Commuter students deserve a safe space to nap

A designated napping location would make it easier for commuter students to stay on campus longer.

One thing that most college students can agree on is that we don’t get enough sleep. Between work, academics, family, friends and extracurriculars, getting the recommended 7 hours of sleep a night is rare. Sometimes, I wish that there was a place on campus where I could lay down and catch some shut eye between classes.

Students who live nearby or in Court 17 have the luxury of going back home to nap between classes. But what about students who commute to campus?

University of Washington Tacoma is known for being a commuter school, meaning that many students live outside Tacoma and have to commute just to attend classes. Just this quarter, I have classmates who commute daily from Bonney Lake, Puyallup, Olympia, Orting, Federal Way, and Gig Harbor. The high price of gas means that driving to campus is a significant financial investment, and students who use transit devote a large amount of time to sitting on buses or trains. Either way, it’s not really a viable option to go back home in between classes. What are tired students supposed to do?

Some University of Washington Tacoma students, like Holly Wetzel, have tried to nap in their cars. Holly is a junior majoring in Psychology and drives up from Olympia. 

She said she often feels really tired in between her morning and evening class and has considered napping in her car before but said “it doesn’t feel safe.” 

Other students end up guzzling caffeine just to stay awake. Cesar Martinez, a senior, said that he spends a lot of money on coffee and energy drinks. 

“Between class and family stuff, it’s hard to stay alert sometimes,” he said.

I think that having an authorized nap spot on campus would be a great solution to commuter students’ fatigue. 

Other colleges, like University of Akron in Ohio have set up “nap pods” around their campus as part of a campaign to boost student mental health. The nap pods are lounge-style recliners with a covered visor for privacy and have a bluetooth connection option so students can play quiet music to help fall asleep. 

I personally really like the idea of nap pods at University of Washington Tacoma. We could put them in the library or other places that are quiet, like the upper floors of the Mattress Factory (MAT) or in the downstairs alcoves of Tacoma Paper and Stationary (TPS).

Would you feel comfortable napping on campus?