The university continues to prepare for the option of fully virtual learning for fall quarter, similar to this spring, but remains optimistic that students will be able to return in the fall, University President Jeffrey Armstrong said in a press conference on Monday, May 18.

Returning to Cal Poly could mean that the 15 percent of courses needing in-person instruction would be held on campus. This includes laboratories, projects and performance classes. 

The remainder of the university’s 7,000 available courses would be taught virtually, with the option to move into the classroom. Lectures larger than 35 students would be fully online. 

“I think we all hope and expect Cal Poly to be back to a new normal this fall,” Armstrong said. 

Armstrong also encouraged students to secure housing for the coming school year, since 95 percent of Cal Poly students have their permanent homes more than a hundred miles away from campus. 

For students opting to live on-campus, the university plans to house up to 7,000 students instead of the usual capacity of 8,300 students. This would mean double rooms for incoming freshmen, while other students needing housing would live in single rooms and apartments. 

Housing numbers could also drop to 5200 — with every student in a single room — if a situation arises where students need to be isolated and distanced. 

Armstrong said that the alternate care site within the university’s Recreation Center will remain as long as the county needs it. For athletics and liberal arts performances, the best case scenario could be that they resume without spectators, Armstrong said. 

As of Monday, curbside retail, related manufacturing, office-based businesses and open public spaces were given permission to start plans to reopen under stage 2 of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s resiliency road map. 

According to County Public Health Officer Penny Borenstein, schools are the only component of stage 2 that have not already opened. The state continues to work with the county’s school administrations, with some looking to move forward with select summer activities. 

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