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.
Plants have been uprooted and boulders moved from sections of the demonstration garden in preparation for construction to begin on the on-campus president’s house next May. The process began on Oct. 6, when a private landscaper who declined to identify himself began clearing out the northern part of the garden with a large backhoe.
According to Dianne Severance, director of grants and sponsor programs, the administration has been working with the original founders of the garden to extend and improve the demonstration garden. Severance says they plan to get all of the new plants in the ground before winter hits so that they can go into a state of hibernation and have a better chance of remaining healthy in the spring.
Severance also states that the section being cleared is the intended site for the president’s house and they intend to begin construction in May.
In a Sept. 11, 2014, issue of The Eagle’s Eye, President Lynn Gillette stated that “everything that is planned for in the master plan is tentative, including a house for the president”.
According to Gillette the president’s house will be used to entertain visitors to the college, hold fundraising functions and market to prospective students looking for a school with a president who involved on campus.
Junior and senior Sierra Nevada College students gathered at 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 25, and 1 p.m. on Sept. 26 in the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences (TCES) to partake in the mandatory Junior Proficiency Exam.
The Junior Proficiency Exam is test offered every semester that every student is required to pass in order to graduate.
Students are allotted a two-hour period in which they must formulate a structured argument to a proposed question. Although college students tend to not exude delight over any test, this exam in particular has some SNC students questioning its relevance.
“I believe that this exam has been put into place without a purpose,” said Junior Austin Smith. “If we made it this far in our educational career, then I think the majority of students can write a college level essay.”
While many students didn’t complain about writing a test, some were still disappointed with the timing of the test.
“I really didn’t like how the timing of the test was set up,” said Junior Marco Gooding. “One test was set up during the time most students had class and the other was set up on Friday at 1 p.m. It wastes the day that we have off because it’s in the middle of the day.”
For most students this was the first and hopefully last time they take the Junior Proficiency Exam.
Students who ignored the reminder emails regarding the test are in for rude awakening. Those who missed the exam will not only have a hold placed on their student account, but they will also not be able to register for classes next semester and be hit with a $100 no-show fee.
“I am not too happy that I have to write the exam next year. At home we already had to take a literacy test back in high school to ensure that we could read and write at an academic level,” said international Sophomore Grant Furlan. “We got accepted to this school based off our grades from high school. I think that this is really a pointless exam because if we can’t write an exam at this level then we really need help with our education system.”
In spirit of Sierra Nevada College’s ‘entrepreneurial thinking’ core theme, the Jâlé and Warren Trepp Innovative Idea competition encourages all students to pursue their potential business ideas.
The third annual Jale Warren Innovative Idea Pitch competition will take place at 5 p.m Oct. 9th, at the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences room 139-141. Potential cash prizes consist of: first place $500; second place $250; and third place $150. This competition is the second stage of Innovative Idea events, which potentially lead to national level events.
At the beginning of school year, the Jâlé and Warren Trepp Innovative Idea Competition encourages students who have business ideas that fix problems, and its a way for them to get feedback on their idea. Lots of students participate in this competition through their classes; such as ENTP 200, ENTP 400, and Creative Entrepreneurial Thinking, according to Kendra Wong, associate professor and chair of the Business department.
The department asked students to submit their initial entry through a three minute video displaying their pitch by Oct. 3. This video needed to showcase their business model canvas and how they believe their business would be structured. This would include their preliminary research on customers, revenue and business model. These videos were then run through a judging process to decide who would move on to the Jâlé and Warren Trepp Innovative Idea competition. Once accepted to move forward with the competition, students will get feedback from mentors, judges, and business faculty members in developing a full business plan and go into the business competition season.
“Throughout the years the food has become increasingly better,” Resident Assistant Ashley White said. “The addition of Truckee Bagels last year and the new produce company this year has changed how I view cafeteria food.”
The school cafeteria receives its food from Sodexo, a food management service, and started a new partnership this year with Fresh Point, a produce company from Turlock, California.
Zendner has been working for Sierra Nevada College since 2007.
“We’re using Sodexo’s ‘ideas’ but implementing different ingredients. Fresh Point offers us more organic produce and a lot more variety in the produce that we can order, as opposed to before when we had the same apples, same bananas, you know just the same stuff every time,” Zendner said. “I am now able to get ahold of plums, nectarines, pears and different things like that.” Zendner admits that although Fresh Point has helped improve cafeteria food, there are still some pushes to be made.
“I’ve been really getting after the produce company because there has been some stuff I haven’t liked. I’m trying not to just accept everything they send and make sure that it is actually good stuff,” Zendner said.
The Student Government Association will be holding a student forum at 7 p.m. Oct. 15, in room 106 of the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences to discuss any issue that has invoked student concern on campus.
According to Marina McCoy, SGA sustainability chair, the forum was organized to provoke campus dialogue regarding the building of a president’s house on campus, but will also address any other issue that the students would like to bring into discussion.
“If you’re a student, bring questions that you want asked,” McCoy said. “Important administrative people will be there: faculty, staff, SGA. If you have a question come and bring it.”
Those likely to attend include President Lynn Gillette; Shannon Beets, executive vice president and provost; Director of Facilities Brian Schultes; Aaron Zender, SNC cafeteria chef; representatives of the SGA and other members of the faculty, according to Katie Russie, SGA director of public relations.
Russie states that it will be a “fairly open forum” with time dedicated to hearing student topic suggestions at the beginning of the meeting.
“We basically just really want to see a lot of students there so we can hear what they want and will then be able to implement it,” Russie said. “I’m super focused on listening to students feedback, and I want to hear as much as possible.”
This will be the first SGA-sponsored forum in over a year, according to McCoy. She states that the SGA usually plans on at least one forum a semester but they did not host a forum for the duration of the 2013-2014 school year.
“As part of my presidential duties I lead two student forums: one in the fall and one on the spring. It’s a chance for students to express to us concerns on campus and suggestions,” said SGA President Aaron Wiener. “Students are the main concern. They haven’t had the forum for two years and Sabrina Belleci gave a president’s address. I will be doing the same thing discussing campus initiatives and updates from SGA. Topics will be parking, the president’s house and the dining hall.”