Calvin Seminary Housing Guide: A-Z


Tim Bruinsma – Housing Manager (616) 957-8618

                                       In the event of an emergency call 911. 


Dishwasher (in Englewood Apartments)

Things to do when using the dishwasher:

  • Run only full loads in order to conserve water
  • Use dishwasher specific soap

Things NOT to do when using the dishwasher:

  • Don’t block the rotating spray arm at the bottom of the dishwasher
  • Don’t put the following types of materials in the dishwasher:

○        Acrylic

○        Aluminum

○        Cast Iron as well as other pots and pans

○        Plastics that aren’t labeled “Dishwasher Safe”

○        Wooden spoons and bowls

Faucet Water Filter vs. Water Filter Pitcher

Some residents use faucet water filters, but these often cause the kitchen faucet to leak and ultimately to be replaced. Please use a water filter pitcher instead to purify water. If a resident uses the faucet water filter and the faucet begins to leak the resident will be responsible for the cost of the new faucet (effective for residents moving in after June 1, 2014).

Garbage Disposal 

Things to do when using the garbage disposal:

  • First turn on a moderate flow of cold water and then turn on the disposal
  • Continue to run water for 15 seconds after grinding is complete to clear the drain line
  • Use a disposal cleaner if a smell starts to occur

Things NOT to do when using the garbage disposal:

  • Don’t use hot water when using the disposal
  • Don’t pour grease or fat down the drain. It can build up in pipes.
  • Don’t fill the disposal with a lot of food all at once. Instead, turn the water and disposal on first and then feed food in to the disposal gradually.
  • Don’t grind extremely fibrous items like corn husks or artichokes


  • Always use the fan when you are cooking
  • Periodically clean the hood filter in hot soapy water to remove grease
  • If the bulb burns out please submit a work order because an appliance bulb is required


The freezer may have to be periodically defrosted if ice builds up, this can easily be done by following these steps:

  • Turn off the thermostat inside of the refrigerator
  • Leave the freezer door open and place a few towels inside to absorb the water as the ice melts
  • After defrosting, remove all water and loose ice
  • Turn the thermostat back to the original setting

Stovetop & Oven

NEVER leave anything cooking on the stove while you are away from your apartment. Residents have done this in the past and caused a fire to start.

Please clean the oven periodically with a commercial cleaner such as Easy Off Oven Cleaner. Do not use knives or other sharp objects to scrape the oven.


Information on Grand Rapids

  • City of Grand Rapids

  • Experience Grand Rapids


There are a lot of options in Grand Rapids for grocery stores; the following are near campus housing and/or popular with the student body:
Aldi [near Batchawana & Englewood apartments]

Aldi [near Burton apartments]

D&W Fresh Market

Downtown Market

Idema Food Pantry [there is also a Clothes Closet]

Meijer [near Batchawana & Englewood apartments]

Meijer [near Burton apartments]

Thrift Stores

There are so many to choose from! Here is a small sampling:
Bethany’s Thrift Store


Once Upon a Child

New 2 You Shoppe

New Life Thrift Store

  • 4339 S. Division Ave., Wyoming – 616-534-7134

The Salvation Army


Please leave the windows closed and locked in the basement common areas. When windows are left open it affects the temperature of the common rooms and hallways.


Please do not leave bicycles lying in the parking lot or in front of the building entrances.  To avoid theft, please be sure to lock your bike up at all times.  Bicycle registration is available through the Campus Safety Office and became mandatory in 2011.  Registration is free and can be done online



If the electricity is off in an area of your apartment, but not the whole apartment, a breaker switch may have turned off.

Breaker boxes are located in different areas depending on the apartment complex.

  • Batchawana – in the basement near the window
  • Burton – behind one of the bedroom doors
  • Englewood – in the hallway near the bedrooms

If a breaker switch has been tripped, it will be positioned between on and off.  Move the breaker switch to the off position and then back on.  If it will not reset, please fill out a maintenance request at  Do not try to turn the breaker on and off repeatedly because this may cause serious damage to the switch. For a demonstration watch this video clip:


Ground Fault Interrupters (GFIs) are designed to trip a breaker in order to prevent electrical shock. If the power is off in part of your apartment, but not the whole apartment and all of the breaker switches seem ok a GFI may need to be reset. Watch this video clip to learn how to reset a gfi:


The Burton apartments are unlocked by 8am Monday through Saturday and locked after 6pm. Please do not prop open building doors as this compromises the safety of all building residents.


Because the Seminary shares part of the campus with Calvin College, the Campus Safety Department coordinates all safety operations for Calvin Seminary and Calvin Colleges campuses.  The Department consists of a Director, a Dispatch Manager, an Operations Manager, five Patrol Supervisors, office staff, and 40 part-time student dispatchers and patrol officers.

Student patrol officers receive training in basic campus safety officer procedures, emergency medical procedures, and CPR.  Campus Safety patrol officers are unarmed with the exception of select patrol supervisors who are armed through a provision of Public Act 330 (Private Security Business and Security Alarm Act of 1968).  They conduct foot and vehicular patrols of the campus and Burton apartments 24 hours a day.  In addition, an escort service is provided in the evening and nighttime hours between campus and the Burton apartments.

Campus Safety patrol persons enforce all college and seminary rules and regulations.  Local police are called in for any arrest relating to violations of city or state laws.  The Campus Safety Department maintains a good working relationship with local, county, and state police agencies.
As a practice, local and state police agencies do not inform the college or seminary of criminal activity in the vicinity of the campus.  A reasonable attempt is made to be aware of any crimes occurring in the area of the campus that would pose a threat to the college and seminary community.

Campus Safety enforces the campus-wide ban on possession and use of alcohol and illegal drugs.  Seminary students may not consume alcohol in common areas of housing, only within an apartment.

Possession of dangerous weapons or firearms anywhere on campus, including the Seminary housing, is a violation of the Student Conduct Code.


One carbon monoxide detector has been installed in each apartment as a preventative measure. If the alarm sounds leave the apartment immediately and call the Housing Manager.


Carpet will be professionally cleaned before a new tenant moves into an apartment.  After moving in, it is the tenant’s responsibility to maintain the carpet.  Do not remove carpet under any circumstance. Students desiring to install laminate flooring need to get approval from the Housing Manager before any action is taken.

Please take down any “real” trees within a week after Christmas to avoid fire hazard.  Pumpkins should also be removed within a week of Halloween.


Please do not use the deck or hallway areas for storage, on-going donation boxes or as a place to leave garbage. Clear hallways are required in order to maintain the safety of residents in the event of an emergency, as well as for everyday use. For this reason the hallways are inspected by a Fire Marshall on occasion.


Fire Policies

  • Smoking is not permitted anywhere in the apartment buildings
  • The use or possession of fireworks or an explosive of any kind is prohibited
  • Smoke detectors may not be removed or tampered with in any way.  Students may not remove batteries.  The maintenance staff may undertake periodic apartment checks to make certain that the units are operating properly.
  • Floor and desk lamps are permitted but must be UL approved.  The maintenance staff reserves the right to remove them if they are deemed to be a fire hazard.
  • By order of the City of Grand Rapids Fire Hazard Inspector, no electrical extension cord shall be fastened or run through any doorway, partition wall, floor baseboard or casting, or run across any doorway or walking area, or placed under any rug
  • For the safety of all students the floor hallways of the apartment buildings must be kept clean and may not be used for storage.  Items left in the halls are subject to removal by the maintenance staff.
  • Tampering with fire extinguishers, fire alarms, smoke detectors, or emergency procedures signs in or around the apartment building is prohibited

Fire Alarms

If the fire alarm sounds evacuate the building immediately.  Do not assume it is a false alarm.

A common sense approach to avoid false alarms can be accomplished by following these instructions:

  • Keep bathroom doors closed and the fan ON when using the shower; steam may set off the alarms
  • When cooking use the hood fan

Smoke Detectors

Please do not remove the batteries from the smoke detectors in your apartment.  Government regulations require us to have smoke detectors in your apartment and they are also put there for your safety.  If the smoke detector beeps every few minutes, it means the battery is low and needs to be replaced.  Please complete a maintenance request form and the maintenance staff will take care of the issue for you.

FURNITURE [when applicable]

Furnishing an apartment is not typical, but occasionally an apartment is furnished or a few pieces of furniture are provided.  Furnishing is overseen by the Housing Manager. Please do not remove Calvin furniture from the apartment without permission from the Housing Manager.


Garbage from your apartment should be taken to the dumpster located in the parking lot.  Dumpsters are for seminary housing residents only.  Please do not let your friends put garbage in the dumpsters.

Recycling bins are provided and a guide of recyclable items can be found at At Batchawana and Englewood recycling bins should be stored at your entry.  At Burton recycling bins are located by the dumpster.  Please flatten boxes before putting them in the bins.



Students are able to grow fruits and vegetables in pots on their deck. There is a community garden at Burton that students may also be able to utilize. Residents of Batchawana and Englewood should talk with the Housing Manager before planting anything in the ground.  It should be noted that the flower beds around the buildings are maintained by the maintenance staff and a third party lawn care company and growing fruits and vegetables can become confusing for workers and will likely be pulled out.


In an effort to keep housing affordable for students, Calvin Seminary gladly pays the utility bills for all of the apartments. Please do your part to conserve energy and water in an effort to help the seminary continue to provide affordable housing. Some easy ways to do this include:

  • Adjust your thermostat to a lower temperature in the winter/higher in the summer when you know you won’t be home, especially when you will be gone for more than a few days
  • Don’t open a window if you are warm without also turning the heat down and likewise with air conditioning
  • Turn lights off when you leave a room
  • Turn off outdoor lights when its daylight
  • Don’t run the dishwasher if it isn’t full
  • Submit a work order if your toilet is running or a faucet is dripping


During their time at CTS, students in Seminary Housing will occasionally request to change apartments when a preferable one becomes vacant.  If such a move can be accommodated and is approved by the Housing Manager, an administrative fee will be assessed to cover the turnover costs incurred by Seminary Housing.

The fee rates are as follows:

  • FAMILY – $350

If the Seminary asks an individual student or family to relocate within the seminary apartments in order to better accommodate new students, the fee will be waived.


Contracts run from August 1 to July 31 and residents will need to sign a new contract for each year they live in seminary housing.


If you begin to see insects in your apartment, please contact the Housing Manager.  Cooperation is needed immediately to keep insect problems to a minimum.  If spraying of insecticide is necessary, please remove all items in areas where spraying is to occur.

Methods to prevent insect issues:

  • Check and clean out kitchen cupboards periodically,  especially the cupboards with food in them
  • Clean up any food spills inside of cupboards immediately
  • Wipe off kitchen counters daily
  • Take garbage and recycling out frequently


Laundry rooms are located in the basement of the Burton apartments and in Building E at Englewood. These facilities are to be used by residents only and are not coin operated. Please do not put garbage from your apartment in the trash cans in the laundry rooms.


Always sort your clothes into white, medium and dark colors.  Fill the machine about three quarters full of dry clothes and be careful not to put too many clothes in.  If you fill the machine too full it can burn out the motor.  Add a small amount of laundry detergent in with the clothes, not in the cup at the top edge of the machine. The cup is used for fabric softener during rinse cycles.


Please remove lint from the dryer before drying a load of laundry.  Only dry one load of laundry per machine.

Laundry Room Hours

When doing your laundry please remember that there are “quiet hours” in seminary housing from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.  Please do not do laundry during this time because the noise of the washers and dryers filters up to the apartments immediately above the laundry room.


Light bulbs will be replaced by the Maintenance Staff in seminary fixtures.  Residents are responsible for changing bulbs in their personal lamps.


Mail is delivered 6 days a week. Sometimes the Burton apartments do not receive mail on Saturdays because the building doors are locked.


If you need something fixed in your apartment please fill out a housing repairs request by clicking this link. The Maintenance Staff will do their best to promptly complete the repairs. If you would not like the Maintenance Staff to address the work order until you are home please indicate that when you fill out the request. If the repair is urgent, such as a water leak and you are not home they may enter to fix the issue in order to prevent further damage from occurring. As stated in the Terms of Contract which you signed, on page 2 under Calvin Theological Seminary reserves the right to…  #5 states enter a seminary apartment without prior notification and/or permission…for maintenance purposes.

What is considered an emergency housing repair?

Emergencies are those things which pose a health or safety threat to the resident, or extensive damage to the apartment, and consequently must be taken care of immediately.

Examples of emergencies are:

  • Overflowing toilets or sinks
  • Water flooding apartment
  • No electricity in entire apartment
  • Water leaking from ceilings
  • No heat

In the event of an emergency, please contact the Housing Manager at 616-957-8618 or by emailing Both email and the 24 hour phone number are the best ways to reach the Housing Manager.

Under no circumstances are students to repair Calvin’s property.  Painting, patching drywall, and general repairs are strictly prohibited.  Fines will be assessed no matter how well a repair is made.  If something is broken, please complete the housing repairs request form.


Please turn on the bathroom fan while taking a shower to help prevent mold & mildew growth and paint peeling. After showering please let the fan continue to run for a while with the bathroom door open.


Please be mindful of your neighbors and try to keep noise down especially between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.


Vehicle Registration

In order to park on campus you need to register your vehicle and pay a $20 fee for the parking sticker. You can register your vehicle online.  If you have any questions please visit the Dean of Students Office.

Visitor Parking

At Batchawana and Englewood residents guests should park at the edge of the street. At Burton residents guests can park in the lots if space is available.


Although the seminary will use all reasonable efforts to protect the student’s property, the seminary is not in any way responsible for the loss, theft, or damage of any property belonging to the resident.  Please lock your apartment door when you are not home.  You may also want to look into getting renters insurance so that if something valuable is stolen or broken, your insurance company may replace it.


Phones are not provided in apartments.


Rent is charged to the students account on the first of the month and is due the last day of the month, regardless of if that is a business day or not. For example, during the month of March a student will see the March rent posted on their statement March 1st and it needs to be paid by March 31st. A late fee of $50 will be charged to a student’s account on the 1st of the following month if a payment has not been received.


A security deposit equal to one month’s rent is due upon signing the Housing Contract. A resident will receive all of their security deposit back after moving out if:

  • There is no damage to the apartment
  • There has been no violation to the terms of the Housing Contract


During the winter parking lots will be plowed as needed. Residents at Englewood and Batchawana will be provided a shovel and salt and are expected to keep the area outside of their door and the sidewalk to their apartment clear of snow and ice. If you are running low on salt please submit a housing repairs request so the Maintenance Staff can refill it for you.

Additional storage space is provided in each Burton apartment building in the basement trunk room. Please limit your storage of items to the space designated for your apartment so there is space for all of the buildings residents. Items need to be packed neatly and clearly labeled with your name and apartment number. The storage area is for the present residents of the apartments – not for friends or past or future residents. When you move out ALL OF YOUR ITEMS in storage MUST be removed otherwise there will not be enough storage room for new tenants. Please do not store items in the basement common areas.



  • Neverleave children under the age of 12 alone in your apartment without an adult to take care of them.  If you have to go out for the evening or during the day, please hire a babysitter or make arrangements for someone else in the building to take care of them.
  • Please teach your children to use the bathroom inside in your apartment.  The Health Department of Michigan does not allow this to be done outside.
  • Please never let your small children push anything up to an open window to stand in front of it.  This is especially dangerous in the upper apartments.  The screens will give away under pressure and your child can fall out of the window.


At the end of the day please have your children (or you) pick up all of the toys they have been playing with outside, in the basement rooms, or hallways.  This helps those who have to mow the lawn and clean the rooms and hallways, as well as the other residents. Please label all children’s bikes, scooters, etc. with your last name and apartment number.


Cable is included at the Burton apartments and is available for a cost at Englewood and Batchawana apartments.  Please contact the Housing Manager for further details.


You are responsible for the condition of your apartments walls when you move out.  Please do not remove wallpaper without permission from the Housing Manager.  When hanging pictures, use staples where possible.  For heavier items, you may use a nail, but try to keep the holes as small as possible.  You will be charged a fee if large holes are left in the walls.  Please wash off any pencil, crayon or other marks your children may make on the walls.

When a resident moves out the screens in the apartments are checked for holes and to make sure they are installed securely.  If you live in your apartment more than one year it would be a good idea to check the screens to make sure they are still secure or place a work order so the maintenance staff can inspect them.  They should always be clipped tightly in place.  Please do not let your children lean on them because they will come out.


Here are the instructions to access wireless in seminary housing:

  • Select the wireless network that is available – the name will look like an address, for instance 3555burton
  • When prompted, enter the network password: semWir3le55
  • Occasionally the router may need to be reset – this may be located in your apartment or a neighboring apartment within your building

○     To reset the router unplug the unit from the wall and wait 10 seconds before plugging it back in

  • If you have any questions or issues, please see the Seminary IT staff or email them at