I am writing in regard to the recent inaccurate media coverage the Week of Welcome Program at Cal Poly has received. I was appalled to learn of this incredible program getting bad press in relation to new students partying and drinking. I personally know of few other student-run organizations at Cal Poly that work as hard as WOW to prevent the underage drinking of new students.
I participated in the WOW program as an incoming freshman in 2000. Despite what many of my friends at other universities experienced, I did not consume any alcohol during my first week at Cal Poly. Instead of partying and drinking in the days before classes began, I was participating in WOW. I was exploring all the fun activities that Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo had to offer, while creating life-long relationships and learning about alternatives far more entertaining than those involving alcohol.
It has been nearly a decade since I was an incoming student, yet in these years I know the WOW program has extended efforts to train leaders, educate students, and provide even more safe and fun alternatives to drinking up to the day before classes begin. I don’t know any program that focuses more on helping new students make responsible decisions during their first week of independence.
Without such programs as WOW, I feel we will face more news of students drinking irresponsibly with more tragic endings. Now as a parent, I hope more universities will have programs as wonderful when my daughter enters college. I urge the San Luis Obispo community to please help preserve this incredible program for generations to come, as WOW is certainly part of the solution, not the problem.