Sometimes the washers on campus work but the dryers don’t, leaving you with a pile of dripping clothes and nowhere to put them. Other times, change machines will be broken, and you’re out of luck unless you can find somewhere else to make change.
Whatever it might be, doing laundry on-campus presents its own set of obstacles.
“I imagine that we get complaints at least once a day or more,” freshman Austin Pittman, the vice president of Resident Affairs for the Residence Hall Association, said of laundry facilities.
The Residence Hall Association recently conducted a survey of students asking them for opinions and feedback about doing laundry on campus. Earlier this semester, 722 students took the Laundry and Vending Survey, which asked how often students used the laundry and vending facilities and how often they were actually functional.
One survey question asked respondents to rate their agreement with the statement, “When I am ready to do my laundry using my residence hall laundry facilities, the washers and dryers are working and operational.” About 16 percent of respondents selected “strongly disagree,” 34 percent selected “disagree” and 22 percent selected “neutral.” About 27 percent of respondents selected “agree” or “strongly agree.”
Sabrina Moll, Bedford sophomore, said she avoids doing laundry on campus if possible.
“I always have to dry my towels twice,” she said.
Pittman said many respondents expressed frustration with the laundry facilities and how issues with those facilities were handled.
“We did find that a lot of people did not know what to do if a washer or dryer broke down,” Pittman said. “One of the most popular answers was “beat it up” or “kick it.”
One question on the survey asked, “What should you do if you find a washer or dryer that is not working?” Pittman estimated that about 5 percent of respondents didn’t know what to do if a washer or dryer wasn’t working properly.
Another question on the survey asked if students would rather pay a flat fee of about $17 at the beginning of each semester as a laundry fee or continue to pay per load. About 73 percent of respondents said they would rather pay a flat fee per semester.
Moll said she supports this idea.
“A flat fee would save me so much money,” Moll said.
Other colleges and universities in Kentucky have moved toward this flat fee method. Institutions including the University of Louisville, Morehead State University and Eastern Kentucky University are offering laundry to students with the cost covered in their housing fees, according to each school’s website.
Pittman said the Residence Hall Association is meeting this week to address the findings of the survey and continue to develop the idea of a flat fee each semester to cover the cost of laundry.
“That’s definitely something that I feel needs to be addressed because, especially for me, I don’t have a million quarters sitting around my room,” Pittman said. “I don’t think anybody really does, especially when the quarter machines break down and you don’t have any way to do your laundry.”