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Calvin-Parents E-Newsletter: September 29, 2009

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Family Weekend, October 23 & 24

Tickets for all Family Weekend events are now available at the Calvin box office (616-526-6282).  You may purchase tickets for events online, but if you are attending several ticketed events, the simplest ordering is done via phone.  The Improv shows and Family Weekend banquet WILL sell out, so get your tickets now---not later.  If you are not planning to attend any of the ticketed events you do not have to register ahead of time, but please check in at the Parent Oasis tent or one of the residence hall desks upon arrival to sign in and pick up a Family Weekend schedule and map.  (One time change to note: The swim meet will begin at 5:00 p.m. on Friday evening.)

Please note that the Fall Music Festival begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights (not 8 p.m. as listed in the Family Weekend brochure).  Refer to the Family Weekend site as the best and most up-to-date source for program information.

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Off-campus housing issues

Recently, the city of Grand Rapids Neighborhood Improvement Office, at the behest of neighborhood home owners, began investigating rental properties in the neighborhood adjacent to Calvin College.  Neighbors are concerned about the increase in rental units (negative effect on property values), the number of cars parked on roadways, late night noise, property upkeep and related issues.  This led to investigation of certain properties by the Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD).

The City of Grand Rapids has an ordinance that no more than four unrelated persons may live in one housing unit.  The GRPD has cited around 20 residences in violation of that ordinance, in some instances with as many as eight students in one house.  These students are being given a short period of time to get into compliance--which means finding alternative housing for some students in those homes.

Calvin's student life staff has offered to work with these students, but they have also been clear that they expect Calvin students to obey the laws of the city with integrity and be considerate of their neighbors.  Dean of student development Bob Crow has assembled a number of resources related to off-campus housing (this current situation is not the first time students have been in housing code violation).  See his "Things to Consider Regarding Living Off-Campus" article for parents and "Off-Campus Living Expectations" site for students.

If your student is in a difficult situation because of an ordinance violation, you can advise them to contact Mr. Crow at 616-526-6165 or

If parents wish to comment on the current situation or have further questions, as always they are welcome to contact the parent relations team at or 616-526-6802.

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Academic advising

Calvin College reserves two days each semester for academic advising and the fall dates are October 27 and 28. This is a time when classes are not in session so that faculty can meet with their advisees. Feel free to check out this short video clip on academic advising from a student's perspective:  More information about academic advising---tips, resources, videos, and a link to their Facebook page---is found here.
Students are instructed to schedule an appointment with each of their faculty advisors (one or more depending on the number of majors a student is pursuing) and prepare for registration. Students must meet with their assigned advisor in order to be cleared for KnightVision registration. Please do all you can to encourage your son or daughter to take full advantage of these two days on campus. In addition to meeting with an advisor, this is a good time to get caught up on reading assignments and writing papers. It should not be a time to leave campus for a long weekend get-away. Questions? Please feel free to contact Dana Hebreard, Coordinator of Academic Advising, at

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Pre-marital workshop offered again

The Broene Counseling Center is again offering a pre-marital workshop to any Calvin student(s) who are planning to get married within a year or so.  The workshop consists of two consecutive Saturday mornings, Oct. 31 and Nov. 7, from 9 a.m. to noon.  It will be led by Randy Wolthuis, Ph.D.  The workshop will address such topics as family of origin, nurturing a relationship, communication, money, conflict management, and much more.  Couples will also have a chance to take a premarital inventory and, at a later date, meet with a Broene counselor to review the inventory results.  This is a great thing!  The cost is a mere $35 per couple.  To sign up or ask questions, please call us at 616-526-6123.
Randy Wolthuis, Ph.D.,
Director, Broene Counseling Center
Licensed Psychologist

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The Prelude program introduces first-year students to the mission and community of Calvin College.  This six-week course is a gateway and integral component of IDIS W50 (Developing a Christian Mind) and serves as a prerequisite to the Cross-Cultural Engagement (CCE) core requirement.

Prelude is a one-credit course that all first year students take during their first semester.  Prelude provides students with a common intellectual experience and a rudimentary introduction to several important aspects of Calvin’s community: a Christian worldview, cultural discernment, responsible freedom, justice, and vocation. See the course syllabus and more on their Web site.

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Treats for your student

The Student Treats program sends treats and goodies to students for a birthday, special event or as an "anytime" surprise to remind your student of your love and support. The next deadline coming up at the end of October is for the Popcorn Treat.  The Popcorn Treat features three bags of deluxe flavored popcorn—caramel, cheese, and butter—delivered in a reusable shopping bag.  Find out more on the Student Treats site.

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Homecoming 2009

Come home this fall to Calvin for a weekend full of activities, reunions and fellowship---alumni, families and friends, alike.  After 57 years, Calvin College has changed its Homecoming tradition, the annual alumni celebration and reunion, from gathering in the chilly month of February to the fall when the campus is at its colorful best.  We've moved most class reunions to this weekend; the classes of '00-'09, '99, '94, '89, '79, '74, '69, '64 will have special gatherings on Saturday evening.  We've also added special interest reunions and stacked Friday and Saturday with many athletic, music and social events.

Also on Homecoming weekend, anyone who enjoys singing is invited to join the Calvin College Alumni Choir on Saturday morning (October 10) to discover creative ways to improve your musical skills as individuals and in community with others. Learn new songs in the setting of a large choir under the direction of internationally respected conductor and clinician, Dr. Pearl Shangkuan. This musical retreat ends with a brief worship service in the Calvin Chapel. A bonus session for choir directors follows the retreat.  The incredible price of $10.00 includes the music scores, refreshments and the opportunity to sing with a nationally recognized choir and conductor! To register, go to

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Health services and influenza information

Read health services advice and recommended actions related to influenza and vaccines on their Web site.

The first seasonal flu shot clinic was held last week and another will be held at the end of October.  Currently, there is still a limited supply of Flumist (nasal) available in health services.  No appointment necessary.  Please call 616-526-6187 if you have any questions. For more information, please go to

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Science Visit Days

You can now encourage a student who is interested in science to visit Calvin.  Fridays at Calvin now offers a day of events designed for students considering a major in the sciences with Science Visit Days. Students will meet Calvin students and faculty, sit in on classes in various areas of interest (there is a health and environmental track, and a computing, engineering, math and physics track) and get to know others who are also serious about a career in science.

If you know any student that might want to visit, this is the page they need to check out first!

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Events for alumni, friends and families

Bookmark the alumni events calendar to keep track of important dates throughout the year, to which you are warmly invited, as a parent, alumni and/or friend of the college.  More information is found there for each of the following events:

September 29: Calvin Around Town/MBA@Calvin ArtPrize event in Grand Rapids, Michigan
October 7 - 11: Homecoming 2009 on campus; Reunions
October 15: Calvin Along the Lakeshore: Muskegon Art Museum
October 23 & 24: Family Weekend and Reunions on campus
October 24: Prof. Janel Curry will speak in Whitinsville (Mass.) about caring for creation

Check the Parent Calendar for important dates

Bookmark the Parent Calendar page to keep track of important dates throughout the year, including:
Oct. 1: Miscellaneous charges payment due (1st of each month)
Oct. 9: Last day to drop first-half semester courses; Last day to change first-semester courses from credit to audit
Oct. 9-10: Homecoming at Calvin
Oct. 20: Tuition, room and board payment due
Oct. 23: First session half-semester courses end
Oct 23-24: Family Weekend
Oct. 26: Second session half-semester courses begin
Oct. 27-28: Academic Advising for interim and spring semester (no classes 8 a.m. Tues. - 5 p.m. Wed.; Wednesday night classes do meet)
Oct. 30: Last day to add second-half semester courses

News & Stories from campus

Check out a wealth of great stories on the News & Stories site, including a Q&A with Rick DeVos '04, creator of ArtPrize, a major event going on in Grand Rapids now!

Campus Events:
  • Center Art Gallery and (106) Gallery exhibition: Charis - September 4 through October 10, 2009
    This international traveling art exhibit showcases the work about faith and culture from several Asian and North American artists.
  • (106) Gallery exhibition: ArtPrize - September 23 through October 10, 2009
    This is an open art contest based in Grand Rapids with several entries featured at (106).
  • Artist Series: Sietze de Vries, organist - October 2, 2009
    This concert has been CANCELLED due to illness. Please contact the box office if you purchased tickets already at 616-526-6282. 
  • Silent Retreat - October 2 & 3, 2009
    This event, hosted by Campus Ministries, invites you to rest, read scripture and pray.
  • River City Improv - October 3 & 17, 2009
    The alumni improv troupe always provides fun, family-friendly entertainment filled with laughs!
  • Glenn Bulthuis and the Tonedeafs in concert - October 8 & 9, 2009
    Glenn and the band will play the music of the Beatles as part of Homecoming 2009.
  • Homecoming 2009 - October 9 & 10, 2009
    After 57 years, Calvin has changed its Homecoming tradition to gathering in fall instead of February!
  • Family Weekend - October 23 & 24, 2009
    Come back to campus to visit your son or daughter!
Calvin Sports: This week's athletic events

Calvin KnightsFor information about athletic events visit the redesigned Sports Information Web site. Need Calvin sports results fast? Call the Calvin sports hotline at 616-526-6522 for current sports updates. You can also sign up for the Calvin Sports-Report, a free e-mail bulletin notifying Calvin sports fans of current sports news.

Other Helpful Links:
Parent & Family Resources
Parent Calendar
Worship & Discipleship
Campus News
Daily Sports Update
Roving WebCam Click for the weather forecast at Calvin