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Cougars and Mustangs 

Congratulations, class of 2011!

Enjoy your well-earned champagne celebrations before you say goodbye to college life and hello to the real world. Though the prospect of trading in your flip-flop lifestyle for a wingtip way of life may be a bit intimidating, New Times has some news to help ease the skepticism of the unknown.

Cal Poly graduates top all other UC and CSU campuses—and plenty of private universities—when it comes to median starting career salaries, according to a study conducted by PayScale.com and CollegePortraits.org. According to the study, Cal Poly graduates earn a median starting salary of $55,000.

In Greek life news, fraternities and sororities at Cal Poly showcased their humanitarian sides and participated in friendly competition to raise more than $5,600 and needed items for local charities during Greek Week 2011.

Members of 25 fraternities and 14 sororities collected 200 pints of blood for United Blood Services (sounds fantastic, but call me crazy for not being so excited about getting a transfusion of a frat guy’s O-negative); raised $3,500 for the Lucia Mar School District and $2,100 for CAPSLO Head Start; and collected more than 4,900 toiletry items for the North County Women’s Shelter. They also visited fifth- and sixth-graders at eight elementary schools throughout southern San Luis Obispo County to promote healthy living habits and the importance of education (I wonder if they explained the finer points of nursing the morning’s mind-splitting hangover).

Roses are red, violets are blue, English student Kathryn Sugar won Cal Poly’s 2011 Academy of American Poets Contest for her poem “Communion.”

Her poem is in the voice of a mother whose child has been kidnapped and possibly murdered: “My Christina imagines she’s a chrysanthemum, begging for blossom from the clay cavity cradling her.”

Award-winning poet Eleanor Lerman judged the contest.

Cuesta College has always shown a strong commitment to the mixture of academics and athletics. The Central Coast community college announced its recipients for the Warren Hansen Scholar-Athlete Award, which is given to the top scholarly student-athletes.

Kaysea Woods took home the female prize for compiling a 3.75 GPA in 51.5 units during the past three semesters, while also making the all-conference soccer team.

Nic Lalanne took the male honors after earning all-conference recognition in water polo and maintaining a 4.0 GPA in 50 units.

For those still in school, both Cal Poly and Cuesta will begin their next sessions shortly.

Cougars and Mustangs is compiled by intern Kai Beech. Send comments or items for consideration to cougarsandmustangs@newtimesslo.com.

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