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Cal Poly students move onto campus for fall quarter amid easing of pandemic restrictions

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Posted at 5:26 PM, Sep 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-15 00:30:41-04

Students are moving into their dorms for the fall quarter at Cal Poly, and the process is receiving glowing reviews from parents and students.

Kirsten Trapani, a Cal Poly alum with two children who have already gone through Cal Poly, dropped off her third child at the university on Wednesday.

"It was so much better, like seamless, so much better. Faster, kids met you, the parking was better, the barrels that you move them up in, everything was better," Trapani said.

"The move-in was really easy. I was really nervous, but the people here made it really easy," said Miguel Mariscal, Cal Poly freshman.

"Pretty easy, we just pulled up, got the stuff and went upstairs," said Betty Hans, Cal Poly freshman.

"The move-in process was really easy. Everything was super organized and everyone was willing to help," said Garrett Atwater, Cal Poly freshman.

Campus protocols are a bit different this quarter.

Cal Poly no longer requires regular COVID-19 testing or pre-arrival testing of unvaccinated or unboosted students, faculty and staff. However, all new students and employees must upload proof of vaccine and booster status or file an exemption.

Isolation guidelines have also changed for on-campus students. If they test positive for COVID-19, they’ll be directed to isolate in their on-campus residence or return home.

Masks are recommended by the university but not required.

With many of the pandemic restrictions dropped, for now, students feel it was easier to move in and say it's easier to make friends and approach their classmates.

"I think so because you can really see who each person is and I can recognize people that I reached out to on social media, so it's really nice to see a face and put that to a name," Atwater said.

"Yeah, definitely. I feel like it was nice having my parents with me and having to be able to meet my roommates in the, I guess, normal way," said Juliana Pimentel, Cal Poly freshman.

"So just being here is amazing, and so just moving him into the dorm yesterday, and having the kids in the hallway popping in and out. I think it's going to be just a whole different ball game," said Jessica Nijmeh, Cal Poly mom.

"You can just be more friendly and a lot more open and all of the dorm doors are open so you can walk in and say 'hi' and stuff," said Christine Bogat, Cal Poly freshman.

"Yeah, 100% just going out, talking to new people, just asking how the day is. Just having new conversations with people every day is pretty cool," Mariscal said.

"I feel like it would probably be even busier with the pandemic because everyone has to be like six feet apart or whatever, but now we can be a bit closer," said Juan Centeno, Cal Poly freshman.

Once they're moved in, Week of Welcome or "WOW" kicks off. It’s part of Cal Poly's new student transition program allowing students to make new friends and connect with the San Luis Obispo community.

Some of the activities during Week of Welcome include classroom tours, awareness programming and group activities like trips to the beach.

"They get totally acclimated so by the time they start school they should know some good restaurants, know about Farmers' Market, know about some good places for entertainment and fun. It's really, WOW week is amazing," Trapani said.

Leaving students well-prepared for a great school year.

"We're excited for this year! First year at Cal Poly!" exclaimed Sophia Chang, Cal Poly freshman.

During the 2020-21 school year, occupancy for university housing was at about 58% with 4,500 students living on campus. Last year, it was at normal capacity with about 8,100 students. That number is even higher this year at 8,314 students.