In the end, the calendar did what the UC Davis police force could not.
With nary a police officer or campus administrator in sight, University of California, Davis, students and supporters quietly went about dismantling their tent occupation in the campus quad Friday afternoon.
The moved, prompted by the campus's winter break, comes three weeks after campus police used pepper spray on nonviolent students, earning the campus national media scorn and emboldening the movement.
"Our work isn't done," said sophomore Deanna Johnson, one of the students hit with pepper spray.
She and others said the rallies, sit-ins and occupation have brought student activists together and focused attention on other issues, including rising tuition.
But nobody seemed to know whether tents will go back up when classes resume Jan. 9.
The whirlwind of events, punctuated by the Nov. 18 pepper-spraying incident, catapulted the campus into the national spotlight as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The incident occurred as campus police sought to clear a modest tent encampment from the quad.
Since then, campus officials have taken a hands-off approach, saying in a statement Friday that they wanted to "respect the rights of students to protest" while monitoring campus safety.
At its peak, the camp had 70 tents. By Friday evening the number was down to 20.
While the Davis campus occupation's end could be attributed to the end of the trimester, it comes at an uncertain time for the larger Occupy movement.
Occupy Davis announced Wednesday that it was ending its continuous occupation of the city's Central Park.
"Our tents and structures are coming down this morning," said a message on the group's website, www.occupydavis.org.
"This does not mean that our movement is ending or that we will stop having actions, rather that our movement will now be proceeding in a new way," it said.
Occupy Sacramento protesters, who never established a permanent encampment at Cesar Chavez Plaza, have their own issues. Money woes have stopped them from using a rental truck to transport their gear to and from the park nightly.
Taking down the UC Davis occupation camp was a lonely job Friday.
Some students said many of their peers had already left for home while others were finishing final exams.
"We are dismantling the bulk of the encampment for winter break! Now! Please come by and lend a hand!" read a tweet from Occupy Davis' Twitter account.
Freshman Sarah Salem packed kitchen supplies in plastic tubs. Piles of shade structures, propane tanks, tents, tarps, wood pallets, a chalkboard and a mailbox waited to be taken away.
Former student Kevin Brown packed up numerous tents.
"I'm just thinking about getting packed up, nothing deep or interesting," Brown said.