Service-Learning Center moves into time of transition


Photo by Levi Huizenga

Streetfest was one of the programs run by the SLC. The center is now under the direction of the Global Campus.

The Service-Learning Center (SLC) moved into a period of transition early this semester after former Director Andrew Haggerty stepped down. The center is now under the direction of the Global Campus.

Students stepping up

For the remainder of the semester, Rebekah Van Zoest, a speech pathology and audiology graduate student, will be stepping into Haggerty’s role. Van Zoest worked for the SLC as an undergraduate student between 2020 and 2021. She also helped with StreetFest last summer. 

“I don’t know exactly what it will look like but I’m looking forward to once again working alongside the staff at the SLC,” said Van Zoest. 

Founded in 1964 by Calvin students, the SLC has a long history of student leadership and empowerment. While the director typically facilitates and guides projects, students are encouraged to pitch their own ideas and to collaborate with each other. 

“They’re not always seeking out the director for advice, but there’s a lot of conversation and ideation and brainstorming that happens within the student staff,” said Haggerty. 

William Van Zoest, a senior studying social work and the SLC’s operations coordinator, agreed. 

 “It’s a very student-led office,” said Van Zoest. 

This approach may have left the student staff better prepared for the transition. However, being without a director has created more work for students, especially Evelyn Marcrom, the current chief of staff. 

“She’s picked up a lot of the things that Andrew previously had done,” said Van Zoest. 

New opportunities

Haggerty, who is now director of first-year parent and supporter programs at Grand Valley State University, announced his decision to leave in Dec. 2022. As reported by Chimes in June 2022, Haggerty’s office was heavily affected by staff cuts and increased workloads. 

Haggerty was also troubled with how Calvin and the CRC handled human sexuality in recent years. 

“Especially after synod, I felt very incongruent with the denomination, and it became increasingly hard to stay at Calvin because of the incongruence,” said Haggerty. 

These factors played a role in his decision to look for a new position. However, Haggerty said he is ultimately leaving because he found a new job he believes will be good for him professionally. 

“It wasn’t like I was wholly unhappy at Calvin; it was more like there were things that bothered me, and I had this good opportunity come up,” said Haggerty. 

Haggerty joins at least a handful of other faculty and staff who have left Calvin in recent years due in part to concerns about the university’s handling of LGBTQ+ issues.


The Global Campus oversees a variety of programs, including dual enrollment and the Calvin Prison Initiative. Moving the SLC under its jurisdiction has been discussed for some time, and Haggerty’s departure solidified the decision, according to Kevin den Dulk, associate provost and director of the Global Campus.

“We knew last week that we needed to get leadership and an existing team behind the Service-Learning Center with Andrew’s departure, and that’s part of the reason it came over to the Global Campus,” said Kevin den Dulk, associate provost and director of the Global Campus. 

Previously, the SLC had been part of the Office for Faculty Development and Research, because of its role in helping faculty use service for pedagogical purposes. Den Dulk himself, a professor of political science, worked with the SLC when he wanted students to learn about specific problems in the community through volunteer work. 

However, the SLC also has strong connections to the Global Campus. For instance, Shaquille Anthony, whose work as the director of strategic partnerships intersects with that of the SLC, is part of the Global Campus staff. 

“Moving to the Global Campus opens up some possibilities for the work of the student staff in Service-Learning,” said den Dulk.