PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Several hundred University of Pittsburgh students blocked evening rush hour traffic Thursday in Oakland to protest the rising cost of tuition and student debt.
The demonstration took place on Fifth and Forbes Avenues near the Pitt campus. Police cited one student for disorderly conduct.
It was billed as the “Million Student March” nationwide, and organized, in large part, through social media.
Experts estimate the average undergraduate’s debt is at least $30,000, and in many cases, the debt is a lot larger.
One of the demonstrators, Pitt sophomore Matthew Dodson said, “There was a point in previous decades when education was either at an obscenely low cost, or it was free, but we don’t see that anymore. [College] students shouldn’t have to risk going into poverty.”
Vermont Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is a presidential candidate, sparked the numerous protests on college and university campuses across the country.
He said in an interview earlier this year that the GOP-controlled Congress would be forced into doing something about the tremendous cost of student debt if a million students marched on Washington.
There were several verbal confrontations between the protestors and Pittsburgh Police.