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The following article was posted on July 10th, 2013, in the New Times - Volume 27, Issue 50 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 27, Issue 50

Cougars & Mustangs

Cuesta students run into the Large Hadron Collider; Poly claims another potential astronaut

BY CHRIS WHITE-SANBORN

It’s pretty exciting to think that, although we’re on a severely colonized planet, with so many square inches of land bearing a title or name, there is still so much that we don’t know about our world yet.

Although, as a student of the arts, I am not as terribly well-versed in the sciences as are a great many others of my age, the snippets I do get from various documentaries and pieces of news still thrill me. But I am sure that is nothing compared to how a group of Cuesta College physics students felt when, on May 25 of this year, they toured the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Switzerland.

Measuring 17 miles in circumference in a tunnel approximately 600 feet beneath the Franco-Swiss border, the LHC is the largest and highest-energy particle accelerator in the world—a marvel allowing physicists to test different theories and march forward into a greater understanding of physical laws. Cuesta College was the only community college to take the trip, which they paid for themselves. Though this perhaps means that other community colleges need to step up their game, the real victory here is that this group of students was so invested in their education that they were willing to raise the money themselves for an out-of-country tour. While this isn’t the most unheard-of thing I can think of students doing, from my limited experience, it’s a lot less common in a community college. Either way, congrats to these students for taking the initiative!

On that note, despite Cal Poly already being pretty prestigious, it’s hard to deny that the Mustangs have been up to some pretty cool things as well. For example, U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Victor Glover, a Cal Poly alumnus, is one of eight people (of more than 6,100 who applied) named to NASA’s 21st astronaut candidate class. Not that Cal Poly is bragging or anything, but once his training is completed, he’ll become the fourth Cal Poly alumnus to serve as an astronaut. If Cal Poly was bragging about that, though, I wouldn’t entirely blame it.

So, all that said, are you making the most of your summer right now? Are you getting ready to make the most of your school year? I certainly hope so. Potential is drifting about like snowflakes in the air, and it takes just a bit of incentive to catch one. I look forward to reading a press release about you soon!

Chris White-Sanborn compiled this week’s Cougars and Mustangs. Send your collegiate news to cougarsandmustangs@newtimesslo.com