experience with groups at school is mainly those people who hang out at the entrance of Red Square who hand out pamphlets, and the people who set up tents at the front of the HUB. I feel like there are so many groups rallying for so many causes that we really don't get anywhere... everything is too spread out. It's like, take our troops out of Korea! Take them out of (insert other country name here)! There's a million injustices - what do we do about them all? Most definitely, a conservative/right-wing student would feel out of place. by far most students wear North Face and Timbuk2. We should dress more creatively. It gets boring seeing the same kind of coat (black fleece, North Face) on every single person. Financial backgrounds: middle-class to wealthy, although there are people who are less financially well off. Feels like a heck of a lot of people are socially/politically active - predominantly left, thank god. People don't mention too much how much they'll earn, but when I tell people that I'm an English major, they ask, "how are you going to get a job?"
It was a shock coming from a community college environment to the UW. Much less diversity: ethnically, socio-economically, personality-wise (I haven't seen a single Goth around campus)...The Office of Minority Affairs seems pretty active (I've been too busy to really participate in their events). Honestly, though most groups are fairly represented, everyone seems pretty cliquish. It can be difficult to meet new people if you don't enter with a social network to draw on, but that might just be me. The typical UW student is white (if female, chances are she's bleached and salon-tanned, as well), under 22, dressed like something out of an Abercrombie and Fitch commercial, and on his/her cell phone 24/7. The Greek system is very popular. But I am a commuter; I guess that if I lived on campus my interactions with other students would have a different tone entirely.
The University of Washington's student body can be described in one word: diverse. Students at this school are not only diverse in terms of race, gender, religious views, socio-economic status, or age but in terms of experience, beliefs, tastes, and views. Political variances go hand in hand with student nationalities. The campus is scattered with international as well as in-state resident students. The extensive variety of students lends itself to creating a complex, creative, and welcoming atmosphere. Where culture can be experience, political views can be voiced, financial backgrounds are discussed, and religious views are respected. Every difference amongst UW students is valued as a unique and important contribution to creating a diverse student body.