When incoming students first move on campus, they may expect the amenities of their new living spaces to be fully completed. This was not the case for the 1,475 new residents who moved into Cal Poly’s new yakʔitʸutʸu living community this fall.
Although the main aspects of residence hall living — such as bedrooms, bathrooms and studies — were finished, many details have yet to be completed.
“There was this whole thing with our doors slamming. It was pretty annoying at the start. There was also the inconvenience of the mail center being moved to the study rooms in this building, [so] we couldn’t use our study rooms,” mathematics freshman and yakʔitʸutʸu resident Jackie Driscoll said. “It is frustrating, but I am trying not to be too upset because I realize that a whole lot of thought and work was put into this and that takes time.”
On top of the inconveniences experienced by students, the lack of a community center has caused the front desk of tsɨtkawayu to become a makeshift front desk for the entire complex. This situation has brought on its own set of problems and concerns, according to liberal studies junior and yakʔitʸutʸu resident Conner O’Neil.
“The issue with this is that now the front doors of the building have to remain unlocked from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. everyday,” O’Neil said. “We have had to kick out many solicitors, and plenty make it through to place advertisements at every door. While solicitors are not that dangerous, the ease they have sneaking into the building is.”
According to University Housing Assistant Director of Outreach and Communications Nona Matthews, all construction on yakʔitʸutʸu was supposed to be completed by August 2018.
“Construction timelines can be a little tricky. There are a thousand moving pieces in a project this big and a lot of factors that we can’t change, like the fire marshal’s schedule during fire season,” Matthews wrote in an email to Mustang News. “When construction got a little behind, we refocused all construction efforts to making sure that all the residential buildings were move-in ready for 1,475 new first-year students.”
All is not lost in regards to the living experience in yakʔitʸutʸu, however. Many students living in the new residence halls have come to appreciate the opportunity the complex has given them.
“It’s been great, we get nice kitchens, we get nice study rooms. Even though the TVs don’t work, they will at some point. I get that it was a big project and the important things are here, even if it isn’t all completed … It is kinda worth it,” animal science freshman and yakʔitʸutʸu resident Emily Phelps said.
On Thursday, Nov. 8 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., University Housing will host a grand opening for the yakʔitʸutʸu living community in the yakʔitʸutʸu amphitheater. The event will recognize individual students, student groups, university departments and partners that supported the living community project.