The Governance of the Students of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

Approved by SAC 11/18/98
Approved by JSC 1/23/98


In order to create a more representative and responsive student government, one that would have greater power given its increased validity as the voice of the student body at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, we form our student government as defined in the following articles.


Section I-- Election of Student Representatives

  1. One student representative will be elected to represent each section, each year, and, where appropriate, each major. A student representative will be said to have been elected with plurality when a majority of the constituency has participated in the election.
  2. If the replacement of a Student Council representative becomes necessary, the members of the Student Council of the particular school shall decide whether to hold a new election, to ask the runnerup in the previous election to serve as a replacement, or to appoint someone to fill the seat, using their own judgement as to which method will best serve the interests of the constituency to be represented and the Student Council as a whole.
  3. Failure to provide sufficient candidates in any election may result in non-representation for that particular constituency.
  4. The Joint Student Council will consist of the following Student Representatives:
YearArchitecture Student CouncilArt Student CouncilEngineering Student Council
13 reps by section4 reps by Section4 or 5 reps by section
23 reps at large4 reps at Large5 reps by major
33 reps at large4 reps at large5 reps by major
43 reps at large4 reps at large5 reps by major
5 or Graduate3 reps at largeNot applicable1 Master's candidate at large
Total15 reps16 reps 20 or 21 reps

Section II-- Responsibilities of Student Representatives

  1. Student Council Representatives, by majority vote, select the number of representatives and alternates within their school to serve on faculty and student committees, as specified under the governance for the particular committee. Each of the individual Student Councils may decide, on a case by case basis, how to fill positions on nongovernance committees.
  2. Student Council Representatives within each school, by majority vote, select two administrative chairpersons.
  3. Student Council Representatives hold monthly meetings as a group to discuss issues and determine a plan of action to resolve problems.
  4. Student Council Representatives may request emergency meetings if the co-chairs agree or if 2/3 of the other student council representatives vote to hold such a meeting.
  5. Student Council Representatives hold an open forum at least one time per semester where students of their school can voice opinions and concerns.
  6. Each student council representative is responsible for maintaining an on-going dialogue with his or her constituency.
  7. Student Council Representatives are responsible for reporting and representing student needs and concerns to the appropriate administrators.


Section I-- Special Duties of Administrative Chairpersons

  1. Administrative Chairpersons will also serve as the Student Representatives to the Faculty Administrative Committee of the Administrative Chairperson's particular school.
  2. Administrative Chairpersons will prepare the agenda for the meetings of the Joint Student Council and the individual schools' Student Councils. Items for the agenda may be submitted by any Student Representative.
  3. Administrative Chairpersons will notify Student Representatives of meetings, chair the meetings, and assure that minutes are recorded for the meetings.
  4. Administrative Chairpersons will direct problems until such problems are resolved and ensure that recommendations are followed.
  5. Administrative Chairpersons will assess the relevance of emergency meeting requests and give approval.
  6. Following the recommendations of their particular Student Council, Administrative Chairpersons will decide when to take cross-school issues to the Joint Student Council.
  7. Administrative Chairpersons will call a meeting of the Administrative Chairpersons of all three schools if it appears necessary to schedule an emergency meeting of the Joint Student Council to resolve an issue.
  8. Administrative Chairpersons are responsible for keeping the Student Representatives informed about the status of any particular issue or resolution.
  9. Administrative Chairpersons are responsible for overseeing the performance of all responsibilities by the individual student representatives.
  10. At the end of each year, the Administrative Chairpersons of each school, after consulting the Student Representatives on their particular school's Student Council in a given year, should prepare a two page summary report of the year's accomplishments, unfinished agenda, and any advice they wish to share with subsequent Student Councils.


Section I--Definition of Standing Committees

  1. Included in this category are any committees that have been established under the faculty governances of the four faculties or any committees established as part of any accreditation visit to the Cooper Union, including, but not limited to Middle States, ABET, NASAD, and NAAB, or any committee established by the administration whose mission states that student representatives must be elected by the Joint Student Council. Such committees may vary from year to year and by school.

Section II-- Election to Standing Committees

  1. The elected student representatives shall elect from their own ranks representatives and alternates to each standing committee, as specified by the rules of each particular committee.

Section III-- Responsibilities

  1. Student representatives serving on standing committees must attend each scheduled meeting of the committee. If this should prove impossible, the student representative must arrange to be replaced by his or her alternate. All appropriate material, including notes of previous meetings and agenda for the meeting, must be handed by the student representative to the alternate.
  2. Student representatives serving on standing committees must remember that they have been elected or appointed to the committee to represent student opinion. Thus, they should raise and seek resolutions of student concerns as appropriate to the purview of the particular committee.
  3. Student representatives serving on standing committees should be prepared to make a presentation about the meetings of their committee to their individual Student Council or to the Joint Student Council, when appropriate. A copy of the minutes of the meetings of a standing committee should be given to the administrative chairpersons and placed in the record of the Student Council.
  4. At the end of the year, student representatives serving on standing committees should submit to their administrative chairpersons a brief report of the committee's proceedings for the year, its accomplishments and unfinished agenda.


Section I-- Membership

  1. Each student elected to serve as a Student Council Representative to his or her particular school shall also serve as a Joint Student Council representative.

Section II--Proceedings

  1. The Joint Student Council shall address issues of common concern to all Cooper Union students.
  2. The Joint Student Council reaches decisions by consensus.

Section III-- Responsibilities of the Joint Student Council

  1. The Joint Student Council shall call a meeting of all its members at least once every semester. These meetings shall be open to all students. Students who wish to raise issues must request that the matter be included as an agenda item.


  1. Students who choose to serve as representatives must be prepared to give the time and effort needed to fulfill the duties of the office.
  2. Attendance at Council, Joint Council, and committee meetings is mandatory.
  3. In the event that a Student Representative fails to fulfill responsibilities, including the responsibility of attending meetings, that representative may be dismissed by a two thirds vote of the appropriate Student Council and be replaced by an alternate. The Administrative Chairpersons shall inform the constituency of such a change in writing.
  4. If the Student Council as a whole is not performing, any student may request a referendum for a no-confidence vote by submitting a petition signed by 1/3 of the student body.