There is always more activism happening on the American campus than outside observers can see. Even during quiet times, students organize day in and day out on all sorts of issues in all sorts of campaigns, changing their universities and the society in all sorts of ways.

And these are not quiet times.

The University of California Regents’ decision to raise student fees was made long ago, and no student organizing effort was ever going to alter it. But the amount of student protest on display yesterday — the depth and breadth of students’ commitment to their cause — must have come as a shock. The reverberations of that explosion of passion and power are being felt this morning in Sacramento, in Washington DC, and on campuses and in government offices from coast to coast.

Even if California had been quiet for the last few days, this week would still have been a dramatic one for American student activists. On Tuesday United Students Against Sweatshops won a stunning victory in their yearlong campaign for worker justice at campus apparel manufacturer Russell Athletic, even as research assistants and teaching assistants at the University of Illinois Chicago concluded a two-day strike that guaranteed the preservation of tuition waivers for graduate student workers there — a major win on tuition policy in a year that has until now been marked by defeats.

Each of these victories is significant on its own merits, and each reflects the growing strength and savvy of American student organizing in our time of national crisis. Either would have been the lead story at this site in an ordinary week.

This was no ordinary week.