Cal Poly is striving toward more convenient and available student housing for next year and years to come.
This fall, a large number of freshmen began their first year at Cal Poly without the ability to live on campus. Many freshmen were placed in Mustang Village or even as far as Valencia Apartments.
For these freshmen, the ability to be social and meet new people became more difficult. It’s easier for them to meet people when their housing allows them to be surrounded by new students 24 hours a day.
“Other people are always talking about the dorms and you have nothing to say about it,” said biochemistry sophomore Rebecca Hooper, who stayed in Mustang Village last year.
“Plus, you’re not forced to see people every day, so you can’t meet friends as easily. There’s always that split between people who live off campus and those who live on campus.”
Cal Poly has now implemented a plan that may help avoid this issue in fall 2008.
The Institutional Planning and Analysis Registration Monitor Fall 2007 shows that last year, Cal Poly planned to receive 3,607 freshmen and ended up with 3,669, a difference of only 62 students.
This fall, Cal Poly planned to have 3,809 freshmen and ended up with 4,372, a difference of 563 students.
“Well, we’ve never been able to guarantee housing to our freshmen in the years I’ve been here,” said Preston Allen, executive director of Housing and Residential Life.
“So, we must work with off campus housing like Mustang Village and Stenner Glen to head toward a win-win situation for our first-time students and the university.”
Despite Cal Poly’s link to off-campus housing locations, the situation remains inevitably more difficult socially for freshmen.
Freshman enrollment increased by a wide range from 2006 to 2007, and in 2008 there is the possibility that it will rise even higher.
“The freshman class was so large this year so adjustment for space will most likely be taken on next year’s freshman class,” Allen said.
“It depends on this year’s graduates and enrollment – it changes every year.”
Since Cal Poly exceeded its enrollment projection this year, both Allen and institutional planning and analysis director Brent Goodman agree there’s no way to predict if it will happen again.
Housing availability is based on a student’s intent to register, but Goodman has not yet received the numbers for next fall’s enrollment.
“Through general thinking I suppose the numbers will remain relatively the same next year,” Goodman said.
Fortunately, if the numbers go up, Cal Poly now has a plan. The housing department is beginning a first-year program model for the Cerro Vista apartments in fall 2008.
Part of the Cerro Vista complex will be open to incoming freshmen and similar dormitory guidelines will be in place.
“We are poised to see what happens and are looking forward to possibly placing freshmen in Cerro Vista next year,” Allen said.
Plus, sophomores will not lose any housing options since Poly Canyon Village will be opening up for extra sophomore student housing.
The new plan allows more space for incoming freshmen and an entire building available for sophomores.
“We’d like to provide 900 additional beds to sophomores in fall,” housing department representative Julie Clark said. “We are hoping for more than that if we become ahead of schedule, but we know we won’t have all 2,700 beds by fall.”
Allen feels this new arrangement will work a lot better for incoming students.
“This seems a better fit than a first-year student having to live off campus, maybe way in Morro Bay, because of housing costs. Students in their third and fourth year have gained more experience to move off campus.”
This adjustment in housing availability will allow more freshmen to experience the on-campus dormitory lifestyle that a lot of freshmen appreciate as they transition into the college lifestyle.