University of Wisconsin-Madison Top Questions

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

Jake

Party hard. Truth is, we work hard and play hard (possibly just a bit harder). We work 20 times harder during the week so we can party 50 times harder on the weekend. We don't get nearly enough credit for our academics and how hard each student works here. To get an "A" here requires an insane amount of time, effort, and energy. To even stay in school is no easy task. But we make up for our academic stresses by letting loose on the weekend and we get branded as mindless party freaks because of it.

Keigan

Kaitlyn

A common stereotype is that UW-Madison is a big party school. Although people do party a lot, they take studying very seriously. Madison truly has something for everyone; people come from all backgrounds with different interests--everyone fits in!

Kate

One of the most common stereotypes at UW-Madison is the not so nice reputations of "Coasties". This label is given to most people that did not grow up in the midwest and are from either the east or west coast. They are stereotyped as rich and privileged and not as communicably intelligent. Most coasties have an image; north face, ugg boots, coach bag,etc. and have a specific dialect commonly including "like" way too often. Although they may be pretty smart, they do not sound like it. Other stereotypes include the average freshman, sorority girls (many are coasties), and the people that party way more than they should but that includes many madisonites.

Gabriel

The stereotype is that we are crazy party animals who are extremely smart, and this is very true.

Amanda

There is a large stereotype around drinking. Not everyone drinks but a large amount of people do. But not large enough where as you would feel pressured to drink or unable to find friends that don't drink.

Emily

At UW Madison, there is a vast amount of stereotypes of students that can fit almost any student profile. UW Madison takes pride in its overwhelming amount of diversity among students and staff on campus, and while many stereotypes exist, it is easy for almost any prospective student to find their niche. As a leading university in research, Madison has so many brainy overachieving students in almost every field you can think of. Also being a Division 1, Big Ten school, athletics are very important, and you can easily spot the many athletes on campus. Madison has a very large Greek community with several fraternities and sororities, and many of the students can apply to the "coastie" stereotype of a privileged student from either the west or east coast. This is by no means a negative description of certain students, just a recitation of what a common profile for Greek students can be; there are also many branches of the Greek community that attract a wide and diverse range of students as well. Since Madison is known as a liberal city/ college town, many students are passionate about politics and environmental initiatives, and some can even apply to a sort of "hipster" stereotype. While many of these stereotypes are targeted at specific groups of students, there are still so many other types of students that portray others stereotypes at such a large and diverse university.

Kelly

The stereotype of Madison students is that they are super hard partiers. This is somewhat true, but it's hard to generalize when your campus has 40,000+ students. If I had to characterize the average Madison student, I would say that they study hard during the week and party hard on the weekends.

Samuel

UW-Madison students have a work-hard, play-hard reputation. Some may only be aware of the play-hard (aka Party School) aspect, but there is much, much more to this school! As a public institution with 40,000+ students, the opportunities are endless for those who apply themselves. That being said, we all know how to take a break and have some good fun, and that makes the hard work all the more enjoyable.

Julia

Frat kids who LOVE to party! This stereotype stems from UW-Madison's long-time reputation as a "party school". I have not found this to be very accurate, especially during my sophomore year. In fact, the Princeton Review's "Top Twenty Party Schools" list for the 2011-2012 year does not even list Madison on the top schools as it has in the past. I'm not going to lie, there are a lot of kids who like to party, as can be expected at any Big 10 school, especially one with a great football team. But as someone who is not into the extreme party scene, I have found the university to contain many intellectual and interesting avenues for a good time. Most of the students here take their education and life experience very seriously.

Heba

One great thing about the University of Wisconsin-Madison is the diversity of the students that attend this school. Just a walk down the sidewalk will show you people from all around the world, from all sorts of backgrounds and perspectives. Additionally, the interested of students at this school are wide and varied. In this sense, I wouldn't necessarily say that there is a predominated stereotype at my school, but a mix of all sorts of people who are all united at this campus.

Heba

One great thing about the University of Wisconsin-Madison is the diversity of the students that attend this school. Just a walk down the sidewalk will show you people from all around the world, from all sorts of backgrounds and perspectives. Additionally, the interested of students at this school are wide and varied. In this sense, I wouldn't necessarily say that there is a predominated stereotype at my school, but a mix of all sorts of people who are all united at this campus.

Matthew

The predominant stereotype about the University of Wisconsin is that the students are heavy, frequent drinkers. This is an issue that the university and the city have taken positive steps to address. In recent years, the city has implemented more police regulation at all-campus parties. The university sends out emails about the dangers of alcohol abuse and now mandates students with drinking-related citations to attend a course about the risks of binge drinking. Regardless of preventive measures taken by the city and the university, access to alcohol is a fact that every young person has to come to terms with. An important part of growing up is the ability to make decisions independent of peer pressure. I think that, because the student body is so diverse in terms of background, attitude, and talent, students have many outlets for social interaction. While drinking may be the least common denominator for student interaction (as it is at every campus), it in no way encompasses the full extent of student interaction at the University of Wisconsin. Students engage themselves in student government, intramural sports, social activism, and clubs that range between business, lacrosse, cheese tasting, Spanish, business, running, and scuba diving. The best antidote of substance abuse is a having a broad range of activities, which are in ample supply here.

Kristen

The stereotype that is most often fitted to UW Madison students is that they work hard and party hard, both of which are true. No matter what field of study, the people here know how to balance drive with time to kick back- sometimes students are pulling all-nighters in the library, and sometimes they start partying at 7 in the morning to gear up for a Badger game.

Ryan

Most people associate the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Madison generally, with liberalism and partying. The situation is more complex in both cases, however. Wisconsin is a politically diverse state with a variety of interests, and UW-Madison draws students from all corners of the state, nation and world. The campus has, and continues to be, a center of leftist activist activity in a notably liberal city, but politics do not affect the ideologies of professors and conservatives have a great deal of pull in student government and more than expected can be found around the campus. The party school stereotype has also become one of Madison's distinguishing features, and it also is somewhat true. However, a vast majority students who come to school in Madison have equally flourishing academic and social lives, meaning they can deal with the top-tier coursework and still enjoy weekends that might not be common at schools of a similar tier. Not many universities have this trait, and it's something that makes Wisconsin unique and, frankly, fun.

Samantha

Well since there are so many people at the university, the student body is split up into 2 major stereotypes, coasties and sconnies. The Coasties represent the students who come from the East coast and West coast and the Sconnies represent those who come from Wisconsin or who live in neighboring states in the mid west.

Laura

The stereotype of students at UW Madison cannot be generalized into a single category. However, the main groupings include Coasties, Hippies, and Jocks. Coasties can be spotted by their black leggings, baggy t-shirts, and large sunglasses. They are known for their exceptional talent for partying, but nonetheless manage to achieve commendable GPA's. For this reason, the tendency to stereotype Coasties as lacking intelligence is often proved inaccurate. Secondly, there is a large hippy influence at Madison. It becomes apparent in the abundance of co-ops on the outskirts of campus, the presence of a strong environmental consciousness throughout the school, and the tendency to detect wafts of marijuana in the most unlikely of places. The stereotype of hippies being hygienically challenged and absent-minded to current technologies tends to be inaccurate as well; almost all hippy-types on campus are successful at balancing their earth-friendly ways with rational lifestyles. Finally, the jocks can be found slouching in the back of the class and are expected to devote as little effort as possible to their studies in order to maintain their sports positions. This stereotype is also erroneous much of the time. Jocks are often the first to volunteer in class and the last to leave the classroom. Therefore, one single stereotype for students at UW Madison does not exist; the student body is a blend of party-loving, nature-embracing sports fanatics.

Derek

The most common stereotype at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is that the school is entirely composed of Caucasians and that there is a lack of ethnic and cultural diversity. While this is true to some extent, the ethnic diversity at the school is far greater than the mainstream perception and students come from a vast array of different backgrounds.

Erica

UW--Madison is known for being a party school, and it lives up to that reputation. Personally, I would consider this a negative thing if it weren't for the accompanying sense of ambition and focus on campus. I think Badgers, in general, adhere to a "work hard, play hard" mentality: we know how to have a good time, but we know how to get work done. I think Madison, more than most other schools, creates an environment conducive to balancing one's social life with one's academic life. The fact that Madison students are stereotyped as being partiers makes us even more motivated to focus on our work and get good grades, in spite of our active social lives. Madison is a "public ivy," a public school whose academic demands and quality of education are among the best, and are comparable to those found in private schools. I think this concept, rather than the idea that all Badgers are partiers, serves as a much more accurate description of Madison and its students. We take advantage of all that Madison has to offer--educationally and otherwise.

Lydia

I would say the most common stereotypes of students at my school is the smart kid and the partier. Being one of the biggest party schools in the nation as well as a school of high academic quality, I'd say to a degree both these stereotypes are accurate. However, this does not mean everyone at this university fits into these categories. In fact, one of the best things about this university is its size and therefore the many opportunities to be involved in different things that interest you. There are a plethora of organizations to get involved in, so if you don't want to spend all your time studying, you don't have to. And there is always something to do instead of partying if so inclined.

Meredith

An overwhelming percentage of students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are school athletes, involved in club or intramural sports or runners. I always seem to notice how healthy and in shape our campus is. Other than being physically active, students at UW-Madison are extremely involved in campus and other off-campus activities. Since we are fortunate enough to have the State Capitol blocks away from our campus, many students are interns or are involved with the Capitol. Personally, I am a communications intern for a senator. On campus, our student government, two student run newspapers and many major orientated clubs keep our students busy. Just a few of my roommates are involved in activities such as Psychology Club, a women's sexual health and abuse prevention organization called PAVE and The Badger Herald.

Jess

Madison is generally known as a party school, and as one that has tough classes. I'd say that these stereotypes are pretty accurate - there is a large party scene, and some classes are really, really hard. I'd say that another stereotype is that Madison is very liberal, and that is extremely true. It's pretty political here, considering that the Capitol is a couple blocks away from the campus.

Rayna

The biggest stereotype at UW-M is Coasties. This term mainly applies to kids from New York and California, but also sometimes to people from Chicago. Coastie style staples are Uggs and black leggings. There's even a popular Youtube video called The Coastie Song. The opposite of Coasties are Sconnies- people from Wisconsin who are more traditional midwest.

Rayna

The biggest stereotype at UW-M is Coasties. This term mainly applies to kids from New York and California, but also sometimes to people from Chicago. Coastie style staples are Uggs and black leggings. There's even a popular Youtube video called The Coastie Song.

Laura

University of Wisconsin-Madison students are known to be the brains. We go to class, we are at college library every night and we are always stressed out, but this is only lasts Monday through Thursday. Once Thursday night hits we are buying cheap long Island ice teas at The Plaza and forgetting our worries. And what's the best hangover cure after a hard weekend of partying? The library.

Brooke

Madison students have a very big work hard, play hard mindset. Whether or not we belong to a certain community (Greek life, student government, other clubs, etc.) most students work hard to do their work and get the best grades possible, but they also know how to have fun on the weekends. Badger sports games are the perfect example: students work hard all week to be able to party at the sporting events which are a big part of Badger culture. There are always going to be students who do not like to party or who do not like to study. Of course Wisconsin has students like that too. Students at UW-Madison are just normal kids and there is a place for everyone whether you want to party every night, just party on weekends, or not party at all. I have not found the Madison community to be judgmental of anyone's person preferences. One other stereotype that is less prevalent is the divide between in-state and out-of-state students (Sconnies and Coasties). Many students who live in private housing freshman year and participate in Greek life are out-of-state students. While this is not exclusive, it does tend to be true and sometimes it creates a divide between the students. I am an out-of-state student but I lived in the public dorms freshman year and it has been my experience that this divide only exists if you let it exist. I have friends from Wisconsin and all over the country and I think being exposed to people from all over the country and the world can enhance your college experience.

Brooke

Madison students have a very big work hard, play hard mindset. Whether or not we belong to a certain community (Greek life, student government, other clubs, etc.) most students work hard to do their work and get the best grades possible, but they also know how to have fun on the weekends. Badger sports games are the perfect example: students work hard all week to be able to party at the sporting events which are a big part of Badger culture.

Kathryn

Within the University of Wisconsin - Madison, there are two main types of stereotypes for students: cheeseheads and coasties. Cheeseheads are from almost anywhere in Wisconsin but consist of the following traits: they love their cheese, Badgers, football, Packers, and they love to drink. For those of us in Wisconsin, it's common knowledge that every town has more bars than churches with Wisconsin cities having the most bars per capita in the entire country. The stereotype of cheeseheads drinking then can be seen as representative of Wisconsin on the whole but is not necessarily true. While plenty of students on campus drink, just like any other school, there are only a small minority that drink to excess. The other common stereotype at UW Madison is that of a coastie. Coasties are regarded as upper class, sorority girls from the East Coast who wear leggings, Uggs, and who do not pay for their education. This stereotype is regarded as slightly more negative than the Cheesehead stereotype but is one that the general campus body still accepts. If you want to know more about a Coastie, just check out this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jw9ODIZj40w

Kathryn

Within the University of Wisconsin - Madison, there are two main types of stereotypes for students: cheeseheads and coasties. Cheeseheads are from almost anywhere in Wisconsin but consist of the following traits: they love their cheese, Badgers, football, Packers, and they love to drink. For those of us in Wisconsin, it's common knowledge that every town has more bars than churches with Wisconsin cities having the most bars per capita in the entire country. The stereotype of cheeseheads drinking then can be seen as representative of Wisconsin on the whole but is not necessarily true. While plenty of students on campus drink, just like any other school, there are only a small minority that drink to excess. The other common stereotype at UW Madison is that of a coastie. Coasties are regarded as upper class, sorority girls from the East Coast who wear leggings, Uggs, and who do not pay for their education. This stereotype is regarded as slightly more negative than the Cheesehead stereotype but is one that the general campus body still accepts. If you want to know more about a Coastie, just check out this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jw9ODIZj40w

Matt

In a school of 45,000 students it is more than impossible to apply a stereotype to the student body as a whole. Maybe the one defining and uniting characteristic of all Wisconsin students is that we work hard, and play harder. Wisconsin is undoubtedly the hardest partying cold-weather school in the nation. However, I truly mean it when I say we work hard, whether it's a credit to our inferiority complex towards Michigan our admissions board, no one can say. The prevailing stereotype is that of the Sconnies. As a non-Sconnie who associates with mostly Sconnies, I can say these are the down to earth people on campus. Humble kids who like to drink and work their asses off. I would fit into the next big stereotype, that of the Coastie, or anyone from the East or West Coast. Most of us are Jewish, and even the ones that aren't are pretty wealthy and exclusive. If you like people from Long Island, then this your crew, just be careful what you wish for. Other than those two distinctions, the size of the student body allows for all walks of people, this campus is truly a microcosm of society.

Julia

Perpetuated by being named a top partying University by various magazines (such as Playboy) as well as ranked as a top public education institution, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has an unique public image. It is at once viewed as an alcohol-fueled party center as well as a home for those committed to growing and learning as not only a student but as a person. In my experience, both these stereotypes have a basis, but the focus here at UW-Madison truly is academics. While its true that Badgers do not shy away from having a great time--especially during the crazy football season--anyone who applies here is aware that if accepted, they enter a university that is demanding, prestigious and worth one's effort.A typical week for my friends and myself here is going to class and working hard Monday through Friday, with only Saturday night reserved for blowing off steam. Even Sunday is saved for homework by almost all students (seriously, try finding a seat at College Library on a Sunday - impossible!). Although the work load is demanding and sometimes keeping up is a challenge, it seems all students here know that their effort is worth it, that recieving a degree from UW-Madison is a special, honorable achievement. It's a nice thought to keep you motivated during the thick of the semester. Aside from the drinking scene here, there is also an amazingly diverse social scene as well. I've met people from all over the country (and even world) while here at Madison and it amazes me that all are here for the same reason: to learn. This unifying commonality really provides a strong sense of community here. I've made great friends from joining groups and organizations and enjoy getting to know the varied groups of people here. UW-Madison is one of the most unique schools in the country, and I couldn't be happier to be a part of it.

Julia

Perpetuated by being named a top partying University by various magazines (such as Playboy) as well as ranked as a top public education institution, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has an unique public image. It is at once viewed as an alcohol-fueled party center as well as a home for those committed to growing and learning as not only a student but as a person. In my experience, both these stereotypes have a basis, but the focus here at UW-Madison truly is academics. While its true that Badgers do not shy away from having a great time--especially during the crazy football season--anyone who applies here is aware that if accepted, they enter a university that is demanding, prestigious and worth one's effort.A typical week for my friends and myself here is going to class and working hard Monday through Friday, with only Saturday night reserved for blowing off steam. Even Sunday is saved for homework by almost all students (seriously, try finding a seat at College Library on a Sunday - impossible!). Although the work load is demanding and sometimes keeping up is a challenge, it seems all students here know that their effort is worth it, that recieving a degree from UW-Madison is a special, honorable achievement. It's a nice thought to keep you motivated during the thick of the semester. Aside from the drinking scene here, there is also an amazingly diverse social scene as well. I've met people from all over the country (and even world) while here at Madison and it amazes me that all are here for the same reason: to learn. This unifying commonality really provides a strong sense of community here. I've made great friends from joining groups and organizations and enjoy getting to know the varied groups of people here. UW-Madison is one of the most unique schools in the country, and I couldn't be happier to be a part of it.

Brinae

Madison has a reputation for being THE party school. In fact, many friends and relatives were genuinely concerned when I told them where I was going to college. But this is a quite limited view that does not encompass the scope of UW. Yes, Madison has an active drinking culture, but there's so much more to going to school here than alcohol. We have some of the best academic programs in the area, especially for a public school. In my experience, there is a niche that will suit almost any student. Between the wide variety of academic departments and other clubs and groups, it's difficult to not find someone that shares your interests. Our party school reputation, while holding some truth, detracts from the fact that Madison is a diverse community of people of all backgrounds and lifestyles. There's a place to fit almost anyone at UW, just look for it.

Alissa

When people think of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, people tend to think of sports. We are known as very devoted Badger fans. While this is very true, our university is not made up of only jocks and cheering fans. The students here have many non-sports related interests and passions as well. There are clubs and activities for just about everything. Partying is another common stereotype. Considering this is college, many people do party quite a bit. However, no one ever looks down on someone who prefers not to engage in partying. The great thing about this campus is the acceptance students receive from their peers.

Danielle

UW is made up of so many different groups of students that its hard to pinpoint one stereotype. Much of our cultural hybridity includes Greeks, "Coasties" (a term recently coined by a couple of students), a lot of Asian-Americans, and a large homosexual group. There isn't a lot of stock that can be put into these stereotypes, but I would say that they tell you a lot about our campus. Our immense numbers of fraternities and sororities shows that our students enjoy coming together in large groups for social, academic, and community service opportunities. The Coasties prove that we have students from literally all over the country, and the Asian-Americans are just a small portion of the students we have from all over the world. Lastly, our constantly-growing group of homosexuals on campus is not necessarily any larger than similar groups on other campuses--we here at Madison just happen to be more accepting of all lifestyles and walks of life, helping the gay community to fit in better than they might at other schools that are not as open minded as the Badgers.

Katie

Not necessarily. While it is true that UW-Madison has a reputation for being a "party school." being a Badger is much more than that. Most of this reputation comes from two events during the school year: Halloween (which includes Freak Fest on State St.) and the Mifflin St. Block Party that takes place the weekend before spring finals. The stereotype of UW students as a group of crazy college kids that go out and get wild on a nightly basis is definitely a stretch of the truth. Yes, there are a lot of parties that occur on campus but it isn't necessary to participate in them to feel like part of the Badger community. As long as you've got Big Red blood running through your veins, there is a place for you at UW-Madison.

Danielle

UW Madison is a diverse school for the most part, but there is a persistant stereotype that the college is populated by drunken jocks. Although this of course holds a bit of truth as the college is located in Wisconsin and has many football fans there at, there are also a large number of students that are very dilegent in the academics. Also, despite this fun-loving atmosphere the school is also very rigorous and requires excellence indeterminate of sports affilation.

Michael

I think one common stereotype of students that go to UW-Madison is that we are all a bunch of over-achievers who drink too much. While many students do enjoy the enormous party scene, there are just as many that are reserved, quiet students who don't party as much. There is also a bit of a "bro" stereotype at the school, which sometimes translates to frat guy, but these types of guys really aren't in the majority.

Paige

Wisconsin is known for how hard it parties, and the students definitely follow the norms.

Katie

Students at UW-Madison are usually seen as hard workers and harder partiers- and this reputation is spot on. Badgers are among the best and brightest minds in the world, and you will almost never see a day where the library isn't full until late-night hours. However, come game day/ weekend day/ random Margarita Monday, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better crew to party with than one made up of UW students. People here know how to have a great time, get a little rowdy...and then still rock a test the next morning.

Jordan

Madison is, and will continue to be seen as, a party school. If you're coming for the parties, they're here. If you're coming for the lenient laws, they're here. And if you're coming for world-class sports teams that make all that raucous partying happen, they're here. But UW-Madison is much more than that, and this is true because of scale. Madison is a college town, and as such the student body largely lives on campus for only their first and perhaps second year. Students are active in the communities they reside in off-campus, and help blend the line between student community and All The Rest. What does this mean? It means that here, you have access to anything. Politics are right down State Street at the Capitol, world-class research (even for Undergrads!) is done on campus and on the near west side, numerous companies hire students constantly, and there is always good food.

Jared

The stereotypical Wisconsin student does not exist. We come from all over (UW's out of state population comes out to 40% of the student body) and are here to one real reason: to learn. The stereotypical mentality; however, is that everyone parities non-stop. There are kegs in the dorm bathrooms and that all anybody does in Wisconsin is drink. These stereotypes are true depending on where you live and where you put yourself. Obviously, UW is a GREAT school. The people that party non-stop first semester eiher drop out quickly or come back second semester a "changed person." It's big time academics and it takes people a little while to realize it. The stereotype exists... but it goes away. That's the real answer.

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