I'm an IIT alumnus. I posted a bit earlier on the Shimmer blog. Anyways, I've been reading your comments and thoughts on moving. I know it's quite a move Shimer, especially to a place that is so different but it somewhat pains me to see how you generally characterize IIT students! I know you do not wish to be mean spirited and I'm sure this move is hard on all of you but please give IIT a chance before you brush it aside. IIT is not a robotic institution where everyone wears pocket protectors and programs TI calculators for fun. I , myself, graduated with in 2004 with a degree in molecular biochemistry and biophysics and it really could not be further from engineering. More so, I have had a strong interest for many things including culture, literature, and such. I even took a Shakespeare course while attending IIT because I have a genuine interest in Shakespeare!
Take my fiancee for example, she graduated from IIT with a degree in political science and she came as a transfer student from Moscow. She loves art and Russian literature including Pushkin and Dovstoyevsky. Believe me, I met many interesting people from IIT who were incredibly intelligent and interested in many aspects of the liberal arts.
And really, many students do have an interest in art. Just take a look at the IIT campus, it is a shrine to architecture and was built by Mies van der Rohe. The architecture students love making art and designing things. In fact one of IIT's downtown schools is the Institute of Design. The archies spend many hours on their projects and many are truly creative people. Please do not cast all of us as stoic CS majors or engineers who all wear horn rimmed glasses and find programming as the most fulfilling point in our lives. I hope that I can convince you otherwise because it really hurts me to see the generalizations people draw about my alma mater. Also just to let you know, there is a gay/lesbian/bi club on campus called Spectrum and it is one of the most active clubs on campus.
Please, if you'd like to know more about IIT just talk to an alum or student. I'm not an official representative or anything but I'd like to talk to people who are curious, or wish to know more about IIT including everything from where to live to just knowing the people. My AIM is "hitokirishinji". Feel free to message me, I'd love to get to know you all and hopefully dispel any misunderstandings. I'm actually located in North Chicago, mere minutes from Waukegan so believe me I know the difference between living here and down at IIT!