Cooper Union Students Staging Walkout Today in Protest of Tuition Proposal

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Cooper Union, traditionally free, is considering charging tuition in order to manage an increasingly strained financial situation. As we reported yesterday, students aren't pleased about the proposal. Today, they're staging a "Walk-Work-Act-Out" outside the Foundation Building in the middle of Cooper Square from 2 to 6 p.m.

Plans for the walk-out are posted on the student-run website made in reaction to the tuition proposal. Students are going to leave their classes at 2 p.m. and assemble in the park for the afternoon, do homework, etc:

Resources such as tables, chairs, chalkboards, and electrical power will be provided. However, students are encouraged to bring any and all of their work to share and discuss. We invite professors to join us by holding their classes outside, and also invite any alumni and faculty to participate in the event.

At 6:00 pm participants will enter the Great Hall in the Foundation Building assemble and meet with President Bharucha.

Actually, they won't be meeting with Bharucha, according to Cooper senior Ryan Revell, who told us that the "walkout hasn't changed at all" but that "President Bharucha won't speak in the Great Hall at 6 p.m. for reasons not given." We've inquired as to why this is with Cooper Union but haven't gotten through yet. [Update 2:27 p.m. According to Claire McCarthy, a Cooper Union spokeswoman, Bharucha had a scheduling conflict but will be speaking at 7 p.m. instead of at 6.]

We spoke with a senior in the art program, Morgan Vo, who is participating in the walk-out today. He said that Cooper's "values for the past 100 years have been to enable students based on their merits, not financial status, to get an education."

"I'd rather see the school financially fail and close than those beautiful values be compromised," he said.

According to yesterday's NYT piece on the subject, the school won't actually be making a decision until at least next spring.

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]

Go to Runnin' Scared for more Voice news coverage.


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