Recent reports from security shocked the Caltech community today after several undergrads were allegedly found sleeping on public couches, benches, and hammocks. The administration urges students to keep calm, but not too calm, since that would increase the risk of falling asleep.
Often after a long study session, interhouse party, or movie marathon, a typical Caltech student may occasionally enter a state of “sleepfulness.” Individuals in this altered state are unpredictable, potentially dangerous, and should never be allowed to drive. They may, without warning, enter an unconscious state of “sleep”, which renders them catatonic and unaware.
Since sleeping undergraduates are a danger to themselves and others, the administration has exercised a strict no-sleeping policy. But new reports out this week suggest that student sleep might actually be common practice, usually conducted in private rooms. Some students even participate in sleeping parties, and shockingly a handful of students are rumored to be running clandestine sleeping operations involving specialized furniture called “beds”.
What happens in someone’s life to push them to such lows?
Some undergrads defend this reckless behavior, claiming that sleeping is just a method of blowing-off stress after a long day of classes and problem sets. “I sleep to get wicked hallucinations”, says one junior in mathematics. She complains about memory loss following such an episode of hallucinations. “Maybe I could keep a notebook around, you know, and write them down before I forget? It’s always so frustrating.” Security warns that these hallucinations (called “dreams”) are not a game, and that in some incidents they have been known to develop into “somnambulism.” This behavioral disorder results in walking or performing other complex tasks while completely unconscious. Many injuries have resulted from this zombie-like effect.
In an interview with The Torch, Caltech security officers, who requested anonymity, provided their insight:
“I had always been told that students sleep, but I didn’t believe it until I saw it myself.”
“I throw them out. Tell them they can’t be in the houses, not like that. It’s shameful.”
“I’ve seen this pattern before. First they’re sleeping on the first dirty couch they can find, next thing you know there’s an illegal underground pillow market. Kids’ll do anything to score a tempur-pedic.”
“When I see them there, face down, I feel a pity deep inside of me. What happens in someone’s life to push them to such lows?”
The head of security stated that efforts to crack down on sleeping are ongoing. These efforts range from temporary measures, such as increased security patrols at night, to more permanent solutions, like installing horns in the lounge of each house that sound off every five minutes.