The forum that was held on October 15th was a disgrace in many ways. We left without any feeling of resolve, or any hope of a resolution. Our questions were deflected without any solid answers being put forth to satisfy the restless student body. As a senior here I am appalled by the lack of communication from the administration to the students, concerning issues that affect the future of this school.
Our college is not for profit institution. As such, the bottom line of Sierra Nevada College should be providing a well rounded education, not creating a turn over of the students for their money. Of course we understand the need to court donors to keep the institution running, we accept this fact as evidenced by the above average tuition we pay. What we don’t understand is how a donation, for the President’s house, from a former member of the board of directors, gets steamrolled into SNC’s piggy bank without due consideration. During the Oct 15th forum, it was stated: “The donation was brought to us the day before our board of directors’ meeting. We went ahead and accepted it.” There are a few things missing from that statement. One, why was it accepted so quickly? Two, why did it take the administration so long to communicate with the student body? Three, why are plans for the president’s house not on display for the students to see the proposed use of the funds?
The rapid acceptance of this donation belies the character of the people who claim to be looking out for our “strategic interests” and long-term goals. For example, in the school’s haste to build, they overlooked a necessary permit from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) regarding the movement and grading of land. This haste has already cost the school around $1,000 in fines from TRPA. Not to mention the fact that TRPA is an organization entrusted with the protection of the environment in and around Lake Tahoe, and a joint effort should have been made to ensure that sustainable building practices were taking place. This just goes to show how little the administration concerns itself with sustainability, one of the core values this school espouses.
By Marina McCoy
Sustainability: Green Council
Over the past month, students had the opportunity to apply to be on the SNC Green Council.
I am so overwhelmed with joy from all the positive feedback and support from the students, faculty, staff and community members. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.
What is the SNC Green Council?
The SNC Green Council is a dedicated group of SNC students, who want to make SNC more sustainable!
We will be getting involved in the community, working closely with SNC staff and faculty, setting up a composting system on campus, along with a bike share, running the SNC LNT campaign, improving the recycling and trash and so much more!
If you have a question or suggested project for the SNC Green Council, please don’t hesitate to ask. We are here to serve you, the school and the community.
Now announcing Sierra Nevada College’s first ever Green Council Team! (Drum roll please….)
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.
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.