Whitman College Top Questions

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

ray

Yes, to an extent.

Alejandro

Yes they are, and they are also working on expanding diversity which is pretty great!

Brett

Not everyone is a crazy liberal, but I would say we're fairly liberal as a whole. At the very least, everyone is accepting. And yes, everybody is a nerd. I'm a music and anthropology nerd, some of my best friends are astronomy and chemistry nerds, and we all get along. Everybody is so interesting and intelligent! Also, when you hear about Whitman's high standards, they're being bashful; everybody works extremely hard, but every class is worth it.

Matt

For the most part. There are places to party everynight of the week and i have some friends who do. The parties are usually awesome with everything you would expect from a college party, so that stereotype is false. There are some nerdy kids here, but i would say for the most part that kids are less nerdy and more that they are just plain smart. There are a decent amount of closet nerdy kids. People here are extremely outdoorsy and it seems that almost everyone is very athletic and probably plays a varsity sport or did in high school.

Tristan

No--there are definitely people who like to hike and camp and go on outdoor trips a lot, but there are also students who just aren't that inclined to the out of doors. You'll find many different types of people here. Since it is a smaller school, there isn't a ton of dating as in you meet someone and they ask you out. People tend to develop long-lasting relationships. CORE is a writing intensive course that introduces to classic thinkers of the Western world (and now maybe Eastern with Encounters). It is simply not true that everyone hates CORE. Personally, I loved it, and I know a ton of people who liked it, too (even science and math majors). Since CORE is taught by professors of all disciplines, sometimes you'll be stuck with someone who doesn't really deal with literature, and that's unfortunate. A great thing about CORE is that it unites the entire freshman class and it is a great point of conversation for people getting to know each other.

Kai

All stereotypes hold some truth. At Whitman, yes, the students are fairly academically involved (as they should be, considering that Whitman classes can be pretty rigorous). However, the students also manage to find a balance and partake in extracurriculars, sports (whether it's varsity, intramural, or theatre -- I'm serious about that last one), and other various events and activities around campus. We don't JUST spend all day hitting ourselves with textbooks. As for the "super rich" stereotype: Whitman is pretty up there on the range of pricey schools. That being said, the school does a really good job of offering financial aid to those who qualify, as well as scholarships. And not everyone is "super rich" at Whitman; members of the student body come from all socio-economic backgrounds. Further, if you're having problems with money or anything, there are so many staff members who would be willing to sit down and look at financial options with you. People at Whitman WANT you to be there, so they'll help you if you need it. And lastly, the stereotype that we're dread-rockin', frisbee-tossin' barefoot hippie children running all over the place. Okay, so yes, a few members of our student body rock the dreadlocks (in the most awesome way possible), and yes frisbee is a HUGE deal at Whitman (I was once told that I would learn 1000 useless things at Whitman, and 900 would be frisbee tosses). And, okay, I myself have been known to wander around campus sans shoes. If none of this appeals to you, consider this: Whitman campus is INCREDIBLY environmentally friendly. Take our science building, for example. The newest section of the science building utilizes wood from the trees that were cut down in order to build it, employs more windows to let natural light in rather than use electricity, and it's heated naturally (as are the series of creeks and ponds that run through the campus). So yeah, we might be sort of granola, but it's definitely to everyone's advantage.

Carson

Sometimes. I fit three of those, being a fairly intelligent, quixotic, Euro-mutt Caucasian. Generally though, I feel like people that talk about Whitman are a little unfair about the richness and lack of diversity. Oh! And we're known for being nice, too! That one's completely true. I've never met a more courteous, kind collection of people.

will

To some degree yes, but not for the most part. There is a larger degree of diversity (perhaps not ethnic/racial) at Whitman than the statistics suggest.

Matt

To be honest the campus is such a small place that stereotypes aren't really necessary. You know everyone too well to need to group people into those stereotypes. People are so talented and diverse at Whitman that once you get to know them you can't put them in such uncomplicated boxes.

Andy

A lot Whitman students do fit that description, but Whitman students surprise me everyday with their diverse passions, extracurricular interests, and academic talents.

Gabrielle

The stereotypes are definitely true of a lot of people, but Whitman students also come from a variety of backgrounds and outlooks on life, and most are eager to pop the "Whitman Bubble" whenever possible

Charlie

Pretty much yes: for the most part we like school and have our educations as a top priority. We can be a little spacey and tend to be silly.

grace

I'd most of the stereotypes were fairly accurate, although I encountered more diversity on campus than I'd expected.

Mandy

No--while there are some people at Whitman who are really outdoorsy and never put on a pair of shoes, there is a wide range of people who attend the college. There are plenty of people who attend who have never been camping a night in their life!

Jesse

The campus is left-leaning, but the Campus Conservatives club is also active. While it's not the most nurturing environment for a budding conservative, it's certainly not the entire campus that's voting liberally each voting season. As for environmentalism, I'd say that everyone is environmentally conscious in some ways. Some students choose not to recycle once they move off campus, but during the 2 years required on-campus living, students tend to pick up on the environmental ethos behind, say, weekly recycling pick up in the dorms and the special faucets that we have that regulate water output. Students are at the very least informed on environmental issues, so it's no surprise that a majority (though certainly not all) choose to do little things like recylcing their cans, getting a re-useable water bottle, and printing double-sided.

Alex

We tend to be nerdy and liberally leaning, but the outdoors stereotype can be misleading. There are tons of things to do outdoors, but you don't need to be a seasoned camper to fit in.

Aaron

If you just look at the surface you may think so, but Whitman students are very dynamic and very involved. It is incredible how involved the average Whittie is in the community and on campus. Sure, most of us are tree-huggers, but we are also much more than that. And Whitman is making a genuine effort at drawing in students with diverse backgrounds.

Ryan

For the most part, although the college is attempting to include more diversity.

Casey

To some extent these stereotypes are accurate, but Whitman has a very diverse student body. While many students are socially, politically, and environmentally conscience, that is not all that we are. We are first and foremost liberal arts students - interested in and dedicated to learning. We also have lots of fun. From your typical college party to a trip with the outdoor program to a cello choir concert, Whitties enjoy many different activities.

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