Cooper Union Students Stage Walkout to Protest Possible Tuition (Updated With Video)

As if Cooper Union wasn’t dealing with enough bad p.r.: Today at 2 p.m., about 100 students from the school walked out of class and into Peter Cooper Park in protest of a potential implementation of tuition. Since 1905, the school, founded in 1859, has awarded merit-based scholarships to students so they can attend free of tuition charges, based on founder Peter Cooper’s philosophy that education should be as free as water and air. But on Monday, The Times reported that as a result of financial troubles, the school may start charging tuition to students that can afford it.

“Implementation of a tuition model here goes completely against the structure of the school,” said Joe Riley, 21, a junior in the School of Art and the organizer of the walkout.

ClassJessica Bell Classes continued outside.

Some teachers moved their classes outside so that students could continue to work on their projects during the walkout.

“We’re just trying to unify ourselves and be visible,” Hannah Guerrero, 21, a senior in the School of Art and a member of the student council, said. “Many of my close friends would not be able to afford to go here under this new model.”

The students will be in Peter Cooper Park until 6 p.m., and will further air their grievances at a 7 p.m. meeting with President Jamshed Bharucha.