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Calvin-Parents E-Newsletter: July 17, 2012

As you prepare to bring your son or daughter to campus, use the Parent Resource Guide as your welcome and orientation to the Calvin community. If you have questions or concerns during the summer, contact parent relations (616-526-6142; We're here all summer long. Additional parent resources are found on the parent website, including the FAQ section that answers questions about banking on campus, tuition statements, and tax forms.

Student Treats

Student Treats are a fun and easy way to let your student know that you're thinking of them! This year's treats will feature new and updated items for 2012-2013! Look for a brochure to be mailed in early August. Online ordering will be available then, too.


Have you noticed a $1356 charge on your son's or daughter's miscellaneous account? This is the premium for KnightCare, Calvin's student health insurance plan. Students who enrolled in KnightCare or didn't submit an insurance waiver in the spring are charged the premium during the summer, and payment is due in full by September 1st. There is still time to opt out of KnightCare. Go to the website for the form. Contact Kelly Moore in health services (616-526-6660) if you have questions.

New Meningitis Requirements

For the protection of our students, health services is updating our current meningococcal vaccine requirements due to recent outbreaks of meningitis, including the death of a 19-year-old Central Michigan University student in May of 2012, and recommendation revisions from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Current CDC data now indicates that the protection provided by MCV4 diminishes within 5 years following vaccination. Therefore, the CDC now recommends that college students who had their first dose of vaccine before age 16 receive a booster. The booster dose will protect individuals during their most vulnerable years (age 16-21). Those who were vaccinated at age 16 or older are adequately protected, unless a booster is needed for travel.

About Meningitis:
Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial illness that includes meningitis (an infection of the protective layer of the nervous system) and severe infection of the blood. Approximately 1,000 to 2,600 people in the United States develop meningitis each year. With early diagnosis and treatment, meningitis is still fatal for 1 in 10 people and can leave its survivors permanently disabled. For these reasons, vaccination is the best prevention.

What does my student need to do to be protected?
All students must be current with our vaccine requirements. It is required that all students, under age 22, that reside on Calvin’s campus (dorms and apartments), have a booster if they have not received a dose after age 15. It is strongly recommended that all students, not living on Calvin’s campus, have a booster. The vaccine is also available for any student wishing protection from meningitis. Students may get their booster dose at the Health Center. Please call (616) 526-6187 to schedule an appointment.  If a student receives the dose at their local physician's office, please have documentation sent to Health Services so we may update their records accordingly. For more information, please visit the CDC website.

Laura Champion MD, Medical Director of Health Services

Textbook reservations

Getting textbooks can be an overwhelming part of your student's "back to school" experience. Let us make this process easy and convenient for everyone with our online Textbook Reservation system where you'll find a variety of textbook options aimed at saving you money. Options can include used textbooks, rentals and e-books. This is a great way for your student to get the right books for fall semester picked and packed just for them. Your student will get an e-mail notice in early August when our system is open, they may log in and access their book list, and place a reservation. Book orders will be delivered directly to dorms before classes start, or held at the store for off-campus students. In the meanwhile, see Incoming Student Information and Gifts to prepare for the start of school.

Academic resouces

A new publication sent out jointly by admissions and academic services is called, Planning Your Academic Life at Calvin (pdf). Here is more information about academic life at Calvin:
One helpful tool is the Academic Evaluation Report  which is a real-time document that lists the courses required for graduation. It applies each student's course work to the various requirements of the core, majors, minors and cognates to show what requirements are completed, those that are in progress and those that have yet to be started.

Read frequently asked questions here. Contact Dana Hebreard if you have others.

Parking, bicycle permits

All vehicles on Calvin’s campus must have a parking permit. Students can register for a parking permit on Portal (Services>Campus Resources>Register my Car). Vehicles registered between August 1and September 4 will pay a discounted rate. After registering, please remember to pick up your vehicle sticker from campus safety and fully affix to your windshield. Until it is fully affixed, the vehicle is considered unregistered. See all parking rules and regulations.

All bicycles on campus must also be registered.  The bicycle permit sticker needs to be picked up from campus safety and displayed on the vertical post below the seat. Students may register their bicycle on Portal (Services>Campus Resources>Register my Bike).  Bike registration is free and is valid for the life of the bike on campus. See all bicycle regulations.


First-year and transfer students who applied before the May 1 priority housing deadline have already received roommate information and have been encouraged to contact each other so they can get acquainted, share information about what they are bringing, etc. All other students will receive their roommate information, as well as residence hall assignment, in early August via e-mail. Students will not know their specific room assignment until they move in at the end of August. All housing correspondence will be sent to the student's Calvin-sponsored e-mail address. Visit housing.