Student protesters shut down UC Santa Cruz campus

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KTVU) - Students at UC Santa Cruz blocked the entrances to campus Thursday, effectively shutting it down.

They're protesting proposed tuition hikes, and say this was necessary in order to have their voices heard.

"I'm supposed to see that the reasoning behind this decision is incorrect, and I'm supposed to just carry on with business as usual. That's obscene. So I'm going to stop business as usual. That's my perspective," says protestor Dayton Andrews.

University officials made the call - asking students and staff to stay away - while letting the protest run its course. They felt they had no choice.

"For a lot of students this is disruptive. They have projects they need to complete, studying they need to do, research that they need to conduct.

There's a lot of impacts that go all over campus from this," says Scott Hernandez-Jason with UC Santa Cruz.

On other campuses, students rallied too. At UC Berkeley, they gathered at Sproul Plaza, and then marched carrying signs saying "Kill the Hike."

It was the culmination of 96 hours of action, some of which took place away from the schools.

On Tuesday, six UCSC students were arrested after blocking Highway 1 and tying up traffic for hours.

Those students were in court Thursday morning and, according to other protesters, face a two week suspension from school.

Scott French of Los Animos Concrete lost $8,000 during Tuesday's protest, in fuel and concrete that became unusable.

He says it also, meant he lost any sympathy he might have had for the students.

"I guess the kids have a message but they went about it the wrong way. They shouldn't impact the city or hardworking people and they did," says French.

And though by some estimates, there were 250 protestors out Thursday, students think there should have been more.

"I think because a lot of the action that went on Tuesday, a lot of it was too out there and a bit extreme for people to relate to. So we got less support," says protestor Shayna Hahn.

Protestors did allow some people through the blockade, like healthcare workers and people with kids in daycare. It's supposed to be business as usual on campus Friday.