The Cooper Union occupation in support of good university governance and a continuation of the college’s century-plus history of free tuition is now in its fifth day, and it shows no sign of fizzling out.
Eleven students barricaded themselves inside the top floor of Cooper Union’s iconic Foundation Building in New York’s East Village on Monday, calling for reforms in the running of the college, a commitment to keep tuition free, and the resignation of Cooper Union president Jamshed Bharucha. Campus security made an effort to drill or saw through their doors that afternoon, but soon relented and haven’t again tried to dislodge them.
Since then, students have staged a series of support actions outside the building. They’ve also hoisted pizza up to the occupiers with a balloon-launched pulley.
On Wednesday supporters of the occupation disrupted a meeting of the Cooper Union board of trustees, which went on to give its unanimous approval to president Bharucha — even as a growing list of faculty members have publicly affirmed their support for the college’s free education mission.
Despite several scares — police helicopters overhead a few days ago, NYPD in the Foundation Building earlier this afternoon — there have been no arrests or threats of arrest. Cooper Union administration statements have been critical of the occupation, but non-threatening, saying most recently that their “primary concern is for the safety of all students and to ensure that the actions of a few do not disrupt classes and final exams” while also expressing “concern” about “actions and conditions that could affect the safety of the public.”
For their part, the occupiers tweeted just moments ago that they remain “safe, secure, and in good health.”
Tomorrow there’s another day of action planned, starting with a Washington Square Park rally and culminating in a pots-and-pans march to Cooper Union and an “after party” at four.
Monday Update | The occupation has ended peacefully.