Across Campus

September 1, 2015


Weeknight football game causes parking changes

The Laker football team will open its 2015 season at home on Thursday, September 3, against Southwest Baptist University.

The 7 p.m. game at Lubbers Stadium means changes to on-campus parking for students, faculty and staff members. Changes are noted below.

• Faculty/staff parking lots

Lot C East and Lot F will be open until noon; Lot G will be open until 4 p.m. Lots D1 and D3 will be open the entire day; Lot C West and Lot E will be closed the entire day.

• Student day parking

Students are encouraged to ride the Campus Connector; more buses will run from 5 p.m. until after the football game.

Lot J will be available for commuters; off-campus shuttles will run from that lot to the Kirkhof Center.

Lots H, K, D4 and D8 will be available but without shuttle transportation. Students can park in residential lots during the day.

• Student evening parking

Lot J will be available, with service by off-campus shuttles. Lots H, K, D4 and D8 will be available but without shuttle transportation.

• Fan parking

Fans are encouraged to park free and ride the shuttle buses from Rapid stops along the Campus Connector route. 

Lots C East, C, F, and G will be paid parking beginning at 4 p.m.

Questions can be referred to the Grand Valley Police Department at x13255.


Changes to campus parking, updates

Parking Services Operations is now its own department; changes, closures and updates to parking can be found at The new phone number is (616) 331-PARK (7275).

• Disability Reserved Parking (formerly known as Handicapped Reserved) will be moved from Mackinac, Manitou and Common spaces to Lot D1 with a shelter and scheduled stops, similar to what has been established in Lot M.

• The Visitor Parking Lot by the Marketplace is pay-to-park only, including Disability Reserved spaces. Pay stations have been added. The lot will be short-term parking only, limited to two hours.

• Lot Z (Campus Health Center and Art Gallery Support) will accommodate eight signed patient spaces with the rest of the lot permit-only for Faculty/Staff or Student Commuter.

• Signs for visitor lots on campus have been updated for better visibility.

• The Parking Services website can be used by faculty and staff members to request electronic permits for guests and visitors to campus.

“We are excited about the changes and improvements with parking this fall,” said Lisa Garringer, Parking Services manager. “We will be introducing new signage and more payment solutions for short-term parking with the introduction of pay stations, as Parkmobile (pay to park mobile app) was well-received by the campus community. We have ample parking available, which we feel meets the demands of our growing campus.”


Campus Connector now extends to Medical Mile

Grand Valley made several improvements to its bus routes this year, which included extending the Campus Connector (Rapid Route 50) to Medical Mile, and moving its primary Route 50 DeVos Center stop on Front Avenue to the intersection of Fulton Street and Mt. Vernon Avenue. 

The new routing began August 31. 

Previously, Route 50 traveled between the Rapid Central Station in Grand Rapids and Kirkhof Center on the Allendale Campus. The new Route 50 alignment travels between the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences in Grand Rapids and the Allendale Campus. Route 50 has multiple direct connections to Central Station via the Silver Line, Route 12 and Route 7. 

“This extension will begin to model the preferred Laker Line route,” said Mark Rambo, manager of Operations at Grand Valley. “It will provide greater connectivity between our campus facilities, the core downtown and the Silver Line.”

The Laker Line initiative is in project development to finalize budget, construction and operational specifications. The Rapid is hoping to begin construction in 2017, but the project start is dependent on approvals from the Federal Transit Administration once project development is complete and the grant request is submitted.

Grand Valley accounts for more than 3 million annual rides on the Rapid bus system and offers a variety of alternative transportation services including car sharing, bike rentals, ride sharing, commuter parking and transit services.

Specific Changes:

• The primary Route 50 stop in Grand Rapids (near the DeVos Center) moved from Front Avenue (under U.S. 131) to Fulton Street (under U.S. 131).

• Route 50 extended to the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences building on Michigan Street in Grand Rapids. The bus stop will be located on Lafayette Ave just north of CHS.

• Route 51 (Hill Dash) will no longer stop at CHS.

• Route 50 will no longer stop at Rapid Central Station. The new alignment has multiple direct connections to Central Station via the Silver Line, Route 12 and Route 7. Route 50 will no longer pull into the Park and Ride behind the Walker Fire Station. It will stop on Lake Michigan Drive at Kinney Ave (just east of the fire station).

• Routes 37 and 48 have combined to form Route 85 on the weekends to provide increased apartment service. Route 50 will continue to operate on weekends to connect Allendale and Grand Rapids.

For more information about transportation services at Grand Valley, visit


Laker Familia welcomes students to campus

A special orientation program, now in its second year, welcomed incoming Latino students and their family members to Grand Valley August 23-25. 

Laker Familia, a three-day program on the Allendale Campus, was attended by more than 200 people, including 55 first-year students. 

Raul Ysasi, affiliate professor in the College of Education and co-chair of the planning committee, said the program is needed because the population of Latino students at Grand Valley continues to grow. 

Participants in Laker Familia are pictured around a table.

Students and committee members of Laker Familia are pictured. Laker Familia is a three-day orientation for Latino students and their families.

“Data about Latino students tell us that some students don’t finish college because of finances, academic readiness and differences in culture,” said Ysasi. “Our goal is to address those challenges through Laker Familia. We want students to feel comfortable and welcome before the semester starts.”

The program included a kick-off reception, team-building workshops, sessions for parents and a faculty panel.

The idea for the program came from the Latino Student Initiative, a group of students and faculty and staff members who focus on Latino student success. 

Connie Dang, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs and chair of LSI, said the program provides support and services that are unique to the Latino population, such as a translator and representatives from various university offices who are available to answer questions directly. 

“LSI is focused on providing resources for students to finish college, which includes understanding barriers like homesickness, access to tutors and mentors and making connections with faculty,” said Dang.

Dang said students who attend Laker Familia go into the semester having friends and remain connected throughout the year. Some students who attended the program last year served as mentors to new students this year, including Christopher Lopez, a sophomore from Saginaw who is majoring in biomedical sciences. 

“Laker Familia set up a support system for me and it turned out to be one of the best and most beneficial program I could ever be involved in,” said Lopez, who was also involved in the program planning. 

The Laker Familia planning committee is led by Ysasi and Luis Lozano, assistant director of Student Employment and Financial Literacy. It is comprised of representatives from Financial Aid, Admissions, University Libraries, Housing, Registrar’s Office and Student Life.