#WeAreCalvin winners announced, results to be sent to administration

Senior Drew Sikkema’s photo of Calvin’s student section during the women’s volleyball national finals game took home first place in student senate’s #WeAreCalvin campaign, gathering 102 of the 1,287 votes cast.

“This picture taken during the championship volleyball game is not only a testament of how great Calvin athletics are, but shows a mighty display of where you can go with 1,500 students behind you,” said Sikkema.

Sikkema said that his photo highlights the importance that students place on athletics at Calvin.

“As the school moves forward in its financial planning, this picture affirms the impact of athletics in the Calvin community, especially the student body,” he said.

Sikkema is involved with the Calvin Game Day program, which promotes student participation in and awareness of Calvin athletics.

Second place went to senior Rachel Geib’s photo of speech pathology students with 76 votes, and junior Lori Dykstra’s photo of two years’ worth of Calvin-related tickets took third with 63 votes.

“I love a good opportunity to show some Calvin pride at a game, support peers at or take part in a performance, save money at the movies or adopt a new favorite band,” said Dykstra. “Calvin gives me all of these opportunities.”

Winners received gift certificates to the campus store as prizes.

A total of 194 photos were submitted during the week-long campaign. Student senate initiated #WeAreCalvin to collect Calvin students’ priorities and share them with the planning and priorities committee and the board of trustees.

Junior Yeaji Choi, student body president, said that the major themes that students highlighted were study abroad programs, residence life, the speech pathology program, the Calvin community and co-curricular activities and events.

“Through this project, we’re able to realize that Calvin students value investing in more than an education within the classroom,” said Choi. “We also learned that Calvin student highly value relationships and community life.”

She plans to present a summary of the results to the planning and priorities committee and the board of trustees, as well as to make all photos and votes available to Calvin leaders.

“Because Calvin students value learning in the classroom and outside the classroom, we hope that administration will continue investing in linking those opportunities to create a wholesome liberal arts experience,” Choi continued.

Senate hopes that these photos would help inform the prioritization process sparked by the college’s financial troubles.

“The fact that Calvin students validated the importance of programs, opportunities and experiences through this photo contest enables administrators to make further decisions with more confidence,” Choi said.