BERKELEY, Calif. ― Students at the University of California, Berkeley and more than a hundred other colleges and universities staged marches Thursday in support of free tuition, a $15 minimum wage for campus workers and the cancellation of debt from student loans.
Known as the Million Student March, the demonstrations at schools from Massachusetts to Hawaii were inspired by remarks Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders made during an interview with Katie Couric in June.
The Democratic presidential candidate said Republicans in Congress would be forced to tackle the student debt problem if a million young people marched on Washington.
Instead, groups of demonstrators numbering in the hundreds delivered their messages closer to home, including the Texas State University campus in San Marcos, Texas, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and the University of California, Santa Barbara.
In Philadelphia, a contingent of students from the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University and Drexel University rallied together outside City Hall.
Most of the events were planned at public universities and colleges, although a few private colleges organized rallies to show support.
The marches targeting the cost of college were scheduled before student protests over racially charged incidents at the University of Missouri and Yale put a renewed national focus on how colleges are dealing with diversity.