On Tuesday, March 4, 2014, a group of 6 female CMU students found the best place on campus for a quick nap: on the floor in front of the Office of the Dean. Planned as a demonstration to confront the stress culture at Carnegie Mellon University, the peaceful act quickly caught the attention of the administration in the offices at either end of the small hallway, as well as those who sought access to the nearby elevator. An equally bewildered, flustered, and attentive Dean of Student Affairs met the students at their napping space. When the students responded to her questions by stating that they were not protesting, that they ‘fell asleep’ in the space while studying, the Dean asked the students if they would accompany her to her office, one floor downstairs. The naps resulted in a meeting held after Spring Break, which the students attended as did the University’s Dean of Student Affairs and Vice Provost.
This project was a group collaboration: Hannah Gaskill, Nicholas Sardo, Angelina Namkung, Maddy Gryger, and Andrea Gershuny. The concept of this project was to focus on the stress culture that was prevalent at CMU, and the inherent pride that ensues due to lack of sleep. Students pride themselves on whoever has the least amount of sleep. This led us to thinking about a method in which to allow stressed students more sleep, creating three beds in the shape of coffins and installing them around campus, providing students with a comfortable area in which to get a decent amount of sleep.