Residence Life & Dining

Safe Return / Residence Life & Dining

Residence Life will create new expectations for our on-campus communities that are geared toward healthy and vibrant living on campus. We’ll begin this summer, with clear communication 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 will make a number of critical changes, from reducing capacities in dining locations 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)

Move-in Plans

Students living on campus will follow staggered arrival times, as communicated by the Residence Life department in late July and early August.

Students and families can use the dates in the table below to help them plan for arrival. Please note that all students who will be living on campus this fall will be assigned a specific arrival window in which they will be permitted to arrive on campus, which will help ensure that we are maximizing safety and social distancing. Further details about specific move-in times and procedures will be sent in late-July and early-August.

Students will not be permitted to sleep in the same room as a roommate until both individuals have received confirmation of a negative screening test. Accommodations will be made to ensure that every arriving student who has not yet received confirmation of a negative screening test sleeps in a private room the first night on campus (while awaiting test results).

Residents should be accompanied by only one or two family members as they move in.

As part of the move-in process (or prior), all students will:

  • Receive a COVID-19 screening test
  • Speak with a Calvin staff member about any health-related questions or concerns 
  • Confirm needed health-related supplies (masks, hand sanitizer, etc.)
  • Learn more about Calvin’s protocols for healthy living and learning

Students living off-campus will:

  • Receive a COVID-19 screening test during the week prior to classes
  • Speak with a Calvin staff member about any health-related questions or concerns
  • Confirm needed health-related supplies (masks, hand sanitizer, etc.)
  • Learn more about Calvin’s protocols for healthy living and learning, with specific advice for commuter students

General arrival dates:

(note: detailed arrival information will be communicated in late-July/early-August for on-campus residents)

First-year residence hall students coming from outside the U.S.
  • Arrival Date: Friday, August 14
  • Screening Test Date: Friday, August 14

Returning residential students coming from outside the U.S.
  • Arrival Date: Residence halls - Wednesday, August 19; Knollcrest East apartments - Wednesday, August 19
  • Screening Test Date: Wednesday, August 19

First-year residence hall students coming from within the U.S.
  • Arrival Date: Thursday morning, August 27 - (Note: students assigned to this arrival time will be permitted to arrive on Wednesday evening, August 26, if early arrival is requested); Thursday afternoon, August 27 - (students will be assigned a specific arrival window, either Wednesday evening/ Thursday morning or Thursday afternoon)
  • Screening Test Date: Thursday, August 27 - students will sign up for a screening test appointment that corresponds to their arrival window, in either the morning or afternoon

Returning residential students coming from within the U.S.
  • Arrival Date: students will be assigned a specific arrival window to stagger roommate arrivals
    • Residence halls - Friday, August 28; Saturday, August 29; Sunday, August 30
    • Knollcrest East apartments - Thursday, August 27 ; Friday, August 28; Saturday, August 29 ; Sunday, August 30
  • Screening Test Date: Students will sign up for a screening test appointment that corresponds to their arrival window
    • Residence halls - Friday, August 28; Saturday, August 29; Sunday, August 30
    • Knollcrest East apartments - Thursday, August 27 ; Friday, August 28; Saturday, August 29 ; Monday, August 31

Returning students living off-campus during the 2020-21 academic year
  • Arrival Date: N/A
  • Screening Test Date: Monday, August 24; Tuesday, August 25; Wednesday, August 26 ; Saturday, August 29; Monday, August 31

    (students will be invited to sign up for a screening test)

*Please note, the following student groups will be given specific arrival dates and instructions that may differ from the dates above:

  • Resident Assistants (RA’s)
  • Calvin student athletes
  • Orientation Leaders (OL’s) and Orientation Assistants (OA’s)
  • Other student leader groups (e.g., Worship Apprentices, CLC, etc.)

Once specific arrival windows have been communicated in late-July/early-August, students who have questions or concerns about their assigned arrival time should contact housing@calvin.edu for additional assistance.

Floor, Roommate, and Suitemate Agreements

Live-in staff and student staff will build 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 will be a priority. These specific community commitments will 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, will be 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) will have some new expectation for residents, including guidelines for cleanliness, wearing of masks, limits on number of people, etc.

Facilities Staff and Cleaning

Our Facilities staff will provide daily cleaning and disinfecting of common spaces and frequent touch-points, with the expectation that residents will 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 will provide isolation or quarantine spaces for residents who become ill with COVID-19 and are unable to travel home. This will include procedures for health checks, emotional support, meal delivery and other support services. Specific rooms in strategic locations will be left empty for these situations, and an entire residence hall scheduled for renovation has been dedicated to temporary housing in the event of displacements due to illness.


Calvin Dining Services

Calvin Dining Services will continue to make the health and safety of our students, guests, and employees our primary goal as we reopen our operations this fall. We will follow 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 will be 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 will go through additional COVID-19 specific health, safety, and sanitation training in addition to standard food safety training. They will be provided with the appropriate personal protective equipment and be required to wear face masks while on-site. Employees will be required to follow daily check-in procedures that will ensure that prescribed health standards are met at a minimum before their workday begins.

There will be a designated supervisor or manager who will be the COVID-19 Person-in-Charge for each shift and each location. This person will complete 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 will 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 will also be an informational resource to students, staff, and guests.

All locations will 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 will continue by observing physical distancing guidelines, decreasing capacity in locations, regorganizing serving stations, and removing self-service items. Directional signage will be laid down on flooring to create clear pathways for location entrance, station queue points, location flow, and location exit areas.

Checker stands will be equipped with plexiglass dividers to protect the guests and the employees. Students will be 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 installed so students will 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 returns, 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 will continue by observing physical distancing guidelines and, decreasing capacity in locations. We will be changing disposables and packaging to ensure that prepared food remains free from cross-contamination. Condiments will be provided to guests instead of guests serving themselves. An increased variety of grab-and-go items and mobile ordering will be added to decrease guests congregating while waiting for orders.

When common dining spaces are reopened on the lower level of the Common’s Building and the Hekman Library, tables and chairs will be removed or shifted to account for physical distancing.

Catering

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 will be utilized to provide adequate social distancing. A new catering menu will be published with 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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