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UC Davis’s approach to the on-campus Occupy camp shifted dramatically in the days after the now-famous pepper spraying. A consultant that was hired by the UC system in the incident’s aftermath might have something to do with that, based on a report in the Davis Enterprise.
Prior to that big moment, authorities had a firm no-camping policy and police approached the Occupation in riot gear, armed with pepper spray. After the incident, police hardly came around at all. And the students were allowed to reoccupy the following Monday. They also vacated during winter break and reoccupied once again at the start of the winter quarter.
Cory Golden reported today in the Enterprise that the UC system paid $100,000 for a crisis-communications consultant to help cope with the pepper spray fallout. Golden also pointed out ties between that consultant and the firm that is "independently" investigating the incident.
Until 2010, that same consultant, a division of Marsh Risk Consulting, had ties to Kroll Inc.— the outside firm hired by UC to provide an independent account of what happened that day on the Quad.
Lynn Tierney, the UC’s Associate Vice President of Communications, told Golden that they didn't want to put out misinformation on such a big issue, so they hired the help at a rate of $375 per hour. Check out the Enterprise story to see what else UC Davis spent during the fallout.
What do you think of the UC's decision to hire the consultant? Vote in the poll below.
Note: UC Davis published after the Dutton Hall occupation in which they wrote that the cleanup cost $8,500. It also said that marijuana and alcohol were found in the building. That information was later edited out of the release.