Contest hopes to inspire ‘green’ ideas from students

General Electric and mtvU, MTV’s 24-hour college network, have come together seeking to inspire college students to make a significant environmental impact on American college campuses. They have launched the Ecomagination Challenge – a search for the best ways and ideas to make college campuses go green and become more environmentally friendly.

Environmental degradation has become a massive problem in today’s modern, ever changing world and many people, including Lorraine Bolsinger, GE vice president for Ecomagination, believes that preventative measures should be taken today to preclude further decline in the future.

“Tomorrow’s answers come from questions asked on America’s college campuses today,” she said.

The contestant(s) who propose the most effective, creative, innovative and easily-implemented idea to make their campus more environmentally-friendly will receive a $25,000 grant to execute their project on their campus.

Furthermore, the winning school will also receive an mtvU Earth Day Concert and Festival in the spring with performances from top up-and-coming artists.

“Who won’t want to participate in this challenge when it is a win-win situation?” junior Nikki D’Addario said. “We will be able to help the environment, make our school greener and, if we win, it will certainly bring good publicity for the University of Miami.”

The stated goal of mtvU is to provide college students with the opportunity to produce social change both locally and globally, such as promoting campaigns and informing students about causes, such as ending the crisis in Darfur.

Through the Ecomagination Challenge mtvU hopes to inspire tomorrow’s leaders to be conscious of the environment and to take action in protecting it.

“We have heard a lot from college students on their concerns about the environment and global warming,” said Stephen Friedman, general manager for mtvU. “We feel the answers are going to come from college students, and thus we decided to ask them for the best solutions.”

Jarret Salm, president of Greenpeace at UM, already has some ideas in mind, such as installing the first solar panel for electricity on campus.

“If we chose to participate in this challenge, a lot of it will depend on cooperation. We need to come together, as a community, to come up with ideas to achieve one goal: help our environment, including that of our university,” Salm said.

MtvU and GE will accept submissions through Dec.1. Friedman said he hopes that great applications will come from the University of Miami.

For more information, visit, where interested student may register and includes ideas, suggestions and participation information.

Gabriela Campos can be contacted at