Pitt students demand disarming of police, free tuition
- University of Pittsburgh students are demanding that school officials disarm all university police while banning “city cops” from campus entirely.
- A 15-point ultimatum issued during a Friday protest also calls for Pitt to divest from fossil fuels and private prisons, guarantee student workers at least $15/hour, and advocate for "federal cancellation of student debt and free tuition.”
University of Pittsburgh students are demanding that school officials disarm all university police while banning “city cops” from campus entirely.
According to The Pitt Maverick, members of the school’s Fossil-Free Pitt Coalition and United Students Against Sweatshops presented a list of 15 demands to Chancellor Patrick Gallagher during a Friday protest.
“Chancellor Gallagher, in the political climate we’re forced to inhabit, our university cannot stay silent on issues that affect our community,” the ultimatum states, giving Gallagher until the 2018 academic year to address the demands. “To do so would be to stand in opposition to those of us in the Pittsburgh community [who] are vulnerable to classism, racism, [and] gender-based violence.”
While the demands center mostly around financial and diversity issues, one demand requests “that all campus cops [be] disarmed and that city cops [be] banned from campus,” even though other universities, such as the University of California, Berkeley, have increased security on campus in the wake of violent Antifa protests.
In addition, the students demand that Pitt “divest its financial holdings in fossil fuels” and take “a firm stance against private prisons” by acknowledging any “investments or connections” that Pitt has with the industry and terminating them.
Meanwhile, the list also calls for financial concessions to students, demanding that all student workers "be paid a minimum, living wage of $15 an hour,” and that Pitt “provides affordable housing for all student tenants.”
More radically, the students also want the administration to “[freeze] tuition hikes," as well as "cancel student debt and employ free tuition."
Notably, the student protesters, who marched to Gallagher’s office Friday to deliver the list, also demanded that Gallagher himself take “a 10 percent pay cut” in order to “hike employee pay.”
“Pitt don’t sell us short, show us your expense report,” protesters shouted, according to The Maverick, promising Gallagher that they “will be back.”
Campus Reform reached out to the university for comment on whether it plans to address the demands, but did not receive a response in time for publication.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski