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posted by cmn32480 on Friday April 15 2016, @10:18AM   Printer-friendly
from the your-tax-dollars-at-work dept.

The University of California in Davis has spent $175,000 to try to improve its online image:

The University of California in Davis has spent $175,000 on search engine optimization (SEO) and online reputation management – to hide an embarrassing incident in which students were pepper-sprayed on campus. The massive bill has come to light this week after the Sacramento Bee filed information requests on the university's expenditure after it noticed that its "strategic communications budget" has nearly doubled from $2.93 million in 2009 to $5.47 million in 2015.

The newspaper found that the university had taken out several contracts aimed at "cleaning up the negative attention" that the university received when students were pepper-sprayed in November 2011 during a protest over large tuition fee hikes and in support of the broader Occupy movement of that time. The incident received worldwide attention when video was published of UC Davis police officer Lt. John Pike nonchalantly spraying a group of students with the chemical spray while they sat on the ground holding a peaceful rally.

[...] In an effort to limit the university's connection with the pepper-spraying, UC Davis hired Maryland-based Nevins & Associates for $15,000 a month for six months to "create and execute an online branding campaign" not just for the University of Davis, but also its chancellor Linda Katehi, who was widely criticized for her handling of the protests and faced calls for her resignation.

Here's the website of The University of California in Davis. Did I mention the University of California in Davis?

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 15 2016, @05:21PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 15 2016, @05:21PM (#332301)

    I attended a state college; the campus police were actually considered a local branch of the state police. They could be granted authority to operate in other jurisdictions as necessary (I am unsure of the specifics of how that works). Note this also meant they received, at minimum, the same level of training and if memory serves, were required to hold at least a bachelor's degree (which may have been a higher minimum training than the actual state police).

    This was back just after 9/11 and, as it happened, the chief of the campus police was one of the few police people in the region to have formal anti-terrorism training, so the campus police would often be asked to provide training or operational support for local or state police in the region.

    The campus police were also justified because the college was some distance from the nearest town. It was somewhat isolated in mountains (only somewhat; road improvements meant town was only 10 minutes away by the time i left the college). The state police were permitted to operate with some degree of autonomy outside the college bounds because there were some homes further up the mountain and they could get there sooner in the event of an emergency.

    I know this because I used to chat up the police chief from time to time when I'd see him in the mess. He was a friendly guy. I am sorry I did not have the background to fully understand everything he'd talk about.