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Majority of Cal Poly, SLO students vaccinated as students return to campus

Angel Russell
All students, regardless of vaccination status, will need to wear a mask indoors on campus.

The Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo campus is coming back to life, with students moving in this week and school starting next week. But with most people walking around in masks, campus life isn’t the typical college experience as COVID-19 continues to cause concern. 

“It’s weird that we are living in a pandemic, but it is what it is," second-year student Cole Turner said. "We can’t really do anything about it.”

Although there are still COVID rules in place, he’s excited to actually meet people in person this year — since his first year of college was all virtual.

“It was like high school, basically," Turner said. "I’m going to be really upset if they close things down again. I’ll probably just go home, honestly.”

Cal Poly’s spokesperson Matt Lazier said currently 91% of their students are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and 1,046 students applied for vaccine exemption due to medical or religious reasons. That’s about 5% of students enrolled — and those students will be required to test for the virus twice a week.

“I got the Moderna vaccine last year," civil engineering major Yan Rich said. "I got it early because I work with campus dining.”

Rich said he wasn’t opposed to the university requiring all students and staff to be vaccinated. But while the mask mandate doesn’t bother him, he said it’s already causing some issues around campus. 

“They shut down the basketball gym, because people weren’t wearing their masks in there,” Rich said.

Per the mandate, on-campus students must be fully vaccinated by September 14, and students who commute to campus will have until September 20th to show proof of vaccination.

Angel Russell is a former KCBX News reporter who started her career in journalism as a reporter and producer for KREX on Colorado's Western Slope; she later moved to the Central Coast to work for KSBY as weekend anchor and weekday reporter. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, and playing guitar and piano.
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