Thor and Wills: Build the Med School

Current and former Student Government leaders come out in support of Travis County’s Central Health Proposition 1.

Editor’s note: After 19 former student body presidents endorsed the measure and Student Government passed a resolution in support, SG president Thor Lund and vice president Wills Brown have written an editorial strongly supporting Prop 1 and a UT-Austin medical school.

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

A medical school at UT-Austin will benefit the community, our school, and future Longhorns. It is estimated that the creation 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 and a medical school would help with this harrowing outlook.

A quick look at a list of the top-tier institutions in the nation shows a common thread—a medical school. If we want to continue toward becoming the top public research university in the nation, it is imperative we have a medical school. It will provide a valuable incentive to bring even more of the top faculty and staff to this University. We already have top research programs relating to 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 leads to the last and most important point: the future students.

A quick look at a list of the top tier institutions in the nation shows a common thread—a medical school.

This University has provided great opportunities for students to learn from the best and 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 continue striving for the best opportunities to learn. 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 affects those around you.

The skeptics will say the property taxes raises are not worth it. However, if you look at the benefits to the city, the University, and the students, this 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 and change the University that so often changes the world.

Thor Lund

Wills Brown
Vice President


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