The student body seems uniform on the surface, but after attending one class at W&L you see that that is far from reality. The students are typically white and upper middle class; but the other ethnicities and socio-economic classes are not non-existent, nor are they hiding in the dark. The student body is very friendly and very open-minded. Everyone is accepted equally--even parties are open to anyone. With the Greek system being so predominant on campus, the only real separation is by fraternity or sorority; and even that is rarely a problem. Since the Greek system is so big, the social life is so big. But students work hard during the day, and do what they have to do. School-related matters stay on the hill, and discussion disagreements stay in the classroom. I have never heard of someone talking about their social class, how much money they have, or that they are better because of some shallow statistic. Students are modest when it comes to their own lives, and really, don't want to waste the time worrying or arguing over their differences.
Issues of race and sexual orientation are still being dealt with at Washington and Lee. Washington and Lee has never boasted about being the most diverse school in the world, but it is certainly making strides and should be recognized for doing so. The school seems to be moving in a positive direction and with the Honor System currently in place, students are held to the highest esteem and are looked upon highly when they uphold the values of truth and honor. The school is also very politically active with our various political groups such as college republicans, Young Democrats, and College Libertarians. We also hold a Mock Convention for every presidential election and this convention has been followed by MTV and the Associated Press. Ultimately, the school gives students with diverse ways of thinking an opportunity to have their ideas heard on an open sound stage.
W&L is primarily heterosexual, WASP, Upper Echelon individuals. The administration is trying to recruit diversity. However, the student body despises diversity for the most part. If you don't have a lot of money, get a job and pretend like you do (this will help you fit it). Also, most people are politically conservative. There are a lot of racists and homophobes. Don't go here if you are not white, rich, and straight. You're life will be so much easier at state school. Also, if you are not from the Northeast, the South, or the Atlantic Coast (or California) go somewhere else. We hate diversity. Where you come from affects what Greek house you join.
Washington and Lee students are extremely outgoing. People often comment on how unbelievably social every student is. The campus is certainly becoming more liberal, and more socio-economically diverse (especially after the introduction of the merit-based Johnson Scholarship). Freshmen often worry more about how they dress than upperclassmen do, you are more likely to see sweats on the upperclassmen women than the freshmen girls. All parties at W&L are "open" and free which makes this campus very tight-knit. People aren't kicked out unless they cause trouble, and everyone is told about every party. In that sense, the student body is very inclusive.
The typical student is from a wealthy family in the South or East region of the country. There are very few minorities, and those on campus are usually international students. Many students have family ties to the school and consider it a stepping stone towards getting a well-paying job. The average student is very driven and serious, and reflect that by dressing nicely to class. The exterior is highly polished just like the politicians many wish to become. If you are not from a well educated and wealthy background it is difficult to reach the higher tiers of the social ladder.
Washington and Lee is a diverse school with students from all over the country and world. I'm one of very few from my state and yet I have not felt like I'm left out in anyway. Most of the students seem to come from well off families, but there are plenty who are not. The students do like to party a lot, but that comes after the hardwork in the classroom. Students are extremely friendly and talkative. I would feel out of place here if I were not social and I did not like to party a fair amount.
No racial, socioeconomic or much religious diversity. If you're not white and upper-class, 1)look elsewhere or 2)be prepared to deal with a lot of problems--not necessarily racial harrassment but trouble fitting in and havng an active social life. Students dress well--people don't wear sweats to class here--hardly ever. People say campus is "conservative" but mostly it's just apathetic. There is no activism of any kind on campus.
The student body is one that emphasizes a "work hard, play hard" mentality. The majority of students join fraternities and sororities. The majority of the student body is Caucasian and there is little communication between different racial and socio-economic groups outside of class.
As a former all boys school that only went co-ed in 1985, W&L has been slow to change its student body. That being said, the school has worked hard to attract a diversified student body and it gets more varied every year. The stereotypes still linger, but they're not really true any more.
The student body is primarily white and from the middle to upper class, HOWEVER, this is noticeably changing. Since I've arrived, I have already noticed that influence of the Johnson Scholarship, which offers full tuition and board to students from all backgrounds.