The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

New laundry plans announced


According to a Campus Memo sent out on January 8, 2015, an $81 fee will cover all coin-free use of both washers and dryers for students living on campus beginning in the 2015-2016 school year, in contrast to the pay-per-use system currently in place.

The fee will cover the transition to the new system, in addition to the cost of using laundry machines over the course of the academic school year. The fee is included with the cost of room and board, and therefore will only be charged to students living on-campus. However, because there will be unlimited use of the laundry machines, there will be no way to monitor who is using the facilities.

“Self-governance will be essential to the program’s success,” wrote Vice President for Finance and Treasurer Kate Walker in an email to The S&B.

However, some students have expressed concern about the new laundry system. This semester, Mikayla Findlay ’16 wrote the Student Initiative “Turn Laundry Back,” calling for students to work with the administration to keep the current pay-per-use system. Findlay’s initiative had the requisite 200 signatures needed to appear on the ballot, but ultimately did not pass.


Findlay also said that the pay-per-use system is not worth the strain on environmental resources because there will be no incentive for students not to do several small loads of laundry.

“It abuses the machines,” Findlay said. “With the … ‘use whenever you want,’ I believe that will abuse water resources in that if you can wash your clothes whenever you want, you can go ahead and throw a couple pieces of clothes into a laundry load. That’s not efficient use of water.”

Walker disagrees, however. According to Walker, the original reason that several staff members developed the new system in fall 2013 was to prevent machines from breaking due to students filling laundry machines with too many clothes.

“The primary cause for broken machines is overloading,” Walker wrote. “We’re hopeful that the move to unlimited laundry will mean students will wash clothes more often, in smaller loads. That will place less stress on the equipment and help keep it in good working order.”

The new laundry system will also cut down on the amount of time it takes for laundry machines to be fixed when they do break. With the pay-per-use system, both Facilities Management and Information Technology Services are needed to fix the laundry machines because of the P-card system. With the new system, FM can fix them without ITS’ help, which, according to Walker, will cut down on the repair time.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *