Cooper Union students opposed to the board of trustees’ decision to begin charging admission have reached an accord with administrators and vacated President Jamshed Bharucha’s office after a nearly 10-week sit-in, Art in America reports. The protestors, who descended from the seventh floor of the Foundation Building on July 12, were guaranteed amnesty for breaching the school’s code of conduct, the creation of a 16-member working group that will investigate ways to reinstate free tuition at Cooper, student representation on the board of trustees and the creation of a “community commons.” Read More
Cooper Union’s spring semester may have ended last week, but some students are still in school—specifically, in President Jamshed Bharucha’s office. The students, who began occupying the seventh floor of the brownstone Foundation Building on May 8, oppose the board of trustees’ recent decision to charge tuition for the first time in 150 years. Administrators state that the school’s longstanding financial problems leave them no choice.
“We do it only because the institution was hurtling toward bankruptcy,” said Dr. Bharucha, seated in an empty classroom on the second floor of the school’s controversial 41 Cooper Square building, a $166 million, Thom Mayne-designed structure that went up in 2009. “There’s a misconception that there are other ways that are less draconian.” Currently, Cooper covers the $38,500 tuition cost for all students. Starting with the class entering in 2014, 25 to 30 percent of students will pay about $19,250, while 25 to 30 percent will continue to receive a full scholarship. The rest will pay on a need-based sliding scale. Read More
A day after Cooper Union announced that it will begin charging graduate students tuition in September, 2013, a crowd of a few hundred students gathered today outside the school’s iconic East Village home, the Great Hall, as part of a walkout. It was the school’s second walkout since November. The protest had been preplanned in solidarity with today’s nationwide student protests against student debt, which has just reached a staggering trillion dollars, but carried new significance after yesterday’s announcement from the school’s president, Jamshed Bharucha. Read More