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Controversy over Southern merger plan

Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 4:44pm

BATON ROUGE,LA (FOX44) — "It would be horrific," says Southern University student Charburn Richardson.

Southern University student Charburn Richardson is speaking out about House Bill 927. It would make her school, along with S.U.NO. and Southern University at Shreveport part of the University of Louisiana System. It would also get rid of the only historically black university system in the nation.

"It shouldn't happen because it's too much history at the school and there's too many great things going on here right now," says Richardson.

"Identity is in the eye of the beholder," says representative Joe Harrison.

Representative Joe Harrison of Napoleonville wrote the bill. He doesn't believe it would affect the identityv of these H.B.C.U.'s . He says the move is all about giving students and the university the best chance at success.

"It doesn't mean they lose their identity. That's ridiculous. It's part of making them part of a system that will make them economically and academically viable," says Harrison.

Willie Smith also goes to Southern. He believes the education he's receiving is more than competitive.

"One hundred and thiry two years of academic excellenc, achievement, nursing school of the year again, our engineering and law programs are wonderful," says Southern University student Willie Smith.

"I would rather see them exist tomorrow than not exist tomorrow because they can't meet the financial needs that they have now," says Harrison.

And that's one thing he and Southern students can agree on.

"When I came to Southern I knew I was going to fall in love with it and I did. and I want my chilren to go here. I want to pass it on from generatoin to generation," says Richardson.

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