‘Students Cramming Into Them Like Sardines’: University Hammocks Being Overused Due to Popularity

Kipp Greenwell, Contributing Writer

The Sunshine State is where many folks go to vacation; for some of those who attend college in the state, the tropical atmosphere is something to be appreciated, especially while lounging in hammocks. 

FGCU has embraced this culture of recreation and relaxation across its campus for years now, with hammocks situated in the lawns and by residence halls, all provided by the university.

The hammocks were introduced as a way to combat student-placed hammocks that created crowding and other issues due to inconvenient locations. Before their presence on campus, students could occasionally be found stringing hammocks not only between trees, but walkway posts, making it harder for students to navigate to classes.

These college-provided hammocks were noted as a success by the 2019 Student Government Vice President Kayla Reiter in their Oct. 25 meeting.

“Going forward we will have more sustainable hammocks,” Reiter is noted as saying in the meeting’s minutes.

The early days of the hammocks were different from their current state, according to students who were present at the time of their introduction.

“The first round of hammocks was super cheap because they were pilot hammocks and they were, like, not meant to be outside in any meaningful capacity — it was wacky,” said Frances Love, a graduate student. “The first round was a few years back but they were on campus until very recently, I think…like one or two was kicking around busted until not long ago.”

The current hammocks are made of rope.

“The material that they are made with is good, doesn’t retain water or leave marks,” student Elizabeth Hopper Mendes said.

While notably more fit for the outdoors than their predecessors, the new rope hammocks stretch, break, and loosen easily, which has led to some students having complaints about the lack of upkeep and infrequent replacement, as well as the limitation in amount. 

Several students who were asked about the hammocks stated they had never even had a chance to use them, as they always seem to either be occupied or broken.

“I’ll see three, sometimes four students cramming into them like sardines, but they wear down the hammocks really quickly,” student Jules Bustamante said.” Sometimes I just want to lie down outside and look at the nature around, but I can’t do that because they get worn down so quickly due to all the carelessness. Not even to mention that it takes a while for them to get replaced.”

The wear on the hammocks often results in them drooping, causing students to be lower to the ground than some are comfortable with — sometimes causing bruising as a result of the hammock’s bowing knocking them against the metal supports.

Despite the complaints, the frequent use of the hammocks shows their popularity amongst the student population. Many continue to use the hammocks despite the wear and tear, and without complaints.