We ranked each of the new hammocks on campus so you don't have to

Seven hammocks recently popped up in the Courtyard and in The Village, prompting the obvious dilemma: Which one is worthy of my rare and fleeting time to lounge?

The Pulse is here to help.

Joseph Kessler (M1), above, proposed the hammocks and was awarded $1,000 in Strategic Initiative Funding through the Big Idea Campaign to purchase them.

"NEOMED prides itself on demonstrating compassion and empathy toward students and their health," Joseph says.  "My idea supports these values and NEOMED's mission as it provides a unique way for students to find an outlet from the stress they face in their professional and personal lives. The hammocks can help reduce stress by offering an open area for individuals to come together and relax."

From the Pulse's observations, adoption of the hammocks has been swift, as students have been spotted frequently enjoying them.

For our rankings, we developed a proprietary scale – one to five pillows – to rank the hammocks. More pillows are better. And we recruited at no expense an experienced hammock enthusiast in the form of Max Dawson (M1) to lie in each and provide said ranking.

Max has five years of hammock-lounging experience mostly at his home outside of Canfield.

"We have one between two trees and one on our back porch," Max says. "I'm in one nearly every day when it's warm."

We had found our expert.

Or so we thought.

Before our first test, Max revealed that the first time he sat in one of the University hammocks, he fell out.

[Important! Each hammock comes with hangtag instructions about how to safely enter and exit. We also suggest — especially for hammock novices (no judgment) — that you move the hammock over grass and not concrete.]

Undeterred by Max's tumble, we began our examination.

"A good hammock fits like a glove," Max says as we walked to the first one in the courtyard. "Location is really important, and you want to be able to rock back and forth easily. If you are really lucky, the breeze will help with that."

A student lays in a hammock in the courtyard at NEOMED


Location: Courtyard, by the library

Two pillows

Ranking: Two pillows.

Max, sprawled out in the hammock (photo above): "I don't know about this one; I don't like looking at the library. The shade is pretty good, but I'm not feeling much of a breeze." He also noted that he sank deep into the hammock, about an inch from the ground. (We should mention that the seven hammocks are the same model, so Max is mostly focused on other factors.)


Location: Courtyard, near the MDLs

Four pillows

Ranking: Four pillows

Max: "Oh, this is much better. First, it fits nicely. It's more comfortable than the first. But I'm not sure you would be able to rock back and forth that much." This hammock was docked for tree litter, which sprinkled down during his test laze.


Location: Courtyard, near the research building

Five pillows

Ranking: Five pillows

Max: "Oh wow, this is great. The view is nice. I don't know why, but this one is angled a bit, and it feels more comfortable. The trees are really close. There's lots of shade. The flowers are nice."


Location: Courtyard, along the walkway that leads to the Village.

Three pillows

Ranking: Three pillows.

Max: "This is the one that I've seen multiple students relaxing in. I'm not sure about its location next to the walkway. It's a negative if people are walking by and you are trying to take a nap. I'm going to take this down a peg because I don't want any noise."


Location: Under the white pines tucked away near New Center patio.

Five pillows

Ranking: Five pillows

Max: "Oh, comfy and has a nice view. Great shade – if you want sun, don't come here. I would nickname this one Hidden Gem. I like the location; if you have something to do on campus, you can just walk out the doors and take a little break over here."


Five pillows

Ranking: Five pillows

Location: Find this pair in the Village open space, but note that students frequently move them based on sun/shade preferences.

Max (who lives in The Village): "This one is easy – five pillows. Love the sun here. And you can just walk out of your apartment and here they are."


There you have it: Your definitive guide to the campus hammocks. Enjoy!

The Pulse extends its gratitude to Joseph for the excellent idea and to Max for his expert analysis.

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