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Best Dorm at Cal Poly?

OopOop - Posts: 266 Junior Member
Anyone have any opinions on the best dorm.. Whats the most social dorm? I am stuck between Sierra Madre, and Teneya.
Post edited by Oop on
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Replies to: Best Dorm at Cal Poly?

  • kirbysanmomkirbysanmom Registered User Posts: 84 Junior Member
    Oop, I'm going to give you some advice - even though you slammed myself and my son. First off, why did you choose Tenaya out of all the red bricks? That may hold the answer to where you want to be. If it is proximity to campus, choose Tenaya. Rooms are nicer in Sierra Madre. SM floors have their own lobby areas that are nice, although Tenaya has the downstairs. SM has the common Lobby area for all SM towers as well. Red bricks have no such common area. As for social, they all have parties. Do you want to befriend a floor, a tower or a hall? Yosemite towers tend to be cohesive by tower. SM towers almost break it down to the floor, but still tend to stay closer to their tower. Red bricks pretty much stick to their floor, with some interaction between the floors at hall functions.

    Your dorm experience is pretty much what you make it. If you stay in your room alot, you aren't going to meet people. It helps if you become involved in your ResHall governing body, the more people helping-the more functions are planned. You have to be nice to your roommate and the rooms directly around you, they are your social group basically. Tick them off and you will be an outcast quickly. Everyone is fairly randomly assigned, except that they try to room like majors together, or at least majors that are similar. That usually gives you common interests and study habits. It's not a perfect system, but it works most of the time. There is no more social housing area than another, it varies by year and it totally the result of the residents. If you are lucky, you get a great roommate and a great tower/hall to live in because everyone there happens to be great. Sometimes you get a crummy assignment and the people close to you are jackasses who think Wed nights are party nights every week, and you have a 7am chem class Thursdays. Sometimes life sucks. I still have friends from my residence hall, and that was a long time ago...
  • gotpetergotpeter Registered User Posts: 407 Member
    That's a great perspective kirbysanmom. Thanks.

    I might add that you can express roommate(s) preference and if the one(s) you want do the same, Housing will try to put you together. I'd also suggest a visit to the dorms. My son did this and it made all the difference. He's picked Sierra Madre and Santa Lucia as his top two choices. He will be majoring in Aerospace Engineering. Also remember that it's first come, first served in dorm assignments - you can do the roommate thing later - so get your choices in asap along with the Agreement and payment.
  • slosteveslosteve Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Thanks kirbysanmom and gotpeter...how about Cerro Vista for freshman. Too far away and antisocial?
  • kirbysanmomkirbysanmom Registered User Posts: 84 Junior Member
    Although Cerro is awesome, not for Freshmen. You get your own individual room, share a bathroom with one other person, and share the kitchen and living room between the four. My daughter met maybe 4 additional people there. Everybody is fairly focused on what they are doing at Cerro, so not a lot of socialization goes on there. The other dorms have lobbies that facilitate socializaton, Yosemite and Sierra Madre by floor as well as hall, and red bricks per hall. Cerro has one for the entire complex. Besides, the hill is pretty killer, spend a year developing your walking legs first ;-) I'm not sure, can freshmen even apply to Cerro? Or have things changed because of Poly Canyon opening?
  • slosteveslosteve Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Yeh freshman can live in Cerro. My son likes the idea of his own room...maybe just nervous about getting a roommate that doesn't work out.
  • kirbysanmomkirbysanmom Registered User Posts: 84 Junior Member
    But can your son cook? (and do dishes afterward) Word to the wise, there are no dishwashers in Cerro (a Serious Design Flaw, btw) There is an advantage to having a meal ticket, no dishes! You don't have to go to the grocery store, cook, clean up, plan what you are making tomorrow, etc. These things all take time, time away from studying, extracurriculars... The big problem in my daughters CerroSpace? Nobody else could do dishes either... :-)
  • slodadslodad Registered User Posts: 185 Junior Member
    There is a meal plan for Cerro.
  • hphkbkhphkbk Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    does anyone have any information on the North Mountain dorms? specifically for engineering?
  • RobertMWRobertMW Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    True, there is a meal plan available even if you're at cerro, but it kinda defeats the purpose of having a kitchen. How the school is set up right now is that the "dorms" are for freshman. They have Poly Canyon half open, which is for sophmores and probably more freshman once it is fully open, which should be next year. And there is Cerro Vista, which they are seeming to keep for the junior transfers and filling up the little extra with freshman.

    Personally, if you absolutely don't want to go the route of a true dorm, if they do open up to freshman, I think poly canyon is a much better bet. It has alot more social areas. (has its own pool and volley-ball court for cryin out loud) But still is much more of the appartment setting like cerro. The appartments are a little smaller, but I think it is the next best step between dorms and cerro vista. Just have to wait and see if they finish before next year and if it opens to freshman as well.
  • supergerbilsupergerbil Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    kirbysanmom,
    thanks for clearing things up for me with cerro. I was considering that as my first choice because I thought it would be cool to have my own room, etc. however i also want a good social life while i am in college. Looks like its between the towers and redbricks for me now.


    I do however have a question. What are the "Connections" and "Living Learning" programs offered at the dorms and how big of a part do they play in the experience?
  • PameloPamelo Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I was just wondering what the best dorm was, since i'm just about to apply for housing and I have no idea! I was thinking of living in the northern mountain dorms, are those good? Someone told me they were antisocial dorms, is that true?
  • gotpetergotpeter Registered User Posts: 407 Member
    Welcome to the Forum and to Cal Poly, Pamelo. There is an impressive variety of dormitory options for you to select from and the "best dorm" will be the one that best fits your life style. So, get an idea of what you are looking for then, do a search of this forum and you will get a ton of information and opinions from which to make your selection.
  • bigxcmanbigxcman Registered User Posts: 150 Junior Member
    I've heard alot of input on Cerro, and chosen it myself for next year.
    -The social life isn't much different than that of the dorms.Most people have no problem having a social life there. College is what you make it afterall. I'm not sure why your going to cal poly if your looking to find a party every night.
    -there is a REQUIRED meal plan at Cerro-its slightly cheaper than the dorm's plan, of course it includes less food. This is a good thing- the food at cal poly is horrible and expensive.
    -The Transitions program helps with your change- you enter a program that helps you adjust to apartment life and you also have an opportunity to make friends.
    -It's nice to share a bathroom with only one other guy/gal. Whole FLOORS share bathrooms in the dorms.
    - If you somewhat independent, its nice to have your own room. There is much more room in the apartments than the dorms.
  • gotpetergotpeter Registered User Posts: 407 Member
    bigxcman, my son would disagree with you on the quality of the food. He's an athlete and thinks its quite good. It's the lack of variety which he can't stand. He has partially solved that by getting a refrigerator in his dorm room which his parents fill with stuff on occasion.
  • momofmvmomofmv Registered User Posts: 595 Member
    My son has also chosen Cerro for the private bedroom and the bathroom situation. he likes the idea that he will be able to have a study space. We also liked the 3 roommates and a living room. We have walked around the dorms and they are quiet during the day, but we did see kids hanging out in the living rooms and they were in the kitchen fixing food. There is a nice community room with ping pong, foosball and pool, plus a fireplace and a huge tv. I think you can be social in that environment and still have a chance to go back to your own room when you need to. The views from Cerro are amazing, although not every room will have them, you can walk out on the landings and see all of SLO. My son and I are really sold on them!
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