2nd van Reken


Wherever you come from, whatever your race is, there is a home for you on the Justice & Equity Learning Community (formerly called the Perkins-Grassroots floor). We explore the ways our identities interact as we create a thriving Christian community. You will find justice, equity, and antiracism are part of the conversation in the floor class and in the conversations by the fireplace.

You will learn about others’ stories, grow in your ability to engage in and facilitate difficult conversations, participate in service-learning and activism, and take a floor class focused on diversity and inequality in the United States.

This floor, which is found on 2nd floor of the van Reken residence hall, is rooted in the mission of Calvin Residence Life—it is a place where we offer students the opportunity for intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and relational growth.

Explore further

  • Floor Activities
    1. Floor Class:In their first year on the floor, all students take a class together focused on diversity and inequality in the United States, analyzing the social meanings of our various identities (i.e. race-ethnicity, class, and gender). This class may also be used to fulfill your core graduation requirements.
    2. Floor Activities Get to know one another and deepen your understanding of justice issues by participating in monthly movie discussions, book studies, and reflection groups.
    3. Organic and Intentional Community: Students engage in fun and meaningful conversations together by living in community, sitting around the floor lounge fireplace, sharing food unique to their cultures, and participating in programming specifically designed for the floor (like monthly movie discussions, book studies, and more).
    4. Service-Learning and Activism: Students will engage in service-learning activities by partnering with local organizations to contribute to their work and learn firsthand by participating in justice-driven work.
    1. To think deeply as a community about issues of identity, diversity, inequality, and justice.
    2. To act justly in our floor, campus, city, and global communities through improving skills in communication, service, and activism.
    3. To live wholeheartedly in genuine community, where Christ’s love and compassion is shown toward one another in all aspects of life, whether in the classroom or in everyday living on the floor.
  • Outcomes

    Students will be able to:

    • Think, work and move across boundaries in diverse environments with a range of people.
    • Develop and implement skills for communicating across conflicts and divides (social, cultural, and political).
    • Seek out multiple perspectives on a variety of issues, both those that are familiar and unfamiliar.
    • Link theory and practice through students’ experience both as citizens and in professions.
    • Improve anti-racism and anti-bias practices.
    • Build deep relationships with a diverse group of friends and enjoy a supportive multicultural Christian community.
  • Admissions

    If you are an incoming student, indicate your interest on your housing application and complete the supplemental questions. Placements will be made starting May 1st and on a rolling basis thereafter if there is space available on the floor. A waiting list will be created when there is no longer room on the floor and students.

    If you are a current or returning student, complete an application to the floor through the link above.

  • Expectations
    • First-year students participate in the same section of IDIS-290, taught by the floor mentor Kieychia Likely. Students returning to the floor as sophomores will be encouraged to take a social work or sociology class together. Further details on the courses available for 2022–23 TBD.
    • Participate in the fall weekend floor retreat (date determined by floor leadership at the start of the semester).
    • Participate in additional floor related/sponsored activities (e.g. movie discussions, book studies, on/off campus events, service-learning, group reflection).
    • Attend REGROUP (a monthly gathering to discuss current events and social justice in partnership with the Center for Counseling and Wellness).
    • Engage in developing organic community through shared meals, spending time in the floor lobby, and intentionally building relationships with fellow residents.
  • The Class

    IDIS 290-section reserved exclusively for floor residents

    Course Description:
    The Justice & Equity Learning Community is intended to deal specifically with the issue of race, racism, and reconciliation in the United States. In order to do so, the course will also include an examination of the cultural and ethnic identities of the participants and what it means for life in the Justice & Equity Learning Community. Although students living in the Justice & Equity Learning Community represent a variety of cultural backgrounds, IDIS 290 is not intended to simply be a celebration of cultures but a time to engage the difficult questions of race, racism, reconciliation and biblical justice.

    This course satisfies your Diversity and Difference core requirement.