It’s that time of year again. You’ve just returned to San Luis Obispo from summer break and you’re ready to get back into the swing of the school year—that is, after a nice weekend of partying. Or two.
Bad news, students. You’ve happened back into town in a year when the city powers-that-be have put their collective foot down, stamping out any possibility of wild shenanigans thanks to a rising trend of alcohol- and noise-related violations around town in the first few weeks of the Cal Poly school year. City staff and elected council members have been taking heat from some very vocal residents who year after year have to put up with the drunken craziness that typically results from Poly’s Week of Welcome.
Residents have complained, and the city has responded. How, you ask? Why, the same way they’ve dealt with the undesirables that come with other formerly fun SLO weekends, like Halloween and Saint Patrick’s Day. What this means for you: If you’re going to celebrate your first few weeks before school in SLO Town with liquid libations and music, best to keep your head down. Or be prepared to pay dearly.
For this is the year the city is applying a relatively new concept of “safety enhancement zones”—up until now only applied to holiday weekends that make middle-aged white people nervous—to include the first week of Cal Poly move-in until the Monday following the first weekend of the fall academic year.
And they’re not messing around. From 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 20 until 7 a.m. Sept. 30, all fines for open containers, urinating in public, noise violations, possession of dangerous and deadly weapons, and the Shredder’s personal favorite, “unruly gatherings”—basically any group of 20 or more people on private property who find themselves on the police radar—are doubled, city-wide.
Henceforth you’ve been warned that coordinated SLOPD and University PD patrols are being ramped up to deal with you if you step out of line.
From a SLOPD press release: “The ‘Mustang Way’ philosophy encourages students to create an atmosphere of mutual respect, to take responsibility for their actions and accept and appreciate that they are part of the community. Officers have been encouraged to share this philosophy as they interact with students, neighbors and others during this intensified patrol and enforcement time.”