LEFT, SGA President Aaron Wiener delivered a short speech at the beginning of the forum addressing SGA’s plans for future campus involvement.
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.
FORMER SNC PRESIDENT Ben Solomon (right) and Dean of Students Will Hoida (left) observe as the new Director of Facilities Brian Schultes (center) addresses a question regarding the current parking situation.
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.