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.
In spirit of Sierra Nevada College’s ‘entrepreneurial thinking’ core theme, the Jâlé and Warren Trepp Innovative Idea competition encourages all students to pursue their potential business ideas.
The third annual Jale Warren Innovative Idea Pitch competition will take place at 5 p.m Oct. 9th, at the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences room 139-141. Potential cash prizes consist of: first place $500; second place $250; and third place $150. This competition is the second stage of Innovative Idea events, which potentially lead to national level events.
At the beginning of school year, the Jâlé and Warren Trepp Innovative Idea Competition encourages students who have business ideas that fix problems, and its a way for them to get feedback on their idea. Lots of students participate in this competition through their classes; such as ENTP 200, ENTP 400, and Creative Entrepreneurial Thinking, according to Kendra Wong, associate professor and chair of the Business department.
The department asked students to submit their initial entry through a three minute video displaying their pitch by Oct. 3. This video needed to showcase their business model canvas and how they believe their business would be structured. This would include their preliminary research on customers, revenue and business model. These videos were then run through a judging process to decide who would move on to the Jâlé and Warren Trepp Innovative Idea competition. Once accepted to move forward with the competition, students will get feedback from mentors, judges, and business faculty members in developing a full business plan and go into the business competition season.
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!
Although it’s convenient to limit our focus to issues in our own lives rather than the lives of other people, as students we have the responsibility to voice our opinions.
To speak up once in a while.
The Eagle’s Eye Club hosted its first meeting Sept. 29. and over 10 people attended, including club members, journalism students and others who came at the invitation of the Eagle’s Eye Club to voice their opinions.
Although the meeting began quietly, it didn’t take long before everyone had something to share about different issues on campus. We addressed class cuts, parking, the president’s house and more.
The meeting was one of two that will take place this semester. The goal of the club is to encourage more students to become involved with school media. As a student-run paper, it is important for all of us to voice our opinions. Currently, the paper is being run by four reporters and five editors who make up the Eagle’s Eye staff. Why leave the student media up to the journalism students though?
Is Marina McCoy really the only Sustainability major who has an opinion about the president’s house? Is Miranda Marie the only student upset about class cuts? Is Chris Muravez the only person concerned about the state of SNC he’s leaving behind after graduation?
Sustainability has been a cornerstone of the Sierra Nevada College mission ever since its first days as an established institution. The original core themes of alternative energy and environmental science have given way to the much wider discipline of sustainability, but as the school grows and finds new ways to be economically viable it has become the responsibility of the students, faculty and administration to realize our sustainable potential as well.
According to Adjunct Professor Brennan Lagasse there is an incredible potential for SNC in the realm of sustainable education.
“I think that this school has the ultimate opportunity to be the most, and I mean this, progressive institution with regards to its sustainability studies that there is, in terms of a small liberal arts private school, with 500 people, with cap that exists at 1,000, that is right on the shores of Lake Tahoe in one of the beautiful places in the world,” Lagasse said.
Lagasse recently returned from a class focused on holistic sustainability in the arctic, in which he and six SNC students experienced the lives of members of the Gwich’in tribe in Arctic Village, Alaska. According to Lagasse this class represents all of the positive possibilities for the future of sustainable education at SNC.
“What we did in Alaska, that’s it man,” Lagasse said. “I guarantee any liberal arts school, any progressive sustainability program, anybody that sees that and knows what’s up in the sustainability world would look at that and say ‘Wow that’s cool’.”
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.