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Protestors chant against Betsy DeVos as MSU research center opens in Grand Rapids

Sep 20, 2017

A group of around 50 protestors in Grand Raids made it clear today that they aren't fans of U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. 

The group chanted outside the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Michigan State University's new Grand Rapids Research Center.

DeVos has been criticized for her ideas about public education, especially her support for school choice and vouchers.

Sarah Kelly is a student at MSU who will be working in the new facility.

She says DeVos shouldn't have been invited to speak at the event.

“Michigan State is a great university that honors diversity, inclusion, and integrity in research. And everything so far that Betsy DeVos has stood for is against all of that,” Kelly said.

There was a group of around 10 counter protestors who stood in favor of DeVos, many of whom were holding signs in support of her policies.

Betsy DeVos speaking at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Credit Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

DeVos didn’t take much time out of her speech to address her critics. Instead, she focused on what the MSU Grand Rapids Research Center will mean for the city and the state.

The $88 million research center will be the “anchor” of Grand Rapids’ science community, according to DeVos.

“What a terrific addition this is to Grand Rapids' Medical Mile and to the skyline here. We can all truly be proud today,” DeVos said.