Penn State’s UPUA Approves Bill to Buy Calm App for 600 Students

Story posted September 27, 2022 in CommRadio, News by Katie Knol

The University Park Undergraduate Association — or UPUA — unanimously approved a bill to provide 600 yearly subscriptions for the app Calm to help students with mental health.

After a 7-day free trial, Calm costs $14.99 per month or $69.99 per year. However, 600 Penn Staters will be able to access the app’s mental health aids for free due to the bill.

According to the app’s description, “Calm is the #1 app for sleep and meditation” and it helps its users experience “better sleep, lower stress and less anxiety.”

A premium subscription includes over 100 guided meditations, a library of sleep stories, calming music, and masterclasses for discussions about mindful learning.

Sophomore Gihyo Kowk said she doesn’t see herself using the new resource, but she is glad it’s being provided to those who could benefit.

“I think it’s cool that they care about students’ mental health,” Kowk said. “It’s kind of like an extension of what they have.”

Kowk said this resource works side-by-side with the free mental health resources provided through Penn State institutions like Counseling and Psychological Services or CAPS.

Sophomore Perry Drugan said that the app could help with the stresses caused by the many aspects of the college experience, but she thinks more than the approved 600 subscriptions would be necessary.

“I know for a lot of students like myself, I feel like it’s really easy to get caught up in not only academics but a lot of social factors as well that you feel obligated to maintain,” Drugan said. “Like extracurriculars or friendships or if you’re an out-of-state student maintaining contact with people from home.”

The bill states that the University of Arizona conducted research that has shown the app provides significant benefits to reducing students’ stress levels. UPUA members said they hope Penn State will see a similar effect.

Katie Knol is a third-year majoring in digital/print journalism and political science. To contact her, email