Celina Oseguera and Naba Ahmed
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This is the fifth in a continuing series about the Cal Poly Master Plan. For more information, read the firstsecondthird and  fourth installments.

The Master Plan is a long-term plan Cal Poly must update and have approved by the California State University Board of Trustees. The most recent update to the plan includes changes the university wants to see in the next 20 years, setting guidelines for the campus’ physical development.

The Master Plan has the following goals:

  1. Phase growth north     
  2. Modal shift
  3. Environmental sustainability
  4. Enhanced Learn By Doing
  5. More students living on campus
  6. A compact, cross-disciplinary academic campus core
  7. More diverse students, faculty and staff/more vibrant evening and weekend activity

One by one, Mustang News will break down these goals and their affects on students, faculty and the community.

Goal five: More students living on campus

Sixty-five percent.

That’s the percentage of students the Master Plan expects to be living on campus in the next 20 years.

Within that percentage, the plan expects 100 percent of first- and second-year students and 30 percent of upper-division students to live on campus.

Though there has been debate on the benefits of mandatory housing for second-years in particular, the Master Plan’s conceptual maps still plan for enough housing for all freshmen and some new housing for second-year and upper-division students.

The plan is also looking to provide housing for faculty, staff, housing units for married students or students with children as well as a Greek Row.

Freshmen housing

According to Interim University Planning Officer Linda Dalton, the university needs at least one more housing facility along with existing facilities and the Housing South project to house all freshmen.

All three of the conceptual land use maps indicate the new facility will be behind the red brick residence halls. It is shown as the dark blue mark within the yellow dotted lines in the map below.

Master plan series

Business administration freshman Bradley Ting thought freshmen housing was beneficial and a good experience.

“I think it’s good that students are living on campus, especially freshmen. I think it is all part of the college experience at least once,” Ting said.

Sophomore and upper-division student housing

Business administration freshman Adrian Sin thought differently about student housing0— living on campus may be a good experience, but it should only happen once, during freshmen year.

Though the Master Plan does not explicitly say housing will be mandatory — the plan only calls for building enough for all second-years and upper-division students — Sin thought expansion itself would be a burden.

“I also don’t think it is necessary to increase the amount of housing,” Sin said, “It would be disadvantageous to the current student base because they would have to worry about construction and the changing of the environment.”

According to Dalton, these new housing units would be suite and apartment style.

Faculty and staff housing

There is already a housing complex for faculty and staff off Highland Drive near the Cal Poly campus called Bella Montaña.

Bella Montaña, right off Highland Drive.
Bella Montaña, right off Highland Drive.

But, according to Dalton, it’s just a pilot program and the Master Plan team is looking into more housing for faculty and staff.

Cal Poly ethnic studies professor Grace Yeh currently lives in Bella Montaña and likes the idea of having more faculty and staff housing units, but said the university should work more closely with faculty to find out how to construct the complex.

“It would be good to have options for faculty, but I think they would need to be realistic and designed with a lot of consultation with faculty,” Yeh said. “Some of the features of the Bella Montaña complex seemed not fully thought out.”

Housing for married students and students with children

Though there is not a large number of married students or students with children, the university should take steps to provide on-campus housing for the demographic, Dalton said.

According to Dalton, current on-campus housing isn’t going to cut it, especially for single parents.

“We have a few students who are single moms. (They) have a really hard time finding housing because they can’t really live with other undergrads because they got their child,” Dalton said.

Business administration senior and single mother Stacey Aragon has found it difficult to find housing for her and her son in San Luis Obispo.

“No one is renting out a one-bedroom studio to two people, there is no leeway, no empathy,” she said. “(It’s) really hard to just find a place for me and my son.”

For Aragon, having on-campus housing for student-parents would be a blessing.

“If they add housing for student parents, it makes us feel more a part of the community, it will relieve from us having to travel to get to campus,” she said.

Greek housing: Greek Row

Cal Poly’s deferred greek rush compromise promises the university will look into the possibility of a Greek Row on or near campus.

Kinesiology senior and former Interfraternity Council president Alex Horncliff had his own opinion of how a Greek Row would affect campus.

“I don’t think anyone sees it as a replacement for any greek students living off campus,” Horncliff said. “What we are trying to create is a safe, positive, social community on campus.”

The university is still investigating if a Greek Row is a feasible project.

Anyone can address their concerns and opinions about the Master Plan to the university through the Master Plan contact page. The university will accept comments until the end of the quarter. 

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