Oh, diversity! Whitman College is occasionally referred to as “White-man College,” which may provide some insight to the diversity here. Most students recognize the importance of diversity and that lacking it is a problem, but don’t do anything about it, possibly because they are the problem, being white, liberal, atheist/agnostic and upper-middle class themselves. In fact, due to these general trends in diversity, Whitman tends to attract a few students who quite prefer being in a majority of thought in terms of politics and religion.
Meanwhile students with varying backgrounds often describe the adjustment to the homogeny of Whitman as difficult. It seems as though the administration perceives that the lack of racial, political, religious, and socio-economic diversity is a problem but finds itself unsure of how to go about improving, fixing, or dealing with the issue. A variety of on-campus resources are available, from the Intercultural Center to religious groups and a Spirituality Room to various lectures and campus events raising awareness; generally, however, only students who are already aware of the issues take advantage of them. Students feel that Whitman’s events, as fun and educational as they might be, are “preaching to the choir.”
Beyond traditional conceptions of diversity, students themselves have pretty eclectic personalities. Students bring their activities from home and also form new interests on campus. Most students agree that, personality-wise and interest-wise, Whitman is a diverse place. In terms of other forms of diversity? You’ll be hard-pressed to find much of it.