Though the school offers a high quality, proximal, no cost education (an elite opportunity in 2030), it is not "free". This opportunity is offered in exchange for student research and labor, and their participation as test subjects for its plethora of scientific and technological studies. Students are now workers-in-training who live and work in adjacent rooms. Their rooms are rows of stacked "hotbunks", with occupants' schedules staggered in complex research/recreate/labor/sleep shifts. Since the need for sleep has been converted into short "restoration cycles through BioNeuroNanoComm advances, and a small but effective gene "tweak" stimulates productivity, students can spend full 8 hour labor and research shifts and still have time for recreation.

Because of the increased risks of the world outside of the campus, as identified by University insurance officials, funded students must agree in their debt contracts to remain inside at all times; they are simply too valuable as investments to be made vulnerable to illness, random violence, tradeSpys or contamination. Inside the new labtower is everything a research community might want in the arenas of research technology, entertainment and medical support and communications. There’s even a wave machine Bwhere you can still surf! Concern over intellectual property leakage necessitates an intricate security apparatus which tracks all community members: not even the Chancellor is exempt.

Inevitably, the move indoors to more confined settings has brought about changes in social conventions to which everyone is still adjusting. Most people prefer to communicate through mediating gadgets and devices even with their friends and romantic interests. Over the years, people have become more comfortable with engaging with each other via private, public and semi-public media rather than face to face. The students inside are the children of the current global generation of college students.

The bureaucratic framework that keeps things running is automated almost entirely by machine, though there is a maintenance crew. These technical service workers are “the new janitors”.