Here’s What to Expect on Move-In Day

Two peer leaders assist students on move-in day
Resident assistants and peer leaders will welcome students and their families on move-in day.

Move-in day is an exciting time at Kalamazoo College as first-year students arrive. Orientation-related events will continue throughout the week; here’s what students and families can expect on Wednesday, September 8. Remember to bring a mask to wear inside campus buildings.

Report to your residence hall 

From 1 to 4 p.m., resident assistants and peer leaders will welcome students and their families at check-in tables at each residence hall. Pick up your orientation folder from peer leaders. Visit Residential Life staff afterward to collect your student ID and room key, check into your room and get settled. Health-verification forms must be completed before check in. Students with incomplete health requirements will be directed to the Health Center to complete any necessary requirements before they are permitted to check in. Health Center staff will be available until 4 p.m. at the Hicks Student Center for health-information verification and general consultations. 

Visit the Hicks Center 

Collect maps, schedules, directions and answers to your questions at the Hicks Student Center information table from 1 to 5 p.m. The Kalamazoo College Bookstore will offer 20 percent off K-imprinted items from 1 to 5 p.m. 

Find food and refreshments 

Stop by the Book Club Café on the first floor of the Upjohn Library from 1 to 4 p.m. for coffee, hot chocolate, tea or specialty espresso. Grab-and-go food options available include pastries, house-made salads, sandwiches and sides. From 1 to 5 p.m. at the Hicks Center, the Richardson Room will offer an extensive deli line with a variety of toppings and homemade soup. Grab-and-go options available will include sandwiches, salads, yogurt parfaits, fruit, sweet and salty snacks, and beverages. From 5 to 7 p.m., families are welcome to have dinner on campus at the Hicks Dining Center. Students may use their student ID, which serves as their meal card. Families may pay $11.15 per person at the Dining Center entrance. 

Get computer network assistance 

From 2 to 4 p.m. on move-in day, Information Services staff will be available in the Harmon, Hoben and Trowbridge residence hall main lounges to help students with network access and answer computer-related questions. 

Observe athletics practices 

Eight fall athletics teams—football, men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s cross country—will be engaged in daily practices and competitions from 3 to 6 p.m. 

Free time 

Use your time from 7 to 11 p.m. to finish your room setup and relax before Orientation starts on Thursday. 

K Welcomes New Vice President for Student Development

Vice President of Student Development and Dean of Students J. Malcolm Smith
J. Malcolm Smith will join Kalamazoo College as its vice president f0r student development and dean of students on August 1.

President Jorge G. Gonzalez announced today that J. Malcolm Smith will join Kalamazoo College as the institution’s new vice president for student development and dean of students. Smith, who is the vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, will begin his new role on August 1, 2021.

“Malcolm has considerable experience in student development at institutions like K,” Gonzalez said. “He brings a collaborative leadership style, dedication to the development of college students, passion for equity and inclusion work, and a commitment to student success. I am confident that he will be an excellent addition to our campus community and that he will build strong bonds with students, staff and faculty.”

Smith joined Salve Regina in 2013 as dean of students and also served as associate vice president before being named vice president in 2019. During his tenure at Salve Regina, Smith led the revision of the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, established the Student Conduct Hearing Board to give students a stronger voice in the university judicial process, developed services and programs for the LGBTQ+ student community, and developed a Review and Standards committee to give students, faculty and staff input on proposed revisions to conduct policies.

Before Salve Regina, Smith worked at a variety of institutions including John Carroll University, Ohio University and University of Illinois at Chicago. He brings extensive experience in areas such as student conduct and advocacy; retention efforts; diversity, equity and inclusion; Title IX administration; housing management; budget oversight; and crisis management.

He has presented on the national and regional level for the National Association for Student Personnel Administration, the Association of Title IX Administrators, and the Association for Student Conduct Administration. In 2006, Smith received the Annuit Coeptis Award for Emerging Professionals from the American College Personnel Association. He holds a B.A. in elementary education and a M.Ed. in college student personnel, both from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

“My family and I are excited to join the K community,” Smith said. “I am looking forward to working with such amazing students, a great team in student development, and partnering with colleagues across the campus. I’m honored and humbled by this opportunity to join K! Go Hornets!”

Smith succeeds Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students Sarah Westfall, who will retire on July 1 after 14½ years at the College. Smith was selected after a competitive nationwide search conducted by an on-campus committee with the assistance of Storbeck Search & Associates, an executive search firm specializing in the education and non-profit sectors. Comprised of faculty, staff and students, the committee was chaired by Provost Danette Ifert Johnson.

Outdoor Leadership Conference Provides Adventure

Outdoor Leadership Conference Attendees Ready for an adventure
Eighteen Kalamazoo College students traveled to the eighth annual Midwest Outdoor Leadership Conference at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, where they affirmed K’s standing among its peers as a leader in environmental education.

Adventures are common for Kalamazoo College student organizations, and one February adventure was notable for stirring Outing Club’s devotions to pursuing outdoor activities and professions. The student group of 18 traveled to the eighth annual Midwest Outdoor Leadership Conference at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, where they affirmed K’s standing among its peers as a leader in environmental education and met peers with similar passions from around the region.

The conference, conducted annually at a different higher-education institution each year, provides undergraduates interested in outdoor-recreation careers a chance to learn from each other while networking, developing their leadership skills and building new technical skills.

“To most of the colleges attending this conference, a small college has about 5,000 students,” said Outdoor Programs Director Jory Horner, noting K’s student body of just over 1,400. “Attending this program differentiates us as a liberal arts school because the students are keeping their interest in it alive by dedicating their time. Other colleges are blown away that this is something our staff can handle with just the ingenuity and resourcefulness of our students, who receive no academic credit for it.”

All attendees are encouraged to serve as presenters during the outdoor leadership conference, including Riley Gabriel ’21 and Matt Giguere ’21, who presented on linking the principles of Leave No Trace, dedicated to leaving wild places the way others would like to find them, to everyday life. Kit Charlton ’21 also was among K’s representatives, and all of them noted how K stands out among schools attending the conference as a leader in environmental education.

“We have an emphasis on sustainability, plus comprehensive composting and a hoop house,” said Gabriel, an English major with a concentration in environmental studies from Grosse Pointe, Michigan, mentioning just a few of K’s environmental projects. “A lot of the programs we have undertaken aren’t available at other schools.”

Workshops over the conference’s two days included lessons in best practices for hiking, diversity and inclusion in outdoor education, and methods for adaptive recreation activities such as rock climbing. The event fits well with the Outing Club’s mission of providing K students with environmental awareness while teaching how to lead outdoor activities and wilderness trips.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have a committed group over the years,” said Charlton, an English and critical ethnic studies major from Berkley, Michigan, referencing K’s participation in seven of the conference’s first eight years.

The Outing Club allows K students to continue where many leave off with LandSea, the College’s outdoor orientation program offered to incoming students through Outdoor Programs. LandSea, conducted in Adirondack State Park in New York State, helps students meet their peers, gain self-confidence, earn a partial physical education credit and develop classroom skills, even before moving to campus. Outdoor Programs also offers wilderness trips over student breaks, outdoor-themed physical education classes, equipment rental and opportunities to learn wilderness first aid.

Horner “reminds us often of the differences between Outdoor Programs and Outing Club,” said Giguere, a biology major from Portage, Michigan, who attended the conference for the second consecutive year. Outing Club “encourages other students by example to get outdoors, and the support we’ve had from LandSea and Student Development has been exciting.”

Outing Club, Outdoor Programs and the Center for Environmental Stewardship will work together to extend the College’s reputation for environmental education next February as they host the Midwest Outdoor Leadership Conference Feb. 7-9 at K. Although organizers have just started making plans, they say they will incorporate K’s dedication to diversity, inclusion and social justice into their conversations.

“We’re excited to draw on the resources we have at K to bring social justice ideas into the conference and view it through that lens,” Charlton said.

K Student Activities Committee and Office of Student Involvement Claim Awards for “Hunger Games” Event

K Student Activities Committee and Office of Student Involvement group photoKalamazoo College won the Outstanding Campus Collaboration Award and Program of the Year at the National Association of Campus Activities Mid America Region 2013 conference. It was the third year in a row that K was honored with either the Campus Collaboration Award or the Program of the Year in the region that includes colleges and universities throughout Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Illinois.

K’s Student Activities Committee and the Office of Student Involvement claimed both awards on the basis of a single program—Zoo After Dark: Winter Quarter Quell (Hunger Games)—developed by the Childish Games Commission (CGC), a student run organization.

“CGC is a unique group on the K campus,” said Assistant Director of Student Involvement Kate Yancho. “They meet at midnight every Friday and play games. Tag, Dodgeball, Kick-the-Can, Capture-the-Flag, etc. When they approached us about cosponsoring a Zoo After Dark (our late night series) with a Hunger Games themed event, we were more than excited to accept the challenge. As we began to plan the event, the campus began to buzz with excitement. ‘What will this be like?’ ‘How will we play?’ The anticipation was palpable.”

Kate continues: “The CGC partnered with us on other events leading up to the event to help build more excitement. Our weekly craft series, Wind Down Wednesdays, most notably. Campus was blanketed with Mockingjays, and the leaders of the organization dressed as characters from the books throughout the week. We focused on the logistics and let the CGC focus on the rules and procedures for the game.

“On the night of the event, students excitedly entered our Hicks Student Center. The main gathering space was set up with food (Greasy Sae’s Chili Bar, District Cupcakes, and more), skill testing workshops and activities (knot tying lanyards, mini bow and arrow craft, Mockingjay button making, and others), and a large screen with images from the Hunger Games as well as the soundtrack playing through the sound system. Then, districts offered tributes, the rules were explained, and the games began.

“But, how could the 225 people who came possibly all play? Well, they didn’t. About 20 students acted as ‘tributes’ who were filmed via a live video feed that was broadcast into the main gathering space and the other participants became spectators in the ‘Capitol.’ They could send gifts, see the antics, get engaged and involved.

“The feedback we received from students who participated was spectacular. They loved this idea. CGC had offered Quidditch before, which was innovative and fun, but this really seemed to capture them. In fact, we are working on another Hunger Games themed event with this group currently. We love when students have these unique ideas. And, we love it even more when we can make them reality!”