Vote Yes on Prop 13 For Safer Schools

Sunday, February 9, 2020

UCSF is home to some of the best healthcare programs in the nation. However, our globally revered school consistently fails to provide its students with adequate buildings and the facilities that they need to succeed.

The Parnassus Campus is crumbling away as buildings such as the Medical Sciences Building and Moffitt Hospital have not been updated for 50 years.

The facilities on campus are cramped, old, and outdated. It is common to see students stumbling their way through a sea of legs in an attempt to find an empty seat for class within lecture halls in Health Sciences West (HSW).

During tests, it is even more difficult to balance materials and devices on the small 1 foot x 1 foot desks provided.

These are not the facilities of a world-class healthcare and teaching institution. As the number of students enrolled in the University of California increases each year, the spaces that students learn in must expand as well.

To stay competitive in the medical world, the rooms that medical professionals interface with patients in must reflect the advanced methods applied and pioneered at UCSF.

As part of the University of California system, UCSF depends on state funding for an enormous portion of its budget.

Approximately 42% of the University of California’s operating budget comes from the state.

This money is not squandered on funding the UC system. Every dollar California taxpayers invest in the UC results in $13.80 in overall economic output.

The five UC health centers create $16.7 billion in economic activity. Researchers work extremely hard to gain grants from federal and private sources.

But all of this is just enough to maintain the status quo.

As new research and health facilities go up in Mission Bay, the buildings that are the workhorses of education are being forgotten. Renovations are being done, but they don't address the full scope of the issues students face.

Our lecture halls are cramped in HSW.

Each desk barely covers enough surface area for each student to rest their laptops on, and legroom is unheard of. The paper thin walls provide almost no barrier to sound, and we can often hear the lecturer in the room over.

Core resources like the library are outdated, as students not only struggle to find outlets to charge their laptops, but are often left roaming the floors in search of a comfortable, quiet place to study in.

“The UCSF library is definitely in need of renovation. The building is old, worn down, and there are not enough study spaces for students.

“When I finally find a space, I am confined to a narrow desk and a worn chair that has lost its cushion.

“Even doing something as small as getting new chairs could make a huge difference for student’s backs and productivity,” says third-year pharmacy student Sharon Xu.

And this issue extends from the University of California to the California State University system, Community Colleges of California, and K-12 public schools.

Across the state, the halls of education have not received adequate funding to support the most populous state with the eighth largest economy in the world.

To adequately fund public education, California needs to pass Proposition 13 on March 3. A vote for Proposition 13 will create a bond that will fund K-12 and higher education, prioritizing safety and infrastructure upgrades to campuses across the state.

The UC and CSU systems will each receive $2 billion to upgrade infrastructure so that safe and effective education occurs in each classroom.

That’s why we have joined the bipartisan California Coalition for Public Higher Education, teachers, doctors, nurses, firefighters, and military veterans in supporting Proposition 13: a $15 billion bond measure on the March 3 ballot.

A safe and modern classroom to learn in is the bare minimum. These changes require a lot of money, highlighting the severity of the problem. Many have endorsed it, including the San Francisco Chronicle.

In addition, Proposition 13 will provide $9 billion to remove mold and asbestos from buildings, ensure clean drinking water sources, and make sure pre-K-12 schools are safe. Who could say that these improvements are not necessary for the children in this state?

But this won't happen unless people go out and vote on March 3.

NOW is the time to make sure you are registered to vote and NOW is the time to make a difference.

The deadline to register to vote is February 18, so get registered, grab your ballots, go out to the voting polls, and make sure you vote YES on Prop 13.

These opinions do not reflect those of the Graduate and Professional Student Association, which does not have an official opinion on the measure.