Category Archives: Features

thumbnail_pioneerweb

Collective of Students Work to Create an Anti-Racist Institution

By Brighton Huynh (CE’21)

(Editors Note: The content of footnotes have been moved to the end of the article. For those whom the letter is addressed to, I have shortened two job titles and moved the full titles to the end of the article to maintain continuity in the formatting of the letter)

Update (1JUL2020): The Cabinet of the President posted a recent response to the collective letter on June 8th recently.

Systemic racism has plagued the country since its founding and continues to do so. The cold-blooded murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and Nina Pop have prompted a mass movement calling for the nation to proactively confront systemic racism. A collective of students took action to ensure that the Cooper Union transforms itself into an actively anti-racist institution. The following is a statement from some of the students involved accompanied by the body of the letter:

The letter below, addressed and delivered on June 8, 2020, to the administration of The Cooper Union, is by no means exhaustive in scope but hopes to serve as merely the beginning of a series of conversations needed to foster and transform The Cooper Union into an actively anti-racist institution. The actions proposed were initially questions and concerns voiced in a town hall hosted by students on June 1, 2020, as well as informed by other school-wide meetings held during that week. The letter circulated around various social media networks to reach students and alumni across the three schools. The letter was edited collaboratively using Google Docs and any signee was permitted to suggest changes and post comments to the letter. Each of these suggested changes or comments were addressed individually by the organizing members. The hope is that these conversations surrounding institutional racism will continue to develop throughout The Cooper Union.

Since the submission of the letter to the administration, the document has been further copyedited for typographical errors and improved readability.

The original collaborative document is available on Google Docs here.

If you wish to add your signature to the letter, please do so here.

If you wish to join the conversation, please read, comment, suggest, and share the developing list of questions—most of which were delivered jointly on June 8, 2020 with the letter below—which is available here.

Continue reading

Source: https://groupaffect.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/cooper-union-postcard-cover.jpg

The Cooper Story: “To the Trustees of The Cooper Union…”

By Afshin Khan (CE ‘19)

Photo source: groupaffect.files.wordpress.com. The Deed of Trust and the letter to the Board of Trustees can be found at library.coopr.edu.

On April 29, 1859, Peter Cooper and his wife, Sarah Cooper, bestowed upon The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art both the property and land that currently houses the Foundation Building. The Deed of Trust was followed by a personal letter that Peter Cooper wrote to the trustees of the institution. It was not until 97 years later, in 1956, that the letter was published in a pamphlet, to remind its readers of Peter Cooper’s vision for the institution.

Continue reading

Who was Peter Cooper?

By Afshin Khan (CE ‘19)

Peter Cooper was born on February 12, 1791, fifteen years after the founding of the United States of America. Despite having one year of formal schooling, Cooper was able to make forays into several industries, including real estate, locomotion, and insurance. At the age of 68, Peter Cooper established The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art as the first of its kind, offering a free education that was open to people from all walks of life. But these are all factoids that a quick Google search can turn up. Who was the real Peter Cooper?

Continue reading

FullSizeRender(3)

Architecture Studio Renovation

By Kavya Udupa (BSE ’19)

This past summer the School of Architecture renovated the computer lab, formally known as the Paul Laux Digital Architecture Studio, on the seventh floor of the Foundation Building. The renovations were spurred by a $2 million donation given to the school about ten years ago. The donor gave the money with the hopes that it would “have a significant transformation for the School of Architecture.”

Continue reading

After Tuition Part I: Questions and a Brief History

By Evan Bubniak (ME ‘21) and Matthew Grattan (ChE ‘19)\

Since the announcement in 2013, The Cooper Union has admitted four tuition-paying classes. That is to say: Barring fifth-year architecture students, every undergraduate at Cooper pays tuition, and the first-ever class of tuition-payers in Cooper’s century-and-a-half history will graduate in the spring.

Cooper is not—and never has been—the typical American college experience. Yet, is it possible that tuition has changed our institution? Have we lost something beyond the full-tuition scholarship? Or conversely, have we gained anything?

Continue reading

Artwork by Emma Faith Hill (Art '17).

Thank You for Continually Teaching Me

By Emma Faith Hill (Art ’17)

When I found out, I was in a world history class with freshmen and sophomores (I was making up a credit to graduate). I was checking my phone every ten minutes and finally it came. The minute I saw it, I no longer saw it because I was crying. My teacher asked me if I was okay and a girl across from me gaped, figuring it out, “oh my God she got in.” I picked up my bag and ran out of the classroom and across campus to the visual arts building, rushing into the director’s office, heaving with salt water, “I did it!” She hugged me with a mother’s embrace, and a sense of fulfillment ensued for the last month of high school.

It is the experience of education without financial consequence, revealing a desire for knowledge and freedom you’d never realized you’d needed before.

 

Continue reading