“We are the future of tomorrow, but we can knock them down, it doesn’t matter!” Between two amphitheatres, Sabrina Hamm pokes fun at the energy sobriety plan unveiled Monday by the University of Strasbourg, which calls for two more weeks of closures this winter to cut heating bills.
At the Esplanade campus, a 21-year-old Scandinavian studies student fears a return to distance learning, as at the height of the pandemic. “I’m not on the video, so he risks putting me on the lowest,” confides the one who discovers that the buildings are already cold.
In an effort to meet the government’s ambition of 10% energy savings and to try to limit the bill on the way to doubling to 20 million euros, the University of Strasbourg considered from the beginning of the school year to lock the thermostats at 19 degrees, postpone the heating season or work on best practices (turning off the computer, lights, thinking about your movements).
The decision to have a third week of vacation at the beginning of January and another remotely in February was announced to 57,000 students in a video posted on Youtube, an announcement that surprised everyone.
“We need continuity in teaching, especially when we are at our age, it is important to stay in the school and university environment,” regrets Paulin Enger, a 3rd year English student.
“Adding days to a long period of closure is one of the most cost-effective measures in terms of energy”, defends the president of the university, Michel Deneken, to justify the renewal in 2023 moved to January 9 instead of 3 as originally planned. .
The professor of Catholic theology says he consulted with heritage engineers before deciding to expose some buildings to heat. A period of consultation with trade unions must also begin in the coming days to detail the relevant sectors.
Within two weeks of the closure, only one of the 20 libraries at the eight “UniStra” locations should remain open. Employees may also be asked to take mandatory leave.
“We are the ones who will pay to use the Internet and computers from home,” says Camila Ferreira, a 30-year-old Brazilian majoring in linguistics.
Of the 600,000 square meters of buildings that make up the university, however, some will be spared from the waste hunt, such as an insectarium that requires a constant temperature and studies mosquito-borne diseases, or an extremely energy-intensive biology laboratory.
The president of the university thinks aloud about a rather daring calendar, inspired by what is happening on the Rhine: “Why not come back at the end of August and finish later so that the real January is closed? “.
“It’s 40 degrees here in the summer,” replies Pascal Maillard from his non-air-conditioned researcher’s office on the fifth floor of the south-facing building.
Speaking for the degrowth economy, the academic secretary of Snesup-FSU, the majority in Strasbourg, warns: “an energy saving plan should not be a budget saving plan”. The trade unionist sees the winter closures as a violation of the public service obligation and a solitary decision.
Faced with an energy wall, Education Minister Sylvie Retailleau on Tuesday pledged support for the facilities, saying it was imperative the sobriety plan didn’t come at the expense of students, while calling for a strong confrontation. – facial lessons.