Whether or not you see Mount Holyoke as diverse depends largely on where you’ve lived before. The school has a high percentage of international students, which creates many opportunities for those who haven’t experienced a taste of many different cultures. However, not everyone chooses to take advantage, and sometimes the cultural shows meant to showcase important aspects of those cultures are poorly attended. It seems that some students are comfortable where they are and can’t be bothered to learn about things that don’t directly impact their studies and immediate social life—although this can sometimes be understandable, given the often overwhelming array of events and activities there are on any given weekend. Students need to choose their priorities, and they won’t automatically learn about other cultures just because they’re represented on campus.
On the other hand, some students have felt immersed in diversity ever since they first set foot on campus, through experiences such as being placed with a roommate from another country, one who practices a religion they may never have heard of, or one who has a different sexual orientation. In general, this campus is very welcoming of differences. Most students have an attitude of, “Okay, I don’t necessarily understand this, but I’m willing to learn about it.” In fact, some lifestyle and political choices that are generally viewed by society at large as “different” actually seem to be the norm on campus, leading some to say that it is a “bubble” and not what the real world will be like. Liberal-leaning students find this to be a relief—that for a change, their opinions are in the majority, although this same atmosphere can cause more conservative students to feel alienated. In spite of this, those who need to speak up about their views will find they have the space to do so. It’s up to the students whether or not they will be heard.