By Matthew Grattan (BSE ’19)
Two months ago, the Engineering Curriculum Committee passed a resolution in opposition to the contact hour changes in the Departments of Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics. Last week, on April 2, the Engineering Student Council (ESC) followed suit after collecting student signatures for a petition opposing the change. The Cooper Union Federation of College Teachers (CUFCT) has also filed a grievance against the administration.
By Brian Frost (EE ’19)
According to email correspondence provided by the Department of Mathematics, President Laura Sparks is “confident” that Dean Richard Stock’s directive to reduce contact hours in some required math classes achieves the “best for The Cooper Union and our students.”
The mathematics department feels that the “policy change will unavoidably lead to a diminution of the depth and breadth of our students’ mathematical preparation, thereby jeopardizing their readiness to excel in the sciences and engineering.”
By Matthew Grattan (BSE ’19), Olivia Heuiyoung Park (ME ‘20), and Jeremiah V. Pratt (EE ’19)
On Jan. 30, the chairs of chemistry, physics, and math received separate emails from the Dean’s office informing them of a massive change in the structure of their classes: Beginning next semester, all classes must reduce the number of contact hours to match the credits offered.
The idea of reducing contact hours to match the number of credits in some classes was discussed almost a year ago at an engineering faculty meeting. However, the engineering faculty heard little else of the topic until the Dean’s office sent out the directives.
By Evan Bubniak (ME ’21)
On February 28, 2018, the Cooper Union’s Dean of Admissions, Mitchell Lipton, released a statement reaffirming the college’s support for students who voice their opinion by taking part in peaceful protests. Making specific reference to protests in support of gun violence legislation that have resulted from the recent mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the relevant portion is as follows: “The Cooper Union will not rescind admissions offers to prospective students who face discipline for peaceable protest. As is our practice, we would ask that students let us know if they have been found responsible for a disciplinary violation. However… violations for peaceful demonstrations or walkouts will not jeopardize a student’s admission to Cooper.”
The Cooper Union Alumni Association (CUAA) has announced that seniors are now allowed to vote in the CUAA elections. According to Mary Lynch (ChE ‘82), the CUAA’s secretary, this change was made to encourage more participation among recent graduates within the CUAA, and improve the relationship between the student and alumni bodies.
Information about the candidates will be made available at cooperalumni.org over the course of the next couple of weeks. The positions on the ballot are VP – Alumni activities; VP-Student and Faculty Liaison; Secretary, Treasurer, Council Members (12) and Nominating Committee (10). The election will begin on March 15; in order to vote, it suffices to register at cooperalumni.org/register; CUAA will send ballots directly to the inbox of registered students and alumni.
By Olivia Heuiyoung Park (ME ‘20)
There have been several discussions and proposed changes in the Engineering School lately, including the question of whether or not plus and minus grades (e.g. A-, B+, C+) should be accessible for professors to use at their discretion.
By Matthew Grattan (BSE ’19)
If all goes well, the Free Education Committee’s plan will return the full-tuition scholarship to Cooper Union in 10 years. But for some, that’s just not fast enough.
I have been teaching a course on the Allegorical impulse in the arts of the 1970s and 1980s in the US. And oddly enough, and maybe fortuitously, I received the following story from a student. This is what she wrote:
The Cooper Union once had an old well with fresh and clean water.