Diaz rocks the Grammy Awards

by Sara Cowden

If there is any J-Lo or Eminem controversy at the 45th Annual Grammy Awards, Simpson’s own junior Andrea Diaz will be right there to experience it all first hand.

Diaz won the opportunity to attend the show through her internship with Rock the Vote, a nonprofit organization dedicated to informing young people about political issues and registering them to vote.

“I became involved with Rock the Vote because I think that it is so important for our age group to stay informed on current political issues,” said Diaz. “I usually tell people about a few main issues that affect them and ask if they care. Chances are, they do. And if so, what are their representatives doing about it?”

According to Diaz, there are about 40 street-team leaders for Rock the Vote across the nation. The organization then chose the top ten to go to New York City for the Grammy Awards.

“They said that I managed to show some creativity in my work and that I did a good job in doing what was needed,” said Diaz. “My voter registration numbers weren’t as high as other leaders, but I was able to put together a very reliable team for our concert events.”

Each team consisted of about 15 people per concert. Diaz’s teams were mostly made up of volunteer Simpson students.

Locally, Diaz has worked in conjunction with central Iowa’s Youth Vote Coalition. Naturally free admission to concerts is a perk of the job. She has been to many concerts and usually receives backstage passes as well.

Diaz said there is a lot of freedom as to which bands you choose to work with. She has worked with a variety-anything from Alicia Keyes to the Nadas to Tool.

Diaz and her team of volunteers hand out brochures and answer any questions that concert-goers may have. If they are already registered voters, there are plenty of pamphlets concerning current issues. If they are not registered to vote, it can be done at their booth. The organization is nonpartisan.

Along with attending the Grammy’s Diaz will be busy with a number of other activities.

Friday morning Diaz, along with the nine others, will be the guests of honor at a breakfast hosted by MTV, Rock the Vote’s biggest sponsor. They will then tour the MTV studios for the remainder of the day.

The night before the Grammy Awards, she will attend the Patrick Lippert Awards-this is given to artists by Rock the Vote that have shown their support for activism.

“Basically, we’ll be the faces of Rock the Vote,” said Diaz. “All of these events are built to support Rock the Vote and to create awareness on a nation wide scale.”

To check out the biggest music awards ceremony, tune in to CBS at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23. The event will be held in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

“I was really not expecting this whole thing. Just weeks ago I had plans to go to Washington D.C. for a democratic convention,” said Diaz. “Then I got this letter in the mail and I made a quick change in plans.”