The Santa Clara
March 2, 2017
It is no secret that college students are subjected to copious amounts of stress, both inside and outside of the classroom.
Although Santa Clara’s administration is not responsible for eliminating these stressors, it should be responsible for providing students the tools they need in order to cope with them.
The administration could make two changes that would have a huge positive impact students: extending hours in both the library and the gym.
College students are especially susceptible to sleep deprivation and stress, which often leads to illness. According to a study by Stanford University, the average sleep requirement for college students is well over eight hours.
Yet, Universal Health Services reveal that the average college student receives only six to 6.9 hours of sleep.
As we all know, a student with bags under their eyes, carrying a coffee with double-espresso shots is not a rare sight on this campus.
Stress-levels are also very high, which can cause a toll on mental health. A survey done by the American Psychological Association stated that 41.6 percent of college students experience anxiety and 36.4 percent depression.
Whether it’s stress from exams, roommate squabbles, or pressure to find summer internships, students are under a lot of stress that can contribute to both anxiety and depression.
Exercise is a healthy outlet that improves sleep and reduces stress. With all of the various stressors that students tackle every day, exercise is an important way in which students use to cope with daily life.
Not only could it save students the extra espresso shot in the morning and a mid-day mental breakdown, but exercise also boosts academic performance, promotes a healthier immune system and creates healthy lifelong habits.
However, all of these benefits are at stake due to the recent cut in gym hours for the students at Santa Clara.
The gym is a critical stress outlet for college students and benefits students’ psychological and physical health.
But students can only benefit if the gym is open at times when they are actually able to use it. Since students need flexibility in gym hours to accommodate busy schedules, making reasonable access to the gym should be a top priority for Santa Clara’s administration.
We’re already starting to see the drawbacks of reduced gym hours, which began this week.
Instead of the nice, relaxed atmosphere of late-night gym sessions, there are rising levels of tension as students linger behind cardio machines waiting for their turn or prepare to pounce when a mat becomes available. Forget about waiting until rush hours are over; it’s crowded all the time.
The feeling of being packed like sardines gets no better at the library.
We’ve all been there: cramming late at night for an exam, frantically writing an essay to beat a deadline or squeezing in some much-needed studying after a busy day of classes. College students are constantly on the go: classes, part-time jobs, clubs and sports all add up to necessitate those late night study sessions.
We all know you can’t always count on being able to study in your dorm room, so where are you supposed to get work done when the library closes?
Since our studies are obviously why we’re all here, students need a place where they can go anytime to work, day or night.
Santa Clara needs to make providing a study space for its students 24/7 a goal they will actively pursue, in the same way that many comparable schools in the area have done.
Stanford opened a 24-hour study room in the library and Loyola Marymount University keeps the library’s first floor open 24 hours.
It seems reasonable that the Santa Clara administration could also find a way to provide a 24/7 study room, giving its students the resources they need to succeed in school.
While recognizing that money is always the bottom line, the gym and library are not the places to cut corners. For a college that just received a $100 million donation, we sure aren’t managing our budget well.
The university’s main concern should be educating its students while helping them maintain their mental and physical health.
Extending the hours of both the gym and the library would promote the physical, psychological and intellectual well-being of the student body. These are necessities that we cannot afford to sacrifice.
Amanda Pretti is a first-year economics and philosophy double major.
Articles in the Opinion section represent the views of the individual authors only and not the views of The Santa Clara or Santa Clara University.