Poly Parent News: November 2019

This Month's Newsletter

View Past Newsletters


Director's Message

We were honored to host parents, supporters, families and friends last month at Mustang Family Weekend! The weekend was full of engaging workshops, Learn by Doing activities and time to connect as a family. We hope that everyone who attended enjoyed exploring their student's home away from home!

We are now switching gears to prepare for Fall Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. We are excited to welcome parents and supporters of fall graduates to campus next month to celebrate your Mustang’s accomplishments. There are many great resources available to you to help prepare for a successful commencement, including our email communications and Cal Poly Now app – Sign up HERE to receive important information about Fall Commencement 2019!

As always, our staff are available as resources to you! Please reach out to us anytime with comments, questions or concerns as you continue to support your student throughout their college journey.

Tessa Stevens Espinoza, M.A. Ed.
Senior Director of Strategy and Engagement

Back to top


PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff Update

A Message from the Cal Poly Department of Emergency Management:

Dear Cal Poly Community,

With recent PG&E power outages occurring in parts of the state, we wanted to provide you with an update regarding the threat of an outage at our university. At this time, PG&E has informed Cal Poly that they do not expect a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event that would impact power on our campus.

If the threat of a power outage changes at Cal Poly, we will notify the campus with further details as far in advance of an outage as possible. The university has a comprehensive plan in place to ensure that students remain supported and that we continue to provide essential services to our campus community. 

Decisions regarding continuation of classes during an outage will depend on the specific circumstances of the planned outage (including the timing of loss of power and anticipated duration of the outage) and will be communicated to campus as far in advance of an outage as possible. Any employees who may be sent home during an extended power outage, due to classes being cancelled or an inability to perform work functions, will receive their regular compensation. 

We continue to closely monitor the potential for PSPS power outages around California and remain in regular contact with PG&E and our local and state partners to ensure we have the latest information. Again, if there are any changes to the status of our campus, we will immediately provide an updated communication.


Anthony J Knight, Director

Department of Emergency Management

Back to top


Sign Up for Fall Commencement Information Emails

Parents, supporters, family and friends can sign up for Fall Commencement 2019 information emails to stay in the loop about commencement ceremonies, regalia, parking, tickets, and more. By signing up to receive these informational emails, you’ll receive all the same content your student is receiving from the Commencement Office. Help your student stay focused on wrapping up their last quarter at Cal Poly by staying informed and in the know about the big event!

You can also follow Cal Poly Commencement on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date with the latest news and announcements.

For questions or information about Fall Commencement, contact the Commencement Office at 805-756-1600 or

Back to top


Mustang Express Transportation for Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks

Transportation and Parking Services offers a quick and convenient service to Cal Poly students—Mustang Express. Three full-size motor coach buses have been scheduled to transport students home to three California regions on five dates.

Each bus seats 56 students with reclining seats, air conditioning, onboard restrooms, and power outlets so you can bring your own entertainment. Each student is allowed one large suitcase and one carry-on bag that can fit in an overhead bin.

Service Dates and Times

Trips are scheduled in three California regions (Sacramento, Northern, and Southern) for the following academic breaks:

Thanksgiving Break:

  • Departing Cal Poly Saturday, November 23, 2019
  • Returning to Cal Poly Sunday, December 1, 2019

Winter Break:

  • Departing Cal Poly Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019
  • Returning to Cal Poly Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020

Reservations are first come, first serve for the 56 seats. Add your name to the waitlist for each one-way trip you want to book. Pay close attention to date and direction of each trip. You will receive an email with confirmation of a seat being awarded with instructions on how to purchase ticket online. Reserve your seat today!

For more information and a full schedule, visit:

Back to top


Housing Safety Checks Prior to Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks

University Housing conducts Safety and Maintenance checks prior to Thanksgiving Break, Winter Break, and Spring Break to ensure safety and security during periods of low occupancy. During checks, staff members will report any electrical/fire safety or policy concerns.

As your student prepares for breaks, please remind them to do the following:

  • Close and lock ALL windows and doors.
  • Close drapes and blinds.
  • Turn off heaters.
  • Turn off and unplug alarm clocks, stereos, and computers.
  • Remove perishable items including emptying trash/recycling 

What Your Student Can Expect During a Room Check:

  • Room checks are intended to cause the least amount of inconvenience to students, while proactively addressing safety concerns.
  • Staff will announce their presence by knocking loudly prior to entering a room.
  • Staff will be looking for the following during room checks: 
  • Doors: Room numbers are intact and clearly visible
  • Electrical Outlets: Not overloaded with excessive cords. Surge protectors are permitted but must be plugged directly into the wall and not into one another.
  • Screens: present, secure, and in good repair (no holes)
  • Windows: Closed and locked (locking pin in place if present)
  • Food/Trash: No open food and all trash removed from room
  • Heaters: Turned off and no visible leaking
  • Closet doors: Properly hung
  • Walls: No damage or holes
  • Mold: Wet window sills or walls, leaks, any visible mold growth
  • Fire Safety Concerns: Candles, tampered smoke detectors, items hanging from the ceiling, unapproved lighting, mopeds in room, flammable items, etc.
  • Other safety/policy concerns: lofted beds, lounge furniture in student rooms, etc.
  • General overall condition of the room is good
  • Curtains/blinds: Closed so that you cannot see in from outside o Lights: All lights turned off
  • Cerro Vista and Poly Canyon Village: (In addition to the checks above)
  • Kitchens & Bathroom: Verify that all water is turned off (no dripping faucets or running toilets)
  • Kitchen: Verify that ovens and stovetops are turned off

Staff will not open closets, refrigerators, or other private property areas

If any changes are needed, staff will leave a "fix-it-ticket" that describes the needed change. Once residents return, staff will check in to ensure that these items have been addressed. If any violations of University Housing Community Standards are found, they will be documented for appropriate follow-up.

Back to top


Midterm and Finals Stress Busters

As Fall Quarter midterm and finals approach, your student may be feeling a heightened amount of stress regarding classes, tests, and projects. Cal Poly offers several different resources and events to help minimize students’ stress levels and promote healthy study habits.

Back to top


SWANA Life at Cal Poly

Cal Poly offers a safe space for students of all religions, races, and ethnicities to celebrate their identity, culture, and heritage. Students have various opportunities to connect with other students of their identity, to celebrate their cultural holidays, and to engage in cultural and religious practices and traditions throughout the academic year. Similarly, city of San Luis Obispo as a whole is an open and warm community that welcomes Cal Poly students to their home away from home. For SWANA (South West Asian Northern Africa) students particularly, there are several student organizations, on-campus centers, and other programs to connect with and call home:

Social, Political, and Faith-based Organizations:

Other Resources:

Back to top


Resource Spotlight – BEACoN Mentors

Cal Poly has a variety of great resources for a diverse student body. Each month we will highlight one that may be beneficial or of interest to your student.

BEACoN (Believe, Educate & Empower, Advocate, Collaborate, Nurture) is a program funded by the Office of University Diversity & Inclusivity to mentor diverse students across the Cal Poly Campus. BEACoN Mentors host multiple meetings and workshops during the year.   These activities allow mentors and prospective BEACoN Scholars (mentees) to be introduced to one another.  These activities also build community, jump start mentoring relationships, and provide a safe space for sharing experiences and ideas between all members of our network. 

BEACoN exists to educate and empower underrepresented students and advocate for them as they aspire to successfully complete their Cal Poly education.  We will work collaboratively with all members of the campus community to increase success and retention of underrepresented or underperforming students.

Students in all disciplines and majors can sign up to become a mentee.

To explore the list of current mentors across all colleges and a variety of departments, visit the BEACoN networking webpage. Read the quotes below for some of the reasons why our engaged and passionate faculty have joined BEACoN as a mentor:

  • "I am interested in supporting undergrad and post-bac students in doing research in education, if possible in diverse schools.  I have a background in collaborative research and would love to work alongside young minds." – Dr. Oscar Navarro, Education
  • "I have always felt as if it was my responsibility as a first generation college student myself. The mentoring of women and people of color was the topic of my master’s thesis, so it is a commitment I hold dear." – Dr. Denise Isom, Ethnic Studies
  • "My ultimate goal is to empower students to take responsibility for their experiences in the classroom." – Dr. Camille O’Bryant, Kinesiology
  • "I was a first generation college student, and grew up working class. My father was a gardener and landscaper. Neither of my parents went to college, and I personally understand the challenges students face as first generation college students. ”– Dr. Stan Yoshinobu, Mathematics
  • "As a first generation biracial Latinx student, I had support from my family, but so much of my mentorship came from underrepresented faculty and staff who helped me navigate my way through college, graduate school, and into academia. I hope to inspire and support students as they explore and navigate their own paths-- just as my mentors did for me." – Dr. Jay Bettergarcia, Psychology & Child Development

Back to top


Recommended Parent Reading List

Ever wish there was a how-to guide on parenting college students? While there might not be a manual on raising young adults, there are several helpful resources, articles, and books to help you support your student. Each quarter Parent & Family Programs will recommend a recent and relevant book or article for parents and supporters of students of all identities and backgrounds.

Fall Quarter Reading Recommendation: “Voice Lessons for Parents: What to Say, How to Say it, and When to Listen” by Dr. Wendy Mogel

In Voice Lessons for Parents, Mogel elaborates on her novel clinical approach, revealing how each age and stage of a child’s life brings new opportunities to connect through language. Drawing from sources as diverse as neuroscience, fairy tales, and anthropology, Mogel offers specific guidance for talking to children across the expanse of childhood and adolescence. She also explains the best ways to talk about your child to partners, exes, and grandparents, as well as to teachers, coaches, and caretakers. Throughout the book, Mogel addresses an obstacle that bedevils even the most seasoned and confident parent: the distraction of digital devices, how they impact our connection with our families, and what we can do about it.

Mogel’s now classic book, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, is a beloved resource for a generation of parents. Voice Lessons for Parents brings her unique brand of practical wisdom to harried parents eager to deepen their relationships with their kids. “Children will lead you on an incredible journey,” writes Mogel, “if they trust you, if you take the time, and if you’re willing to follow.”

Want to start a local Cal Poly parent reading circle? Browse Facebook for the many local groups created and maintained by current and past Cal Poly Proud parents. Happy reading!

Back to top


 Important Dates and Deadlines

November 1 | Third installment of housing payment plan and dining payment plan dur for 2019-2020. A Registration hold will be applied if the required payment is not made on time.

November 11 | Academic holiday | Veteran’s Day. Campus administrative offices closed.

November 25-29 | No classes

November 28-29 | Academic holiday | Thanksgiving Break. Campus administrative offices closed.

December 1 | First installment of winter housing and dining payment plans due. A Registration hold will be applied if the required payment is not made on time.

December 6 | Last day to cancel Winter/Spring 2020 Housing and Dining without financial penalty. You can find the cancellation form in your portal

December 13 | Last day of fall quarter classes

December 14 | Fall Commencement

December 23-7 | Academic Holiday | Winter Break

Back to top


Upcoming Events

November 1 | Hearst Lecture Series on Design Topics | 3:10-7pm | Fisher Science Hall 0286

November 1 | OCOB Seminar Series | 3:10-6pm | Business Building 0206

November 1 | Women’s Soccer vs. UC Irvine | 7-9:30pm | Alex G. Spanos Stadium

November 1 | John Batiste and Stay Human | 8–10:30pm | PAC – Harold Miossi Hall

Jon Batiste dives deep into his own personal and cultural heritage, weaving an intimate and emotional tapestry out of original material and American standards that carries the listener from the early jazz of New Orleans to the present day. Guiding the acclaimed singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and leader of the group Stay Human—since 2015 the house band of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert—was legendary producer T Bone Burnett, whose numerous accolades include Album of the Year Grammys for the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack and Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.

November 3 | Women’s Soccer vs. UC Riverside | 2–4:30pm | Alex G. Spanos Stadium

November 4 | Elevator Pitch Competition | 4:30–7:30pm | PAC – Rossi Grand Lobby

November 4 | John Walcott | 5:30–9:30pm | Spanos Theatre

During the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, one group of reporters at the Knight Ridder Washington Bureau went out on a limb to report the truth. Rob Reiner’s 2018 film “Shock and Awe” tells the story of bureau chief John Walcott and his reporters on the hunt for weapons of mass destruction. Join the College of Liberal Arts for a viewing of the film and a guided discussion afterward with Walcott and journalism professor and former KCOY news anchor/reporter Patti Piburn, about the relationship between our government and the news media then—and today.

November 5 | Honors Internship Panel | 3–5pm | Advanced Tech. Lab 0001

November 5 | The Religions of the East | 6–8pm | Engineering 013 – 0110

November 5 | An Evening With David Sedaris | 7:30–9:30pm | PAC – Harold Miossi Hall

November 6 | California Wine Appreciation | 7:30–9:30pm | Science 052 – 0E26

November 7 | Lysistrata | 8–10pm | Spanos Theatre 0227

Call it the premiere "make-love-not-war" play, Lysistrata by Aristophanes, first performed in 411 bce, is a bold, bawdy, comedic romp that is ripe for our current times.  It follows an Athenian wife, Lysistrata, weary of the endless Peloponnesian War, who persuades the other women of Greece to stage a sex strike against their husbands...until peace can be negotiated.  A sexually charged power grab of epic proportions.

November 9 | SLO Symphony Classics II No Ties | 11 AM–1pm| PAC – Harold Miossi Hall

The SLO Symphony continues the tradition of honoring our nation’s great composers with American Classics. Always a popular offering in their “Concerts in the Cohan” series, our this event highlights American musicianship with both classic favorites and exciting contemporary pieces. Featuring guest soloist Mark Hetzler on trombone. Repertoire includes Gershwin’s “Overture to Girl Crazy”, Hetzler’s “Three Views of Infinity”, Sung’s “Rockwell Reflections”, and Copland’s “Suite from Billy the Kid”. 

November 9 | Volleyball vs. UCSB | 7–9:30pm | Mott Gym

November 10 | The Hip Hop Nutcracker | 7–9:30pm | PAC – Harold Miossi Hall

A holiday mash-up for the whole family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is currently celebrating its fifth anniversary. Directed and choreographed by Jennifer Weber, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is a contemporary dance spectacle set to
Tchaikovsky’s timeless music. 

Through this re-mixed and re-imagined version of the classic, the dynamic performers of The Hip Hop Nutcracker take us on a journey that celebrates love, community and the magic of the new year. (High-volume performance)

November 12 | Nat Geo Live! Stranger in a Strange Land | 7:30–9:30pm | PAC – Harold Miossi Hall

Join veteran National Geographic photographer Jodi Cobb on a whirlwind retrospective of a distinguished career that has spanned four decades. Known for breaking through barriers and going undercover to reveal hidden societies, Cobb has captured fascinating glimpses of worlds such as Japan’s secret Geisha culture and the cloistered lives of Saudi Arabian women. Her landmark story “21st Century Slavery” exposed a wide range of human trafficking, generating more reader accolades than any other story up to that point in the Geographic’s history. Travel with this inspiring woman as she chronicles her public—and private—path from young photojournalist to world-renowned photographer. 

November 13 | Gloria Campaner Piano Recital | 7:30–9:30pm | PAC – Pavilion

Venetian-born pianist Gloria Campaner is regarded as one of the most interesting Italian pianists of her generation. Since her concerto debut at 12 years old, she has won first prize in more than 20 national and international piano competitions. She performs worldwide and tours regularly to Europe, Japan, South Africa and the U.S. Campaner will perform a concert titled “Home," featuring two touchstones of Romantic piano repertoire: Robert Schumann’s “Kinderszenen" and Frédéric Chopin’s “Preludes.”

November 15 | Men’s Basketball vs. Simpson | 7–9:30pm| Mott Gym

November 15 | Cal Poly Bandfest 2019 : Boston Brass! | 7:30–9:30pm | PAC – Harold Miossi Hall

The Cal Poly Wind Bands will present a concert in collaboration with special guest ensemble, Boston Brass. For 31 years, Boston Brass has set out to establish a one-of-a-kind musical experience. Performing exciting classical arrangements to burning jazz standards, Boston Brass treats audiences to a unique brand of entertainment that captivates all ages. The ensemble’s lively repartee, touched with humor and personality, attempts to bridge the ocean of classical formality to delight audiences in an evening of great music and boisterous fun. Compositions by Leonard Bernstein, Roshanne Etezady and Steven Bryant, among others, will be performed. The powerful Pride of the Pacific Mustang Marching Band will also make an appearance and fill the hall with dazzling arrangements performed at football games throughout the fall in Spanos Stadium.

November 16 | Football vs. Eastern Washington | 5-8pm | Alex G. Spanos Stadium

November 16 | Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble Fall Concert | 7:30–10pm | Spanos Theatre

November 16 | George Lopez – The Wall World Tour | 8–10:30pm | PAC – Harold Miossi Hall

November 19 | Cal Poly Student Piano Recital | 7:30–8:30pm | HP Davidson Music Center 0218

November 20 | Mandy Patinkin – Diaries | 7:30–9:30pm | PAC – Harolid Miossi Hall

This new show presents the acclaimed actor/singer/storyteller in his most electrifying role: concert performer. “Mandy Patinkin is in the business of showstopping,” raves The New Yorker and that’s exactly what he does in this powerful, passionate evening of song. Diaries is a marriage of many of Mandy’s favorite Broadway and classic American tunes, along with selections from his newest recording. From Randy Newman to Stephen Sondheim, from Harry Chapin to Rufus Wainwright, Mandy Patinkin takes you on a dazzling musical journey you’ll never forget.

November 21 | Cal Poly Student Instrumental Recital | 11 AM–12 pm| HP Davidson Music Center 0218

November 21 | Cal Poly Vocal Student Recital | 7:30–8:30pm | HP Davidson Music Center 0218

November 22 | Volleyball vs. UC Irvine | 7–9:30pm | Mott Gym

November 22 | Fall Jazz Concert | 7:30–9:30pm | Spanos Theatre

November 23 | Wrestling vs. Buffalo | 12–2:30pm| Mott Gym

November 23 | Volleyball vs. CS Fullerton |  5–7:30pm | Mott Gym

November 30 | Stomp | 7-9:30pm | PAC – Harold Miossi Hall

STOMP is explosive, inventive, provocative, witty, and utterly unique – an unforgettable experience for audiences of all ages. The eight-member troupe uses everything but conventional percussion instruments – matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters, hubcaps – to fill the stage with magnificent rhythms.

As the Boston Globe says, “If you haven’t seen STOMP, GO! If you have seen it, take someone and share the pleasure!” STOMP. See what all the noise is about!

Back to top


Important Campus Phone Numbers

Admissions | (805) 756-2311
Career Services | (805) 756-2501
Commencement Office | (805) 756-1600
Counseling Services | (805) 756-2511
Disability Resource Center | (805) 756-1395
Financial Aid Office | (805) 756-2927
Health Services | (805) 756-1211
Mustang Success Center | (805) 756-6211
Parent and Family Programs | (805) 756-6700
Student Accounts | (805) 756-1428
University Housing | (805) 756-1226
Cal Poly Police Department | (805) 756-2281

Back to top

Related Content

Stay Connected


  • Spring CommencementFacebook

    Follow Parent and Family Programs on Facebook

Give Today

Give Today

Strategic Plan

View the Strategic Plan

Stay Involved

Cal Poly Proud Volunteer Corps

Parent Volunteer Corps

Join Our Council

Join Our Council