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.