Free Laundry is a hit on campus

By Lindsay Cameron

When Casey Vocaire heard about the free laundry services at Ashland University, she said she jumped up and down, telling everyone she saw that day but not all students reacted the same way as she did. Some do not plan to use the free laundry services.

Auxiliary Services announced campus-wide free laundry on Oct. 3. Matt Portner, director of Auxiliary Services, said that contracting with ASI Campus Laundry Solutions has brought these benefits to the University and its students.

Vocaire normally does her laundry weekly or (because she has fewer pants than other articles of clothing) waits until she runs out of pants. Before free laundry was instituted on campus, she was already behind on washing her clothes. She had four loads by the time the week-long rush hour in the Myers laundry rooms ceased.

“I took up all the washers. I needed to do laundry that first day but I knew it was going to be really busy,” Vocaire said.

Even though she had no idea at that time that laundry would soon be priceless, by waiting to do her laundry, she said she saved about $10. If she normally spent $4 each week on laundry, she will now save about $65 each semester if the laundry remains free.

Vocaire said that when she used to go home every other weekend she took her laundry with her.

“I feel like that almost pushed me to go home more because I didn’t want to do it myself,” Vocaire said.

Vocaire can now use her eagle dollars for food or more clothes.

For the time being, Vocaire said the laundry rooms are often crowded but she predicted that in a month the students will fall into a rhythm and better plan their laundry runs so that unnecessary or incomplete loads do not hog the machines.

Emilia Del Pino said even though the free laundry will benefit many students, she will continue doing her laundry off campus.

Del Pino said she lives three hours away from campus, so she did her laundry on campus until her fiancé graduated in 2009. He was provided a home and utilities through his job which is close enough for her to do her laundry at his house. At the time, it was cheaper for her than paying 50 cents per load. Because this laundry system works well for her lifestyle, she does not need to use the free laundry services at AU.

“I honestly wasn’t sure if it was a prank or not. It was so random. Honestly, I wish they would lower other things like tuition than worry about me spending a couple bucks a week to do laundry,” Del Pino said.

Finding her washed laundry thrown on a table after arriving late to pick up her laundry was an issue when she did do her laundry on campus. Sometimes, she would find herself folding another girl’s laundry or paying for another’s wet load so that she could begin her own load.

“I know I hated having to spend 50 cents on someone who lost track of time but I know it happens. If it’s free maybe others will be more willing to just start the next load,” Del Pino said. “Obviously, the whole free thing is nice for college students who not only pour money directly to the school but (also) spend a lot of money to finish all of the required projects and assignments.”

Although Del Pino said she did not mind paying small amounts for laundry when she did do her loads on campus, freshman Steven Rowe said he was happy about the free laundry because he said he became “sick” of paying for it once every two weeks.

“I can do laundry more often without spending so much money,” Rowe said.

Since free laundry, Rowe said the laundry rooms in Kilhefner are more crowded than usual. If he does his loads on Wednesdays or Thursdays, he does not have to wait in line, but on Sundays, he said he has to “wait forever.”

After free laundry was instituted, Rowe said he spoke with some students in the laundry room and they told him they used to do their laundry off campus, but since the service is now free, they wash clothes on campus.