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Local Campus Reacts To UC Davis Protest

November 22, 2011, 6:40 AM by Kellee Azar

Local Campus Reacts To UC Davis Protest
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Students on the UC Davis campus have been protesting on campus for weeks now. Their tuition has nearly doubled over the past several years and in an "Occupy Wall Street" manner the students of UC Davis want their voices heard.

By now most have seen the video of students being sprayed with pepper spray at the UC Davis campus. The incident left many wondering how local universities would react.

"What we would look at in a situation like that is more to just kind of take a look at what took place and the steps that were taken to address the issue. When I look at our campus, basically a college/university campus is open for people to express their thoughts as long as they are doing it peacefully," Augustana's Director of Campus Security Rick Tupper said.

After watching the video a few times Tupper said he realized something. 

"Now when you watch the UC Davis video you can see they gave the warning to the protestors and walked them through what was going to happen you can see the protestors pulling their shirts up over their face, so they knew they were preparing for that they knew by staying there this was then next step," Tupper said.

Some Augustana College students we talked with could see situations where the response is appropriate.

"If they are doing harm to some other people or to a great group of people then its necessary but from what I say they were not harming anyone they were stating their opinions," Student Kirsten Bluhm said.

If an "occupy" situation like the one at UC Davis was to break out on Augustana's campus they would look at the situation from all aspects.

"What we want is our students or our involved, if they are the ones wanting to be heard, we want to do it peacefully, again that it's not disrupting everything on campus," Tupper said.

Tupper also says if their students were to ever protest, as long as they weren't disrupting daily life and the mission of the school was still being met, the protest would be allowed.

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