As a student body we are diverse. We have exchange students from all over the world who come here, to UW for an education. Though most students who go here are from the state itself, many are from neighboring states and the coasts. As a student body we like to distinguish ourselves from other people, making us very... um... unique?. Ok we will just say that we are not all flamboyant but we are individuals and very proud of that fact. As a small university you can't help but interact with many diferent students from many different groups. We are stuck 45 minutes from the nearest "city" so we do all try to get along and make this experience cohesive for everyone around us. As far as politics and student dynamics goes, we recently hosted Senator Barack Obama and former President Clinton here at the university. This focused the students politics even more. We discuss and disagree on many things but we all know that not everyone is right or wrong and we respect peoples opinions even if they seem to be completely bias. Our futures are always prevelant to us but we live in the moment and then wake up in the morning and curse cause we have a test that day. But we have fun and live our lives knowing that we are in control of our future and it is no one else's fault if we fail at our studies.
The student body at the University of Wyoming is very diverse in the sense of they were raised and the way they think. Racially the school is predominantly white, but the university has an outstanding exchange program so there are more and more ethnic backgrounds appearing on campus. I have been able to meet many of the students involved with our LGBT group called spectrum and they are so great. The students on campus are definitely split with right wing left wing politics. It seems that on campus the majority of students are very conservative but if you're not very conservative you're most likely the opposite extreme. The rich., city dweller kids would definitely feel out of place in the foot hills of Wyoming. Students at the university are usally upper middle class or lower with a few exceptions. The student dynamic at Wyoming is very complex but if I were to describe four tables in the dining hall I would say that one table is the exchange students, one table is the cowboys, one table is the rock climbing adventurous students, and one table is full of your average everyday college student who is studying, talking with friends about an upcoming party, or discussing their social life.
We are diverse in all areas compared to the rest of the state. We have people from all backgrounds, religions, genders, etc. I do feel that anyone who is not white and middle class would feel out of place only because the rest of the state is that. Most students wear sweaters, jeans, and t-shirts. Now and then you see students in business attire. UW is a great place because everyone hangs out with everyone else. It is very much the opposite of high school; however, everyone does have their group of friends. Unfortunately I never ate at the dining hall but I could guess there are the social people, the athletes, the Greeks, and everyone else. Most students are from Wyoming, middle class white families. Students are VERY politically active and involved here, and there is a definite split of republicans to democrats. Students here are mainly focused on the "right now" rather than "what will become of me."
Even though the state is very very conservative, the city of Laramie and much of the University staff is pretty liberal and the student body is probably as close to 50/50 as they come. The students are very politically aware and active, and usually those students are liberal, but political discourse on campus is actually pretty peaceful. The Matthew Shepard murder really embarrassed the University and the city and the attitude of embracing diversity has taken off well now. The foreign students make up a significant portion of the student body now and the ones I've talked to like it here. The LGBT supporters have embraced Laramie now too. The LDS (Mormon) community is quite large as well. Of course the typical Wyomingite from an ag family is common. I won't say that all the students hang out with each other, but regardless of who you are or what you wear or what you stand for, you'll be fine here.
Most of the students here are middle-class white children from Wyoming, but there is also a large group of international students. I have found almost everyone to be fairly open-minded, more so than you would perhaps suspect given their backgrounds. As a lesbian Jew I am not your typical Wyoming student, but so far I have not felt intimidated or degraded. In fact, last year I was trying to fix the Sukkah, a temporary building errected for one of our holidays, and two other students came up and helped and asked me about it. They were very nice, and interested in Judaism, but had very little information about it. In my experience this has been pretty typical; people are ignorant of my traditions, but not prejudiced against them.
I believe that since the University of Wyoming is a Division I school, we have a fairly diverse population. For our diverse students, there are many groups and organizations on campus who are specific to diversity. Since Laramie's weather is constantly cold, most students dress warm. Most dress is casual and comfortable. The majority of students are very polite and helpful. Students will open a door for another person, and they are willing to help you. One time I lost my planner. It was not a bit deal but I was pleased when another student called me to say that they found it. They were willing to meet with me so I could get it back. Overall, students are very respectful which makes the environment safe.
Most students dress super casual (sweats, UW gear). There are quite a few cliques I'm aware of, and that's interesting to me because I always thought college wouldn't be as clique-y (it might just seem less clique-y because it's so spread out). I think most students are from Wyoming, but there's a decent amount of kids from Colorado, Nebraska, and the surrounding states. I wish students were MORE politically aware (I'm in Rocky Mountain Democrats, so that's kind of important to me), but the awareness is pretty good overall I think. And, since we're in a red state, I'm pretty sure there are a lot of right-wingers; although, I'm aware of a lot of lefties, so yeah.
I would say that about half of the student body is from Wyoming, because it is such a wonderful school, and the only 4 year University in the state. Many others, myself included come from surrounding states to take advantage of the cheap tuition while still being far enough away from home to get a true college experience. I also have friends from places such as Chicago and California, and a few from outside the country as well. It is a very welcoming environment, where I think anyone from anywhere can find a niche to feel comfortable in.
I'm an out bisexual and I haven't gotten any flack from the students here. They may think differently but no one has even said anything offensive to me. Very accepting or if they aren't they are quiet about it. I think very Liberal, too fashion forward people would feel very out of place in the cowboy boots, republican center.Most kids wear jeans a t to class. I'm in a fraternity so I usually class it up as does much of the greek community.
Everyone is very friendly! Usually by the ede of a semester you will know everyone in your classes. There is usually someone who is willing to get together and and study or let you borrow their notes if needed! Someone is usually willing to help you with whatever you need! Whin your major you will get to know the majority of the students because you will have the majority of your classes with them.