This week, California's public university students got caught with their pants down.
On Wednesday, during daylight hours, the state legislature took a $300 million whack out of the California State University and University of California systems.
That came on top of $1 billion in cuts to those systems back in March. With cuts that big (more than $1 out of $6), you would think students would be descending on the Capitol to shut the place down and block the cuts.
But there was nothing.
Fortunately for those students, Gov. Brown vetoed the budget, giving students a chance to get their act together. They should take it.
It's summer, after all, so no classes or exams to worry about. So now is the time to use social networks to gather groups of students who pledge -- at the word of the next budget vote -- to head immediately to Sacramento and engage in disobedience.
Even a relatively small percentage of the 600,000 students in the two systems could bring work to a standstill if they converged on the Capitol.
And the students shouldn't wait to see budget details before heading to Sacramento. Virtually any budget bill in this state is going to take a bite out of higher education -- because the universities don't enjoy the constitutional and legal protections of other programs. And there hasn't been a political price to pay for cutting higher ed. Students, by using their summer productively, could change that.