Students and Faculty open to napping area on campus

Bobby Shipman

A designated sleeping area could definitely benefit students, Aryn Cross said.

The senior social work major laid on a stretch of sun kissed grass in front of the Rice Library. Cross, along with a friend, found the location cozy for an afternoon break, she said.

“I kind of sometimes sneak up to the library, and I get to sitting into one of the really comfy chairs,” Cross said. “Sometimes I just fall asleep, and it happens unintentionally.”

Cross commutes to USI and spends a significant amount of time on campus.

Many European companies designate nap time for 20 minutes to help employees feel energized to accomplish more throughout the day, she said.

USI students can be seen snoozing in an array of locations across campus. Couches, benches, balconies, cars and even hammocks are some hot-spots for student slumbers.

A parody-twitter account, @USI_Sleepers, reveals awkward photos of students on USI’s campus sleeping in various places.

Rice Library seems to be where most people fall asleep, Cross said.

Although the library lacks an official policy on student napping, the unofficial practice allows students to nap unless it becomes distracting, like loud snoring, Marna Hostetler said.

If this occurs, a library employee would wake them, the library director said.

“When you wake somebody up, sometimes they wake up swinging,” Hostetler said.

Hostetler worked at University of South Carolina’s library where napping was forbidden.

There would be homeless people, theft and assaults, Hostetler said.

“We haven’t had any problems with that here,” she said as she knocked on her wooden desk.

But she knows some students may need to nap.

“I know students have very long days,” she said. “If you work two jobs, you might need a little catnap.”

Napping on campus is not safe, but it’s better to sleep in the library rather than in a car where a student will be alone, she said.

If USI designates a sleeping area it would have to be monitored, but it could be a possible solution if done carefully, Hostetler said.

Many universities have already hopped aboard the sleeping room band-wagon.

Dean of Students Angela Batista said she heard the idea proposed before on other campuses, but not at USI.

University of Colorado’s “Siesta room” allows students supervised resting time accompanied by beanbag chairs, sleeping mats and couches, according to a 2009 article by The Oklahoma Daily.

“I think it would be hard, in general, to designate a place for sleeping,” Batista said. “I think providing, for any campus, a space that is just for napping is challenging.”

Simmons College, in Boston, provides commuter housing, states its handbook.

Students can use this four-person bedroom solely for sleeping purposes and must provide their own bed-dressings.

“I am always open to listening to students,” Batista said. “If students have ideas, I think it would be a great thing to bring up.”