As classes resume, some students are unsure of campus pass requirements after campus officials made changes to the COVID-19 screening system in an effort to test all students for coronavirus during the first week of in-person instruction. 

Blue non-compliant campus passes, which usually instruct students to get tested before entering campus, can be used to access all campus facilities and services during the first week of winter quarter, according to an email from the Office of Provost. 

Restricted access to campus will return for students with blue campus passes starting Jan.10. Green campus passes will be required for unrestricted access.

Campus pass restrictions were adjusted to accommodate Cal Poly’s requirement that all students accessing campus be tested for COVID-19 between Jan. 2 and Jan. 9, according to university spokesperson Matt Lazier.

Testing is available for all students at the University Union and available at the Health Center for students showing symptoms of COVID-19.

Students will receive a green clearance pass after completing their test, which will allow them full access to campus even as they wait for their test results. 

Many students have criticized the campus pass system for being ineffective. The green all-access pass indicates testing compliance, not negative COVID-test results.

City and regional planning junior John Washam received a green campus pass even after he was asked to complete an additional COVID-test because his original test was unreadable.

“I got a green pass right after I tested, then I got an email saying my test wasn’t usable,” Washam said. “It all seems a little pointless. At this point, I don’t even look at the questions or answers. I just know what I have to click to be compliant.”

The campus passes are also based on a self-screening, which asks whether students are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. 

“I think the campus passes often have students who aren’t being honest with their responses,” nutrition freshman Mia Spang said. “I’ve had multiple people last quarter show several COVID symptoms while in class.”

The campus pass system is only one of the many precautions against COVID-19 that are intended to keep the campus safe and classes in-person. Other safety measures include the Cal State vaccination and booster requirements and Cal Poly’s indoor mask mandate, according to Lazier. 

“These measures give the university confidence that we can continue to provide a robust in-person learning and living experience for students while we also aim to slow the spread and keep health and safety top of mind,” Lazier said.

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