By Katelyn Seavey, Student Body President
I write to you as your Student Body President to remind you that this Election Day, we have an incredible opportunity to support USM by voting Yes on Question 4, which is the University of Maine System infrastructure bond that will invest $25.2 million directly in improving our campus for current and future students.
While how you vote (or not) is certainly a personal choice, as you have no doubt heard from President Cummings, Question 4 is a once-and-a-lifetime investment that would have a transformative impact on our campus. By way of comparison, the last System-wide bond was authorized five years ago and brought $4 million to USM.
If Question 4 passes, a large sum of the money would be invested in Portland to build a new Career & Student Success center to replace Woodbury and serve as an anchor to the exciting redevelopment of the Portland campus that will also include new student housing and a graduate center. The bond would also double the size of USM’s nursing simulation lab to allow for an increase in enrollment, invest millions to improve and expand STEM classrooms/labs and modernize residence halls in Gorham to increase student satisfaction.
Because of the direct benefits the bond would bring to USM and our fellow students, the USM Student Senate unanimously voted to endorse Question 4, the first ballot issue in recent memory we have taken a formal position on.
While many of us will graduate before these major projects are completed, the positive impact this bond would have on the long-term success and sustainability of our campus and our community simply cannot be overstated. A positive vote on Question 4 will send an important message that Maine values and supports its public universities and position us for increased State funding and donor giving which helps keeps tuition affordable for us.
As students, this is a way we can make a real difference not only for our fellow students and USM, but for our state’s future.
If you have more questions about Question 4, you can visit www.facebook.com/Yes4MainesWorkforce or come hear Chancellor Page and President Cummings speak about the bond at a campus-wide meeting this Friday, Nov. 2 at 9 a.m. in Luther Bonney’s Talbot Hall.
On Nov. 6, I urge you to join me in voting for USM and for Question 4.