December 4, 2012
We, students of the New School, stand in solidarity with Cooper Union students who are currently occupying the 4th and 8th floors of the Foundation Building to protest threatened tuition implementation. At the New School, we are by now very familiar with tuition increases to fund enormous new development, a lack of financial transparency, and the barring of student participation in decision making. As the 60 5th Avenue building continues to rise we are sinking into more private and federal debt.
We support Cooper Union’s Save our School’s demands:
1. Cooper Union maintains its commitment to free education
2. Cooper Union immediately implements increased financial transparency
3. That President Bharucha step down.
Standing in front of the CU occupation, we are reminded that nothing will change unless we continue to fight together and show solidarity across schools and universities. We see this struggle in the context of the privatization of education and the crisis of capitalism.
President Bharucha told CU students today that CU has reached a limit for free education. How is it that an institution like Cooper Union, which survived for 159 years (through other crisis) suddenly faces an insurmountable crisis that challenges its core principles of education ‘as free as water and air’? In our struggles as student and workers, we resist the idea that shouldering their debt is the solution.
The way the administration chooses to deal with this crisis has been to push this burden onto students, workers, and faculty. How is it that while the students around the world (Canada, Mexico, Chile, Puerto Rico, Italy, Greece and many others) continue to fight for free, accessible education, we in the United States are expected to accept a fate of limited exclusive education and ever increasing debt?
We support Cooper Union students who have taken necessary measures to make their voices heard. When the administrators prevent access to information, when the board members decide the future of students behind closed doors, it becomes clear that we as students have no choice but to occupy behind barricaded doors.. Students and workers should not depend on leaked documents about the financial future of their schools. It is absolutely necessary, in all schools, that we directly participate in the discussion of budgets and projects through action.
SOLIDARITY WITH COOPER UNION// WE WILL NOT PAY FOR YOUR CRISIS//
ALL POWER TO THE OCCUPATIONS!