The Editorial Staff
On the first Tuesday after spring break, March 15, UNC-Greensboro students will be faced with a critical choice. And no, it has nothing to do with the presidential primary elections.
Instead, all North Carolina voters will be asked to vote either for or against the Connect NC Bond.
This newspaper strongly urges you to vote for the package.
The simple fact of the matter is that passage of the bond on March 15 will bring untold benefits to our university.
As the News and Record reported this past January, our “university would get $105 million to replace the aging McIver Building with a new nursing school facility that also will have biology and chemistry labs.”
All UNC-Greensboro students know — or should know — that our nursing program is among the most competitive and prized programs on campus. Yet, the News and Record reports that due to the constraints of its current facilities, it usually “turns away 100 qualified nursing students” per year.
In other words, our university is — for no other reason than a lack of space — either relegating strong students to a non-nursing major, or forcing them to transfer into another university’s program. And given the competitive nature of college admissions and rankings, this exodus of talent has a negative impact on the university as a whole.
With that being said, we would also like to point out that the Connect NC Bond offers North Carolina A&T State University $90 million to build a new engineering building, and Guilford Technical Community College upwards of $9 million for building renovations.
In sum, the Connect NC Bond package will provide funds to the in-need areas of every UNC-system college and university, which is a major departure from the years of draconian higher education spending cuts that have crippled many programs across the state.
On top of that, the News and Observer reported in October that, if the bond passes, “within five years, the state’s debt will be less than it is today.” Hence, the $2 billion bond package is not a symptom of fiscal irresponsibility, but a benefit of effective fiscal discipline.
We are well aware that March 15 will be a hectic election day; in fact, for many students it will probably take on a combination of very animated emoticons. But, in all the hoopla over who should be the standard-bearer of the Republican and Democratic parties, we can’t afford to lose sight of the critical policy decisions that will impact our university for the decades to come.
It is for these reasons that we strongly urge a vote in favor of the Connect NC Bond. UNC-Greensboro deserves it; the nursing program deserves it; we deserve it.