Update: Here's a livestream link.

For more than one hundred and fifty years, Cooper Union, a private college in New York City, never charged tuition.  

Peter Cooper's fundamental belief that an education "equal to the best" should be accessible to those who qualify, independent of their race, religion, sex, wealth or social status, and should be "open and free to all"
Faced with severe financial problems of late, it's governing Board decided to impose tuition - despite it's long-dead founder's express will - starting in the Fall of 2013.
On April 24, 2012, the college announced approval from its Board of Trustees to attempt to establish a new tuition-based cross-disciplinary graduate program, expand its fee-based continuing education programs, and possibly impose tuition on some students in its existing graduate programs, effective in September 2013.
Then, a year later, the Board agreed to impose up to $20,000 tuition on undergraduates.

In response, groups of students began protesting, and eventually ended up occupying the Presidents' office in one of the campus' main buildings.  That occupation came to a head today, as tweets from @FreeCooperUnion testify.

Here's an essay on Cooper Union's troubles, past and present.

Some background from the New York Times:

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, which is one of the last tuition-free colleges in the country but has been under severe financial strain, announced on Tuesday that for the first time in more than a century it will charge undergraduates to attend.

Free Cooper Union @FreeCooperUnion 55m
A large number of private security have entered foundation bldg. Cooper Union students and faculty should come to 7th floor.

Free Cooper Union @FreeCooperUnion 53m
We understand that security may soon ask us to vacate the President's office. We are not intimidated.

Free Cooper Union @FreeCooperUnion 34m
"Emergency management team" informs us that we are trespassing and will cut off the 7th and 8th floors

Free Cooper Union @FreeCooperUnion 32m
"Student participating in trespass after 1 hour will be subject to disciplinary action such as dismissal and denial of degrees"

Free Cooper Union @FreeCooperUnion 30m
Student asks "is there disciplinary action for instituting tuition?"

Free Cooper Union @FreeCooperUnion 27m
Student: The admin is taking orders from a President who is not here… he is a coward

Free Cooper Union @FreeCooperUnion 26m
Linda Lemeisz "You are trespassing and you have been asked to leave"

Free Cooper Union @FreeCooperUnion 24m
Student points out that there are 60 students here and yo';re threatening to dismiss them.  Don't you realize the public response to that?

Free Cooper Union @FreeCooperUnion 22m
Lemeisz: We will have student judiciary through the summer. I'm under strict instructions not to have a long conversation with you guys.

Free Cooper Union @FreeCooperUnion 11m
If students do not leave they will not have access to bathrooms or facilities if they do not leave they will not be able to receive supplies

I'm sure the President will appreciate the, er, mess, in his office...
Free Cooper Union @FreeCooperUnion 9m
Student: "if you want us to work within a structure of the school we need an effective structure" There is no real avenue for recourse

Free Cooper Union @FreeCooperUnion 2m
Bathroom doors have been screwed shut on 7th floor. Administrators have made this an unsafe and dangerous environment for students

Free Cooper Union @FreeCooperUnion 5m
Students: If none of you can support the mission of this school, as administrators you are in our way. Students clap and applause

Free Cooper Union @FreeCooperUnion 23s
Current count of 70 students in this room. The school has threatened to dismiss 70 students.

2:43 PM PT:
Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 2m

STUDENTS: Guards cannot touch you.  Walk past them.  Please walk up the stairs and join us. We need people in here.
2:44 PM PT:


2:45 PM PT:
Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 37s

We just got word that trustees are downstairs

2:55 PM PT: This seems like good news:

Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 12s

We are meeting again. ~20 additional students have joined us.

3:01 PM PT: Ruh Roh:

Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 35s

There are police outside. Fire dept has been called. Admin claims they did not call them, it is a false alarm
3:20 PM PT:
Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 1m

Students meeting. Police in building. pic.twitter.com/Rl5MuRPSLJ

 Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 2m

Dean Bos telling TC Westcott to call off police

 from Manhattan, NY

 Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 3m

Private security vacating the building. Police on the way pic.twitter.com/pWE6MzncC8

 Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 4m

More students passing security streaming in. Reports of Police soon entering http://yfrog.us/...

 from Manhattan, NY

 Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 9m

Both bathrooms have now been pried open by students.

 from Manhattan, NY

 Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 10m

The school is intentionally creating an unsafe environment for all students in foundation building

 from Manhattan, NY

 Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 10m

Numerous reports of violence from private security on students throughout the building

 Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 11m

One students has been physically pushed and grabbed by a guard. It is unsafe to leave the 7th floor.

3:21 PM PT:


3:33 PM PT:
Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 9m

75+ students are holding their ground in Presidents office

Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 9m

Police have been asked to stand down by TC Westcott

Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 8m

Dean suggests that Bharucha wants police. He is unaware of the situation in his office pic.twitter.com/Z6BPP2OMB8

Livestream erupts in massive applause as someone announces "We have more students who want to sign the petition.
3:37 PM PT:


3:38 PM PT:
ping_t Many of these students will graduate in a few weeks-they are doing this for those who come after them

3:48 PM PT: Solidarity statements are coming in to the livestream Social Stream. OWS, Occupy Albany, Oakland, Montreal, Tennessee

3:56 PM PT:
Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 1m

Police are on second floor of foundation building. They have not come up any further
4:07 PM PT:


4:08 PM PT: Bharucha is the CU President:

Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 3m

Bharucha lives 2 blocks in a house provided for free by the school away but is refusing to acknowledge the demands of the protest
4:14 PM PT:
Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 3m

Free chalk drawings going on outside! “@mariyanyc: The chalk is out #educationshouldbefree pic.twitter.com/vbfix7206c”
4:23 PM PT:
Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 1m

We're sending some students outside with the statement of no confidence so more Cooper students/faculty/alum can sign

4:24 PM PT: There are over 300 signatures on the statement of no confidence, according to someone on the livestream.

The Occupation began at 11:00 AM yesterday.

4:38 PM PT:
Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 4m

Bathrooms and stairwells have been opened by students. They will remain open pic.twitter.com/298582MoKy

Craig Kanalley ‏@ckanal 5m

Statement of No Confidence being read now at ground level at Cooper Union pic.twitter.com/wSkXDPBLpe

5:11 PM PT:
Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 49s

A big THANK YOU to all of the wonderful folks out there sending us emergency rations!! #pizza #solidarity #noconfidence #freecooper
6:05 PM PT:
Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 37s

Students clapping as Messer finished reading. He wants there to be an outside arbiter.Students contend that admin will never agree to that
6:09 PM PT:
Free Cooper Union ‏@FreeCooperUnion 2m

Student: we've tried to have conversation for two years. We would like him to step down because he has not participated in that
7:24 PM PT:


Originally posted to jpmassar on Thu May 09, 2013 at 02:40 PM PDT.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street and ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

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