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Get Excited for SLO Days

Get excited for Student Life Orientation (SLO) Days 2021! Meet other new students and their supporters, make connections, and explore all Cal Poly has to offer! Continue reading for more information.

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Get Excited for WOW

Get excited for Week of Welcome (WOW) 2021! Explore Cal Poly and the community, learn what it means to be a Mustang, and meet hundreds of new students! Continue reading for more information.

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Orientation Updates - NEW!

09/3/2021 - Statement on Cal Poly’s COVID-19 Testing and Daily Screening Guidelines

Dear Students:

Our teams are gearing up to provide the best student experiences at a time when we are still living with the realities of a pandemic. San Luis Obispo County is currently experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases and is adding restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19. When you arrive, be informed and prepared to do your part to take care of yourself and others – it is our collective responsibility as Mustangs.
Please use this email update to help you prepare for your safe return to campus. Be sure to complete all requirements below to avoid any delays or disruption as you start fall quarter.

A second message will be sent next week detailing public health requirements that will be in effect during fall quarter, including ongoing testing for unvaccinated students, information about testing compliance, face covering guidelines, and more.

Complete Pre-Arrival Testing

Requirement: All students, regardless of vaccination status, are required to upload a negative COVID-19 test result from a test taken within three (3) days of your move-in date or your first day on campus, whichever comes first.

Here’s an example scenario to help guide you:
    •    Your campus arrival date: Sept. 14
    •    Asymptomatic testing window: Sept. 11-13
    ◦         Optimal test date based on 2-3 days to process test results: Sept. 11 (processing times vary depending on testing site)
    •    Upload negative test results: Sept. 13

Upload your negative test result here or by visiting the COVID-19 Info tab in your student portal before you access campus for the first time.

Here are some helpful tips:
    •     If you tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, you may upload documentation of your positive test instead of providing a negative test result.
    •    PCR or molecular tests are preferred, but antigen or rapid tests performed by testing facilities will also be accepted. Results from home test kits will not be accepted.
    •    Students who test positive for COVID-19 as a result of their pre-arrival test should remain off-campus and isolate at home. Do not move-in to University Housing or attend in-person classes or events.
    •    If you receive a positive test result upon or after moving into University Housing, you will be moved into on-campus isolation housing until your infectious period has passed.
    •     Off-campus students with positive test results will be provided with similar instructions to isolate at home.
    •    Students who do not have a negative pre-arrival test result will not be allowed to access university facilities or participate in events.

Start Your Daily Self-Screenings

All students accessing campus for any reason must begin required daily self-screenings, which produce a daily color-coded campus pass (based on your health, vaccination, and testing status) to access campus facilities. Students must complete the COVID-19 vaccination/exemption declaration and upload their pre-arrival test result to receive a daily campus pass.

Click here to complete the self-screener each morning or by visiting the COVID-19 Info tab in your student portal.
    •    Please complete your daily self-screening before noon or prior to leaving your residence for campus each day, whichever comes first.
    •    If you receive a green campus pass, you will have full campus access to move into University Housing and enter other campus facilities such as classrooms and labs.
    •     If you receive a blue campus pass upon completing your screening, you will be directed to get tested before accessing campus facilities.
    •     If you do not have a green or blue campus pass, you will only be allowed to access the Health Center and other safety-related facilities.

Campus passes will be checked at many university facilities this fall, including the Recreation Center, Library, and dining facilities. Faculty may also ask students to display their daily pass before entering a classroom. For more information on daily screenings and how to use the campus pass system, visit the COVID-19 Self Screening page.

Thank you for taking the necessary steps to protect the health of our community – and don’t forget to look next week for our email detailing public health requirements for fall quarter.

Until then, take care and be well, Mustangs!

In community,
Keith B. Humphrey, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs

09/3/2021 - Statement on Cal Poly’s Week of Welcome Accommodations for Jewish Holidays

Our diverse campus community includes members of the Jewish community who are Cal Poly faculty, staff, and students. New students, including first year and transfer students, will be joining our campus with a variety of religious observances.

Consistent with our commitment to inclusivity and creating a welcoming and respectful campus culture for people of all backgrounds, we strongly support any incoming student who wishes to observe the holidays of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (commencing the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 15 through the evening of Thursday, Sept.16) while fulfilling Week of Welcome activities. For resources and support during the holiday, please visit:

We acknowledge that the holidays may include observances that will not allow full or partial participation WOW activities and events. Requests from individual students who wish to observe Yom Kippur, and step away from WOW (Week Of Welcome) programming, will be accommodated. Students are asked to connect with their WOW leader if they plan to step away from their group during WOW. Your leader will be assigned 48 hours prior to the start of WOW programming. Any additional questions can be sent to

Go Mustangs!

09/1/2021 - Transition Toolkit Part II is Live!

Part Two of the Transition Toolkit is now available for students! The Transition Toolkit is a valuable resource for your continued transition to Cal Poly as it is equipped with materials and resources that you would have experienced during SLO Days and includes some helpful information to prepare you for the Week of Welcome. Please refer back to your Cal Poly e-mail account for the link to the Transition Toolkit for access.

08/24/2021 - Covid-19 Safety Updates from President Armstrong

To the Campus Community:

I am writing to provide updates, to make a very important new announcement for students, and to reinforce some of the key points from my communication last week.

As we prepare for the fall quarter, I recognize the concern and anxiety experienced by many. With the arrival of the Delta variant, breakthrough infections and lower-than-hoped -for vaccination rates in our country, these remain difficult times. And while we recognize these factors, we also know it’s unrealistic for our country to halt “normal” life indefinitely. Those things fundamental to a functioning society—such as education—must continue for the good of us all. For this reason, we join schools and universities across the state and country in resuming on-campus operations this fall.

It is a reality that our environment today poses greater risk than it did prior to the pandemic. The world has changed, and it is an unfortunate reality that COVID will be with us for longer than we would like. However, we can manage and minimize those risks by modifying our actions and making decisions based on science, data, CSU and SLO County guidelines and the advice of medical experts. Making these changes allows us to minimize risk and carefully resume those things that are fundamental to our lives—including providing students with a Learn by Doing, Cal Poly education.

Vaccination is our best defense. I’m pleased to report that our students enrolled for fall are 85 percent vaccinated with a rate of about 90 percent when you include those partially or planning to be vaccinated. That means our student population having a higher vaccination rate than the community in general likely makes campus a safer place—and the vaccination rate continues to rapidly rise as we head toward the start of the fall quarter. I am confident that our employees will match or exceed the vaccination rate of our students. Again, as I have stated in earlier notes – let’s set the bar for vaccination rates for public universities in California and beyond! I am also very pleased that the FDA has given full approval to the Pfizer vaccine, which is available free to students through Campus Health and Wellbeing, and to staff through their healthcare provider or local clinics. I strongly encourage all students and employees who have not yet responded to report their status and strongly consider or reconsider vaccination.

Last year, prior to vaccines being in place, our campus understandably experienced COVID cases among students. However, due to masking and following health and safety protocols, there were no reported cases of COVID being spread as a result of an in-person class. Today, with the high rate of vaccination for our students and employees, mandatory masking indoors and continued due diligence with hygiene protocols, our campus can improve upon the already high degree of safety in the classroom and on campus generally.

Still, there is more we can do to safeguard our community. Given the impact of the Delta variant, today I am announcing that, out of an abundance of caution, we will require ALL students – regardless of vaccination status – to present / upload a negative COVID test taken up to 72 hours prior to move-in on campus or prior to your first day on campus. (If you are taking only virtual classes and will not be on campus for any reason or for any amount of time during fall quarter, you are exempt.) Test results uploaded must be a laboratory report containing the identity of patient, date and time of test, type of test, and testing facility. For move-in we prefer PCR or molecular tests but will also accept antigen or rapid tests performed by testing facilities. If, for some reason, a student cannot secure a test, we will provide testing on site upon arrival for move in, attending class or otherwise visiting campus. Please note that students who tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days and are 14 days post-positive test can upload evidence of such test—further details will be provided.

As noted previously, any medically and religiously exempted unvaccinated students will be required to test twice a week until the data, prevalence of COVID-19 and vaccination rate allow us to lower the frequency. Unless dictated by changes in public health, vaccinated students will not be asked to test unless exposed or showing symptoms.

It is important to note that as was our practice during the last academic year, we will shut off access to the Cal Poly Portal for students who do not test or otherwise do not comply with vaccination policies.

As a reminder, our strategy for keeping ourselves and each other safe this quarter has four parts:

Vaccination -- Everyone on campus must vaccinate or claim an exemption.

Masking -- Everyone must mask indoors, except when doing so would be unsafe or impractical, with the exception of instructional faculty who are vaccinated, who may choose to wear a face shield and drape while teaching.

Hygiene -- Everyone will need to continue following good pandemic hygiene, including regularly washing or sanitizing hands and wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as appropriate.

Testing -- Free, on-campus testing will be available for unvaccinated, asymptomatic students, faculty, and staff beginning early September. Employees who are vaccinated, believe they have been exposed and are asymptomatic may also test on campus. Symptomatic students can get tested at no cost through Campus Health and Wellbeing. Symptomatic faculty and staff should test through their healthcare provider.

If you have questions about these policies, please contact Student Affairs (students) or University Human Resources (faculty and staff). Please do not contact Campus Health and Wellbeing with questions about CSU or university policies—they are busy providing care and aren’t responsible for setting the broader rules. For further information concerning COVID and Cal Poly’s response, please go to

In closing, thank you for your patience and diligence as we adjust our policies to keep everyone safe while also ensuring that we deliver the highest-quality education.


Jeffrey D. Armstrong


08/10/2021 - Covid-19 Campus Updates from President Armstrong 

To the Campus Community,

As the start of classes gets closer, there is important information about fall quarter that everyone in our community needs to know. I understand that some of you may have concerns about recent news regarding the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus. I am concerned, too, and our team is watching developments closely.

Our goal, as always, is to deliver the highest-quality education we can, consistent with the health and safety of the entire Cal Poly community. Our plan has been and remains to hold most classes in person and to return to our traditional level of occupancy in University Housing.

As you already know, the CSU will require that students, faculty and staff on campus for any reason either fully vaccinate or declare a medical or religious exemption. Unvaccinated students will be required to test regularly. I continue to believe that this approach will allow us to safely deliver the highest-quality education. This note explains some further steps we are taking to reduce the risk of coronavirus illness in our community.

Keeping Ourselves and Each Other Safe

The foundation of reducing risk of COVID-19 is the combination of: (1) vaccination; (2) masking for everyone when indoors; (3) practicing good hygiene (washing hands, using hand sanitizer, using additional personal protective equipment (PPE) when appropriate); and (4) testing.

Vaccination: Under the CSU policy mentioned above, everyone at Cal Poly—faculty, staff, and students—must either fully vaccinate and inform Cal Poly of their vaccination status or declare a medical or religious exemption. All students must inform the university of their vaccination status.  For students who already know their vaccination status, it would be helpful if you record your status before August 23 to give the university time to plan accordingly. Details about how students can do this have already been communicated by the vice president for student affairs last week, and similar details will be provided for faculty and staff in the coming days.

For students living on campus, the deadline to be compliant with CSU / Cal Poly policy is September 14 or the day you return to campus, whichever is earlier. For students living off-campus, the deadline is September 20. All students must inform the university of your vaccination status; click here to record your status before August 23 to give the university time to plan accordingly. If you have already completed that process, you do not need to do anything else..

For faculty and staff the deadline is September 20. The CSU is developing a self-service module, different than the student process, for employees to submit their vaccination status or to claim a medical or religious exemption. Those few employees that were hired into fully-remote work assignment that do not physically access CSU facilities or activities may select this category on the vaccine form if approved by their manager with the awareness that if they are later required to come to any CSU facilities the vaccine requirement will apply. We are currently assessing the timeline for implementation.

Masking: Everyone on campus will be required to mask while indoors, effective immediately and until further notice. This requirement includes classrooms, where both faculty and students will need to be masked (except under some unusual circumstances where masking would be unsafe or impractical). Please note that these masking guidelines are subject to future change if and as the public health situation changes.

Hygiene: Everyone will need to continue following good pandemic hygiene, including regularly washing or sanitizing hands and wearing PPE as appropriate.

Testing: On-campus testing (mandatory for unvaccinated students) will be available free of charge for asymptomatic, unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff. Symptomatic students can get tested with no charge through Campus Health and Wellbeing. Symptomatic faculty and staff should test through one of the local testing sites or their healthcare provider. Consistent with the safety measures listed in the CSU COVID-19 Vaccination Interim Policy, the CSU is in the process of meeting and conferring with the labor unions to consider COVID-19 employee testing programs for unvaccinated employees.

Please note that, as was the practice last spring, we will require testing twice per week for all students who are not vaccinated. Vaccinated students will not be required to test unless exposed to COVID-19 or showing symptoms. Testing requirements may be modified as public health conditions change.

It is important to note that procedures following exposure to COVID-19 will be significantly different for vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals. While we will provide more details in the future, unvaccinated students exposed to COVID-19 will be required to quarantine for 10 days. This will not be the case for vaccinated individuals with no symptoms.  This is yet another good reason to be vaccinated.

Employees Returning to On-Campus Work

In general, employees who are currently working remotely will return to campus in a phased manner, based upon operational needs. Since this varies by employee and division, managers have been and will be communicating directly with employees to schedule their return-to-campus dates. Should you have any questions, please consult with your department head/manager.

Staying Informed

As during last academic year, the Cal Poly coronavirus web page remains the central resource for staying informed about the latest developments. I encourage everyone to check it regularly.

Finally, as always, thank you for everything you have done and are doing to keep yourselves and each other safe.


Jeffrey D. Armstrong



07/18/2021 - Freshman and Supporter SLO Days Session Pages Updated! 

The Freshmen SLO Days session page and Parents & Supporters SLO Days session page are up to date with information to prepare you for your in person session! Please refer to these pages for what to bring, arrival information, the session schedules, and more!

New Student and Transition Programs serves as a home and resource to all new students and their supporters and to ensure their successful transition to Cal Poly.

Open House - - Save the Date!

April 7-11, 2022
Open to all admitted students and their supporters as well as the San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly communities. We are excited to be back in person to kick-off our 2022 Orientation Season. 

→ Check out what you missed!

Orientation Part One: SLO Days 

July & August 2022
This year, incoming students will get their first campus experience as new Mustangs. Our programming will help attendees make meaningful connections with new students, leaders, and explore campus resources. Space in each session is limited so register today.

→ Learn more

Orientation Part Two: Week of Welcome  

September 2022

WOW is a more than 60-year-old Cal Poly tradition that takes place the week leading up to and around your first days of class. 

→ Learn more

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