96 hours into the student occupation of the Cooper Union’s historic clock tower, Jolene Travis, assistant director of Public Affairs, Media Relations at Cooper Union released a statement to the press and on Cooper’s website today regarding the situation. In addition to expressing concern regarding the students’ safety and mentioning that “protesters disrupted a meeting of the Board of Trustees” the release states:
The Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Dec 5 to support President Jamshed Bharucha and the planning process he is leading.
We are in the midst of a deliberative process designed to position The Cooper Union for a future characterized by true distinction, THE HIGHEST STANDARDS OF MERIT-BASED ACCESS AND SCHOLARSHIP SUPPORT, academic excellence and financial sustainability. We must explore and evaluate a range of options—without prejudging any. In order to retain the prospects for full tuition scholarships, you must retain The Cooper Union. A Revenue Task Force consisting of faculty, elected students, staff and alumni has recommended launching master’s programs and summer programs that are fee-based, while seeking as far as possible to maintain the full scholarships for students in our three flagship undergraduate programs. The deans and the faculty of each of the three schools have been working to develop academic plans along these lines. The Board of Trustees will study reports as they come in, and will make key decisions early in the spring semester.
President Bharucha and Vice President of Finance Westcott have held more than 80 informational meetings with the Cooper Union community—students, faculty, alumni and staff. Earlier this week during a spontaneous discussion between the protesters and the President in the lobby of 41 Cooper Square, protesters asked the President to meet with them immediately. He agreed and invited them to the Rose Auditorium. However, most of the protesters declined and left the building.
The press release may have been timed to coincide with a second Day of Action planned by students, faculty, and alumni in support of the protesters taking place today. Students for a Free Cooper Union distributed the following press release this morning via email:
TODAY:Friday December 7th:
12PM STUDENT WALK OUT IN FRONT OF FOUNDATION BUILDING
5:30 PM BRUCE HIGH QUALITY FOUNDATION DANCE PARTY WITH ALL THE FIXIN’S
6PM ALUMNI RALLY AND CELEBRATIONCOME AS EARLY/STAY AS LATE AS YOU CAN
BRING YOUR POSTERS, YOUR FRIENDS, YOUR CREATIVE ACTIONS AND GET EXCITED FOR SATURDAY’S:
CITYWIDE STUDENT/FACULTY RALLYTOMORROW, (SAT):Rise Up For Education!
Students for a Free Cooper Union in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, Strike Debt, All In the Red, Free University and countless other call for the following day of action!11AM-MEET UP AT WASHINGTON SQ PARK
12PM- STUDENT/FACULTY SPEAK OUTS
3PM- CASSEROLES POTS N’ PANS MARCH TO COOPER UNION
4PM-AFTER PARTY HOSTED BY STUDENTS FOR A FREE COOPER UNIONAre you a part of an educational group or institution that wants representation at the speak out? Send us a message to co-ordinate!