History of PolyCultural Weekend

What is PolyCultural Weekend?

Poly Cultural Weekend was founded in 2004 by MEXA, PCE, ISA, and AISA. It has been known to be an overnight event in Spring quarter where conditionally accepted students are paired with a host in one of our cultural organizations. Throughout the 3 days and 2 nights, the students learn about Cal Poly’s cultural community, life as a POC here, and resources available. By partnering students with a host, potential students are able to build a bond and create a sense of familiarity. PCW has been making breaks and waves in helping to showcase the cultural community and that the students can find a home away from home here.

Why does PolyCultural Weekend exist?

In 2004, PolyCultural Weekend (PCW) was created by four Cultural Organizations (AISA, ISA, MEXA, PCE) to showcase the available resources and support offered at Cal Poly for prospective, underrepresented students. The lack of institutional support for students with marginalized identities -- on the basis of factors including, but not limited to, race and ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status -- provided proof of program necessity. As a student-organized event, PolyCultural Weekend is a tool designed to guide prospective students in deciding whether to attend Cal Poly. 

​Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is a predominately white institution (PWI). In comparison to other public universities in the Cal State University (CSU) system, the highest proportion of white students attend Cal Poly. The graph below depicts the differences between the percentile enrollment of the largest student ethnic groups at Cal Poly in comparison to the CSU System altogether. 

One of the most significant factors that sets PCW apart from other Cal Poly programs is the unique opportunity to explore the academic resources, social climate, and cultural communities on campus within a 3-day, overnight program. PCW attendees are paired with a currently-enrolled student Host based on factors such as intended major, interests, and Cultural Organization preference. Attendees also spend nights in their Hosts’ living spaces; this builds familiarity with Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo housing options. Throughout the Weekend, attendees engage in PCW programming as well as honest conversations with their Hosts to familiarize themselves with student life. 

​PCW is an important component of the cultural communities’ growth and success. Not only does the program introduce prospective students to available support systems, but it also strengthens and empowers the campus’s unified cultural community through collaboration and care. Although PolyCultural Weekend did not function in its traditional manner this year, we look forward to your participation in future years!

A bar graph comparing enrollment percentages for the CSU system and Cal Poly across different ethnic groups. 23.5% of CSU enrollment is white compared to 54.8% of Cal Poly enrollment. 31.9% of CSU enrollment are Mexican American compared to 11.8 % at Cal Poly. 11.6% of CSU enrollment is Asian compared to 10.8% at Cal Poly. .2% of CSU enrollment is Native American/Indigenous compared to .7% at Cal Poly. 4.1% of CSU enrollment is African American/Black compared to .7% at Cal Poly.

Statistics from CSU 2017 data

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