The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday October 5th

Chancellor James MoeserAnd SBP Brad MatthewsUrge Bond Discussion

TO THE EDITOR: When you head out of town for Fall Break, we hope you'll take at least one homework assignment with you. Don't worry; no books are required and you won't be tested. But the result of your work will have a definite impact on the future of the UNC-Chapel Hill and the future of public higher education in North Carolina. Election Day is November 7, just over a month away, and the higher education facilities bond referendum will be perhaps the most important item on the ballot. There are still many uniformed voters across the state, and we need your help to educate them about the bonds and encourage them to go to the polls. Talk to your parents, your neighbors, your friends - anyone who will listen - and let them know that the bond issue affects all of them. If the referendum is approved, the state would sell $3.1 billion in bonds to help the 16 UNC campuses and 59 community colleges repair and renovate existing facilities and build new ones. Carolina would receive nearly $500 million - an unprecedented influx of funds that will bring a physical rebirth of this campus. While we're proud of being the first public university in the nation, age is taking its toll on many of Carolina's facilities. Twenty-one percent of our buildings were constructed before 1930, and some buildings are well over 100 years old. Many of our facilities are in a state of decay. Some labs are simply outdated, while others, such as ones in the Medical Sciences Research Building, lack temperature and humidity controls for delicate scientific experiments. Classroom buildings like Murphey Hall need major renovations. And facilities such as our music library flood when it rains. Carolina also faces growing space shortage for classrooms, offices and research - space that will be even more strained in coming years as our enrollment increases. Indeed, a lack of research space already threatens to bridle our growing scientific endeavors. We cannot continue to increase our research - attracting more grant dollars and expanding into important cutting-edge fields - when we lack space for new researchers and their staff. But the referendum isn't just about our needs at Carolina or even those of our sister public institutions across the state. The impact is much broader. Public universities and community colleges have long been a critical engine for economic development in North Carolina. Our strong public colleges and universities have directly led to the state's robust economy. Approval of the bonds would help keep the door of educational opportunity open wide for citizens by ensuring that our public institutions continue to train the future leaders of North Carolina, produce cures for ravaging diseases and make this state a better place to live and work. Please let your family and friends know about the referendum. Our citizens value public higher education and consider it a critical investment in the state's future, but unless each voter is informed of the importance of the bond referendum, we put our most valuable asset at risk. Do your homework over Fall Break, and make a difference for Carolina and all of North Carolina. James Moeser Chancellor Brad Matthews Student Body President


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