The precarious situation of students exposed by the health crisis is still a reality almost three years later. On the Dijon (Côte-d’Or) campus, dozens of volunteers are mobilizing to help the most disadvantaged.
They’re almost 80 to crowd the doors of the Epi’Campus solidarity grocery store every Monday. Based on the Dijon (Côte-d’Or) campus, the association aims to help the most vulnerable students by distributing food to them. “The situation today is very serious“, notes Lina El Ouadghiri, its president. “The Covid was there and did a lot of damage.“
If student precariousness is not a new phenomenon, it is in fact the health crisis that has brought it to light and, worse still, aggravated it. With good reason, in the 2019-2020 school year, the association accepted around fifty students before the first confinement… up from more than 700 the following year. And since the beginning of the school year in September 2022, more than 500 people have taken advantage of this help.
People need to see the dramatic side of the precarious situation of students.Lina El Ouadghiri,
President of the Epi’Campus
To help students in need, the University of Burgundy (uB) launched a “Solidarity Commission” in May 2021. An initiative that led to the creation of a dedicated reception center whose doors opened last September. “This allows students to know that we have a permanent location each day of the week that can welcome them, understand their difficulties and guide them according to their needs.“, explains Vanessa Vaizant, responsible for the solidarity mission at uB.
Housing and administrative assistance, assistance with food and treatment, job search… Behind this mobilization is a passion: enabling students to continue their studies in good conditions. “If they don’t have a roof and can’t support themselves, they won’t be able to graduate“, underlines Vanessa Vaizant. A fight that bears fruit: Of 110 students who followed last year, only two did not win the precious sesame.
Our priority is that the students have a place to sleep.Vanessa Vaizant,
responsible for the Solidarity Mission at the University of Burgundy
But despite these efforts, the situation is deteriorating. If 34 extremely precarious students were relocated in 2021, housing problems would “crescendo“.”This year we have already taken 70 of them off the road in two and a half months. It’s enormous.“
It must be said that the Crous Bourgogne-Franche-Comté (BFC), with 7,000 accommodations for 25,000 scholarship holders, is far from having sufficient reception capacity. A new residential building with 200 residential units is scheduled to see the light of day in 2027 … but until then, the facility must find alternative solutions.
“We are working with Dijon Métropole and the state to try to find accommodation that could be covered under a social lease to offer student accommodation at a moderate cost‘ explains Christine Le Noan, Managing Director of Crous BFC.We are also starting energy refurbishment work to provide energy comfort for students.“
In view of the ongoing precariousness, the Crous is also extending the one-euro meals for scholarship holders. On Tuesday November 22nd, the Minister for Solidarity Jean-Christophe Combe announced that the blocking would be lifted.Emergency“10 million euros for student food aid.