New Living-Learning Communities coming to Pew Grand Rapids campus


GVL / Jonathan Eloi Lantiegne

Trevor Hubert

In recent years, Grand Valley State University has sought to increase its presence in downtown Grand Rapids. Now, a new host of living communities is set to attract more students to GVSU’s Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

GVSU has announced that they are adding four new Living-Learning Communities (LLCs) to the campus, all located in Winter Hall. 

The expansion will provide new living options for incoming freshman and transfer students in the Fall of 2021. Three of the communities will be curated towards business, engineering, and social work, with the fourth, called the Momentum House, geared towards social justice as well as undeclared students. All four houses are coming with an overarching theme of “Social Responsibility.”

The communities are being created in an effort to enrich the higher education experience from an academic and a social perspective. Students will be able to attend classes and meet with faculty in the same areas where they are making new friends. 

“Research shows that living in a community has a strong effect on student learning and achievement as students in LLCs connect more intentionally and naturally with peers, faculty members and staff members,” said Seidman College of Business Dean Diana Lawson. “In addition, faculty and staff create co-curricular activities that integrate classroom learning with social and professional applications, such as social innovation projects, project-based learning, and experiential activities across the LLCs.”

GVSU has seen success with LLCs on the Allendale campus with the Frederik Meijer Honors College and the Calder Art Center, and the four that are coming to Grand Rapids will be following the same model. 

Students who live in the new LLCs should also expect to see increased access to tools that will make their college experience a successful one. 

“Students will have better access to faculty, staff, and students with similar academic interests,” Lawson said. “The University is in the process of ensuring that the primary services students need, such as registrar, financial aid, DSR (Disability Support Resources), will have a presence on the downtown campus.”

GVSU has put a very clear focus on LLCs, as its recent history shows. The last LLC to open was the Holton-Hooker community on the Allendale campus in 2016. If the university continues to see LLCs as a better living and learning experience, further expansion should be expected in the near and distant future.