Health and Safety Update: Returning to Cooper Guide and Personal Pledge

Students, Faculty, and Staff:

We are excited for the start of the Fall 2020 Semester, only a few days away. As President Sparks shared in her previous messages, a Returning to Cooper Guide has been developed that shares Cooper’s plan for reopening the campus in a model that will curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus and prioritize the safety of our community members.

The guide can also be found on the Fall Info Hub on the Cooper website, along with other communications and resources. Your Deans have and will continue to share information specific to your school about being on campus.

While this guide is comprehensive, and before returning to campus we expect you to read it thoroughly, here are the key points:

  • If you don’t need to be scheduled to come to campus and you can do your work from home, please stay home. That, of course, is the best way to reduce the spread of the virus.
  • If you need to be scheduled to be on campus, there are basic protocols everyone must follow to care for the other members of the community in the buildings: 
    • Wear a mask while inside the buildings,
    • Wash your hands frequently,
    • Remain at least six feet apart from other individuals at all times,
    • Don’t come to campus if you feel sick,
    • Don’t come to campus if you test positive for COVID-19, or in the last 14 days have been with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19,
    • Don’t come to campus if you have been in a high-risk state as determined by New York State in the last 14 days, and
    • Complete the daily screening questionnaire with honest information before you enter the building each day.

Also attached is a Personal Pledge that we ask everyone to sign before returning to campus. It confirms our communal pledge to keep each other safe through responsible behavior. You can email your completed pledge to

We hope this semester finds you engaged in your work whether on campus or at home. Whatever we can do to help you accomplish those goals, please let us know.

Health and Safety Committee

  • 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.