What do CMCers have in common with tens of thousands of other college students who met up in Washington, D.C.? They all went to Powershiftreportedly the largest-ever youth environmental conference, intended to hold elected officials accountable for rebuilding the economy and authoring bold climate and clean-energy legislation.
"Representing CMC at Powershift with 12,000 other students shows that our institution is committed to reducing its impact on the environment and will pave the way for students getting involved in clean energy, the green-collar economy, and environmental movements," said student delegate Joe Swartley '11, one of five CMC students who participated.
Held Feb. 27 through March 2, keynote speakers included green-jobs advocate Van Jones, environmental justice organizer Majora Carter, and Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA).
"Listening to all of the different speakers representing almost every view of the environmental movement gave me a very broad overview of the issues stemming from the effects of climate change that society must face in the coming years," Swartley said.
Other aspects of the conference included panels and workshops on topics ranging from running bike-share programs on college campuses to comparative cap-and-trade policies, a lobby day and rally on Capitol Hill, a green-career and graduate school fair, and musical performances by Santigold and the Roots.
Attending the conference led to new opportunities for student Mark Munro '12. "After attending a session on food policy, I learned about two organizations, Slow Food USA and Real Food Challenge, and I'm planning to get involved with sustainability and food justice issues on a national level," said Munro, who already has a summer internship on food policy research lined up.
CMCers who attended the conference were members of Environmental Crusaders, a student environmental group on campus. Funding for the trip was provided by the Office of the President at CMC, the Dean of Students office, the Roberts Environmental Center, and ASCMC.
Harvey Mudd and Pomona colleges also sent delegates to Powershift, making a combined total of 29 students representing The Claremont Colleges. Emily Meinhardt '10