A group of students calling themselves Free Cooper Union have just staged a sit-in in Cooper Union President Jamshed Bharucha's office to protest the school's controversial plan to end its 154-year-old tradition of free tuition in order to address a $16.5 million budget deficit.

The group posted a statement on the website Cooper Union Student Action to Save Our School:

50+ students, faculty, and staff are maintaining a ‘sit-in’ inside Jamshed Bharucha’s office on the 7th floor of the Foundation Building of the Cooper Union. As students we have reclaimed the President’s office in response to the Administration and the Board of Trustees announcing the implementation of tuition for the incoming class of 2014- desecrating a 154 year old tradition of meritocracy and free education. We stand together with the extended Cooper community in opposition to this decision; we reaffirm all of the previous and future actions of our fellow students and allies.

For good background on the Cooper Union saga, read Sangamithra Iyer's piece in N+1.

Here's a livestream.

[Image via Free Cooper Union Facebook]