Home GRCC Back to School Students head back to GRCC as the first day of the Fall...

Students head back to GRCC as the first day of the Fall 2018 semester gets underway

Students walk in the Bostwick Commons on the first day of the Fall 2018 semester on August 27, 2018 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. (Tatiana Diaz/The Collegiate)

Grand Rapids Community College opens its doors to over 13,000 students for the Fall 2018 semester with new and returning students headed to campus today.

Faculty and staff were motivated to receive the students after hearing GRCC President Bill Pink’s encouraging words about the work they do on campus on Friday during the Fall Opening Day Celebration at St. Cecilia Music Center.

“We take students and it doesn’t matter if they have a 4.0 or an 0.4, it doesn’t matter, come here,” Pink said. “It doesn’t matter the color of their skin, it doesn’t matter their home preference of anything. They are our students, and we are in charge to give them a quality education. And that means all of us have a piece of that.”

New GRCC students are eager to begin their studies and acclimate to the community at GRCC as more than 400 students attended Raider Rally over the weekend. Recent Forest Hills Central High School student Calvin Mast, 18, of Grand Rapids, is ready for the semester and to take advantage of GRCC’s technology programs.

“I’m pretty excited to learn about coding and how it all works,” Mast said. “I had some light experience with it before delving into completely writing something. It’s something that interests me.”

Alex Soto, 19, of Wyoming, graduated this year from Wyoming High School and is enthusiastic about his first semester in college.

“I’m generally excited in how different the atmosphere is going to be and meeting new people,” Soto said. “Because I’m assuming college is a really diverse place compared to high school where everyone is like homogeneous, even if they are different.”

Soto is hoping to find a place to fit in at GRCC during his time on campus.

“(I want to) find a group of people that I can really get along with and socialize with because that’s what I’ve been lacking, I’ve recently noticed,” Soto said. “Especially now that all my friends are gone I really just want to find an anchor for me to hold onto and something to really appreciate, so I’m hoping the community here will help me anchor essentially.”

Consider parking options before heading to campus

With several construction projects simultaneously happening downtown, allow extra time for traffic backups and detours when getting to campus.

Work continues on Division Avenue between Fountain Street and Library Plaza and is expected to extend through mid-October, according to the City of Grand Rapids in a recent press release.

The Grand Rapids Police Department and the Grand Rapids Community College Police Department will be directing traffic starting today and continue through Friday. Additionally, the City of Grand Rapids has installed a left turn signal at Division Avenue and Library Plaza to alleviate any traffic delays in that area.

Parking on campus has resumed to normal with projects on the Bostwick and DeVos parking ramps finishing up just ahead of the first day of school. The fee to park in the parking lots on campus remain at $3.50 with the use of a RaiderCard. Otherwise, guests or those without a RaiderCard must pay at the Pay-in-Lane machines. The cost is $2 for every half hour with a daily maximum fee of $12. For more information on parking at GRCC, click here.

Mark Your Calendar For These Upcoming Campus Events

There are several events planned throughout campus in the first weeks of the fall semester to help students prepare for classes and to give them a chance to meet other students. The Campus Activities Board has  their annual Welcome Week planned with events on Sept. 4 through 7.

Starting the week, on Sept. 4, is Involvement Day where students can learn about campus clubs and organizations at GRCC from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Juan Olivarez Plaza between the Main Building and the Bostwick Parking Ramp.

“This is a great opportunity to learn more about services provided by different departments and to learn more about how to get involved on campus,” said Kaitlynn Karl, Vice President of Recruitment and Retention of the Campus Activities Board. “Whether that be joining a student organization or applying as a student for a job with a department on campus. There are many ways to get involved on campus, and that is what Involvement Day is all about.”

An Outdoor Carnival is slated from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sept. 5 at the Juan Olivarez Plaza. The Games and Boba Tea event will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sept. 6 at the Raider Grille Patio. Lastly, ending Welcome Week is Movie Night from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 7 at the Leslie E. Tassell M-TEC building. For more information on Welcome Week and to pick up a flyer with this information visit the Student Life office in the Student Center.