CP: No kicking accepted students out of school for not being able to attend orientation.

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Cal Poly: Stop kicking accepted students out of school for not being able to attend orientation

Why?

According to the New Student and Transition Programs website (https://orientation.calpoly.edu/orientation-frequently-asked-questions) Cal Poly will rescind your offer of admission if you do not sign up for both of their mandatory orientation programs, SLO Days ($190) and Week of Welcome ($175). Together, these programs cost incoming students a total of $365.


This policy has obvious implications for working students, students who are parents, low-income and out-of-state students, folks who cannot afford the registration fee and do not qualify for financial aid, and non-traditional students. Financial aid is not offered to everyone who needs it, and as anyone who has filled out FAFSA knows, these measurements do not reflect people's economic realities. In addition, since 2002, tuition has increased nearly 300%. On our campus alone, student success fees have risen more than 55% since they began in 2011. There are fewer sections offered while class sizes are getting larger and larger. The pool of tenure-line faculty to teach those classes are decreasing in number, and students have to work far more hours to afford lower quality learning conditions. We are paying more for our education, yet receiving less.


The CSU is the People's University. It is designated to serve working Californians and provide access to higher education for all. While there is a complicated process to request permission to not attend Orientation Programs, Cal Poly should not create additional barriers for students who are new to bureaucratic processes and/or who cannot participate in Orientation. Further, Cal Poly should never kick out accepted students simply because they cannot attend orientation.


We need to rethink this idea of an Orientation Week to make it inclusive and accessible for all Cal Poly students. Rather than threatening our students with expulsion, let's strongly encourage our students to attend, not burden them with excessive fees or time commitments, and make it easy for students unable to attend to gain the same knowledge during the school year!


To make this happen, we need Cal Poly students, staff, faculty, and community members to come together in support of this cause, and to make sure that our administration knows it! The decision makers for this issue are Andrene Kaiwi-Lenting, the Director of NSTP, and Keith Humphrey, the Vice President for Student Affairs. Start by signing this petition and sharing it on social media. Keep in touch for updates on this campaign and how you can get involved!


How: 

  1. Remove Mandatory Status of Orientation. Orientation is important, but students should only be strongly encouraged, not required to attend. 
  2. No Rescinding Admission Over Attendance of Orientation. No one should be kicked out of Cal Poly for not being able to attend or afford Orientation. 
  3. Abolish Late Registration Fees. The Late Registration Fees are $75-This is Absurd and Unjustifiable. 
  4. Make the Same Orientation Information Available to Students During the School Year at No Cost. Orientation covers important information related to alcohol safety, sexual assault and dating violence, and resources on campus that should be accessible to all students, regardless of whether or not they can attend SLO Days or WOW.
  5. Instead of Cramming “Diversity & Inclusivity Training” into a Few Short Days, Ensure all Curriculum Covers Such Topics. We should not be relying so heavily on these programs for cultivating an inclusive campus climate in the first place. It’s on us all to do this work.


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