By John Pope From The Times-Picayune 

A day after the state Board of Regents voted to consolidate Southern University and the University of New Orleans, a ribbon-cutting ceremony at SUNO on Wednesday turned into a show of determination to keep the school open.

After a procession of school officials and legislators had received strong applause for voicing their support of the 51-year-old college, state Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, said, “This definitely sends a message that we will not go quietly into that good night.”

Even though the regents voted to combine the schools, each house of the Legislature must approve the proposal with a two-thirds vote.

“Reports of SUNO’s demise are definitely premature,” said Morrell, whose Senate district includes SUNO. “This is far from decided. It’s still an ongoing process.”

Morrell and the others spoke at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for SUNO’s Information Technology Center, a two-story, $2.2 million building on the Lake Campus that rises next to trailers that house offices and classrooms. They were installed after Hurricane Katrina and its floodwaters ravaged the main campus.

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