Skip to Content

St. Fratty’s Day: Property damage, citations given and arrests made near Cal Poly

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Thousands gathered in St. Patrick's Day related parties that turned chaotic leading to property damage, citations given and arrests made early Saturday morning near Cal Poly.

According to the San Luis Obispo Police Department, it all stemmed to what is traditionally known as "St. Fratty's Day" by Cal Poly students.

SLOPD says, calls came in around 3:30 a.m. about disturbance of the peace in multiple neighborhoods nearby the Cal Poly campus. In efforts to address the matter, SLOPD mobilized a maximum deployment of personnel.

As disturbances escalated, SLOPD began issuing citations for various infractions including disturbing the peace, unruly gatherings, open containers of alcohol, public urination and public intoxication.

SLOPD say, the large gathering resulted in damage to several vehicles in the vicinity of the parties.

"As violations were reported, enforcement actions continued to be taken with arrests and citations being issued, said SLOPD in a press release. "Approximately, six thousand to seven thousand individuals congregated in the streets adjacent to the Cal Poly campus."

As the morning went on, officers continued its efforts to maintain order, resulting in a large number of citations and arrests. 

At approximately 6:00 a.m., SLOPD made the decision to close off streets surrounding Hathaway Avenue and Bond Street due to the large gatherings.

According to SLOPD, there were no major incidents reported within the city.

SLOPD was assisted by the Cal Poly Police Department, the Cal State Police, California Men’s Colony, and the Alcohol Beverage Control.

More details on the numbers of arrests and citations issued will come out in the coming days, says SLOPD.

Statement from Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong

In a statement sent to us by Cal Poly, their President Jeffrey D. Armstrong lambasted the events that unfolded on March 16th.

Dear Cal Poly community,

I’m disappointed and disgusted as I write to you today about the behavior that some of our students and campus visitors displayed when they took part in early morning St. Patrick’s Day partying that caused significant damage to Muir Hall and several other University Housing facilities, as well as property off campus.

I visited Muir Hall today and witnessed damage so extensive that university officials were forced to temporarily close the building and evacuate about 300 student residents in order to repair and restore fire suppression and alarm systems, clean up destruction and debris from smashed ceiling tiles and marred floors, and provide deep cleaning and air quality restoration throughout. Similar, though less severe, damage was reported in Trinity and Fremont halls as well as areas of the yakʔitʸutʸu complex.

Also on campus, our dining facilities and markets reported widespread theft during the morning hours Saturday. Meanwhile, we know that our students were a large portion of the several thousand people estimated to have taken part in a block party in the neighborhoods just off campus, causing damage to cars and some property.

To be sure, the vast majority of our students chose to celebrate this holiday more responsibly. We also know that our campus had many more visitors this year than during past St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Nevertheless, the negative impacts of those from our community who engaged in unsafe and destructive actions are clear and visible. 

These selfish and harmful actions are unacceptable for individuals who have been granted the privilege to study, live and work in the Cal Poly community. It is confounding and deeply disturbing that a portion of our own students so ignorantly and callously destroyed parts of our campus — including the very places they and so many other students live. We expect our students to have fun on our campus and in our local community as part of their time at Cal Poly — this is a key element of the growth, development and self-discovery within the university experience. However, that does not include behavior that is destructive to property, potentially criminal in nature, or harmful to one’s self or fellow community members. 

To the extent possible, Cal Poly will hold our own students and other individuals accountable for these actions. Our Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities will act swiftly on any reports it receives of Cal Poly students whose behavior violated our university policies. Likewise, any reports of criminal activity — by our own students or by any campus visitor — shared with our Cal Poly Police Department will be fully investigated and individuals will be held accountable. If you witnessed these acts or have photos or videos of them, please report them to the Dean of Student's Office (located in Hillcrest; Building 81), which will be offering special hours today from 4 to 8 p.m. and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., or to OSRR online.

I know our Cal Poly students to be intelligent and accomplished. As such, we strive to treat every student with respect and as responsible young adults. Our expectation in return is that students act like responsible young adults. If that basic respect is too much to ask of some of you, then this university is not the right fit for you.


Jeffrey D. Armstrong

Article Topic Follows: Top Stories

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Bryan Hernandez

Weekend Producer, Multi-media Journalist and Tipline investigations.

Follow me on my social media for more news and insights!


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content