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Cougars & Mustangs 

This week we will skip along through recent happenings and upcoming events of 2012. The commencement of a new year wouldn’t be complete without the annual Tournament of Roses parade. Regardless of your collegiate affiliation, it’s always a kick to check out the garish floats decked out with garlands, streamers, and giant, genetically modified floral arrangements.

And heading up the pack as this year’s viewers’ favorite float was—wait for it—the Cal Poly Rose Float! Seems that the crew over at Cal Poly knows how to please the throngs of parade-goers, with the students in the Rose Float club winning the award the past four years. Cal Poly captured 61 percent of the vote in the annual poll put on each year by the Southern California TV station KTLA.

The Cal Poly decorating wizards flexed their collective imagination and created a 30-foot-tall “To the Rescue” float depicting superheroes saving a falling helicopter, holding up a collapsing skyscraper, and stopping a runaway train. The local crew teamed up with the Cal Poly Pomona club, a collaboration that began as far back as 1949.

The theme for this year’s Tournament of Roses Parade was “Just Imagine.”

Expanding on that theme, we can all “Imagine” like John Lennon and head to Cal Poly on Feb. 6 to celebrate diversity with a community colloquium.

What’s that, you say? You’re into widening your perspectives, but what the heck is a colloquium? It can be an informal meeting for the exchange of views, or an academic seminar on a broad field of study, but this particular colloquium will address the virtues of living and learning in a diverse society.

Free and open to the public, the event will feature keynote speaker Paul Gardullo, curator of the National Museum of African American History. There will also be a panel discussion, along with numerous local and national figures.

The Diversity Colloquium will feature a tribute to local resident Joe Schwartz. The 98-year-old Schwartz will be honored by Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong for his life’s work in the promotion of an inclusive society. His book of photographs, Folk Photography—Poems I’ve Never Written, showcases many moments throughout the ages of black and white society getting along and helping each other out.

Black History Month exhibits will be on display, and there will be a musical and poetry reading interlude. The program will begin at the Performing Arts Center at 5 p.m., with a reception to follow at 7:30.

Intern Jason Keedy compiled this week’s Cougars and Mustangs. Send your collegiate news to cougarsandmustangs@newtimesslo.com.

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