STONY BROOK, N.Y. (WPIX)—Hundreds of students from Stony Brook's Southampton campus -- which is slated to close by the end of the summer -- marched more than 12 miles to Stony Brook University to protest the administration's decision to shut down most of the campus.
"Our mission statement is education is not negotiable," student Nick Zanussi told PIX 11 News.
Zanussi and four other student representatives met with University President Dr. Samuel Stanley to try and change his mind about closing most of the Southampton campus. However, they soon realized that decision is likely final.
Stanley said his administration has no choice but to shutter most of the Southampton campus -- which only serves about 500 students -- because it's reportedly inefficient and costs 2.5 times as much per person to run as the main campus. He said the closing would save about $6.7 million a year.
"At the end of the day, we're faced with the classic situation of...we have this terrible budget situation...what can we do that impacts the fewest members and preserves our academic mission and still save some money which we really desperately need to do," said Stanley.
According to reports, Stanley made his final decision after cutting $25 million on the main campus and meeting with top administrators to cut another $33 million in the upcoming year, while inconveniencing the least number of students as possible.
The Southampton Students aren't giving up but they are starting to give in, as almost half have signed up for classes and dorm space at Stony Brook.
"We are preparing to move. We are preparing to have our campus shut down, but we're still not giving up. I mean, we would rather be in a position to sustain us no matter what happens and that's what we're advising everyone to do." said Zanussi.
Cuts are being made on the main campus and the school is closing one of their Manhattan locations, and Stanley warns more cuts are on the way.