Cooper Union Occupier: We're Staying As Long As It Takes (VIDEO)

12/06/2012 08:01 pm ET | Updated Dec 07, 2012

A group of 11 Cooper Union students and one student journalist from The New School have barricaded themselves in the 8th floor of the Cooper Union Foundation Building in New York City's East Village in order to protest the school's plans to begin charging tuition.

Casey Gollan, a Cooper Union student, spoke with HuffPost Live via webcam while barricaded in a room inside the building. Gollan told hosts Jacob Soboroff and Alyona Minkovski that the occupation of the Manhattan university will continue for as long as it takes.

"We feel like in the process over the last year students haven't been heard," Gollan told HuffPost Live. "The administration isn't standing up for free education. And we needed a way to reach them and also reach the public."

Cooper Union has not charged tuition for any of its students since it was founded in 1902. But in April the administration announced it plans to start charging tuition for graduate students. The school may also start charging for certain undergraduate programs, according to a leaked document. According to the school, tuition is currently valued at $38,550, although every student is covered by full scholarships.

In addition to those inside the building, HuffPost's Tyler Kingkade reports that other students have attempted to join the protest effort with varying levels of success.

Another group of 25 freshmen at Cooper Union held a mini-occupation overnight Monday, camping out on a lower level of the Foundation Building, and were told they had to leave or risk arrest. On Wednesday morning, a group of about 30 students gathered just outside of the school's Board of Trustees' meeting to protest tuition implementation, and a few were able to enter the room.

Gollan spoke with HuffPost Live during a rundown of the day's top stories. Watch the full segment on HuffPost Live.

CONVERSATIONS