Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Courtesy of Google Earth
This is an aerial image of Valley Children’s Stadium at Fresno State.

Opinion: Why I’m voting yes on Measure E: a student’s perspective

The following reflects the views of the writer and not The Collegian’s editorial board.

If you go to Fresno State, chances are you have heard the phrase “The Pride of the Valley” at least once.

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As someone who was born and raised in Fresno, every aspect of the Central Valley is touched by Fresno State.

From businesses to schools to nurses and farmers and everywhere in between, there are active and former students working together to make the region proud.

Approximately 4,800 students at Fresno State graduate each year and stay in the valley, working, living, and spending money, all of which help the local economy thrive.

If Fresno State impacts everyone in the region, we as a community should want the university to be in the best shape possible.

This is why I will be voting “YES” on Measure E on March 5.

The upcoming ballot measure narrowly missed in November of 2022, with 52.8% of voters opposed (needed at least 50% to pass). This time around, the proposal looks a bit different.

The tax amount increased from one-fifth to a quarter of a cent, raising from about $38 million to an estimated $63 million on an annual basis. The tax will last for 25 years, providing an estimated $1.6 billion over the life of the measure, according to proponents.

That amount of money could transform Fresno State into one of the premier institutions, not only here in California, but around the world.

The measure will raise approximately $433 million toward repairing or replacing several aging academic buildings throughout campus, including the concert hall, modernizing the industrial tech building, a new nursing building and renovating the agricultural innovation buildings, among others.

Another 10%, or close to $160 million, is outlined to build affordable student housing as well as a new structure that will give students access to parking that is both safe and close to campus.

For a university already maxed out on housing and parking located far away from classrooms, these additions are necessary for a growing campus.

Funding for athletics was lowered to 15%, but it will still generate a large amount of funds to ‘elevate’ the old facilities.

These future renovations will help Fresno State in its quest to be admitted into a higher athletic conference. It would create a ripple effect, generating more money for the school, both through television revenue and tuition from having more students.

The rest of the measure goes towards ongoing repairs, which are long overdue for a campus this old.

The fact of the matter is the need for Measure E is huge, and its benefits are even bigger.

I spoke with Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, Fresno State president, who spoke to the educational impact the measure would have on the region.

“Within one or two degrees of separation, we are all Fresno State. There isn’t another environment like that in California,” Jiménez-Sandoval said. “Fresno State impacts everything from education with 80 to 85% of all teachers in K-12 coming from Fresno State…the stronger [our campus] becomes, the stronger the educational system in the region will be.”

The measure, like most, is not without faults.

Providing funds for a state university should be the responsibility of the state, not the county. But we live in a world where if we waited until the state gave us money for projects, nothing would ever get done.

Fresno State is a beautiful campus, but it is getting run down and the time has passed to wait for a blessing from Sacramento.

Other concerns include high salaries for members of the Measure E planning committee and residents not being able to afford the tax.

A penny on every four dollars is not that much, especially when that money will be fed back into the valley.

Furthermore, 10% of the budget is going directly back to the community through endowments including a large percentage of scholarships for those less fortunate.

As for the former concern, no bill is perfect. To get something, you have to give something. Fresno County residents are getting a lot of bang for their buck.

I will be graduating from Fresno State in the fall and I would like to leave a lasting legacy. That legacy would be leaving the campus better than I found it.

For me, that can all be ignited by Measure E.

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About the Contributor
Al Scott
Al Scott, Contributor
Al Scott has been writing for The Collegian since 2022 and specializes in writing/covering sports at Fresno State. Al is a broadcast journalism major and wants to pursue a career in radio or sports media.
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