Several hundred UCSC students protested at the two entrances to campus on March 1 as part of a national "day of action" designed to call attention to the impact of reduced public funding for higher education. The protest on the Santa Cruz campus closed the campus to vehicles throughout the day.

In a letter to the campus community, Campus Provost Alison Galloway expressed appreciation for the patience of students, faculty, and staff whose access to classes and offices was disrupted by the protest. "Chancellor [George] Blumenthal and I have asked faculty to be as accommodating as possible of the needs of students who were unable to attend classes through no fault of their own," she added.

Galloway said she supported the students' "sense of outrage over the steady decline in state support for the university," but that she and the chancellor disapproved of the tactic of blocking access to the campus. She added that she was pleased that students at the entrances worked to ensure that the protest was peaceful.

There were no arrests during the day.

Through multiple communications with students, faculty, and staff earlier in the week, the administration worked to ensure that people on campus wouldn't be surprised by a protest. The email communications also provided ways in which members of the UCSC community could stay apprised of service impacts on March 1.

In one of the advance messages, Blumenthal and Galloway reminded members of the campus community that "legislators in Sacramento remain the audience that most needs to hear the call for greater state investment in public higher education." They added, "Our elected officials have the power to reverse the cascade of cuts that have jeopardized UC's ability to deliver a high-quality, affordable education."