van Reken Hall

Calvin’s newest residence hall wing, van Reken Hall, is home to three distinct and intentional living-learning floors - Outdoor Recreation / Creation Care (exploring environmental sustainability and recreational leisure responsibility), Grassroots (exploring race and ethnicity in ourselves and more broadly in North America), and Honors.  Each floor is architecturally arranged to facilitate strong co-ed communities as well as to deepen the learning that happens there.  Through learning events and community practices, students are invited to think and act more intentionally in relation to the theme of their particular floor.

Van Reken is open primarily to first and second year students, with two resident assistants serving a floor community of 40 students.  Faculty mentors partner with each floor in an effort to help students foster deep learning.  Space is limited, and an additional application is required. 

Three distinct communities:

About this community

On the Outdoor Recreation/ Creation Care (ORCC) floor residents live and learn in a community committed to exploring sustainable and recreational appreciation of Creation through the eyes of the Christian faith. From tapping Sugar Maples around campus to kayaking in Lake Michigan to serving the Grand Rapids community through volunteerism at the nearby watershed, residents of ORCC strive to actively engage and understand their role as God’s people living, working and playing in Creation. As a living-learning community, residents strive to share, teach, and learn new ways to live out their faith through interactions with creation with each other. With the aid and involvement of faculty mentors, residents work to bring positive change and learning within Residence Life and the greater Calvin community. The goal of the ORCC floor is for residents to take away from the floor new techniques, experiences, and Christian views on outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship.

Residents of the floor will commit to the following:

  • Be present: at weekly meetings, the occasional meal, and some social events.
  • Be engaged: Participate in the floor class--Wilderness Pursuits, and Maple Syrup Project, and Prairie Restoration Project.
  • Be thoughtful: consider yourself, your community, and your environment.

What can residents expect from this community?

  • Spending time outside
  • Faculty mentoring
  • Safety and support to voice their ides, and try new adventures
  • Building strong relationships
  • Finding a balance of protection and celebration in and of creation
  • Developing a healthy relationship between humans and creation

The floor of 40 is made up of both men and women (on separate halves of the floor), with the common lounge in the middle serving as a place of discussion, learning, fellowship, and fun. Students interested in taking an additional step of engagement in the their housing options should consider applying.