University of Miami Upgrades…Napping?

PodsWith cost and value questions roiling higher education, this headline slapped me last week: ‘Napping pods’ a new high-tech option for weary University of Miami students.

“It’s actually an ‘energy pod’ — a high-tech napping option to recharge sleep-deprived, stressed-out students,” reports the Miami Herald’s Joey Flechas. “The napping pod, decked out in school colors, is billed as a more comfortable and efficient alternative to humble couches and chairs. And it better be at $9,000.”

Miami bought two of them. And a massage chair. Total bill: $20,000.

The story doesn’t detail where the money came from, only that student government teamed up with the university administration to buy the pods.

Even if the money was raised specifically for fancy nap taking, buying a couple of energy pods seems misguided. First, only a few of Miami’s 16,000+ students can possibly hope to enjoy them (and those that have aren’t overly impressed). Second, other needs surely exist on campus that are more worthy of investment from student and university leaders.

For generations, college kids have perfected napping whenever and wherever needed. Helping students tune in, not out, is a better use of money.

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