By Lizz Vensas
Last Thursday the Raider Grille was transformed into to a fusion of comedy club and Alternative Rock/Hip Hop club as Rock the Vote took over to raise awareness about the upcoming Millage/Bond Proposal vote on May 8.
The bond proposal is for a .35 mill increase, which would be for 20 years and raise approximately 98.6 million dollars. That money would be put towards renovation for the improvement of buildings on campus, massive technology upgrades all throughout the school, and improvements in green technology.
Rock the Vote saw a very diverse set list of performers, bringing many cultural aspects into one place to help raise awareness for Grand Rapids Community College. Comedian Brandon Queshawn hosted while DJ Word was on sound.
DJ Word was thrilled to be helping out for the cause.
“What I loved the most about this event was the diversity in the artists. You had rock, alternative, poetry, and hip-hop,” DJ Word said. “Everybody came together for the common goal of voting. It was a positive event; I think some people learned what the millage was about.”
Event attendee Raymond Gant agreed with that sentiment. Saying he liked that the diversity in performers forced him to think out of his entertainment comfort zone.
Emily Smitter was one of the main organizers and was thrilled to see how everything turned out. She believes very strongly in voting on issues.
“The point of it was to get people to know about what’s going on and get them out to vote. It’s about improving the school,” Smitter said. “And we need to improve the school, so we can have learning environment. Especially faster Internet.”
Smitter is aware that most of the improvements will not happen while she is attending GRCC and she is fine with that.
She explained that this school really affects the community. She doesn’t want to come back years from now and find the place where she started her education has turned into a dump.
“You could always end up back at GRCC,” Smitter said. “Or you kids could go here someday. Better infrastructure and internet will create a more comfortable environment, and that will really help people learn.”
Also at the Rock the Vote event was GRCC Yes campaign manager, Mike Kolehouse.
“It was a good event,” he said. “It was nice to see the students come out. If the students at GRCC turn out to vote, they could have a huge effect.”
Kolehouse and his campaign staff are currently focused on making people aware of the vote and what it could do for the city, saying that they have been looking at getting a lot of community support and have 300 endorsements thus far.
“1 out of 3 students from the district will end up at GRCC at one point,” Kolehouse said. “Every year graduates add about 500 million dollars to our local economy. The school needs to be brought up to quality level to help the community.”
The next event will be April 26 at the Meanwhile. President Steve Ender and Representative Brandon Dillon will be there, along with other various speakers in the community.