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After the Orlando nightclub shooting, campus sidewalks were covered in rainbow art.“There isn’t an ideological litmus test for us to be here,” he said.
A beautiful blessing decided to make his entrance early! ‘He could just not wait to get here and meet Natalie and her husband.De Vos is now Calvin’s most famous alum, and in recent weeks, the school has been painted in some circles both online and in conversation as a conservative, insular institution that helped spawn a controversial presidential-cabinet member intent on using public dollars to further religious education.But that is a grossly simplified narrative, and one that obscures the nuances and very real tensions at the school.In 1985, the college adopted a “Comprehensive Plan for Integrating North American Ethnic Minority Persons and Their Interests Into Every Facet of Calvin’s Institutional Life.” In a 2010 update, the school acknowledged that the work is broader now and even somewhat more elusive.In outlining steps to recruit, retain, and promote more people of color both as students and faculty, Calvin acknowledged that it was behind on goals to enroll more racial minorities and that some of the students who did enroll were burdened by feelings of being “unusual.”But these debates are arguably even more pressing today.One black alum, the piece continued, “noted that, although he was deeply grateful for his Calvin education, he had reluctantly concluded that he could not always recommend a college education at Calvin to black friends and members of his congregation.” could easily appear in any number of modern campus papers, religiously affiliated or otherwise.
That’s both a depressing sign that progress on such issues is slow, and an indicator that Calvin has historically not shied from such debates, even when De Vos was a student some 40 years ago.
But there are limitations, thanks to the school’s continued affiliation with the Christian Reformed Church, that breed tension and fuel misperceptions.
Jane Zwart, a professor of English who studied at Calvin in the late ‘90s, put it this way in an email:the same thing as the world belonging to those of us who believe in God, to those of us who are Christians.
Six miles southeast of downtown, the school is a sprawling cluster of nondescript buildings and winding pathways in a quiet suburb.
But to bypass Calvin would be to ignore an institution whose approach to education offers clues about how the recently appointed U. education secretary might pursue her new job, and about the tug religious institutions feel between maintaining tradition and remaining relevant in a rapidly diversifying world.
In recent years, the school has ramped up efforts to increase racial diversity by recruiting more students of color, and there are more student organizations and resources on campus geared toward supporting them once they’re enrolled.