U.C. Davis sees more protests

FRESNO, Calif.

Occupy protesters took their concerns to the University of California Board of Regents Monday, calling attention to rising tuition costs as well as the pepper-spraying incident earlier this month at U.C. Davis.

Dozens of UC Davis students and their supporters marched to the financial aid office to take it over Monday. They say they wanted to hit the university at its core.

"We're not going to stop. We're going to keep going. We're going to stop business as usual, use direct democracy to do that until our demands are met," organizer Monica Smith said.

The march was just one of a number of activities called for during a one-day General Strike on the Davis campus to denounce the use of pepper-spray on quietly seated protesters more than a week ago.

They've now also added the rising UC tuition rates to their cause.

Students were encouraged to skip class, which David Buscho happily did.

He was on of the many doused with pepper-spray.

"It's a show that we will not stand for an administration that is not accountable for its actions and that we do not stand for tuition increases," Buscho said.

Many professors held teach-ins instead, using the Occupy movement as a teachable moment.

But for the most part, students went to class, cycling as usual, or working on projects that are due.

While many sympathize with the movement, this is a bad week to miss class.

"You don't want to fall behind, and it's right before finals. You really can't afford to miss something that might be important," UC Davis grad student Sarah Sahlaney said.

Under heavy security where visitors were carefully screened and searched, UC Davis was among the four campus allowed to voice their concerns via teleconference to the UC regents as the chancellor who ordered the encampment removed listened quietly.

"While our education becomes of less quality, we cannot it passively and let that happen," PhD student Ethan Evans said.

"People who look like me are being classed out of the UC," UC Davis senior Osahon Ekhator said.

But a tuition hike may be unavoidable considering state tax revenues are lagging again and a $100 million-dollar mid-year cut to UC will almost certainly kick in.

"None of us look forward to the cuts, but if the revenues continue to come in a the rate that they have, they're an unfortunate necessity," Assm. John Perez, D-Los Angeles, said.

There is nothing to stop the $100 million cut from happening, not even protests or general strikes. The automatic mid-year cuts are already written into law.

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