Students to rally against proposed Kennesaw State, Southern Poly merger

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MARIETTA, Ga. - Students at Marietta's Southern Polytechnic University say they'll rally Monday against a merger of their school and Kennesaw State University.

The plan was announced Friday. But on Sunday a group of Southern Poly students told Channel 2's Diana Davis they already have more 1,000 signatures on a Facebook page and petition against the merger.

If the two schools combine, both campuses would be called Kennesaw State. The Southern Poly students Davis spoke with said they chose Southern Poly because they liked the idea of a smaller school.

"We as students enjoy the smaller class sizes because we get personal one-to-one experiences with our professors," said Oanh Le.

If the merger goes through, both campuses will answer to the man who is now KSU's president, Dr. Dan Papp.

Papp told Channel 2 Action News that the merger will benefit students on both campuses.

"We really will become together with Southern Poly and Kennesaw State. It will become a true comprehensive university," Papp said.

Rally organizers worry Southern Poly and its students will be swallowed up and that their school will lose its unique identity.

"It's going to be called Kennesaw State University. It's not even a merging of names. It will lose Southern Poly, its mascot, its name and everything about it will just be turned into KSU," said student Ayana Reyes.

Some of the engineering and architecture students worry loss of the Southern Poly identity could hurt their job prospects.

"I think our engineering degree might lose its value, because a lot of big companies come to Southern Poly for students," said student Wendell Bumie.

The students hope that if they raise their voices at the planned rally, they can prevent the merge.

"They might have thought they decided it, but I feel like we can change it and we're hoping for power in numbers," Reyes said.



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