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3 College Sophomore

Diversity: The two tensions I have noticed are: a) a dual socio-economic and racial tension due to it being predominantly wealthy white students/families and b) the aforementioned problems with sexual harassment/violence and rape culture (which I will not repeat here). Concerning a), it is something the school is notorious for. I heard about it many times before ever visiting. It is GLARING at official events such as the reception I went to for accepted students in the spring of 2015. I have never been so disgusted before, with how snobbish and uptight it felt. My social experience of the school is severely limited, however, so I do not know how present it is in the day-to-day life of the campus. The OAAA seems very friendly and helpful, though my experience with them is also very limited.

Again, due to little experience, I have no impression of the other kinds of diversity issues.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Diversity: There is little diversity at the school, and those who are minorities don't really get much a say in things here. It's not a great situation to be honest.

3 College Freshman

Diversity: The school is overwhelmingly white.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Diversity: There are some definitive rifts especially with racial diversity. Different races tend to stick together.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Diversity: UVa is a school of self segregation. Races stick together and look down and mock those of their race who don't hang out with their own. If you are a minority who wants to break the mold and hang out with mostly white students and join a IFC/ISC there is nothing wrong with it and people are very accepting of that. Some frats are said to be racist, but some of the top Sororities have members of diverse background. Just go where you feel comfortable is the only advice I can give.

7 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Student opinion varies a great deal on diversity issues. Some believe that diversity at UVA is good and getting better, while others see the University as primarily a school for rich white kids. Much of this depends on personal experience. Many students have encountered self-segregation among the various campus groups and feel this is one of the biggest barriers to a functioning diversity. The best way to experience diversity at Virginia is to seek it out for yourself—there are many different people at the school, once you get past social cliques. Now that the old stereotypes of first year dorms have been eradicated, there is really a chance for all students to intermingle successfully.

Overall, UVA could do better with diversity, but at least the administration recognizes this and is trying to promote a new look for the school. Tolerance and political involvement are getting better, and despite the self-segregation, there are still days when you’ll be surprised at how many languages you hear spoken or the mix of different students you see studying together in the library or partying on the Corner at Baja Bean or No. 3. Online organizations like Sustained Dialogue are taking steps to promote a more fully united campus community with parties like "Mix It Up" and open forums for discussion of issues of diversity on campus.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • Foreign countries
  • Georgia
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 0%
18-19: 30%
20-21: 34%
22-24: 14%
25+: 21%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 4%
Asian American: 8%
Hispanic: 2%
International: 3%
Native American: 0%
White: 83%
Unknown: 0%
Gay Pride
UVA is becoming increasingly more accepting of its gay and lesbian population. There are various active organizations at the University promoting gay awareness (Gay and Lesbian Christian Students Association, the Missionary, Out on Rugby, and the Queer Student Union). It took a while for UVA to get to this stage, though, and there is still evidence of intolerance in many places.
Political Activity
Charlottesville, while being a wonderful place to spend your four-year college experience, can be too sheltered from what's going on in the world. Obviously some events (like the war in Iraq) bring out a lot of passion in the student population, and there are plenty of active organizations that feed this political passion among those students (Critical Mass, Take Back the Night, Amnesty International, Children of War, European Society, The Declaration, and Republican and Democrat Organizations). The level of political investment on campus showed during the 2008 presidential election campaign.
Economic Status
UVA students come off as pretty wealthy—with their cars, clothes, and drinking habits, it would seem they would have to be. However, there are plenty of students on financial aid, student loans, and scholarships. While many are from the upper/middle-class, there is a bit of diversity in economic backgrounds.
Most Common Religions
There are a few prominent Christian groups within the University that regularly hold meetings. Some religious groups include: the Baptist Student Union, Buddhist Meditation Society, Campus Crusade for Christ, Chabad Jewish Heritage Student Association, Korean Catholic Student Ministry, Muslim Students Association, Quaker Worship Group, and many more. However, keeping true to Jefferson's ideal of the separation of church and state, there is no one religious affiliation associated with the University. Students tend to respect each other's beliefs.
Minority Clubs on Campus
There are many minority clubs at UVA, including the Black Student Union, Afghan Student Organization, Arab Student Organization, Asian Student Union, Black Student Alliance, Graduate Women in Business, Latin American Students Association, National Organization for Women at UVA, Society of the Virginia Irish, Society of Women Engineers, Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Among Youth (SPIC-MACAY), Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Union. Some of these groups have a much bigger presence on grounds than others—e.g., the Black Student Union and the National Organization for Women at UVA.

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 84 responses

  • 8% Progressive/very liberal
  • 29% Liberal
  • 36% Moderate
  • 12% Conservative
  • 2% Very conservative
  • 5% Libertarian
  • 8% Not sure

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 117 responses

  • 3% Progressive/very liberal
  • 29% Liberal
  • 44% Moderate
  • 9% Conservative
  • 1% Very conservative
  • 2% Libertarian
  • 13% Not sure

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 121 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 57 responses

  • 26% Republican
  • 39% Democratic
  • 21% Independent
  • 2% Other party not mentioned
  • 12% I don't care about politics

How accepted is the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community on campus?    Based on 39 responses

  • 33% Very accepted. LGBT students are treated no differently than non-LGBT students.
  • 56% Accepted. LGBT students are treated fairly, but there are still some people who aren't accepting of them.
  • 8% Somewhat accepted. LGBT students aren't necessarily out and proud on campus, for fear of intolerance.
  • 3% Not accepted. LGBT students generally stay quiet.

How accepted is the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community on campus?    Based on 57 responses

  • 32% Very accepted. LGBT students are treated no differently than non-LGBT students.
  • 60% Accepted. LGBT students are treated fairly, but there are still some people who aren't accepting of them.
  • 5% Somewhat accepted. LGBT students aren't necessarily out and proud on campus, for fear of intolerance.
  • 4% 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 85 responses

  • 34% Very accepting.
  • 51% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 13% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 2% It's hard to be a minority here.


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