The Responsibilities of a Student Trustee

The Student Representative will attend all Board meetings. Consistent with the approach adopted by other college and university boards, and recognizing that there are certain recurring decisions that involve inherent tensions between the role of student and board member (such as tenure and other personnel decisions), the Student Representative will be excused from executive sessions and certain discussions. The Student Representative will not have a formal vote (or the same level of fiduciary liability as a voting board member) but his or her concurrence, objection or abstention will be reflected in the minutes. Further, the Student Representative will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement.

The Student Representative will engage the student body in communication so that the diversity of views of the entire student body, across all three schools, can be articulated to the Board of Trustees. Finally, the Student Representative will be responsible for regularly meeting with student constituencies and reporting to the student body on the activities of the Board as appropriate in light of considerations of confidentiality.


To be eligible to serve as the Student Representative to the Board of Trustees, a student must be (i) a full-time undergraduate matriculated student in good academic and disciplinary standing; and (ii) able to serve a term defined by two consecutive academic years.

The Student Representative would be seated at the June 10, 2015 meeting of the Board of Trustees.

  • 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.