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Calvin-Parents E-Newsletter: August 16, 2011

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PASSPORT IV, Wilderness Orientation

Student orientation, PASSPORT IV, will next be held on August 29-31. Check the PASSPORT pages if you are attending any PASSPORT sessions this summer for a schedule, registration information, a list of what to do before you arrive, academic testing/music auditions information, etc.  Have you heard about Wilderness Orientation, next taking place around the dates of Passport IV? This collaborative program exists for:

  1. Relationships
  2. Adventure
  3. Skills
  4. Growth, Goals
  5. Experience

If you have any orientation questions, contact (616-526-8507).

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Treats for your student

Parents may send their student some "love" by having the parent relations team deliver a treat to them during the school year. There are birthday, exam, holiday and special event treats to send for on- or off-campus students. The full list of treats is available on the Student Treats page and you can order online now!

For a great deal, order A Year of Treats and save $$; it includes a free birthday treat! The order deadline for A Year of Treats is September 14, 2011.

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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 which is now open. You'll find a variety of textbook options aimed at saving you time and money. Options can include used copies, rentals and even e-books.

A reservation is a great way for your student to get the right books for fall semester picked and packed just for them. Avoid waiting in lines to buy the books or waiting and wondering if the books will arrive in the mail. Students have received already received two e-mail notices that they may log in, access their personal book list and place a reservation (which they can do with their Calvin Portal login). Book orders will be delivered directly to dorms before classes start, or held at the store for off-campus students.

If you are interested, parents can check out the Incoming Student Information and Gifts page. Contact if you have any questions or problems.

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Financial services

Here is some information from financial services as you prepare for the school year:

Student Billing Information Brochure 2011-2012. On this form (.pdf), you can find information about due dates, calculating the minimum amount due on tuition, account delinquency and returned check/ e-check policies. There are links to sites with other helpful information about student financial issues, as well. Try it out!

All student financial service resources are linked on their site here. To contact any financial services staff, see this directory.
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Campus safety notes

Calvin’s free emergency notification service allows all members of the Calvin community to receive important and time-sensitive notifications by phone, text or e-mail for serious weather updates (e.g., tornados, severe weather watches and warnings) or other unlikely situations involving Campus Safety. Calvin will not use the system for routine announcements or for any solicitations, only for emergency notifications. To register, go Portal, click the "Services" tab, scroll down to the section titled "Emergency Notification" and click on the sign-up there. For all details of Calvin's emergency response plan, see this page.

Students are also encouraged to program the contact numbers for Campus Safety dispatch into their phone.  The 24 hour non-emergency phone number is 616-526-6452.  The 24 hour emergency phone number is 616-526-3333 or 3-3333 for campus phones. 

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Got questions?

Can't find what you need? Not sure which department to ask? Confused by the Calvin lingo? Ask the parent relations team and we will respond within one business day, if possible. A list of frequently asked questions is found there. Don't forget that you can e-mail us directly, at any time, at:

Read on for more information about a question that recently came up to the parent relations team. 

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We recently answered a couple questions from parents regarding banking on campus.  Here is some general information. 

Local banking services can be obtained from any of the several financial institutions in the Grand Rapids area. Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU) and The Huntington Bank are examples of financial organizations that provide a great value for students. LMCU offers no-fee checking accounts, free PC home banking services, free telephone access services, and, with appropriate approval, free check/debit card and VISA card services. (Please note that Calvin will not solicit, nor permit others on campus to solicit, its students to acquire credit cards.) Further information regarding LMCU services is available by calling 800-242-9790. Further information regarding The Huntington Bank services is available by calling 800-480-2265.

LMCU has placed three ATMs on campus: a full-service machine in the lobby of the Commons Annex, a cash dispenser in the lobby of the Noordewier-
VanderWerp residence hall and a cash dispenser at Knollcrest East. These ATM machines are fee-free for LMCU customers, but a discounted $1 service
fee is charged for non-LMCU users. Also be aware that non-LMCU customers may be assessed a fee from their own banks for using the ATMs.

Lake Michigan Credit Union staffs a booth at the PASSPORT info fair (which is held on day two) and are available to answer questions.

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Alumni and FRIENDS events

Here are several alumni and friends events coming up. Parents and family members are invited--encouraged---to join us!

The Anchorage Dessert Social was a success!  See the group that gathered in Alaska this summer.

Calvin-Parents subscriptions

Calvin-Parents, an e-mail newsletter, is published to inform Calvin parents of campus news, programs, events and other helpful information. If you wish to add additional e-mail addresses (work, grandparents, etc.), change delivery to a different address, or unsubscribe, contact Additional parent resources (to order student treats, to participate, to plan visits) are available for you on the parent website.

If your student has graduated and/or you no longer wish to receive Calvin-Parents, we will be happy to unsubscribe you. You may email us at

Thank you for participating in this important communication link between the college and Calvin families. If you have any suggestions for us, please send them to (or call 616-526-6142).

Check the Parent Calendar for important dates

Bookmark the Parent Calendar page to keep track of important dates throughout the year, including:

August 31 - Residence halls open for first-year students, 9 a.m.; QUEST orientation begins
September 1 - Tuition, room and board payment due
September 2 - Residence halls open for returning students, 9 a.m.
September 6 - Fall semester classes begin, 8 a.m.; Opening Convocation, 9:50-10:50 a.m.