UNO students sound off on possible merger with SUNO


Posted on March 15, 2011 at 10:24 PM

Scott Satchfield / Eyewitness News

NEW ORLEANS -- They've heard about it, but many UNO students don't quite know what to think about the possible merger with SUNO.

Some have gotten much of their information from casual gossip around campus.

"I heard our classes would be a lot bigger and there would be a lot more people on campus," said sophomore Rebecca Squires.

Kenneth Skipper, a freshman, said, "It doesn't really matter to me, but a lot of people are saying if more SUNO kids come over, the rating will go down."

It's an important conversation on the UNO campus, but some point out, it's still a developing situation.

"I think one of the most important things about this, is that nothing is really decided yet," said John Mineo, UNO student body president.

Mineo said after Tuesday's decision by the Board of Regents to send the proposal to lawmakers, students should pay attention, but not panic.

"We have to wait and see what the facts are when the actual bill gets presented to the legislature and what it says, but I know a lot of students are worried about losing their identity of what UNO is and worse, they're worried about compromising the standards," he said.

Eyewitness News Political Analyst Clancy DuBos points out, however, the proposal isn't calling for an all out merging of the two schools.

"The plan that the governor is pushing would actually preserve both institutions -- just consolidate their administrations and move SUNO, physically, onto the UNO campus,” DuBos said. “Now they might change the names, maybe not. I think those kind of details can be worked out."

But on the heels of a tumultuous stretch at UNO -- including the student protests and skirmish with campus police over budget cuts -- students we talked with feel the timing couldn't be worse.

"Honestly I'm against it. I think that UNO doesn't need any more problems than they have right now," said Ashley Hunter, a senior.

Mineo said students simply want stability.

“They don't want to have to worry every year about, oh, well now we're gonna get cut because of this or we're gonna lose this, or now we're merging. They just want everything to calm down so we can rebuild our university and thrive the way it's supposed to be," he said.