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.
Dear, Sierra Nevada College
I find it important to state my opinion on the current proposed presidential house. It has been awhile since the students and staff started talking about this important issue, and the focus has seemed to shift. At first the real question was why can’t this money go elsewhere? While that remains unanswered, we now know the donor wants the house or they will not donate.
For me that creates more questions. First, why does SNC have to be a slave to its donors? Why can’t we exist as our own entity, and behave like a school, not a corporation?
Just because something is a gift does not mean you need to accept it. Especially when that gift goes against one of our school’s core themes, and our mission statement itself. Sustainability doesn’t live in 3000 square foot houses. Heck, Yvon Chounaird, the billionaire and founder of Patagonia, lives in a 1200 square foot house!
The environmental impact and ecological footprint that building will have offsets any sustainability project that SNC has done in recent years and will do for years to come. Even if the donor gives $100,000 for a new garden, there is no way it will amend for the environmental atrocity of building and maintaining (electricity, sewer, water, cleaning, run-off, upkeep) a presidential house for the rest of SNC’s future.
Build the building, but please change our school’s mission statement, and core theme of Sustainability, to Corporate Ogre-ness.
Calling all volunteer bikers! Join UC Davis TERC at the Field Station in Tahoe City (Historic Hatchery) for a cleanup of the bike trail between the Field Station and Commons Beach on May 30 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The cleanup is part of a basin-wide initiative to prepare high-use areas of the bike trails for Bike to Work Week.
It is a great opportunity for participants to get to know their bike trails, get outside, and promote biking to reduce traffic and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Gloves, materials and snacks are provided.
If you love to bike in the basin and want to help keep the trails clean, contact Kelsey Poole at 775-881-7560 or firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer.
AmeriCorps Member, Education Program Associate UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center
Would you like your opinion published in the Eagle’s Eye? Please send comments to
Thank you SNC students, staff and faculty for being so considerate and quiet during our science education tours and student field trips in the science education center (officially named the UC Davis Thomas J. Long Foundation Education Center) on the first floor of the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences (TCES) building.
According to a recent article published in the November issue of the Eagles Eye, the student council has a budget of $173,482.74. This money is acquired through student dues, mandatory fines exacted from every student. These funds allow student council to schedule events. They help clubs attend conferences, buy senior gifts, and fund activities for the student body.