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Apr 26, 2011 7:28 PM by Shawn Kline

Students protest on capitol steps

A protest on the steps of the capitol. Southern University supporters asking the legislature to reconsider a bill that would merge SUNO with the University of New Orleans.
Both the senate and the house bills cite a need for the merger because of SUNO's low graduation rate and low enrollment at UNO.
SUNO has one of the lowest graduation rates in the nation at only eight-percent. The merger would also end SUNO's status as a historically black university and cancel millions of dollars in federal funding.
Students and faculty are fighting back- hoping to kill the bill before it gets to Governor Jindal's desk.

"We're really pissed off!" One student told KATC. "(Jindal) doesn't care about the future. All he cares about is his goal, his purpose and trying to be President and it's not going to happen- not today, not tomorrow, not ever."

Southern University sending out an S.O.S. to the state legislature, many of their pleas targeting governor Bobby Jindal himself but it's not just Jindal who supports merging the two universities.

"It's insane to keep doing the same thing over and over and getting the same results," Representative Rickey Hardy said.

Hardy says SUNO has been failing for too long and now it's time to mix things up.

"What were looking at is, are students achieving and excelling?" Hardy says, "the bottom line is no."

"This is not about what happened yesterday." SUNO student Terrel Langston says, "it's about what we do from here on out and how we move on forward."

If legislators approve that merger, protesters say they'll take that decision to court.



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