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.
By Marina McCoy
Sustainability: Green Council
Over the past month, students had the opportunity to apply to be on the SNC Green Council.
I am so overwhelmed with joy from all the positive feedback and support from the students, faculty, staff and community members. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.
What is the SNC Green Council?
The SNC Green Council is a dedicated group of SNC students, who want to make SNC more sustainable!
We will be getting involved in the community, working closely with SNC staff and faculty, setting up a composting system on campus, along with a bike share, running the SNC LNT campaign, improving the recycling and trash and so much more!
If you have a question or suggested project for the SNC Green Council, please don’t hesitate to ask. We are here to serve you, the school and the community.
Now announcing Sierra Nevada College’s first ever Green Council Team! (Drum roll please….)
This past August I had the fortune of taking Brennan’s Holistic Sustainability class that traveled to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and immersed us in real world issues. After our trip we wrote letters to President Obama requesting the preservation of area 1002, the coastal region that oil companies want to drill, because protecting the area is vital to the way of life of the Native Americans living in the region, and a delicate ecosystem that is felt around the world. You can imagine my excitement then when I saw a news video on www.youtube.com/user/whitehouse Sunday from President Obama calling for protection of ANWR with a comprehensive plan put forth by his department of interior.
He isn’t just requesting to designate the sensitive coastal region as wilderness, but the entire 19.8 million acre refuge of ANWR. This is huge environmental news because it is the first time since 1974 that a president has proposed wilderness status for the refuge, and it is in the face of heavier than ever threat to open the area to drilling. By locking up oil reserves along the coastal region, to me (a student majoring in Ecology), this marks a huge leap toward increasing renewable energy production as well as acknowledging climate change and the ecology of our planet. I also see this as a major win for Native American people everywhere, because President Obama recognized that ANWR supports “Alaska native communities” of which the Gwich’in were the ones our class visited in August.
This move by the Obama Administration isn’t without resistance however. Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski (who clearly doesn’t speak for all in her state) went as far as saying that President Obama is “declaring war on Alaska” and “We will fight back with every resource at our disposal.” Even though congress must pass the plan for it to be formally designated as wilderness, which is unlikely in the republican controlled congress, a formal presidential wilderness recommendation being filed along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s formal Record of Decision, means the area will be managed with wilderness protection none the less.
Sierra Nevada College student Aaron Vanderpool and Andy Rost, associate professor at SNC, began using software such as Google Earth to learn how to model watersheds.The team got a grant for $9,000 from NASA to carry out the project. The faculty was given $5,000 in grant money, and the student was given $4,000.
From 11 a.m. to roughly 5 p.m. there will be information booths from local nonprofits on Patterson Lawn, who will be providing knowledge and prizes with regards to an Eco Swap, reusable bags, seed cups, SNC Food Waste, swag from the L.N.T. Campaign and free local, organic, vegan and vegetarian treats!
It takes a lot of will power for me to bite my tongue when I see someone in Tahoe buying a single use plastic water bottle. Sometimes I can keep my opinion to myself, but as those of you who know me will understand, it’s really hard for me to do so.
It stills amazes me that I see people buying plastic water bottles around here. I understand – kind of – if you are out and about and you somehow forgot to bring your reusable water bottle, and you just had to buy that single use plastic water bottle. I get that. But why keep on buying single use plastic water bottles time and time again?
SGA funds new Vapur water refill station in Prim library to reduce amount of waste created by plastic water bottles and offer students chilled Tahoe Tap.
The LNT (Leave No Trace) Campaign at Sierra Nevada College is here! Random acts of sustainability are being watched! Staff, faculty, resident assistants and student government members will be taking notice of students who are achieving the goal of bringing the LNT principles to an urban setting.
1) Plan Ahead and Prepare: Poorly prepared people, when presented with unexpected situations, often resort to high-impact solutions that degrade the outdoors or put themselves at risk. Proper planning leads to less impact. When heading to campus, pack a lunch, bring to-go containers and/or a water bottle and leave yourself plenty of time to walk, bike, pick your friend up for carpooling and/or park at the church lot.