Protect Our Winters teams with winter sport industry to generate activism to slow climate change.
BY DANNY KERN
As Jeremy Jones glides along the wind-scorned ridge, his split board crunches through the sun baked snow like teeth biting into a piece of toast. He’s been skinning since the sun rose over the vanilla dipped peaks that line the eastern horizon. His excitement boils as he nears his favorite bowl hidden away deep in the Sierras. Sweat droplets emerge from the pores of his face, instantly freezing once released from the security of his warm scruff covered chin.
He stops to take a break. Looking around like a night owl in search of prey, he notices unfamiliar faces painted across the surrounding mountains. In past years, the rocks in front of him were hidden under the snow. He can’t recall a time he has witnessed such low snow levels.
Jones continued to his destination, breaks down his skins, put his board together and begins his descent back to civilization.
Thousands of people have witnessed scenes similar to this in Jones’s documentary snowboard films, “Deeper”, “Further” and “Higher”.
Jeremy Jones is a renowned professional snowboarder and activist who has seen first hand the impact of climate change on our mountains, according to his story on Protect Our Winters website. POW, is a non-profit organization based out of Truckee that was founded by Jones in 2007 to address the gap between the winter sports community and action being taken to address the issues of climate change.
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.
After the success of collecting nearly 200 cans and non-perishable food items at the Halloween Dance, SGA decided to do a similar fundraiser for their Casino Night. Students either paid a $10 buy-in or a $5 buy-in if you donated a can of food. SGA received positive feedback from both students and faculty about their fundraising efforts.
Senior Jake Bricklin said, “I love how SGA asked for a combination of cans and money at Casino Night. It was cheaper for me and showed me that not everything is going into SGA’s pockets.”
After both events, SGA tallied over 400 cans. SGA said this isn’t the end of their new, charitable strategy. “This is just the beginning. We plan on continuing to find opportunities to give back throughout the year,” promises Secretary MeLi 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!
By Sage Sauerbrey
The Leave No Trace (LNT) campaign at Sierra Nevada College is taking the set of principles that are helping clean up the outdoors and applying them on-campus in an effort to get students involved in improving their campus.
“(The campaign) is making this something not just dealt with by student affairs, but powering students outside of student affairs to be our advocates for making community, respecting wildlife, helping to solve the parking problem, helping to solve the dish problem and all these other little issues on campus,” Dean of Students Will Hoida said.
According to Hoida, the LNT campaign started in the spring of 2014 as an improvement to the ‘Greener than the Dean’ competition, which encouraged students to use alternative transportation to school. The competition was so successful Hoida decided to find a way to involve more students. Hoida says the main issues the LNT program hopes to address include disappearing cafeteria utensils, bear awareness, alternative transportation and parking issues.
The campaign involves a list of projects which students can complete in order to earn points. These points can then be used to redeem a stainless steel Klean Kanteen cup and even raffled to win a variety of prizes including a $200 gift certificate to go toward a Diamond Peak ski pass.
“Last spring we had this campaign and it was actually written up by the Leave No Trace organization on their website so that was pretty cool, but student participation was actually very low,” Hoida said.
|By Marina McCoy|
Chemical free lifestyle!? Wait, isn’t that impossible? No. Practicing a chemical free lifestyle simply means you eliminate the toxic chemicals found in your everyday health products that cause serious health concerns and diseases, including cancer. Some of the toxic chemicals that can be found in your health products are, Phthalates, Triclosan, Synthetic Colors, Parabens, Formaldehyde, Toluene, Propylene Glycol, Benzophenone, PABA, Avobenzone, Homosalate, Methoxycinnamate… The list goes on and on!
‘But isn’t that what the FDA is here for? To regulate the use of toxic chemicals in our everyday health products?”
If you think the FDA has our well being at the top of their lists, you may want to take some time and research how corrupt the FDA truly is. Be aware that the FDA has passed mostly everything that other countries, including the European Union, has banned from their country.
I have been practicing a more chemical free lifestyle since early June of this year. I was buying all the Fair Trade and Organic lotions, soaps, toothpaste, cleaners. You name it! But one day I decided to look on the back of the ingredients list and was appalled to what I saw, a long list of 20 something chemicals. I thought to myself, how could this product be Organic and Fair Trade?
That’s when I made the switch to live a more chemical free lifestyle, and stop supporting brands that green wash their products. And I have to say; it is one of the most rewarding feelings when you put your self-health and well being first.
Yes, you do go through detox, but it’s extremely mild. The only negative outcome of it is that you may smell a bit ‘off’ for a week or two from the toxic chemicals leaving your body. But nothing a few essential oils can’t cover up!
Dear, Sierra Nevada College
I find it important to state my opinion on the current proposed presidential house. It has been awhile since the students and staff started talking about this important issue, and the focus has seemed to shift. At first the real question was why can’t this money go elsewhere? While that remains unanswered, we now know the donor wants the house or they will not donate.
For me that creates more questions. First, why does SNC have to be a slave to its donors? Why can’t we exist as our own entity, and behave like a school, not a corporation?
Just because something is a gift does not mean you need to accept it. Especially when that gift goes against one of our school’s core themes, and our mission statement itself. Sustainability doesn’t live in 3000 square foot houses. Heck, Yvon Chounaird, the billionaire and founder of Patagonia, lives in a 1200 square foot house!
The environmental impact and ecological footprint that building will have offsets any sustainability project that SNC has done in recent years and will do for years to come. Even if the donor gives $100,000 for a new garden, there is no way it will amend for the environmental atrocity of building and maintaining (electricity, sewer, water, cleaning, run-off, upkeep) a presidential house for the rest of SNC’s future.
Build the building, but please change our school’s mission statement, and core theme of Sustainability, to Corporate Ogre-ness.
By Marina McCoy
Summer Farmer’s Markets have now ended, and the crisp air of fall has arrived. One might think that eating local during the fall, winter and early spring months is difficult and expensive. When in reality, it’s simple and fairly cheap!
We are lucky enough to have two awesome food basket programs available to us over the winter months.
Mountain Bounty Farm: This year was my first year joining their program and I absolutely LOVE it! My good friend Senior Leah Marsan and I split a Summer Veggie Share and Fruit Share. Over the Winter, I will be splitting a Winter Veggie and Winter Fruit Share with my other really good friend Jeremy Landy. With Mountain Bounty, you pay upfront and receive your share every Thursday. The Winter Program starts mid-November and ends mid-May.Winter Veggies Share: it is $666 for 24 weeks, averaging at $27.75 per week. Winter Fruit Share: $263.50 for 17 weeks, averaging at $15.50 per week. I understand that it may seem like a lot of money, but if you do the math, it’s absolutely worth it and they have payment plans set in place! The way I was able to afford a CSA(Community Supported Agriculture) basket was that I anticipated on joining a CSA this year, so I put aside $10-$30 a week, that way, when the time came to sign up, I had the money. Plus I share my food baskets with a close friend, which really helps cut down the cost!
I don’t know about you, but I typically spend $40-$60 a week on produce at the grocery store that is not local, and is highly packaged in single-use plastic. Now I pay less than $25 a week for fresh, delicious and local produce.
BY Danny Kern
Travel experiences that allow you to study abroad are some of the best ways to explore the world while continuing an educational career. They allow students to experience different cultures, hear new languages and taste divine foods. Business Department Chair Kendra Wong says “travel experiences provide an immersed learning experience.”
“Having just returned from a one-week travel aboard experience in Cuba with my doctorate program, I can say that travel experiences are a wonderful opportunity for all students,” Wong said.
Sierra Nevada College is now partnering with University of Nevada Reno’s study abroad program, University Studies Abroad Consortium, which became a non-profit organization on July 1.
On Tuesday, Oct. 21, there was a meeting for students to learn more about the up and coming study abroad trips and courses taking place in 2015. Some of these trips have been held in the past such as Service Learning South Africa and Holistic Sustainability in the Arctic, but there are now new trips for students.
Credited courses are offered during these trips so students are able to gain school credits while traveling and experiencing other cultures.
One of these new trips, Sights and slopes of Japan, is taking place Jan. 4-17. The trip costs $3,900, which includes flights, rail passes, hotels and activities. The courses available on this trip are the three-credit course, FNAR 480, and possible two-credit course, PHED 380.
If students are too late signing up for this Japan trip there is another chance students can travel to Japan after the spring 2015 semester is over. From May 19 to June 4, the school is offering FNAR 480, The Art of Japan, where students will visit Western Japan, and go to various museums, castles, temples, shrines and art studios. This travel experience cost $4,500 and will allow students to participate in hands-on art workshops while experiencing Japanese culture and food.
BY SAGE SAUERBREY
Large scale work on the North Lake Tahoe Demonstration Garden is on hiatus until May due to seasonal building restrictions imposed by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) and other complications with the permit process.
The relocation of the demonstration garden began on Oct. 6 when a private contractor hired by the college began moving earth and plants in preparation for the winter. According to Dianne Severance, director of Grants and Sponsored Programs, moving the plants in the fall is beneficial to their growth in the spring.
“Basically, some of the plants go into hibernation and the idea was to get them moved in the fall rather than the spring in order to save those plants,” said Severance. “Then it escalated and as a result of that value and trying to get the new garden open by next summer, June 1, we backed into moving more earth than we anticipated.”
Work in the garden came to a halt when the TRPA investigated the scope of the project and came to the conclusion that the amount of work being done required a permit.
“I touched base with our code compliance staffers this morning (Oct. 15),” said Thomas Lotshaw, TRPA public information officer. “ When they went to the site they found an estimated 20 cubic yards of dirt had been moved for the demonstration garden relocation, an amount of dirt that requires a grading permit the college did not have, so our compliance staffers issued a cease and desist order for the college to stop work immediately except to stabilize the site and prepare it for winter.”
The TRPA’s investigation of the site may have a positive benefit on the relocation of the Demonstration Garden. According to Severance the investigator for the TRPA noticed multiple areas where the Demonstration Garden’s Best Management Practices (BMP’s) were outdated.
“Temporary BMPs were installed at the site, but some were found to be inadequate and the college was asked to install them properly,” Lotshaw said.
Severance stated this could be an opportunity to collaborate with the TRPA and advertise new and effective BMP’s to the North Lake Tahoe region.
“We’re actually going to have staff working together to make sure that TRPA’s improvements are also witnessed there,” Severance said.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF RACHAEL BLUM & BARRY AVNER
“We are the caribou people. Caribou are not just what we eat; they are who we are. They are in our stories and our songs and the whole way we see the world. Caribou are our way of life and without them we would not exist.”
These are the words of Sarah James, an elder of the Gwich’in tribe of Arctic Village, Alaska. A threat to the caribou is a threat to the Gwich’in way of life, and according to a Sep. 20, 2005, Washington Post article, James has been fighting to preserve the Gwich’in way of life since it was first threatened by drilling prospects in 1988. In an effort to spread awareness of her tribe’s predicament, James reached out to Brennan Lagasse, Sierra Nevada College adjunct professor. Their collaboration led to the creation of a SNC special topics class that travelled to Arctic Village in August, 2014.
On Oct. 10, six SNC students held a presentation to share their recent experiences with the Gwich’in people during the special topics class entitled, “Holistic Sustainability in the Arctic.” During this class, students lived with the Gwich’in tribe and spent one week exploring their culture. In that time they hiked through the land surrounding Arctic Village, hunted caribou, ate ground squirrel, collected berries, fished and participated in a mountaintop memorial gathering for a well respected tribe elder.
“The real goal was to go up there and make friends with the natives, and they wanted to make friends with us so we can do what we’re doing now and spread the word, write letters, and get people asking questions and fired up with what’s happening,” said Senior Rachael Blum, who turned the experience into her capstone course. “The 1002 area (debate) has been going on for a long time and it’s probably going to continue so the more attention we bring to it, maybe that can end soon.”
According to a USGS geographical assessment “the ‘1002 area’ is a 1.5-million-acre part of the coastal plain that holds potentially large oil and gas resources, and is an important wildlife habitat.”
The class was able to witness some rare sights while staying with the Gwich’in people. During a hunt, their guide shot and killed a caribou, which he then field dressed and packed out on an ATV with the help of the students.
“It walked up this valley right up to us, and Charlie (the guide) was saying a few times after this happened that the caribou offered itself to us. It was a special thing because it was rare for us to be there when he was able to kill a caribou,” Senior Aaron Vanderpool said.
According to Rachael Blum, Charlie mentioned that only about one out of every hundred people that visit actually get to see a caribou killed.
Students who took the class supplemented the trip and aided the Gwich’ins by writing a letter to President Obama requesting the preservation of area 1002, creating artistic booklets called ‘ZINE’s’ describing their experience, writing articles for the environmentally themed website “Ecowatch”, making donations for the protection of Gwich’in culture and hosting a presentation on Oct. 1.
“I’ve been to Alaska more than pretty much anywhere else and I’ve never had a trip like that,” Lagasse said.
The whole crew poses for a picture on the mountain overlooking Arctic Village. From left to right: Tom Letson, Brennan Lagasse, Philip Chiesa, Rachael Blum, Kimberly Brault, Barry Avner, Aaron Vanderpool.
Brennan Lagasse, SNC adjunct professor, recieved a phone call at his home in Tahoe from Gwich’in elder Sarah James inviting him and a few SNC students to their village in Alaska.
Junior Kimberly Brault listens to Senior Tom Letson’s banjo music in front of a few roasting caribou heads.