Earlham and acceptance?

Hi! Earlham is currently my number one choice and I am almost ready to make an enrollment deposit at the institution. I was wondering, with the happenings in Indiana, and Indiana tending to be a more conservative state, how accepting is Earlham? I am looking for a school that’s really positive and open towards others who might differentiate from the norm, and one that’s really supportive of and works towards fixing and raising awareness of LGBT/racial/social issues. I’ve read the president’s most recent letter already and it seems kind of weak, imo. Any former or current students that can weigh in? Or parents of students?

My husband and daughter just returned from a visit there. My husband talked with Admissions and the counselor told him that the Student Assembly passed a much stronger statement against than did the president. My daughter, who stayed over with a student last night, said that one thing that they did yesterday was make Gay Pride decorations with other students. She also attended a student gospel concert and was impressed with the diversity of the students, including the fact that the audience was mixed ethnicity/racial sitting in the audience (i.e. not a white or black or intern’l section). So that all sounds good…

Hi, I don’t get on this board often at all but somehow today I felt compelled to. My wife and I have not just one but two kids going to Earlham. They love it. They have friends there from various countries, races, and sexual preferences - that’s part of the experience and part of what they love about being there. Earlham is a progressive and tolerant school; it is in Indiana but emphatically not of Indiana. Please, please, please don’t be put off by the recent news blurbs!
P.S. And be sure to check out August Wilderness :wink:

Hi, funkbrother, are either of your Earlham kids involved in theater or have taken Asian Studies classes? Those are my daughter’s two major academic interests. Also, what do your kids think of the general education required courses? Are they onerous or are they flexible and interesting? Any information you (or other Earlhamites) could give would be very helpful.

Hi MomofM - unfortunately neither kid knows those disciplines; but I talked to my daughter (a senior) last night and she says she’s heard that both East Asian Studies and Japanese Studies are very strong programs. She was not bothered by the gen ed requirements. Says the required first-year seminars can be “hit-or-miss” but are often quite interesting. Also offers that in her last couple of years she’s ended up basing many of her class choices more on getting her favorite professors and not so much on the exact subject matter . . . wanted to make the point that even if a person has a disappointing class or two in the early semesters, don’t sweat it too much cause there are plenty more chances ahead. Hope that helps a little.

Couple more thoughts: regarding Sippingatorade’s original question, there’s fairly recent thread here called “Am I a good fit for Earlham?” and I feel that the student responses there are quite telling and also match up with what I’ve heard as an Earlham parent. Finally, I smile when I think back to 4 years ago (it went like a flash!) and I first came to this site and read some very reassuring words about Earlham from a contributor “Lasma”. Haven’t looked lately but I’m sure that’s all archived and would make great reading for prospective student/parents. She is much more articulate than me!

Thank you funkbrother (and daughter)! My daughter really liked the students she met at Earlham but didn’t get a good read on the academics. In fact, one theater class was a little disappointing, at least as compared to one at another LAC she was admitted to. But she didn’t get to talk to the Theater professors or to the Japanese professor, who was called away suddenly from campus, but my D did like the Japanese class she attended. She has no concerns about “fit” in terms of school philosophy or students though I will go back to reread that thread.

@funkbrother @MomofM I really appreciate the replies! I will most definitely being doing a visit soon to really get a good feel, but your replies have definitely provided confidence in my choice to have Earlham as my first choice. Thank you so much!

@sippingatorade I would love to learn how your visit goes.

Visit went great. My daughter attended an upper level language course and had only five other students in the class. Great experience.

@Joan2021 Hi! What was the atmosphere like at Earlham?

@Joan2021. What language class did your daughter attend? I’m asking because my daughter is interested in learning Japanese.

Hello - new to the thread, I also have students there now. Japanese is known as a strength. In addition to the language and culture classes, there are Japanese students to become friends and learn from. The Chinese program is less mature. There are also opportunities across fields. My daughter went to Japan last summer with a professor for Geology research. As for theater, with the new arts building it is on an upswing, and they will be able to attract quality faculty and students. To say it is in an upswing would also imply that they may not be on the top of their game in all areas. Your student will need to figure out if it is the right place. Sometimes being somewhere that is on its way up can be an opportunity.

As for the original question. Earlham is known for being exceptionally inclusive. In general, a conservative will feel more defensive at Earlham than an LGBT individual. This may have as much to do with the conservative (who has never been asked to justify his opinions before) than any actual lack of acceptance. Surprisingly, the students have become well accepted in the town as well. That said, coming from the North East, I wanted my children to experience a different environment than they grew up, and I’m glad they are in Indiana.

The atmosphere? Warm and inviting. We both had a very nice visit. The language class was an upper level spanish language course. And Earlham did up the financial aid package a little bit, which will help.