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Student/Campus Culture @ Amherst

rantrantrantrantrantrantrantrant 19 replies9 threads Junior Member
How is the student and campus culture at Amherst? From what I've heard/read, I find it to be very conservative, consisting mostly of upper-class white males and jocks from sports societies. I got more of a segregated feeling that I got a feeling of inclusivity from the institution.

Maybe people here can help clarify/support these observations

P.S.: I request you to post if you are/were a student at Amherst if you comment on the thread!
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Replies to: Student/Campus Culture @ Amherst

  • drgigantordrgigantor 20 replies5 threads Junior Member
    My daughter is a student at Amherst, and she would tell you it is the opposite of conservative. While there is still a small core of NE prep school kids, Amherst is known to have one of the most diverse student bodies of any LAC. This is partly because they have a huge endowment and can afford to be generous with financial aid. They are also one of the few colleges that is need-blind to all applicants, including international students. The administration bends over backwards to stress inclusivity. This is not to say that there are never problems with privileged kids acting privileged, but my daughter has found a welcoming student body, faculty, and administration.
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  • OneMoreToGo2021OneMoreToGo2021 545 replies4 threads Member
    Um, "conservative" is the last word I'd expect to be used regarding Amherst's student body.
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  • rantrantrantrantrantrantrantrant 19 replies9 threads Junior Member
    I see. Thanks!
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  • ChemAMChemAM 306 replies0 threads Member
    edited March 26
    About that, I am a freshman at Amherst, and it is the polar opposite of conservative. Campus is extremely liberal. The majority of students are actually not white. The culture is EXTREMELY INCLUSIVE; it is actually written in the Student Code of Conduct that every student is invited to every party. Everyone I know here is extremely nice, though I'm sure there are some bad apples. I would strongly encourage anyone who is accepted to come. There is a bit of an athlete-nonathlete divide (and I don't know if you've seen Amherst in the news lately, but the men's lacrosse team is OUT OF CONTROL), but that's really a minor issue for the most part (though the aforementioned men's lacrosse team has some SERIOUS ISSUES).
    edited March 26
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  • ChemAMChemAM 306 replies0 threads Member
    Not to say that everyone on the men's lacrosse team is bad; I am actually friends with some of the freshmen on it.
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  • spachenspachen 23 replies0 threads Junior Member
    My admitted student is an athlete (a State-ranked/varsity captain in his sport) but chose not to pursue college athletics. I know at some LACs there's a divide between the athletes and non-athletes. Is that the case at Amherst? Are there clubs/teams for athletic kids who aren't varsity athletes? He's also a skilled hiker/backpacker. (cross-posted to Williams)
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  • ChemAMChemAM 306 replies0 threads Member
    There is somewhat of a divide between the athletes and non-athletes, but there are definitely clubs/teams for athletic kids who aren't varsity athletes. Most teams have a club/intramural sport level (such as men's club soccer), and there are some teams which are even only offered at the club/intramural level and so there are many walk-ons. You would definitely be able to participate in athletics still.
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  • joecollege44joecollege44 406 replies19 threads Member
    is the OP an accepted student or a prospective applicant? If already accepted I would love to hear his/her other choices, as it sounds to me like there is a chance Amherst might not be the best fit. Many smaller LAC's do seem to have athlete/nonathlete divides, with limited club sport opportunities. Larger schools are better in that regard. And while Amherst I agree is not conservative, it isn't known for its diversity...
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 4863 replies86 threads Senior Member
    And while Amherst I agree is not conservative, it isn't known for its diversity...

    If you are talking racial diversity, Amherst is 45% POC, which is higher than some of its peers. This 45% does not include internationals (8.8%), some portion of which are likely POC as well.

    In terms of FA/income diversity, Amherst has about 43% full pay students, which is similar to, and in some cases a lower proportion than some of its peers. Said differently, about 57% of students have at least some financial need.

    All data from the 2019 CDS https://www.amherst.edu/amherst-story/facts/common_data_sets/2019
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  • rantrantrantrantrantrantrantrant 19 replies9 threads Junior Member
    I'm a prospective applicant :)@joecollege44
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  • ChemAMChemAM 306 replies0 threads Member
    @joecollege44 @rantrantrantrant Club sport opportunities are not limited. They are VERY abundant and super easy to join.
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  • joecollege44joecollege44 406 replies19 threads Member
    Of course Amherst has club sports and it might even have some unique ones you won’t find at many LAC’s. But you can’t compare it’s offerings to what you will find at a bigger university. Amherst has no club baseball, football, basketball, cross country. Then look at a school like, say, Pitt, which has all of those plus swimming, archery, weightlifting, squash, tennis...
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  • ChemAMChemAM 306 replies0 threads Member
    edited April 11
    @joecollege44 We do have intramural/club teams in baseball, basketball, swimming, squash, and tennis. I have friends on the club squash team actually. Though I do agree a state school would definitely have more options.
    edited April 11
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  • CasablancaFanCasablancaFan 10 replies1 threads New Member
    There is also club rugby, volleyball and crew. The crew team is very popular (both men's and women's). Many students are new to the sport when they arrive at Amherst. The coach is a former Olympian who has been the coach at Amherst for many years. Whether you are athletic or not you will find something to do (other than study) at Amherst!
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  • joecollege44joecollege44 406 replies19 threads Member
    Ok I stand corrected. Sounds pretty great there!
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  • tutionpoordadtutionpoordad 4 replies0 threads New Member
    My son is currently at home like the rest of the students completing his sophomore year He does express to me that there is a athlete non athlete divide. He applied and was excepted as a NARP (non athletic regular person). He decided only when he arrived on campus to become a athlete. He thinks the divide is what you make it. His closet friends are his teammates. He is still close friends with his freshman roommate who is a NARP. Since there are no fraternities a lot of the parties are by the athletic teams. They will have formals etc. When asked there he states the Lacrosse team was a non offender and the worst example, he states most of the other teams are not like the atmosphere of the Lacrosse team
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  • tutionpoordadtutionpoordad 4 replies0 threads New Member
    Sorry follow up to original poster. My son is a student of color who knew he wanted to go to a LAC in New England. He chose Amherst of the others because it is by far the most diverse school in racial and economic terms.
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  • ChemAMChemAM 306 replies0 threads Member
    But even the parties are inclusive; regardless of who hosts the parties, anyone can come to them. It is even stated in the Amherst College Code of Conduct that no students can be excluded from any party.
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  • spachenspachen 23 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @tutionpoordad Hi -- your son walked on to a team? How does that work? Just out of curiosity. I think there is a club team for my son's sport here but not at the other LACs he's interested in attending.
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  • tutionpoordadtutionpoordad 4 replies0 threads New Member
    @spachen first let me qualify. There are several sports that are "easier" to walk on. My son participates in one of those sports. The three that come to mind are Cross Country, Track, Swimming and there may be others. He simply had his high school coach contact the Amherst coach with his performance history. Times and distances in those sports are reproducible. So if you high jump x meters and that is as good as the current team members you are in. There are numerous examples of students on campus deciding to try one of those sports 2 or 3 years into Amherst. One of his teammates came out his senior year but he had times that were good enough. The coaches in all sports have limited recruiting at LACs so they listen to high school coaches if your child is interested the first thing is have there high school coach contact the Amherst coach on his or her behalf.
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