What We Wish We Knew

Welcome back to the Orientation Blog! Today, we are talking about what we wish we knew before coming to college. We hope these reflections can serve you as you navigate this transition to Hope! Here’s what we wish we knew:

Grace Purdue:

I wish I knew that a meaningful life takes time to build. I moved into college with the mentality that everything would perfectly fall into place the minute I arrived. Instant deep friendships, instant academic success, and instant community were all things I fully expected. Days, weeks, even a few months passed and I found myself with an empty heart. My high expectations kept me from focusing on building up connections; pushing me instead to be constantly disappointed with who I was with and where I was. 

It wasn’t until a Wednesday in my FYS that I found a turning point. My professor brought in a student who had taken the same FYS in past years, and she talked candidly about how she felt her freshman year. She told a story that matched up exactly with how I felt. “Good things are coming. You have potential. Finding a life that is meaningful to you takes time,” she said. That night, I looked around at my community, at my classmates, and at my beautiful, albeit confusing, life, and was able to appreciate right where I was at. So, before college, I wish I knew to be patient with my dreams. Hope College is here to welcome you and help you prosper, but establishing it as your home might take time, and that’s okay. It will be worth the wait!

I wish I knew to be patient with my dreams.

Grace Gadwood:

As we move through life, there are so many things we go through and then reflect on how they changed who we are and our beliefs. For me, moving to college was one of those major moments in life. I grew up going to a K-12 school, with a very small class, and my entire family was involved in the school system in some way. Within my first few months at Hope, I slowly realized some things that I was beginning to reflect on. Coming from my small school and town I grew up in my whole life, I wish I would have been more prepared for the difference in the amount of people and different ways I would connect with them. My small bubble I had grown up in had nothing on the completely wonderfully, well-rounded individuals I would encounter upon arriving and getting settled at Hope. In conjunction with this, I wish I would have known how to create and maintain relationships with people better than I thought I knew. With a small environment came being friends with who was around and not having a huge choice in who to have relationships with or how to keep those healthy. I became quickly overwhelmed at Hope while trying to make friends and figure out how to manage who I wanted to be in those relationships. However, 3 years later, I am here to tell you that the point of having that reflection time in our lives is to see how far we have come. Being able to see how much my eyes and heart have been opened since my time at Hope College is the most remarkable thing. One day, you will be able to look back on what you wish you would have known, too, and see that not knowing helped you to grow and prosper in a way that would not have happened if you knew. 

I am here to tell you that the point of having that reflection time in our lives is to see how far we have come.

Thanks for joining us today! Follow us on Instagram @hopeorientation and keep checking your email for more important updates!

FAQ Friday Re-Cap 6/18

Welcome back to the Orientation blog! This FAQ Friday was all about registration and classes. Make sure to fill out the Registration form by June 23! Information can be found in the Tuesday Tidings emails.

What is on the registration form?

The registration form will ask you a bunch of questions about your interests and what you might be thinking about majoring in. The Registrar’s office will then take that information and curate a schedule for you! It takes the pressure off of figuring out your first semester of classes. 

When do you register for your first semester classes?

It’s all done through the Registration form. The form is due June 23rd!

What if I don’t know what I want to major in or I have multiple interests?

No worries! Indicate as many interests as you can, but otherwise there is an option for undecided. The schedule that the Registrar creates will have a variety classes in it so that you can try a bunch of different things!

How does registration work after the first semester?

Your first academic advisor will be the professor of your First Year Seminar (FYS). They will meet with you before registration for the following semester to talk about how the current semester is going and what classes you want to take in the future, and even help you declare a major! After you declare a major, you will be assigned an advisor within the department of your major. 

What is FYS?

FYS stands for First Year Seminar and is a topic based class that focuses on how to be a student at Hope College. Other schools sometimes have a “College 101” type course, but FYS is a little bit more specific and caters to your interests. You are able to rank your ten favorite FYS topics on the registration form. More information about FYS can be found here!

How do I order textbooks for the fall?

The bookstore will email you this summer when the ordering process for fall textbooks will begin! They have a great online resource that compares prices of other textbook websites so that you know you are getting the best deal. There are other resources for textbooks that exist, but we think the safest option is to order from the bookstore because they have all of the information about what author and edition each class needs! Textbooks will be ready to be picked up during Orientation weekend before classes begin on August 31st.

How do I build relationships with my professors?

Go to office hours! Most professors have office hours: a time when their students can stop in to ask questions and chat. All faculty and staff at Hope are so interested in getting to know students so we highly recommend getting to know them too!

MISCELLANEOUS QUESTIONS:

Is it possible to do research as a student at Hope?

Yes! There are so many possibilities for undergraduate research at Hope. If you find something you are interested in during your first year or a professor you enjoy, talk to them about research opportunities!

Thanks for joining us for this FAQ Friday Re-Cap. Feel free to reach out to us via email (orientation@hope.edu) and follow us on Instagram (@hopeorientation)! See you soon!

Why Orientation Matters To Us

Today on the Orientation blog, we are getting to know our New Student Orientation Directors. Here is a little bit about why they are so excited to work for Orientation:

Grace Purdue: What is my why? Why does Orientation matter to me?

Imagine your hometown as one side of a canyon. On the other side of the canyon is Hope College. When I arrived in August of 2018, there seemingly was nothing that could stop me from jumping and flying to the other side of the canyon. I was so excited about this new experience of college. My daydream of instant friends and flourishing success was about to be realized. I really believed that I knew everything there was to know about college. For months, I had done my research, gathering information about what to pack, who to know, and how to fit in. I could see the other side of the valley and it was within my reach.

After that first day of moving into my little dorm room, meeting new people, and exploring campus, I fell into my Twin XL bed to go to sleep. That is when it hit me. I was away from home and everything I had known as constant and easy. I was about to embark on an adventure, a long and scary one. It felt like I was in the middle of the canyon with no ladder to get out.

The next day, my Orientation experience felt distinctly different. I no longer felt on top of the world. As the second day of Orientation progressed, the feelings of caution and curiosity intensified. I remember looking around at the opening session of Orientation, hearing the speaker say, “the people sitting next to you are in the same spot. Don’t forget that you’re all in the same boat.” Those words gave me the courage to see that I could take a risk, believe in myself, and go freely into this new experience. From that moment forward, I have remembered Orientation as a pivot in my mindset; a time and place where the hard transition from old to new was smoothed over. Holding the hands of my fellow classmates lifted me out of the canyon and onto the other side.

I have remembered Orientation as a pivot in my mindset; a time and place where the hard transition from old to new was smoothed over.

This brings me to my why. Why do I want to work for Orientation? Because moving away from home, moving on from high school, and moving towards the future sometimes feels like an impossible jump, but Orientation was the bridge that got me over the great crevasse. 

Grace Gadwood: Sitting down to reflect upon why Orientation matters to me brings so many emotions and feelings to the surface. It takes me back to when I was an incoming student going through Orientation weekend and feeling nervous but so excited for what was to come. I can very vividly remember the nerves and the way my stomach seemed to be lurching out of my body as we got ready to pull up to Dykstra Hall and unload all of my belongings. Everything I had dreamt of and thought about since I made my decision to attend Hope was coming to the ultimate climax as I stepped my first foot on campus as an actual student. 

I was so unsure of how I was going to feel when I plunged head first into Hope College on move-in day. That is most likely where the majority of my nerves and anxieties came that day. Was I going to be emotional? Was I going to be more homesick than I could have ever thought? Was I going to immediately thrive? But, once I got out of the car, I was immediately greeted with bright orange shirts and bright white smiles, and that is the moment the nerves subsided. The smiling faces and welcoming arms (quite literally) of the Orientation Assistants, offering their names and to move my things to my room for me, helped encourage me that I belonged here. I, along with my family, immediately felt welcomed. Our concerns and worries, while valid, were not going to stick around for a while. The encouragement that I felt that day by all of those people helping me every step of the way is a feeling I will never forget. It is honestly a feeling I still feel to this day when I look around Hope College and the people supporting my journey. 

The encouragement that I felt that day by all of those people helping me every step of the way is a feeling I will never forget.

All of this being said, my “why” of Orientation is to create and foster that exact feeling in you all. To be that welcoming face and open arms to the incoming students of Hope College. I want those potentially overwhelming feelings of nervousness, anxiety, and fear to seem so much smaller from the second you step out of your car on move-in day. I want you to feel welcome and present and, most importantly, home. 

Welcome to the Blog! +FAQ Friday Re-Cap 6/11

Allow us to be among the first of many to welcome you to Hope College and to the Orientation blog! We are excited that you have made the transformational decision to join the Hope community. Our lives have changed because of the academic programs, spiritual and leadership growth opportunities, and meaningful relationships that Hope offers, and we know that you will flourish here too! This is a big and exciting transition and we are eager to support and equip you for the start of a great Hope experience. 

We also want to extend a welcome to the families of our new students as you all begin this journey together! Orientation will provide you with information and experiences so you are ready to have a student at Hope.

How to stay connected with us:

The majority of our communication will be through three online platforms: this blog, @hopeorientation, and the Orientation website. Schedules, instructions for how to RSVP for Orientation, and move-in details will be available on these platforms in the coming months. Finally, students should be sure to regularly check their Hope student email as that is a landing spot for important information.

On this blog, you will find stories and advice from current students and staff about their college experience to help you become familiar with the Hope community and culture. In particular, keep a look-out each Wednesday for installments of our “Anchored in Hope” blog series with these stories.

FAQ Friday Re-Cap 6/11

How is the food on campus?

There are two options for a large dining hall experience: Phelps Dining Hall and Cook Dining Hall. Both serve a variety of options for all tastes and diet accommodations. Menus and hours are also provided on their website to make deciding what to eat easy! Every meal plan also comes with dining dollars which can be used at the Kletz Market and Cup and Chaucer for an on-the-go dining experience. We highly recommend checking out the Dining Services website for more information!

Update on Covid-19 Safeguards?

Currently, students are allowed to be on campus without a mask if they are fully vaccinated (“fully vaccinated” is defined as at least two weeks have passed after receiving the final dose of an FDA-approved or authorized Covid-19 vaccine). As always, the pandemic is a dynamic situation that continues to require flexibility with plans and safeguards.

What is living in a dorm like?

There are multiple dorms that offer a variety of living styles, with the majority of them being in the format of two roommates to a room with a community bathroom. Each dorm also has a full kitchen, lounge area, and laundry access. For more information, check out the Residential Life website!

What’s the change in academic rigor from high school to college?

The biggest transition between high school and college is balancing what to spend time on. In high school, you likely spent most of your time in class and less time on outside homework. In college, this balance will be flipped. Learning is more independent! You will have the chance to take your education into your own hands. Balancing the academic and social part of your life will be essential, but we are here for you every step of the way!

How do you get involved on campus?

One part of our scheduled Orientation programming is the Activities Fair! This is a time when all of the clubs and student organizations on campus get together for students to learn about how to get involved. It is a great time to explore the many options for building friendships on campus.

What other activities are available near campus?

Most students stay on campus over the weekends, exploring the many options for adventures near campus. First, Hope sits a block away from downtown Holland, with tons of shops and restaurants to experience. Within driving distance are many great beaches to enjoy during the warmer months but also during the winter for beautiful sunsets. Other options include lots of outdoor focused activities like hiking or rock climbing. Finally, Grand Rapids is just a 35 minute drive and offers even more fun opportunities. Also, SAC (Student Activities Committee) plans regular events for students to get involved with on the weekends.

What if I don’t have a car on campus?

No worries! Asking around for rides is normal and a great way to make friends. One resource that is provided is a Meijer shuttle that operates one evening a week, for any student needing a ride for groceries etc.

What are our favorite study spots on campus?

The Bultman Student Center is a popular choice for a more social study atmosphere. The library offers great options for single study rooms but also lots of group study areas. Finally, the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career supplies a lot of study space for students! Off campus, there are lots of coffee shops that all have different atmospheres and study areas.

What are some of the traditions on campus?

Hope College is known for it’s traditions, so here are some links to the ones we discussed:

The Pull

Nykerk Cup Competition

Dance Marathon

That’s all we’ve got for you this week!  If there is anything we can do to be more helpful or accommodating to your individual needs, please let us know. We can be reached by email at orientation@hope.edu. We, along with the entire Orientation 2021 team, look forward to sharing our stories with you over the upcoming months!

FAQ Friday Re-Cap 8/7

It’s our FINAL FAQ Friday!! We are so excited to welcome you to campus this upcoming week, and you can read below to find more information about textbooks, laundry, and more!

Academics

If we have a completely online class, how will we access work and lessons? You can access your class lectures and lessons on your Hope Moodle account using your Hope email credentials!

How early should we get to class? 5-10 minutes early! Or right on time! Whatever feels most comfortable for you.

Textbooks

When is the latest I can buy textbooks? Is when I arrive on campus too late? You can buy textbooks whenever! Ordering your textbooks earlier makes life easy because the Hope bookstore will still have things in stock, but you can still buy textbooks after arriving on campus.

Some textbooks I need to buy are out of stock and not available. What should I do? You do not need to buy textbooks directly from Hope’s bookstore. You can find your textbooks on Amazon, AbeBooks, ThriftBooks, or any other third-party seller. You can also join Hope College Garage Sale on Facebook; some students will sell their old textbooks there!

Campus Life

Do I need a membership to work out at the Dow? Nope, you just scan your ID card at the front desk whenever you want to workout or go inside. However, the Dow is currently closed and will not reopen until we get the go-ahead from the governor. 

Is the gym open? Unfortunately, no.

How do we sign up for Greek life? Greek rush takes place in the spring semester, so look out for more information about that later in the semester!

Will I need to wear a mask once I’m sitting at my desk at class? Yes, you will need to wear your mask at all times while in class, in academic buildings, and on congested sidewalks.

How are college visits working? Admissions is offering virtual tours, but overnight visits will not be happening due to the pandemic. For more information, you can contact admissions@hope.edu or visit their website here

Can friends or family from home visit us on campus? Yes, they can visit campus or visit Holland, but they should not be inside your living space to prevent any COVID exposures. This is also to be mindful of the health of your living cohort. If you do end up having visitors in your living space, it is incredibly important that everyone is wearing a face covering and sanitizing after themselves.

Residential Life

What do we need to loft our beds? What do we have to bring from home or pick up there? Everything you need to loft your bed will be provided by your residence hall/cottage/apartment. Please keep in mind that in some residence halls with lower ceilings, such as Dykstra, you are not permitted to loft your bed (but you can bunk). 

How do you pay for laundry? All of the laundry machines on campus are bluetooth, and you can pay for your laundry through an app called PayRange. You load money onto your account, and when you want to use the machines, you connect to the app and pay for your load. 

Move-In

Are we getting assistance carrying things while moving in? No, there will not be assistance provided during move-in, but OAs will be stationed at each residence hall to hold doors for you and help direct you around the building/campus. However, you can bring as many people as you would like to help you move in as long as everyone is wearing a face covering.

Are you ready for staggered move-in?

Staggered move-in is right around the corner, and we want to help make sure that you and your families feel empowered and confident to take hold of your Hope College experience as soon as you step on campus. Here are some things that will be important resources for you during your move-in experience.

1. As soon as you arrive on campus, students, please check-in at your designated Res Life tent.

There, you will receive your ID, a special edition Orientation t-shirt, your Orientation welcome bag, and a map of your residence hall with marked entrances and exits. We ask that only students come to the tent, if possible, to reduce possible points of physical contact. Below, we have included a map of our campus with the Res Life tents marked so you know where to go!

Move in map
Map of important locations on campus!

2. Once you check-in, head to your residence hall, apartment, or cottage…

…and unload your belongings into your room using the proper entrances and exits. You must wear a mask at all times! And, there is no limit on the amount of people that can help you move-in.

Our orientation staff will be there to hold doors for you, sanitize common areas, and answer all your questions! They can also help to give you directions to all our different tent stations around campus.

3. After you unload your car from the unloading zone, please move your car to one of the nearby parking lots.

If you need some directions, ask anyone in an orange Hope shirt! Campus Safety will be around to help direct you as well.

4. Have fun putting together your room!

Loft your bed! Put up some decorations! Set up your fridge, TV, etc. Make your room yours because it will be your home for the next year! Think about how to make the space functional for you and your roommate.

Pro Tip: Talk to your roommate before move-in about how you want to set up your living space.

5. And, before your move-in slot is over…

… come visit us at the Orientation Station! We will be located in the Pine Grove and available to help answer any and all questions you have! Here, we will also have a Family Table where you can interact with staff from our Family Engagement office (and family members, you can drop off your letters here!).

And one more checklist for you:

  1. Take pictures at our photo-op stations around campus! Orientation staff will be around those stations to help take as many family pictures as you would like. They will be in the Pine Grove, the Anchor, the Hope Arch, and outside of Dimnent Chapel. Here is a quick example!
  2. Check out our bookstore products! You can pick up your pre-ordered textbooks at the bookstore or some of the pods around campus, grab some Hope merch, and get any last-minute school supplies you may need. You can even get a Hope mask!
  3. Eat your first meal in the dining hall. Students, you will be able to eat in Phelps starting as soon as you move-in!
  4. However, if you want to eat a meal with your family, explore the restaurants downtown! Holland has so many great and local, Michigan-owned eateries within walking distance from campus. We encourage you to check out the coffee shops, pizza places, and even our new zero-waste market!
  5. And finally, say goodbye to your loved ones. We know this has not been an easy period for students and families alike. Take the time you need to say goodbye and encourage one another to keep positive attitudes through it all. Mindset Matters!

Our best advice for you all with the move-in process is to savor every moment, take lots of pictures (trust me, you will want them later) ask for help when you need it, and remember, this is time is meant to be yours. Make the best of it and truly make it your own.

We can’t wait to FINALLY meet you! We honestly cannot wait!

Faculty Interview: Dr. Kevin Kambo

Dr. Kevin Kambo

One of the best parts of your student experience at Hope College will be the faculty-student relationships you create with your professors. Both Cam and Adriana have interviewed one professor who has guided and shaped their time at Hope. Hear from Cam’s professor, Dr. Kevin Kambo, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, about what makes Hope College and Hope’s mission special.

What makes Hope unique to you?

I suppose it would be too easy to say the brutal winter?  … Academically, Hope is more eclectic than any other institution I have been at.  This presents unique opportunities and challenges.  On the one hand, faculty have remarkable freedom to teach what they want, hence my GenEd course on the virtue of mercy and my philosophy courses on Platonism (fall) and Tragedy (spring); on the other hand, it’s difficult to know what background people have—a criminally high number of students haven’t even read Narnia. (Also scandalous: President Scogin is not a fan of Lord of the Rings.)  That said, the freedom really is impressive: a couple of my courses were suggested by students interested in the topics, which is a fun sort of collaboration.

Why is a liberal arts education important?

This could be a whole lecture.  Put briefly, it has little to do with ‘critical thinking’.  As I like to point out, Satan (the Accuser) in the Book of Job, the sophists of ancient Athens and Iago in Othello are all critical thinkers—and all portraits of illiberal, i.e., enslaved, souls.  To channel Lin-Manuel Miranda’s George Washington, critical thinking is easy; wisdom is harder.

A useful image is the Platonic distinction between apprenticeship and discipleship.  Liberal education is not amassing a bunch of facts and skills in your utility belt like Batman; it’s about learning how to orient your soul, how to submit it to what makes you free.  As such, it is a spiritual discipline that never ends and cannot be captured in a certification.  Done right, it turns us into disciples, i.e., followers, of truth, goodness and beauty in a world filled with so many temptations to falsehood, evil and ugliness.  Such devotion is learning how to seek the intellectual pearl of great price and, as Mad-Eye Moody knows, it requires constant vigilance.  You do not ‘acquire’ it; you are initiated into it and exercise it in order to persevere in it.

What is your favorite way to connect with students? 

Dear me, this sounds like something right out of a lonely-hearts column.  Like any red-blooded professor, I connect over preferring the Odyssey to the Iliad, candle-lit readings of Plato’s Phaedrus and walks on the beach contemplating Augustine’s Trinitarian theology.

“Knights of the Broken Table” Book Club

More seriously, I simply like getting to know my students, what they are interested in, what’s going on in their souls.  Back in pre-Covid days, I tried to have a pretty intentional open-door policy and liked it when students dropped in just to say hello.  I also often have office hours at LJ’s as a way to make things a little less stiff.  And I participate in a couple of book clubs with students; these are less formal than class and easily more fun—in part because reading is apparently optional.  Finally, I was talked into becoming the faculty advisor of the Spike Ball Club.  Spica in Deo.

What are you most looking forward to in the 2020-2021 school year?

From outer-space: the sheer madness of everything.  Covid, the protests, and the election make for a potent cocktail of potential chaos.  But, I’m a Platonist, and for us there is something heroic about bringing order to the cosmos, and this will be a year for us at Hope to prove ourselves, as persons and as a community.

At ground-level: being in class again, in the flesh.  The Great Covid Divorce we’ve endured since mid-March has been awful; I’m excited for us to be together again, even with all the attendant awkwardness.

Faculty Interview: Dr. Kathy Winnett-Murray

Dr. Kathy Winnett-Murray

One of the best parts of your student experience at Hope College will be the faculty-student relationships you create with your professors. Both Cam and Adriana have interviewed one professor who has guided and shaped their time at Hope. Hear from Adriana’s professor, Dr. Kathy Winnett-Murray, Professor of Biology, about what makes Hope College such a special place.

What makes Hope unique to you?

Well, that the emphasis on experiential learning is not just “lip service,” it’s real.  If you want to get involved in an experiential way academically, there is no shortage of opportunities.  I wish more students would do their “extracurricular” stuff in the context of their academics (yes, things like student research, but lots of other possibilities too), because in the long run, that’s what’s going to pay off the most when you go looking for a job.  The strong community atmosphere in a very thriving larger community setting in West Michigan also makes Hope stand out.  For a person raising her family here, if you want to be involved in the community, there is no shortage of opportunities to do so.

I’d also like to mention something most people wouldn’t think about – the Hope College Nature Preserve is exceptionally unique…..on the entire planet.  It is a chunk of forest just inland from the largest freshwater dune system on the entire planet.  The forest there is unlike any other, and it is as pristine as any place you will ever find in the Midwest; four seasons of beautiful things to learn about! Most liberal arts colleges (and even big universities) don’t have anything this gorgeous to brag about, but even if they do have a natural area, it is usually quite developed and may have high human traffic.  Ours is peaceful and serene.  Let me know if you would like to visit sometime. 

Why is a liberal arts education important? 

First and foremost, because it’s how you come to know the human condition, and not just the one that you were raised in.  If I were queen of the planet, I would require everyone to live a year in a different country (or in a really different part of our own country), something I consider part of any complete liberal arts education.  Doing so changed my own outlook on my place in the world, and how others see the actions of the country I live in.  It was without doubt the best part of my own liberal education.  There are practical reasons such as the changing job market – nothing can substitute for the flexibility that being broadly educated will give you. 

But on top of all of this, liberal arts trains you to learn how to learn in very different ways – different forms of inquiry, expression, and not all of them will be at your best comfort level.  Just like the real world – whatever your career is- it isn’t going to always be your best comfort level.  You always need to adapt and be open and eager to learning how to do things differently.  The liberal arts will demand this of you. 

If you insist on just doing stuff the old way, for example always picking things that were comfortable for you that you know you can get good grades in, then you’ll have a much tougher time than if you recognize that you will need to intentionally adapt your strategies for learning to serve you well. Being the best you can be (not just the same old of what you used to be) requires adaptation and adaptation is a very active thing; it’s not passive – it doesn’t “just happen.”  Your success later on is not dependent on whether you can remember a particular reaction in the Kreb’s cycle but whether you can actively adapt your learning strategies for the task at hand.   

How has Hope allowed you to connect more with students?

In many, many ways both in and out of the classroom. Some of my most memorable experiences connecting with students have been on “trips” such as May Terms where we live, eat, breathe, and learn together 24/7.  More than anything, I love teaching outside, and so being able to work with students on extended field trips and/or May Terms lets me do that in a big way. 

2019 Ecology of Northern Tanzania and the Serengeti May Term
Pictured wearing traditional attire of the Iraqw Tribe

Many of my courses over the years have included camping trips, weekend getaways at field stations, and field labs instead of indoor labs.  I have also been encouraged to create field-based courses, both for science majors and for other majors (e.g. GEMS courses).  GEMS 204 (Regional Flora and Fauna) is one of my favorite courses to teach because it is all field trips with my students to local places where we are learning about the creatures we share the “neighborhood” with — it’s been a great course to learn about what neighborhoods my students have come from, and to hear about  their trials and tribulations as they integrate with the Hope community during their first semester here.

What are you most looking forward to in the 2020-2021 school year? 

Actually, I’m on sabbatical leave during the 2020-2021 school year and so I will be very much missing teaching this next year.  In fact, I’ve been thinking alot about how the pandemic response and the new ways of teaching would have been really good and exciting for ME to be forced into adapting this next year, and I will be mostly missing out on that!  However, I am eager to do lots of writing (to write up projects my students and I have been working on the last few years for publication in scientific journals), and I am working to develop educational activities for the city and campus tree project that dovetail with the tree app we’ve been developing with the computer science department.

This involves collaborating with a former student who is now director of a local nature center. I will be continuing research on hemlock woolly adelgids in the Hope College Nature Preserve, and some other forest-related projects. I am additionally collaborating with a former student who is studying the germination success of seeds that have been ingested by wolves.  

FAQ Friday Recap 7/31

Did you miss FAQ Friday last week? No worries! We have our answers to your questions here!

Campus Life

Will the weight room be open? Until the governor allows fitness centers to be open, the Dow and DeVos are not allowed to be open. We do not know when that will be, but as soon as it’s allowed, the Dow will have policies and protocols in place to allow the facilities to be open. Likely phased in. 

What will dining be like with social distancing? It will be different. They have to follow the restaurant limits and guidelines set forth by the state and the CDC. There will be no self-service stations. You will have to wear a mask standing in line outside the dining hall and inside the dining hall. Depending on capacity limits, you may get to eat your meals outside! More information directly from the dining hall staff is in the Navigating your Wellness video from July 7.

Will they have the Meijer shuttle this year? Yes! We are not sure which day it will run, but it will be available to you!

Financial Aid 

Are we going to get any more info about the financial side of Hope? You can check out the business services website or email business services with your specific questions! They are super helpful! They can help you find a payment plan that works for you and your family to help you be a successful student.

Academics

Are we going to be able to study in other spots that are not our dorms?Yes, you can always study outside in the Pine Grove or at any of the picnic tables around campus (though if you use them, you will be expected to clean them before and after!). There will also be limited seating in the common spaces for students to use when they study (remember to clean up after!). You can also go to the coffee shops around campus or off-campus to study as well!. My favorite study spots include the rocking chairs outside of campus ministries and LJs!

Will we have to wear masks in class? Yes, you will be required to wear masks in any areas where you will be with people outside of your living cohort. This includes classrooms, campus buildings, and any hallways or walkways where you will pass people shoulder to shoulder.

Where can we get textbooks that are cheaper? Hope bookstore has a really great price comparison website that you can use. They compare prices at the bookstore and other third party sites. Also, check Amazon! Be sure to pre-order your books before the school year starts for a safe, socially-distanced delivery

Residential Living 

Will we need special tools/materials to raise our bed? Sometimes! It is helpful to bring a rubber mallet, a level, and a strong person to help loft your bed. It is not always necessary to use these, but sometimes beds can be finicky. And, just some inside info, you cannot loft your beds in certain residence halls. For instance, in Dykstra, you cannot loft your bed, however you can bunk the beds.  

Can you loft your bed in Phelps? Yes!

Do we have physical keys to get into our dorm rooms? Depends on the residence hall! Dykstra, Wyckoff, Scott, and Lichty are a few examples of residence halls with keys. Phelps has a swipe card (like a hotel). Kollen has a keypad!

Assessing Academic Resources Recording 7/28

Thank you for those who joined in the livestream on Tuesday evening to learn more about accessing academic resources. If you were unable to join, check out the video below to catch up on what you missed.

Hear from the Academic Success Center about tutoring opportunities and peer partnership learning and Disability and Accessibility Resources about how they can help you make sure you have the accommodations you need to be a successful student. You can also hear from the Klooster Center for Excellence in Writing for ways to get connected with an editor and how they can help you brainstorm ideas for papers and from a librarian who will talk about the resources in the library and your faculty librarian.

Join us next Tuesday and Thursday for our last two livestream sessions before Orientation begins!

Building a Greater Hope Community – Tuesday, August 4 at 7 pm EDTBuilding a Greater Hope Community. Through this virtual gathering you will hear from President Scogin, Vanessa Greene, our Director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, and two rising seniors: Sylvia Rodriguez and Taylor Calloway. As always, please bring your questions.

Last Minute Introductions and Q&A – Thursday, August 6 at 7 pm EDT Before you arrive on campus, there are a few more people we want you to meet! Please join us on Thursday, August 6 at 7 pm to meet our Dean of Students, Student Congress President, and Orientation Directors. They will provide important reminders and answers for all of your lingering questions.