Campus Profile: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Cal Poly is a public university in San Luis Obispo, California. Around 21,447 undergraduate students are enrolled at the university.

Campus Reform Campus Profiles evaluate individual American college campuses based on liberal bias, speech codes, and other relevant policies and factors.

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (‘Cal Poly’) is a public university. Around 21,447 undergraduate students are enrolled at the university.


Official Political Student Organizations: 


Conservative Organizations:

    CalPoly Republicans

    Students for Life



Liberal Organizations:

    Asexual Association

    Gender Equity Center

    LGBTQ Campus Life

    Multicultural Center

    Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

    Student Diversity and Belonging

    The Men & Masculinities Program

    Womxn in Mechanical Engineering

    Young Democratic Socialists of America at Cal Poly

    CalPoly Democrats


University Leadership:

    Jeffrey D. Armstrong, President

    Cal Poly Foundation Board

    William H. Swanson

    Charles L. Harrington

    John A. Ronca Jr.

    Michael Abbott

    Michael J. Applegate

    Philip S. Bailey Jr.

    Stephen J. Barnard

    Paul R. Bonderson Jr.

    Lloyd H. Dean

    Hilary DeCesare

    Scott Gaudineer

    Basia Gillespie

    Trevor Harding

    Mark Harris

    Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore

    Richard C. Jacobsen Jr.

    Jerry Lohr

    Jim Marderosian

    Laura M. Pickering

    John F. Salmonson

    Kenric B. Stone

    Robert C. Taylor Jr.

    Stan Van Vleck

    Cynthia Vizcaíno Villa

    Robert E. Wacker

    Kenny Wu

    Zachary Smith

    Marc Benadiba


OpenSecrets Data on California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Employee Political Donations:

In the 2020 election cycle, 87.2% of Cal Poly employee donations went to Democratic candidates in federal elections, while 4.1% of donations went to Republican candidates, according to data from Open Secrets.


Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression Rating:

Cal Poly has been given a yellow light speech code. According to FIRE, this is due to “at least one university ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application.” FIRE also notes that a yellow light policy at a public institution is unconstitutional


Cal Poly is requiring a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students and employees.


Campus Reform stories about California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo:

Cal Poly seeks to close ‘equity and achievement gap’ by redistributing wealth via student fees

California Polytechnic University is planning to increase student fees by thousands of dollars, for the purpose of redistributing the money to chosen students in the form of financial aid.

Pro-life memorials vandalized at two California universities

Leftist vandalism struck early this semester as two pro-life memorials were disrupted at two California colleges. [A] video surfaced that apparently recorded pro-choice activists stomping on pink crosses planted in a pro-life demonstration at California Polytechnic State University.