Residence Life & Dining

COVID Response / Residence Life & Dining

Residence Life has communicated to residents about what to bring, how to move in, cleaning expectations, ways we’ll be monitoring our health, and ways that roommates, suitemates, and apartment-mates can communicate and care for one another.

Calvin Dining Services has made a number of critical changes, from reducing capacities in dining locations, to creating outdoor covered seating areas, to new ways of serving food and providing take-out options.

Residence Life

On-campus residents must take seriously our call to care for one another through high standards of behavior and hygiene—personally and collectively. We will live into a Philippians 2:3–4 vision of life together, as we “in humility consider others better than (our)selves. Each of (us) should look not only to (our) own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (NIV)

Floor, Roommate, and Suitemate Agreements

Live-in staff and student staff have built upon existing roommate agreements, floor visioning sessions, and apartment goals to create shared expectations and commitments. Guidelines related to visitors, hygiene, food sharing and open communication have been communicated to residents. These specific community commitments contribute to the overall shape and traditional elements of our on-campus life together.

Health and Safety Checks

Our regular once-per-semester health and safety checks, which focused more on cleanliness, furniture arrangements, and mechanical safety, have been modified into more frequent contact with residents by our live-in and student staff members, with the goal of ensuring shared responsibility, individual health, and best practices by all of our community members.

Common Spaces

As part of our shared community expectations, our common spaces (including kitchens, basements, lounges and study rooms) have some new expectations for residents, including guidelines for cleanliness, wearing of masks, limits on number of people, etc.

Facilities Staff and Cleaning

Our facilities staff provides daily cleaning and disinfecting of common spaces and frequent touch points, with the expectation that residents contribute to this process through proper disposal of garbage, cleaning up after personal use of public kitchens or common areas, and proper social distancing from those who are working hard to keep our communities clean.

Isolation and Quarantine Planning

Calvin provides isolation or quarantine spaces for residents who become ill with COVID-19 and are unable to travel home. This includes procedures for health checks, emotional support, meal delivery and other support services. Specific rooms in strategic locations are left empty for these situations, and an entire residence hall has been dedicated to temporary housing in the event of displacements due to illness.

Calvin Dining Services

Calvin Dining Services continues to make the health and safety of our students, guests, and employees our primary goal this fall. We are following all guidelines set by the state of Michigan and the Kent County Health Department.

Throughout all of the dining operations and the Prince Conference Center, staff are assigned to consistently clean and sanitize all common touch items, beverage stations, tables, and chairs as guests leave and at a minimum of 30-minute intervals during events. All staff go through additional COVID-19 specific health, safety, and sanitation training in addition to standard food safety training. They are provided with the appropriate personal protective equipment and are required to wear face masks while on-site. Employees are required to follow daily check-in procedures that ensure that prescribed health standards are met at a minimum before their workday begins.

There is a designated supervisor or manager who is the COVID-19 Person-in-Charge for each shift and each location. This person completes a checklist of required health and safety standards related to COVID-19 in addition to the standard operational check at the beginning of the shift. Throughout the day they continue to monitor employees to ensure they don’t exhibit any observable symptoms of illness, are using PPE appropriately, and that they are following safety protocols. This individual also serves as an informational resource to students, staff, and guests.

All locations have hand sanitizer available for guests to use. This is an added precaution and not a substitute for proper handwashing.

Residential Dining Halls

Residential dining continues by observing physical distancing guidelines, decreasing capacity in locations, reorganizing serving stations, and removing self-service items. Directional signage has been laid down on flooring to create clear pathways for location entrance, station queue points, location flow, and location exit areas.

Checker stands are equipped with plexiglass dividers to protect the guests and the employees. Students are highly encouraged to download the Creative Dining Services Eatable App and use that for check-in. If this option is not available, a prox-chip reader will be available so students no longer need to hand their student ID to an employee.

If in-seat dining is restricted, dining services will use disposables for all service items. Students will be able to choose their meal from a variety of menu items and then take their meal to an outside dining location or back to their rooms.

When in-seat dining is available, tables and chairs will be removed or shifted to account for physical distancing. All service items including plates, bowls, and wrapped silverware will be passed to the guests. Cups will be provided at the self-service beverage stations. All self-service items will be moved to other areas of the dining operation and either served to the guest or packaged for easy service. This includes salad bars, the pizza station, and dessert stations. All condiments will also be served. Students will also have the option to take out meals rather than dine in the dining hall.

Retail Dining at Peet’s Coffee Shop and Johnny’s

Retail dining continues by observing physical distancing guidelines and, decreasing capacity in locations. We have changed disposables and packaging to ensure that prepared food remains free from cross-contamination. Condiments are provided to guests instead of guests serving themselves. An increased variety of grab-and-go items and mobile ordering has been added to decrease guests congregating while waiting for orders.

Whenever necessary, tables and chairs will be removed or shifted to account for physical distancing.


Standards are being revised, including operational and sanitation procedures to ensure the safety of our guests in adherence to state and local regulations and guidance as well as university health and safety protocols. In partnership with Venues at Calvin, spacing recommendations and diagrams are utilized to provide adequate social distancing. A new catering menu lists current service options and additional food options. Current bookings and contracts will be reviewed and modified with the guest’s input to provide the best style of service within the university’s criteria.


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