Subject: Safe Return Update
Date: August 7, 2020

Dear students, 

This is the weekly update from the Safe Return Team. In this communication and our upcoming communications, we aim to provide you with a better sense of what your Calvin experience will look like this fall. To help with this, we asked Anna VanWolde, one of the orientation leaders who has been living on campus this summer, to walk you through a day at Calvin. Check out this one-minute video.

We know that this year will begin differently than most and it will take some time to get used to the new protocols that are designed to help us all stay healthy. However, we are hopeful that if we can commit together to doing our part, we will be able to transition safely into community and we can begin discovering some creative ways to foster community during this time. We have been thinking about some of these things already, and your student senate leaders will likely be asking for your ideas as well as we get back together. 

For now, we will share just a few of the new opportunities we are working on for fall 2020: 
Hammock Parks: We are creating a several spaces on campus where we can have a few hammocks in relative proximity to one another, allowing small groups of students to hang out outdoors to socialize, study, or relax. 

Fire pit: We will have a fire pit installed near the patio of Peet’s Coffee where students can grab their favorite latte’ and sit outdoors and study or socialize in small groups. This will be a great place to hang out during the beautiful Michigan autumn. 

Small group seating areas: We will have several areas set up outdoors for small groups to be able to gather. 

Outdoor dining options: With limitations on indoor dining, we have ordered a couple of large open-air tents for students who want to eat lunch with friends to do so with proper social distancing parameters in place. 

Outdoor adventure: We are working on finding safe outdoor recreation opportunities for individuals and small groups of students, and we will be making our outdoor rental gear free for students to check out. 

A few other items to make you aware of at this time: 

  1. Peet’s Coffee will be open this fall as a grab ‘n go option 
  2. Locations of classes are now available for returning students, and first-year students will have their class schedules and locations available next week. (Note: Locations of classes are subject to change over the next 10 days but will be finalized on August 17.) You can monitor your schedule using Self-Service 
  3. We will be using a new phone app this fall to help with symptom monitoring and contact tracing. We will begin testing this app out next week and hope to have it up and running the week of August 17. We will follow up with more information on this in next Friday’s communication. 

Those are a few quick updates. Please remember to begin to get into the habit of completing your daily health check (if you haven’t started already). And if you don’t have a thermometer yet, make sure to pick one up ASAP as they are a hot commodity, and you’ll need one. Please also consult the Safe Return FAQ to find answers to your questions and keep reaching out with any questions you still have at 
We are excited to welcome you to Calvin University for fall 2020 in just a few short weeks! 


The Safe Return Team 

Sarah Visser (co-chair)  
Todd Hubers (co-chair)  
Kristen Alford  
Russell Bray  
Laura Champion  
Todd Dornbos   
Tim Ellens  
Jim English  
Juli Haga  
Arlene Hoogewerf  
Matt Kucinski  
John Witte