Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Developing: Students take the president's office at Cooper Union



From the EV Grieve inbox...

For Immediate Release:

50+ students, faculty, and staff are maintaining a ‘sit-in’ inside Jamshed Bharucha’s office on the 7th floor of the Foundation Building of the Cooper Union. As students we have reclaimed the President’s office in response to the Administration and the Board of Trustees announcing the implementation of tuition for the incoming class of 2014 — desecrating a 154 year old tradition of meritocracy and free education. We stand together with the extended Cooper community in opposition to this decision; we reaffirm all of the previous and future actions of our fellow students and allies.

Safety Statement/Statement of Purpose:

“This is a non-violent direct action, you are not being held in this room, you are free to exit when you please. Jamshed Bharucha, we are here today to deliver you a statement of No Confidence from the School of Art, we no longer recognize your presidency at Cooper as legitimate and in so doing we commit to re-claim this office in the interim until a suitable administrative alternative is secured.

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14 comments:

blue glass said...

new york's may 19 magazine has a whole deal on nyu's dhabi campus and future plans for expansion world-wide.
perhaps this is why they need more and more money.

nygrump said...

This won't end well. A sad lesson for the students is in the scheme of things they are last.

glamma said...

Woohooo you go guys!!!! Right on!
We got your back!

Power to the People baby.

Richard Bensam said...

Public grade schools in this city are falling apart due to lack of money, several are doubled up in limited space because there aren't enough school buildings, while unacknowledged segregation by race and class is making the divide between haves and have nots even wider. But what really matters is that a bunch of privileged, educated, gifted students who have passed a highly exclusionary entrance exam to weed out the masses continue to get their college education handed to them for free.

Man, this city's public colleges used to be the envy of the whole nation, and they were open to all, requiring only a high school diploma. We were all enriched immeasurably by offering a free education to anyone who wanted one couldn't afford paying for one.

This, on the other hand, is pure elitist entitlement.

Anonymous said...

Richard - waaaaay to miss the point. Cooper Union is free precisely because financial wherewithal and status should not dictate who can achieve their greatest academic potential and receive a first class education. The fact that there are so few opportunities like this does not make Cooper Union elitist. It makes the founding principal of free tuition at Cooper Union worth fighting to defend!!

Anonymous said...

@Richard Bensam

The Cooper Union is not a public institution and allowed education to be "free as air and water" to anyone with the talents and skills. It seems to be that you should it want it to remain free and available to all.

Gojira said...

@Richard Bensam - Apropos of nothing, I like your avatar -Thor as drawn by the immortal Jack Kirby! Nice!

Anonymous said...

@ Richard Bensam

You need to do a little more background reading. Every current and admitted student will still get free tuition under the current plan. The protesters are therefore agitating for the institution and future generations, not themselves, making your claims of entitlement way off base.

You're right that the CUNY system (and the University of California system) were the engines of american meritocracy when they were tuition-free, but this vitriol towards the protesters is misguided. You're basically saying that because the meritocracy has been gutted, let's do away with its last vestiges because they only exist for the very talented.

Bob said...

Sounds like Richard was rejected when he applied to Cooper.

Anonymous said...

I admire what these students are doing. Non-violent civil disobedience has been successfully used to change the course of history around the world. Residents of the LES have long engaged in CD to do everything from open the Credit Union, to house homeless people, to save the gardens etc. Perhaps some CDs are what we need now to stop the NYCHA plan, to save Mary Help of Christians, stop the handing out of liquor licenses like candy, the development of hotels and luxury housing and other issues that matter too people. Perhaps we could have saved Cabrini with an old fashioned sit in. Don't criticize these students for standing up for what they believe in, instead applaud them for at least taking a stand.

rob said...

Peter Cooper opened the school free for the people of the working class, not free to draw the world's finest students. Both missions are worthwhile, and I think Richard is pointing out the unrecognizable shift from the original mission. Times have changed -- CUNY now fulfills Cooper's vision, so I don't think Cooper Union needs to be criticized for not upholding the old mission. But it's worth remembering that this is not a struggle for working class justice but a struggle for quality, often described pejoratively as elitism.

vzabuser said...

In the information age the elite no longer need the masses - so we become service economy - so other parts of the globe replace our previous function - manufacturing, even engineering, etc.
Corollary to this is education for our kids ain't a certainty anymore, as we turn out skilled 'service drones'

Richard Bensam said...

rob made my point so much better than I did that I feel I should outsource all my blog comments to him from now on. (I just hope you like blogs devoted to left wing politics, Doctor Who, and vintage space toys of the 1960s otherwise it'll be a real drag for you.)

rob said...

anyone who gets my name right lower case, can't be a drag. which left wing blogs?