If what I read is correct they weren't students at the university and so it had no contractual agreement with them. So what did it owe them?
If this had been a government site - that they were obliged to use to file their taxes or apply for a driving license or whatever - that'd be different.
But it isn't.
The trouble is that the University of California Berkley IS a government site. At least, they are a state sponsored public university that receives public funding.