SGA Dir. of Public Relations
This year, members of the Student Government Association decided to make a bigger impact on the community and used two of their popular fall events (the Halloween Dance and Casino Night) as a way to give back. SGA asked for canned food donations in exchange for Halloween Dance tickets, and offered a 50% discount on buy-ins at Casino Night if people donated cans. These cans were then donated to the local food-relief organization Project Mana.
The idea to collect cans for Project Mana originated after SGA attended the American Student Government Association Conference in Washington, DC this October. “We were talking about our upcoming Halloween Dance. Our Director of Public Relations Katie suggested that since tickets to the dance are free, we should have students donate a can of food in exchange for it,” reported SGA Secretary MeiLi LeRoy.
After the success of collecting nearly 200 cans and non-perishable food items at the Halloween Dance, SGA decided to do a similar fundraiser for their Casino Night. Students either paid a $10 buy-in or a $5 buy-in if you donated a can of food. SGA received positive feedback from both students and faculty about their fundraising efforts.
Senior Jake Bricklin said, “I love how SGA asked for a combination of cans and money at Casino Night. It was cheaper for me and showed me that not everything is going into SGA’s pockets.”
After both events, SGA tallied over 400 cans. SGA said this isn’t the end of their new, charitable strategy. “This is just the beginning. We plan on continuing to find opportunities to give back throughout the year,” promises Secretary MeLi LeRoy.
By Sage Sauerbrey
When times get hard and the budget needs balancing, something has got to go. In the 2014 fall semester it was a variety of classes which had been offered in the undergraduate schedule. The cuts were essentially a product of low student enrollment in certain sections.
At the beginning of the semester, the Sierra Nevada College department chairs were given a budget cut which necessitated the elimination of certain classes with low enrollments. According to Provost Shannon Beets, these cuts were made objectively and only classes with student enrollments lower than eight to 12 were cut.
Although the year did commence with classes being cut across the departments, the total number of classes offered at SNC actually increased.
There was an increase from 201 undergraduate sections in 2013 to 205 undergraduate sections in 2014, accommodating a growth in student enrollment from 507 to 536 undergraduate students. Meanwhile the mean student faculty ratio has actually dropped from 15:1 to 14:1, Beets said.
According to Director of Assessment Mallory Kolinski the average class size, which she believes to be more representative than student/faculty ratios, has remained constant at 15 students.
“There was this impression that we cut a bunch of classes, but really we ended up right where we were last year,” Beets said.
There is no definitive list of which classes were eliminated this semester, Beets said. However, an Eagle’s Eye comparison of the registrar office’s class schedule draft from July 2014 and the current undergraduate class schedule showed that approximately 16 classes were cancelled.
A comparison of the two schedules reveals many more sections that were eliminated, but these sections include multiple course levels being taught in the same class and at the same time. This means that although certain classes appear to have been cancelled, there were simply not enough students to fill one section but the class itself still remains.
The cuts were made in an effort to maintain the profitability of the school, and balance the budget. President Lynn Gillette has said it is “impossible” to remain profitable with student faculty ratios under 8:1.
By Kelly Mahoney
The results are in!
At precisely 2 a.m. on November 5, @WashoeCounty tweeted, “Final results are in!”
Sierra Nevada College’s Kendra Wong won an elected position on the Incline Village General Improvement District(IVGID) Board of Trustees along with another candidate, Timothy G. Callicrate.
BY Jamie Wanzek
Professor Steve Ellsworth can be found teaching Math and Science courses at Sierra Nevada College. With camera in hand Ellsworth also demonstrates an eye for photography, outside the classroom. This fall, Ellsworth experienced viral fame when his photograph of the King Fire earned National recognition. With the long-time hobby of photography, Ellsworth enjoys combining his professional and personal interests.
“I’ve always had an interest in science and math, and photography is something that all comes together here at the lake. I’ve also always been interested in Fire-Ecology and taught Environmental Science here at SNC,” Ellsworth said.
While the King Fire was beginning to expand rapidly, Ellsworth was contacted by a friend who works as a firefighter explaining, “Steve you’ve got to get down to the lake for photos! There are these amazing pyrocumulius clouds(a dense cloud associated with fire beginning to form).”
With a background in Environmental Science and Fire Ecology, Ellsworth knew the pyrocumulius clouds would create a breathtaking sunset over Tahoe.
After class on a Wednesday, Steve went to Incline Beach with his camera.
“After watching the clouds, I knew the sunset would be absolutely spectacular. So I sat there and watched, planning photos. As soon as the sun went behind the pyrocumulius clouds, these brilliant colors came out.”
That evening, he posted the photos on his personal Facebook. Little did he know that internet stardom awaited him.
Later that evening, another firefighter friend reposted one of his photos to a Facebook site for firefighters. This site allows friends and family in the community to touch base with loved ones. After the image was shared to the site, it went viral.
“I am a scientist, and I think we need to allocate more funding for the fighting of these fires and the prevention,” said Ellsworth. “We as a society are not spending enough financial resources, social resource or any resource at all, and I think that resonated with people.”
Ellsworth saw an opportunity to bring attention toward the funding and fighting of these fires through his photography.
“The image got re-tweeted and re-shared thousands of times that one night. I think what resonated with people was that it was a beautiful image, but also the connection with Tahoe. People thought what we could lose with this fire,” Ellsworth said.
According to Ellsworth that evening and following morning, his Facebook site and email exploded. He went through media outlets in Boise, Seattle, Los Angeles and large media networks NBC, CBS Nightly News and the Associated Press.
“I had always heard about videos and images going viral but I didn’t realize what people go through,” said Ellsworth.
The entire week, Ellsworth spent all his time responding to emails and Facebook messages regarding his photography and media credits.
By the end of the week, Ellsworth was contacted by Channel 3 KRCA. This time he was asked to call them at 7 a.m. Half-asleep before a cup of coffee, Ellsworth contacted the news anchor. They said, “Oh Steve! Thanks for calling us, we’d like to interview you at 7:10 a.m. for a live interview.”
“While still in my pajamas, I collected my thoughts. I was told someone would call back in a few minutes at 7:08, and then at 7:10 you will hear the news anchor talking about your image,” Ellsworth said.
Channel 3 KRCA was able to find Ellsworth’s Flicker account where the entire series of photos taken of the fire were shared. They shared his images on television while they interviewed him about the photos and where one would reach him, if they wanted the images.
“Thats when I realized I could plug the college and put SNC’s name out there. I explained that people can contact me through SNC if they wanted the images. I sure enough got emails through my school email,” said Ellsworth.
Throughout the hectic week, Ellsworth explained what he learned about media and how it is shared rapidly.
“I learned the challenges of journalists today and the power of social media, I think amateurs have really closed that gap between professionals with digital photography. I think going into journalism and photography would be a huge challenge,” Ellsworth said.
While photography remains a hobby, Ellsworth concludes the experience was once in lifetime.
“I don’t know what I could ever do again that would be on the same scale,” Ellsworth said.
By Sage Sauerbrey
The Leave No Trace (LNT) campaign at Sierra Nevada College is taking the set of principles that are helping clean up the outdoors and applying them on-campus in an effort to get students involved in improving their campus.
“(The campaign) is making this something not just dealt with by student affairs, but powering students outside of student affairs to be our advocates for making community, respecting wildlife, helping to solve the parking problem, helping to solve the dish problem and all these other little issues on campus,” Dean of Students Will Hoida said.
According to Hoida, the LNT campaign started in the spring of 2014 as an improvement to the ‘Greener than the Dean’ competition, which encouraged students to use alternative transportation to school. The competition was so successful Hoida decided to find a way to involve more students. Hoida says the main issues the LNT program hopes to address include disappearing cafeteria utensils, bear awareness, alternative transportation and parking issues.
The campaign involves a list of projects which students can complete in order to earn points. These points can then be used to redeem a stainless steel Klean Kanteen cup and even raffled to win a variety of prizes including a $200 gift certificate to go toward a Diamond Peak ski pass.
“Last spring we had this campaign and it was actually written up by the Leave No Trace organization on their website so that was pretty cool, but student participation was actually very low,” Hoida said.
If you could take one hour out of your day to find an explanation for all of the questions you have regarding what is happening to Sierra Nevada College, would you? When the Student Government Association held its last student forum on Nov. 7, 2012, only five students showed up. At the next forum, on Oct. 15, 2014, more than 60 people attended and displayed their involvement and concern with college proceedings.
“SGA’s vision is to create a strong and trustful relationship between the students, administration and community by increasing student engagement and bringing them to action,” SGA president Aaron Wiener said.
Wiener oversaw the forum and questions were answered by Provost Shannon Beets; Elizabeth Thibodeau, director of Student Affairs and Housing; Dianne Severance, director of Grants and Sponsored Programs; Dean of Students Will Hoida; Director of Facilities Brian Schultes and former SNC President Ben Solomon.
The first 10 minutes of the forum were open to any comment. Students questioned the panel about increased space for the music department, athletic diversity, earlier dining hours and the role of sustainability in SNC’s future. These topics were addressed quickly before moving on to the primary topics of parking, High Altitude Fitness passes and the president’s house.
“Why are there more passes given out than parking spaces?” Senior Emily Provencher asked, commencing discussion on the topic of parking trouble on campus.
“One of the issues about parking passes issued versus parking spots available is what are the use patterns on campus and how many folks do we have on campus at any one time,” Schultes said. “Everybody loves to go to class between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.”
Provencher then suggested that parking passes should only be issued to sophomores, juniors and seniors.
Beets admitted that although “upperclassmen only parking” is not unusual at other schools, SNC ran a trial on the policy and it did not go well.
“It was incredibly negatively received by potential recruits,” Beets said. “We might have to get there; we might get to the point where as we grow that becomes our only option, but it does have the potential to impact our ability to recruit.”
According to Thibodeau, the college does have an agreement with Cornerstone Community Church, on 300 Country Club Drive, which provides overflow parking for the college.
BY JAMIE WANZEK
Since earning the top ‘vote-getter’ in the primary elections this June, Business Department Chair Kendra Wong has been campaigning for a position on the Incline Village General Improvement District(IVGID) Board of Trustees.
“I am running because I think I am well positioned to represent many different voices in our town. I see many aspects within our town that could really be improved, and I want to be apart of that process,” Wong said.
Early election begins October 18 – 30 at the Incline Village library with the general election held November 4. Voters can look up their voting precinct in Incline Village at: http://www.washoecounty.us/voters.
“I would encourage all students to vote. Voting is an important part of our civic duties, and it is valuable to make your voice heard,” Wong said.
According to the IVGID website, IVGID is a quasi public agency chartered to provide water, sewer, trash and recreation services for the communities of Incline Village and Crystal Bay, Nevada. It is governed by an elected Board of Trustees which, acting on behalf of the electorate, sets policy and determines strategies to accomplish its charter. IVGID has many responsibilities including overseeing Incline Village’s beaches, Diamond Peak Ski Resort and the Incline Village Recreation Center.
With her experience as Business Department Chair at SNC, and owner of the Wild Alaskan restaurant, Wong holds many roles within the Incline Village community.
“Kendra isn’t running for IVGID trustee to achieve a personal ambition. Rather, she is running because other residents asked her to lend her experience as a local business owner and a member of one of Incline’s largest employers to help govern the community in pursuit of a more successful future,” Dean of Business Rick Normington said.
Wong said she has many ideas she hopes to bring to the community, by running for IVGID trustee. As a teacher who assists numerous students on a daily basis, she has honed her listening skills. Wong said she is committed to be reliable and communicative with her students and believes she can bring the same characteristics to IVGID. She understands community members want to know their voice is being heard with their concerns, therefore she hopes to bridge this gap.
“There are some common themes in the feedback that I am hearing and one includes the lack of communication. I think we need to be up-front with people about what IVGID is doing, celebrate the success and be honest about mistakes and areas of improvements,” said Wong. “I can see improvements being made with how IVGID communicates with the community with future decisions so that people can provide feedback earlier in the process, rather than hearing about it after the fact.”
BY JAMIE WANZEK
The Jale and Warren Trepp Pitch competition awarded students cash prizes and entrepreneurial recognition on Thursday, Oct. 9. The winners of the competition were: $500 first place, ‘Hydro UV’ by Alden Spence; $250 second place, ‘Auto Brake’ by Jackson Heath; and $150 third place ‘Fun Pass’ by Jake Bricklin.
The SNC Jale and Warren Trepp Pitch competition is an educational, competitive experience that allows students to combine their ideas and talent to produce tomorrow’s products, organizations and improvements. The experience allows students to gain experience with developing a real business plan. This year there were a total of 102 initial entries that was narrowed down to 10 contestants for the second round.
The evening began with President Lynn Gillette expressing his excitement to a full house of entrepreneurial enthusiasts. He conveyed his elation about the competitive environment that Sierra Nevada College promotes.
BY Danny Kern
Travel experiences that allow you to study abroad are some of the best ways to explore the world while continuing an educational career. They allow students to experience different cultures, hear new languages and taste divine foods. Business Department Chair Kendra Wong says “travel experiences provide an immersed learning experience.”
“Having just returned from a one-week travel aboard experience in Cuba with my doctorate program, I can say that travel experiences are a wonderful opportunity for all students,” Wong said.
Sierra Nevada College is now partnering with University of Nevada Reno’s study abroad program, University Studies Abroad Consortium, which became a non-profit organization on July 1.
On Tuesday, Oct. 21, there was a meeting for students to learn more about the up and coming study abroad trips and courses taking place in 2015. Some of these trips have been held in the past such as Service Learning South Africa and Holistic Sustainability in the Arctic, but there are now new trips for students.
Credited courses are offered during these trips so students are able to gain school credits while traveling and experiencing other cultures.
One of these new trips, Sights and slopes of Japan, is taking place Jan. 4-17. The trip costs $3,900, which includes flights, rail passes, hotels and activities. The courses available on this trip are the three-credit course, FNAR 480, and possible two-credit course, PHED 380.
If students are too late signing up for this Japan trip there is another chance students can travel to Japan after the spring 2015 semester is over. From May 19 to June 4, the school is offering FNAR 480, The Art of Japan, where students will visit Western Japan, and go to various museums, castles, temples, shrines and art studios. This travel experience cost $4,500 and will allow students to participate in hands-on art workshops while experiencing Japanese culture and food.
BY SAGE SAUERBREY
Large scale work on the North Lake Tahoe Demonstration Garden is on hiatus until May due to seasonal building restrictions imposed by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) and other complications with the permit process.
The relocation of the demonstration garden began on Oct. 6 when a private contractor hired by the college began moving earth and plants in preparation for the winter. According to Dianne Severance, director of Grants and Sponsored Programs, moving the plants in the fall is beneficial to their growth in the spring.
“Basically, some of the plants go into hibernation and the idea was to get them moved in the fall rather than the spring in order to save those plants,” said Severance. “Then it escalated and as a result of that value and trying to get the new garden open by next summer, June 1, we backed into moving more earth than we anticipated.”
Work in the garden came to a halt when the TRPA investigated the scope of the project and came to the conclusion that the amount of work being done required a permit.
“I touched base with our code compliance staffers this morning (Oct. 15),” said Thomas Lotshaw, TRPA public information officer. “ When they went to the site they found an estimated 20 cubic yards of dirt had been moved for the demonstration garden relocation, an amount of dirt that requires a grading permit the college did not have, so our compliance staffers issued a cease and desist order for the college to stop work immediately except to stabilize the site and prepare it for winter.”
The TRPA’s investigation of the site may have a positive benefit on the relocation of the Demonstration Garden. According to Severance the investigator for the TRPA noticed multiple areas where the Demonstration Garden’s Best Management Practices (BMP’s) were outdated.
“Temporary BMPs were installed at the site, but some were found to be inadequate and the college was asked to install them properly,” Lotshaw said.
Severance stated this could be an opportunity to collaborate with the TRPA and advertise new and effective BMP’s to the North Lake Tahoe region.
“We’re actually going to have staff working together to make sure that TRPA’s improvements are also witnessed there,” Severance said.