Who exactly is making these demands?
University of Pittsburgh students from the Fossil-Free Pitt Coalition and United Students Against Sweatshops banded together last Thursday for a “Rally for Transparency,” which involved a protest with a list of 15 demands for university Chancellor Patrick Gallagher.
What are the demands?
The Pitt Maverick listed the demands as follows:
- That all student workers be paid a minimum, living wage of $15 an hour.
- That the university freezes tuition hikes, and advocates for federal cancellation of student debt and free tuition.
- That the university vocally endorses a grad student union.
- That the university immediately stops spending money, time and resources on union busting tactics, and creating intimidating environments that prevent workers from having free choice
- That the university divest its financial holdings in fossil fuels
- That the university takes a firm stance against private prisons. Any investments or connections between private prison corporations and the University of Pittsburgh should be made transparent and terminated.
- That the university declares itself a sanctuary campus
- That gender-neutral bathrooms are accessible in every campus building
- That the university promises a real commitment to diversifying the student body (in class, race, gender/sexuality), investing in cultural organizations, rather than merely advertising itself as diverse institution.
- That the university prioritizes and provides affordable housing for all student tenants.
- That the university sustainably invest in the interest of the Pittsburgh community, rather than its own interest, or those of the board of trustees
- That all campus cops are disarmed and that city cops are banned from campus
- That the university commits to increased transparency in its investments, and that students, faculty, staff and alumni know exactly where Pitt’s money is going
- That the university commits to switching to renewable energy
- That Chancellor Gallagher takes a 10 percent paycut to hike employee pay
“Chancellor Gallagher, in the political climate we’re forced to inhabit, our university cannot stay silent on issues that affect our community. To do so would be to stand in opposition to those of us in the Pittsburgh community that are vulnerable to classism, racism, gender-based violence,” the Facebook event page for the protest stated. “We demand you take action by addressing these demands by the 2018-2019 school year.”
Why does it matter?
The University of Pittsburgh is a public university and a member of the Association of American Universities, an organization that is comprised of 62 pre-eminent doctorate-granting research institutions in the United States and Canada. It currently serves around 29,000 students, including both undergraduate and graduate.
(H/T: Campus Reform)