Diversity

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Diversity

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3 College Freshman

Diversity: We have a lot of more traditional diversity, but students like to debate about how much more diverse they want us to be.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Diversity: Great - except if you aren't straight, you are looked alienated. Although I am a lesbian, I have noticed this.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: The LGBTQ community on campus is a vital part of the overall Smith community. The student body is much less diverse in terms of political and social ideals. While there is a group of politically conservative students on campus, the majority is very liberal.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Diversity: Smith has been accepting more international students lately because of financial profits. It also made efforts to provide minority/international students assistance. However, the campus does have some expected "norms" that you are expected to follow. For example, liberals are always welcomed but not so much for conservatives. Gay people actually seem to have more privileges than straight people. The religion life here is kind of non-exist. As for economic background, I believe that most students come from mid-upper class.

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 people found this useful Report
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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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
9%
International
12%
Native American
0%
White
47%
Unknown
11%
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

Have you changed your political affiliation since you started college?    Based on 9 responses

  • 100% No
  • 0% Yes, Democrat to Republican
  • 0% Yes, Democrat to Independent/Other Party
  • 0% Yes, Republican to Democrat
  • 0% Yes, Republican to Independent/Other Party
  • 0% Yes, Independent/Other Party to Democrat
  • 0% Yes, Independent/Other Party to Republican

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 36 responses

  • 33% Progressive/very liberal
  • 47% Liberal
  • 14% Moderate
  • 0% Conservative
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Libertarian
  • 6% Not sure

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 36 responses

  • 81% Progressive/very liberal
  • 17% Liberal
  • 0% Moderate
  • 0% Conservative
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Libertarian
  • 3% Not sure

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 37 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 37 responses

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

Have you changed your political views since starting college?    Based on 10 responses

  • 40% No
  • 20% Yes, I became a lot more liberal.
  • 30% Yes, I became a little more liberal.
  • 0% Yes, I became a lot more conservative.
  • 10% Yes, I became a little more conservative.

What political party do you associate yourself with?    Based on 10 responses

  • 0% Republican
  • 40% Democratic
  • 0% Independent
  • 0% Other party not mentioned
  • 60% I don't care about politics

Have your religious views changed since you started college?    Based on 9 responses

  • 89% No, my religious views have stayed the same.
  • 11% Yes. I've become more religious, but I'm still affiliated with the same religion.
  • 0% Yes. I've become more religious and have changed my religious affiliation.
  • 0% Yes. I've become less religious, but I'm still affiliated with the same religion.
  • 0% Yes. I've become less religious and have changed my religious affiliation.

How accepted is the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community on campus?    Based on 10 responses

  • 80% Very accepted. LGBT students are treated no differently than non-LGBT students.
  • 20% Accepted. LGBT students are treated fairly, but there are still some people who aren't accepting of them.
  • 0% 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 important is religion in your life?    Based on 9 responses

  • 22% Very important. I regularly attend religious services and also participate in related clubs/organizations.
  • 0% Important. I regularly attend religious services.
  • 22% Somewhat important. I sometimes attend religious services.
  • 56% Not important. I don't affiliate with any religion.

How accepting is the campus community as a whole toward someone who falls into the minority (ethnic, sexual, or religious)?    Based on 36 responses

  • 67% Very accepting.
  • 28% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 6% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 0% It's hard to be a minority here.

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