August 31, 2011

Laundry included in cost of on-campus housing

By James El-Mallakh
The Louisville Cardinal
[email protected]

In an effort to make the University of Louisville’s dormitory life less cumbersome, the housing department has streamlined the cost of doing laundry. Students will no longer pay to use the laundry machines individually; instead, the cost will be incorporated into the rate students pay upfront to live in a dorm.

The switch is a product of the housing department’s mission of making living on campus simple.  The decision was made in part by Shannon Staten, the Director of Housing and Resident Life.
“We regularly look at what we’re providing for students and try to determine: is there a better way? Is there an easier way? What can we give our resident students that increases the value of the space?” Staten said.
According to Staten, this change in laundry machine payment will streamline the cost of doing laundry and effectively make it easier on resident students.
She goes on to explain, “One, we thought it would be a nice way to balance out and have a service that’s kind of across the board. And it would be a way to provide a hassle-free environment for laundry, you wouldn’t have to have change, you wouldn’t have to have money on your card.”

It is evident that the housing department has been appropriately attentive to continuing students. Veniece Oldham, a junior psychology major, acknowledged that paying for the washing and drying machines was difficult.
“If you didn’t have quarters that day and you wanted to swipe your card and [the card processor] would be down, you couldn’t do your laundry.” says Oldham. “Some of them would take your quarters and it would get stuck in there.”
James Noelck, a senior psychology major, has also had trouble paying for the machines. “The biggest thing is getting quarters, and it’s not exactly easy especially since I hardly ever carry cash.”
Noelck also explains that as an employee of the university, he has been a subject of the school’s effort to make the school more efficient by consolidating services provided to students.
“As a staff member, we’re definitely stressed to learn as much as we can about the campus and we would count as one of those streamlining changes so residents can just come up to us and say ‘Hey, I’m looking for such and such, how do I get there?’”
This new shift in the way laundry is paid for will reduce the cost for students who do laundry at school. Those who take their unmentionables at home will find they are paying more for the cost of other students to do their laundry.
Oldham speculated that this may upset some students.”I guess it would be good for people who have to do their laundry, but as far as others, raising their rates, people might have a problem with that.” Students who usually take their laundry home could benefit from staying on campus to wash their cloths and take advantage of the newly distributed cost.

Staten says that it is still a learning process, “We’ll survey it later in this semester as part of our general surveying to see what people think about it.” says Staten. “We just felt like it was a service that could be easily rolled in.”

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