There’s an American tendency to accuse those who want social services of entitlement. Who are you, the thinking goes, to demand college? To demand food? To think that you should work fewer than 12 hours a day, or not die of untreated illness, or have a dignified old age? The Cooper Union students are getting their share of that. But they make a particularly poor target. They are largely bright working class kids who passed brutal admissions to attend a school whose reason for existing is to educate them for free.
Cooper Union students are the paragons of that most sacred American myth: meritocracy.