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Students focus on the environment with Rooftop Rally and RecycleMania

Connecticut College students took to the rooftops to demonstrate their passion for the environment this Earth Week. Members of the College´s Renewable Energy Club (REC), a student group dedicated to encouraging energy conservation, organized the "Rooftop Rally for Renewable Energy," a benefit concert to raise money to install solar panels for New London´s Water Street Garage. The students decorated the downtown garage roof with balloons and streamers, turning empty parking spots into an ideal concert venue. Connecticut College student bands, including Shake the Baron and Mercutio, provided entertainment. "This is a great venue and event," Tessa Engel ´11 said as she listened to the music. "It´s a great way to get Conn and the New London community perked up for the movement." The solars panels will provide power to charge electronic vehicles in the parking garage. Zoe Diaz-Martin ´12, co-chair of REC, said it is important for Connecticut College students to support New London´s efforts to go green. "This solar panel will be the first of its kind on the East Coast, standing as a symbol of renewable energy and a commitment to alleviating climate change," Diaz-Martin said. Connecticut College students already have a reputation for environmental activism on campus. This year, for the fifth straight year, the College finished in the Top 25 in RecycleMania, a 10-week recycling competition that promotes waste reduction among colleges and universities. Connecticut College earned 20th place out of 346 schools in per capita classic, and finished fourth overall and first in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) in the Targeted Material - Bottles and Cans category. "I was ecstatic to see so many students interested in RecycleMania and motivated to recycle as much as possible," Carra Cheslin ´11, RecycleMania student organizer, said. "I am confident that the continuation of Conn´s involvement in the RecycleMania competition will increase recycling efforts on our campus." For more information about REC´s solar panel initiative, contact Zoe Diaz-Martin at

April 26, 2010