By Joseph Bentivegna (EE ‘19)
The official Cooper Union school store launched last Friday after months of hard work by the Center for Design and Typography here at Cooper. The store is housed primarily online and, on launch, has over 40 items for sale. The items are broken down in to four categories: The Basics, Throwback, Old School, and Wearable History. Each category is meant to represent a different facet of the Cooper experience, so whether you’re into the old school looks or a Great Hall fanatic, there’s an option for everyone.
Mike Essl (Art ‘96) is now the Dean of the School of Art after serving as Acting Dean since July 2016. In addition to teaching graphic design at Cooper, Essl was also a found member of the Committee to Save Cooper Union. Essl works alongside Assistant Dean Adriana Farmiga (Art ’96), who was appointed this past fall.
The Joint Student Council passed a resolution demanding that the administration immediately addresses any outstanding complaints between students, parents, and the Financial Aid Office. In addition, last Tuesday’s resolution called for improvements to the “efficiency and effectiveness” of the Financial Aid Office to prevent administrative issues from interfering with academics. Prior to passing the resolution, the JSC compiled a list of grievances and presented them to President Sparks and Vice President of Enrollment Services Mitchell Lipton. ◊
By Afshin Khan (CE ‘19)
An overview of the Board of Trustees Meeting from June 21, 2017 describes an initiative of President Laura Sparks to improve diversity at the Cooper Union. The “Diversity Task Force” is fully endorsed by the Board of Trustees and is expected to launch soon. According to the minutes from this meeting, “the committee will look to external resources to employ best practices and break new ground in this area at Cooper”. Cooper Union has always held diversity in its highest regard, allowing women to enroll in courses in an era when that was uncommon, allowing even those of limited means to benefit from the school’s resources.
By Evan Bubniak (ME ‘21)
By 6:15, the lobby outside Rose Auditorium was bustling. At the tables lined up along the walls, students, alumni, and visitors enjoyed sandwiches and popcorn, drank seltzer water, made their own Cooper Union and activist-themed pins. They also explored literature from the spring of 2013, when Cooper students occupied the President’s office on the top floor of the Foundation Building for 65 days in protest of then-President Jamshed Bharucha’s decision to introduce tuition.
By Matthew Grattan (ChE ’19)
Fred Fontaine is Professor and Jesse Sherman Chair of Electrical Engineering at The Cooper Union. In addition to being a faculty member since 1987, Fontaine is also an alumnus of the Albert Nerken School of Engineering. Fontaine spoke with The Pioneer on the subject of tuition and how it fits into the school’s ongoing narrative.
“If everything else had happened, except they actually never put in tuition, we would have issues. It’s part of a symptom; it’s part of a larger problem.”
For a school that had been tuition-free for over 150 years, charging tuition was a historically significant event. Cooper Union is now a bit more like every other higher education institution in the US. Perhaps, something characteristic to Cooper has been lost, beyond being “as free as air and water.”