Say goodbye to snoozing in class and hello to a designated napping facility.
Following up on its campaign promises to tackle the three major problems students face being tired, being broke and being hungry — the RSU wants to put nap pods on campus.
RSU president Ram Ganesh and the executive team have a plan to install four to five napping pods on campus, one of them being in the SCC. They hope the nap pods would be in place by the end of this semester’s exam season. As part of the trial period, there will be data collected to see how students respond. Once the trial is complete, the data will be sent to the university’s planning office to see if a permanent napping facility would be feasible.
Ganesh said there is currently no place for students to rest. “When students try to sleep in the library or the SLC they always get kicked out,” he added. Ganesh emphasized the importance of a space for students to rest, especially for those who don’t live near campus. “I was commuting from Brampton and would have to wake up at 5 a.m., then I would have all this time between classes with nowhere to go,” he said. Ganesh is just one example of the many students that would benefit from this project.
A napping facility has been a hot topic among students. In 2015, the board of governors promised to look into napping options at Ryerson. That same year, a campus health meeting held by students revealed they needed a napping or relaxation spot at Ryerson. This project is the closest Ryerson has ever been to addressing this concern.
The proposal was brought to the attention of Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi, who green-lighted it to be taken to the executives and board of directors. If the proposal is approved then the trial period can begin.
“I [think] it’s a good initiative. I mean it’s healthy for students who are spending long long hours here. I think it’s a good thing to have,” said Lachemi.
The RSU decided that front-entering napping pods would be best for Ryerson students, after looking at the other napping facilities in place at other universities. A napping pod is essentially an enclosed free-standing structure where students can enter and lay down. The University of Calgary has a napping room, where multiple students can rest on mats that have been placed on the floor. The British Columbia Institute of Technology has two napping pods installed in its library.
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Ganesh said that the RSU decided to go with pods because “they make more sense and provide a different level of comfort.” The pods are also enclosed, which means more privacy and a better naptime for students, as opposed to a large room with no dividers. However, if the RSU cannot purchase the front-facing pods fast enough, they will have to buy side-entering pods instead. The chosen manufacturer is discontinuing their line of front-entering pods as they say “ the side-entry is much more appropriate.”
The pods are made from rubber and mesh, which would allow them to be cleaned with a simple sanitary wipe. Since the pods are made to be used frequently, they can handle the wear and tear from students.
This trial period will also allow the RSU to experiment with the limitations of the project. They said that students can reserve a pod by making a booking online, the same way that they can currently book a private study room in the SLC. Students could also register in person at the front desk of the SCC.
Ganesh said that there will be security monitoring the pods to ensure students are safe, and not staying past their time limits. The RSU said the maximum time a student could rent a pod would be for three hours, but they are still “ironing out the details.”
Once the proposed trial is done, which will be sometime this academic year, and the findings are sent to the planning office, there will be a vote to see if a permanent napping facility is in the cards for Ryerson. “It’s up to the RSU next year to see what will happen,” said Ganesh. “For right now, we’re trying to bring the pods to students.”