The Cal Poly campus was on full display this past weekend as thousands of visitors flocked to the university for Open House. For many, the event was a chance to learn more about what the university can offer and also a chance to see the involvement of Cal Poly students.
Matt Justus, co-chair of the Open House Committee, said the event focused on prospective students who had been accepted to Cal Poly, offering knowledge about how they would fit at the university. He said there were around 8,500 prospective students and families present Friday for the academic showcase and an estimated 25,000 people came for the campus showcase on Saturday. The crowds on Saturday consisted of current students, community members and alumni that joined the visiting prospective students for the event.
Justus said the goal was to showcase every aspect of the university and build excitement amongst those in attendance.
“Our biggest focus was really on the admitted students and getting them excited about coming to Cal Poly,” Justus said. “We wanted to show them the different hands-on activities that we do here and learn more about the learn-by-doing philosophy.”
For many families, this event was the first opportunity they had to view the campus. Many students and parents were impressed by the accessibility and availability of everyone involved throughout the university.
Yolanda Macias was one of the many mothers who came to Cal Poly to learn more about the campus with her incoming freshman son Robert Macias, who will be studying mechanical engineering. She said she was pleasantly surprised by the open house event and was pleased to learn about some of the professors and resources available.
“The professors seem down to earth and really appear to connect with their students,” Yolanda Macias said. “They seem to care about the students, which was nice to see.”
Robert Macias said he enjoyed being able to find out the many different ways in which he could be a part of the university.
“Whether it is sports or through any of the diverse clubs, there are plenty of different opportunities for me to get involved and not just sit around,” he said.
For the Open House Committee, the weekend was a culmination of months of hard work and preparation. Julian Wagner, a business administration junior who served as one of the club relations coordinators for the Open House Committee, said the event went on without a hitch and that he received no complaints throughout the weekend. He said it was difficult during the months of preparation, but everything paid off after seeing the finished product.
“It’s definitely been a long time and a lot of work,” Wagner said. “It was hard to see the finish line at the beginning, but now that it’s all said and done after all these months of hard work and to see it all come together over the past two and a half days has been totally awesome.”
Wagner said the event allows prospective students to get a feel for campus life. He said he wished he would have gone to Open House since he came to Cal Poly on a whim, and that the students who toured the campus this weekend had substantial reasons to come to university after viewing everything it could offer.
“It’s kind of like hook, line and sinker,” Wagner said. “If this doesn’t get you to want to come to the university, then there’s not much else that we can provide for you.”
One of the more than 200 clubs that participated in the weekend was the Zero Waste club, as part of the Open House Committee’s goal to emphasize sustainability throughout the weekend. Stella Tan, president of the Zero Waste club, said the members decided to have four waste stations throughout the campus showcase to help eliminate any trash and help those people who were not paying attention to what they were throwing away.
“The goal of the Zero Waste club has always been to minimize waste that goes into the landfill,” Tan said. “This is one of the biggest waste generating events on campus so it just made sense for us to be involved with this event.”
Admitted students have until May 1 to decide whether they will attend Cal Poly. Justus said many of the questions he received centered around budget constraints and ways of becoming integrated into the campus community.
“To look at everyone at the end of the day and know all the work they did to make the event possible was a truly rewarding feeling,” Justus said. “I think our event was very successful and we were able to show some of the best students in the country what we’re all about and that is a tribute to our university.”