Plants have been uprooted and boulders moved from sections of the demonstration garden in preparation for construction to begin on the on-campus president’s house next May. The process began on Oct. 6, when a private landscaper who declined to identify himself began clearing out the northern part of the garden with a large backhoe.
According to Dianne Severance, director of grants and sponsor programs, the administration has been working with the original founders of the garden to extend and improve the demonstration garden. Severance says they plan to get all of the new plants in the ground before winter hits so that they can go into a state of hibernation and have a better chance of remaining healthy in the spring.
Severance also states that the section being cleared is the intended site for the president’s house and they intend to begin construction in May.
In a Sept. 11, 2014, issue of The Eagle’s Eye, President Lynn Gillette stated that “everything that is planned for in the master plan is tentative, including a house for the president”.
According to Gillette the president’s house will be used to entertain visitors to the college, hold fundraising functions and market to prospective students looking for a school with a president who involved on campus.
Stacy Taylor is a popular professor with Sierra Nevada College students because of her unique way of teaching economics. She thinks that the best way to teach is to give students the chance to problem solve and have a hands-on approach.
“The way Professor Taylor introduced economics into my college experience really showed me how interesting and exciting economics can be, ” Senior Austin Leal said.
For many students, Economics 101 and 102, or macro- and micro-economics, are the first stepping-stones towards a degree in economics, so it’s important for the professor to introduce the new undergraduates in a positive manner.
“I like being the first contact that students have with economics. I like to make it positive for them,” Taylor said. ”If you are having a great time students will probably come along with you.”
Taylor started teaching at SNC in the fall of 2012. Before then, she had a successful career in banking.“I loved banking and I was very successful at it. I used to start and run big businesses.” Taylor said.
During the financial crisis, she decided to make a change in her career. Taylor was working in the mortgage business, which began to show signs of collapse.
“I decided I didn’t want to be a part of that. I left and moved into my ski house here in Tahoe.” Taylor said.
The walls within the new Garage Door Gallery at the Holman Arts & Media Center have welcomed new featured artist, Lawrence LaBianca. LaBianca shares his Sea to Float exhibition with Sierra Nevada College for the next 6 weeks. LaBianca’s work accommodates his connection with nature while integrating research, sculpture and experimentation to create his artwork.
“I am trying to explore and look for what I believe is the divine source for all information- nature,” said artist Lawrence LaBianca.
Sea to Float is an interactive sculpture that uses the environment to record and harness energy from natural phenomenons such as wind, swells and tides. In order to capture these rhythms, LaBianca has created a buoy lined with a soft copper plate, accompanied by a steel ball. The copper plate is a polished, blank plate that registers minute scratches and dents. The intention of these two instruments is to successfully record the movements of the water while the buoy is anchored in the water. LaBianca then takes the copper plate and transfers the etches from the copper plate into a print, demonstrating the record he captured.
“The Sea to Float project is very process laden, I am creating a buoy that is a drawing machine. I believe layering and capturing of time sets a recording of time. This is something a wrist watch cannot do. These marks become a reference in time,” said LaBianca.
On Oct. 2, the gallery reception opening welcomed LaBianca’s work. The opening was filled with students and staff sharing their interest in the new exhibition.
“I truly enjoyed this gallery. I find it interesting how LaBianca is able to capture nature and transform it into art. I find his connection with nature fascinating,” said Sophomore Jada Garcia.
From the blue row boat that he uses, to the buoys and actual sketches of his work, the gallery is filled with all the different processes included within his work. Lawrence’s exhibition presents the different creative elements he uses and hopes to share through his work. His work presents a clear message in sync with SNC’s key elements.
“I think the show is really beautiful. It’s a great mixture of sculpture and print-making and art that activates the environment,” said Professor Russell Dudley.
Over 70 competitors all over the West Coast traveled to Sky Lake Ranch in Durham, California, to compete in a three-event water ski tournament on Sept. 27-28.
For the Sierra Nevada College water ski team, this was the first tournament since the team was formed this fall. The western regional opener was a chance for the water ski team to earn valuable points from three different events in hopes of competing at National Championships at the beginning of October.
“After this first tournament, we are 100 percent sure we want to be here. We are the first ones up in the morning and the last ones going to sleep,” said Cory Johnson, president of the water ski club. “We party hard, but we ski harder.”
Along with SNC, major universities such as UC Davis, Arizona State University, Chico State University, Cal Poly and UCLA gathered at 7 a.m. Sept. 27 around Sky Lake Ranch, near Chico, California. The weather was perfect, with a sunny sky and no wind. The course was set up on the lake and people were getting boats ready for the skiers. The first event was slalom and all the SNC skiers got around the first turn.
The best SNC performance on the slalom course was by Marco Gooding, who made it to the fourth turn and earned the team 115 points.
“I tried really hard out there, missed a few turns but I still had a great time,” Gooding said. “It’s the first tournament of the season for the team, but we are still killing it.”
Teammates Johnson and Ian Van Metre both scored 65 points and Sophomore Grant Furlan earned 45 valuable team points for SNC.
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.