GV Lingo

College can seem intimidating at first, and you’re going to encounter many new people and new experiences. Luckily, Grand Valley has plenty of resources to help you adapt and feel at home here. Check out this list of GV terms and lingo to help you better understand campus culture and know what to expect at Grand Valley.

GV Lingo

Term Definition

Victim Advocate

A highly trained GV staff person who is prepared to care for and support victims and survivors. Our current victim advocate is Krystal Diel.


Fall new student orientation. Occurs at the beginning of every fall semester and is designed for first-year students. 

Student Senate

GVSU student government. All 50 members of Student Senate are elected by GVSU students.

RSO (registered student organizations)

A term for all of the official student-run clubs and extracurricular organizations at Grand Valley. Search for an RSO on LakerLink.


The senior academic administrative officer at GVSU. The position is currently held by Chris Plouff.


Leader of the university, highest ranking administrative position at GV. Our current president is Philomena V. Mantella.

Student Ombuds

The center for conflict resolution and the problem solving of university-related issues. If you have an issue that needs to be addressed, you can schedule an appointment online.

Kirkhof Center

Formally named the Russel H. Kirkhof Center is the building located in the heart of the Allendale campus. This a central meeting point for many clubs, events, and organizations. You’ll also find the 2020 Information Desk here as well as the game room, movie theater, many offices, and multiple dining options.


A unique identifier assigned to every student affiliated with Grand Valley. It is a “G” followed by eight numerical digits.


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to determine your eligibility for financial aid. The FAFSA is an application that collects household and financial information for the student and the student’s parents/supporters. You will need an FSA ID to submit the FAFSA.

Dean of Students

The office that serves as a resource for students, exists as a place of advocacy, and  connects students to the Division of Student Affairs. The main office is located in the Lubbers Student Services building on the Allendale campus.



An online resource where students can search for on and off-campus employment, internships, part-time, and full-time positions within all industries.

Dining Dollars

A debit account specific to your meal plan. Dining Dollars are accepted in all Campus Dining restaurants, C-stores, coffee shops, and some concession stands

CAB (Campus Activities Board)

A student organization that plans on-campus events. You can join CAB if you want to be involved in GVSU event planning or visit their website to find out more about events you can attend.

Laker Line

The bus rapid transit route which connects Allendale with the downtown Grand Rapids Pew and Health Campuses. This route is also referred to as Route 50. You can find more information and the complete bus schedule online.

Board of Trustees

The official board that, alongside President Mantella, governs GVSU. The board consists of eight members appointed by the Michigan governor and confirmed by the Senate.

Louie the Laker

Our beloved mascot! You’ll see him at sporting events and sometimes around campus, and he’s always down for a selfie.


An online courseware application that allows for communication of course materials used by faculty and students. Blackboard allows you to track grades and view important notes and announcements from your professors.


Your online GVSU account where you can register for classes, plan for your future, access financial aid information, find housing info, and more.



Your online account for connecting with and joining student organizations. Every registered student org (RSO) is on LakerLink, and this is a great place to find the org that’s right for you and get involved!

2020 Information Desk

Located in the Kirkhof Center lobby, the 2020 Info Desk staff can provide you answers to general campus questions from when is the next bus, to when is a campus dining location open - they are there to help! Stop by in-person or call (616) 331-2020.


Transitions is coordinated by the Office of Student Life, which is a department of the Division of Student Affairs of Grand Valley State University.

Page last modified July 22, 2020