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Records of The Student Union of Cooper Union

Records of The Student Union of Cooper Union

Includes papers from ca. 1956-1979, chiefly 1968-1979.

Call Number:  C  7  S933  Shelf P

Provenance:  Files transferred to the Cooper Union Library circa 1980.

Historical Background:

The Cooper Union Student Union was a student group formed in 1977 “as a response to several key issues facing the Cooper community: the removal of books from the [Cooper Union] Library, and the New York University/Cooper Library merger, a severely demoralized and diminishing Humanities Department, the general lack of direct information exchange from [the] administration, and what seemed like a general attitude of apathy among the student body, as well as a history of ineffectual student governments.” (from “History & Introduction of The Student Union” by Paul Alter, Chairperson of The Student Union).  The group formed first as an ad hoc committee, then coalesced around the institution’s self-study in preparation for accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The Student Union appears to have dissolved following the Fall 1979 semester. 


The records are divided into three series: 

  1. The Student Union, including minutes and correspondence of the Student Union, a summary of its history, and newspaper articles recording its activities, including the involvement of the Student Union in the college’s presidential selection process, 
  2. Cooper Union, including information about finances, the Library, and the Humanities Department, 
  3. Documents relating to accreditation of the institution, including student questionnaires and polls.

Extent of Collection:  2 boxes; 1.5 linear feet.

Finding Aid prepared by Mitsuko Brooks, June, 2010.

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