Views expressed in opinion columns are the author's own.
I do not deny that napping pods are a cool idea; however, the plan to bring two of these pods to McKeldin Library is poorly thought out and a waste of funds. Proponents of napping pods argue students want an easier way to rest at McKeldin while studying, and commuters would like somewhere to nap between classes. While these are both serious concerns, tossing a few napping pods into the library will not solve them.
The current plan is to install two napping pods, which will have a time limit of 20 minutes. Twenty minutes is not long enough to fall asleep and rejuvenate an exhausted student, and will provide little help to commuters who may have multiple hours of free time between classes.
Students also may not want to nap in a space slept in by countless other students because it may be viewed as unsanitary. Once the novelty of these pods wears off, people will have little reason to use them given the time limit and the realities of sharing a sleeping space with hundreds of other students.
At a school the size of the University of Maryland, two pods are not nearly enough to tackle the problems of student exhaustion and commuters not having a place to rest their heads. With this in mind, these pods are being labeled as a pilot program. If it's successful, the library will likely be responsible for funding more.
However, these two pods will take almost $22,000 out of the Student Facilities Fund, according to Student Facilities Fund Subcommitee chair Noah Eckman. Considering the size of the student body and the fact that the Student Facilities Fund is financed by student fees, $22,000 is far too much to spend on two napping pods.
Worse still is the prospect of the library financing more pods if the pilot program is successful. This university's library system's resources should be used to staff more of the libraries for longer stretches of time and avoid having McKeldin packed with students.
Additionally, students know that it is already incredibly challenging to find study space at McKeldin, especially during finals. If more and more space is converted into napping pod zones, there will be even less room to accommodate students who need the space to study.
Although $22,000 is not a lot in the almost $3 million Student Facilities Fund budget, and the student fees it uses are just $9 per person, there are ways for that money to benefit larger segments of the student population. While I do not pretend to know the solutions for all the many problems facing this university, it is apparent that a few napping pods taking up space in McKeldin will not solve any of them.
Mitchell Rock is a senior government and politics and physiology and neurobiology major. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.