In support of Prop. 1

Proposition 1 and the creation of a medical school at UT-Austin is this generation of Longhorns’ most important moment, and we are fortunate enough to be a part of this historic occasion. Recently, 19 of the 20 former student  body presidents signed a letter in support of Travis County Central Health Proposition 1. On Tuesday, Oct. 30th, UT’s Student Government Assembly unanimously approved legislation in support of Proposition 1. Today we write, as the current student body president and vice president of UT, in support of Proposition 1.

A medical school at UT-Austin will benefit the community, our school and future Longhorns. Austin Chamber of Commerce estimates that the establishment of the medical school will create 15,000 new jobs and generate over $2 billion dollars for the city of Austin. In addition, Central Texas is going to experience a shortage of doctors in the coming decade. A medical school would help ward off this harrowing prospect.

A quick look at a list of the top-tier institutions in the nation shows a common thread — each of them has a medical school. If we want to continue on the path to becoming the top public research university in the nation, it is imperative we have a medical school. It will provide a valuable incentive for even more top-quality faculty and staff to come to this University. We already have top research programs in the fields of health sciences, biomedical engineering and pharmacy that would go hand-in-hand with a medical school and provide improved research and innovation in one of the nation’s fastest growing fields.

This brings us to the last and most important point: the future students.

This University has provided great opportunities for students to learn from the best and then go off to change the world. Students here do not hope to change the world — they expect to. We cannot grow complacent; we must always strive for the best educational opportunities. That is what students before us did to help shape the great University we have today, and it is what we must do today to help those who will come after us. The next generation of Longhorns may very well find the cure for the disease that someday affects those around you.

The skeptics will say the property tax increases are not worth it. However, considering the benefits the added revenue will provide to the city, the University and the students, it is clearly a great investment. We are at a tipping point in propelling our University to become an even greater institution. We urge you to vote “yes” to Central Health Proposition 1 to change the University that so often changes the world.

– Lund and Brown are Student Government president and vice president.