From 15 to 17 November 2023, university students all over the Czech Republic are going to participate in a strike organized by the Univerzity za klima (Universities for Climate, UZK) initiative. Students of some faculties of Charles University will engage in this event as well. The goal of the strike is not to protest CU and its sustainability plan but to urge a social change necessary to solve the climate crisis. The students would like to utilize the university as a space for free thought. With permission from the management, they have organized alternative programs focusing on the issues of our time and possible solutions that will take place on the campuses of certain faculties. For more information published by the UZK initiative, click here.
The Management of CU FA agrees with the protesters and considers climate change one of the most pressing challenges of our time. That is why the faculty and the whole university prioritize putting in place sustainable management, deepening environmental education, and offering students opportunities for research and development of this essential field. The Management of CU FA values the courage and determination of the students who have decided to become involved in seeking solutions to this issue and therefore wishes to continue to engage in the dialogue and find a common path to a solution.
At the same time, the Management of CU FA has doubts about how effective it is to restrict the operation of institutions whose members already show long-term high rates of eco-consciousness, involvement, and social responsibility with regards to this issue. The purpose of (occupation) strikes is to restrict the operation of institutions that have a tangible impact on how this crisis is solved and our faculty is most certainly not one of them. In an effort to widen the social reach of the planned protests, the Management of CU FA (along with the Management of CU) repeatedly offered the representatives of the UZK initiative the use of Campus Hybernská for the purposes of the strike. Campus Hybernská is also much better suited to events of this kind because it is inherently connected with the sphere of public affairs, the city of Prague and its authorities. This proposal was declined by the organizers of the strike. The Management of CU FA is, however, ready to negotiate with the UZK initiative about a strike that would happen next year and would take place in Campus Hybernská. This location would enable the faculties to come together and open up the dialogue to not only the students of the respective faculties but also the general public.
The Management of CU FA believes that staying overnight in the building of the CU FA does nothing to support sustainable development or energy conservation. The estimate of the financial cost of overnight strike to the CU FA reaches around 100,000 CZK (higher water and sewer charges, hygienic necessities, waste collection charges, cleaning, security, energy costs etc.). Given the demands of the protesters directed towards universities, we find that this aspect of the event is in direct contradiction with the purpose and goal of the strike.
To ensure safety for the duration of the event and to prevent the event from interfering with classes and our employees’ work, the CU FA has set the following rules:
- The climate strike will take place in the main building of the CU FA, nám. Jana Palacha 1/2, 116 38 Prague 1 from 15 to 17 November 2023 during the operation of the faculty, i.e., from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm on the ground and first floors of the main building of CU FA.
- CU FA will designate rooms P104 and P116 on the first floor of the main building for the purposes of the strike and the program will mostly take place there. The hallways immediately adjacent to these rooms are also available for activities that will not disrupt the classes or work of the CU FA employees.
- On 15 and 16 November 2023 from 8:00 am to 3:15 pm there will be no loud or otherwise disruptive program, as the Humanities Week event will be taking place in the hall of the CU FA (P131) and other rooms.
- If the organisers of the strike decide to stay overnight in the building despite the above-stated opinion of the Management of CU FA, they will do so on 15 and 16 November and they will keep only to the specially designated space (rooms P104 and P116).
- It will be possible to display information about the event, the Strike Code, and the agreement on the rules of the event between the UZK initiative with CU FA at the entrance to the building and on the ground floor (only in designated places, see rules below).
- The UZK initiative will provide supervision of at least three persons throughout the strike, who will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the UZK initiative Strike Code.
- On the ground and first floors, where the strike will take place, there will always be stationed at least three visibly marked delegates of the UZK initiative who can be contacted by the faculty members or employees in case their jobs (teaching, other activities related to the operation of CU FA) are disrupted by the event.
- In the case of overnight stays, the building will be locked at 9:00 pm for security reasons, and CU FA security will only let people out. All persons not staying overnight will leave the building by 10:30 pm.
- It is forbidden to post or display information posters, banners, or leaflets on the facade or hallways of the building except in places designated for this purpose or agreed upon with the building manager.
- The Management of CU FA will place a technically prepared banner for this purpose on the facade, and the staff of the Facilities Management Office will securely attach it to the facade for the duration of the strike, provided that the UZK initiative delivers it in advance to the hands of the Management of CU FA.
- The UZK initiative takes responsibility for ensuring the safety of the event and for adherence to the UZK initiative Strike Code.
- If the event does not proceed according to the agreed upon rules, CU FA reserves the right to close the allocated room or even the entire building.
During the strike, the following general rules of the main building of the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, nám. Jana Palacha 1/2, 116 38 Prague 1 (hereinafter referred to as the “Building”) apply:
Opening hours in the building are from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm on weekdays, the building is closed on weekends and public holidays.
Please do not:
- Enter the building with animals except assistance dogs;
- smoke inside the building, this includes electronic cigarettes;
- handle open flames in the building;
- bring bicycles, scooters, tricycles, monocycles, Segway boards, hoverboards and similar conveyances into the interior of the building;
- store bicycles, scooters, tricycles, monocycles, Segway boards and hoverboards and similar conveyances inside the building, lean them against the walls or the exterior facade;
- bring and use your own electric or gas heating appliances;
- bring and consume alcohol or narcotics;
- bring and use pyrotechnics or dangerous chemical substances;
- bring and use firearms, edged or bladed weapons;
- place objects on escape stairways or escape corridors.