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Monday, October 19, 2009

YES Summit Held Around Legislative Efforts

University of Florida students are hard at work pursuing more renewable energy sources for our campus power needs, as are many students around the nation. On September 25 and 26, Gators for a Sustainable Campus and the Southern Energy Network, a grassroots group of students advocating for sustainable energy, hosted the Youth Energy Sustainability ("YES") Summit in Pugh Hall. The event consisted of informational workshops, breakout sessions and a variety of other activities, all centered around training and preparation for an effort by students to support comprehensive renewable energy legislation.

"I really enjoyed networking with students from different universities and hearing about what they are working on," said Jamie Schindewolf, a second year UF student who participated in the summit.

One aspect of the summit that stood out was the Renewable Energy Fee breakout session. The Renewable Energy Fee is a student-led initiative that has been in the works for several years, as student leaders attempt to ensure its success in the state legislature. The fee would be included in State University System (SUS) student fees and would go towards renewable energy and energy efficiency efforts at institutions across the state. "We are doing our best to get it passed by the legislature in the upcoming year!" said Schindewolf.

The Summit also served as preparation for Florida Power Shift, an event being held in Orlando on October 24 and 25, where students will demonstrate in favor of sustainable energy legislation. For more information about this event, visit Florida Power Shift's website.