Diversity

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Diversity

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4 College Freshman

Diversity: I've meet and been exposed to a variety of people of different races, political beliefs, and sexual orientations. I'm probably exposed to almost every type of race/ethnicity each day.

3 College Freshman

Diversity: There is diversity but not an incredible amount. There are a lot of international students but domestic students are mostly white.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Diversity: Penn State has a really diverse population as far as race and personal choices go. There is slight racial segregation but not often or much.

4 people found this useful Report
5 College Student

Diversity: This was something i was surprised to see. This is the best i have seen personally of a diverse school being mostly accepted around campus.

5 College Freshman

Diversity: Love the people I interact with.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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There is no hiding the fact that white, middle-class students make up a large portion of the student body at Penn State. A large number of students come from suburban Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. Many classes, especially in the sociology department, are aimed at opening the dialogue between races. These classes have been very instrumental in creating an open and peaceful atmosphere on campus. Racially-motivated crime at Penn State has not been an issue for years.

It’s important to keep in mind that State College is surrounded by rural areas with an even less diverse population. The climate is by no means adverse to minorities, but it may not be as accommodating as larger cities and more diverse college towns. The political leaning of central Pennsylvania is generally conservative. While different cultural and personal backgrounds are accepted around campus, this may not be the case when you’re away from the University’s grounds. More liberal residents agree that the best way of dealing with the close-mindedness of the area is through education and tolerance. Recent statistics have indicated that minority populations are increasing at Penn State, but they have a long way to go before the campus could be considered a modern day “melting pot.”

Facts & Statistics

African American
5%
Asian
5%
Hispanic
5%
International
8%
Native American
0%
White
73%
Unknown
2%
Historically Black College/University?
No
Tribal College?
No
Out-of-State Students
42%
Common States of Residence
  • Foreign countries
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Virginia
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 1%
18-19: 31%
20-21: 43%
22-24: 15%
25+: 10%
Female Faculty
37%
Male Faculty
63%
Faculty Diversity
African American: 3%
Asian American: 8%
Hispanic: 2%
International: 8%
Native American: 0%
White: 78%
Unknown: 0%
Gay Pride
Homosexuality can be a sensitive issue at any campus. Through such organizations as Allies and the USG Department of LGBTA Affairs, the gay community actively participates and often spearheads debates and events promoting acceptance, understanding, and safe sex. The Valentine's Day KissOut on the Old Main steps generates a lot of attention each year.
Political Activity
Campus has a more liberal leaning, but that doesn’t mean other groups don’t voice their opinions as well. When a social issue becomes particularly heated, there are often rallies and protestors representing all sides. The steps of Old Main and the end of the mall on College Avenue are the most popular places to find student activists.
Most Common Religions
The Pasquerilla Spiritual Center is the largest multi-faith structure of its kind in the country. There are 42 student-run religious organizations on campus. Christianity is the most popular religion, but there are many opportunities for students of a different faith to become involved.
Minority Clubs on Campus
Penn State has about 50 minority clubs and student organizations run by and directed to students of many different cultures and nationalities. These clubs sponsor different events across campus and sometimes become highly visible in local media; a good example is the Black Caucus, which frequently makes news as it strives for racial equality on campus.

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 240 responses

  • 5% Progressive/very liberal
  • 27% Liberal
  • 33% Moderate
  • 18% Conservative
  • 2% Very conservative
  • 2% Libertarian
  • 13% Not sure

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 317 responses

  • 5% Progressive/very liberal
  • 20% Liberal
  • 30% Moderate
  • 6% Conservative
  • 1% Very conservative
  • 2% Libertarian
  • 37% Not sure

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 329 responses

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

What political party do you associate yourself with?    Based on 150 responses

  • 28% Republican
  • 34% Democratic
  • 18% Independent
  • 2% Other party not mentioned
  • 18% I don't care about politics

How accepted is the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community on campus?    Based on 84 responses

  • 44% Very accepted. LGBT students are treated no differently than non-LGBT students.
  • 51% Accepted. LGBT students are treated fairly, but there are still some people who aren't accepting of them.
  • 4% Somewhat accepted. LGBT students aren't necessarily out and proud on campus, for fear of intolerance.
  • 1% Not accepted. LGBT students generally stay quiet.

How accepted is the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community on campus?    Based on 149 responses

  • 40% Very accepted. LGBT students are treated no differently than non-LGBT students.
  • 54% Accepted. LGBT students are treated fairly, but there are still some people who aren't accepting of them.
  • 4% Somewhat accepted. LGBT students aren't necessarily out and proud on campus, for fear of intolerance.
  • 2% Not accepted. LGBT students generally stay quiet.

How accepting is the campus community as a whole toward someone who falls into the minority (ethnic, sexual, or religious)?    Based on 238 responses

  • 51% Very accepting.
  • 43% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 4% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 2% It's hard to be a minority here.

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