Big Red dollars useless in some laundry rooms

Shawntaye Hopkins

Some students with Big Red dollars have been finding themselves carrying a load of laundry from the washing machines back to their dorm room dirty.

Not because they changed their minds and decided their shirts and jeans could last another week, but because the machines wouldn’t accept their form of payment.

Changes from telephone line connections to ethernet connections over the summer left vending machines and several of the machines that use Big Red dollars to pay for laundry out of order.

Daniel Glynn, a technical and hardware specialist, said all the machines should be working by the end of the semester.

Some will work by the end of the week, he said.

“It’ll all be working, and hopefully it will stay working,” Glynn said.

Glynn said he is installing six ethernet units, which will fix ethernet connection problems, at about $3,000 each.

Auxiliary Services Director Rob Chrisler said the changes that were completed in mid-August were done because ethernet carries more of a load and is faster.

He said telephone lines were also becoming old and worn.

Chrisler said some of the machines that were running properly on the ethernet connection at the start of the semester crashed several times.

“It’s basically been a communication problem with how the machines talk back and forth,” he said.

Jaquell Vantrease, a junior from Watertown, Tenn., said her main reason for buying Big Red dollars was to do her laundry.

Vantrease said she thought the machines were temporarily out of order when she tried to use one in Rodes-Harlin Hall at the beginning of the semester.

But now she’s found herself scrounging for change every time she gets ready to wash her clothes.

“If I have Big Red dollars, I would like for them to be used,” Vantrease said.

Glynn said the ethernet conversion happened so late in the semester he didn’t have time to get everything ready and working before school started.

The connection not only affected vending machines and laundry room machines, but also cash registers on campus.

Glynn said his first priority was to fix the cash registers.

During fall break, Glynn said he got the laundry machines in Bates-Runner Hall and the directionals working.

He said he is working on fixing connections in Gilbert, McCormack and Rodes-Harlin halls. He said they should be fixed in a few days.

Connections in Bemis Lawrence and Barnes-Campbell halls should be fixed by the end of this week.

Glynn said the machines in some dorms such as McLean and Poland halls were not working because of telephone wiring problems. These were fixed over the weekend.

All the dorms will eventually run through an ethernet connection, Chrisler said.

Reach Shawntaye Hopkins at [email protected]