Calvin’s newest residence hall wing, van Reken Hall, is home to three distinct and intentional living-learning floors: SOAR (Sustainability, Outdoor Adventure, and Recreation: exploring environmental sustainability and outdoor pursuits like backpacking, kayaking, skiing, rock-climbing, etc), Perkins (engaging issues of identity, diversity, inclusion, and justice) and Honors Scholars (optional residential component of the Honors Scholars program).

Each floor is architecturally arranged to facilitate strong co-ed communities as well as to deepen the learning that happens there. Through learning events and community practices, students are invited to think and act more intentionally in relation to the theme of their particular floor.

These living-learning communities are open primarily to first- and second-year students, with resident assistants serving a floor community of up to 40 students. Faculty or staff mentors partner with each floor in an effort to help students foster deep learning. Space is limited and students are placed on the floor through an application process.

Application Process

New-to-Calvin incoming students should apply via their Housing Application on their New Student Portal from admissions.

Current Calvin students who wish to return to or join the floor should apply using the form below.

Priority is given to new students who apply by May 1, 2024.

Applications for returning students will be available prior to room draw.

Residence Hall Living-Learning Communities

SOAR: Sustainability, Outdoor Adventure, and Recreation (First van Reken)

This living-learning community combines adventure-based experiences with opportunities to take action on sustainability. Open to all levels of skill and experience, SOAR will help you to both engage with our environment and take care of it. Whether your ideal outdoor adventure is big or small, there is a home for you here. All students will fulfill two required core courses; PER 138: Backpacking and Wilderness Pursuits and a sustainability-themed CORE 100. Both meet in the first half of the 1st semester. Options for sustainability and outdoor recreation programming abound, including sustainable living skills workshops, an overnight river paddling trip, a mid-fall backpacking trip, an intercollegiate sustainability conference, winter camping, service work in Calvin's own nature preserve, downhill skiing/boarding, and a Red River Gorge spring climbing weekend. Learn more about SOAR floor »

Perkins (Second van Reken)

This diverse living community focuses on conversations around race, justice and equity, in the context of Christian community development. This close-knit community takes part in: a fall semester class, sharing life stories, movie discussions, service-learning opportunities, and social outings. Whether it’s getting out to enjoy different neighborhoods in Grand Rapids, or staying in to enjoy fellowship around the floor fireplace, you will gain a deeper appreciation for the many aspects of your own background, and the unique backgrounds of others in your community. Open to all students. Learn more about Perkins floor »

Honors Scholars (Third van Reken)

The Honors Scholars floor will feel like home if you thrive in an environment with other academically motivated people who also want the support and encouragement that comes through a committed community. Your learning will grow and deepen because of the community you make together, and fun is part of the story. Join this floor for an opportunity to grow in intellectual grace and humility while also making life-long friends. Learn more about Honors Scholars floor »