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Western Michigan University

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Describe the students at your school.

College is the experience of a life time and one of the major reasons for that is the diversity that all students get to experience. There are students of all different races, sexual orientation, SES, cultures, and countries. Everyone is thrown together based on the classes they take and their major, not by anything other than that. In high school students worry about popularity and clicks, what tables they sit at in the cafeteria, and what they wear everyday. In college it’s about being you, if you want to wear yoga pants everyday to class go ahead, if you want to sit by yourself one day for dinner at the cafeteria nobody is going to make fun of you. Being yourself and knowing where you are going is more important. New students to college especially at Western Michigan don’t have to worry about being different. College is a new experience that allows you to find out who you are and what you want to be. It was a sigh of relief when I went off to college where I can express myself without being judged; I could wear what I wanted and be who I wanted to be. SES isn’t important, how much money you are going to make in your job isn’t the top priority of every student. The number one thing to remember about the college experience is that you will make friends, you will interact with students of all shapes and sizes and you will never feel out of place once you get used to being apart of a brand new community of students. College is about learning new things about the world. College is the first step to help you learn about the differences of the real world between the diverse classes that students can choose from, to the different types of students and professors from all over the world. Western Michigan isn’t the type of college environment for people who don’t want to learn and have new experiences with people that are different from them. It’s not the type of school for students who aren’t ready for a bigger college and being farther away from home. Students who have a hard time with people from different back grounds than theirs will have problems. For those students who do wish to embrace college and everything that it has to offer will really enjoy Western Michigan and all it has to offer.

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I have definitely encountered every one of those groups on campus. They all spread awareness and reach as many students as possible making them intriguing to learn about and easy to join. They aren't too aggressive where they annoy everyone but they do have a purpose. Really extremely smart students might feel out of place because they may not be challenged the way they should be but otherwise Western and the Kalamazoo area in general has tons of different types of people so everyone's welcome. Most students wear casual clothes to class. I typically wear jeans and a shirt or something comfortable. Some students come to class in sweats or their pajamas and some come with tights and a dress, it really doesn't matter. Different types of students do interact which I found surprising. Most people have a solid group of close friends but all of the people in the group have other friends and everyone is friendly to one another in most cases. The jocks hang out with the stoners, the musicians hang out with the jocks. The fraternities are typically more exclusive but intermingle with each other. They welcome in as many girls they can fit but deny entry to guys most of the time. One table will be the kids from one floor that think they're the best, one table is the theatre kids, one table is the people that have been friends since grade school and one table with kids that keep to themselves all spaced out. Most of the students are from Michigan or Chicago area. Most people attending Western have lived comfortably their whole lives but the majority of students have taken out loans to pay for their education. The students that are politically aware are typically more liberal but there's a good balance between politically aware students and students that aren't aware at all. Students often are just determined to graduate with a degree and hopefully get a job so they can pay off their loans. Honestly, students are just happy to get a job after graduation.

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I have had positive experiences with all of the groups on campus except for the religious and political (mostly the student republicans group) on campus. Those two groups often take things to the extreme but don't take into account other peoples beliefs or the fact that they are at a liberal arts college. I can't think of anyone who would feel out of place at WMU, it is a very diverse school. Most students dress weather appropriate to class. Since we are in Michigan, boots and heavy duty jackets are standard in winter and other clothes depending on the season. Different types of students do often interact with each other, whether it be in class or socially. I never lived in the dorms, so I don't know much about the dining halls. There are a lot of WMU students from all across Michigan as well as out of state. We also have a large number of foreign students as well. The financial backgrounds are not important in the realm of the student body. I wouldn't say there are prevalent ones because WMU makes it possible for almost anyone to afford tuition and expenses. As I have said before, WMU is a liberal arts college and many students are politically aware and active. I would say the majority of students are left wing liberals, but there are other groups as well. Generally, students do not talk about how much they'll earn one day, from my experience. It's not that they don't know, it's that they are happy with what they are doing and most only care about that.

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I think we have good racial groups. I am apart of NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers) and I feel like we really help the school. I am also apart of CBC (Collegiate Black and Christian). There are more black greek organizations which are coming back and YBM (Young Black Males) aka YBMSN (Young Black Male Support Network) is really good on getting younger students hooked-up with older students. Their sister chapter YBBW (You Beautiful Black Woman) is a good one also. With the start of the BSU (Black Student Union) I hope this unites all the black student groups, which is their main focus. I think all students can find their niche at WMU I think students wear basically what most students wear. Some try to look good and impress everyone, some people really don't care and will wear a hoody and jeans everyday. Most students from WMU are from Michigan, mainly the east part of the state Middle-class, upper-class Students may be on the below average on their political awareness I don't hear too much discussion on how much they will make, until senior year when you get offers. Then you might discuss with your friends and classmates what your offer is and compare with theirs.

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Western is extremely friendly to students with different backgrounds, beliefs, and looks. We have many different groups on campus that are devoted to specific races, religions and beliefs, along with LGBT students. Our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender registered student organization, OutSpoken, is one of the largest groups on campus and regularly take part in events, create their own and spread their name around campus. They hold one of the biggest events of the year, being a drag fashion show and also allow "allies" to express their enthusiasm for the group. Students with disabilities are also treated as equals on campus with the help of specific groups, and organizations. It is hard for me to imagine a student feeling out of place on Western's campus, someone is always there to invite, help, accept, and show some enthusiasm for a student.

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My experience with religious groups on campus extends to Christian Challenge, which I enjoy. It's very laid back, and takes a digestible approach to walking with God. I don't feel like I'm a terrible person when I go, as I have other times in different places. Most girls seem to wear either trendy clothes - UGG boots, sometimes skirts when its cold, long layered shirts, and leggings, or they wear a variety of things. It seems split nearly evenly in some of my classes, half of the girls are very trendy, and half are everything else. Guys seem to dress in multiple styles, each seeming to conform to their social group. I have seen very few Caucasian males in what is typically considered "ghetto fashion," though I have seen many Caucasian males, as well as African-American males dressed in suits and ties, possibly not of their own accord.

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The students here are diverse and accept diversity. I can't think of any "type" or person that wouldn't be able to find their niche here, although sometimes these "niches" do cement themselves a little to well and can become hard to penetrate. Because the populous and the programs are so broad here different kinds of people are constantly being made to interact with each other, it's just the nature of the place. Know this: if you come from a place with a homogenized population, be ready for a bit of shock and relearning some old behaviors. I'd guess about a third of the student population comes from the immediate surrounding area od Kalamazoo, another third from the rest of Michigan and some of the surrounding states, and the final third as exchange students from other countries.

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There are so many different people at Western. I don't feel like anyone would feel out of place here at WMU. There are so many registered student organizations here at WMU that literally anyone is able to find their niche. Although, I have to say that if you don't personally make the effort to enjoy yourself or get involved, it may be difficult to enjoy WMU, let alone college anywhere. WMU offers opportunities and clubs for literally any type of person if you are willing to get involved. There are all types of religious groups on campus, clubs for all majors, a fantastic LGBT group, and even even recreational clubs. There is even a club on campus called "the squirrel club" to honor the many squirrels on campus.

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WMU has a strong LGBT group on campus. Most of the students are middle class, and most work as well as go to school. A great many students interact on the campus. The four tables include a group of students working on a business writing proposal, a group of international students, a group of cafeteria workers on break, and a group of students who are all going to get on a bus to go to their internships in Lansing. WMU students are very politically aware. Most are right-wing and Republican. Students do not talk about how much they'll earn one day, until they get into their junior or senior year. Those with job offers tend to talk about their up-coming annual salaries.

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Mostly white middle classed christian striaght tall. All black people on campus know eachother as african american organizations reach out to new black students all the time and black students are acclimated with the minority community very early. Latinos revolve around Sigma Lambda Gamma, Sigma Lambda Beta and Latino Studend Organization. Young latino students, exchange students and Dominican Students are well aquainted with eachother by way of theese organizations, while all other minorities unite under their own respective organizations. Indian people live all in the same area, and gay guys goto Club Metro to meet other gays in the area.

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