Washed out

Whoever said laundry was as simple as separating the whites from the colors? Despite Student Government’s recent achievement of providing free laundry in the dorms, many students are facing problems more annoying than a shrunken pair of jeans or a stained T-shirt. With laundry machines now available to all students, some feel the privilege is being abused.

In the apartment area, signs posted on the walls warn “Laundry for UM Students Only.”

“I hated having to pay all those quarters last year, so it’s great that it’s free now, “Whitney Skold, junior, said. “But it does mean that a lot of people who don’t live in the area bring their laundry over in their cars and do their laundry.”

Students in Hecht and Stanford residential colleges said that people are removing their clothes from a washer or dryer and leaving it in a pile in order to free up the machine for their own use.

Freshman Kyna McCartney thinks it’s rude when people touch her clothes.

“Why not have a way to lock washers and dryers, so people can’t take your stuff out?” she said.

Freshman Maggie Tague agreed.

“I like the fact that it’s free, but it does a [bad] job of washing my clothes,” she said. She said the washing machines don’t clean her clothes well enough: When filled up, the clothes don’t get clean, so she has to do smaller loads.

Then there are the dryers.

“Some just turn and don’t dry,” Tague said.

But perhaps all laundry rooms aren’t created equal.

“Laundry is great here. It’s fast, free and all the machines work well,” Dani Markham, freshman, said. Markham said she uses the laundry room in Hecht Residential College, and she’s not alone in her enthusiasm.

“I live in Stanford, but use the Hecht laundry room. This way my clothes don’t end up wet and wrinkled,” Ryan Caparella, freshman, said.

Various Stanford residents have reported constant crowds, a lack of working machines and a dirty atmosphere. Some wonder if the situation was any better back when students had to pay.

“It’s cool that it’s free this year, but they need to step it up a little,” Nick Gavronsky, sophomore, said.

“It was a little better last year,” Henry Holaday, sophomore, said. “At least most of the dryers worked. Now only like four or five do. I’d rather pay, and have all the machines work, than have them free like they are now.”

SG Chief of Staff Laura Turano said that a new room will be opening in Stanford within the next week, complete with new washers and dryers. Turano was the original member of SG to propose building a new laundry room. She said the ratio of students to machines was around 40-to-1 last year, when it should be 20-to-1, according to dorm living standards.

“I thought I’d do my laundry on Saturday during the football games but turns out all the guys in the whole area wanted to do their laundry during the game,” Skold said. “I had to fight for all four laundry machines.”

Taylor Pashley can be contacted at t.pashley@umiami.edu.