With the news that UFV will continue to maintain lower temperatures in compliance with FortisBC orders to cut natural gas usage, the people who call UFV school, work, and home are taking temperature regulation into their own hands.
SustainableUFV reports that the school’s electricity bill has increased 73 per cent since the heat reduction began Oct. 10. “It’s the microwaves,” declared department head Evelyn Greene through clenched teeth. “People are heating up their food. All of it. We expected to see more people bringing soup, but they’re heating up muffins, they’re heating up ham sandwiches, they’re even heating up salads. Who wants to eat warm lettuce?”
One such student is third-year communications major Kathy Buchanan, who explained it was purely a matter of practicality. “I’ve been in this line for 43 minutes,” she explained, gesturing with a Coffee Crisp at the queue of students ahead of her waiting for the cafeteria’s lone microwave. “I’ve already missed the start of my class, so you better bet I’ll be microwaving every damn piece of food I’ve got on me when I finally get my chance.”
But melting chocolate isn’t the only way to keep warm. The gym has reported a steep increase in interest in its drop-in sports programs, as students and faculty alike try to insulate themselves with a slick coat of sweat. Those hoping to hit the showers afterwards may be disappointed, however: they have reportedly all been occupied since the first day of the heat cut-off, with their users saying it was “too cold” to step out from under the warm water. Gym administrators assured The Cascade that after around a month without food, the problem will soon be sorting itself out.
The bookstore tried to get in on the action, hosting a special event at the start of November. “We thought it would be popular, that people would come together and have a good night.” However, students came out in strong opposition, criticizing the idea of burning used textbooks when new ones are such a significant expense. The bookstore justified it as necessary to make more space for additional UFV-branded clothing. The bonfire, and subsequent protest bonfire, both drew crowds in the hundreds, though campus security quickly shut them down under suspicions that some of the smoke pouring out of the gathering may have been from people trying to stealthy circumvent the campus’s new anti-smoking laws.
In an effort to see how long such drastic measures would be continuing, we reached out to FortisBC to request information. To our surprise, they informed us that the gas restrictions had been lifted after just one week. When asked about this revelation, UFV Facilities admitted that the order to continue the low temperatures had come from above. “We were told it was good for the school,” choked out the department’s overseer, Jason Holten. “They said student engagement is higher, people are actually coming to classes early and doing things. We were told we had to keep it cold all winter.”
In light of these startling revelations, The Cascade has reached out to UFV’s president, but has yet to receive any response. Until the matter is resolved and heat is returned to the campus, however, we are pleased to announce that The Cascade branded merchandise will soon be available from our office, including warm, comfy sweatshirts.