One month away from the election, this year’s SSREC theme is the 2012 election and making sure the elected officials listen to student voters.
Jacquie Ayala, Florida organizer for the Southern Energy Network and SSREC planning committee chair, is looking forward to recruiting more young people to step up and deal with the issues on a greater scale. She is looking to make sure students – the “millennial generation” – know there is something that can be done about the issues the environment and economy faces.
“Not only are we young people going to have to face these issues in the future, but they are going to be in our hands in the future,” Ayala said. “We have to figure this out.”
The workshops will specifically train students on how to organize their campus to confront environmental issues and how to lobby elected officials. Last year’s conference was held at the University of North Carolina, ending with more than 200 students marching in unity against the Keystone Pipeline project.
This year, students will take action in Tallahassee to elevate climate change and clean energy issues to make sure they are something young voters really care about.
Ashley Griffin, a senior psychology student and SSREC recruitment coordinator, said she is honored that FAMU has been selected to host this year’s event and hopes many students will attend.
“It’s rare that our culture’s generation finds interest in matters such as environmental issues,” said Griffin. “It’s important for students to attend this conference because global warming is real.”
During the three-day conference, up to 500 students will come together and speak out on issues in the environment.
It will include panel discussions, interactive workshops and presentations focused on students and their involvement in the clean energy movement. Students will learn what it takes to organize clean energy campaigns on their own campuses and out in their communities.
Anthony Ward, a senior international business student and FAMU Green Coalition president, has attended similar conferences like the SSREC and can’t express enough how ecstatic he is about the event.
“I can’t wait to show just how green FAMU can be,” said Ward, expressing how proud he is that FAMU has been named the only green HBCU in the Princeton Review for two years in a row.
Ward hopes this conference will not only be a chance to exchange ideas, but also an opportunity for all students to learn how to get involved with environmental issues in the community.
The conference will be held Oct. 5-7 on FAMU’s campus. In order to apply to attend for free, students must commit to attending all events from Friday, beginning at 7 p.m., to Sunday at 1 p.m.
Students should email their name, major, classification, phone number and a 100-word statement of why they want to attend to firstname.lastname@example.org. The regular admission price is $25. Register online at climateaction.net/ssrec.