Diversity

Location
Northampton, MA
Undergrads
2,643
Tuition
$41,460
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews

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4 College Sophomore

Diversity: There is a lot of diversity in general. Especially with gender identity and sexuality. But the campus is still probably over half white.

2 College Junior

Diversity: There is camping that the school is diverse but once you are here you can tell that it really isn't.

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: Administration always pushing for diversity, not always in the best way. They like hosting "student of color" dinners, I find them uncomfortable so I don't go. Also they sometimes send e-mails suggesting I should join something because I am a

"student of color."

5 College Freshman

Diversity: The campus is very diverse and there is a lot of opportunity to learn from people with different backgrounds from you.

4 College Freshman

Diversity: Smith supports diversity with race, sexual orientation, and gender and is fairly progressive. (so there aren't a lot of non-progressive students, nor do they always fair well in the diverse and progressive environment).

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 2nd
    Most Liberal Schools
  • 430th
    Most Open-Minded Schools
  • 1393rd
    Most Conservative Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Dara Kagan
Hometown
Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.
Major
Government, with a minor in the Study of Women and Gender
View all previous student authors

Smith students are divided in their views of campus diversity, and race is a tense issue on campus. Some students say Smith is like many other private, liberal arts colleges in New England with a mostly white student body, and many minority students say they feel isolated and unwelcome because the culture does not reflect what they are familiar with. Others complain that Smith is too liberal or too gay-oriented. Overall, Smith’s sexual diversity is more obvious than its racial diversity—the campus even voted on a change to the student government’s constitution to remove the pronoun “she” to avoid excluding students who do not identify as women. While the gay community is extremely vocal on campus, the heterosexual presence is not to be denied, as evidenced by the droves of girls who wait for the PVTA bus to UMass and Amherst parties every weekend.

The financial aid and admissions offices are committed to class diversity, and Smith’s admissions is need-blind for 90 percent of its accepted students. There are, however, those who would prefer to keep issues of every kind of diversity silent, and this includes much of the administration. Overall, it would be a mistake to say that issues surrounding race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and age don’t cause tension on campus.

Facts & Statistics

African American
5%
Asian
12%
Hispanic
8%
International
11%
Native American
0%
White
44%
Unknown
16%
Historically Black College/University?
No
Tribal College?
No
Out-of-State Students
80%
Common States of Residence
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Foreign countries
  • New Jersey
  • New York
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 1%
18-19: 39%
20-21: 36%
22-24: 10%
25+: 14%
Female Faculty
54%
Male Faculty
46%
Faculty Diversity
African American: 6%
Asian American: 8%
Hispanic: 4%
International: 3%
Native American: 0%
White: 79%
Unknown: 0%
Gay Pride
The gay community is one of the most vocal and visible groups on campus. Although there are incidents of homophobia on campus, they are isolated and do not reflect the student body as a whole. Some students, however, complain that Smith is too centered around the gay community, saying that the focus of Smith politics and social life is too often on the gay students.
Political Activity
Most students here are politically and socially liberal, and conservative students can feel silenced by the strong wave of liberal discourse. However, while campus has its share of protests, students are generally not politically active, and many consider the student body to be generally apathetic. However, the Smith Democrats was recently voted the best chapter in the nation.
Economic Status
Smith students reflect the economic bell curve of the country. There is a small number of extremely upper- and lower-class students, with most students falling somewhere in between.
Most Common Religions
The most present religion on campus is Christianity, as evidenced by the numerous Christian groups. These include the Radical Catholic Feminists of Smith and the Ecumenical Christian Church. There are a fair number of Jewish students, and many participate in the Smith/Amherst Hillel group. There is also a large Muslim population on campus. However, a large portion of the student body does not practice any religion.
Minority Clubs on Campus
Many of the cultural heritage groups on campus sponsor dances, dinners, and concerts. They include: Asian Students Association, Black Students Alliance, Ekta (for students of South Asian heritage), Indigenous Smith Students and Allies, International Students Organization, KASS (Korean-American Students of Smith), Nosotras (Latina organization), Prism (Queer Students of Color), SACSA (Smith African and Caribbean Students Association), and Vietnamese Students Association.

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 33 responses

  • 0% Libertarian
  • 3% Not sure
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Conservative
  • 15% Moderate
  • 48% Liberal
  • 33% Progressive/very liberal

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 33 responses

  • 0% Libertarian
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Conservative
  • 0% Moderate
  • 3% Not sure
  • 12% Liberal
  • 85% Progressive/very liberal

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 32 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How diverse is your personal circle of friends in the following areas?    Based on 34 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How accepting is the campus community as a whole toward someone who falls into the minority (ethnic, sexual, or religious)?    Based on 33 responses

  • 0% It's hard to be a minority here.
  • 3% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 27% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 70% Very accepting.

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