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What is dorm life like at Cal Poly (strictness/partying)?

casurfercasurfer Posts: 50Registered User Junior Member
edited December 2011 in Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
I'm not much of a party person, but I heard that if you are caught with alcohol, you are kicked out of the dorms or even Cal Poly, even if it's first-offense. I just would like to know if that's true or not from students who actually have experience from it.. If not, what's it really like? Are there actually dorm parties or no?

I'm definitely focused on studies, but I would like to know what it's really like so I can adjust accordingly.
Post edited by casurfer on
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Replies to: What is dorm life like at Cal Poly (strictness/partying)?

  • TacomaJoeTacomaJoe Posts: 85Registered User Junior Member
    It is an alcohol free campus, including the dorms. I would adjust accordingly and follow those rules if you go there. I would not take any chances. They have a strong police force and are trying to stop a lot of the partying, drunk in public, and DUI's. I've heard the police aren't much into giving second chances when someone breaks the rules.

    That said, the students there seem to love college life at Cal Poly.
  • casurfercasurfer Posts: 50Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks, I'm definitely going to try to tow the line, but I'd just like to know how strict it is, and the severity of punishments. Getting kicked out of the dorms for having alcohol seems pretty severe considering most college students drink one time or another.

    Any student experiences out there? Are the RA's really strict?
  • OsakaDadOsakaDad Posts: 1,196Registered User Senior Member
    My son is having a great time in the dorms there. Just don't drink on campus. If partying is that big a part of your life, get an affordable apartment off campus and eliminate the worries.

    BTW, there is no rule to returning to campus a bit tipsy. Just don't be throwing up on the administration stairs................
  • casurfercasurfer Posts: 50Registered User Junior Member
    OsakaDad: I'm not a huge partier, but I am becoming a little paranoid about the strictness of the rules.

    In your son's experience, are the RA's and campus police really strict or are they a little lenient as long as you aren't smashed and you can walk home without any problems?
  • OsakaDadOsakaDad Posts: 1,196Registered User Senior Member
    My son does not smoke or drink so I can't comment on coming back drunk, etc. He is not a "goody, goody" he just hates the taste of alcohol and doesn't see the point of getting inebriated. However, his roommates do drink and have come back to the dorm pretty smashed. One kid even failed to come back one night and returned the next morning stinking. No problems.

    The RA's are cool and the police will give you tickets. If you are belligerent or underage you will not get any sympathy from them. Keep in mind that the reaction to alcohol and drugs on campus is not without cause. Just a couple of years ago an 18 year old freshman died from alcohol poisoning during the first few weeks of his first semester at a frat party. His parents put a memorial bike rack on campus. The entire community was heartbroken. Other students involved were part of an investigation. Date rape has been an issue and alcohol is involved almost 100% of the time. If you are prudent and smart and take your studies seriously, you should be just fine even if you drink a beer or two off campus (hopefully you are of legal age). Just keep in mind that Cal Poly has had its share of serious alcohol related problems and wants no more. Past generations have used up all the leniency credits when it comes to alcohol and drugs and you will be counseled to death about it at every opportunity during SOAR and WOW Week. Just recognize that Cal Poly has been and still is a bit of a party school. Have a good time but, don't cross the line into irresponsibility. They've had it and given more than their share of breaks and that time is over.

    Having said that, you will LOVE Cal Poly. Especially if you are a surfer as your moniker suggests. It is an amazing school. Cal Poly folks know how to have a good time. Most campuses have the same policies.....
  • dietz199dietz199 Posts: 1,984Registered User Senior Member
    DD is in her second year at Cal Poly and continues to love it. However..

    Last year in her dorm - Sierra Madre - and in the one next to it - Yosemite - there was quite a bit of drinking and some drinking to excess. These buildings are right at the entrance to the campus and thus it was considered easier to sneak back in while intoxicated. There were more than a few hospital admits for alcohol poisoning. The RA's tried to keep a lid on it as best they could and if caught by the campus police they did follow through with the rules. DD chose to live in the dorms because she wanted an atmosphere conducive to meeting many people.

    Freshman can also choose to live in the Cerro Vista apartments. These seem to have a lower (maybe less visible) alcohol presence. Is it a party school... not more so than most. DD found her tribe and the are not the party hardy crowd. DD also will tell anyone quite clearly to stay away from fraternity row. So in the end, it's up to the student to find their path.
  • mrsir110mrsir110 Posts: 9Registered User New Member
    Hi,

    I'm currently a freshman at Cal Poly SLO. My roomate (aged 18) was recently caught with alcohol in the dorms (first time). The RA wrote him up, and he was sent to some administrator for a meeting on his actions. Next, he had to write a 3 page essay on why alcohol is bad for you.

    Hope this helped!
  • casurfercasurfer Posts: 50Registered User Junior Member
    OsakaDad: Thanks for your answers, they are very helpful. I hate drinking to the point of inebriation. I know my limit, and like to stay well below it. I do, however, like to socialize and don't want to be a "stick in the mud". So as long as I am walking normally, the campus police will have no reason to stop me right? I am very excited about Cal Poly. Where can I keep a surfboard though? Is there room somewhere in the dorm or is it prohibited? I am a beginner, but I like it a lot.

    dietz199: I, like your daughter, don't want to be one of the "party hardies". haha Hopefully I find my crowd.

    mrsir110: See, I knew they couldn't kick you out first-time! That would be way too extreme! Are RAs allowed to search your room, including the fridge and closet (if there's a closet)? How did he get caught?
  • mkonjibhumkonjibhu Posts: 49Registered User Junior Member
    casurfer: a friend of mine keeps his surfboard in his dorm. just stands it up in the corner of the room and grabs it when he goes out to the beach (which is pretty often, and he was a beginner too!)
  • casurfercasurfer Posts: 50Registered User Junior Member
    mkonjibhu: Thanks! That's good to know. Hopefully I find some fellow surfers as well.

    So I have a few more questions about the dorms if anyone can answer them.
    1) Do the RAs perform regular searches of your dorms? If so, where do they search and where is "off limits" (fridge? closet? in your closet? storage bins?) Just because I don't want things stolen I'd like to know some safe spots.
    2) Which dorms are the "social" dorms? I'd like to be in a dorm close to all the action, with a lot of social people. Having 2 roommates wouldn't bother me. Also, I think I'll study most of the time in the library, so noise isn't really a problem as long as people aren't running around at 2 AM every night.

    3) Also, still curious about how crazy strict the campus police are. If you are walking normally are they going to stop you?
  • mrsir110mrsir110 Posts: 9Registered User New Member
    1) RA's are not allowed to perform random searches in your room. The only search they do is before Thanksgiving before we go on break I believe. They are only allowed to come in and see what our room looks like physically. They aren't allowed to touch anything or open anything, so if you're hiding something that's completely fine.

    2) The social dorms are the Red Bricks, you live on a floor with around 50-70 people. Yosemite is a step below Red Bricks, but the location is terrible. North mountain and Cerro Vista Apartments are complete isolation but have the biggest rooms.

    Red Bricks also has the best location, closest to the UU, your classes, and the plaza with all the food. It takes me about 4 minutes to get to my farthest class when construction is not happening

    3) If you're walking normally, the police won't stop you. I've walked normally past midnight numerous times from the library to my dorms and see cops drive past me and havn't been stopped once.

    My roomate got caught with alcohol because they were being obnoxious after quiet hours, RA came in and saw alcohol and wrote them up.
  • casurfercasurfer Posts: 50Registered User Junior Member
    mrsir110: Wow that was extremely helpful. Now I actually know what to expect!
    I think I'll be applying to Redbricks then! Thank you very much, that was a great answer!

    PS What's UU?
    Also, what should be my 2nd and 3rd choices for dorms?
  • BeingSLOBeingSLO Posts: 93- Junior Member
    UU = University Union, the building where most students would gather b/w classes, and it is also where El Coral Bookstore, Starbucks, bowling alley/Arcade, student lounge and pizza joint are located.

    Redbrick is very social and is practically at the center of the campus, but their rooms are extremely small and sometimes you will have a triple person room.

    I liked Yosemite and Sierra Madre because the rooms are bigger and they are still very very social dorms. You will make a lot of friends in either one if you just put in a small amount of effort to hang out in the floor lounge. Although SM is a bit farther than the bricks, it is still tolerable. Yosemite is sort of "off-campus" housing because they are pretty far away from the campus core. But Yosemite has the benefit of a co-ed floor, which makes it a lot easier to meet girls/guys, depending on your preference.
  • OsakaDadOsakaDad Posts: 1,196Registered User Senior Member
    With regards to surfing -- get ready for paradise buddy. At the UU (University Union) there is a surfboard shop ON CAMPUS! From what I've been told, Cal Poly is the only campus where you can actually build your own surfboard from scratch. You can work there, play there and again create you own boards. You'll love it.

    With regards to keeping valuables safe. Just do what my kid did. My kid is an aspiring photographer and bought a small safe at Home Depot to keep his most valuable equipment. It fits perfectly under his bed or in the back of a drawer. He also has a foot locker with a padlock. Additionally, get a lap top with a way to lock it down with a wire cable. Levono ideapads are perfect for this.

    There are no thieves in the dorms. They are mostly great kids just like you that worked their ass off to get into Cal Poly. It is about keeping honest people honest and eliminating temptations.
  • casurfercasurfer Posts: 50Registered User Junior Member
    OsakaDad: You are making me want to pack up and leave right now haha I read about that club and plan on joining it. Building a surfboard sounds like so much fun. Do they have a club day or do you just find it for yourself? Also, what have you heard about the Surfrider Foundation club? I'd like to give back and keep the beaches clean on my free time.

    I'll look into getting a small safe. I know most kids at CP are great, but there's always a couple that see something, and well, think they'd like it! haha

    What'd you mean with the laptop being able to "lock down with a wire cable"? I was looking into MacBooks b/c they stay virus free and run fast, but the downside is the large pricetag which I'll need to save up for.


    BeingSLO: Are Sierra Madre dorms co-ed floors? Redbricks? I'd like to meet some girls ;) But I guess having us separated by floor wouldn't be that big of a deal. Are Redbricks, Sierra Madre, and Yosemite the only three dorms freshman can apply to?
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