Poly Parent News: September 2019

This Month's Newsletter

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Director's Message

We are excited to welcome our newest Mustangs and their supporters to campus next weekend and we have several exciting events lined up. If you support a first-year student from out-of-state, we welcome you to join us at our Gathering on the Green event on Friday, September 13, from 5-7 p.m. and all-new Mustang families are invited to attend Evening with the President on Sunday from 4-7 p.m., immediately prior to the Big Fall Welcome, held in Spanos stadium on Sunday evening.

Many of our Mustangs are traveling hundreds or thousands of miles this week to Cal Poly. We are eager to offer additional support and resources to our out-of-state community through the Local Connections program. We encourage students to apply to the program which allows all of our newly-admitted out-of-state students to connect with each other throughout the year. Students can choose to get connected to a member of our local SLO community as well.   

Lastly, remember to register for our annual Mustang Family Weekend event, held October 25-27. This is a great opportunity to come back and visit your student! If your Mustang is a continuing student, we encourage families to make this an annual tradition. Register today and mark your calendar for your return to SLO in October. 

Thank you for your continued engagement and for your partnership in supporting student success!

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

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Register for Mustang Family Weekend

This October 25-27, discover how your student has made Cal Poly their home! At Mustang Family Weekend, you and your family will:

  • Explore campus through interactive tours and hikes.
  • Engage in Learn by Doing lectures and labs led by esteemed faculty.
  • Enjoy receptions, live music and fun activities for the whole family.
  • Attend athletic and performing arts events throughout the weekend.*
  • ... and so much more!

Registration is for the entire family and includes: 

  • One parking pass for the weekend.
  • One swag bag filled with exclusive Cal Poly gear.
  • Receptions with light appetizers, live music and fun activities.
  • Entrance to exclusive events and programming throughout the weekend.

Weekend Schedule

Download the Cal Poly Now Parents and Supporters guide to view the dozens of events and programming scheduled throughout Mustang Family Weekend. New events are constantly being added so please be sure to check the guide often for updates.

*Additional fee required. Tickets are available for purchase on the Mustang Family Weekend registration platform.

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Mustang Move-In Weekend

Parent and Family Programs is excited to be hosting the following events during move-in weekend. Parent volunteers will be at the events to answer your questions and give their insight as Cal Poly Proud parents of current students.

Gathering on the Green | Friday, September 13, 2019 | 5-7 p.m. | Location on-campus TBD

Out of State parents, families, and students are invited to join us for a relaxed reception on Baker Science Lawn with refreshments and remarks from President Armstrong.

Evening with the President | Sunday, September 15, 2019 | 5-7 p.m. | Location on-campus TBD

Reception for all parents and families of new Cal Poly students. Enjoy light refreshments, live music, and remarks from President Armstrong before attending the Big Fall Welcome!

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Tips and Tricks for Mustang Move-In Weekend

Mustang Move-In is an exciting and emotional time for parents and supporters of both incoming first-year students and continuing students. Read up on all the following tips, dates, reminders and information to make your student’s move-in experience as smooth as possible.

Move-In Weekend Tips:

  • Campus housing is located on hilly terrain. Be prepared to climb stairs as there are no elevators in most buildings. Also, remember that September days on the Central Coast are warm!
  • Consider bringing comfortable shoes, a hat, sunscreen and water.
  • Please leave pets at home.
  • Bring less to begin with. Your student always has the holiday breaks to get things from home and you can mail additional items later.
  • Remind your student to review the University Housing Resident Handbook to learn about their rights and responsibilities as a member of the Cal Poly Housing community.
  • Take the time to unwind and enjoy SLO after helping your student move in. Grab lunch or dinner in downtown SLO with your student or head to one of the many wineries in SLO wine country while your student unpacks and settles in.
  • Don’t forget to get connected as a parent or supporter! Parent and Family Programs will be hosting events over the weekend for parents and families. CLICK HERE for dates, times, and details.

2019 Move-in Dates:

  • First-year and transfer students move in Saturday, Sept. 14. The Mustang Welcome Team will be available to direct you to your drop-off zone and long-term parking and help you unload. 
  • Parent & Supporter Orientation Sessions will be held in each first-year community on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. A Spanish-language session will be offered at 3 p.m. Specific location information will be posted around each first-year community.
  • Continuing students move in Sunday, Sept. 15 - Wednesday, Sept. 18. Monday is an assisted day; all other days are self-guided.

Tip! WOW grouping starts on Sept. 15. 

Mustang Move-in Pass:

  • All students must have a Mustang Move-in Pass for move-in on the dates noted above. The pass is secured by signing up for a required move-in arrival date and time for vehicle unloading, check-in and long-term parking. Students will be emailed a link to secure a pass in August.  

New! This year, you will check in for WOW at the same time you check in for housing. 

Early Start Programs Participants:

  • Students who are required to be on campus before the published fall move-in dates are eligible for early move-in through formalized agreements with campus programs. Early start programs participants will be emailed move-in dates and instructions in August, after all student rosters are finalized. Early Start Programs participants do not need a Mustang Move-in Pass.

Campus Entry Point, Maps & Video:

  • No one likes long lines and traffic delays. To ensure a convenient move-in experience, we've designated campus entry points based on living community. 

Grand Ave:
The campus entry point for students living in yakʔitʸutʸu, and Sierra Madre & Yosemite Halls is Grand Avenue. View the Grand Avenue video.

Highland Drive:
The campus entry point for students living in the South Mountain (red brick) Residence Halls, North Mountain Halls, Cerro Vista Apartments and Poly Canyon Village is Highland Drive. View the Highland Drive video.

Maps will also be emailed to students and posted here prior to Mustang Move-in.

Tip! Campus housing is located on hilly terrain. Be prepared to climb stairs, and remember that September days on the Central Coast are warm. Consider bringing comfortable shoes, a hat, sunscreen and water. Please leave pets at home.

What's Provided in the Rooms:

Don’t bring your entire room with you. You always have breaks to get things from home or have things shipped to you. — Nicolette, student

What to Bring (and Leave at Home):

Shop CP Thrift:

  • Save money on campus living items. Avoid extra trips to retailers. Reduce packaging waste from online shopping. Buy from the CP Thrift Fair during Mustang Move-in!
  • College supplies & household items collected from the Cal Poly community during Move-out will be available to new and returning students. Items will be offered with a suggested donation to help fund future eco-friendly projects through the Cal Poly Green Campus Sustainability Fund. 
  • CP Thrift is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 14 in yakʔitʸutʸu and Monday, Sept. 16 in Poly Canyon Village.

Mailing Packages Before Move-in:

  • Need to mail your belongings to Cal Poly? Distribution Services begins accepting packages for residents on Sept. 3. Or sign up with College Storage Services to ship items from home or from a retailer directly to your room on campus.

Tip! Consider using UPS or FedEx to ensure efficient tracking and delivery of your packages.

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Out-of-State Families: Learn About Local Connections

Local Connections aims to connect out-of-state Cal Poly students with members of the San Luis Obispo community. Its mission is to provide students with a local sponsor who will help foster their sense of community in their new home away from home.

This unique program offers students the chance to find and form a lasting support system during their Cal Poly journey. It also provides the opportunity to meet, connect and build long-lasting friendships with other out-of-state students. Sponsors and students do all sorts of activities together, such as hiking, eating out, going to the farmer's market, etc. 

The idea to create Local Connections was sparked by out-of-state Cal Poly parents Julia and Scott Starkey who saw the benefit of having this type of program available to their child at another institution.

“A sponsor program gives those students who are far from home the opportunity to have a local connection that offers some of the benefits of being close to family. Many of these students just need a place to get away, a home-cooked meal, or simply a little peace and comfort." - Julia Starkey

Learn more about the program and how to apply as a student or sponsor. Questions? Contact the Local Connections staff at

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Looking Ahead to Week of Welcome

Get excited for Week of Welcome 2019 — join the newest class of Mustangs at our nationally acclaimed Week of Welcome from September 15–22, 2019! The eight-day program will familiarize your student with our campus culture and expansive resources, introduce your student to (literally) hundreds of new people, and guide them through their first week of classes. Be part of a 60-plus-year old Cal Poly tradition. Your student won't want to miss WOW 2019!

Make sure your student is prepared for WOW and review the following list carefully:

Move-in and Check-in for WOW Sept 14th 

On Campus Students: Once your student arrives on campus and has moved-in, have them head to their residence hall at their assigned time (available August 2019) September 14th to check-in.

Off Campus students: Check-in for WOW is all day September 14th in the UU Plaza. It’s important all students check-in to receive your WOWie wristband and information to necessary to participate in WOW.

Find Your Group

All student must check- in prior to meeting their group in order to participate. WOW groups form the morning of Sunday, September 15th. Your student will receive an email from by Thursday, September 14th with their WOW Group number and time. Students must be wearing their WOWie wristband (received at WOW check-in) before they meet their group.

For Sunday, 9/15/19, make sure your student wears their green "Mustang Way" shirt they receive at WOW check-in to grouping and Big Fall Welcome.

There are three grouping times and hundreds of grouping numbers. Group numbers are associated with the hall your student is living in and have a corresponding time. Pay close attention to you group number and its corresponding time in the email your student receives by Thursday, 9/13/19.

Bring $25 cash

Your student’s WOW Leaders have a busy week planned for your student – make sure to have your student bring $25 cash as they explore campus, San Luis Obispo, and the Central Coast during WOW.

Download Cal Poly Now

WOW overview, to do lists, schedule information – and more – all at your fingertips in the brand new “Cal Poly Now” mobile app, the official app of Cal Poly student affairs. Download in Apple and Google stores and search in the app for “Orientation 2019” (coming Spring 2019).​

For more information about WOW, contact New Student & Transition Programs at:

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Is Your Student Graduating this Fall? Sign Up for Commencement 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

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Campus Welcomes Back Alumni for Alumni Weekend: A Homecoming Celebration

Bring your friends and family back to San Luis Obispo for Homecoming Weekend! Relive your amazing years at Cal Poly with a trip to Farmers Market, visit campus and rediscover Learn by Doing, visit some of your favorite spots downtown, cheer on the Mustangs at the Homecoming Football Game, and more!  

  • Alumni Weekend: A Homecoming Celebration
  • Thursday, November 14 - Sunday, November 17 | San Luis Obispo

Stay tuned for the schedule of events, coming soon!  To book a hotel room, please click here.

For more information, please contact the Alumni Association at (805) 756-2586 or

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Stay Up-to-date with Cal Poly’s Latest Projects

Cal Poly’s campus, which stretches over 9,178 acres including the Main Campus, San Luis Creek Ranches, Western Ranches, and the Swanton Pacific Ranch, is constantly looking to improve! The campus is often abuzz with various projects and renovations to keep our facilities accessible, dynamic, and state-of-the art. To stay informed and learn more about Cal Poly’s ongoing and upcoming projects, visit Exciting current and planned projects include:

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Resource Spotlight – Mustangs for Recovery

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.

Mustangs for Recovery is a Cal Poly student organization that aims to provide a safe and supportive environment for students in recovery from addiction to substances and addictive behaviors. We also support students who have been directly or indirectly impacted by the substance abuse use of friends or loved ones.


The purpose Mustangs for Recovery exists is to carry the message of recovery to those who still suffer from addiction, and provide a safe place for students to discuss the ways addiction has impacted their lives. Mustangs for Recovery is centered around 4 main elements:

  • A community of supportive peers
  • Recovery-oriented meetings and events
  • Opportunities for leadership and service to the community
  • A Recovery-friendly space

For more information about Mustangs for Recovery contact Davis Henegar at or ‘like’ the Facebook page. To give to Mustangs for Recovery visit Cal Poly Giving.

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Cal Poly Magazine Summer 2019 Edition Out Now

Cal Poly Magazine is the flagship publication of Cal Poly with editions published three times a year by the University Marketing department. The Summer 2019 edition is packed with engaging, innovating, and exciting stories about Cal Poly happenings all around the globe! Check out some of the spotlight stories including:

  • The P Stands for Poly | See the history of Cal Poly's most enduring symbol through the eyes of first-year outdoor enthusiast.
  • Fighting Fires with Social Media | Wildfires spread quickly, but so do tweets. Alumnus and Cal Fire Chief Jonathan Cox explains why he uses social media to communicate in a crisis.
  • Just Because | Traci Holmes Libby, the sage of the Cal Poly Parents Facebook page, shares her take on the Mustang Family.
  • Alumni Clean Up California | From the beach to the highway, alumni chapters rally Mustangs to beautify their communities.
  • Weird Weather | Snow? Floods? Extreme heat? See how the Cal Poly campus has weathered it all through the years.
  • Quick Crossovers | Power through a day in the fast-paced life of Cal Poly student-athlete Devin Stanback.

If you have an idea for a story, submit your pitch to the editor at For more information and to read the full Summer 2019 edition, visit

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Recommended Parent Reading

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.

Spring 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 Facebook groups created and maintained by current and past Cal Poly Proud parents. Happy reading!

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 Important Dates and Deadlines

September 1 | Annual, quarterly or monthly payment due for 2019-20 year.  A $25 charge applies to late payments. (See fee schedules for payment amount.)

September 2 | Academic Holiday | Labor Day | Campus administrative offices closed.

September 3 | Cal Poly Distribution Services begins accepting mail for Fall 2019 campus residents.

September 3-5 | Finals for 10-week summer session students.

September 7 | 10-week summer session students move out.

September 13-14 | September SLO Days

September 14 | Assisted move-in for new first-year and transfer students.  Students should arrive on campus at their designated arrival time.   After September 14, housing communities open from noon-6pm for move-in. 

September 16 | Assisted move-in for continuing students.  Students should arrive on campus at their designated arrival time.

September 17-18 | Self-guided move-in for continuing students. 

September 19 | fall Quarter classes begin

September 30 | Inter-hall trades begin (trades within the same hall)

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Upcoming Events

September 3 | Cal Poly Farmers’ Market | 3:30-5:30pm | Mott Lawn, Mustang Way

September 5 | Volleyball: Wichita State v San Jose S. | 4-7pm | Mott Gym

September 5 | Volleyball v North Texas | 7-10pm | Mott Gym

September 5 | Jackson Browne | 7:30-10pm | PAC Pavilion

Singer songwriter Jackson Browne has defined a genre of songwriting charged with honesty, emotion and personal politics. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2007, Browne has written and recorded songs such as “These Days”, “The Pretender”, “Running on Empty”. Known for his advocacy on behalf of the environment, this concert will benefit the Cayucos Land Conservancy.

September 6 | Volleyball: San Jose State v North Texas | 4-7pm | Mott Gym

September 6 | Women’s Soccer v Pepperdine | 7-9:30pm | Spanos Stadium

September 7 | Volleyball: Wichita State v North Texas | 12-3pm | Mott Gym

September 7 | Football v Weber State | 5-8pm | Spanos Stadium

September 7 | Volleyball v San Jose State | 6-9pm | Mott Gym

September 10 | Men’s Soccer v Fresno Pacific | 7-10pm | Spanos Stadium

September 15 | Men’s Soccer v Gonzaga | 1-4pm | Spanos Stadium

September 15 | Week of Welcome (WOW) | Various Locations

September 16 | WOW College Connections | 10am-3pm | Business Building 003-Breezeway

September 19 | Women’s Soccer v Washington | 5-7:30pm | Spanos Stadium

September 19 | Men’s Soccer v Westmont | 7:30-10:30pm | Spanos Stadium

September 20 | Hearst Lecture Series on Design Topics | 5:10-9pm | Business 003-213

The lectures bring progressive thinkers and leaders to campus to engage students and the public in interdisciplinary topics.

For more information, check

September 23 | Men’s Soccer v Seattle U | 7-10pm | Spanos Stadium

September 24 | Disability FSA Meeting | 2-3pm | UU 219

Fall quarter meeting for the Disability Faculty Staff Association; allies and all welcome!

September 24 | Volleyball v Long Beach State | 7-9:30pm | Mott Gym

September 26 | Men’s Soccer v LMU | 7-10pm | Spanos Stadium

September 27 | Hearst Lecture Series on Design Topics | 5:10-9pm | Business 001-213

The lectures bring progressive thinkers and leaders to campus to engage students and the public in interdisciplinary topics.

For more information, check

September 27 | Russian Ballet Theater: Swan Lake | 7:30-9:30pm | PAC Pavilion

Those faithful to the tradition of Swan Lake, must see Russian Ballet Theatre’s new production of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s timeless classic. Choreographer Nadezhda Kalinina (Mariinsky Theatre, Teatro Lirico, Omsk State Music Theatre) lovingly retouches the oldest St. Petersburg version of the ballet and adds her vision and something more that undoubtedly will leave audiences flushed with emotion.

Russian Ballet Theatre has partnered with PLUS1, an initiative that connects artists with causes, so that $1 from every ticket sold will support local public school teachers and their classroom projects in San Luis Obispo and surrounding areas through

September 29 | Women’s Soccer v Seattle | 12-2:30pm | Spanos Stadium

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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
University Police Department | (805) 756-2281

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