“It is not every day that something like this happens,” said Western Michigan University sophomore Jessica Kohnert of Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s visit to campus Thursday, Nov. 20.
The majority of the WMU community seemed to agree because there wasn’t a dry seat in the house as students, faculty, Kalamazoo residents and city officials gathered to hear Gov. Jennifer Granholm speak about her decision to sign a budget that eliminated the Michigan Promise Scholarship.
“I’m here because I am one of the students that this scholarship was promised to and was taken from. I want to hear what Governor Granholm has to say about that,” said WMU sophomore Kristen Fairchild.
“I grew up in Kalamazoo and received the Kalamazoo Promise and the Michigan Promise. College is expensive and every little bit helps,” sophomore Latasha James said.
As a political science major at WMU and a member of the College Democrats, James makes sure she stays politically active and involved on campus.
Fairchild and James are among the thousands of students who relied on the scholarship to aid them in funding their college careers.
“She was really upbeat, really motivational. Her speech radiated optimism for the future of education and the Michigan Promise,” freshman Juan Estrada said.
“She definitely made it seem more possible,” Fairchild said.
“I thought it was inspiring and I’m going to go call my senator,” said WMU sophomore Melissa Nichols.
Upon entering the room, the audience was handed a piece of paper with information on where to find their state senator and a script of what to tell their senator.