Let's be honest, Wake looks pretty homogeneous on first glance. Most of the diversity comes from the athletes. There is not much of a gay or lesbian community around little Winston-Salem or in our bubble on campus. Most people are probably in the upper middle class or higher, and I am not even sure about religious backgrounds. This is all, sadly, pretty true. But Wake is making a conscious effort to increase diversity, and the little diversity we do already have is extremely accepted by the student body as a whole. As I mentioned briefly before, Greek life is huge at Wake. There are 7 sororities (and a new one coming next year thanks to popular demand), 12 fraternities, and a number of historically black fraternities and sororities on campus, as well. In general there is a good relationship between all the different organizations. There are definitely the stereotypes for each one, but people have no problem getting to know people from other organizations and seeing who they are outside of this label. They basically are around to connect you with a group you may not have otherwise gotten to know, and to give you some pre-arranged parties to attend. The majority of Wake's social life is run around fraternity parties and sorority events, especially if you are too young to go to bars. That is not to say independents have nothing to do. Apartment parties (in the great apartment complexes near campus) are common, and independent girls are always welcome at fraternities, as well ;-). Even though we are not a campus full of Southerners, the southern hospitality does still exist on campus. Guys holding doors for girls, people saying hi to everyone they even kind of know as they pass them on campus, etc. There are also a lot of good looking people here, and with the gym being redone, they will probably only be in better and better shape in the years to come.
Greeks tend to be anti-gay. Religious people sorta suck. They ostracize you as much as the Greeks do. An artsy student might feel out of place here, but the arts department is brilliant in its productions, especially in their comedy troupe, the Lilting Banshees. Most students aka sorority girls and frat boys wear Lilly Pulitzer dresses or polos, respectively, and in the winter, the girls wear spandex leggings, a sweatshirt, and Uggs, while guys wear...more POLO and Vineyard Vine apparel. Different types of students don't interact. It's like an unspoken rule or something. At any given time at 4 different tables of students, there will be a) a table of Asians...who speak Asian, b) sorority girls who have very high-pitched voices and continuously chatter about who they hooked up with 6 months ago, c) jocks. they don't talk- they watch ESPN, and finally d) the rest of us- non-Greeks who are generally genial people. Most students here come from money. They spend Daddy's money. They show off their money through their wardrobe choices. Financial backgrounds- 2 sides: either super well-off or people who need scholarships and will have loans coming out of their asses when they graduate. Surprisingly, the student body is split right down the middle, 50/50, when it comes to being liberal or conservative in regards to politics. You have two groups of students in regards to future income: A) those of us who major in what we LOVE so we'll be HAPPY later on. WE don't care too much about income. B) Those who major in Finance so they can be head-honchos on Wall Street by the time they're 25. They hate their lives, but they want moolah.
My experiences have met with little friction in terms of race, religious beliefs, socio-economic conditions, etc. Though this school isn't as racially diverse as its pamphlets may try to convey. The school is mostly white, middle to upper class kids from around the area. Though there are some fragmented groups of minorities that tend to obscure themselves from the population by choice. Though if you're a minority and looking to find more people with a similar culture then it may not be the place you're looking for. Many students here are fairly well off so there might be some separation in that respect, but that kind of discrimination is hardly present. There's no real expectation as to what you should wear. People dress as casually or professionally as they please. Some of this might also be dictated by the types of classes they take. There are politically active associations so politics is definitely students are cognizant of, most tending to be right-leaning. Money and future professional success are large motivating factors here. There's definitely a liberal arts community here that's interested in issues, arts, and society, but more so students are inclined to getting well-paid, professionally respectable jobs like a lawyer or doctor. By no means am i discouraging the artistic or liberal-minded individual. There is a place here for you as well. The different tables at dinner are largely determined by what organizations you belong to (mostly greek), but some other categories are groups of minorities, an intellectual/artistic crowd, and athletes.
I read a college review saying that Wake Forest students were a walking J Crew catalogue. Granted, there honest truth is that there are students who come from well to do families and drive nice cars. There is a very clear "type" of students that goes to Wake Forest, and it is whether a student fits or not that can affect how much they embrace their college experience. However, this does not represent the whole of Wake Forest students by any stretch of the imagination. Less students wear sweatpants to class than other schools, but Wake is filled with a lot of students that mind their appearance without being consumed with image. Some students come from family with money, but there are also a lot that are on financial scholarships. It would be unfair to say that Wake had only one type of student from a specific financial background, since many are represented. Greek like does have its prevalence in social life, but there is also the chance to create a thriving social life at Wake Forest without being in a sorority or fraternity. One of the best aspects of Wake Forest students is that each person can carve out their own social network and find friends that best suit them. Simply, there are so many different kinds of students at Wake Forest underneath the stereotype of students that have a lot of money.
It may seem apparent that any student paying over $50,000 a year for a Wake Forest education comes from a wealthy background, and it is definitely true. Students wear name-brand and designer clothing almost all the time and there are a large amount of nice cars in the student parking lot. I think someone from a disadvantaged family might feel out of place here, because students are constantly spending money on a sorority t-shirt each week or trips to the frozen yogurt shop down the street. However, I have met very few "snobs" who flaunt their money. Students are very friendly and will be genuinely kind to everyone, despite their economic background. One of the things that has impressed me is the incredibly geographical diversity of students. I have friends from California, Kansas, Texas, New Jersey, Florida, and every place in between. This is not a "suitcase college" where students are leaving every weekend, because students are simply too far away from home to swing by for the weekend. Being from Ohio, this has made my weekends so enjoyable to have so much time with my other friends from far away.
not much contact with those groups on campus, but I do know of activities they have and they are well advertised. A Gothic person would feel out of place at Wake -- someone who withdraws and does not take part in activities. Most students wear jeans, nicer shirts, sorority/fraternity gear, and casual shoes to class, but some people, especially girls, dress up occasionally. Different types of students interact, for example the athletes and non-athletes are very often friends. Four tables -- 1. athletes. 2. Greek affiliated students. 3. non-Greek but still involved. 4. a little more "uncool" group. Most Wake students are from North Carolina, New Jersey, Virginia, and Georgia. Most students come from middle to upper middle class families. most students are politically aware and are generally moderate. Most students are concerned with their future earnings.
As previously mentioned, most students at Wake come from a higher socio-economic class. What students wear to class varies, it is very mixed. For the most part, students do try to look nice, even if it just wearing jeans and a nice top. Students do wear t-shirts, especially for certain events. Overall, the apparel tends to be somewhat preppy and definitely high end. The four tables of students would probably be Athletes, Independents, Fraternity/Sorority and I'm not sure what the other table would be. These four different types of students do interact on many levels. Everyone may tend to keep to their own group, but they by no means exclude each other. I would say that many students are politically aware/active. I would assume that most students are conservative, but have found more and more liberal students.
The campus is really homogeneous. I wouldnt say people are unaccepting of different groups, but there is not a lot of intermingling, and I would think that anyone of a minority race, lower social class, uncommon religion, or LGBT sexuality would find it difficult to feel accepted. Students tend to dress well at all times (even to 8 am classes!) I do love that students at Wake are from all over the country. My best friends are from Florida, Maryland, Chicago, Vermont, Indiana, and Ohio--quite the mix. I think students at least try to be politically aware, but it's a little hard sometimes with insane amounts of homework to keep up with the news. I would guess that most students here are conservative/republican politically, but since I don't hang out with closed-minded people, most of my friends are democrats.
I don't really have any experiences with student groups around campus. The type of student that would feel out of place at was was an emo/gothic like person. A lot of students dress up for class. You will see a lot of greek letters and athletes in sweats also. I'm sure there are different types of students interacting but it's not that common. Everyone usually stays within their own crowd. Four tables in the dining hall. Athletes, freshmen, athletes, and sophomores. I have met Wake students from all over the country but the east coast and midwest are represented well. Financial background of 90% of the campus is the parents have money. Most of the students do seem politically aware and they are all over the board as far as left, right or center go but most professors seem on the left side.
Many students attend religious groups but in many cases, there is a discrepancy between how they act in said groups and how they act on any given Friday night. The LGBT group is not really respected at all. Many people are homophobic or are just unwilling to accept differences. Most kids are from an upper middle class- upper class background... except for the athletes. Most students are conservative and identify themselves as more in line with Republican thought. There is somewhat of a dialogue about politics, but many students do not know enough about it to hold meaningful discussions and many (on both sides of the political spectrum) are close minded to other opinions.