There is nothing better than the feeling of community; finding a group of people that share a common love for ideas, people, etc. For the Keene State College club Campus Ecology, members share a love for the environment.
Campus Ecology is an on-campus organization that focuses on environmental advocacy and teaches students about the environment. “Our goals include educating people about the current state of the environment while doing fun activities,” said junior and Vice President Elizabeth Abrevaya.
Abreveya got involved with Campus Ecology her first year, similarly to president of the club and senior Marissa Milley. “A good friend of mine brought me to a meeting because she knew I was passionate about the environment and thought the club would be a great fit for me. I’ve been involved ever since,” Milley said.
At meetings, students engage in bonding activities while they work on planning upcoming events. “We try to keep meetings fun through asking ‘Questions of the Night’ to give our members a chance to get to know each other better. We just chill for half an hour each week while we plan events,” Milley said.
One of the big events Campus Ecology takes on each year is the planning and organization of Solar Fest. Solar Fest is an annual solar-powered music festival that takes place each April on Oya Hill. “We host the event to promote solar energy and sustainability, but also to rock out and enjoy some great music before the semester ends,” Milley said.
This year, Campus Ecology is teaming up with the campus radio station WKNH to collaborate on the event. WKNH was able to connect Campus Ecology with several bands that have committed to playing at the festival this year. “In addition to the bands that play, we also have various campus groups and outside vendors come and table. In the past, we’ve had clubs give out ice cream, people volunteer to do henna, make bird feeders out of recycled products and even sell plants and artworks. Overall, we try to make Solar Fest an event where people go to chill out and relax before finals come around that also promotes our club’s goals and values,” Milley said.
Last year, the organization received a donation of three solar panels from ReVision Energy. This donation was part of Campus Ecology’s Solar Panel Project, a project the group had been working on for a few years. “Our end goal is to have a solar panel trailer that will be able to power events on campus such as Solar Fest, Rocktoberfest and commencement using the sun,” Campus Ecology treasurer and junior Kelsi Lord explained.
The solar panels will be used for the first time at Solar Fest on Saturday, April 25. In addition to Solar Fest, the club also organizes clothing swaps to “show how easy it can be to reuse and recycle things, even clothing,” according to Milley.
Overall, Campus Ecology wants to engage and encourage students to live a more sustainable lifestyle. “Campus Ecology’s main goal is to promote sustainability and educate students and the community about what we can do to help save our environment. Another goal of ours is to put on a rocking Solar Fest every spring to spread the word about alternative energy and to spread good energy,” Lord said.
Campus Ecology meets every Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Fish Bowl Room in the Student Center. “We’re always looking for new members, so feel free to check us out,” Milley said.
Erin McNemar can be contacted