It is the first day of class and over thirty students file into Humanities Professor Robert King’s classroom. Quickly, students realize that this course on Revolutionary Eco-History isn’t taught in the same spirit as their core requirement Civilization course. King felt that more could be done to introduce students at Sierra Nevada College to alternative economic theories and modes of thinking.
“After finishing my philosophy degree I turned my interest toward economic and ecological problems because these had become the big problems in our world. Not only were they framed this way, they really were the big problems,” said King.
King’s elective course is one of several offered this semester across all disciplines and academic departments at SNC. Dan O’Bryan, associate provost and department chair of Humanities and Social Sciences, believes that students should have exposure to at least one elective course every school year.
“Although we do not have a history major, we do try to offer some history courses because we feel it’s very important,” O’Bryan said.
It is not always easy to introduce an elective course into the curriculum.
“It’s put in the schedule, and we see what the response is. If it goes below eight than that’s a bit of a problem. However, instructors always have the option to turn it into an independent study,” O’Bryan explained.
Samantha Bankston, associate professor of Humanities, is teaching two new elective courses this semester: Film Adaptation of the Novel and French 201. She has had difficulty attaining the eight student requirement in the past.
I’d like to address my concerns regarding the building of a presidential residence on campus. I, along with many other students whom I’ve spoken to on this subject, have grave concerns regarding the impact of this project. These include the environmental impact on the proposed building site, the image of our college that such an endeavor will alter, the economic concerns regarding the use of donor funds, and the hypocritical nature of such a project as it goes against the core values of this school.
The project’s “focus on marketing and branding” [sic] has the potential to be a detriment to the students. This focus detracts from providing a better environment for the students, faculty, and staff to live, work, learn, and play. Rather than presenting an image of affluence and prestige, the energies spent on “marketing and branding” should involve creating actual affluence and prestige. There are several ways in which this generous donation can be used that do not involve a fancier place for faculty and Lakeshore Blvd. residents to party – “a president’s house on campus would be a place to easily host potential and current students, faculty, donors and visitors.”
A couple examples for better use of donor funds may include:
– Increasing budgets across all departments would help to provide for a better education for the students that are already here. This could take the form of better equipment and infrastructure, and/or more campus events (i.e. film festivals, Writers in the Woods candidates, etc).
– Increasing faculty salaries and creating more full time/tenured faculty positions. This would increase the level of educational expertise this school can provide, which in turn would improve this school’s image in the academic community.
Things alumni wish they knew before coming to Sierra Nevada College.
Our environment’s surrounding lakes, rivers, streams, groundwater system, reservoirs, canals, levees and ditches are highly managed, according to Andy Rost, assistant professor of Science and Technology. For the first time in roughly 10 years, Rost is reviving the Hydrology course in Sierra Nevada College’s Earth Science curriculum.
Snow flurries approached the Tahoe Basin, and the Fundamentals of Environmental Interpretations class, taught by Andy Rost, Adjunct Professor of Science and Technology, couldn’t wait to get out into the field.