Cooper Union Students Protest Tuition and Debt

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.Lauren Carol Smith

Cooper Union students outraged at the university president’s decision to charge tuition to graduate students are staging a walk-out of classes that coincides with nationwide protests of the country’s massive student debt.

At around 4 p.m., students from Cooper Union will march to Union Square and join others from N.Y.U., CUNY, the New School and other nearby universities who are commemorating today’s milestone of $1 trillion in student debt.

Just before noon today around 30 students were mingling in Cooper Square, occasionally chanting “No tuition is our mission” and “Hey hey, ho ho, student debt has got to go,” and snacking on fresh veggies and bread. At least two professors held classes outside in solidarity with the gathering. Alan Lundgard, an outspoken opponent of the push for tuition, expected that well over 100 students would soon be emerging from classrooms.

Rachel Appel, 22, said that the overwhelming debt that burdens so many other college students might soon apply to Cooper Union students. “We’ve been debt-free for 110 years,” said Ms. Appel, who studies art. “It’s the heart of the school.”

She added, “They say ‘look at other schools, they charge tuition. Why shouldn’t we?’ That’s the whole problem!”