President Bharucha's Memo on the Student Blockade

POSTED ON: December 4, 2012

To:           The Cooper Union Community
From:       President Jamshed Bharucha

Yesterday afternoon 11 art students blockaded themselves in the Peter Cooper Suite and have said they will remain until their "demands" are met.  Our priority is the safety of our students and to insure that the actions of a few do not disrupt classes for all.  Vice President Westcott is in contact with the group.  We understand they have food, water and access to the bathroom located in the Peter Cooper Suite.
As an institution of higher education and one that has stood for freedom of expression since our founding, our approach in the coming day(s) will continue to be one of discourse -- engaging in a dialog with the students.  We will continue to keep the Cooper Union community updated on this matter as information develops.
  • 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.