By: Dakota Tibbetts, Design Assistant
On Nov. 5, the day before the midterm election, I had a conversation with a fellow USM student. They expressed disagreement with the question four bond that would grant Maine universities $49,000,000 with over half of these funds going to USM.
It confused me that a Maine university student, especially one attending the school that would benefit most, could be against the bond. I learned that the reason the student planned to vote no on the bond was that they were concerned about further overcrowding within the already overbooked residence halls at USM. After reminding them that only 13 percent of our student body actually lives on-campus, I also pointed out that, above all else, USM is a school that is “dedicated to providing students with a high-quality, accessible, affordable education.” As it stands though, USM cannot deliver all of these attributes to students simultaneously. The largest state university in Maine, founded in 1878, is beginning to show its age which only makes it more difficult for students to receive a high quality or accessible education without having to pay a large tuition. This is why the Question 4 bond will add value to the school.
Labor shortages have been a prominent topic in Maine news this year. The Portland Press Herald alone reported shortages in farmers, healthcare professionals, bus drivers, state dispatchers and more. These are all important positions that require some form of education. With the newly passed bond funds, USM plans to expand STEM facilities and programs while also providing more resources for all students. So, while the parking at USM might not get easier, increasing the number of educated Mainers entering the workforce makes me proud to support my school.