STUDENT PROTESTERS: IN SOLIDARITY
In case you missed the news, eleven courageous Cooper Union students have barricaded themselves in the 8th floor of the school’s Foundation Building to protest President Jamshed Bharucha’s plan to disregard the school’s historic mission and charge tuition. Today we’re writing in support of those students.
As mentioned in The Nation, these students are not acting out of self-interest, since their scholarships are guaranteed. They are acting to defend the integrity of Cooper Union and preserve the full tuition scholarship for future generations. The firerceness of the Cooper community’s committment to preseving the full-tuition scholarship has been an inspiration to all of us: alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends. We stand together and will not stand by quietly while the 150 year old scholarship policy is in peril.
At a press conference outside of the Foundation Building today, Associate Professor Day Gleeson expressed solidarity with students and read a statement from faculty who are committed to upholding the mission statement of the school, including the line, “The College admits undergraduates solely on merit and awards full scholarships to all enrolled students.”
The barricaded students have made three demands: that the administration commit to the full-tuition scholarship policy, that Mr. Bharucha step down, and that the Trustees act to create transparency. To demonstrate one form of transparency, there is a livefeed of the ongoing protest which you can find here: http://www.livestream.com/occupynyc
The student protest also shines light on the alternative solutions proposed by the community. Recently, Friends of Cooper Union released a ten-point plan, which recommends a committed approach to expense-reduction and a capital campaign in support of the unique mission of the school as better first steps. Now we’re launching an ambitious new email campaign directed at the Cooper Union Trustees called 10 Points/1000 Letters to show community support for this plan. Read it here: http://friendsofcooperunion.org/recommendations and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell the Trustees that you support these recommendations.