Bullet damages glass on Calvin Crossing


Jamison Van Andel

A bullet punctured a panel of glass on the Calvin Crossing.

The Calvin Crossing is typically witness to events no more exciting than commuting students running late to class and rush hour traffic on the East Beltline. Last month, however, the peace was shattered along with some of the Crossing’s glass when a bullet struck one of the bridge’s glass panels.

According to a campus safety report filed on Jan. 3, a campus safety officer conducting a routine check on the bridge found the shattered panel along with glass shards and fragments of the bullet that struck it. The report stated that the damage occurred sometime between Jan. 1 and Jan. 3, and that “the source of the bullet [was] unknown.”

Director of campus safety William Corner suggested that the bullet likely came from celebratory gunfire to honor the new year or from a motorist using the bridge as a target while shooting from a vehicle moving north on the East Beltline. It does not appear as though anyone was on or around the bridge when it was struck. 

Upon its discovery, the bullet hole was covered with plastic wrap to prevent further crumbling and measured for replacement. The glass was replaced on Feb. 3. 

Corner said that similar damage to the bridge has happened before, most recently earlier this school year, when considerable repairs took place after what was believed to be an act of vandalism. Campus safety indicated that the damage then was due to rocks striking the glass. The January incident differs in that the glass was struck clean through and bullet fragments were found. 

Outside of campus safety, guns are not permitted on Calvin’s campus without permission from the Board of Trustees. As a state highway, the East Beltline does not fall under campus jurisdiction. 

Although Corner said that other bullets have struck the Calvin Crossing over the years, these incidents are all believed to be random and do not pose an ongoing risk to members of the Calvin community. “If we started to see something like that [on a regular basis], we would certainly try and increase not only our patrols around the crossing but set up additional surveillance with cameras,” Corner said. 

The Grand Rapids Police Department was informed about the incident.