Top 10 events to attend during your first months at GVSU

Large crowd of people at Campus Life Night
Campus Life Night, 2019
Image credit - Valerie Hendrickson

Students are back and campus has come to life! University departments are hosting many events during the next few months that you won’t want to miss. Below is a list of events that you should check out during your first few months at Grand Valley.

1. Block Parties (Aug. 23-24)

The Allendale campus is split into the North and South campuses. Each campus will have its own Block Party, welcoming students back to campus. Each party will have a DJ, dancing, food and opportunities to meet new people. 

The South Campus Block Party will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 24, at 8:30 p.m. on the South Apartments Lawn.

The North Campus Block Party will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 23, at 8 p.m. on the Kleiner Basketball Court.

2. Convocation (Aug. 24)

Convocation is a time-honored tradition that symbolizes the beginning of the academic year. It’s a time to reflect and prepare for the intellectual discovery and the beginning of students’ academic endeavors. The ceremony is attended by students, faculty, staff and senior leadership, including President Philomena V. Mantella. 

 This year, Convocation will be held at the Fieldhouse Arena on the Allendale Campus on Aug. 24 at 7:30pm. A live stream will be available for those who can’t attend.

3. RecFest (Aug. 25)

RecFest is an annual event at which students can learn about RecWell programs and services, how to get involved in other special events and find employment opportunities. This event is hosted by GVSU Recreation and Wellness, which houses all things related to fitness and wellness such as outdoor adventures , iIntramural sports , club sports and Esports .

RecFest will be held on Thursday, Aug. 25, from 6-9 p.m. on the Kirkhof Center and Library Lawns. In the case of rain, it will be held at the campus Recreation Center.

4. Laker Kickoff (Aug. 26)

Laker Kickoff is a campus-wide celebration! Students can count on meeting many of their fellow Lakers while enjoying a night full of live music, DJs, dancing, food trucks, caricature artists, inflatables and more.

This event is put on by The Campus Activities Board (CAB), a group of student leaders who organize and host major campus events. CAB also hosts Family Weekend, Homecoming, Sibs and Kids Weekend, Presidents' Ball, ExtravaGRANDza, Spring Concert, hypnotists, magicians, GV's Got Talent, comedy, music and other special events.

This year’s Laker Kickoff will be held on Friday, Aug. 26, on the Kirkhof Lawn from 6-10 p.m. 

5. Campus Life Night (Aug. 28)

Campus Life Night is one of Grand Valley’s largest events of the year. Hundreds of students, both new and returning, visit the 300+ student organizations, campus departments, and local businesses/nonprofits that participate in the event. This is a great time to find your crowd and hear what everyone has planned for the fall semester. From the GVSU Rowing Club to Beekeeping Club, there is something for everyone!

In addition to checking out clubs and organizations, students can also play games, collect free GVSU swag or grab a bite to eat from a food truck!  

This event will take place on Sunday, Aug. 28, from 6-8 p.m. in Lot H on the Allendale Campus. 

6. Home sports games

Grand Valley is home to some of the best teams in NCAA Division II, with 28 national championships. Attending a home game with friends is a great way to show your Laker spirit. GVSU soccer, football, volleyball and men’s golf are just some of the sports that are active in the fall, but there are also many club sports events to attend. Check out GVSU Athletics’ Composite Calendar or see below for a list of some home games you won’t want to miss!


9/1 Football vs Colorado School of Mines, 7 p.m.

9/2 Soccer vs. Central Missouri, 7 p.m. 

9/4 Soccer vs. Minnesota State, 1 p.m. 

9/4 Men’s golf, Arendsen Invitational

9/17 Football vs. Lincoln, 7 p.m.

9/20 Volleyball vs. Davenport, 7 p.m.

7. Silent Disco (Sept. 9)

CAB’s Silent Disco is an event you won’t want to miss. Head to the Library NE Plaza and rock out to your favorite music — silently! Multiple DJs will be in attendance, giving attendees the ability to choose which music they listen to through wireless headphones as you dance.

You must have a valid GVSU ID to receive headphones for this event.

This event will be held from 9 p.m.-midnight on Friday, Sept. 9, in the Mary Idema Pew Library’s NE plaza.

8. Family Weekend (Sept. 16-18)

Every year, GVSU hosts a weekend designed for families to come visit campus. Laker Family Appreciation Weekend includes a multitude of events from a Laker Spirit 5K to a pancake breakfast with President Philomena V. Mantella. Check out the entire schedule of events for the weekend. The weekend is the result of campus-wide partnerships, led by the Dean of Students Office. It’s the perfect weekend for parents to visit their Lakers and experience all that campus has to offer. It’s also a great time to stop by the Laker Store to stock up on some GVSU swag.

9. Make a Difference Day (Oct. 15)

Make A Difference Day is an annual day of service where students are transported to local nonprofit organizations to participate in service activities. Not only is it a great way to make a difference, it’s also a great way to meet friends, engage and familiarize yourself with the community. 

 The event is hosted by GVSU’s Office of Student Life: Civic Engagement, which provides community service, civic engagement and co-curricular service learning opportunities for students to serve the local community. 

10. Find Your Community

The final best thing to do during your first few months on campus is to find your community. There are tons of ways to find your community, but we’ve listed some to help you out:

  1. Intramural sports teams
  2. Student Employment/Internships
  3. Student Clubs and Registered Student Organizations
  4. Group Fitness Classes
  5. Greek Life
  6. LGBTQ Resource Center
  7. Affinity Groups
  8. Community Service opportunities
  9. Housing Communities
  10. Group Counseling Classes through the University Counseling Center
  11. Veteran Services


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