This website is an archive of the content published on freeasairandwater.net before it was shut down in February 2012. You can download a zip file of this entire site here.
Here is the original about page text:
[As Free as Air & Water] exists as a space for the Cooper Union community to voice their support for their schools complete mission statement, which includes the phrase: The College admits undergraduates solely on merit and awards full scholarships to all enrolled students.
This fundamental aspect of the mission statement directly creates the quality and character of the education at The Cooper Union. The full-paid scholarship for every student is much more than a practical incentive. It represents a model of education that is conspicuously absent in American education.
We are responding to recent discussions about the financial future of The Cooper Union. There are those who have suggested abandoning the current scholarship model in order to bail Cooper out of financial trouble. To do so would be short sighted and totally unacceptable. That anyone at The Cooper Union seriously considers this option reflects that we have lost collective sight of our school’s primary vision.
Let this site be a testament to the true values of the Cooper Union—a place for those who value the mission statement to inspire those who have lost sight of its true strength.
— October 30, 2011
And Here is a little background information:
I first heard about the possibility of tuition at Cooper In Early October 2011 after newly inaugurated president @BharuchaJamshed (it’s fake… I hope?) started openly discussing the financial dilemma facing the Cooper Union in a series of meetings with student and faculty representatives. The rumblings about tuition spread through the school like wild fire, so President Bharucha called an open meeting for the Cooper community to hear what he had to say. That meeting happened on Halloween 2011.
Already there were many people concerned about the new administration’s vision for the future of Cooper—myself included. students frantically arranged late-night meetings even before Bharucha’s speech and I had no Idea how to react, so I decided to launch the site freeasairandwater.net. I felt like people needed to explain to the administration why the full-tuition scholarship was so important to them (No discussion, just witness). Over the next few days I built the site — it was constructed terribly — but I managed to release it by Halloween. Despite it’s terrible content management system and poor stability, people still contributed posts to the site that really comforted and inspired me. It was one of several outlets people had to respond to the Crisis we were in. Eventually the sites purpose seemed to be exhausted and I felt like other websites launched by the Cooper community were proving to be more useful in the long run so I shut it down.
However, since then many people have asked me if I have the data anywhere and I decided to contact my old web host and see if they could recover the database (luckily they could and they did). So I was able to put this site together from the salvaged data. I apologize for not maintaining the site, especially if anyone lost something they wrote.
Hopefully people will find some use for these posts now. Personally, they had a much different effect on me looking at them two years later. People who were just names to me at the time are now friends, time has given credit to what seemed like alarmist speculation, and I am reminded how this administration has, despite their best efforts, remained transparent about exactly one thing: they are not motivated by the same spirit as the Cooper community.
Greg Skiano A’12 — Jan 26, 2014