Free laundry abuse may cause revert to previous method

Photo: Grace Lehrian
Photo: Grace Lehrian
University officials talk issue

By Grace Lehrian
News Editor/Spectator

Edinboro University implicated the free laundry policy starting in the spring semester of 2014. In the past, students had to pay an average of $2.50 to wash and dry their clothes. Each building is equipped with a laundry room that is available to students 24/7.

In the spring semester, the university has decided to add a small fee onto the housing cost so that students no longer have to pay for each load of laundry that they do.

Jeffrey Hileman, the director for university communications and marketing said that the “University leaders worked with the Edinboro University Foundation to arrange for the free use of the laundry equipment. This was done to help students with everyday living expenses as a way to offset the increase in room rates in the Highlands, which the Foundation owns and for which it sets rates.”

Although this seems like a good idea, there have been some complications with the new policy. One of the big issues surrounding the free laundry is the occupancy of the machines. With the laundry fees gone, more students are willing to do their laundry more often.

This is not news to Ciera Holman, a Resident Assistant in Highlands 6. “A lot of [students] complain about the washers always being occupied, that way, when they want to do laundry, it is unavailable,” Holman said. “I guess the issue is if someone leaves their clothes in the dryer and someone else needs to use it, other than that there hasn’t been any really big issues.”

There are other issues that don’t seem to be as apparent to students, but may be a problem to those who work as Resident Assistants. The only students who are permitted to use the laundry facilities are those who live within the building.

Holman is aware of the issue, and although she hasn’t encountered the problem herself, she says that there will be a better system in place in the future.

“As of right now we really can’t stop others from using the laundry. Of course if we know they aren’t supposed to be here we will tell them they can’t use the laundry facilities, but we don’t really have a system in place at the moment,” Holman added.

Denita Kelly, the area coordinator for Residence Life and Housing is also aware of these issues. She called this semester a “trial-and-error period” and said that “hopefully next year we will have a better system in place.”

Kelly also warns students of the danger of abusing the laundry system. Because the laundry is free, students are prone to do it much more often. But, if you do not have a full load of laundry, it is not advised to do laundry. If students continue to abuse the system, Kelly warns that students may see a price increase to next year’s housing bill. The amount of water that students are using to do the laundry has gone up significantly; students might eventually have to pay for it. “Use of the laundry facilities is being monitored and compared to usage in years past,” Kelly said.

“If it’s found that this special opportunity is being abused, laundry facilities will revert to being paid,” said Hileman. Students who are having issues with the laundry facilities are encouraged to go to their RA’s with these issues. “They can definitely come to any of the RA’s. Right now we are trying to figure out a system, but there is nothing official yet,” Holman said.

There are some things that students can do to better the hostility. One suggestion is to look at the timer on the machines and then set an alarm on your phone to go off a few minutes prior to your load being done. This will lessen the chances of someone else handling your clothes and also make the machines more available for those students who are waiting to do their laundry.

Grace Lehrian is the contributing writer for The Spectator. She can be reached by