By Lauren Shortnacy
Editor in Chief
On Nov. 4, voters in Morris, Titus and Camp counties will head to the polls to decide whether to approve the $19.9 million dollar bond election Northeast Texas Community College board members called for back in September.
One person has been doing all he can to inform students about the two propositions on the ballot and the importance of exercising their right to vote in the upcoming election.
Retired NTCC Foundation board member Al Havenstrite has been on campus two to three hours a day Monday through Thursday over the past two weeks. He has spent time visiting with students he comes across on the plaza and handing out pamphlets that give information about the bond.
“I have talked to over 200 students and explained to them that the best money we’ve spent our taxes on is for our school,” Havenstrite said.
He has encouraged students to vote if they are registered, and to talk to former students and relatives about the importance of the two proposals.
“We can win this election,” Havenstrite said. “Every person I’ve interviewed has been in favor. I haven’t heard one person say that they’re against it.”
If passed, the funding would cover repairs and restoration for buildings and the infrastructure of the 30-year-old college.
Havenstrite compared using the money from the bond to funds that are used to fix up one’s home.
“If you don’t take care of your home, it’s not worth as much and it’s not as enjoyable,” he said. “I understand education, if you don’t keep the facilities up, you’re painting a picture you don’t want to paint.”
NTCC Vice President for Advancement Dr. Jonathan McCullough said Havenstrite is an example of the community’s close relationship to Northeast and its mission.
“Mr. and Mrs. Havenstrite have been strong supporters of NTCC since they moved to this area several years ago,” McCullough said.
He said the Havenstrites became interested in spreading the message to students after going on a tour of the facility highlighting the needs that would be addressed if the bond issue passes.
“After taking the tour, Mr. Havenstrite told us he wanted to do everything he could to help promote the needs of the college,” McCullough said. “He said that in addition to telling friends and neighbors about the needs, he would like to tell students too.”
Havenstrite told McCullough he would like to come out to the campus and speak with students between classes. “We told him he was welcome to come on out,” McCullough said. “His enthusiasm is contagious.”
Havenstrite’s attachment to NTCC is evident, as he has talked with students over the past two weeks.
He said he has spent this time reminding them that Northeast is a good community college and that the reason the bond should pass is quite simple, it is a chance for NTCC students to keep succeeding.
“I have a saying, if young people are doing the right thing, we ought to support them,” Havenstrite said. “The students here are winners, and my wife and I support them.”