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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Voters weigh in on Bond D failure

Following Bond D’s failure in November, students and faculty are dealing with the aftermath of effects that voters might have overlooked.

Student Stav Gold said he didn’t know about the bond, which would have provided $155 million to promote higher education among 31 state colleges and universities.

“I didn’t know specifically what Bond D was,” he said. “I hadn’t heard of it until I heard the news that it didn’t pass. If I had known what the bond was for, I would have voted for it.”

The bond was struck down by 0.2 percent, or 1,163 votes, and would have funded improvements to UNM’s biology department, the College of Education, Carrie Tingley Children’s Hospital and chemistry department renovations.

New Mexico’s Secretary of State Mary Herrera said in a statement that Bond D failed because of lack of advertising.

Student Daniel Rolison said he voted against the bond because he didn’t have faith that UNM would manage its money.

“This was just going to be another loan that we would have to pay back later, and we’re already in debt now,” he said.

Student Tyler Jordan said he learned of the bond when he saw it on the ballot.

“I didn’t understand Bond D going into the election, but I read it on the ballot,” he said. “I’m not sure why it failed to pass. Out of all the bonds on the sheet, one for education to not pass is extremely weird to me.”

The sentiment is shared by others at UNM, especially those who participated in the election.

Student Molly Sroges said the chemistry department and Carrie Tingley Children’s Hospital’s financial woes motivated her to vote for the bond.
“They’re things that I support in general, and I think we could’ve used the monetary support for them to improve them,” she said.

Professor Patrick Mariano said the bond’s loss will hamper the chemistry department. He said researchers would be affected the most.

“It’s hard to predict what current faculty will do in face of not having renovated space,” he said. “And I question our ability to hire new faculty if we cannot show them, or at least tell them, that a remodeled, safe laboratory can be provided for them.”

Student Morgana Langston said opponents didn’t consider the repercussions of the bond failing.

“I voted for it because I’m in the biology department and the chemistry department, but my grandparents voted against it because they thought it was just more money going to a losing football team and to building new gyms,” she said.