Live Where You Learn

By Kristyn Bochniak, Associate Dean for Residential Life and Education

Picture it: You are a high school graduate ready to make “the big move” to become a college student with a college life, on a college campus, in college housing. You are ready to start a new chapter where independence and learning are your new way of life. You are ready! And you know what? We are ready for you, too!

Living in the same campus environment where you learn makes your Hope education as complete as it can be.

Living on Hope’s beautiful, 150-acre campus is an integral part of every Hope student’s experience. When you live in any one of our 11 residence halls, 13 apartment buildings, or 75 cottages, you are residing in the same campus environment in which you learn, making your Hope education as complete as it can be. You will be immersed in a social AND intellectual community, one that is both friendly and challenging. And that’s the point: a Hope education is a holistic education that includes residential life.

Imagine beyond your first year

Example of Vorhees Hall room
Large windows and abundant natural lighting are a bonus in many of our residence halls.

Imagine your life at Hope long-term, not just one term! We encourage our students think beyond a first-year mindset and have a four-year perspective when it comes to housing because what makes living on campus at Hope so unique is your living experiences grow as you grow.

As you make connections and build relationships in residence halls during freshmen and sophomore years, you’ll be meeting people with whom you’ll want to share cottages and apartments with as juniors and seniors. Usually by third or fourth year, you’ll be ready for a more independent environment yet you’ll still receive support from residential life, maintenance, and campus safety staff who are all committed to making your housing experience enjoyable.

Unique options for all

Kitchen in a Hope College cottage.
Example of a Hope cottage kitchen.
Dining room inside a Hope College cottage.
Dining room inside a cottage at Hope.

At Hope, our college-owned cottages and apartments are distinctive and varied. Some are larger. Some are smaller. Some apartments are downtown above local shops. Some cottages are historic homes. Some are themed for students who speak Spanish or French; for students involved in Campus Ministries or International Education; for Greek life; and, for students who participate in Emmaus Scholars, Phelps Scholars and Day1.

As for residence halls, some rooms are doubles, some are triples, and some are suites. Most halls have a community kitchen, computer labs and a common living area.

Whatever space you live in though, it is yours to personalize and call home. Our Hope RAs (resident assistants) are also there to give 24/7 care and support because they are Hope students, too, living right where you live. They’re there to ensure all our residents feel safe, included and respected in their campus home.

Steps ahead

Phelps Hall room at Hope CollegeDeposit-paid incoming freshman will receive housing information in late May.  Roommate requests can be accommodated, but it’s usually not necessary to request a roommate. Our team works diligently  with great care and attention to hand-match roommates from the information they provide on housing questionnaire cards. There is no random placement.

A Hope education is a holistic education and that most certainly includes residential life.

Still have questions? We have answers and are glad to help. Please ask us at housing@hope.edu. We want to make your move to Home Sweet Hope an enjoyable and memorable one.

#ThrowWhatYouKnow (Everything You Want to Know About Greek Life and More)

 

To rush or not to rush?

A brilliant question that inevitably crosses the mind of many soon-to-be-freshman. And with great reason. It’s a big decision!

Greek Life, no matter where you are in the country, comes with its own unique set of myths, stereotypes, and hesitations. I’m sure you know someone whose Instagram caption is forever “#throwwhatyouknow”. Annnnd then I’m sure you know someone else who always insisting that Greeks “buy their friends”.

I’m not here to sway you one way or another, I’m here to share with you my experience and give our future freshman a view into the process.

TERMS

First of all, let’s start by breaking down some very important terms. If we are going to have an open conversation about Greek Life, then it’s vital you know what it all means! And quite frankly, Greek Life is a language all of its own so I’m sure you’ll find having some clear definitions will be very helpful. (Enter cheesy dad joke something along the lines of “it’s all Greek to me”)

  • Organization – A broad term to describe any fraternity or sorority
  • Actives – Current members of an organization
  • Rush – The process one goes through to join an organization (participants are known as rushees)
  • Open Event – a rush event that anyone can attend
  • Closed Event – a rush event that one must be invited to
  • Bid – What one will receive when an organization is interested in taking a rushee
  • G.O. – This stands for Greek Orientation. This is a Hope College exclusive term. It refers to the 3-week orientation process all new actives go through after choosing an organization
  • Pledge Class – The actives who rushed the same year as oneself
  • Philanthropy – This is the non-profit cause that each organization supports throughout the year via fundraisers and activities
  • “Finding Your Home” – This is a colloquial saying conveying the message that there is a perfect place for every rushee

 

HOPE COLLEGE STATISTICS AND BACKGROUND

Now that you have all of the terms under your belt, we can move into more specifics!

Hope College has 7 sororities and 8 fraternities. About 20% of the Hope College student body participates in Greek Life. Most of Hope’s organizations are local with the exception of one fraternity (Phi Sigma Kappa) that is national. The difference between local and national organizations are laws that each must follow and the dues that must be paid. Contrary to many schools, Hope students rush second-semester allowing room for the incoming freshman to informally meet people in every organization without any pressure to make decisions. Additionally, rush is about 2 and a half weeks long giving rushees plenty of time to actually know the actives. There are currently 704 active members of Hope’s Greek Life and it’s always growing with room for you to find your home!

RUSH

Just to be clear, rush is very different for guys and girls. I will explain each, but I’m sorry guys, I just don’t have the same expertise and experience rushing frats. I’ll do my best, but maybe someday one of you can come and tell me more about it.

GUYS

Guys rush is rather informal. Events will consist of pizza, pool, laser tag, dodgeball and all of sorts of ‘manly’ activities. All events are open until the very last event which is closed and readily known as an informal. If you are invited to an informal, you will ask a date to attend the event with you. An informal invitation is usually followed by a bid, but you do not need to be invited to an informal to receive a bid.

GIRLS

Girls rush is a little more structured than guys rush. There will typically be an open event followed by a closed event. This pattern will repeat about four times over two weeks. The events will range from lip sync battles to bowling to dodgeball (yes apparently, dodgeball is loved by guys and girls alike). The rush season is closed with preference in which the rushees write down their top 3 preferences for an organization. Bids are handed out that night by representatives of the sorority.

MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

So now that you’ve heard basically every fact you need to understand Hope’s Greek system, I’ll give you a real student’s experience and perspective of Greek Life. First of all, I’m a Del Phi (aka a Delta Phi) and I couldn’t ask for anything more! I absolutely adore it and I’m incredibly thankful for the people I’ve met through Hope’s Greek Life – it’s brought some of my best friends into my life!

That being said, I didn’t always think I was going to rush. In fact, as I came into college, I was rather against the idea. I didn’t want a huge sorority house experience in which I only talked to Greek Life people and that’s it. I wanted to make sure I had friends in lots of areas and I had the freedom to explore whatever I felt called to.

After stepping onto campus, I quickly discovered that Hope’s Greek system is not at all an exclusive group. At Hope, everyone in Greek Life is highly involved on campus with loads of other interests, clubs, sports, and activities. And that really caught my eye. I quickly made friends who were in Greek Life without even realizing it. This was the first time I experienced one of the things I still so highly respect about Hope’s Greek Life: it’s not a bubble.

Greek Life students have friends all over campus. In fact, students all over campus have friends all over campus. I think this is more of a Hope-culture-thing than a Greek-Life-culture-thing, but it’s so pervasive that you can experience throughout every organization – Greek or not. I fell in love with this aspect of Hope’s Greek Life and soon after I decided to rush. I quickly decided to go Del Phi and it was one of the easiest decisions I ever made! I FOUND MY HOME AND I HOPE YOU DO TOO!

Once you’re all done with rush and G.O. then you are ~activated~ and that is when some seriously fun stuff starts! We do all sorts of great events and fundraisers! Some of my personal faves are…

Dance Marathon (a 24-hour dance party fundraiser for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital)

Canoe (a canoeing day trip you take with all your sistaaas… or brothers)

Pink Day (a bake sale that the Del Phi’s put on to fundraise for breast cancer research, our philanthropy)

And, of course, there so many fun reasons to get all dressed up like FORMAL!!

FUN FACTS

I’ll leave you with a couple of fun facts that help paint an even broader, fuller picture. I hope this blog helped you clarify your thoughts on Hope Greek Life and maybe even settle some nerves about rushing!

  • A majority Hope College Greek Organizations aren’t referred to by their letters. Some common names you’ll hear are Dorians, Cosmos, Emersonians, and many more.
  • Every Hope College Greek Organization has an elected position that organizes bible studies and prayer requests, known as the Chaplin.
  • Not everyone in an organization lives in the organization’s house (or cottage as we call them). Each Greek cottage holds about 10 people.
  • Here is the website if you’re interested in learning more! https://hope.edu/offices/student-life/greek-life/

A Message of Encouragement: A Senior Witness from a Friend

Everyone has a story. But it is usually not the one that they are telling.

These words were spoken by a good friend, in chapel this past Wednesday.

It was something that I needed to hear. Something the people of Hope College probably needed to hear too.

I’m a junior at Hope. And I by no means have things figured out. But I’m starting to realize that my friend was right. We usually aren’t telling the story we’re living. But why…?

Most often, there is one thing that holds us back from who we’re made to be. I tend to think that thing is fear.

Fear.

Fear of not fitting in.

Fear of being vulnerable.

Fear of not having a good story to tell.

These are all legit fears.

But let me tell you what else my friend told us at chapel on Wednesday…

“God didn’t create you to be like somebody else. He created you uniquely in his image.”  

The point here is not if you believe in God or not. The point is that you are unique. You have gifts, talents, humor, and so much more. So, let me tell you, you were never made to fit in. You were made to stand out!

“I used to feel like I had to be perfect… Becoming vulnerable with others has given me freedom from that.”

I’ll be honest. Being vulnerable with people is hard. Especially those close to you.

I’ve found it easy to be “good.” This is much easier than, “You know, I’m not having a great day,” or “I’m really struggling with this…” Now I’m not saying we should go around telling people all of our struggles and be Debbie downers. I’m all about positivity and the more we can have in this world the better. It is in sharing with those we are close to that is important. It will give you a sense of freedom. Your relationships will be strengthened. And you will have overcome a legitimate fear.

“Don’t ever underestimate the impact you can have on someone else’s life.”

 We tend to believe our influence and story we tell with our life is not good enough. Here me out on this… You are making an impact. Whether you know it or not. You are.

If you don’t think you have a good story to tell, experiment with the following: Walk down the street and give someone a warm smile. Maybe a friendly “hello.” If they don’t smile back, I’ll take the blame! What I’m trying to say is that making an impact is so simple! Often, we think we have to do big things to tell a good story. I’m learning it’s the little things that make the story good.

Most the time we don’t tell our actual story. We let fear win. But fear doesn’t have to win! Remember: You are unique. You are made to be vulnerable. You are making an impact. The way we live our life is the story we tell. So, let me ask you… What story are you currently telling?

The Philosophical Space

There are many spots on campus to study, hangout with friends, or simply be by yourself when you need to focus for an exam coming up.  Students at Hope are usually very good at being able to find their “spot” within the first few weeks of being on campus.  For me, there is one place that I am able to be social, studious, or alone if I wanted – Lubbers Hall.

Lubbers Hall is home to the humanities and being a philosophy major,  I was exposed to Lubbers as soon I got to campus.  During my first year at Hope, most of my classes were in Lubbers Hall and since I spent so much time there I even found hidden rooms most students aren’t aware exist.

Inside Lubbers Hall there is a lounge specifically for Philosophy students.  The room has a small couch, two comfortable armchairs, a small table, and a library shelf with books written by the best philosophers.  It is the perfect set-up for group work, individual studying, or some leisure reading. The room was big enough for us to have multiple study sessions in there and we would we able to have a good time whenever we needed a break – ordering food on a particularly late night study session started to become the norm. We began to spend so much time there that we even befriended the campus safety officers who would come and unlock the door for us – if you’ve been on campus, you realize how just about everyone on campus is overly friendly or willing to help.

Hope has a place for everything. Whether you want to strictly study (places like the library), do group work (anywhere on campus), or socialize (again, anywhere on campus), there will always be a spot for you to go to. You might also find that spot that you can have all three and that’s when you know you’ve found a home.

Staying Healthy at Hope

By: Monica Teuthorn

I remember what it felt like the summer before coming to college. I remember different daydreams of what it would be like to finally be in college, the nerves that I would get from worrying about forgetting something important, and the advice I would get that helped calm those nerves (just a little). I got advice on all sorts of things. People told me the best ways of setting up your room to get the maximum space, what to pack, what classes to take and which ones to wait for later, what to get involved in, and how to spend my time. I was told to get out of my comfort zone and to experience new things. I was told to find what my passions and dreams were and to chase those dreams. I was given such good advice, but what people didn’t really advise me much on was how to stay healthy in college. Hope College thankfully has resources that make staying healthy both physically and emotionally much easier.

  • Finding the motivation to stay healthy can at times be difficult. Here at Hope though, you are surrounded by different ways to stay healthy. Our workout facilities, in the Dow, are a great resource and are open and free for students most of the day. There are so many different things to do in there that it is easy to find a fun way of working out from swimming to playing a pick-up game of basketball to weightlifting. (My favorite is the intramural sports!)
  • The Dow also has our Health Center which students can use for flu shots, physicals, check-ups, and more. This facility is full of ways to stay healthy! On top of that, the dining hall is full of healthy options for those who are willing to look, and there is a nutritionist available in the Health Center on Fridays for students to talk to if they would like more tips on eating healthy. I suggest having fun with it and finding new combinations.
  • While it is important to be physically healthy, it is just as important to be emotionally and mentally healthy as well. For this reason, Hope college has CAPS. CAPS is our counseling and phycological services where there are counselors there available for all students to talk to for free. They are there for students going through difficult times and even provide resources like group meditation or different types of group counseling. They are great people to talk to when you are going through a rough time and create a great support system for students! On top of this resource, for finals week, we have fun events to help students relieve stress for a little bit. Some of my favorite events include coloring and petting dogs!

These are just a few of the ways Hope helps its students stay healthy. With so many resources, it makes it so much easier to stay healthy while also being involved in the things you love to do in college!

Life in Holland as told from my #Instagram

THE BEACHES

Whether it’s Big Ol’ Red (aka Holland State Park), Tunnel Beach, Laketown Dunes, The Bowl, or some random beach front you found on a drive, everyone has their favorite beach and it’s a must no matter what time of year. Even in the depths of winter, my friends and I will bundle up in coats and blankets, trek out to some Lake Michigan beachfront, and watch the stars for probably longer than we should.

RILEY TRAILS

Riley Trails is cherished around these parts for class field trips, long walks with your ~campus crush~, a place to escape the rush of school, or (my personal fave) an impromptu photo shoot with a couple friends. On a warm, sunny day, there’s really nothing that can beat a good jog up, down, and all around Riley Trails.

THE ENDLESS COFFEE SHOPS

Some will say Lemonjellos. Other’s (ME) will say JPs. And still, others will say 205. No matter what your style, vibe, or latte of choice, Holland has got a spot for you. Yes, we may be a town known for churches on every corner. But, this popularity is closely rivaled by our coffee shops on every other corner. Also, pro tip, if you don’t know what to order, try my go-to: an almond milk latte with vanilla, it tastes like how a good book would taste… if you can imagine that.

OUR VERY OWN PINE GROVE

The Pine Grove is truly the most beloved place on campus. One, I mean come on just look at it, how could you not love this place? But two, this is the heart of campus. On a warm day, the Pine Grove is littered with hammocks, slacklines, picnic blankets, spike-ball courts, and of course, frisbees. The PG is perfect for actually doing homework, pretending to do homework, and just general merriment.

TULIP TIME

You might say, “but Ariana, what IS Tulip Time“. What is Tulip Time? WHAT IS TULIP TIME?! Only the best time of the year, of course! Right around final exams and graduation a carnival appears in our very own streets to supply Hope students with the proper caloric energy they need to end the year: elephant ears, corn dogs, frozen lemonade, and literally deep-fried-anything-you-can-imagine. Ahhh, the glow of food trucks, the click-clack of wooden clogs on concrete, the omnipresent smell of tulips, there’s nothing else like it.

HONESTLY… JUST WHEREVER MY PEOPLE ARE

Hang out around these parts enough and you’ll start to heart it a lot: “What makes Hope special is the community.” BUT IT’S SO TRUE! My favorite place in all of Holland is just wherever my friends happen to be at that moment. If it’s homework at the Bultman Student Center, hitting that free weight room in the Dow, or simply snuggled into our beds, being with my people is being home.

Featured Photographers: Addie Vanderzwaag, Riley Schmitz, Mackenzie Mitchell, Sydney Enloe, Eddie Ip

Featured Models: Riley Schmitz, Jubilee Jackson, Hailey Houck, Sydney Enloe, Anna Stafford,

From Windy City to Tulip City

By: Eddie Cervantes

Growing up in Chicago, there was always something to do whether it was in my neighborhood, downtown, or even in a neighborhood on the other side of the city.  Transportation was never an issue, it allowed us to get from one side of the city to the other without ever switching a bus or train.

However, there are some cons of living in the city.  The worst thing about Chicago is the traffic.  It seems that when there is traffic everyone forgets how to drive and their hands are stuck to their horn.  People are always on guard and a simple look could be taken the wrong way.  It’s great to live somewhere where there is always something going on, but for young adults there is also a curfew which can limit your options or ability to get somewhere in order to get home in time. 

When I was choosing a college, I wanted to attend a place that was far enough from a city that I would get a smaller and more connected community, though also able to travel somewhere when I missed the “big city life.”  Holland, Michigan became the perfect location that had the balance I was looking for.

Holland, MI is a small town compared to Chicago.  Yet, it doesn’t feel like a small town with all the activity and events happening all the time. In Chicago, there is nothing that beats a bike ride to Lake Michigan in the morning and seeing the sunrise.  Since Holland is across Lake Michigan, I can’t experience the same sunrise, but riding to the lake for breath-taking sunsets gives me the exact feeling.

Hope’s campus is a block away from Downtown Holland, so when there isn’t as much happening on campus, there is always something to do downtown.  The variety of coffee shops, restaurants, and local shops make it a great (but financially dangerous) way to spend your day. If you want to get a little further off campus than downtown, Holland also has a farmers market, movie theatres, bowling alleys, hiking trails – and so much more to explore.

Hope is also in a great location that if you are missing a bit of the big city life, you have three awesome places you can go and make it a day trip.  Chicago and Detroit are only about a two & a half hours away which allows anyone to be able to enjoy a day in the city and be back for a late night doughnut run. Grand Rapids is only about 40 minutes away and though smaller than Detroit & Chicago, a place that still has plenty to do.  Grand Rapids is a booming city full of young adults, which most events targeted for people our age! Whether it is ArtPrize, ice skating in Rosa Parks Circle, sporting events, going to a concert or other potential events in Grand Rapids – there is always something new and exciting happening there.

Though there are definite aspects of Chicago life that I miss, I’ve found in my two years at Hope there are still so many events & things to do on and around campus. It’s rarely of a question of “What am I going to do with my weekend?” rather, “How am I going to fit everything I want to do into my weekend?”