Drum roll, please... and the grand prize winners of the Break the Addiction Challenge are: Rutgers University and Cornell University! The winning student groups are true leaders in the clean energy movement. They've worked tirelessly to turn their campuses green and have become models of climate responsibility, inspiring us all. The two winning groups will each get an eco-renovation of their student center valued up to $10,000 courtesy of MTV, and will have a well-deserved moment in the spotlight by appearing on TRL's green-themed episode on April 23rd. Congratulations to the winners, and a big thank you to everyone who took the Challenge, especially the other finalists -- Middlebury College, UC Santa Cruz, Penn State, the University of Colorado at Denver (Auraria Campus), Macalester College, and Carleton College. You are the true agents of change, leading the eco-revolution on -- and off -- campus.
Back in September, thinkMTV and the Campus Climate Challenge asked students to Break their School's Addiction. Students across the nation answered the call by persuading their schools to curb global warming pollution and run on clean energy. The Fall assignment? Get the press to notice your green efforts. The University of Massachusetts Amherst, St. John's University, Southern Methodist University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and James Madison University all stepped it up and met the challenge. For the Spring assignment, students were to get their schools to sign off on a campus-wide sustainable energy policy. Students at the University of Wisconsin and at the University of California Santa Cruz were able to pass the most impressive 100% clean energy policies, and were named the winners of the Spring assignment. The Final exam was the search for the "all-rounder" student groups who were doing the most to effectively promote policy change at their schools, as well as to engage and inspire the rest of the student body to join the eco-fight. The Challenge finalists came up with tons of inventive ways to switch to green energy and spread the word on global warming -- from building a wind turbine, to installing a green roof, to holding movie screenings on campus.
But there could only be one -- wait, make that two -- winners. Students at Cornell University gathered enough signatures to make their campus carbon neutral, passed the vote for a clean-energy fee, and organized "Feel the Heat," a week of campus events to raise environmental awareness and call students to action. Rutgers University is already taking steps to cut its greenhouse gas emissions and is also busy getting the word out -- through a dorm competition, screenings of "An Inconvenient Truth," and inviting keynote speakers like Congressman Frank Pallone to address the student body.
The participants of the Challenge have been an inspiration to everyone concerned by climate change. With their drive and enthusiasm, these students are making real change happen and inspiring others to join the movement to combat global warming and promote a cleaner, greener future. And while only two schools could win the top prize, every group deserves accolades for propelling their green campus revolution forward, and helping to save our planet.