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4 College Junior

Diversity: It's Seattle, so the vast majority of students are very liberal/progressive. This means that the students are accepting of racial minorities (for the most part--there is still some progress to be made), those of the LGBTQ community, and different economic backgrounds. However, it also means that if you have slightly different political beliefs, you will not be accepted. It's a closed-minded community in this particular way. In discussion-based core classes, you will be treated very differently if you express an opinion that is not in line with Seattle's very rigid belief system, and professors usually do very little to create an atmosphere where different opinions can openly be discussed. I've also noticed some covert discrimination against religious students, even though it's a religious school.

That's pretty much how Seattle is in general with regard to diversity of beliefs: Very accepting but only when it's convenient.

5 College Senior

Diversity: I have met and run into people form ALL walks of life at SU. Ethnically, economically, and politically, Seattle U is extremely diverse.

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4 College Junior

Diversity: The university has a very diverse student body.

2 College Freshman

Diversity: Other than in sexual orientation, there is no diversity.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: There is moderate amount of diversity on campus.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Foreign countries
  • Hawaii
  • Oregon
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 1%
18-19: 29%
20-21: 30%
22-24: 16%
25+: 25%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 4%
Asian American: 7%
Hispanic: 3%
International: 2%
Native American: 0%
White: 56%
Unknown: 27%
Gay Pride
With campus next door to a large gay population, Capitol Hill, there is not a mere tolerance of homosexuality, but an accepting and even welcoming atmosphere. Indeed, according to the 2000 U.S. Census, people who reported living in a same-sex relationships in Seattle is 240 percent above the national norm. There are many gay students on campus, and there is no visible hostility towards them.
Political Activity
With an intense Jesuit focus on social justice, the strong voices come from clubs like Amnesty International and Campus Ministry. However, the general feeling of the campus seems undetermined; there is a definite liberal vibe on campus, and little is heard from the Young Republican or Young Democrat chapters. Indeed, the political vibe is felt more through individual topics and problems instead of in terms of parties.
Economic Status
There is a large number of private school students who give a sort of “rich kid” feel to the school. However, there is such a diversity of economic backgrounds due to the range of scholarships available, it is not an overwhelming aspect of the campus atmosphere.
Most Common Religions
According to Campus Ministry, about half of the student population is Catholic or has Catholic parents. However, the rest of campus is divided into a spectrum of faiths, including Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Evangelical, Episcopal, and many more.
Minority Clubs on Campus
Action, Asian and Pacific Islander Student Union (APISU), Black Student Union (BSU), Hi’brid, Hui O Nani Hawai’i, Mana o Polynesia, Marianas Taotao Tano Club, Movimiento Estudantil Chicano/a de Aztlan (MEChA), Muslim Student Association (MSA), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), United Filipino Club (UFC), Vietnamese Student Association (VSA), Indonesian Student Associatino, Japan Club, Taiwanese Student Association, the International Club (TIC), Chinese American Student Association
Did You Know?
The Seattle University School of Law is the most diverse in the Pacific Northwest, with 57 percent of members being female and 33 percent being non-white students

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 32 responses

  • 22% Progressive/very liberal
  • 28% Liberal
  • 25% Moderate
  • 6% Conservative
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 6% Libertarian
  • 12% Not sure

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 47 responses

  • 34% Progressive/very liberal
  • 40% Liberal
  • 13% Moderate
  • 4% Conservative
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Libertarian
  • 9% Not sure

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 48 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 23 responses

  • 4% Republican
  • 48% Democratic
  • 30% Independent
  • 0% Other party not mentioned
  • 17% I don't care about politics

How accepted is the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community on campus?    Based on 16 responses

  • 81% Very accepted. LGBT students are treated no differently than non-LGBT students.
  • 12% Accepted. LGBT students are treated fairly, but there are still some people who aren't accepting of them.
  • 6% Somewhat accepted. LGBT students aren't necessarily out and proud on campus, for fear of intolerance.
  • 0% Not accepted. LGBT students generally stay quiet.

How accepted is the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community on campus?    Based on 24 responses

  • 79% Very accepted. LGBT students are treated no differently than non-LGBT students.
  • 17% 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.
  • 0% 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 33 responses

  • 85% Very accepting.
  • 12% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 0% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 3% It's hard to be a minority here.


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