UC President Mark Yudof has taken heed of students’ pleas for reform by announcing his plans for the system-wide implementation of nap times. The innovative solution has been hailed for being a cost-efficient, pragmatic approach toward students’ needs. “The University of California places the utmost importance on our students’ well-being—both financially and physically. On the one hand, systematic nap times serve this purpose by promoting a student body of well-rested, alert scholars. On the other, the costs saved through nap times could help stem the flow of tuition increases,” stated an executive memo released by the UC.
During these nap times, whose duration would range from 45 minutes to an hour, all lighting and other equipment would be temporarily turned off; the cumulative effect of these daily energy breaks are expected to save up to $10,000 per campus, per year. According to reports, students would have the option of napping in either completely silent rooms or rooms featuring relaxing music; the sound of rain drops, gentle waves, a flowing river and summer nights will be featured as part of the soundtrack.
“We’re going to be operating on a strict BYOB basis: bring your own blanket,” noted one of the project’s planners. “Hopefully, this will result in less students taking up couch space on the third floor of the HUB and take their naps in these designated areas.”The large conference rooms on the third floor of the Highlander Union Building (HUB 302N and 302S) will be used for nap time purposes, although other areas will be used during finals week when the demand for naps is at its peak. “I totally support this idea. I usually sleep on the furniture of the HUB’s third floor anyway,” noted one student, who was awakened from their nap for the sake of this interview. “I’m a light sleeper though, so I hope that there won’t be too many people that snore loudly.”
The decision is also anticipated to increase alertness levels and class participation during lectures and discussions. A recent independent poll revealed a positive correlation between the number of students in a lecture and the number of students sleeping. According to the student, up to 25 percent of students fall asleep in the average 350-person lecture, while an additional 30 percent are deemed “at risk” of falling asleep. The alarming trend has resulted in numerous instances of sleep-walking and even sleep-talking.
“I had one student raise their hand during lecture and begin talking gibberish–something about flying dogs and cold lasagna. Turns out, the student was just sleep-talking,” noted a tenured faculty member at UC Riverside. “Hopefully these standardized naps will send out the message that lecture halls aren’t for sleeping–that’s what the HUB is for.”