Coffman is the place for the tired and the weary

Joe Carlson

Your eyelids are heavy. Your neck is getting weaker, barely able to hold your head up straight. You look at the clock — seven minutes until class ends.
Your notes are now chicken scratches. The professor is beginning to sound more and more like Charlie Brown’s elementary school teacher: wanh, wanh, wanh. Four minutes to go.
You begin to think you made a bad decision by not hitting the snooze button one last time this morning. Suddenly, like a divine ray of sunlight cutting through the groggy clouds of a morning lecture, people in class begin to pack up their notebooks.
Class is out, and you’ve survived — for now.
But you know that you’ve got to find a place to crash, and quick, before you descend into a coma midway through your next class, Multivariable Approaches to Econometric Procedures. You have to cut class.
Feeling like a guinea pig in a sleep-deprivation experiment, you stumble numbly to the one place you know there will be good food, great people and comfortable places to sleep: Coffman Union.
For ages, students have sought out the luxurious couches on the ground floor of the East Bank student union for talking, studying and, most importantly, sleeping. Dreams of students lost in slumber’s bliss intermingle in the front atrium beneath the glass sheets that form the front of the building.
This year, students from around the Twin Cities campus voted Coffman as the best place to skip class in the 1998 Grapevine Awards.
The Coffman front lobby is a melting pot for the numerous student demographics at the University. On any given day, students of every ethnicity, creed and income level can be seen sleeping, side-by-side, truly at peace.
Unfortunately, the proposal to install similar lobbies in the Balkan states and the Middle East has never been taken seriously by international diplomats. But true understanding and lasting peace begin during sleep — together.
The world could learn a lot from the limp-necked, drowsy-eyed, lazily disengaged students cutting classes in Coffman.