In December of 2014, Shannon Beets, Sierra Nevada College executive vice president and provost, was appointed interim president. Beets, who has been with SNC for nine years, will take on the role of president as the school board searches for someone to permanently fulfill this position.
On April 10th, students, faculty and staff gathered in Prim Library to hear Beets speak about the current state of the college and its goals moving forward. Dan O’Bryan, Humanities professor and associate provost, who has worked closely with Beets at SNC since his employment in 2007, introduced her with great admiration.
“I can testify to the central role she played then and now in the creation and preservation of a college that is stable, dynamic and well positioned for the challenges of the future,” said O’Bryan.
O’Bryan also spoke of Beet’s contributions over the years, which include teaching, serving as vice president of assessment and institutional effectiveness and acting as dean of enrollment services. She has worked closely with the faculty to help create high-impact programs built upon active learning and innovative curriculum.
Beets welcomed an audience of about 50 people and began her presentation by speaking of the recent changes within the board of trustees. After 20 years of service, Wayne Prim stepped down from his position as Chairman of the Board and is now Chairman Emeritus for the college. The position was filled by Atam Lalchandani, former vice chair of the board. Beets parallels this transition with the state of SNC.
“Even as we are in a time of transition, we are in a period of growth. We are in a period of increasing stability, and we are at a moment in our history where we can think about who we really want to be,” said Beets.
Beets urged her audience to consider what it means to be a small liberal arts college today, in a time when the world of higher education is changing. Institutions similar to SNC are feeling the pressures of declining enrollment, financial instability, and the changing demographics of graduating high school students.
Although SNC has managed to increase enrollment, this is a crucial time to stay on top and remain distinguished in order to continue thriving.
Beets said she believes that the mission of SNC separates it from other colleges in the area and across the country.
“We want entrepreneurial thinking from all of our students. By that we mean creativity, innovation, and the ability to solve problems and implement a solution. Another thing that sets us apart is that we equally value professional preparedness. We are not just developing character and giving students a broad based education, we want to make sure they’re really ready for their first job. And also to continue our focus on sustainability and our commitment to the environment we live in,” Beets said.
Looking toward the future, the college will continue to improve its engagement with the community and partnerships.
“We live in a unique part of the world. There is unusual human capital in this area, and we really want to work harder at using those uniquely talented people to improve the educational experience here,” said Beets.
In sight of this goal, SNC is currently working with Sierra Angels, an investment group that has offered internships to students over the last 20 years. To involve the community, SNC is also launching advisory committees for fine arts and entrepreneurship and inviting local business to speak on campus, among other endeavors.
Beets would also like to form lasting connections with SNC alumni, which she believes will be beneficial to current students.
Alumni can be utilized as mentors and a source of externships for students entering the professional world. Suzanne Gollery, Department Chair of Science and Technology at SNC, is pleased that the school has increased its efforts to connect with alumni, which she has rarely seen in nearly 18 years at this institution.
“It does our current students a great disservice to not utilize our alumni as a resource,” said Gollery.
The school board has also come to better understand the current students of SNC and is making efforts to accommodate their interests.
As a result, the athletics program hopes to expand to include men’s and women’s soccer, golf, and cross country in the fall of this year. Possible additions might eventually include volleyball, tennis and swimming.
As the value of a higher education is put into context in terms of measurable outcomes, Beets ensures that the students of SNC are profiting.
“We put you in circumstances where you have to synthesize everything that you’ve learned across the breadth and depth of your education into one moment where you are asked to meet a challenge head on, perform under pressure, and be judged by people who are experts in your area,” said Beets. “This is a valuable real-world skill if ever there was one.”
Every Tuesday morning at 8 a.m., the Sierra Nevada College Student Government Association (SGA) meets to discuss how student life could be improved. However, after recent elections, new faces will soon fill the room.
“All of the candidates were introduced and gave speeches. Ballots were then emailed to every student and remained open for three days. The people who took initiative to vote made the elections possible and determined the upcoming board,” said Treasurer Austin Farina.
“Oh man, there are a lot of new faces on SGA this year. Now that is both a blessing and a challenge, but I have utmost confidence in our new board and think everyone will take to their new positions swiftly and with great enthusiasm,” said Farina.
According to Farina, the upcoming board is looking forward to assuming their new roles in the fall, and says that the new board members want to bridge the gap between on and off-campus students by holding events available to everyone.
“As SGA President, I would love to work on more events to include our off-campus students. I’ve lived both on and off-campus so I have experienced both points of view,” said President LeRoy. “Ultimately, I am on the board so that everyone feels as if they’re as much a part of this community as possible.”
If you want to get involved in SGA; all students are welcome to attend the SGA meetings in the SGA office on the 2nd floor of the Campbell-Friedman dorms. Please inform SGA officials in advance if you would like an item added to the agenda; the deadline is the Monday before each meeting at 4 p.m. The next meeting will be Tuesday, April 14, at 8 a.m. according to the SNC SGA website.
The upcoming SGA Executive Board for
President: MeiLi LeRoy
Vice President: Marina McCoy
Treasurer: Austin Farina
Secretary: Ryan Donoghue
Sustainability Chair: Jack Witt
Director of Public Relations: Guilianna Crivello
Director of Events: Nicole Ross
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.
Director of Public Relations
This month, we funded our first request from our Green Fund, and approved $400 for a film screening of “Nobody’s River.” Our Green Fund is a special fund designated for sustainable ideas and events.
Come propose your green ideas to SGA! We also sponsored the Wild Women of Tahoe Club for their weekend mountain biking trip.
We are offering SGA Book Scholarships to eight lucky students.
Check out the flyers around campus for more information on how to win $200. The deadline for essay submissions is Friday, December 5th at noon.
Celebrate the end of Thanksgiving Break by donating blood at our annual Blood Drove on Monday, December 1. This event runs from 12:00-3:45 p.m. You will receive a free burrito from T’s for donating.
Don’t forget that our Tuesday morning meetings are at 8:00 a.m. on the second floor of the Campbell-Friedman dorms, and these meetings are always open to the student body.
Have a great Thanksgiving Break and we look forward to seeing you after for our final two weeks of the semester!
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.
Hello Beautiful SNC Students!
We hope your mid-terms are going swell! October is one of our busiest months in Student Government. This past weekend, the Executive Board went to Washington D.C. for the National Student Government Summit. We were able to sit down and talk to other student leaders and inspirational speakers about how to improve the SGA to better serve you! We are all so fired up about all of our new ideas and can’t wait to get them started!
The SGA is proud to announce that we now have a Green Fund! It is an awesome green/sustainable idea for our college. Want to see it implemented? SGA allocated $2,000 a semester to help students implement green activities, movies, programs, initiative and more! Want more information on how to write a proposal and get to work on your green ideas? Contact any SGA board member to find out how, myself, Sustainability Chair. We can’t wait to hear all of your ideas!
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.”
Congratulations on making it almost halfway through the fall semester! October is full of fun events, so get ready.
We’re very excited about the new and creative clubs that we have this year.
Check out sncsga.com for more information about active clubs.
Mark your calendars for these fun upcoming SGA-sponsored events:
October 8 – Midterms Pancake Study Break and Lacrosse Sign-Making.
9 p.m. in Patterson Hall. Take a break from the stress of midterms to eat yummy pancakes, bacon, sausage and more while making signs for the Parents Weekend lacrosse games.
October 11– Six Flags Trip.
8 a.m. – 7 p.m. $10 deposit required.
October 15 – SGA Student Forum.
7 p.m. – 8 p.m. in TCES room 139/141.
Come share your opinions about the SGA and the school at this open student forum.
October 23 – SGA Pumpkin Carving.
8 p.m. – 10 p.m. in Patterson Hall.
October 25 – SGA Halloween Dance.
8 p.m. -11:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Ballroom.
Don’t forget that we are open to hearing and discussing any ideas or concerns you have at any time.
Never hesitate to approach an SGA member on campus to let us know what is on your mind!
Our weekly meetings are open to students at 8 a.m. every Tuesday morning. The SGA office is located on the second floor in the Campbell-Friedman dorms.
Good luck on midterms and we look forward to seeing you at these awesome October events!
The Student Government Association held its senator elections to solidify its board in order to productively represent the student body.
The senator elections were held to encourage not only freshman participants, but all students interested in becoming involved with the SGA.
In the pursuit to be more sustainable, the elections occurred via student email this year. Every student received an email with their own personal code, to ensure they only voted once. This year, there were 75 students that cast their vote.
Typically the SGA likes to have the sophomore, junior and senior elections in May along with all the other positions.
Since it did not receive enrollment for those positions, it was pushed back to the freshman senator elections. The SGA elected Freshman Frankie Sanchez and Senior Austin Farina on the board this fall, according to Sustainability Chair Marina McCoy.
“Class senators represent the voice of that particular class. But we also have senators that are for specific majors such as a Business and Psychology department,” Director of Events Haley Gray said.
In SGA, the class senators hold the important role of bridging the void between the students and the higher tier of student activities and clubs.
Grade senators now have more stipulations and duties than non-grade senators. Grade senators go to all the SGA meetings, events and press responsibilities.
“If the class has something they would like to voice, they generally would go to their grade senator so that they can come to meetings and share those ideas with SGA,” President Aaron Wiener said.
The SGA breaks down its board through an executive board and then through senators.
The executive board is divided in two committees: the Judicial and Events committee.
The Judicial committee consists of President Aaron Wiener, Vice President Cole Mizak, Secretary Mei Li Le Roy and Treasurer Brendan Wheelwright.
The Events committee includes Sustainability Chair Marina McCoy, Director of Events Haley Gray and director of Public Relations Katie Russie.
“It’s really great that we have a full board now. Hopefully next year for elections more people will be involved to better the school and the community,” McCoy said.
Students can contact the SGA at StudentGovernmentAssociation@sierranevada.edu or www.SNCSGA.com.
Get ready for a year of fun activities at Sierra Nevada College. The Student Government Association is here to make your SNC experience the best it can be. Our goal is to be a voice for all students, whether it is your first semester or we’ve known you for four years.