Opinion-Letter to the Editor
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The forum that was held on October 15th was a disgrace in many ways. We left without any feeling of resolve, or any hope of a resolution. Our questions were deflected without any solid answers being put forth to satisfy the restless student body. As a senior here I am appalled by the lack of communication from the administration to the students, concerning issues that affect the future of this school.
Our college is not for profit institution. As such, the bottom line of Sierra Nevada College should be providing a well rounded education, not creating a turn over of the students for their money. Of course we understand the need to court donors to keep the institution running, we accept this fact as evidenced by the above average tuition we pay. What we don’t understand is how a donation, for the President’s house, from a former member of the board of directors, gets steamrolled into SNC’s piggy bank without due consideration. During the Oct 15th forum, it was stated: “The donation was brought to us the day before our board of directors’ meeting. We went ahead and accepted it.” There are a few things missing from that statement. One, why was it accepted so quickly? Two, why did it take the administration so long to communicate with the student body? Three, why are plans for the president’s house not on display for the students to see the proposed use of the funds?
The rapid acceptance of this donation belies the character of the people who claim to be looking out for our “strategic interests” and long-term goals. For example, in the school’s haste to build, they overlooked a necessary permit from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) regarding the movement and grading of land. This haste has already cost the school around $1,000 in fines from TRPA. Not to mention the fact that TRPA is an organization entrusted with the protection of the environment in and around Lake Tahoe, and a joint effort should have been made to ensure that sustainable building practices were taking place. This just goes to show how little the administration concerns itself with sustainability, one of the core values this school espouses.
The forum itself was held in Room 106, which had people sitting on the floor. Why hold a meeting without adequate seating for those who showed? Did the administration and by extension SGA not realize more people would come to talk about the issues brought up? Why was the forum only held for an hour when the issue of the president’s house alone needs to be explored in more detail with better community involvement? Why hold a meeting without the man present who would live in the president’s house?
Obviously the students are seen as mere sheep to deposit money into a bank account. Our opinions don’t matter. As a future alumnus, I guess we aren’t expected to support the institution that helped us achieve a higher education. I guess the mission statement of the college: “Sierra Nevada College graduates will be educated to be scholars of and contributors to a sustainable world. Sierra Nevada College combines the liberal arts and professional preparedness through an interdisciplinary curriculum that emphasizes entrepreneurial thinking and environmental, social, economic and educational sustainability” no longer applies. It is apparent the only thing that concerns the administration, is the profit margin of the school.
By, Henry Phillips, Chris Muravez, Marina McCoy