Calvin to create a new community space on Peet’s Patio in honor of class of 2020


Elyse Bax

Caption: Students are encouraged to donate money for Peet’s Patio.

Calvin University is preparing to build a fireplace on Peet’s Patio with support from K4L, student life, student senate, and alumni and student donors. According to students Elyse Bax and Dayna Zylstra, part of K4L, the idea for the Peet’s fireplace came from student senate and their discussions with President Michael Le Roy and Vice President Sarah Visser. Student body president Emerson Silvernail stated this is a student-oriented project that has been on student senate’s radar for three years. Plans have been made in accordance with input from students and surveys. 

The fireplace will come to fruition with help from students. According to Silvernail and Bax, student senate has given $5,000 out of their own budget to help with the costs, and student life, through Visser, has also committed funding for the project. In relation to the project, Visser said, “The current project proposal aligns well with our earlier vision, and Calvin’s student senate is working hard to see this vision come to reality. I’ve been impressed with the planning process, and I’m thrilled to partner with the student body and other supporters to advance the work.” 

The goal is to raise $3,000 from students, Silvernail noted. There is a donor willing to match student donations four to one, which means $15,000 will be added to the project once student donations reach $3,000. 

The campaign began last week, Feb. 25, at Culver’s, where students raised several hundred of their $3,000 goal. Future efforts to raise money include selling t-shirts and stickers. And, according to Zylstra, if you give over $15 you receive a Peet’s Patio t-shirt. “We are going to have little spots outside of Peet’s where you can give a couple dollars and build a super yummy s’more! In late April we hope to have another event that is also currently in the works, so stay tuned,” said Zylstra. 

Students are encouraged to give, as it will be “a really great opportunity for students to give back to the University and leave their mark on campus,” said Silvernail. Visser stated, “With the launch of the new Peet’s Coffee Shop this fall, the proposed location seems ideal. In addition, I’ve been heartened to see the engagement of the student body in helping to fund the project. The collaboration from across a variety of Calvin constituents — from students to facilities to donors to administrators — has been inspiring. Once the project is fully fundraised, this will be a wonderful addition to Calvin’s campus.” 

If 50% of Calvin seniors give to the project, the alumni office will contribute a plaque in honor of the 2020 seniors, according to Bax and Silvernail. Zylstra mentioned it only takes $5 from 50% of students to fund the fireplace. 

The fireplace is set to be finished by the end of the summer, mentioned Bax. According to Silvernail, Peet’s Patio will create a community and hangout space for on- and off-campus students. As Zylstra says, the fireplace is going to be a place for students to hang out in hot and cold weather. Students and alumni interested in donating should follow the link attached to the QR code or visit the website.