Policy on Alcohol & Illegal Drugs

The Cooper Union strictly adheres to all local, state, and federal laws relating to the use or illegal manufacture of drugs and alcohol on its premises or at any college-sponsored event. Students who violate Cooper Union’s policies will be subject to disciplinary actions under the Code of Conduct.

As a professional school, The Cooper Union has historically attracted students who are serious about academic and artistic achievement and who have understood how substance addictions undermine academic performance. It is a goal of this institution to maintain an environment of academic seriousness.

The most immediate consequence of substance abuse at The Cooper Union is often a dismal academic performance, leading to academic dismissal. Long-term consequences of substance abuse can include major health problems, lowered employment prospects, and even an early demise.

Loss of a student to substance abuse not only blights the prospects of that individual to have a fulfilling career, but also deprives the community at The Cooper Union of that individual’s unique talents and contributions. To avoid such a loss, the institution is committed to providing assistance to students with substance abuse problems through appropriate education and referral.

New York State Law Regarding Alcohol

New York State has very strict laws about alcohol. Section 65 of the Alcohol Beverage Control Law states:

No person shall sell, deliver or give away or cause or permit or procure to be sold, delivered or given away any alcoholic beverages to:

  1. Any person, actually or apparently, under the age of twenty-one years;
  2. Any visibly intoxicated person;
  3. Any habitual drunkard known to be such to the person authorized to dispense any alcoholic beverages.

In addition, legislation enacted in November of 1991 specifies that a U.S. or Canadian drivers’ license or non-driver identification card, a valid passport, or an identification card issued by the United States Armed Forces must be used as written evidence of age for the purchase of alcoholic beverages. New York State law also prohibits the possession of alcoholic beverages with the intent to consume by a minor and makes it a crime to produce fraudulent proof of age. Students in possession of a phony identification card should know that the antiterrorism measures put in place by the New York City police department have improved the ability to detect fake ids and have resulted in several arrests.

New York State imposes liability on any person who serves alcohol illegally to a minor. This means if someone serves a minor alcohol, the person serving the alcohol can be sued for damages by anyone harmed by that minor, including the parents or family of the minor if the minor himself or herself suffers harm.

Serving of Alcoholic Beverages at Student Events Sponsored by Joint Activities Committee Student Organizations

  1. The serving of alcohol is not permitted at any JAC student organization event that is held on Cooper Union property.
  2. The Cooper Union does not support any student organization events involving the serving of alcohol.
  3. Student Organizations must use their own funds for all aspects of any event involving alcohol. No Cooper Union provided JAC funds can be used to support any aspect of any event where alcohol is served.
  4. Student groups must hold any events that involve alcohol at a licensed facility off-campus. The licensed facility must be responsible for the serving of alcohol at student events.
  5. Students sponsoring events involving alcohol assume full responsibility for the event.
  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.