Starting Date: 04-07-2006
Ending Date: 04-09-2006
In the Spring of 2003, The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and Duke University were the first Southeast Universities to successfully implement student driven initiatives focused renewable energy support at the campus level. Typical of great leaders, the North Carolina students then decided to create a forum to share what they had learned with neighboring schools in the Southeast. The concept of the Southeast Student Renewable Energy Conference (SSREC) was born.
Student organizers from University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Duke University, and North Carolina State University began planning for the conference in the Fall of 2003, adding Southern Alliance for Clean Energy to the planning committee in December of 2003. On April 2nd, 2004, over 200 students from around the Southeast descended upon Durham and Raleigh, North Carolina for a weekend full of learning, networking and laughs. Visit the site of the 2004 Southeast Student Renewable Energy Conference.
The atmosphere of the first conference was charged with excitement and anticipation realizing the possibilities of transforming Southeast universities into sustainable living communities. Since the April conference, many activists have continued to work on energy issues; some have even lead successful initiatives on their campuses since April including MTSU, TN Tech, Sewanee, ASU!
In August 2004, the Southern Energy Network was formed to serve as both a catalyst and guiding agent as institutions of high learning from the shores of Florida, to the hills of Appalachia, to the banks of the Mississippi River drive their communities towards a clean energy future.
Also in the summer of 2004, a North American coalition, Energy Action was formed. In June, over 30 North American activists working on energy issues at the youth/student level came to Washington DC for a weekend of strategizing, brainstorming and fun! After 3 days of intense discussions and activities, it was resolved that the clean energy movement needed a driving force to help collectively pool the amazing work happening from Canada to the east coast to the west coast.
After a North American Day of Action in October 2004 where 280 campuses took action in solidarity, it is clear that the student clean energy movement is here to stay. Traditionally, students have been on the leading edge of social change in the United States. With the looming threats of fuel shortages, disruptive climate changes, environment and societal health problems associated with dirty energy production, and rising sea levels, energy issues will be no different; students will play an instrumental role in transforming the ideals and convictions of this country and continent. Campuses, epicenters of thought and action and microcosms that reflect the greater society, play a large role towards confronting our energy epidemic and responsibly enacting energy efficiency initiatives, conservation measures, and the growth of the renewable energy market – all vital components of the clean energy revolution!
The 2nd Annual SSREC attracted over 300 students, youth and community members to Knoxville, TN for a weekend of networking, learning, and sharing. Students visited Buffalo Mtn, TN (left), the only commercial wind farm in the South on Friday and viewed one of the premire Southern documentary films on energy: KiloWatt Ours by Jeff Barrie. One of the most powerful workshops was on the destructive practice of Mountain Top Removal mining while there were other sessions with topics such as Climate Change, Air Pollution, Energy Efficiency, and Wind. State breakout sessions energized students to collaborate with other local students on state
Geographical Scope: Regional