Editorial: MavPODs needed accessibility and student consultation

With the MavPODs beginning to be installed around campus, it’s vital to be critical of some of the glaring questions and issues brought up with their introduction to campus. 

The first and foremost issue to address is accessibility. 

When it comes to the accessibility, there is no way around it, the MavPODs are lacking. Due to the small size of the compartments there is very little room for individuals who might need the extra space. 

On top of the tiny space, individuals seeking to utilize the pods must take a step up to get into the space, which can also be an issue to accessibility. 

If we as a University aim to create a truly inclusive environment, we cannot have such a glaring disparity in an amenity offered for our students that is not offered to all students.

As it stands right now, for a student or faculty member that is living with a disability that wants to have access to a similar service on campus, they would have to go to the Memorial Library, which essentially defeats the purpose of the pods all together. 

The second main component that is liable to critique is the amount of money that each pod costs and the lack of communication with students as to the choice to pursue this project. 

It seems like an odd solution to a problem that could be solved with a potentially less expensive option. 

Looking at University of Minnesota, Duluth, they have their first two floors dedicated to be “talking floors”, and they encourage students to do their Zoom classes from these locations, with the use of headphones. 

Our own library already implements an acceptable noise level for each floor, calling into question if this was a solution to a problem that was already solved. 

Each of the MavPODs costs 10,000 dollars, and with 100 units across the campus, that adds up to be around a million dollar investment. 

It stands to reason that with such a large investment, there would be a large level of correspondence with students, to ensure that this is something that adequately serves the student body. 

To add to that, there seem to be a lot of issues and kinks that could have been ironed out before the full implementation of the plan, if there had been the extra effort to consult the student population about their comments and concerns. 

Perhaps the accessibility issue would have been brought up sooner, and the pods would have been met with much less harsh critiques. 

The MavPODs are seeming to get a warm welcome from the students that have started using them, so the point of this editorial is not to slam the choice to implement, but instead to call attention to the University’s lack of student consultation, which led to large oversights.

2 thoughts on “Editorial: MavPODs needed accessibility and student consultation

  • Pingback: MavPODs needed accessibility and student consultation - BBG Architecture Life

  • Johnson

    Our faculty association on campus was not consulted about these Mavpods. This says people with disabilities are not welcome on our campus. How can we claim to be a inclusive and equitable University when we are only partly inclusive and partly equitable. They spent over $1 million, yet can’t afford to hire extra counselor in the counselor center.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.