Thousands of incoming freshmen and transfer students began moving into Cal Poly Friday, as the university prepares for its annual “Week of Welcome.”
Up to 6,000 new students are expected to attend classes when Cal Poly’s fall quarter begins Sept. 14, a number more than 1,000 greater than the university projected. But although housing is crunched by a combination of more students and the closure of Fremont Hall due to mudslides, Friday’s move-in activity proceeded smoothly Friday afternoon.
Student volunteers in green shirts assisted new students — and their parents — in loading their luggage into green and gold baggage carts and transporting them to their dorm rooms. Dozens more stood on the side of Grand Avenue, cheering and shouting as vehicles carrying new students rode by.
Freshman Juanita Salazar of Austin, Texas, acknowledged that the day, long anticipated, had a surreal quality to it.
“It hasn’t even hit me yet,” she said, as she and her parents, Sandra and Alvaro Salazar, unloaded the minivan carrying their daughter’s luggage.
Alvaro Salazar said his daughter is his second child to start college — Juanita has a brother attending Southwestern University, in Austin, as a senior. While he said he had “mixed feelings” about dropping his daughter off at college 1,500 miles away, he said he was proud of his daughter getting into a selective school like Cal Poly.
“It’s all about the kids, you know?” he said.
Juanita Salazar’s decision to attend Cal Poly was based on its highly rated architecture program. She said she attended a summer camp for architecture and fell in love with the discipline.
“I want to do this the rest of my life,” she said.
The “Week of Welcome,” a tradition turning 60 this year, officially begins 8 p.m. Sunday, as Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong is expected to deliver a convocation at Spanos Stadium.
Students will then spend much of the next week in their groups participating in a variety of actitivies on and off campus.