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Cougars & Mustangs



We here at Cougars and Mustangs tend to speak about four main topics: Cuesta College, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in general, and Zombies. It’s not often we get to talk about more than two at once, but sure enough, Cuesta, Cal Poly, and SLO itself have all been honored with a combined award. Let’s dive in, shall we? 

The Larry W. Abernathy award was given to these SLO institutions at the International Town and Gown Association’s (ITGA) annual conference in Chicago in early June. The award honors the city and university that best exemplify the organization’s mission statement of strengthening community (town) and university (gown) partnerships. 

In this case, an exception was made, and two colleges were honored since both Cuesta and Cal Poly contributed to the San Luis Obispo Neighborhood Wellness/Community Civility Effort (civility report) and Neighborhood Wellness 2.0, the report identifying the progress made to date on each of the initiatives included in the civility report.

Neighborhood Wellness 2.0 aimed to define short-term actions that enhance quality of life (like regular neighborhood tours), define stakeholders’ needs, (which led to the creation of a rental housing inspection program), identify university and city best practices (like a transition to off-campus living program), review law enforcement best practices (leading to Cal Poly police enforcing the university’s municipal code off campus), review educational best practices (resulting in an annual communications plan), and prepare for sustained engagement through a reinvestment in the Student Community Liaison Committee. 

For more information and to see the full report, visit Hearty congratulations to each member of the teams responsible for earning this award. It’s pretty fun to see how even during the summer, both campuses earn achievements! But all the same, news is slower during these warmer months, so if you have any special bits to share, this is the perfect opportunity to do so. Send that collegiate news in, folks!

Contributor Lola White-Sanborn won an award once, the highly coveted condolence prize. Send her your collegiate news via

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