Why students wear pajamas in class at UMD

It’s what the dedicated students wear. (MPR / Alex Friedrich)

It’s 7 a.m., and UMD student Scotty Ducharme is having breakfast with me in the dining hall.

He’s wearing a T-shirt, pajama bottoms and flip-flops.

Why?

Heck — because he can.

It’s really toasty in the buildings here at UMD. And unlike a lot of college campuses, almost all of the buildings are connected by tunnel, enclosed walkway or skyway.

It’s sort of a perk for for students who live in the dorms. Everything is self-contained. So for a lot of students — such as Ducharme — there’s no need to go outside into the bitter cold.

The history major from International Falls tells me:

“A student who lives off campus might come into class and talk about scraping ice of his car, and I’ll think, ‘Wow, I haven’t been outside in 10 days.'”

It’s about priorities. (Alex Friedrich / MPR)

He says he goes to class in his PJs all the time — and it’s not uncommon for other students to show up in their sleepwear, either. Come finals, he says, they’re all doing it.

“At the beginning of the year, you first start getting up at 8:30 for a 10 a.m. class,” he told me. “By the end, you’re getting up at 9:35.”

Now don’t start thinking it’s all about laziness. Listening to Ducharme, I’m starting to think it’s the style of the power student.

“It’s about prioritizing,” he told me — implying that getting dressed just might waste a little too much time. “I’m leaving as much time as possible for my studies.”