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3 College Freshman

Diversity: Montana doesn't have much diversity.

3 College Senior

Diversity: I believe that is no perfect diversity. Only a level field where views are aloud but none are take to hold over others. Out campus try and dose a good job, but make mistake and tries to learn from them.

3 College Senior

Diversity: We have a variety of foreign-exchange students, LGBT students, and students of different races. I've never seen any issues with getting along. Things seem to run smooth.

3 College Junior

Diversity: About as diverse as Montana gets.

2 College Sophomore

Diversity: This is a predominately white campus. There are pockets of international or ethnic students you can find but nothing to brag about in comparison to other schools. Montanans have this "keep Montana local" ideology that makes it difficult to be an out of stater sometimes. Montana has a generally low cost of living so students from a privileged financial background are sometimes mocked. I haven't noticed much respect towards women even by college standards, seeing as University of Montana is considered "the rape capitol of college campuses." There is also a decent amount of intolerance for gay and lesbian students because of some of the conservative and/or religious backgrounds of some students. Politics is pretty balanced, Missoula being liberal but Montana as a state being generally conservative

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Compared to the rest of homogeneous Montana, Missoula prides itself in having relative diversity. UM attracts 500 international students from 74 different countries. Plus, the University offers a Native American studies major, features a state-of-the-art Native American studies building, and holds cultural events such as tribal dances regularly. UM students feel comfortable coming out of the closet, praying on the Oval, or wearing a Scottish kilt to their Irish studies classes. Differences in religion, sexual orientation, and cultural and economic statuses attract friends and faculty more than detract them.

Because UM's out-of-state tuition is sometimes lower than other states' in-state tuition, UM students hail from all 50 states. A professor from Vietnam said that Missoula offers the peace, quiet, and cold that he needs to work, and that he hasn't gained weight like other places in America because of the healthy food and hiking options. African Americans, Jews, and trust-fund kids are probably the least common minorities, but by no means least accepted. There are several campus clubs embracing such ethnicities, including Hillel and an African American club.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Oregon
  • Washington
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 0%
18-19: 24%
20-21: 26%
22-24: 22%
25+: 28%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 1%
Asian American: 2%
Hispanic: 2%
International: 5%
Native American: 1%
White: 84%
Unknown: 5%
Gay Pride
Missoula has an organization called UM Allies, which strives to educate the UM populace about the LGBT community. At a UM Allies training session, trainers ask people to name three things that are most important to them and list three things they do in their spare time on an index card. Trainees are then given two minutes to introduce themselves, but they are not allowed to say anything on the card. The trainings help both people outside and inside the LGBT community gain empathy and understanding. All resident assistants are required to enroll in a UM Allies training session, and University professors and employers are strongly encouraged to join.
Political Activity
UM wants to be the Berkeley of Montana, with the prototypical left-leaning hippies and protests. But in reality, it's full of not so much left and right labels as it is independents who seek education and ask questions. Its libertarian population is growing; Ron Paul's 2008 visit attracted many.
Economic Status
There isn't any segregation between working-class families and rich, upper-class families; most students are middle class.
Most Common Religions
UM students are predominantly Christian, agnostic, or Buddhist. There is a Buddhist Club on campus, and many of the Buddha's values on relaxation, nature, and food align with Missoula's culture.
Minority Clubs on Campus
The club for students with learning disabilities filed suit with admissions for not including subtitles on UM's Admissions YouTube station to accommodate the deaf minority. All of the international students cook a dish from their native country for the International Food Festival, which draws not only the University, but also hundreds of local Missoulians.

Student Polls

Have you changed your political affiliation since you started college?    Based on 15 responses

  • 87% No
  • 0% Yes, Democrat to Republican
  • 7% Yes, Democrat to Independent/Other Party
  • 0% Yes, Republican to Democrat
  • 7% 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 57 responses

  • 11% Progressive/very liberal
  • 26% Liberal
  • 30% Moderate
  • 19% Conservative
  • 2% Very conservative
  • 5% Libertarian
  • 7% Not sure

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 63 responses

  • 19% Progressive/very liberal
  • 52% Liberal
  • 16% Moderate
  • 3% Conservative
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Libertarian
  • 10% Not sure

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 57 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 57 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 16 responses

  • 88% No
  • 6% Yes, I became a lot more liberal.
  • 6% Yes, I became a little more liberal.
  • 0% Yes, I became a lot more conservative.
  • 0% Yes, I became a little more conservative.

What political party do you associate yourself with?    Based on 16 responses

  • 12% Republican
  • 31% Democratic
  • 38% Independent
  • 0% Other party not mentioned
  • 19% I don't care about politics

Have your religious views changed since you started college?    Based on 15 responses

  • 73% No, my religious views have stayed the same.
  • 13% Yes. I've become more religious, but I'm still affiliated with the same religion.
  • 7% 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.
  • 7% 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 16 responses

  • 56% Very accepted. LGBT students are treated no differently than non-LGBT students.
  • 44% 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 16 responses

  • 12% Very important. I regularly attend religious services and also participate in related clubs/organizations.
  • 0% Important. I regularly attend religious services.
  • 38% Somewhat important. I sometimes attend religious services.
  • 50% 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 55 responses

  • 47% Very accepting.
  • 49% 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.
  • 0% It's hard to be a minority here.
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