Students catch z’s in Build SFU nap zone

Although Marc Fontaine was not present to read bedtime stories, students were able to stop in for quick naps throughout the day.

Build SFU offered students the opportunity to take a nap on couches, hammocks, and actual beds in a makeshift ‘nap zone,’ which was set up in the Forum Chambers during the afternoon of October 20.

Entitled Build SFU’s Nap Zone, the event was held in order to give students “a taste of what’s to come in 2017.”

The Student Union Building, slated to finish construction in 2017, will contain a so-called ‘napping room.’ Build SFU has regularly referenced the planned space in their project documentation and promotional materials.

“Students are one of the most sleep deprived demographics of the population,” said Ross MacMillan, consultation coordinator for Build SFU. “Part of our mandate for the [SUB] is to facilitate overall health and wellness, and students have been very interested in the idea of the nap room.

“It was not us that proposed [the nap room]; it was SFU students. They have been bringing it up during consultations ever since we started the project,” MacMillan said.

Adam Potvin, VP finance for the SFSS, acknowledged that the event was designed to promote the planned SUB space, but added that it was also a mental health initiative.

“The idea had stemmed from an initiative about getting enough sleep,” Potvin said. “We ended up collaborating with a bunch of people like HiFIVE and Health and Counselling. It was appropriate to pursue something, and what better way to do so than to create a nap room.”

The napping space in the Forum Chambers during the event was unlit, with a projector displaying visuals of oceans on the wall. Relaxing music played quietly in an otherwise silent room. Build SFU personnel were on scene to manage the nap-takers.

Although the room was configured as such for this event, the SUB nap room will be a little different. “The nap room in the SUB will have furniture that is comfortable, but [it] will not be beds,” Marc Fontaine, general manager of the project, said. “They will be more like comfortable couches or day beds.”

Despite the differences, Fontaine emphasized that the event reflected the spirit of the future napping space.

“Today’s event serves two purposes. First, to indicate that there will be a napping space in the SUB. Second [. . .] to promote the fact that sleeping and proper rest is important for wellness,” said Fontaine. “The space in the SUB will be a bit different from today, but the motivation is the same.”

Despite indications that the event was well received, some concerns were raised by students. Amelia Hill, a third year political science student, brought up the issue of hygiene.

“I’m concerned that it will not be sanitized enough [. . .] People drool, they smell, and they don’t shower. It could be gross,” said Hill. “It could be wonderful; it has potential to be really great. But it has got to be clean.”

On these concerns, Fontaine responded, “Just like lounges on campus are cleaned regularly, the nap room will be maintained by the custodial staff. I cannot comment on the details since the project is still under development, but it is something we are keeping in mind.

“The space will not have sheets or pillows, which will help with this. Beyond hygiene, we are also determining how to promote safety. These
decisions haven’t been made yet, but we know that they are really
important decisions,” Fontaine concluded.