Category Archives: News

Revised Student Code of Conduct

Marcus Michelen (BSE ‘14)

This document is allegedly a draft of the new Student Code of Conduct. According to the document, this was written by Chris Chamberlain, the Associate Dean of Student Affairs. A comparison is presented between this code of conduct and the previous version.

In the “Preamble,” the new document reads, “The Cooper Union Board of Trustees reserves the right to modify and/or amend this Code at any time it deems necessary.” The previous document read, “The Cooper Union reserves the right….”

The section in the new document labeled “Authority” was not present in the previous document. This new section now includes The Board of Trustees in student discipline; this was not true in the past. The new code of conduct “shall apply to student conduct that occurs on Cooper Union premises, at Cooper Union-sponsored activity and off campus.”

“Part Three: Standards for Conduct of Students,” states that “because it is not possible to set forth a comprehensive list of all the potential ways in which student conduct may fail to comport with The Cooper Union’s standards, conduct not found in this Code may still be deemed unacceptable and may be basis for disciplinary charges.”

Stalking is now defined to include communication “in a manner likely to cause fear, or seriously annoy a reasonable person under similar circumstances.”

Disruption and Obstruction is now defined as “Behavior that disturbs the peace, academic study, or sleep of others on or off campus.”

“Part Four: Procedural Standards” states, “The sanctions of formal admonishment, warning, or loss of privileges may be meted out in these cases by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, at his/her sole discretion.” This is the first time that the Associate Dean of Student Affairs has been granted this much authority.

When discussing the method for creation of the student and faculty judicial panel, the document states that the members “will be selected for each Judicial Panel by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs.” Additionally, these members “will be trained in administration of the Code of Conduct.”

A new disciplinary sanction consists of the development of “a master education plan with the aid of the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and academic dean.” Additionally, Cooper Union now “reserves the right to notify parents or guardians of any issues, disciplinary or otherwise, relating to a student’s health and/or safety.”

“Part Ten: Interim Suspension Policy” begins by saying, “The Cooper Union retains the authority to impose an interim (immediate) suspension if such action is deemed necessary to preserve the safety of persons or property or to prevent disruption of the normal operations of The Cooper Union.” The document does not clarify who is referred to when saying, “The Cooper Union retains the authority…”

Moreover, “upon receipt of the interim suspension notice, if the student is on campus or in university facilities, the student will be escorted out of the facility and/or off campus by a Cooper Union official and/or security personnel.”

Upon suspension, a “student can immediately request an interim suspension review to be conducted by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs or his/her designee.” However, “The decision of the interim suspension will be final.”

The Other Half Fund

On November 8th, 2013, the students of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture called an all-school meeting. It was decided that in response to the implementation of tuition starting Fall 2014, the students of the School of Architecture will establish a fundraising initiative to pay 50% tuition bills for the 30 anticipated undergraduate architecture students admissible in 2014. The students recognize that the Cooper Union’s greatest value is in it’s vision of an education based on merit and social equity and have decided to make this collective gesture to the incoming architecture class of 2014 to keep the school free for one more year. It is clear that this initiative will not cause a structural change(s) or provide a long-term source of revenue; however, this will buy an extra year for other long-term initiatives to be implemented. The mission statement and pledge website for the initiative will be released next week. ◊

Engineering Preview Night

Caroline Yu (EE ‘15)

We all remember the first time we stepped into 41 Cooper Square and met the students and faculty, whom we would see many more times. Whether during Open House or Admitted Students Night, we were able to see the people who shape Cooper. On November 4th, Cooper hosted Engineering Preview Night, where students interested in applying to Cooper were able to visit Cooper with their parents.

The high school students were welcomed by Dean Lipton, who gave admissions information. Next, President Bharucha focused on the newly established student exchange program with ITT Bombay and Invention Factory. He described how at Cooper Union entrepreneurship and invention are not only connected but also directly attached. Dean Dahlberg spoke about how Cooper has a competitive-collaborative atmosphere. Cooper has the best of both worlds because there exists a spirit similar to that found at large research universities where students constantly pursue opportunities but there also is collaboration like that found at small schools. She, too, mentioned Invention Factory and showed the video of Christopher Curro and Henry Wang’s Rapid Packing Container.

Dean Baker spoke next about the athletic teams and told stories of how Cooper students and alumni inspire him each and every day. He related Cooper students to runners and how we are out in the front and keep moving forward. Despite the heavy workloads and the pressure to excel, Cooper students never spend time looking back. Dean Chamberlin added to the analogy by describing how Cooper students are always willing to help the runner and teammate next to them.

After Cooper Union’s location, connections, student life, and academic programs were highlighted, Dean Lipton closed the presentations and spoke about financial aid.

Abby Davis, the Assistant Direction of Admissions, gathered a student panel to answer questions from the high school students and their parents. Questions included: “What it is like to be a woman in engineering, or in general part of a minority at Cooper?” and “What was the biggest change for the students coming from high school to Cooper?” All in all, the student panel described the unique Cooper environment in which although a situation may prove new or difficult, the student body and faculty at Cooper succeed at supporting anyone who is willing to reach out for help or communicate ideas. ◊


Interview with Stamatina Gregory, Associate Dean of Art

Anamika Singh (Art ‘17)

The Cooper Pioneer recently conversed with Stamatina Gregory, the newly appointed Associate Dean of Art, via email.

The Cooper Pioneer: What was your first experience with Cooper Union?

Stamatina Gregory: It was somewhat mythic. I attended a small parochial high school for girls in Brooklyn, and the claim to fame by the very inspirational art teacher there was that one of his students had gotten into the Cooper Union. Right then, as an aspiring painter, I decided to apply. But by the time I was a senior, though I was very interested in contemporary art, I had begun to identify as a reader and writer, rather than as a maker. So I studied art history and German literature at NYU, near Cooper–but also far away from it—so it’s interesting to be here in a very different role.

TCP: Can explain your role as Associate Dean and the responsibilities that come with this position?

SG: My role is extraordinarily varied within the school—I’m already involved in many different initiatives in programs, assessment, and development. I work closely with the Dean on day-to-day operations of the school, on developing new graduate programs, and I’ll also be working on accreditation, which is a cyclical and ongoing process. At some point I anticipate teaching also, and I’m really looking forward to that.

TCP: You have extensive experience with a variety of colleges and universities. How do you believe these experiences will influence your coming time at Cooper Union? What drew you to the Cooper Union?

SG: In the past, it’s been wonderful to work with a really diverse student body at CUNY, working to reach students primarily interested in things outside of art, as well as having both abundant resources and savvy students in the Ivy League. But Cooper is the best of all worlds: an extraordinary and diverse student body and a faculty of artists making some of the most critically important work today. I’m always interested in digging under the surface of the art world as part of my practice, and that inevitably leads to the foundations of how we construct artists in our society–through pedagogy.

TCP: With the new policy of tuition being instated next year, what changes do you see occurring in the School of Art?

SG: Change might be less tangible to me than to someone who has spent much of their career here. There are changes tied both to tuition and to the ongoing effort to avoid it, and that is the development of excellent graduate programs, which is positive. Even having been here only a short while, -remaining an active place for social critique and institutional critique – a longer process rather than the short reactions generated by crisis. [sic]

TCP: What are some visions you have as you assume this position?

SG: I would love to see more interdisciplinarity. Truly exciting projects are being forged between architects, artists and engineers out there in the world, and it would be good to find some platforms and initiatives for that to happen meaningfully here. And of course, I want to continue the school’s engagement with important institutions and practices outside its walls.

TCP: How has interaction with the faculty and student body been so far?

SG: On the whole, excellent. Although, more than any other place I have been, Cooper unfolds slowly: it seems like a very tight and complicated family, with memories and histories and loves that run deep.

TCP: Do you have a personal motto or mantra that you apply to your professional career?

SG: I love the idea of a personal mantra, because it seems so stable and soothing. But we work in a world in which beliefs and assumptions can and must be subject to change, and that includes how I approach my work. One question I continually ask myself in my work is: so what? What is it about this project or job or conversation that is meaningful now, and what is at stake? It’s both a place to end, and a place to start. ◊

Photo Credit: Vincent Wai Him Hui (Arch ‘15)

Concrete Confessional

Matthew Lee (ME ‘15)


On October 12th, Cooper Union was paid a visit by the world famous graffiti artist Banksy. As part of his one month show around New York City called “Better Out Than In”,  Banksy’s piece was set up inside one of the large concrete blocks right between 41 Cooper Square and the First Ukrainian Assembly of God Church . This “Concrete Confessional” depicts a priest inside the concrete block, and appears to be based off of a 1950’s photograph by Berni Schoenfield. However, within a day the piece was altered with a white beard and medallion, making the priest resemble Peter Cooper. Inside another concrete block, located directly next to the Banksy piece, is a depiction of Jamshed Barucha, Cooper Union’s President. Free Cooper Union claimed the credit for this work, called “Cooper Confessional”, criticizing President Barucha for deviating from the mission statement of the school providing full-tuition merit scholarships to all of its students. The concrete blocks have since been moved around, leaving the portrait of the president exposed to the sidewalk. Banksy’s original work is nowhere to be found. ◊

Photo Credit: Free Cooper Union

Interview with Christopher Chamberlin, Associate Dean of Student Affairs

Chae Jeong (ChE ‘16)

The Cooper Pioneer interviewed Mr. Christopher Chamberlain regarding his responsibilities as the Director of Residence Life and the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, his new position.

The Cooper Pioneer: How did you hear of the Cooper Union and what brought you here?

Mr. Christopher Chamberlain: I used to work as the Director of Operational Services for a public college in New Jersey and I wanted a change. A friend of mine had previously worked at Cooper as the Director of Residence Life and he highly recommended working here and when the position opened up here, I applied. I was and remain incredibly impressed with the Cooper Union’s ideals.

TCP: How many years have you been at Cooper Union?

CC: 3

TCP: Can you explain your role as Director of Residence Life?

CC: As the Director of Residence Life, I’m responsible for the overall operation of the student residence at 29 3rd Ave. My responsibilities include ensuring that we maximize our occupancy to provide the most housing opportunities to our students as well as overall program direction. As a team with the other professional staffs in the office, David Robbins and Marilyn Whitesides, the Residence Life works to ensure that the student residence is something more than just a “dorm”. We try to engage the students through programs and social events to get them to know each other, to network personally and professionally, and finally to grow as young adults. Since we generally only provide housing to first year students, we also try to prepare the students for the realities of living on their own in New York City.

TCP: What was your most memorable moment as Director of Residence Life?

CC: For the most, the memorable moment is always move-in day each year. The day that students move into the residence hall for the first time is always such an exciting time and truly marks, for most students, their official entry into our community and into adulthood.

TCP: Can you explain your role as Associate Dean of Student Affairs?

CC: As the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, I work very closely with Dean Baker in providing leadership for the department. I still oversee Residence Life, but I also manage the student health records, immunization requirements, medical leaves of absence, ADA disability accommodation requests, student counseling referrals, interface with the student government, code of conduct and student judiciary. I also work with the Center for Career Development and all the other areas within Student Affairs.

TCP: How do you feel about your new responsibilities as Associate Dean of Student Affairs?

CC: I’m really excited about this opportunity. I think that we have a strong team in place to make some really positive impacts throughout the campus. I’m really honored that Dean Baker asked me to serve in this capacity and I’m very grateful for all of the support that I’ve received from him and from the campus community in general.

TCP: What were some thoughts you had as you received this new position?

CC: I’m excited to be a part of this exciting time here at Cooper. Dean Baker has a wealth of experience and knowledge about Cooper Union that is unparalleled and really positions us to have a significant positive impact on the lives of our students. I have a strong background in both operations and student affairs and I’m excited to have an opportunity to work in a unique position that allows me to blend them both together.

TCP: What are some visions you have as you assume this new position?

CC: The offices within Student Affairs already produce great work and are staffed by extremely talented professionals. As I assume this new role, I hope to work with our staff to evaluate our current programs to higher levels. Even though we already do great things, we can always improve and raise our bar even higher. I look forward to forging a stronger partnerships with our colleagues around the campus, including Alumni and Development and all of the academic schools and programs.

TCP: How do you think that experiences from your role as Director of Residence Life will influence your role as Associate Dean of Student Affairs?

CC: My time as the Director of Residence Life really laid the framework for me to be successful in this new position. I have been able to interact with all of the key players as the Director of Residence Life and now as the Associate Dean of Student Affairs. I’m able to capitalize on those established relationships and really forge collegial bonds and work on behalf of the students.

TCP: Do you have any advice for students?

CC: I would tell the students to make the most of their time at Cooper and to build strong bonds with each other and their faculty. The Office of Student Affairs has a wealth of resources and I encourage students to take full advantage of all of the services that we have to offer them. Our job is to equip our students with the necessary tools to be successful both personally and professionally, and I encourage students to hold us to our charge. ◊

Photos by Jenna Lee (ME’15)

Interview with Stephen P. Baker, Dean of Student Affairs

Matthew Lee (ME ‘15)

This past Tuesday, the Cooper Pioneer (TCP) sat down with Dean Baker (DB) to discuss his new role as Dean of Student affairs.

TCP: How many years have you been at Cooper?

DB: This is the start of my 48th academic year.

TCP: Please describe how you were informed of your new position as Dean of Student Affairs?

DB: During the process after Dean Lemiesz, the administration talked to about assuming the responsibilities. It was very recent.

TCP: Were you previously aware you may be chosen? Have you ever asked for the position?

DB: No.

TCP: A lot of us at Cooper have many things to manage. What do you specifically do to stay sane while running both the athletics program as Dean of Athletics, and acting as Dean of Student Affairs? Any time management tips?

DB: The most important ingredient is the dedication and the relationship with the students, the second thing is the commitment to the school, and the third thing is that as a Cooper Union person you don’t rely so much on sleep. I think the passion that all of us have, the initiatives that we all want to take, the creative juices we all have all blends together. There’s 24 hours in a day, and some people know how to manage their time better than other. At Cooper Union you have the time to not only focus but you have the time to be creative, and that’s unlike any other school in the word and I think that’s the blend of it. There’s always time to do things.

TCP: With your added responsibilities do you feel you have less time for anything else in the day?

DB: I make time. I’m thinking about the students, I’m thinking about the school. If I commute 5 hours a day, I’m thinking about who I’m going to see; the person I feel sorry for is the first person I see because I might be thinking about something else for 2 hours while driving in. I plan my day, but I also have to be flexible. It adds another dimension to the students and myself sharing something that’s going to make this place better.

TCP: How do you like the role so far?

DB: I’m enjoying every minute of it because I think there’s a level of energy – everyone is wishing me well and encouraging me – and there’s an energy of the incoming students that is just remarkable.

TCP: Any interesting stories?

DB: Look at what happened at Cape Cod. You look at everything we introduce: are we professors? coaches? administrators? friends? What goes on up there, the dynamic of what goes on up there […] I think everybody felt they were more committed to what they were doing and more committed to helping me and helping us. I saw something I hadn’t seen since I was a little kid up in Cape Cod:

One squirrel is up in a tree. The squirrel is out at the end of the tree. Now their food is free – they’re not going to the supermarket, but they have to get it seasonal. So one of them instead of taking individual acorns, this squirrel got creative and started shaking the branch. And then the nuts would fall down to the ground. So that to me is a Cooper Union story, in the sense that the Cooper Union person realizes where he/she is: they have to be efficient, then they have to take those nuts and bury them and prepare for exams or the future. The other squirrels going around picking up nuts from the ground. The Cooper Union squirrel is taking care of business.

TCP: The email we all received stated you “will take on the leadership responsibility for Student Services in the interim.” Do you know if the administration is actively searching for a permanent dean?

DB: I think that the position is gonna be now called Student Affairs. I think what they are pursuing is having me fill that administrative position. The first thing we did was to elevate Chris Chamberlin to the Associate Dean position. And I don’t think there’s too many people walking around with 3 Dean titles and I don’t want to be greedy.

TCP: They built you this office in 3C [in the dorms]. How was that move?

DB: The move was to save money in 30 Cooper: they are condensing six floors to four. So we were selected to come over here. Financial Aid is being put in with Admissions, which most schools do. So that’s going to free up some floors. So they asked us – Career Services, Athletics – to come over here in the dorms to have one office. They’re going next door with the residential offices, and they put me over here in 3C. But originally [former] Dean Lemiesz selected this place for me, she selected this spot. This move was taking place before she left. Now we have to figure out the office space, figure out how public it’s going to be, how private it’s going to be, so students will have access and [so that] it’s not geographically ugly over at 30 Cooper Square. We’re going to be amongst the students.

I was originally in the Foundation Building. When they renovated in ‘72 I went to the Engineering Building. From the engineering I went to the Hewitt Building for about 20 years. From the Hewitt Building I went to 30 Cooper Square. So this is the 5th place we’ve been to.

TCP: What is next for the future of Cooper?

DB: It’s going to be a transition that has never be experience before at Cooper Union. I am extremely optimistic in the school’s ability and the student’s ability to improve the product, to raise the interest, and also to keep the level of intensity, creativity, and excellence that we always have. I think that we want to encourage the excellence of the students and continue to maintain the integrity of the institution.

I think I’m known for saving money and raising money. That’s one of my major functions. Also we raise awareness and raise integrity of the things we get associated with. With the changes that are going to affect incoming students, it’s incumbent for us to maintain that integrity. I just found out we are the Number One rated school for Regional Colleges (North) in US News. That’s definitely because of my new promotion!

Photos by Jenna Lee (ME’15)