UMass Boston students call Mount Ida merger a "slap in the face"

A multi-million dollar acquisition by the University of Massachusetts continues to spark controversy as some UMass Boston students say they're being left behind.

In a nearly $70 million deal, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is merging with Mount Ida College, absorbing their debt, and adding what the university system is calling:

"...The campus will serve as a hub for Greater Boston-area career preparation and experimental learning opportunities for UMass Amherst students."

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UMass Boston students say not only are they insulted by this merger - but this creates added competition that they just don't need in the UMass system.

"It was pretty clear that for the past several years, this deficit that they are dealing with now has gotten worse and worse and I feel terrible for the kids because as far as I'm concerned, the grown-ups let them down," said Gov. Charlie Baker.

The student government president penned a letter to state leaders describing the "outrage felt by UMass Boston students."

Students like Sharell Jacobs who says the message to them and staff at the commuter college is clear.

"They're sending the middle finger. That's what I feel. That's like a slap in the face. You guys are gonna take all this money and built this big, beautiful thing for students from Amherst to come? Like, we're right here," said Jacobs.

Professor Jeff Melnick points to staff cuts and the elimination campus day care hours, all for a school that is majority minority.

"Whether it's a food pantry, graduate admissions, parking; the people who are gonna feel that first and worst are the students that are most vulnerable. At UMass Boston, almost all our students are vulnerable one way or another," said Melnick.

A spokesman for the university system tells Boston 25 News they're fully committed to supporting UMass Boston, including an investment at the former Bayside Expo Center.

Gov. Baker's Office says the state is spending $78 million on rebuilding the parking garage on campus - one that students could be required to pay $15 dollars a day to park there.