Academic life is great for furthering your education, but student life experiences will shape you into a whole new person! A great deal of my learning and growing has been done outside the classroom, and I really appreciate my peers for that. Its the only time in my life I will be surrounded by 2000 people in my age group, and there is so many social experiences to share here! The kind of student who would feel about of place here would be the student who didn't prop their door in the dorms, or didn't get involved in one of our hundreds of clubs. As a busy athlete I usually wear comfortable clothing to class, but some people like to look nice. Even though I am Catholic, I have grown in my faith here a great deal, especially from talking with students of different faiths. Its not uncommon that people of different religions, backgrounds, financial backgrounds will grow a close bond. We have students whose parents have paid their tuition, as well as donating more to the school, and students who talk about paying their loans off for a very long time. Nobody complains about that, it's worth the financial commitment no doubt.
Witt has a large student athlete population so athletic clothing worn to class is a normal thing. There are students who decide to dress up for class as well. Comfortable is the word I would use to describe the dress code of a Witt student. Majority of students are from Ohio but there is a large representation of students from the east coast and an increasing population of students from the west coast. Witt's tuition is not minimal therefore it is assumed that most students are more well off and can afford the nicer things in life. There are a large number of students that do come from wealthier families but all level of the socio-economic spectrum are covered at Witt. Financial aid is so readily available that it is possible for all types of income families to send their child to Witt.
Everyone is very open! I have a wide-array of friends from all types of different backgrounds. Political and religious beliefs seem to take a backseat to people in general. There are organizations like College Republicans, College Democrats, American International Associations, Gay/Straight Alliance, Athletes for Christ, Jewish Culture Club, and Body Beautiful. The student body is not divided at all! Many college stereotypes reflect that Greek and Non-Greek students do not interact, but that simply is not true at Wittenberg. Non-Greek students are invited to almost all functions, and are encouraged to do what is best for them. I am not Greek, but many of my friends are, and that doesn't get in the way of us hanging out on the weekends.
Recently Witt has made a lot of effort to increase the diversity at Witt. We have an excellent exchange student program with representation from many different countries and many different student groups. Additionally, Witt students are from all over the country, LA, Chicago, New York, Florida, all over! The students are also involved politically, a few years ago we had a student actually run for office, this year the presidential election was a campus wide event! The school offers free New York Times newspapers to the students daily. Overall the student body is diverse in thought and in geography.
Wittenberg is a very small school so if you're active on Wittenberg's campus, you're going to meet most of them. Our student body is very active through our 100+ student organizations on campus. They're not exclusive either: a member of the track team doesn't just stick with the track team, they usually have friends that span different orientations - friends from bio class, from greek life, from their intramural team, or from their dorm room. Seeing the amount of networking that goes on between all these different groups is really interesting and extremely encouraging.
There's been two controversial issues on campus: the burning of the GSA flag and the ignorant Caucasian student that rapped an explict sexist and racist song. The administration did not handle the second issue well at all and that caused some concerns with some of the minority students. The school is 90& white and even though I've been able to adjust, I know many who has been unsuccessful. Still, (personally) I had a positive interaction with the student body and have enjoyed my stay at Wittenberg. I've felt comfortable.
The majority of students are white, middle/upper class, but there are a variety of others that attend campus. Being white, I have no problem, but I feel that there is enough diversity on campus that others would not feel uncomfortable. On top of that, students here are very warm, friendly, and welcoming. Personally, I wear sweats to class almost every day, but there are others that generally tend to dress nicely everyday. Nobody really cares what people wear, they just dress in a manner that is comfortable to them.
For the most part, I think Wittenberg students are a very laid back group of people. I don't equate being laid back to being a slacker, instead I mean that students are easy to get along with. Students come from a wide variety of backgrounds--many come from wealthy suburbs, while we also have many from our own backyard in Springfield. There seems to be an environment for just about any type of student here, even though it may not be a prevailing culture.
Most students are pretty casual for class (jeans and a t-shirt), although some wear sweatpants and some get dressed up beyond jeans everyday. That's one of the great things...you can pick your style. I think everyone finds their place and role on campus, but everyone is still interconnected. Just because you have an immediate group of friends doesn't mean they are the only ones you can hang out with.
I won't lie, Wittenberg probably isn't the most diverse campus on the planet. But, they have done a great job in recent years trying to develop greater diversity on campus. I have been able to meet people from all walks of life on this campus, and I really appreciate that :) A lot of students are from Ohio, but there are more and more out of state students each year!