Weapons Policy

The Cooper Union prohibits the possession or use of any weapon or simulated weapon on campus by anyone except law enforcement officers or those who have received prior written authorization from the Director of Public Safety. The term “weapon” includes an instrument used to inflict physical harm, that is intended to inflict harm, or that could reasonably cause fear of infliction of harm, and any item that may be deemed a weapon under applicable law, including but not limited to: a pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, stun gun, BB or pellet gun, taser, electronic dart gun, and other instrument that launches a projectile by pressure resulting from combustion of propellant material, including a weapon related to or using air, sound, flare, hunting or springs; bombs, grenades, mines, explosives, or incendiary devices which can include “ignition devices” and aerosols; daggers, stilettos, swords, and knives including switchblade and gravity knives; and including parts, components, spare parts, or ammunition relating to the above.

A disarmed weapon is a weapon unless it is a simulated weapon. A simulated weapon means a facsimile of any category of weapon, as defined in this policy that resembles the actual weapon but is not capable of use as a weapon.  The term “possession” includes, but is not limited to, storage of a weapon in the dormitory, in lockers, desks, briefcases, laboratories, studios, or a weapon carried (conspicuous or concealed) on the person. Hazardous materials that are not approved for use in a laboratory or studio or are approved for use, but are intentionally or recklessly used or possessed may be classified as a weapon.

The Cooper Union Weapons Policy is in addition to, and may be more restrictive than, weapons regulations that may be imposed by Federal, State, and New York City law. With respect to Cooper Union personnel (faculty, staff and student workers), possession of weapons on campus is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment—consistent with any applicable employment manuals or union contracts.

With respect to students, possession of weapons on campus or while attending or participating in a Cooper Union-sponsored activity off campus is subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal, consistent with procedures in the Campus Safety, Security and Fire Report and Cooper Union’s Code of Conduct.

All requests to use a simulated weapon in conjunction with a Cooper Union related event (e.g., play, film production, or art exhibition) should be submitted in writing to the Director of Public Safety for approval.  If approved, the Director of Public Safety will issue written permission for the use of the simulated weapon and specify its restrictions. The restrictions will include the name of the individual who may possess the simulated weapon, the time and manner it may be used, the manner in which it will be transported to and from the location, and the location the simulated weapon is to be stored when not in use. Under no circumstances may a simulated weapon be stored in any Cooper Union owned, leased, or controlled facilities other than an approved safety storage area.  The individual to whom written permission has been granted to possess a simulated weapon must maintain the custody of the simulated weapon at all times and may not transfer custody of the simulated weapon to any other person not specified in the written permission. The individual who has been granted permission to possess a simulated weapon may not do so while under the influence of alcohol or any substance that impairs judgment, and may not engage in any reckless behavior while in possession of the simulated weapon. There is no exception to the prohibition of having a simulated weapon in The Residence Hall at any time or for any purpose. Failure to comply with any and all restrictions will result in permission being revoked and possible disciplinary action. The Director of Public Safety will not approve requests for the use of any weapon as defined in this policy for any purpose that violates any Federal, State or New York City Law.

To Report Weapons on Campus or a Threat of Violence.   

Cooper Union believes that in order to achieve a safe and secure campus a collaborative effort by all members of the campus community is required. All students, faculty, and staff who have knowledge of weapons on campus have an obligation under this policy to report that information immediately to the Director of Public Safety. Anyone with information regarding the possession or storage of weapons on campus that does not pose an immediate threat should report it to The Office of Public Safety at 212-353-4375. Any individual who believes there is an imminent threat of violence on campus should call the police by dialing 9-911 from any campus phone or 911 from a cell phone. Reports can be made anonymously by emailing psafety@cooper.edu

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.