By Roanoke College News

Roanoke has new living space for eco-minded students

Roanoke College has a new housing community for students who are interested in saving the environment and have a passion for sustainability.

The new Eco House community, located on the first floor of Crawford Hall, will house students who are passionate about the environment and want to learn more about environmental sustainability.

The living space will be available to students this fall. So far, there are 10 students who are signed up to live there, said Dalny Ruel, an area coordinator for the Residence Life and Housing department who is spearheading the new space. The Eco House includes four double rooms and one apartment.

This is not the first themed-residence area at Roanoke. There are living spaces for students interested in sports and recreation in Catawba Hall, a multicultural living learning community in Chalmers Hall, Honors Program living space in New Hall, and a scholars living learning community in Allegheny Hall.            

Last year, Roanoke's Residence Life and Housing department used information from a survey that was conducted regarding students' satisfaction with on campus life, Ruel said. What she and others found was that students wanted a more environmentally sustainable presence on campus.

“It has been an incredible way to stay involved in eco-minded projects on campus.”

Raegan Grimmett '18, an eco rep student

In addition to the new eco house, Ruel started an Eco Rep program with Roanoke students last fall.

The program is a branch of the College's Neighborhood Council, which includes student representatives from the residence halls on campus.

The eco reps meet bimonthly to discuss environmental-related activities that they can incorporate into their respective residence areas.

Raegan Grimmett '18 is one of four eco reps on campus.

"It has been an incredible way to stay involved in eco-minded projects on campus," she said.

This year the eco reps have helped with the RC Garden and with Earth Day celebrations.

Grimmett said the program is a great way to find people who share the same environmentally-focused mindset.

Ruel said she hopes that the Eco House and Eco Rep program will create avenues for students to have more discussions on campus about sustainability.

Also, "I want students to work with the community and collaborate with other organizations already established," she said.

The deadline for Eco House applications has passed, but students still can contact Ruel (ruel@roanoke.edu) to learn more about the new living community and the Eco Rep program.