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Student Affairs

Office of the Vice President

Safety, Health and Wellbeing

Putting student wellbeing first.

Health, wellness and safety are critical components to student success at Cal Poly. Student Affairs is committed to delivering best-in-practice programs and services that meet the physical, mental and emotional needs of our students. In doing so, our mission is to empower students with the tools and knowledge needed to thrive, be well and achieve lifelong success.

Current Priorities

  • Improve health care, counseling and wellness services through implementation of the student health fee adjustment
  • Expand basic needs support for students
  • Enhance university-wide prevention programs, services and education for substance abuse, violence and suicide
  • Expand health and wellness facilities to support Cal Poly’s emerging 24/7 residential campus model
  • Create best-in-practice health and safety education programming for students

AY 2021-2022 Highlights

"My mom lost her job during COVID and it has been very hard for her to put food on the table for my younger siblings. I have been completely financially responsible this past year for that reason. It means so much to me to know I always have a place to eat thanks to y’all. Thank you for never judging anyone walks in here."

— Pat, second-year student

Enhancing Healthcare for All Students

Campus Health and Wellbeing’s (CHW) Gender-Affirming Care Program, which was first established in 2019, saw another year of growth with a 57 percent increase in appointments during the 2021-22 academic year. Overall, the program has seen a 371 percent increase in appointments since its inaugural year of service.

In addition, the university’s health center conducted more than 12,000 diagnostic COVID-19 tests during the academic year, while supporting hundreds of students in Cal Poly’s Isolation and Quarantine program.

Finally, CHW hired a Clinical Services Director as it continues to grow its capacity for health care services even further into the future.

Expanding the Reach of Counseling Services

Campus Health and Wellbeing’s Counseling Services team saw a vast increase in the number of students it supported during the 2021-22 academic year, with a 26 percent increase in appointments compared to 2018-19. Overall, Counseling Services supported more than 2,300 students with a total of 11,800 appointments – representing approximately 10.5 percent of Cal Poly’s entire student body.

Additionally, Counseling Services continued to provide drop-in programming both in-person and virtually throughout the academic year, with more than 10,000 attendees reached through presentations and other outreach efforts with students, faculty, and staff.

Increasing Food Pantry Support

Campus Health and Wellbeing expanded its basic needs services to support even more students in need during the 2021-22 academic year, including the establishment of the food pantry garden, hosting monthly SLO Food Bank distributions, creating five food cabinets across campus supporting Dream Center, BAEC, CMCS, EOP, and TRIO, while providing financial wellness programming and free menstrual cup distribution.

All told, the Cal Poly Food Pantry more than doubled the students they served, while monthly Food Bank distributions saw a near five-fold increase. Cal Poly’s five newly established food cabinets, meanwhile, supported an additional 850 students.

Growing Health Education and Advocacy Services

Campus Health and Wellbeing launched its Narcan outreach program through a grant from the California Department of Public Health, educating nearly 900 students about fentanyl dangers and Narcan availability, and distributing nearly 300 overdose prevention kits. Because of the outreach program, at least one life was saved when a student used Narcan to assist another student experiencing an overdose over spring break.

Safer marked its 25th anniversary in a variety of ways, including a speaking engagement by activist and founder of Me Too, Tarana Burke, which focused on Black healing, survivorship, and creating change within communities. All told, Safer’s three advocates supported 200 survivors in the 2021-22 academic year, while delivering 163 presentations and hosting more than 50 events that cumulatively reached more than 17,000 individuals.

The university’s Mustangs for Recovery Program, meanwhile, distributed nine Davis Henegar Memorial Scholarships totaling $22,500 to students in recovery. In addition, the program saw a 42 percent increase in students attending recovery meetings, compared to the previous academic year.

Cal Poly’s Peers Understanding, Listening, Supporting, Educating (PULSE) program had 15,278 direct educational contacts through presentations and events. They also delivered 22,000 condoms as part of an outreach campaign, while increasing outreach for festival safety, bike safety, and started a new smoking cessation workshop.

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