In June, Crowe de Bordeaux expelled dozens of students from the “Village 6” dormitory without providing any alternative housing. Some found themselves on the street or forced to return home in France or abroad. A difficult test for those students who have just spent an entire year in one of the most dangerous dwellings in Crous in Bordeaux, Village 6, which the residents themselves renamed “Cafardland”.
The accommodation was attractive at first sight for students from precarious families and international students, with the rent of €149 per room being the cheapest of all Crous housing. But behind that price, Crous hides an unsanitary housing that makes life impossible for the students.
Gabriel*, an expelled student from Village 6, describes the exterior of the residence as a “Landfill: smashed cars, rats everywhere, refrigerators lying next to apartments, abandoned buildings next to our building, daily construction sites that wake us up every day, and everything around the dwelling is setting up temporary shelters for the homeless. It is clear that the problem is not the homeless, but in the village Number 6 we live in a state of insecurity … The door of the building does not close, so everyone can enter it and it became a place for people without housing, a place of agreement, there were often drunk people around the house and even once a drunk man with a knife ran into the corridors in front of My room “.
Gabriel* continues… “Inside, things go wrong and unsanitary conditions are everywhere! Many people refuse to cook in the kitchen where the sinks are regularly clogged because there are only two kitchens for about forty students on each floor. The kitchens are full of pigeon dung that enters the building regularly. Then the bathrooms and toilets in Ruined condition There is a shower for 10 people it’s hard to get hot water In the rooms it’s cold, in winter we use additional heaters and in 2021 Crous gives a hateful answer to the student whose heating has broken: “Add a jacket!” ».
It’s been even more difficult during lockdowns and college closings, Covey*, also a former resident of Village 6, tells us: “It was simply impossible to follow the courses properly from a distance, first of all due to the frequent power outages that the venue suffers from, but also due to the very weak internet infrastructure! The internet cuts multiplied, so at the same time as following the courses, it was I have to keep up with what happened the day before.”.
Aya add that “Staying in a 10 square meter room is really difficult, but what’s more, it was infested with cockroaches, really everywhere! Once I put a cockroach trap under my fridge, in one week about thirty cockroaches and an insect stuck to it. Sometimes it releases Cruz is on the disinfection companies, but here again it is difficult for us because it is a heavy chemical treatment that forces the tenant to move in the middle of the year and find himself for four days without his personal belongings.The room is not infected either.It is unacceptable to live in such unsanitary conditions.Crous responsible “. In an email addressed to the director of Village 6 in 2021, Alexander deplores these living conditions in which Cruz abandoned them: “I gathered about a dozen numbers of people who would be willing to testify against you, students and staff of Crous as well. One of your employees told me she had an infection in her leg from bed bug bites, and in my room even after the pest control company came, bed bugs were still around , I was waking up every half day. Hours I bit her”.
The accommodation has reached such a level of inadequacy that complaints from students and staff have multiplied, prompting Crous to finally begin renovations this summer. But in response, the Crowes expelled the students from their accommodation to start work on the dormitory, leaving some of them on the street unresolved. A scandalous decision despite the explosion of student insecurity in recent years, and that Bordeaux students bear the brunt of it, as evidenced by this survey conducted among 18,000 students at Bordeaux Montaigne University in 2021.
The testimonies thus transcribed highlight the role Crous really played in combating student instability: at best providing unsanitary accommodations that plunge students into unsustainable living conditions for their studies, and at worst expulsion without a solution to resettlement. In the face of this situation, defending decent housing for all, but also demanding an income for students equal to the minimum wage which has been increased to 1,800 euros so that young people no longer have to choose between being able to feed themselves, decent housing and study, which is more important than ever .
* First names have been changed to ensure that students’ identities are not revealed.
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