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GVSU launches new downtown Grand Rapids housing for freshmen, transfer students COURTESY PHOTO

GVSU launches new downtown Grand Rapids housing for freshmen, transfer students

BY Wednesday, April 07, 2021 03:39pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Four new housing options located in downtown Grand Rapids will be available to first year and transfer Grand Valley State University students in the fall.

The four new living-learning communities are a “game changer,” and will attract students who might prefer living in the city instead of near the university’s main campus in Allendale, said GVSU President Philomena Mantella.

“This community-based living experience allows students to collaboratively explore academic opportunities, learn from each other, and perhaps discover new academic paths,” Mantella said in a statement. “Being in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids will give students greater access to internships, jobs and other networking opportunities.”

Three of the student housing communities will be for students who are majoring in social work, engineering and business, while the fourth will be open to any student, including those who are undecided. All of the communities will be located in Winter Hall, one of the two student housing centers on the Robert C. Pew downtown campus. 

GVSU Seidman College of Business Dean Diana Lawson said the academic living-learning communities will integrate experiential learning and engagement within their respective professional communities.  

“In (living-learning communities), learning takes place in the classroom, with peers in living spaces, and through experiential opportunities that integrate classroom learning with the professional communities within and across disciplines,” Lawson said in a statement.

The student housing communities are based on six existing communities on GVSU’s Allendale campus, and research has shown that they have a strong impact on student learning and achievement, said Kyle Boone, director of Housing and Residence Life. Each living-learning community is designed for 200 students.

“Students are living on the same floor and taking similar classes,” Boone said. “Living-learning communities at Grand Valley, by design, connect the academic and the student experience directly. Spontaneous study groups will happen and faculty members are right there to answer questions. Students on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus will have access to resources and services just as they would on the Allendale Campus.”

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