The new and vibrant Holman Arts & Media Center building is a representation of an expanding art department filled with ambition. With only two semesters of academia the Holman Arts & Media Center encourages a new era of creative, intellectual thinking with grand long term intentions of inspiring interdisciplinary programs and large communal goals. While the former David Hall building could not support the expanding art department and demand, the Holman building was set in place to achieve this growing need.
“We were basically at capacity with what we could do with the other building, the oldest building on campus. It had a lot of limitations with it. Getting this building and really maximizing the way we flow from one discipline to the other has enabled us to take the next step, which is to develop an MFA (Master of Fine Arts),” Professor Russell Dudley said.
The building was made possible by a generous gift from Robin and Robert Holman, and opened its doors to students in the spring semester of 2014.
“We envision that this center will be the new artistic and intellectual hub not just for Sierra Nevada College but for Incline Village and the Lake Tahoe basin. We looked around and saw the exciting things that are happening at Sierra Nevada College and we knew we wanted to partner with SNC to make change happen,” SNC Board of Trustees member and donor Robin Holman said.
The central ideas inspiring the design of the building were to create an academic flow within the space that also invites the public and the community into the academic practices, according to Dudley.
When entering the the Holman Arts & Media Center building, one can observe students working cohesively in all ranges of art. Students have the space to work on computers, photography, create sculptures and drawings. Art history lectures echo around the building. The new art building allows artists of all genres to share an inviting, inventive space.
“It’s nice to have an art building that is surrounded by all art students and the same creative process,” Senior Claire Bagg said.
The faculty and administration worked tirelessly for two years toward their unified vision of the Holman Arts building, according to Rick Parsons, associate professor of art.
There’s not a lot of crime in Tahoe. I grew up in New York and opted out of attending a state university because I liked the idea of a small campus and a safe community.
This mindset was shifted when I was roofied in Kings Beach this summer, and then did a complete 180 when my friend was roofied in Truckee the following week.
WTF MEN. Women are the goddesses of the earth and I’m not sure why anyone would feel it’s okay to put me, or any woman in that situation. Thanks to some friends I made it home safe this summer.
What’s crazy is how many victims don’t make it home safe. Every 2 minutes someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted, according to U.S. Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to generate a statistic on the amount of those victims who were “roofied”, or date raped because the majority of victims do not go to the hospital.
What is clear, is that regardless of where you are or how safe you may feel in your community, being drugged at bar or a party isn’t all that rare. Date rape isn’t rare at all.
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.
As the school year begins, students scramble around campus getting back into their groove, smiles and small talk occur. High on the list of topics is the noticeable growth of Sierra Nevada College.
Since 2006, the SNC student population has doubled, and now has an enrollment of 549 undergraduate students. With many graduate students in the Masters of Teaching program and the Masters in Creative Writing, total SNC enrollment is now at 1,030 total students.
President Lynn Gillette is more than impressed with these growing numbers.
“I will say that no doubt, we are in a growth mode. We could see the student body going up by several hundred in the next couple of years; in fact, that’s a goal,” Gillette said.
Gillette is very happy with the increase in numbers, along with the academic quality of the university.
“The academic quality is overwhelmingly higher than it’s ever been. We got a hell of a product right now,” Gillette said.
With this product and the potential to grow, Sierra Nevada College must tackle a new problem – how to handle the numbers.
“With the growth that we are experiencing, we’re having a nice problem, needing to add facilities,” Gillette said.
According to Gillette, As far as academic space for classes and faculty offices, the school could accept several hundred more students without having to add these facilities.
Recently SNC opened the Holman Arts and Media Center on Tahoe Boulevard. This new building has allowed the art department to really expand and has become a much more comfortable facility for the students and faculty.
Gillette said new structures need to be built over the next two years including dorms, food service space, parking and a president’s home.
“Right now, we have thirty five percent of the undergraduate students living in the dorms. So as we grow, we’re going to have to address the issue of more dorm space. As housing is becoming more expensive in the area, and it is, that’s an issue that we have to address,” Gillette said.
SNC also has to address more cafeteria and parking space in order to support the growing enrollment of the school. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency has actually put a cap on how large the school enrollment can grow without adding additional land to the campus. According to the admission’s department, SNC’s maximum capacity is currently set at 1,000 enrolled undergraduate students.
The master plan encompasses goals for the future physical layout of the SNC campus.
“Everything that is planned for in the master plan is tentative, including a house for the president,” Gillette said.
The master plan has been designed to accommodate up to 1,000 students along with the president of the school, if and when it is completed.
“A master plan is kind of dynamic; it’s always changing. As we build out the campus master plan, the idea that the president’s home on campus adds to the campus experience. That’s the vision,” Gillette said.
Planning and fundraising could take anywhere from 6 to 18 months and actual construction of any new facilities will take 12 to 15 months.
There are no hard dates set for the school’s necessary facility completions but as school enrollment keeps growing, the pressure to get these facilities built will continue to grow with it.
Currently, planning and permitting is in action to build a residence on campus for Sierra Nevada College presidents by 2016. Funded by donors, a president’s house on campus would be a place to easily host potential and current students, faculty, donors and visitors.
With the high academic quality and growth mode in motion, President Lynn Gillette explained that the president’s house fits in with the school’s future.
“We are starting a major focus on marketing and branding,” Gillette said. “This is about the campus; it is not about the current president,”
If the plan goes as scheduled, construction will begin May of 2015. The project will take roughly 12 to 13 months, meaning completion sometime during the summer of 2016. The 1.2 million dollar project will be completely funded by an anonymous donor, with other donors possibly contributing. The house has been estimated to be 3,000 square feet.
Many students and faculty have been wondering why a house for the president is even in the master plan for the school, and some raise concerns over the proposed location, and loosing the demonstration garden.
Senior Rachel Blum, who will be graduating in December does not agree with the decision to build the house.
“Why would we build an exclusive house for the president when we could build a community space for the students or an amphitheater that could be used for outdoor classes, readings, or performing arts. I think that would be cheaper and more beneficial for the students,” Blum said.
With the admissions department involved in both the school’s branding and marketing,
Dean of Admissions, Steve Berry, points out the benefits of building a president’s house.
“I think it’s great for admissions in the sense that one of our biggest selling points right now is that our executive team, meaning our president and provost, still teach classes on campus,” Berry said.“They’re actively engaged within the campus community, they’re visible on campus.”
“Having the president’s house on campus will add more credibility to what we’re preaching to the students when they know our president lives on campus,” said Berry. “He’s accessible, he’s visible and he’s very student centered which is something we’re proud of here at SNC” Berry said.
Chair of the Interdisciplinary Committee Katie Zanto explains that having an active president living on campus will be good for the school and its students.
“I think that having a president on campus who is involved in campus events and is very involved with knowing the students and their interests will definitely benefit the school,” Zanto said.
One thing that has not yet been decided is the location of the house. Gillette shared that the board is still figuring out where the house will be built; this will depend on parking and utilities.
“There have been about four sites under review. We’re looking at how different sighting impacts the master plan, utility delivery to that site, parking availability to the site,” Gillette said.
According to Gillette another geographic aspect the board has been considering during the decision making process is, “keeping the residential core whole and the academic core whole.”
As the fall semester continues, the permits for the project may or may not be granted. If they are granted, a location will be decided on and building will begin. The four locations that have been proposed are shown below on the campus’s map.
Hart Heffelfinger, a new student at SNC, has just come to Lake Tahoe from Vashon Island
Name: Hart Heffelfinger
Hometown: Vashon Island, WA
Where is Vashon Island?
Vashon is an island off of Seattle that you can only get to by ferry, and I’ve lived there my whole life. The island is a hippy retirement place. It is where K2 was started and there was big industry for that, but K2 moved off the island 10 years ago and ever since it’s been farmer’s markets and rich Microsoft people.
Friday evening English Program Chair June Saraceno introduced Nick Flynn, the first author to begin the Writers in the Woods series, by reading a passage from Flynn’s book, Being Flynn. The passage was serious in tone, as it spoke about a time Flynn found himself contemplating whether or not to share with his five year old daughter stories about the younger years of his life.
The audience was intrigued as Saraceno read the passage aloud. Flynn’s words were poetic, concise and painted vivid images in the minds of the audience. When Saraceno finished the reading, Flynn took the stage to a resounding applause.
Flynn abruptly broke the silence that had overcome the audience following the reading of his work. “When the Hyatt beach staff asks if I’m a guest, do I say yes or no?” said Flynn. The silence was broken with laughter, and the audience appeared pleasantly surprised by Flynn’s humor and laid back personality.
During an interview prior to the event, Flynn revealed a fresh perspective about his past that is not consistently portrayed in the media. “Some of the book reviews are interesting, it depends on who reads or writes them. Steven Elliot wrote a blurb for the cover of Being Flynn. Steven grew up in a group home in Chicago so for him my background is kind of posh. It’s not actually that rough at all,” said Flynn.
Flynn’s father was not physically present during his childhood. He was raised by his mother in Scituate, Massachusetts, a suburb in Boston. Although they did not have much money, and his mother had a relationship with drugs and alcohol, Flynn admits there were various points of his childhood where these factors were not “always damaging”.
“I wasn’t someone with a crack addict mom… And with my father being homeless, one of my intentions of writing Being Flynn was to make sort of a fuller portrait of how someone becomes homeless. It’s not simple, it’s not like the noble poor, but he wasn’t just a street person carrying cans around,” said Flynn. “That’s what one would hopefully get from the book.”
Flynn went on to explain that the vast majority of homeless people in America are invisible. “No one would identify my father as homeless. Same with my mother, whatever struggles she was in, I think they were basically invisible to most people,” said Flynn. “Growing up, I saw glimmers of the struggles, but I also saw glimmers of a very vivacious woman.”
Flynn accepts his upbringing for what it was. He points out that, despite the challenges he faced, in some ways he was privileged. “I grew up in a beautiful little seaside town on the Massachusetts coast, a really gorgeous place in the world to grow up. It was an incredible privilege.”
Flynn’s career has included many accomplishments, such as the publishing of The Reenactments, a story that chronicles his experiences during the making of the film that was based off Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, Being Flynn. Flynn has also written three collections of poetry, one which won the inaugural PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award.
SNC South Africa Aid
A group of Sierra Nevada College students are going to South Africa to help develop Hananani Primary School in Dixie Village, which is in desperate need of some attention. The group needs help with funding for supplies for students in the underprivileged communities. Find out more about the trip, how the money will be spent and how you can help this group of students meet their goal at - https://rally.org/f/8DnABnJYjqW?fb_action_ids=10153938867955514&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_ref=cta_bar&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582
In 2014, Allen was selected as the class Valedictorian out of a pool of qualified candidates based on her GPA, how she embodies SNC’s four core themes [Liberal Arts, Professional Preparedness, Entrepreneurial Thinking, Sustainability], community service and school involvement.