SPAUD department to join other health programs in North Hall


Adelaide Mei

SPAUD’s move into North Hall will affect students, faculty, SPAUD clients and other departments currently in or moving into the science complex.

Former Chief Financial Officer Tim Fennema announced in a Sept. 7 town hall meeting that the Speech Pathology and Audiology Department (SPAUD) will be moving to North Hall. The move will make SPAUD closer to other health program departments but will require adjustment for speech pathology students and their clients. 

Speech pathology students will move from the DeVos Communication Center to North Hall in order to create a more cohesive setting for the School of Health. “They [Calvin] want all students with health-related majors to be together,” second-year graduate student speech pathology major Megan Timmer said.

There’s going to be some wrangling about which classrooms in the science [complex] they use for SPAUD classes that they’ve never used before.

— Keith Vander Linden

According to Keith Vander Linden, chair of the computer science department housed in North Hall, the SPAUD department will have to adjust, as will the other departments in the building, because the SPAUD students “had their own purpose-built spaces over [in DeVos that] … they’re going to try to rebuild here [North Hall], and there’s going to be some wrangling about which classrooms in the science [complex] they use for SPAUD classes that they’ve never used before,” Vander Linden said.

The rebuild will be complex because currently, the DeVos Communication Center has “a whole on-campus clinic setup … with cameras in all the rooms so supervisors can watch students give therapy sessions,” said Timmer.

Additionally, students will switch all of their classrooms and clinical visits to North Hall. Clients who come to Calvin to be treated by first-year graduate students will have to change their routine as well. 

“All of the clients will have to figure out how to navigate the science [complex] on campus instead of DeVos, which is very different,” Timmer said. 

This transition is affecting other health science departments, but speech pathology is the first department to make the switch, according to junior SPAUD student Grace Mears. 

I’ve also heard that we are the first department to move but that there are other moves happening,” said Mears.

The adjustment will take time, according to freshman SPAUD student Landon Pasma, but the renovations will improve accessibility for disabled patients, add necessary elements for the clinic and provide space for graduate students to do their sessions.

“I think in the long run — give it a few years — everything will get settled down and it’ll be, overall, a lot more beneficial to be over there,” Pasma said.