Diversity is a core value of Seattle University, and this is reflected in almost every aspect of the school. It would probably surprise you to learn that, at a Catholic school, only 33 percent of the student body is Catholic (the number is even smaller for graduate students), and that they have even started a club for atheists and agnostics. But Seattle University is welcoming of people of all faiths and does not make any overt attempt at evangelization toward students (the lack of a requirement to attend chapel is likely a positive). In terms of ethnicity, while the school is predominantly white, there is a large and active minority student body that regularly puts together a number of cultural events and celebrations.
There is a relatively small number of African American and Hispanic students in comparison to the Asian student population, but there are no real “tensions” on campus. Students here get along well, and the various functions put together by minority clubs are some of the most popular of the year. The majority of students are receiving some form of aid or scholarships, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are not wealthy; the campus is very diverse in terms of economic and social backgrounds. Seattle U also includes a large GLBT population, perhaps somewhat unusual for a Catholic school, and their events have attracted criticism from more conservative elements. But the school is open to them, and has largely held fast against this criticism, as they feel such diversity, and warmth toward those who do differ from what could be called the “societal norm,” is a key part of the Jesuit ethos. To them, you truly cannot grow as a person unless you are exposed to the broadest range of people and lifestyles possible, and this openness is something that benefits the school immensely.