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Grand Valley State University    
  May 25, 2018
2005-2006 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Student Life

Click on a link to be taken to the entry below.


Grand Valley reaches far beyond the typical college activity list to make life on campus exciting and enjoyable. Students can take advantage of a great variety of clubs and organizations, including cultural organizations, performing arts groups, recreational clubs, religious groups, social organizations, fraternities, and sororities, professional associations, special interest groups, leadership groups, and community service organizations.

Student Organizations


Academic & Professional

Students who join these organizations have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and appreciation for academic disciplines outside the classroom. Almost every academic program offers such co-curricular opportunities. Guest lecturers, field trips, special projects, contacts with professionals in the field, and networking provide opportunities for individual development.

Advertising Club
Alpha Kappa Delta (sociology fraternity)
Alpha Phi Sigma (criminal justice)
American Humanics Student Association
American Marketing Association
American Society of Mechanical Engineers
American Society of Safety Engineers
Anthropology Club
Art Education Student Chapter
Athletic Training/Sports Medicine
Bachelor of Social Work Student Organization
Beta Alpha Psi
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Club
Biology Club
Center for Health Sciences Interdisciplinary Council
Chemistry Club
Collegiate Chapter of the National Association for Music Education
Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization
Computing and Information Systems Club
Debate Team
Delta Sigma Pi (business)
Forensics Team
Future Police and Educators Association
Geology Club
Latino Student Business Association
Law Society
Linux Users’ Group
Mathematics and Statistics Club
Mini Baja Club
Mu Phi Epsilon
National Society of Black Engineers

  National Society of Collegiate Scholars
Omicron Delta Kappa
Phi Alpha Theta (history)
Philosophy Club
Physical Therapy Class 2006, 2007
Physics & Astronomy Club
Pre-Chiropractic Club
Pre-Dental Club
Pre-Med Club
Pre-Occupational Therapy Club
Pre-Physical Therapy Club
Pre-Physician Assistants Club
Pre-Veterinarian Club
Psi Chi (psychology)
Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)
Radiologic and Imaging Sciences
Seidman I.P.O. Investment Club
Sigma Tau Delta (English)
Social Work Advocacy Network (SWAN)
Society for Human Resource Management
Society for the Advancement of Management
Society of Automotive Engineers
Sociology Club
Student Chapter of National Science Teachers Association
Student Chapter Phi Delta Kappa
Student Council for Exceptional Children
Student Nurses Association
Student Michigan Education Association
Student Occupational Therapy Association
Therapeutic Recreation Club
Writing Club

Cultural Interest Organizations

Students who join these groups will have the opportunity to explore other cultures and share their own heritage. A wide range of activities, including lectures, concerts, and festivals, allows students to develop leadership skills and promotes culture and diversity at Grand Valley. Students need not be members of each group, but have an interest in celebrating and educating others on each heritage.

African Student Council
American Sign Language and Culture
Arab Cultural
Asian Student Union
Black Leaders Coalition
Black Student Union
Chinese Language and Culture

  International Club
La Tertulia
Latino Student Union
Les Franglais
Native American Student Association
Russian Circle
You Beautiful Black Woman

Greek Life

Greek Life provides students with the opportunity to increase their leadership, academic, and social skills in an atmosphere of friendship and support. Fraternities and sororities promote academic excellence through scholarship programs, sponsor and participate in community and national service projects, and encourage personal development through officer positions and social contacts. (616) 331-3963

Greek Governing Councils   Fraternities   Sororities
Interfraternity Council   Alpha Phi Alpha   Alpha Kappa Alpha
Independent Greek Council   Alpha Sigma Phi   Alpha Omicron Pi
National Pan-Hellenic Council   Delta Sigma Phi   Alpha Sigma Alpha
Order of Omega (Honor)   Lambda Chi Alpha   Alpha Sigma Tau
Panhellenic Council   Phi Beta Sigma   Delta Sigma Theta
Presidents’ Council   Sigma Lambda Beta   Delta Zeta
Rho Lambda (Honor)   Sigma Phi Epsilon   Sigma Kappa
    Sigma Pi   Sigma Lambda Gamma
    Theta Chi   Zeta Phi Beta

Media & Entertainment

Many opportunities for students to get involved in radio, television, newspaper, and programming are made available through the following student organizations.

Broadcasting Network of Grand Valley (GVBN)
Hardcore Music Club
Oldskool Society
Sequential Art Society

  Spotlight Productions
The Alternative
Underground Film Organization
WCKS Student Run Radio

Performing Arts

Student organizations having involvement in artistic performance activities are included in the following student organizations. Additional opportunities for music and dance are available through the Music Department.

After School Special
Capoeira Mandinga
Dance Troupe
Renaissance Fair


Rhythm in Blues
Student Technicians and Actors Guild for Entertainment (S.T.A.G.E.)
Voices of GVSU (Gospel Choir)
Voices of Musical Theater

Faith-Based Groups

Student organizations that focus on religious beliefs offer opportunities for spiritual growth and social interaction.

Alpha Omega Co-ed Christian Ministries
Campus Crusade for Christ
Campus Ministry
Catholics Aspiring to Reach Others
Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship
Christianity on Campus
Glory Phi God Campus Ministry
  His House Christian Fellowship
Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship
Muslim Students’ Association
United Methodist Student Fellowship
University Christian Outreach
Ways of the Earth
Young Life

Service & Advocacy

A variety of student organizations provide community service-learning opportunities within the local community. Other organizations advocate a particular social issue and strive to educate the campus community.

Alternative Breaks
Amnesty International
Animal Care Takers
Best Buddies
Campus Lions Club
Cancer Awareness Resistance Education
Circle K International Disabilities
Community Outreach Week (COW)
Domestic Violence
Eyes Wide Open
Feminists for Life
Habitat for Humanity
Health & AIDS
Hunger & Homelessness
La Pulperia Nica
Laker Pride
Measure for Measure
Organization for the Advancement of
Disabled Students
Out ‘N’ About (GLBT)
Seniors Volunteer GVSU
Soil & Water Conservation
Student Environmental Coalition
Students Against Sweatshops
Students for a Free Tibet
Students for Life
Substance Abuse
Voices for Healthy Choices
Volunteer GVSU!
Women’s Issues Volunteer Corp.

Special Interest Groups

Grand Valley students interested in politics, academic discussions, hobbies, social action, or a variety of other concerns have many clubs from which to choose.

Alternative Realities
College Democrats
College Republicans
Ducks Unlimited
Faust Society
Harry Potter Club
International Relations Organization
Learning to Integrate Fun and Education (LIFE)
Otaku no Anime
  Science Fiction Club
Social, Political, Economic, Environmental Conversations
Photographers Guild
Positive Influence
Residence Housing Association
Scrapbooking Club
Walking with Style

Sport Clubs

Recreational sport clubs provide opportunities for competition with other schools through individual and team events. Other organizations provide personal fitness opportunities and school spirit support.

Backpacking and Outdoors Club
Barbell Club
Bowling - Men’s and Women’s
Cues on Campus
Cycling Club
Dodgeball Club
Equestrian Club
Fencing Club
Go Club
Hockey Club
Kung-Fu Club
Lacrosse - Men’s and Women’s
Laker Dance Team
Officials’ Club
Paintball Club
  Ping Pong Club
Poker Club
Rodeo Team
Rowing Club
Rugby - Men’s and Women’s
Shooting Team
Ski Team
Soccer - Men’s and Women’s
Synchronized Skating Team
Triathlon Club
Ultimate Frisbee
Vertical Earth (rock climbing)
Water Polo - Men’s and Women’s
Volleyball - Men’s & Women’s
Wrestling Club

Student Governance and Community Councils

Students residing in the living centers can become involved in their individual living community.

Student Senate

The Student Senate is an elected body of 50 students. The Senate conveys student opinion to the Grand Valley Administration and the Board of Trustees in matters of institutional policy. The Senate also provides a forum for discussion, investigation, and resolution of student ideas and concerns. The Senate is responsible for the allocation of the Student Life Fund and for the appointment of student representatives to all university standing committees and advisory boards. The Student Senate operates through an established committee structure, which includes the Appropriations, Campus Affairs, Educational Affairs, Multicultural Affairs, Political Actions, Public Relations, and Student Resources Committees. Contact (616) 331-2333 for more information.

Spotlight - Campus Life Programming

Spotlight Productions, the campus entertainment board, selects and organizes large scale concerts, big-name comedians, a series of free movies, monthly coffeehouse performers, nationally recognized speakers, aspiring artists, and many GVSU traditional events. Students work together to choose and produce events while obtaining numerous event planning, marketing, and collaboration skills that will transfer into their professional lives. Contact (616) 331-2806 for more information.

Cultural Board

The GVSU Cultural Board promotes unity, mentoring, leadership, advocacy, and programming that celebrates ethnic backgrounds. Comprised of six registered student organizations, the GVSU Cultural Board is open to all students regardless of ethnic or multi-ethnic backgrounds. The board meets regularly to organize campus-wide cultural celebrations and to work with faculty, staff, and other students to increase multicultural awareness in our university community. Contact (616) 331-3965 for more information.


The Lanthorn is an award-winning weekly student newspaper that gives students an opportunity to gain experience in the production of a newspaper. The Lanthorn office is located on the lower level of the Commons. The Lanthorn staff includes editorial, advertising, business, graphic art, staff writing, and staff photography positions. Call (616) 331-2460 to find out more information.

GVBN - Student Television

Grand Valley’s own student run broadcasting network offers hands on experience in technical areas of producing as well as writing, reporting, promotions, directing, and acting. The channel is non-commercial and broadcasts on cable access channel 7. GVBN’s office is located in the Student Organization Center, lower level of Kirkhof. Contact (616) 331-2360 for more information.

WCKS - Student Radio

WCKS is the student-run campus radio station located on the lower level of the Commons building. Opportunities for all aspects of radio production and broadcast are available to students. Contact (616) 331-2356 for more information.

Office of Student Life


Students are in class an average of 30 percent of the time during a week of college life. Students are encouraged to MAXimize their college experience through participation in a variety of campus experiences. Employers continue to look for employees who have a broad base of experiences and are comfortable working with others. Historically, students who are successful have developed a plan for how they will spend the other 70 percent of their time.

The Office of Student Life, located in the Kirkhof Center, creates an exciting environment for students to experience unlimited opportunities to interact with other students in addition to their traditional academic classroom times. This interactive environment provides a student development experience that fosters individual student growth.

Students are encouraged to participate in student organizations, attend campus events, and become involved in leadership and service projects. The Office of Student Life annually registers over 200 student organizations. More information is available at or by calling (616) 331-2345.

The Kirkhof Center, named in honor of Russell Kirkhof, is a place for students to come and enjoy. Whether it is for a meeting, entertainment, or studying, the Kirkhof Center is a place for the campus community to come and gather in a formal or informal setting. Located within the student center are the Office of Student Life & Event Services, Student Organization Center, Office of Student Senate, 2020 Information Desk, University Bookstore, Women’s Center, Java City/ Lobby Shoppe, food services, postal services, pay phones, commuter lockers, copy center, ATM machine, game room, and giant movie theater room.

Laker Late Night is an energized program that provides quality late night entertainment during prime social time, 9 p.m.-2 a.m., on Friday and Saturday nights in the Kirkhof Center. Laker Late Night provides a social environment where programs are sponsored by student organizations that build community through participation in music, film, dance, comedy, crafts, games, and novelty programming.

Community Service Learning Center

The Community Service Learning Center located in the Kirkhof Center, is an outreach office that encourages the GVSU population to engage themselves in community awareness through community issues education, volunteer skill set training, campus wide volunteer/service opportunities, and community agency partnerships. Grand Valley students are encouraged to become involved in a community service activity that will enhance their understanding of civic responsibility and challenge them to be committed to a life of community service. The CSLC is a clearinghouse for Western Michigan volunteer opportunities.

Grantmakers Program

Based on the principles of servant leadership and social change, participants in Grantmakers have the opportunity to be a part of a team or ‘board’ who are educated on the community and nonprofit agency needs/issues of Western Michigan. Grantmaker board participants, through the planning, selection, and evaluation process, learn about the important role nonprofit organizations have in the community, how the grant process works for both the grantmaker and grantees, the importance of the volunteer, and how to utilize leadership ability to make a difference in their community. Participants choose a nonprofit agency to allocate funds and service hours from the Grantmaker board. This program is sponsored by the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, the Community Service Learning Center, and American Humanics of GVSU.

Laker Leadership Programs

The mission of the Laker Leadership Programs is to provide the students of Grand Valley State University with training, and experiences that encourage their growth as leaders of integrity and honor, and who promote social change and civic engagement within their professions and communities. Programs are designed to offer opportunities for involvement for all GVSU students whether they are emerging leaders, at an intermediate level of leadership development, or advanced leaders.

Our leadership philosophy is based on the following premises:

  • Leadership is a relationship, not the property of an individual
  • Leadership is a process not a position
  • Leadership is about change
  • Leadership can be learned
  • Leadership is inclusive
  • Leadership is collaborative
  • Leadership is comprised of relationships
  • Leadership is oriented toward social change

Developing strong leadership skills has lifelong benefits for students including:

  • Improved academics
  • Better marketability in the job market
  • Stronger business and personal relationships
  • More opportunities and experiences
  • A sense of accomplishment
  • The ability to help others
  • Making a difference

Students can get involved in the Laker Leadership Programs by participating in any or all of the following programs:

Leadership Odyssey is an experiential program that assists emerging leaders to create and enhance a personal philosophy of leadership while developing basic leadership skills. All first year students are encouraged to be a part of the Leadership Odyssey, particularly those interested in future leadership roles. The program teaches leadership through multimedia and interactive activities as well as small group discussion led by experienced student leaders.

Leadership Journey is for experienced leaders who desire to increase their impact as an engaged leader. The interactive program teaches advanced skills and provides the opportunity for participants to try out what they are learning as they work collaboratively on a ‘community’-wide project. The ultimate goal is to help participants learn to create positive change for the groups they lead, their members, their current and future communities and to prepare them for transition from college.

Leadership Summit is an annual conference that promotes civic engagement as well as leadership renewal and development for emerging and experienced leaders of diverse backgrounds both from Grand Valley and from other universities across the Midwest.

Workshops on Demand is a year-round program that the Office of Student Life offers free of charge to registered student organizations and university affiliated non-formal groups. The program offers specialized leadership and service related workshops. This is a great way to provide educational workshops and community building experiences to group constituents.

Venderbush Lecture Series recognizes Kenneth R. Venderbush who served as Vice President of Student Affairs at Grand Valley State University from 1969-1973. Since 1983, the university has bestowed its highest student leadership award, the Kenneth R. Venderbush Leadership Award, to a graduating senior. The lecture features a speaker from the community, or a past Grand Valley Venderbush Award recipient, sharing their experiences and inspirations on the topic of leadership.

Campus Life Night

Campus Life Night, held the Tuesday evening after Labor Day in the Fieldhouse Arena, provides students with the opportunity to find out about their extensive choices for involvement on campus. Student organizations, campus departments, volunteer agencies, and area businesses set up displays and provide information.

Traditions and Festivals

Student organizations and special committees work with professional staff in sponsoring and planning campus traditions including such events as Family Weekend, Homecoming, Sibs ‘n Kids Weekend, Make a Difference Day, Relay for Life, Community Outreach Week (COW), Renaissance Festival, and Presidents’ Ball.

Asian Festival-An annual celebration honoring the Asian New Year. Each February the Asian Student Union sponsors a variety of events, the most celebrated being the festival. An authentic and diverse type of Asian food is provided to festival participants. In addition, the festival coordinators provide traditional New Year dances and songs presented by professional artists.

Black History Month-Each February, the campus community offers a comprehensive series of programs and events to celebrate black history.

Ethnic Festival-An annual event of cultural appreciation. Students, faculty, and staff sponsor booths showcasing cultural cuisine, traditions, and crafts specific to a culture of their choice. The campus community enjoys good food, lively entertainment, and an exchange of ideas as the world comes to Grand Valley.

Hispanic Heritage Month-Each fall the Latino Student Union celebrates Latino history and culture with a variety of events. Latino students educate on the diversity within the culture and offer campus-wide celebrations featuring traditional foods and presenting and teaching music and dance.

Pow Wow-An annual celebration of the Native American culture. The Native American Student Association, with the leadership and permission of the Ottawa Tribal Counsel, shares an entire day of ceremony and trade with the campus and the general public.

Soulfest-An annual event honoring the history of African people in the United States. Each February the Black Student Union shares with the campus a night of African cuisine that was adapted to the resources available during slavery, now known as “Soul Food.” Along with a selected form of entertainment requiring audience participation, Grand Valley celebrates the legacy of African Americans.

Student Organization Center

Located on the lower level of the Kirkhof Center, the Student Organization Center provides an exciting environment for campus student organizations to interact and conduct their daily business. The Student Organization Center features interactive spaces for the organizations to collaborate with each other. Additional resources include: computers, telephones, business center, resource information, library, and meeting spaces. Over 200 student organizations are supported by this center.

University Promotions

The University Promotions Office is a student-run graphic design, advertising and public relations department of the Office of Student Life, which assists student organizations. Students produce various promotional pieces to publicize upcoming campus activities. Contact (616) 331-2340 for more information.

Campus Events Information


Information Desk

Located in the main lobby of the Kirkhof Center, the 2020 Information Desk provides the campus community with up-to-date information regarding campus events and what to do in West Michigan. The student staff that operate the desk are there to answer questions and assist students. Contact the 2020 Information Desk staff at (616) 331-2020.

Campus Events Calendar

A comprehensive electronic calendar of events for Grand Valley is available online for easy reference. The calendar is a great resource for the campus community to stay current on the many events and programs scheduled. Check out the campus events calendar on the Internet at

For additional information on campus events, contact the Office of Student Life at (616) 331-2345 or athletic event information (616) 331-8800.

Intercollegiate Athletics


Grand Valley is a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). Membership in the GLIAC includes Ashland, Ferris, Findlay, Gannon, Mercyhurst, Grand Valley, Hillsdale, Lake Superior, Northern Michigan, Northwood, Michigan Tech, Saginaw Valley, and Wayne State. Grand Valley is also a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA Division II).

Since the creation of the GLIAC in 1972, Grand Valley has won the President’s Cup, a symbol of athletic excellence, eleven times. Grand Valley’s men’s teams have won conference championships in football twelve times; basketball, seven; baseball, nine; wrestling, seven; tennis, one; golf, one; indoor track, five; outdoor track, three; and cross country, three. In women’s sports, Grand Valley has won championships in basketball six times; cross country, five; softball, eleven; tennis, two; volleyball, nine; indoor track, five; outdoor track, five; and golf, three.

Scholarships are offered in all men’s and women’s sports.

Grand Valley competes in the following sports: Men-baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, swimming and diving, tennis, and track. Women-basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track, and volleyball.