The Cooper Union students who commandeered the clock-tower at the school's Foundation building and coordinated yesterday's day of action in Cooper Square, did so to preserve free tuition for CU students, but also to protest rapidly rising college tuition costs at institutions everywhere.
|Jason Lewis/Village Voice|
|Students, observers and activists crowded The Great Hall at Cooper Union for last night's summit.|
"We're also here in solidarity for the state of education and the country as a whole," Jake Lee, a fifth-year architecture major at Cooper Union, tells the Voice. "Universal access to free education is the vital cornerstone of a functional democracy...Our country is very far from that."
CU students demonstrated their solidarity with students around the world last night by capping off yesterday's protests with a three-hour long summit on the country's student debt crises. Hundreds of people converged on the school's Great Hall to watch students, activists, artists and professors illuminate the burden of rapidly rising tuition costs and ballooning student debt.
"We have gone from, to the extent that we ever were, a welfare state to a debt-fare state...We're having to pay for very basic needs -- that should be available to all of us -- with debt," Amin Husain, a lawyer and social activist with ties to Occupy Wall Street, said. "This idea of debt is a way to maintain the status quo of chaining us into an economic system that further transfers wealth."More »