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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Occupation of Dutton Hall ended without incident

The two-week occupation of Dutton Hall by Occupy UC Davis protesters ended Dec. 11 without incident.

Galvanized by the Nov. 18 incident where students were pepper-sprayed by police, the Occupy UC Davis movement, in the final days of Fall quarter, voted to occupy Dutton Hall until the end of final exams.

According to Student Affairs Associate Vice Chancellor Emily Galindo, departments located inside Dutton were impacted by the occupation, resulting in reduced services and closures. The Student Aid Accounting office was temporarily relocated to the Transportation and Parking Services building. Some offices, however, remained open and continued providing services. The Student Academic Success Center was one department that chose to remain open in spite of the occupation.

“A lot of people who were dealing with the occupation had to put in long hours to make things work smoothly,” said Carol Hunter, assistant director of the Student Academic Success Center.

During the occupation, protesters pitched tents in and around Dutton and a few dozen stayed overnight each day.

After protesters left, the university sent in a facilities crew to clean up and repair the building. UC Davis spokesperson Claudia Morain said the clean up and repair costs totaled $7,000.

When asked whether individual students would be held responsible for the damages incurred in Dutton, Student Judicial Affairs (SJA) director Donald Dudley released a statement.

“Any damage to property during the occupation was caused by unidentified individuals.  It is important to understand that SJA does not pursue discipline for any activity that is considered free speech.”

With some protesters pledging to return, the university remained tight-lipped about what action, if any, it would take.

“The administration would assess the situation based on the facts, and take action in the overall best interests of the university,” Morain said.

On Monday morning, the first morning of the quarter, Dutton Hall was business-as-usual again, with no protesters in sight.

RICHARD CHANG can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.


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