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Southern students react to deaths

Call for change

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - 6:01pm

BATON ROUGE, La (FOX44) -- Southern University students are mourning the loss of two students today. Now, they're speaking out about crime in the area.

"You go in the union right there. He sits right there," says Shelby Skipper, describing the spot where his friend Ferdinand Dorsey used to sit. "He's not going to sit there anymore."

Skipper was shocked to learn that 24-year-old SU student, Ferdinand Dorsey, was gunned down at the Palisades Apartments Monday night.

"It hits home when it's your friend," he says.

Dorsey was well known around the Southern University campus. "Everyone loved Ferd," Skipper explains. "He was a good dude. He was graduating this semester. He had a job. He had a girlfriend. He was just a big ole teddy bear."

Tuesday, the school said goodbye to a classmate and a friend. "I just talked to him," says junior Robin Christmas. "He passed away the same day."

"A lot of people are just stunned," says longtime friend Yonni Matthews. "They're just dazed to the fact that this happened."

Dorsey isn't the only student victim in recent days. "This is, what, the second student since Saturday to get murdered," says Palisades resident and SU student Woodrow Martin. "It's just...sad."

Mass communication student Sheena Barnett's death happened just days before Dorsey's. She was found dead in a torched apartment Saturday, according to police. Students say incidents like these are common in the area around their campus.

"This goes on everyday," says Matthews. "It's upsetting. When will we get help on this side?"

It's a frustration for students because they say it gives the university a bad rap. "Its always negative about Southern," he says. "It's a good school."

Many are calling for a transition. "We need help all over the board and until that happens, we're destroyed," Matthews explains. He hopes something positive can come out of this tragedy. "Change. We need change. Love should be everyone's religion."

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