Cooper Union Responds to Student Protest

Posted on: December 7th, 2012 at 12:27 pm by
This image has been archived or removed.

[Photo: Free Cooper Union]Eleven Cooper Union students barricaded themselves on the eighth floorof the foundation building Monday and have been there since.  The protest action is a response to the “lack of transparency and accountability that has plagued this institution.”  Now the educational institution has officially responded to the matter.

From the Boogie mailbag:

On midday Monday, December 3, 11 art students locked themselves in on the eighth floor of The Cooper Union’s Foundation Building. The administration has asked them to leave on several occasions and they have not.

Our primary concern is for the safety of all students and to ensure that the actions of a few do not disrupt classes and final exams. We remain in contact with the students’ designated representative who said the locked-in group has access to food, water and sanitary facilities. The Cooper Union has expressed concerns about their safety, and they responded that they have taken precautions. Our concerns also extend to actions and conditions that could affect the safety of the public.

On Dec 5, protesters disrupted a meeting of the Board of Trustees, preventing some faculty members from presenting their academic plans to the Board.

It is important that despite the understandable passions involved, we remain engaged in a civil process as we attempt to resolve critical issues relating to the institution’s future and survival.

The Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Dec 5 to support President Jamshed Bharucha and the planning process he is leading.

We are in the midst of a deliberative process designed to position The Cooper Union for a future characterized by true distinction, THE HIGHEST STANDARDS OF MERIT-BASED ACCESS AND SCHOLARSHIP SUPPORT, academic excellence and financial sustainability. We must explore and evaluate a range of options—without prejudging any. In order to retain the prospects for full tuition scholarships, you must retain The Cooper Union. A Revenue Task Force consisting of faculty, elected students, staff and alumni has recommended launching master’s programs and summer programs that are fee-based, while seeking as far as possible to maintain the full scholarships for students in our three flagship undergraduate programs. The deans and the faculty of each of the three schools have been working to develop academic plans along these lines. The Board of Trustees will study reports as they come in, and will make key decisions early in the spring semester.

President Bharucha and Vice President of Finance Westcott have held more than 80 informational meetings with the Cooper Union community—students, faculty, alumni and staff. Earlier this week during a spontaneous discussion between the protesters and the President in the lobby of 41 Cooper Square, protesters asked the President to meet with them immediately. He agreed and invited them to the Rose Auditorium. However, most of the protesters declined and left the building.

Jolene Travis
Assistant Director Public Affairs, Media Relations

Recent Stories

Pandemic Shift: Tile Bar

On March 16, 2020, New York City bars were ordered shut by the governor. While some waited for reopening, many wondered if that would happen. In “Pandemic Shift,” co-creators Andrew Hunter and Aaron Fischer captured the moments and moods of service workers in front of their closed establishments. Mark is leaned up against the Tile […]

Brute Beats Elderly Man, Steals Cane at East Broadway Bodega

A mugger punched an 82-year-old man in the head and stole his cane at a Lower East Side bodega earlier this week. The elderly victim was inside the Big Apple Food Market on Clinton Street, near East Broadway, at around 6:20am this past Wednesday. As the man was buying a cup of coffee, a stranger […]

Fix the Hell Square Chaos: An Open Letter to CB3 and Elected Officials

The following open letter was written by a concerned resident of Hell Square who wishes to remain anonymous. Dear Community Board 3 District Manager Susan Stetzer, Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou, Assembly Member Deborah Glick, Assembly Member Harvey Epstein, State Senator Brian Kavanagh, State Senator Brad Hoylman, Council member Margaret Chin, Council Member Carlina Rivera, Borough […]

Report: Chalk Artist Hash Halper Dies After Jumping from Brooklyn Bridge

A street artist known for drawing chalk hearts on the surfaces of downtown has died. The New York Post reports that pop art creative Hash Halper, aged 41, leaped from the Brooklyn Bridge last Friday. He did not survive the fall. The colorful hearts began in 2014, while the self-proclaimed “New York Romantic” worked at […]

Marte City Council Campaign Fights Back Against PAC Smear Ads

As soon as early voting began last weekend, District 1 City Council candidate Christopher Marte found himself in the crosshairs of a series of attack ads launched by Common Sense NYC Inc., a Super PAC whose top three funders are Stephen Ross, Ronald Lauder, and Jack Cayre. While City Council campaign dollars are limited, Super […]