Living on and around campus can be a great way for incoming students to get acclimated to college life. The residence halls are a great way for freshmen to meet to people, especially if a student doesn’t know anyone at Cal Poly. For older students, like transfers, living in Poly Canyon, Mustang Village or Stenner Glen can prove to be a similar way to meet people their same age. We’ve compiled a “What’s what” guide for incoming students on student housing near Cal Poly.
The “Red Bricks,” as they’re commonly called, are some of the most classic residence halls here at Cal Poly. They are comprised of Muir, Trinity, Santa Lucia, Fremont, Tenaya and Sequoia halls, each of which houses students of similar majors. They are a big part of the Living Learning Program which focuses on ensuring academic success for its residents by giving them the opportunity to constantly be surrounded by others in their majors.
“They’re closer to campus,” said landscape architecture freshman Emmanuel Gomez who lives in Sequoia. “You get to meet a lot of people from your major and it really helps with studying and homework.”
Like its neighbor Sierra Madre, each floor in the Red Brick is single-gendered. Each building has three floors and a large common room as well as a study room on the first floor.
The North Mountain Halls are generally for upper classmen who want to live on campus. Like the Red Bricks, North Mountain is also associated with the Living Learning Program. All of North Mountain is dedicated to the College of Engineering (as well as Santa Lucia from South Mountain).
There are generally two to three people per room in North Mountain. Each room comes with two to three beds, one of which may be a bunk bed, desks, and bookshelves/ end tables. Many students enjoy using the large surrounding lawns to play Frisbee and other activities, or just laying out and enjoying a warm day.
Sierra Madre and Yosemite are freshmen residence halls further down Grand Ave. These towering concrete buildings may look foreboding from the outside, but have a lot to offer students within. Surrounded by mountains and lots of plant life, the towers of Sierra Madre and Yosemite are ideal for students who want to dive into campus life. The Connections Program housed in these two dorms focuses on social and educational activities and academic awareness as well as making a positive contribution to the community.
Yosemite, the further of the two is divided into 10 towers, numbered 0 through 9, and has a large main hall equipped with pool and table tennis tables and a study lounge. One thing that separates Yosemite from most on campus living is that there are co-ed floors. Each floor has six women’s rooms and a bathroom and six men’s rooms and a bathroom with a common room in the middle. Each tower has three floors and there are laundry facilities in the even-numbered towers. As a part of the Connections Program, Yosemite residents participated in a creek cleaning volunteer event last winter.
Sierra Madre, like other campus housing, has single-gendered floors. With four towers each with three floors Sierra Madre houses a lot of diverse students from all majors.
“I’m never bored!” said resident and business adminstration freshman Ariel Single. “You’re literally like twenty seconds from 100 other people.”
“Who are all probably bored, too,” added agricultural business freshman Michelle McKiney. “And it’s really nice not having to drive to school or downtown either.”
When asked what they like about living in Sierra Madre over its counterparts, animal science freshman Erin Gibson said, “It’s nice living on an all girls floor.” The consensus was that being able to get away from the opposite sex is refreshing sometimes.
The Cerro Vista Apartments on campus are connected with the Honors Program as well as the Transitions Program through Cal Poly living. Cerro Vista honors students are expected to actively participate in the Honors Program as well as enroll in Honors courses.
The Transition Program, also centered within the Cerro community, focuses on helping first and second year transfer students successfully acclimate themselves, not only with college life, but also with a self- reliant way of living.
Cerro Vista Apartments are designed to mirror off-campus apartments including a mini- kitchen, living room and independent bedrooms for residents. Each apartment has four bedrooms and two bathrooms. There is a main recreation area with pool tables, a study lounge, and other amenities.
Poly Canyon Village
Poly Canyon Village is the newest addition to on campus living. Comprised mostly of second and third year students, Poly Canyon is truly its own little community on the hill.
There are four different apartment floor plans that house anywhere from four to six residents that can either share or have private bedrooms. Overall, there are currently 618 furnished apartments in Poly Canyon.
But Poly Canyon offers more than just beds and desks, it’s its own little self sufficient community. Next to the apartments is the Village Market, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, Jamba Juice and Einstein Bros. Bagels, as well as a recreation center, and swimming pool. It also has a knowledge center, study and conference rooms, and its own parking structure.
“My favorite thing is that it’s on campus but it’s self sufficient,” computer science sophomore Kevin Watson said. “It’s more like a house than the dorms. There, you always had to go on campus to eat and things like that.” Watson also recommended getting campus express if you don’t have another mode of transportation since things can get a little pricey at the stores in the plaza.
Off campus student housing like Mustang Village is a great way for older students, especially transfers, to get the same kind of experience dorm life provides. Being off campus apartments, though, provide a more independent living area for older students.
“It’s convenient,” Jessica Hernandez, a linguistics sophomore, said about Mustang life. “It’s close to campus, but you have more freedom as opposed to having ‘quiet hours’ or an RA to always check up on you.”
There are studio and apartment layouts that vary from one to four bedroom apartments. There are BBQ pits, and on-site maintenance, six laundry centers and a community park. There are also three fitness centers, two swimming pools and basketball courts.
Like Mustang Village, there is also Stenner Glen, Valencia Apartments, Murray Station, and Garfield Arms which are extreme close to campus and focus on housing students primarily.