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Student senate launches #WeAreCalvin campaign

Photo courtesy student senate.
Photo courtesy student senate.

Student senate is partnering with the planning and priorities committee on a campaign seeking student opinions on the Calvin experience.

The PPC plans to use the data gathered from the campaign to make decisions about Calvin’s future. The campaign is called #WeAreCalvin and will run from March 4 to March 10.

President LeRoy believes that the campaign affirms Calvin’s commitment to students.

“One thing that’s really clear is every person at Calvin College is here to serve the students,” he said.

#WeAreCalvin asks students to submit pictures of their favorite things about Calvin, such as a favorite study spot, or Calvin sports team. Pictures can be submitted through the Student Senate Facebook page by clicking on the #WeAreCalvin tab. Students can also upload them to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #WeAreCalvin.

Once uploaded or tagged, the photos will be available on the student senate Facebook page for other students to vote on the images they think are most important to the Calvin experience.

Student senate members are excited about the possibilities for communication available using social media.

“One of our goals is to connect the administration with students, and to get students’ opinions about what they value on Calvin’s campus in a unique way that wouldn’t be possible without the technology,” Nate Slauer, a junior student senator said.

Senate plans to pass along the top 25 images based on student voting to the PPC. The PPC plays an important role in the decision-making process of the college.

According to their mandate, the PPC is “concerned with the long-range direction of the college and with evaluating specific needs and priorities in light of the college’s mission and strategic plan.”

Senators say they are working closely with this committee on the project, as well as LeRoy.

We’re working hand in hand with the team that President LeRoy is working with on PPC,” Kandanga said.

LeRoy appreciates the project’s emphasis on students and their role in the decision-making process.

“The students are at the heart of our mission, the subject of our mission, and so, as we’re trying to prioritize and strategize going forward, we’d be really remiss if we didn’t have that,” he said.

In addition to helping the college plan for the future, student senate hopes the #WeAreCalvin campaign will be a fun and creative way to celebrate Calvin College.

LeRoy is also excited about the creative possibilities of this project.

“I really appreciate student senate’s creativity. It’s cool they are doing it using photos. I’m excited about it.”

Keep reading to see examples of why four student senators love and value Calvin.

Photo courtesy Jerry Grieser.

 Jerry Grieser (’16)

One thing I have found to be very important to Calvin is the student organizations. There are over fifty student organizations on campus. They provide an incredible opportunity for anyone to find something he or she is interested in. Student organizations have the ability to create  an extremely intentional community with people who have similar interests. Each student organization creates its own culture and community.

I am part of student senate and I have gained my closest friends from being on senate. This is because we all have similar interests and all fall in the same personality area. If Calvin did not have such an incredible variety of student organizations, myself and countless others would not have the community that is essential to a healthy college experience. Student organizations provide so many opportunities for personal, intellectual, spiritual and emotional growth. The many events that take place on campus also provide a great opportunity to meet more people and are often an opportunity for discernment.e an extremely intentional community with people who have similar interests. Each student organization creates its own culture and community.

Photo courtesy Josiah Sinclair

Josiah Sinclair (’13)

I took this picture during an Interim abroad to Europe. Studying abroad, either for a semester, or for an Interim is one of the most exciting opportunities Calvin offers. Many of my friends look back on their semester or interim abroad as the apex of their Calvin career. Calvin currently has an incredibly strong off-campus program. I’ve gone on interim trips to Israel and to Switzerland. This photo was taken during a three-day vacation trip down to Paris that occurred at the end of my study in L’Abri, Switzerland.  I look back on these trips and I know that they have profoundly affected my undergraduate experience and the way that I see the world.

Nick VanderKolk (’16)

An aspect of Calvin that I love is the climbing wall! For us climbers, the wall is more than just rocks screwed onto a wall. It is the island away from “all things” school. When climbing, all stress leaves, and you get devoured by the task of scaling what lies before you. The rock wall has been so important to me since I came to Calvin. It keeps me going. The climbing wall also comes with a unique culture that I have loved getting involved in. It is almost a community of its own. A community of pushers and achievers. Always pushing for harder climbs, and always achieving new heights and because of these aspects there are always new ways to grow in my climbing ability.  For these reasons, I believe the rock wall is important to Calvin.

Photo courtesy calvin.edu.

Ansley Kelly (’16 )                  

Photo courtesy Ansley Kelly.

This is a picture of the Outdoor Recreation/Creation Care floor on its fall floor retreat. We hiked the Manistee River Trail over a weekend, using the time to grow closer as a community. My Calvin experience would not be what it is without the living learning communities. They are a uniquely Calvin project that underscores our commitment to intentional christian community. The intentionality that pervades this campus starts in the dorms, in our day-to-day interactions with each other as we live life in community.

About the Authors

Grace Ruiter

Grace Ruiter is the Chimes local editor for the 2014.

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Nick VanderKolk

Nick VanderKolk is a student senator and Chimes guest writer for the 2012-13 school year.

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