Yesterday I posted about SFSU’s move to charge eleven student activists more than $700 each for costs relating to a building occupation on campus. As I reported, this week also saw a PR blitz from the UC Berkeley administration, which claimed that this year’s protests there have cost them more than two hundred thousand dollars so far.

Today, the blog Occupy CA is reporting that UC Santa Cruz is demanding that an unspecified number of students who participated in November’s Kerr Hall occupation pay the university $944 each in restitution.

Much more detail over at Occupy CA, including the following claims:

  • Those facing fines include three one of five student negotiators, who were “uninvolved in the actual demonstration.”
  • Students have been given little or no information as to the substance of the charges against them.
  • Those singled out for fines and disciplinary action include only “a small handful of students handpicked by the administration.”

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the punitive use of fines against activists is a coordinated statewide strategy by California’s public universities. If readers know of other campuses that have taken this approach, please pass word along.

Tuesday update | The Santa Cruz Sentinel has the story, including substantial new details. UCSC officials have confirmed that 36 students are facing fines of $944 each, and that seven of the 36 are facing suspension, expulsion, or disciplinary probation as well. Payment is due by June 30, after which outstanding fines may prevent students from graduating or registering for classes.

The university claims that occupiers “overturned a refrigerator to use as a barricade, damaged communications equipment and left pounds of garbage,” but officials made no effort to assign blame for specific acts of damage in assessing the fines.

The Sentinel quotes UCSC professor Bettina Apetheker as calling the university’s treatment of the demonstrators “reckless, inaccurate, inadequately supported and unjustified.” Administrators, she says, have shown an “incompetent disregard for students’ futures.”