Housing Updates

Updated March 28, 2021

Guided by state and local health officials, and the CDC, University Housing has reduced occupancy levels across communities, offering single rooms in all residence halls and shared apartments, and introducing extensive preventative measures to protect the safety and wellbeing of live-in staff and residents. 

Spring Break

Whether you're staying here or headed out — please tell us!  Knowing who is on campus during breaks helps us keep an eye out for residents and makes it easier to contact you in the event of an emergency. Fill out the Spring Break Survey on the homepage of your Housing Portal.

If you are leaving for break, make sure to:

  • Lock your room doors and windows
  • Close blinds and turn off lights and heater
  • Throw away any perishable food and make sure non-perishable items are closed and put away
  • Leave your fridge on and plugged in
  • Follow all campus testing guidelines for your return to campus
  • Keep an eye out for any emails from Cal Poly and University Housing over the break

If you are staying for break, here's what's happening around housing:

  • Virtual Cooking Night | Friday, March 19 @ 7 p.m.
    Join us: tasty style. We'll be making homemade pizza! Come ready with some dough, cheese, sauce and toppings!
  • Spike Ball Tourney | Saturday, March 20 @ 6 p.m. 
    Spike ball in the sand at at PCV volleyball courts. 10 person max. 
  • Virtual Game Night | Sunday, March 21 @ 7 p.m. 
    Amoung Us, Jackbox & Minecraft 
  • Virtual Speed Dating for Friends | Monday, March 22 @ 5 p.m.
    Get to know your campus community by engaging with other residents
  • Virtual Trivia | Tues. March 23 @ 7 p.m. 
    Catch up on your Cal Poly Trivia 
  • Virtual Movie Night | Wedneasday, March 24 @ 7 p.m.
    Watch movie and enjoy snacks
  • Virtual Silent Disco |  Thursday, March 25 @ 6 p.m.
    Share music at this jam session 
  • Virtual Game Night | Friday, March 26 @ 4 p.m. 
    Playing JackBox Games;, Among Us, Etc.
  • Virtual Craft Night | Saturday, March 27 @ 7 p.m. 
    Virtual craft sesh; color, draw or whatever else you want. Markers and Paper will be availble at your front desk.
  • All virtual events happen here:

Winter Quarter

California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White has announced that the CSU’s 23 campuses will remain primarily virtual for Winter and Spring 2021. It has also been announced that Winter Quarter finals will be entirely virtual. You can read his statement here.

Winter Quarter Deferrals, Un-deferrals, and New Residents

Current On-campus Residents: Residents have the option to defer campus housing and return to their permanent homes during winter quarter. If you have wish to defer your campus housing and return for spring quarter you can submit a deferral in your Housing Portal. Housing fees will be adjusted based on your move out date and confirmation that your room is free of belongings.

Deferrals are accepted on a quarterly basis. The process for deferring spring quarter will be available in your housing portal within the next couple of weeks.

Deferred and new residents: Students who would like to apply to live on campus for winter (and have not yet been assigned) can contact so we can provide access to the housing application and arrange a move-in date.

Expectations for Residents

Residents are expected to keep their living spaces clean and sanitize high-touch surfaces often, wear face coverings outside of their rooms or apartments and in public spaces, maintain physical distancing, wash their hands often, and gather outdoors only in groups of fewer than ten. Guests, including parents and supporters, are not permitted at this time.

Residents—and all students who come to campus—must complete a daily self-screening to access campus facilities like dining halls, classrooms and administrative offices, as well as participate in regular COVID-19 testing, which is provided by Campus Health and Wellbeing. Appointments and more information can be reached by calling Campus Health and Wellbeing (CHW) at 805-756-1211. If a resident experiences symptoms or has been exposed to someone known to have tested positive for Coronavirus, they are instructed to schedule a tele-health appointment with a medical provider via CHW. 

Campus Guidance

The University's Coronavirus webpage provides extensive guidance and information on Health and Wellbeing, Campus Operations and Guidelines/Resources. We encourage residents to pay close attention to these pages in particular:

Community Support

Live-in Staff

Coordinators for Student Development—Master's level professional staff and Resident Advisors—student leaders live in every community and are available to support students. Residential Student Experience staff are focusing on three learning goals around the areas of wellness, academics/career and life skills, and equitable leadership, specifically: Be Well. Be Smart. Be the Change.

Community Desks

Every housing community has front desk service available to support students with lock-outs, access to kitchens and vending (by reservation) and other services.

Current residents of University Housing needing after-hours support should contact the RA On-Call. The RA On-Call number is posted on the front door of your community. 

Desk hours are 7 a.m. - 8 p.m., Monday - Friday and 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. on weekends.

The following desks serve our communities during quarter operations:

Sierra Madre Community Center Sierra Madre and Yosemite Halls 805-756-5650
Housing Admin, Bldg. 31

All South Mountain and North Mountain Halls


yakʔitʸutʸu Housing

Admin Desk

yakʔitʸutʸu 805-756-6931

Cerro Vista

Community Center

Cerro Vista Apartments

Aliso Housing Admin Desk Poly Canyon Village Apartments 805-756-9301

Additionally, Housing Administration (Bldg. 31) is open weekdays, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Students can report maintenance items through Service Requester on their Housing Portal. If you have been directed to quarantine or isolate, work orders that are life safety or "urgent" maintenance will be addressed first to limit contact between maintenance staff and residents during the pandemic. 

Winter Communications

To support you during Winter quarter, we will post Housing email communications and urgent campus messages to residents here.  You can view Campus Updates here

Resident Messages

Jan. 22, 2021: Urgent Health Message About COVID-19
(From Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Humphrey and ASI President Shayna Lynch)

To the student community,

We are going to be direct. We have started to see a concerning rise in cases of COVID-19 among the student body recently, especially among asymptomatic students.

Students are getting these results from participating in Cal Poly’s ongoing testing program at either the Performing Arts Center or Poly Canyon Village. Unfortunately, these students didn’t think they had COVID-19 at the time of their test and could be unintentionally spreading the virus through interactions with fellow students.

We need to do all that we can to reverse this trend. Testing is only part of the equation for safeguarding yourselves and our campus community. A negative test represents a single point in time and does not mean that a student cannot go on to develop, carry and spread the disease. More importantly, a negative test is not a free pass to set aside precautions. Now, more than ever, it is critical that we all remain diligent about taking precautions to limit the spread of disease—regardless of the outcome of recent tests.

Please recommit to being vigilant about the simple things you can do to prevent yourself from becoming infected:

  • Wear a face covering when around others. YES, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Maintain a safe six-foot distance from others. YES, even when you are wearing a mask.
  • Sanitize your hands regularly. YES, even when you don’t think you have to.
  • Avoid gatherings with people you don’t live with. YES, being physically distant isn’t always easy, but you can still feel connected to others in other ways. 

We care about you and want you to remain healthy always, but especially as we get into some critical weeks of mid-terms, projects and other academic requirements.

Please continue to test twice per week at the Performing Arts Center or Poly Canyon Village. You are welcome (and even encouraged!) to test at those locations, even if you are not required. Schedule your tests today.

Committing to regular testing and strictly following precautions to safeguard against infection is part of the personal responsibility that we all need to exhibit until this pandemic is over.

Thank you for doing your part – today and every day.

In community,

Keith B. Humphrey, Ph.D. Vice President for Student Affairs

Shayna Lynch ASI President

Jan. 6, 2021: Health and Safety Reminders

Hi there,

Welcome to Winter Quarter and a brand new year! As you settle in, we want to make sure you know about the health and safety policies in our communities. Given the increase of COVID-19 cases, it’s more important than ever that we all do our part to SLO the spread. COVID-19 hits the most vulnerable in our community the hardest — and we are all responsible for keeping the Cal Poly community safe and healthy.

If you are moving into campus housing later this week, please be sure to complete your pre-arrival COVID-19 test and the test verification step. Visit the Cal Poly Student Testing page for more information.

As you know, COVID-19 is very contagious. This quarter, our staff is working even harder to make sure we are all abiding by COVID-19 policies to keep all of us safe. Please review the Policy Guide on the Housing website, so you know what is, and what is not, permitted in residence halls and apartments.

Residents in violation of any of Cal Poly’s COVID-19 policies will be held accountable through the conduct process, which could result in disciplinary probation, revocation of your housing license, or suspension.

Here are a few highlights that we want you to be aware of this Winter Quarter:

Guest Policy

Only one guest from your building may visit you in your room at any given time (for example, Aliso residents may only visit other Aliso residents). Physical distancing is still required when a same-building guest is visiting. Non-residents are not permitted in buildings.

Face Coverings

Face coverings are required in all common areas outside of your apartment or residence hall room. If you have a guest (from your building) in your room, every person must wear a face covering.

Isolation and Quarantine Housing

If you are placed in isolation or quarantine housing, you are not permitted to leave your assigned room/space unless approved by a medical director. Students that are directed to quarantine-in-place may only leave their space briefly for essential tasks. For more guidelines on isolation, quarantine, and quarantine in place, please visit the Isolation Guide or email

Outdoor Common Areas

Due to public health conditions, most indoor common areas are closed. When meeting outdoors, please follow all guidelines posted on signs in these areas — including wearing face coverings, limiting gatherings to fewer than 10 people, and abiding by physical distancing policies.

Community Signs

The signs around campus are important to inform and direct residents and employees — especially in the event of an emergency. Community signs that go missing or are damaged may result in charges for individuals or the whole floor/community, as outlined in your housing contract.

Please reach out to your Resident Advisor or Coordinator of Student Development if you have any questions. We wish you a safe, healthy, and productive winter quarter.

University Housing
Cal Poly


If you are looking for general housing information, visit our Housing FAQ page.

Winter Housing Info

Will Cal Poly waive the first-year housing requirement? Or will first-years still be required to live on campus?

The first-year live on requirement remains in effect. Students who have fully virtual classes or choose to stay at their permanent (home) addresses can defer their start in housing to winter term, which starts January 4, 2021. First-year students are not permitted to live in the local community under this requirement.  Students who defer housing and are scheduled for/register for one or more in-person classes should contact the appropriate campus advisors to adjust their schedules. The Mustang Success Center can assist first-years, the college advising centers can assist new transfer/graduate and continuing students. 

I am currently living on campus. Can I defer my fall housing and return home?

Yes, you are welcome to defer your housing after move-in if you don't feel safe or successful on campus due to COVID-19. Your term housing fees will be pro-rated to reflect the date of your confirmed check-out. You must request a deferral in your Housing Portal, conduct a proper check-out, and return your keys/access card to be pro-rated. Only students who return to their permanent homes are eligible for a deferral.

If University Housing closes mid-quarter due to COVID-19, will students receive a refund?

If residents are asked to return to their permanent homes due to COVID-19, residents will have their fees pro-rated to reflect their stay in housing, which will be based on their confirmed check out date.

I deferred Fall housing. How do I live on campus during Winter quarter?

Login to your Housing Portal and select the 2020-21 Housing Application and click Continue. Then select "I plan to move into campus housing" from the dropdown menu. Students will be notified if there is a space available for them on campus and directed to update the preferences in their housing application.

I am a newly admitted student to Cal Poly. How can I apply for Winter Term Housing?

Access the application in your Housing Portal. If spaces are full, you will be directed to add your name to the waitlist.

I am currently living on campus — can I return home and defer winter quarter?

Yes, please let us know if you plan to defer in your Housing Portal. Remove your items from your room, then check out and return your keys at your front desk before leaving.

Can I live with the roommates I requested?

At this time, we are offering single rooms in residence halls and shared apartments for Winter. You can request a roommate in the application. Please note, while we strive to place requested roommates together wherever possible — placements are based on availability of spaces and are not guaranteed. We cannot ask another student currently assigned in your desired apartment to move.

Will students still only be housed in single rooms for Winter?

Yes, unless public health conditions improve, all current residents returning for winter quarter will continue to be housed in private rooms.

Are there enough spaces for deferred students requesting to return to campus housing in Winter?

Yes, at this time we are able to provide housing to students who wish to return to living on campus. 

If you run out of spaces for returning deferred students, how will you be prioritizing available spaces for housing on campus?

Our first-year housing requirement remains in effect. Should it become necessary, we will prioritize first year students who un-defer and request to live on campus this Winter.

What is the cancellation policy for continuing students who have secured housing for next year?

At this time, our policy remains the same for students who cancel housing to live off-campus for the 2020-21 academic year. The $500 initial payment is non-refundable. 

Do I need to get tested for COVID-19 prior to returning to campus?

We are working closely with local public health officials to determine the best course of action for regular, asymptomatic COVID-19 testing of all campus residents returning from winter break. We will be providing more details as the move-in dates approach.

When can I defer my Winter housing assignment to Spring quarter?

You may defer your Winter housing assignment in your Housing Portal now. If you are currently residing at your permanent residence and took no action by Nov. 21, we will automatically extend your housing deferral preference to Spring quarter.

When can I defer my housing for Spring quarter, if I choose to remain at my permanent residence for the remainder of the academic year?

Cal Poly is currently offering deferrals on a quarter by quarter basis. If public health conditions do not improve, you will be able to defer your Spring housing. If you plan to remain at your permanent residence for the duration of the academic year, you may defer when the option appears in your Portal during Winter Quarter.

If I defer for the whole academic year, will my initial deposit be refunded?

Yes, at this time we anticipate offering refunds of initial payments for students who deferred the entire academic year.

COVID-19 Response

How will cleaning practices be altered to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

We will not be cleaning inside student’s rooms or apartments. Instead, custodians will focus on all common areas that are accessible, like lobbies, kitchens, residential hall bathrooms, vending areas. Students are encouraged to bring cleaning supplies to clean and wipe down their rooms and apartments. We will increase our disinfecting efforts for all common touchpoints, following CDC, state, and local guidelines to ensure a safe and healthy environment for students and staff. Signage will also be posted in all areas regarding healthy practices — like physical distancing, face coverings, hand washing, and maximum room occupancy. Hand sanitizing stations will be available in the residential communities and throughout campus.

What will the first-year experience be like in campus housing? What services will be available to students who live on campus?

Campus Dining is grab-and-go only, with contactless ordering through GrubHub. Mail and package service is open. Indoor study spaces and common rooms are closed. Visitors are not allowed in the residence halls or apartments. 

Are face coverings required in the residence halls? Where do they need to be worn?

Yes, face coverings are required in residence halls, anywhere outside of a student’s room and/or bathroom — including hallways and study rooms. Students in apartments are required to wear face coverings inside and outside of buildings but not in their specific apartments.

Will students have access to common areas? Study rooms? Kitchens?

It depends on public health conditions at the time. For now, study rooms, common rooms and lounges are closed, and signage is posted in common areas to reinforce health and safety practices.

Community kitchens are available for use by appointment. Students can arrange access to community kitchens at their front desk.

What is being done to ensure safety and physical distancing in communal bathrooms?

Bathrooms in the residence halls will be sanitized twice a day by University Housing Custodial staff. Dividers have been put in place between sinks that are fewer than 6 feet apart. All urinals in communal restrooms have been closed off.

How often are you currently testing campus residents?

Currently, all campus residents are being tested upon their return to San Luis Obispo, and twice per week, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within University Housing and our local community. For more info about testing, please visit

How many cases of COVID-19 in campus housing will trigger a response?

Just one case of COVID-19 in the residence halls or on campus triggers a response. Campus Health and Wellbeing and SLO County Public Health will work with residents in isolation to monitor their recovery. The EOC will work with students on meeting their needs while in isolation. Students who become ill also have the option to return home. 

If a resident tests positive for COVID-19, will they be moved out of their space? 

Yes. Residents of campus housing who test positive for COVID-19 will be supported in moving to designated housing in campus apartments to isolate.  Campus Health and Wellbeing and SLO County Public Health will work with residents in isolation to monitor their recovery. The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will work with students on meeting their needs including contactless meal and mail delivery. Students who become ill also have the option to return home.  The follow-up response will be guided be the EOC.

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