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When The Cooper Union was formed in 1859, the charter mentioned an additional entity that the Board was directed to create: The Associates of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. It was to be populated by community members, including newspaper journalists, and elect its own governing body. The most famous check and balance power that it has is the ability to fill open trustee positions and expel trustees for cause. However, though it had some governance purpose, it's full goals and responsibilities were not directly laid out in the charter. Additional research in the first few board meetings bring more to light, and need to be taken in modern context. As per recent Alumni Council meetings, the primary purposes of The Associates today may be fundraising and community outreach, given that it is an open enrollment body that is not selected by either the Board or administration.