NIMBY's role in Davis ranged from when you want to have your party without violating the noise ordinance, up to the town rejecting the University proposal to get a BioSafety Lab (BSL4). NIMBY isn't unique to Davis, but it is practiced here like a religion. Any discussion of growth (including more housing for students) will feature NIMBY vocally, and sometimes violently. A public forum held at Emerson Junior High on the University's West Village proposal devolved into a minor brawl.
Davis is unique. Look at how often the sidewalk comes to an end in Davis and compare that to most other communities. The fact that the sidewalk rarely ends in town is due to slow heavily controlled growth. Industrial and major retail development have been tightly zoned.
Partly this is due to people moving here because they think it is a nice small town, and then fighting to keep it the way they want. Sometimes this results in arguments being divided by how long a person has lived in town. Students do get short changed by this sometimes, but so do residents. The thing to keep in mind is that both sides of these arguments usually believe that they are acting in the better interest of the town.
It is important to remember that Davis has not always had the character it has now. UC Davis didn't become a general campus (with non-agricultural students) until 1959. Once upon a time Hunt-Wesson and Contech called Davis home. Soon all visual evidence of Contech in Davis will be gone and only long term residents will remember it.
There is also the similar "IGMFY", or "I Got Mine, F- You". One example is "Gabe" who called DCTV on the 2005 election night to state that he had moved from Orange County one month ago and had voted against Measure X.