Cal Poly will require some sophomores to live on campus, claims it's for students' own good

California Polytechnic University, more commonly known as Cal Poly, announced it would require some students to live on campus.

One professor at the university says that the move doesn't make sense.

Some students at California Polytechnic State University will now be required to live on campus for two years while enrolled at the school.

Freshman enrolled at either the College of Architecture and Environmental Design or the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences at the university will now be required to live on campus during their sophomore years.

Furthermore, for the upcoming Fall 2021 semester, freshman students from the College of Engineering will also be required to live on campus during their sophomore year.

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A Cal Poly University Housing spokesperson Nona Matthews told the Mustang News that the move will help with student’s academic success.

“The academic success of our students is a significant focus for Cal Poly, and this plays a central role in our decision to expand our on-campus housing policy to both first and second-year students,” Matthews said.

According to documents obtained by Mustang News, Cal Poly lost $14.5 million from student housing in fiscal year 2019-2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. At the end of the fiscal year, the “ending fund balance” for Cal Poly housing was just over $1.5 million, the lowest it has been in the past six years.

The student newspaper, however, reported that 80 percent of Cal Poly students are opposed to the requirement for sophomores to live on campus.

Former Associated Students Inc. Board Chair Rob Moore said at an Academic Senate meeting on February 11, 2020, “The ASI Board, elected board members who represent students, are very, very opposed to this. We have huge, huge grievances with this.”

A statistics professor at Cal Poly told Mustang News that the move to require some students to live on-campus doesn’t make sense.

“You cannot reasonably conclude that students who are required to live on campus two years are more likely to move into their third year,” Steve Rein said.

Cal Poly Media Relations Director Matt Lazier told Campus Reform, the decision to require students to live on campus has already been implemented with its student-athletes and Cal Poly Scholars.

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“What’s happening now is an expansion of that requirement to all students, being phased in over the next few years. The university has long stated its aim of housing about 60 percent of its student body on campus, a goal reflected in the university’s campus master plan,” he said.

Lazier went on to say that there are many “facets of on-campus living that we believe benefit our students and our campus community as a whole and that have played a part in the expansion of the policy.”

Campus Reform asked Lazier if the housing requirement was financially motivated as well, but he said that the move may cause prices for rental properties off-campus to fall.

“Housing more of our students on campus will shift the dynamic in the off-campus rental market in a positive way for students. With more supply than demand, we expect to see two significant developments: prices falling for rentals and landlords being more motivated to improve the quality and health/safety of their rentals. Both of these are good for students,” he said.

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